The Neurology of Autism Spectrum Disorder

There are many neurological and genetic causes that lead to autism or autistic symptoms. While very few of these diseases accompany the clinical assessment, it should be remembered that most of the individuals with autism are in the idiopathic group.

A recent study has revealed a neurological condition that causes autism. An abnormality in the brains of children with autism may result from the development of neurons in utero, according to a new study published. In this study, the brains of newly died children with and without autism were examined. Researchers took tissue samples from these brains. Each tissue sample taken was divided into thin layers to analyze brain structures. Using the gene analysis process, the researchers were able to classify the differences spread over multiple layers in the cortex of children with autism.

The researchers called these differences abnormal areas in the region and explained that they found them in the frontal cortex of almost every brain of children on the autism spectrum. It was observed that almost all children diagnosed with autism had abnormal areas in the frontal cortex. The findings show that there are significant differences in the development of the brain structure in the prenatal period in children with autism. But these abnormal areas were found only in the frontal and temporal regions of the brains of children on the autism spectrum. These regions were areas where children with autism experienced emotional, social, and communication difficulties.

It is believed that the true causes of autism’s neuropathology have not yet been revealed, yet it is still a big secret. This study can be an important step for other studies in the future. This makes research more critical and exciting.

Autism and Child Neurology

Autism spectrum disorder is a disease that primarily concerns child psychiatry and child neurology branches, and it appears more and more as social awareness increases. Today, this disease needs a multidisciplinary family of healthcare professionals, such as doctors, psychologists, special educators, play and language therapists, teachers, social workers, etc., and parents during the diagnosis and treatment phase.

When to Ask for a Neurological Examination in Children With Autism?

Neurological examination is also an important part of the diagnosis and treatment process in children with autistic symptoms. Especially in individuals with autism, the rate of impairment in brain electrical activity is about 50%. Approximately 20% of all children with autism have epilepsy. This situation increases especially in the 3 to 5 years of age and 10 to 12 years of age.

Therefore, during the diagnosis process, it is recommended by experts to perform neurological examinations at 3 to 5 years of age and to have sleep EG. If there is any problem in brain electrical activity, at this point, there may be a need for consultation from neurology and an additional need for neurological treatment.

Neurological examination may also be required before adolescence. Especially in the early years of adolescence, if there is a deterioration in behavioral adaptation and a decrease in some cognitive skills, it is necessary to consider neurological examination and neurological consultation.

Neurological Structure of Individuals with Autism

In the late 1990s, Italian researchers discovered a special group of neurons in the brain. These neurons were taking action in purposeful, cooperative, and competitive behavior. This particular type of neuron, which is shown only in the brains of monkeys who are watching what the other is doing, is called mirror neurons. Later, during studies conducted with children with autism, it was shown that this group of neurons did not act enough in their brains, and it was suggested that this might be the mechanism that plays a role in autism. These neurons were later called empathy neurons.

In the century we live, when we look at the functioning of the brain, neurons are intermingled in a network that we can understand. Experts can identify these genes, proteins, molecules with a bottom-up approach. They can understand how they communicate with each other to make that neuron work. They can understand how these neurons communicate with each other to make the brain circuit work and how these circuits work to control the individual’s behavior. And they can do this both in the brains of individuals with autism and in brains of individuals with normal development.

A new study suggests that brain connections in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show more symmetry in the right and left hemispheres than in individuals without autism. Findings based on brain scans of young individuals with autism can explain why individuals with autism are capable of identifying specific details but are unable to show this success in a wider context.

Studies show that; the left hemisphere of the brain has a greater role in the ability to process and speak than the right hemisphere, while the right hemisphere is more prone to focus on auditory and visual stimuli. Scientists also think that the left hemisphere of the brain is more involved in the process of analyzing specific details in situations, and the right hemisphere of the brain has the task of integrating these details with various other stimuli.

Our perception of the world and our reactions are shaped by the joint work of various functions of the two hemispheres of the brain. In the new study, it was revealed that the way individuals with autism perceive the world is quite different from individuals without autism.

Scientists scan the brains of young individuals with autism and young individuals without autism using MRI. In particular, the focus was on how the connections in the brain intensify across different regions in the brain tissue of the two brains. And the right hemispheres of the brains of young individuals without autism were found to have more intense connections.

This finding is also in line with the idea that the right hemisphere has a more integrative function and brings together different kinds of information. But according to the analysis of the brain connections of young individuals with autism, the brains of individuals with autism spectrum disorders are organized symmetrically in two hemispheres.

The idea behind the asymmetry of the brain is due to the fact that the two hemispheres of the brain perform divisions in certain tasks. In individuals with autism, this division of labor in the brain is considerably reduced, and it performs its duties together in two hemispheres.

