Brain Development in the Conditions of Autism

On September 14th, 2011 it was announced that the first biologically distinct subtypes of brain development in the conditions of autism has been uncovered by the world’s most comprehensive and largest investigation of children with autism.

The discoveries are very similar to the first biological subtypes of cancer discovered in the 1960’s. This discovery aided to a better understanding and awareness to the causes of cures, effective treatments, health policies on cigarette smoking & the ban of any further use of asbestos. It is believed that factors that are the cause for autism are similar to cancer, genetics, the immune system and the environment. It has since been identified that over 200 biological subtypes of cancer have been discovered.

The announcement was delivered by Dr. David Amaral, Research Director of the UC Davis MIND Institute at this year’s Asia Pacific Autism Conference in Perth, Australia. Autism experts and researchers from England, America, Sweden, Singapore, India, Australia, Belgium & Kuwait presented the investigated discovery at the conference.

Dr. Amaral spoke these comments at the conference:
“It is absolutely clear there are biologically distinct subtypes of autism. The hints that we have uncovered from monitoring the brain growth of children with autism is just the tip of the iceberg of biological features that will support the definition of biologically different types of autism. This is early days and it is impossible to define how many subtypes will ultimately be discovered.

Identifying, defining and investigating biological subtypes of autism are a key to understanding causes and progress towards effective treatment, cure and prevention.

I think there are probably many biological subtypes of autism. Until we start attacking each subtype we will not make progress towards prevention and more effective reduction in disability.

It is similar to the situation with cancer. If we were trying to cure all cancer at the same time it would be hopeless. Well, the same is true for autism.”

This is Dr. Amaral’s first publicly released discovery that released public key findings of the Autism Phenome Project, the largest evaluation of children with autism ever attempted. The project began and to this day is still directed by Dr Amaral conducted @ the MIND Institute at the University of California.

Dr. Amaral’s five year research project of 350 autistic children has uncovered two biologically distinct subtypes of brain development in autism. His comments to this were:

“One group of children has precocious growth of the brain. The pattern only appears in boys with autism and is mainly observed in children whose parents say they regressed into autism. The medical records of these children indicate that their brains began to become enlarged around 4 to 5 months of age, even though their autism did not appear until 18 to 24 months.

Many other children with autism, including all girls evaluated, appear to have a normal trajectory of brain growth, though their autism appears in the first 12 months. The biological cause of autism in these children is likely to be quite different from those with abnormal brain growth.”

There are no known facts on the causes or of a cure for autism. It is only understood that it is a disorder with limited known origins. Some of the many known symptoms are repetitive behavior, impairments in social interaction and communication skills, limited and restricted interests.