Thanks to the New York Times for another article on autism. This one describes a brain study at Columbia University that may lead to new treatments.
From the article:
As a baby’s brain develops, there is an explosion of synapses, the connections that allow neurons to send and receive signals. But during childhood and adolescence, the brain needs to start pruning those synapses, limiting their number so different brain areas can develop specific functions and are not overloaded with stimuli.
Now a new study suggests that in children with autism, something in the process goes awry, leaving an oversupply of synapses in at least some parts of the brain.
The finding provides clues to how autism develops from childhood on, and may help explain some symptoms like oversensitivity to noise or social experiences, as well as why many people with autism also have epileptic seizures.