Do disruptions in brain communication have a role in autism?

©2013 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc

A new study of patterns of brain communication in toddlers with autism shows evidence of aberrant neural communication even at this relatively early stage of brain development. The results are presented in an article in Brain Connectivity.

A team of researchers from The Netherlands (University Medical Center Utrecht and Utrecht University, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, and VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam) compared electroencephalography (EEG) recordings from young children with and without . The researchers evaluated the patterns of communication between various functional in the brain that aid in the processing and integration of information.

In the article "Disrupted Functional Brain Networks in Autistic Toddlers," Maria Boersma et al. describe significant differences in the communication patterns, in particular in variables such as path length and clustering.

"This work provides support to the hypothesis that autism is a disorder of connectivity," says Christopher Pawela, PhD, Co-Editor-in-Chief and Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin. "The researchers demonstrated that 's brains have both reduced brain connectivity and a diminished capacity for neural communication. This is an interesting finding and has impact on the understanding of the in autistic children."

More information: The article is available free on the Brain Connectivity website at http://www.liebertpub.com/brain.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Autism risk gene linked to differences in brain structure

Mar 21, 2012

Healthy individuals who carry a gene variation linked to an increased risk of autism have structural differences in their brains that may help explain how the gene affects brain function and increases vulnerability ...

Weaker brain 'sync' may be early sign of autism

Jun 22, 2011

In a novel imaging study of sleeping toddlers, scientists at the University of California, San Diego Autism Center of Excellence report that a diminished ability of a young brain's hemispheres to "sync" with one another could ...

EEG test to identify autism in children

Jun 26, 2012

The number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has recently increased to one in 100. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine demonstrates that EEG can distinguish betwee ...

New research may lead to improved diagnosis of autism

May 31, 2011

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) may provide an early and objective indicator of autism, according to researchers at Columbia University in New York City, who used the technique to document language impairment ...

Recommended for you

Insular cortex alterations in mouse models of autism

11 hours ago

The insular cortex is an integral "hub", combining sensory, emotional and cognitive content. Not surprisingly, alterations in insular structure and function have been reported in many psychiatric disorders, ...

Early warning sign for babies at risk of autism

Jul 24, 2014

Some babies are at risk for autism because they have an older sibling that has the disorder. To find new ways to detect Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) earlier in life, researchers are exploring the subtleties of babies' interactions ...

User comments