Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Possible Link of Autism to Other Neurological Disorders

Image: A simplistic picture of a complex organ where many clues to autism may be found.
Yesterday I suggested that Max Blake, the bipolar ten year old who appeared on the cover of the May 26 edition of Newsweek magazine may also have Asperger Syndrome. I also pointed out that is is not uncommon for children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder to also have one or more other neurological disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
In an online story in the Los Angeles Times titled "Brain's Role in Autism Probed," it was noted that a scientist studying the brains of autistic children found an overlapping region of the brain linked to various disorders. The study in question was conducted by Keith Shafritz, an assistant professor of psychology at Hofstra University on Long Island.

For his study, the professor compared the brain images of autistic youth with those of neurologically typical children. The researcher was able to pinpoint regions in the brain that are linked to "ritualistic repetitive behavior" in autistic children. While Shrafriz was noted as saying that the brain areas associated with repetitious behavior were not associated with another autism problem, self-injury, he did find a relationship supports my observations that children on the spectrum may have other disorders as well. Here is the excerpt that supports my claim:

"[...]Shafritz found a relationship between the newly identified brain areas and overlapping regions linked to schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Dr. Anil K. Malhotra, director of psychiatric research at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., said he was not surprised. He too is studying links between autism and schizophrenia, and autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder."


concerned heart said...

In 1994 the committee who wrote the DSMIV removed the diagnosis of early childhood schizophrenia and replaced it with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Schizophrenia and autism are often molecularly identical caused by unique gene mutations. Often an older father or an older maternal grandfather when the mother was born is the root in non-familial cases. The genes governing brain development are very vulnerable to new mutations with paternal age. Thank you for your blog.

Casdok said...

C certainly has a few disorders! It is all very fasinating.