Brain overgrowth in infants may cause autism: research

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Washington, Dec 10 (UNI) Overgrowth of brain in one-year-old infants can be a cause of autism , a disorder that impairs social interaction and communication, a new research shows.

Behavioral studies of infants at high risk for autism suggest that the onset of most behavioral symptoms which define the disorder, such as problems with and social interaction, also occur at about age one, said Lead researcher Joseph Piven from the University of North Carolina.

In normal brain development, neuronal connections are eliminated through a process called ''pruning.'' This process refines normal brain connections and increases the efficiency of remaining connections in the brain.

Dr Piven says one possibility is that there is less pruning in children with autism and therefore, their brains become larger than in children without autism.

''One reason these findings are important is because early post-natal onset raises the possibility that there may be a window for early treatment and prevention that could be identified by future studies,'' the Science Daily quoted Dr Piven as saying.

Autism, a pervasive developmental disorder characterised by severe deficits in social interaction and communication, is associated with a restricted range of activities and interests, as well as stereotyped repetitive behaviors such as lining up toys in a certain way or requiring basic routines.


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