The researchers found that women with the structure of the brain similar to men likely to develop autism.
This discovery explains why autism is much more frequently diagnosed in men.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are developmental disorders of the nervous system, they are characterized by impaired social interaction and impaired verbal and non-verbal communication. Recent studies have shown that women have different symptoms of autism that may go unnoticed in the diagnosis, but a new study from Goethe University in Germany says that women are less likely to develop autism due to the specific structure of the brain.
“We hypothesized that if the male brain is more vulnerable to ASD, then maybe the female brain has some features that make it similar to the male,” — said one of the researchers, Christine Ecker: “There are some neurological aspects that are more common in men than in women. One of them is thinner cortex.”
To determine whether this has any significance, the researchers conducted a study that involved 98 people with autism spectrum disorders (49 men and 49 women). When the researchers performed MRI of each patient, they estimated the thickness of the cerebral cortex – this part of the brain responsible for memory, attention, perception, and awareness. All the men who participated in the study, the cortex was thinner than in women. But 40% of women who participated in the experiment, the cortex was thinner than usual.
Thus, scientists have concluded that predisposed to autism, people with more “masculine” brain structure, but emphasize that the findings are yet inconclusive, and studies will continue.
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