Evidence that autism is a brain 'connectivity' disorder

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richie
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10 Jan 2010, 1:28 pm

Research adds to evidence that autism is a brain 'connectivity' disorder

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January 10, 2010

Studying a rare disorder known as tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), researchers at Children's Hospital Boston add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that autism spectrum disorders, which affect 25 to 50 percent of TSC patients, result from a miswiring of connections in the developing brain, leading to improper information flow. The finding may also help explain why many people with TSC have seizures and intellectual disabilities. Findings were published online in Nature Neuroscience on January 10.

TSC causes benign tumors throughout the body, including the brain. But patients with TSC may have autism, epilepsy or intellectual disabilities even in the absence of these growths. Now, researchers led by Mustafa Sahin, MD, PhD, of Children's Department of Neurology, provide evidence that mutations in one of the TSC's causative genes, known as TSC2, prevent growing nerve fibers (axons) from finding their proper destinations in the developing brain........


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MONKEY
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10 Jan 2010, 5:19 pm

Interesting, I had thought myself it had something to do with certain connections in the brain, it seems pretty obvious.


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Fudo
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10 Jan 2010, 5:56 pm

MONKEY wrote:
Interesting, I had thought myself it had something to do with certain connections in the brain, it seems pretty obvious.

indeed, was this not the theory before anyway..?
guess it's good to be pursuing answers though..



Asp-Z
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10 Jan 2010, 6:19 pm

I read something like that a long time ago.



pezar
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10 Jan 2010, 6:25 pm

If they could make a drug that would reverse this condition, and make you NT, would you take it? Would parents be forced to give the drug to their kids once abnormal connectivity was noted, around age 18 months, in order to reduce the "burden" of autism on society? (Remember, once ObamaCare passes we will have bureaucrats making decisions like this.) If you had an ASD kid, and could give him this drug and make him NT, would you do it? What would the world be like without autistic people? Obviously this genetic mutation is beneficial, because if it wasn't it would have disappeared long ago. What happens if we eliminate all genetic difference? What happens if we give an "NT drug" to aspies, and a straight drug to gay kids, and a white drug to black kids, and...



richie
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10 Jan 2010, 8:46 pm

I doubt there is any drug that would make us NT or normal, because learning, adapting, and
developing behaviors that enable us to live with our autism have already shaped and wired our
neural pathways.


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Pobodys_Nerfect
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10 Jan 2010, 8:56 pm

We might have to move to China.



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11 Jan 2010, 12:57 am

There is no medication that can alter neural pathways. That would require nanosurgery, of a sort that, using the scale from GURPS (the Generic Universal Role-Playing System), we won't reach for another technology level or so. (Our world today is at Tech Level 8; nano-neurosurgery doesn't become possible until TL10.)

Sorry, NTs, we can't be "cured". Neither can you. Get over it.


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richie
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11 Jan 2010, 4:28 pm

Actually the only thing we know how to "cure" is pork..... :P


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mechanicalgirl39
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11 Jan 2010, 6:33 pm

MONKEY wrote:
Interesting, I had thought myself it had something to do with certain connections in the brain, it seems pretty obvious.


That's what I thought too, since many of our problems seem to come down to "fragmentation" or "disconnection".

(I love your avatar by the way! You're really pretty...and me with my horrid asymmetric features...I'm jealous.)


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Thundaeagle
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11 Jan 2010, 8:05 pm

I knew that my brain was wired up differently.



release_the_bats
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11 Jan 2010, 8:15 pm

Fascinating! Thanks for posting this!

From the article:

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"People have started to look at autism as a developmental disconnection syndrome - there are either too many connections or too few connections between different parts of the brain," says Sahin. "In the mouse models, we're seeing an exuberance of connections, consistent with the idea that autism may involve a sensory overload, and/or a lack of filtering of information."


To me, it feels like a sensory overload and a lack of filtering. When I'm in a room full of people, I can't concentrate on the conversation I'm participating in while tuning out the others. It's like I'm listening to everything everyone is saying at once, and the music in the background if there is any.



JDoherty
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12 Jan 2010, 12:03 am

richie wrote:
Actually the only thing we know how to "cure" is pork..... :P


Or fish!



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12 Jan 2010, 7:29 am

DeaconBlues wrote:

Sorry, NTs, we can't be "cured". Neither can you. Get over it.


Yup. We are what we are.

ruveyn



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12 Jan 2010, 2:05 pm

pezar wrote:
Remember, once ObamaCare passes we will have bureaucrats making decisions like this.


What a load of foetid dingos kidneys. Nothing in the reform legislation takes away the ultimate authority of the patient (or guardian in the case in incapacitated patients) to consent. Nowhere in the rest of the developed world in which publicly administered health insurance exists have bureacrats been in a position to interpose themselves into the doctor-patient relationship. In fact, HMOs in the United States are far more invasive than any public health care provider in Canada, Western Europe or the rest of the OECD.

Where the bureaucracy can intervene, and where vigilence is necessary, is in decisions about allocation of resources--should this hospital remain open? Should this community mental health care program be shut down? Focus your attention on the real dangers, not the imagined ones.


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MONKEY
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13 Jan 2010, 5:36 pm

mechanicalgirl39 wrote:
MONKEY wrote:
Interesting, I had thought myself it had something to do with certain connections in the brain, it seems pretty obvious.


That's what I thought too, since many of our problems seem to come down to "fragmentation" or "disconnection".

(I love your avatar by the way! You're really pretty...and me with my horrid asymmetric features...I'm jealous.)


Thanks :D I cheated though because I messed with the lighting and stuff :P


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