Autistic Children Have Neural Communication Problems in Earliest Stages of Brain Development

A new study on patterns of brain communication in toddlers with autism demonstrates problems with neural communication even at this early stage of brain development, according to an article in Brain Connectivity, a bimonthly peer-reviewed journal.

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 autism. The researchers assessed patterns of communication between different functional neural networks in the brain that facilitate the processing and integration of information.

In the article, “Disrupted Functional Brain Networks in Autistic Toddlers,” pronounced differences in the communications patterns are described, specifically in areas such as path length and clustering.

The new finding is significant in aiding researcher’s understanding of abnormal brain development in autistic children, and supports the assertion that autism is a disorder of connectivity. The article, which shows evidence of reduced brain connectivity and a lower capacity for neural communication, will augment existing research on the subject.


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