Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist
Although a small study, new data published in JAMA suggests that more matters when it comes to children with autism. The study comes from the University of California, San Diego, and found that the brains of autistic children have far more neurons in the prefrontal cortex than the brains of kids without autism.
The researchers examined postmortem brain tissue from seven boys with autism and six boys without autism who were aged 2 to 16 when they died. The autistic children had on average 67 percent more neurons (type of brain cell and fundamental building block of the nervous system) than boys without autism of a similar age. The prefrontal cortex is key to complex thoughts and behaviors, including language, social behavior and decision-making and autism is diagnosed and identified as a neurodevelopment disorder characterized by problems with social interaction, communication and restricted interests/behaviors.
As I have a fairly dense background in working with autistic children, I find this study and data overall very intriguing. I'm curious to see how this data is used for subsequent studies, especially in terms of, if this data holds true in those studies, how the medical field will go about using this information to (hopefully) prevent autism. I do see this potentially becoming more or less as a political battle where separate parties may argue of the ethics behind the possibly of evaluating neurological development of a fetus and/or young children.
What are you thoughts? We hear that early detection is always best, but how early is too early, if at all?