Understanding Autism – 2

Genetics: Synaptic Pruning and Autism

The process of autophagy, in which the body consumes excess cells, appears to not occur in people with Autism — or to occur at a reduced level. It’s thought to be due to non-production of the specific protein that triggers this process, but research into this “self-eating” phenomenon is still ongoing.

New York’s Columbia University Medical School is leading the way in this research and scientists involved are testing possible ways and means of triggering the protein production as a potential “cure” for Autism, but there’s a long way to go before any conclusive results will be seen.

This video explains the process and why it’s so promising…

The following stills from the video illustrate key points…

Graph shows differences in rates of synaptic pruning between Neurotypicals and people with Autism.

This excess of synapses — signal receptors and transmitters — along the body’s neurons (nerve cells) could explain why people with Autism experience sensory overload and processing delays, meltdowns, shutdowns, freezes, etc.

The comparison image below shows scans of Neurotypical and Autistic brains during sensory stimulation. It indicates the enormous differences in sensory transmission in the two brains — which could be explained by the excess of synapses in Autistic brains.

comparative-brain-activity

Learn more…

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