Autism manifests in boy, girl differently

New study carried out by the British researchers has indicated that autism disorder has different effects on the brains of males and females.

The scientists found that the anatomy of the brain of someone with autism, also known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), was different depending on whether they were men or women.

The brain scans of 120 men and women participated in the research revealed that the affected brain areas in women with autism were similar to the brain parts of males and females without autism, according to the paper published in the journal Brain.

Scientists from the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to observe the difference between the brains of typical men and those with autism.

In next stage, the researchers looked at females with and without autism disorder, and then they examined how autism affected the brain of males and females.

“This research shows that it is possible that the effect of autism manifests differently according to one’s gender,” said the study leader Dr Meng Chuan Lai.

While ASD is more commonly seen in males, most studies have tended to focus on males so far but the recent study has focused on the issue of gender.

“The findings suggest that we should not blindly assume that everything found in males with autism applies to females. This is an important example of the diversity within the spectrum,” the scientists from the University of Cambridge said.

Å“Girls can be more adaptive than boys and can develop strategies that often mask what we traditionally think of as the signs of autism,” said Director of The National Autistic Society’s Centre for Autism.

“This masking can lead to a great deal of stress, and many girls go on to develop secondary problems such as anxiety, eating disorders or depression,” she added.

Autism is a developmental disorder that can cause problems with social interaction, language skills and physical behaviour. People with autism that appears in the first 3 years of life, are more sensitive to everyday sensory information.

The disorder varies from mild to so severe that a person may be almost unable to communicate and need round-the-clock care.


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Republished from: Press TV