Autism and Brain Development
Autistic brain development – Few days before it was Farhan’s six birthday. All you can see a disappointment on the face of parents of autistic kid when their kid grows but never as they want him to be. “I never mind when anybody calls my kid a special kid since every kid is a special for their parents, and obviously Farhan is also a very special for me, these were the words of Farhan’s father. It was really unfortunate and disappointing when his parents saw Farhan not progressing accordingly to his age. He never called them Mama and Papa like most of the kids do. His eye contact was poor and never told them about his choice. Tahir and his wife, were eager to listen to his issues, his choices etc. But unfortunately this has only be a hope so far.
Today I am going to highlight few important things related to Autism, since most the parents ask, how an autistic brain is different from a normal brain? Ideally brain development is completed after going through a sequence of five different procedures. When the baby born the development of its brain starts and it will complete when all the five procedures are done. The process of brain development starts from the most basic functions till the complex ones. This process is basically the interaction of genetic inheritance and the environment determines that how the brain will develop.
By going through five different processes the procedure of brain development will complete. Some of these processes begin before birth during the pregnancy period. While due to late adolescence some procedures are incomplete. Following are some of these processes are mentioned as under.
This is the first process of brain development of babies forming the neurons. This procedure will complete before the baby is born.
This is basically a process in which the organizing of brain is being done by moving the neurons in the brain towards the specific areas in the brain and based on the functions these cells will perform. The migration of cells begins with the parentally and after the baby is born this procedure is continuous until 8 to 10 months.
In this procedure, each neuron will be coated with axon with a strong and fatty coating. This process is called myelin. This will protect the neurons and with the help of it, the signals will be conducted easily and efficiently. Myelination basically begins in the stem of the brain and before birth, it will cerebellum. The breast feeding helps the process of Myelination perform rapidly.
In this process, the networks fo connections of the brain will be developed. This is the process that will continue till the person is alive.
This is the last and fifth process of brain development. In this process, all the unnecessary connections and strengthening is weeding out. This is the most important process in the brains development. In some cases, the procedure of pruning starts very early in the development procedure. The pruning that happens rapidly starts from the age of three and till the age of 16. There are different areas of the brain that undergo the pruning during different periods of sensitivity.
This is the most important procedure in the brain development of the baby. Pruning is the key part of the procedure of brain development. It is because in this procedure those connections are eliminated which are not required or not used often enough. Pruning provides a special room in the brain in which the most important networks of connections grows up and also expend and helps in making the brain more efficient.
How are the Neurons Different with Autism?
It has been observed that the causes of autism are due to the altered connections between the neurons and it is called synapses. There are different synaptic theories related to autism
Activity-dependent synaptic plasticity
The children with autism disorder suffer from different deficits that include learning in interacting with others and socially engaged with others, facing different language issues, synaptic change which is the change in activity development
In this category, the children with ASD have an enlarged brain and it is because of lacking the synaptic pruning and shaping of connections. In other words, we can say that the neurons receive more inputs than it is required normally. The lack of pruning directly affects the synapses that are efficiently in reaching towards the given stimulus. This can also affect the neurons in other ways as well.
Balance of Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses.
With the inhibitory neurons, this is a one way through which our brain helps us in focusing on a specific task which actually contains the (short for gamma-amino butyric acid). The changes in the levels of excitation can also affect the waves of brain or oscillations.
Brain with Autism does not Develop
As the brain develops of babies, there is a lot of explosion of synapses, this is basically the connection that allows the neurons to send and receive the signals. But during the time period of childhood and audiences, at this time the brain needs to start pruning those synapses. By limiting their number so in the different parts of brain some specific functions can develop.
According to the study when the children have autism the process goes away and it does not work accordingly the way it has to be. The oversupply of synapses in some parts of the brain. There are some symptoms of autism through which we can figure out the child has autism disorder that includes over sensitivity while communicating with people and zero tolerance to noise. Most children with autism also have the epileptic seizures.
This helps the scientists to look for a better way for treating this disorder. They search for different therapies ti fix the problem in terms of clearing the extra synapses from the brain. From childhood to audiences the age from 2 to 20 died from the autism disorder. In the area of brain’s temporal lobe involves the behavior problem of social and communication issues. Analyzing the brain of ASD, around 20 of the brain control the spine.
Generally, a teenage of 19 years old mostly has the synapses of 41 percent as compared to toddlers. But those teenage with autism have only 16 percent of fewer synapses comparing the young children with autism.
According to the specialists, if there is an overgrowth of synapses in the brain and so the child will be different in many ways right from the start. There are proteins and biomarkers in the brains of autism people that mostly affect the malfunctions that work in cleaning and degraded the old cells; this whole process is called autophagy. In the autism brains the level of autophagy is decreased and without autophagy, the process of pruning cannot be performs.
It has been researched and figured out by the scientists that the autism is basically a disorder of brains and has the problem of too little connectivity or too much or sometimes it has some combinations. Autism happens because some parts of the brain are too much into the connection and talking too much to each other. In order to develop a fine tune system in the brain, you need to loose or decrease this connection. If all parts of the brain talk too much about all the parts of the brain so the result is only the extra noise in the brain.
There are different electrical signals being transmitted to the brain. More than three people in autism have epilepsy. There is a drug for autism but it is not the permanent solution. It cannot cure the disease completely but we can say it does not work for all people with autism. But this drug also has horrible side effects. But there are some therapies that can help to correct the pruning problem in childhood and audiences once the autism disorder emerges. The problem of pruning also seems to happen or disclose later in the development.
Drug Pruning Extra Synapses in Brain can Treat Autism
The researches have shown that children having autism disorder have the excessive amount of synapses in their brain. The connections between the neurons are also not perfect. The scientists have disclosed that there is a drug which can treat this problem even after the autism disorder is disclosed. The main sign of autism disorder is that of poor social interaction, communication difficulties, and responsive behaviors. In the brain of autistic people, the abnormal amount of synapses is found.
If the progress of child development is going well then the process of formation of synapses gradually goes slow. During the infancy, it is highly active but through a process, it will be balanced which is called autophagy or pruning through the unnecessary cells. In vortex region of the brain, the synapses are also found, which basically derives the autistic behaviors. During the early development of the brain, the abnormalities started to occur. In other words we can say that synapses are not pruned and autism can occur.