Enlarged Amygdala: The Cause of Autism?

Scientists are one step closer to finding the cause for autism. In a new study, Joseph Piven of University of North Carolina and colleagues found that children with autism have enlarged area of the brain called the amygdala:

"We believe that children with autism have normal-sized brains at birth but at some point, in the latter part of the first year of life, it [the amygdala] begins to grow in kids with autism. And this study gives us insight inside the underlying brain mechanism so we can design more rational interventions," said lead study author Dr. Joseph Piven.

A normal-sized amygdala helps a person process faces and emotions, behavior commonly known as joint attention.

"When you see a face, you scan it, identify if it's friend or foe and make a decision about whether to move forward or avoid it," said Dr. Barry Kosofsky, chief of neurology at Cornell Medical Center, who was not affiliated with the study.

UNC researchers conducted diagnostic assessments, in addition to the MRI scans, to monitor the children's behavior. They found toddlers with a large amygdala also had joint attention problems.


Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

What is it with people loving to blame women for autism? Hey Jonsmom? Studies show overwhelmingly that older MEN who have children are much more likely to contribute the bum genes that contribute to or cause autism. The media will never mention "advanced paternal age," though it's the cause of most genetic disorders, but will mention advanced maternal age whenever they get the chance. Advanced parental age in general can lead to genetic mutations, but by far and away the biggest contributor to genetic mutations is advanced PATERNAL age.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Autistic kids need help, but this media sponsered increase in autism? Autism skyrocketing? Higher rates? See the YOU TUBE video: autism spectrum seems out of control and "autism epidemic rooted in abuse and misuse of word 'autistic' to get a better understanding of what's going on pretty shocking
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Don't see what there is much to be happy about. To make bread I have to spend hundreds of dollars for the substitutes, I went through years of physical and speech therapy, but I still can't understand certain metaphors or sarcasm very well. I can at least tell whether someone is happy, sad or the like though.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Enlarged Amygdala: The Cause of Autism?"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More