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THE NEUROPATHOLOGY OF AUTISM: A SELECTIVE REVIEW

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Author(s): Manuel F. CASANOVA | Meghan MOTT

Journal: Journal of Special Education and Rehabilitation
ISSN 1409-6099

Volume: 7;
Issue: 3-4;
Start page: 21;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: autism | neuropathology

ABSTRACT
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder charac­terized by impairments in cognitive, language and social skills. While the etiology remains unclear, it is viewed primarily as a highly heritable disorder. In this article, characteristic neuroanatomical mor­phological findings associated with autism are se­lectively reviewed and their implications for be­havioral manifestations are discussed. Although there is general consistency among the classic neu­ropathological observations, conflicting findings are a feature of the literature. All studies suffer from small sample size and the high comorbidity of autism with other neurological/psychiatric dis­eases. Larger study populations due in part to in­creased prevalence and awareness of autism allow for greater statistical power validity. New imaging and postmortem techniques employed in these studies hold out the promise of resolving conflicts and ambiguities in the data, providing a basis for enhanced understanding of the neuropathology and treatment of this condition.

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