What cognitive effect these differences have has not been resolved yet. In addition, it is not possible to give an exact answer to the question of whether autism causes symmetry or symmetry that causes autism. However, with the new researches, we can both answer these questions and analyze how individuals with autism make sense of the world.

When autism is considered neuroanatomically, children with autism have fewer neurons and decreased dendritic branching in certain brain regions. An increase in the overall brain size by 5-20%, an expansion in the overall structure of the brain, and a deterioration in the detailed structure was observed. Growing brain volume is also a condition with schizophrenia and anxiety.

Another finding is that there is less neural interaction in the brains of individuals with autism. A shrinking of the brain shell has been noted in some children with autism. This potentially leads to attention, alertness, and sensory defects.

In autism, the hippocampus, which functions as a memory by guiding us to remember the latest experiences and new information, and the amygdala that directs our sensory responses, decrease in dendritic branching and decrease in cell size.

The parietal lobe, which controls hearing, speech, and language, often shows insufficiency in the brains of individuals with autism. Due to this inadequacy, many problems may arise, such as the ability to be skilled, seeing and perceiving the space as a whole, spatial evaluation, distinctive sense, and perception of touch.

Causes and Neurological Aspects of Autism

Many non-specific biological causes have been identified in autism. Some problems of pregnancy and birth (advanced maternal age, bleeding during pregnancy, drug use, viral infection, short gestation period, low birth weight, etc.) and some problems that may be seen in the neonatal period (delay in crying, respiratory problems, neonatal jaundice, etc.) It has been reported that it is more common in children with autistic symptoms. However, these problems are not specific to autism, nor are they specific to autism.

Neurological and genetic diseases that cause autism or autistic symptoms include some genetic syndromes such as Fragile X, diseases that affect the skin and the brain (tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis, etc.), diseases that disrupt (degenerate) brain structure (such as some epilepsy syndrome types (such as West syndrome in early infancy with the contraction of arms and legs and body), acquired processes (damage of the brain in the neonatal period due to lack of oxygen or blood flow (hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy), encephalitis, passing rubella in the womb), metabolic diseases ( phenylketonuria, low levels of thyroid hormones from birth, etc.).

There are also many data about autism as a genetic disease. Studies on the genetic basis of autism suggest that autism is a disease in which many multi-factor genes are responsible.

Toys For Brain Development and Neurological Improvement

Stages Learning Materials Language Builder Flashcards, Noun Flashcards, Autism Learning Picture Cards

It is one of the most recommended toys that you can find on Amazon. There are different card games available in it in order to improve your child’s brain connections, language development, etc. It will be very beneficial whether your child on the autism spectrum or not. It has realistic and attractive pictures. Your child is not going to be bored at all. It has a different category with different stimuli such as colors, sizes, designs, etc. It is developed based on ABA therapy. Overall, it is a very useful toy for your child.


Autism Supplies And Developments Plastic Visual ASD Behavior Keyring (Picture Communication Symbols)

These cards are designed based on the needs of children on the autism spectrum. These symbols are chosen in order to fit most of the people. Individuals on the autism spectrum can learn the symbols on these cards in order to express their desires, wants, and thought. They will boost their brain connections and make their lives easier. Overall, both individuals with autism and the people around them will be very satisfied with these cards.


Coogam Wooden Tetris Puzzle, Brain Teasers, Toy, Tangram, Jigsaw

Even though it is designed to keep children busy with its colorful and geometric design, it keeps the children’s brain focused on solving this puzzle and gives them a chance to add creativity. It helps to develop their eye-hand coordination. It gives them a better color and shape understanding than the screen can give. They can touch the shapes and they can look at the colors closely. Overall, it is a great toy in order to develop brain functioning in every child.


BizyBeez Magnetic Building Blocks Set Special Needs Toys for Kids with Autism

There are colorful magnets and balls ib this set. With those tools, your child can play alone. It is a great toy for your little one’s daily routines. It is very helpful for brain activities in terms of both logical and creative. That’s why it is a great option for children on the autism spectrum. It promotes focus and attention. It develops their creativity. Moreover, with its design, it stimulates sensorial parts of the brain. It is easy to carry and easy to store. If you are looking for a toy to boost the brain development of children with autism, it will be a good option.


Magz-Bricks 40 Piece Magnetic Building Set, Magnetic Building Blocks

It is one of the best educational and beneficial toys you can find on Amazon for a child with an autism spectrum disorder. It gives the opportunity to create different shapes with different colors. It develops their creativity and in this way, it develops their brain functioning. It gives them a chance to reach their top level of imagination. There are no specific rules or steps in these toys. They like to play with those blocks a lot. Overall, you and your child will be very satisfied and pleased with these magnetic blocks.


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