The Interesting Thing About The Brain In Children With Autism

Part of our population lives in isolation in a special universe. The brain of children with autism is characterized by a lot of nerve connections, which may explain why it is so complicated for them to control and understand the stimuli that surround them.
The interesting thing about the brain in children with autism

If the brains of children with autism were a house, every room in the house would be filled with noise. It would have a lot of complex cords all over it, and its walls would be very sensitive to almost any stimuli. This excessive occurrence of synapses and neural connections especially creates changes in all children.

Scientific progress does not really show anything. It is useless to learn about these disorders with neurological development, which affect a large part of our population. The lack of attention, stereotypes and misunderstandings about those who suffer from these disorders keep us from meeting them as they are.

These children with ASD (autism) can no doubt put our patience to the test. They may have a particular mind or severe intellectual deficiencies. But despite their always-so-energetic world, they surprise us with their strengths, sensitivities, needs and affections.

Their families are commendable. They provide infinite and energetic love that not only copes with the stereotypes but also tries to forge alliances with other social actors: doctors, teachers, psychologists and everyone else who has an interest in these children.

Therefore, we can help them by better understanding their inner world. Let’s dig deeper into it.

A floating brain

Hyperconnection in the brain in children with autism

In 2014, a group of researchers conducted an experiment at Colombia University. The data in this study were published in the journal Neuron, and it explained two very important things:

  • The already mentioned peculiarity of the brain in children with autism: The increased incidence of synapses and connections between the neurons.
  • An experimental treatment that can regulate the hyperconnections (a singular change in the brain that occurs before the age of three.)

Furthermore, we must keep in mind that in addition to this synaptic singularity, there are other problems associated with it. For example, there may be communication problems between the different areas of the brain.

The problem of removing synapses

From being a fetus to the age of two, an incredible process called synaptogenesis takes place in the brain. During this process, up to 40,000 new synapses are formed per second.

  • During this time, children have more neurons than they need. Therefore, as the brain develops, it will happen that the most useful compounds will be myelinated and the rest will be eliminated.
  • Removal of synapses occurs mainly in the cerebral cortex. In this way, the process that regulates the executive functions such as thinking, analysis, reflection and attention will be strengthened.
  • In adolescents, approximately half of these cortical synapses are removed.
  • The study found that in the case of children with autism, this removal of synapses has affected only 16% against the normal 50%.

The cerebral cortex and communication in the brain

The brain of children with autism also has problems with a relevant and significant structure called the cerebral cortex.

  • This structure is the key to communication between the different areas of the brain.
  • Lynn Paul, a researcher at the California Institute of Technology, saw several changes in the cerebral cortex in children with autism. It can cause problems in everyday life with social contexts, inability to understand certain types of information, misunderstandings and a more rigid mental approach.

Heterogeneity of the brain in children with autism

Researchers at Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul conducted a study which showed that the brain imaging found is very heterogeneous. Evidently, there are significant structural and functional abnormalities in the brain in children with autism. However, it is very rare to see two identical brains.

  • As a result, each child will no doubt exhibit different behaviors, deficiencies, and peculiarities within the autistic spectrum.
  • There are also genetic formations that affect the nervous system and the way the different parts of the brain communicate. This explains why some children have great intellectual potential, while others have serious communication difficulties.
  • Nevertheless, the brain of children with autism usually has difficulty processing social and emotional stimuli.
  • This does not mean that these children do not have emotions. In fact, one can almost say the opposite. They need to feel loved, supported and affirmed. But they just do not know how to react to such stimuli.
a girl in a dress

Conclusion about the brain in children with autism

The mTOR protein is currently being investigated. According to various studies, it may be this protein that prevents the removal of the synapses. This process is very important because it allows the brain to form stronger neural connections.

But there are no conclusions so far. Therefore, we must limit ourselves to knowing the specific needs of each child and give them back as best we can now according to their inclinations.

Fortunately, the number of specialized professionals in this field is growing every day. There are currently many specialists focused on these 2% of the population.

Our goal is to understand the reality of this group of people because they may seem indifferent and difficult. They may not want anyone to touch them or just look at them. But we must remember that they want us and need us. We must strive to become better at understanding their inner world.

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