The brains of people with autism disorders show unique patterns of synchronization which could be useful for early diagnosis.
The brains of people affected by autism spectrum disorder are unique. According to a study unique patterns show synchronization, which could be useful for early diagnosis of the disease and future treatments. In autism spectrum disorders there are many more questions than answers. For example, some research on brain functioning people with autism have found a lack of synchronization or connectivity between different parts of the brain that normally work in tandem, however, other studies have seen exactly the opposite – an excess of synchronization in the brain.
This new research suggests that both may in fact reflect a deeper principle of brain function. The team of Weizmann Institute and Carnegie Mellon University has found that the brains of individuals with autism show unique patterns of synchronization. The identification of brain profiles that differ from conventional development pattern observed in other people is crucial not only because it allows us to advance our understanding of the differences observed in autism spectrum disorders, but also opens the possibility that there are many altered brain profiles in what is called ‘autism’ or ‘autisms’.
To investigate the issue of connectivity in autism spectrum disorders researchers analyzed data from functional studies of magnetic resonance imaging performed while participants were at rest. Studies of the brain at rest are important because that is when patterns emerge spontaneously, allowing to see how different areas of the brain connect and synchronize their activity naturally. The researchers believe that these spontaneous patterns may provide a window of individual behavioral traits, including those that deviate from the norm.
When the details of these synchronization patterns were analyzed in depth, scientists discovered an interesting difference between the control groups and persons with autism: the brains of various controls have profiles substantially similar connectivity, while those with autism spectrum disorder showed a very different phenomenon. They state, people with autism tend to display more unique and individual patterns. Differences between synchronization patterns in both groups could be explained by the way people interact and communicate each group.
Since we are young our brain networks are shaped by intensive interaction people around us and environmental factors that are common to all. And thhis shared experience could cause synchronization patterns in the brains of the control group more similar to each other. However, it s possible that people with autism, because there is a break with environmental interactions, each one develops a pattern of organization of the most exclusive and individualistic brain. However, the researchers emphasize that this explanation is only a hypothesis and that much more research is needed.