Tag Archives: Neurobiology

Question?: Pdd Symptoms

Chris asks…

Do you have or have you known someone who has Autism?

I have the disorder known as Atypical Autism. The symptoms that I notice the most in myself are that I seem to lack the ability to empathize with others and I am on the negative end of the spectrum when it comes to socializing.

If you have autism, what parts of it effect you the most…
What part of Autism do you find to be the most debilitating..

admin answers:

Atypical autism is another name for PDD-NOS or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. I have high functioning autism, and I am a sophomore in college majoring in microbiology and neurobiology. What effects me the most is reading social cues and sensory sensitivity. I can’t easily detect whether or not a person is being sincere or sarcastic and I have been taken advantage of because of that. I also have extreme sensitivity to sound. I cannot focus if someone is tapping, I process all sounds at once and cannot ignore any of it. It can lead to a meltdown occasionally. For that reason I have accommodations that allow me to take exams in quiet rooms with white noise headphones. I love pressure and use the squeeze machine invented by Temple Grandin a lot. If you haven’t tried it, you have to. It is Ecstasy to feel the squeeze and it calms me down a lot. For some reason my parents didn’t tell me about my autism until I was 16. I wish they would have done so earlier, up until then. I just assumed I was a bad person. Now I use my insight on autism to improve standards at an autistic school I work at part time

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Mirror Neuron System Impaired In Autism

Main Category: Autism
Article Date: 05 Mar 2012 – 1:00 PST

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Impaired social function is a cardinal symptom of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). One of the brain circuits that enable us to relate to other people is the “mirror neuron” system. This brain circuit is activated when we watch other people, and allows our brains to represent the actions of others, influencing our ability to learn new tasks and to understand the intentions and experiences of other people.

This mirror neuron system is impaired in individuals with ASD and better understanding the neurobiology of this system could help in the development of new treatments.

In their new study, Dr. Peter Enticott at Monash University and his colleagues used transcranial magnetic stimulation to stimulate the brains of individuals with ASD and healthy individuals while they observed different hand gestures. This allowed the researchers to measure the activity of each individual’s mirror neuron system with millisecond precision in response to each observed action.

They found that the individuals with ASD showed a blunted brain response to stimulation of the motor cortex when viewing a transitive hand gesture. In other words, the mirror neuron system in the ASD individuals became less activated when watching the gestures, compared to the healthy group. In addition, among people with ASD, less mirror neuron activity was associated with greater social impairments. This finding adds to the evidence that deficits in mirror neuron system functioning contribute to the social deficits in ASD.

This finding also directly links a specific type of brain dysfunction in people with autism spectrum disorder to a specific symptom. This is important because “we do not have a substantial understanding of the brain basis of autism spectrum disorder, or a validated biomedical treatment for the disorder,” said Dr. Enticott. “If we can develop a substantial understanding of the biology of specific symptoms, this will allow us to develop treatments targeted specifically to the symptoms.”

“This study is an example of the effort to break down the component problems associated with autism spectrum disorder and to map these problems on to particular brain circuits,” commented Dr. John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry.

Enticott added, “We are currently investigating whether non-invasive brain stimulation can be used to improve mirror neuron activity in autism spectrum disorder, which would have substantial potential therapeutic implications.”

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our autism section for the latest news on this subject. The article is “Mirror Neuron Activity Associated with Social Impairments but not Age in Autism Spectrum Disorder” by Peter G. Enticott, Hayley A. Kennedy, Nicole J. Rinehart, Bruce J. Tonge, John L. Bradshaw, John R. Taffe, Zafiris J. Daskalakis, and Paul B. Fitzgerald (doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2011.09.001). The article appears in Biological Psychiatry, Volume 71, Issue 5 (March 1, 2012), published by Elsevier.
The authors’ affiliations, and disclosures of financial and conflicts of interests are available in the article.
John H. Krystal, M.D., is Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine and a research psychiatrist at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System. His disclosures of financial and conflicts of interests are available here.
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posted by Nancy on 6 Mar 2012 at 6:15 am

My impression from the article is that in order for the
Child to comprehend the movement , it should be repeated or
Exaggerated in order for there to be comprehension.

In practicality it does not make sense to me.

Please correct me as to it’s application.

Thanks,
Nancy

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