Asperger’s and Autism: Brain Differences Found
Children with Asperger’s syndrome show patterns of brain connectivity distinct from those of children with autism, according to a new study. The findings suggest the two conditions, which are now in one category in the new psychiatry diagnostic manual, may be biologically different.
The researchers used electroencephalography (EEG) recordings to measure the amount of signaling occurring between brain areas in children. They had previously used this measure of brain connectivity to develop a test that could distinguish between children with autism and typically-developing children.
“We looked at a group of 26 children with Asperger’s, to see whether measures of brain connectivity would indicate they’re part of autism group, or they stood separately,” said study researcher Dr. Frank Duffy, a neurologist at Boston’s Children Hospital. The study also included more than 400 children with autism, and about 550 typically-developing children, who served as controls.