Brain Damage - Brain Damage 11:26:00 Developmental...

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Brain Damage 19/02/2009 12:26:00 Developmental Disorders Autism o Characteristics Impairments in social interactions (theory of mind – thinking  about what other people are thinking; autistic people have  difficulty with this) Impairments in communication Restricted interest and repetitive behaviors Sometimes, mental retardation, motor problems, sleep  problems, and eating difficulties o 6/1000, 4x more boys o No known causes; strong genetic influence (polygenic) o Studies suggest that alterations of brain development occur after  conception -> many structural abnormalities in brains of autistic  individuals but this may be confounded with mental retardation o No known cure o Autistic Savants -> autistic individuals with one or more areas of  expertise, ability, or brilliance (1 to 10% of autistic people) May be due to other areas of the brain compensating for major  brain damage o Mapping the brain in autism Reduced gray matter volume in fronto-striatal, parietal, and  superior temporal areas Reduced white matter in cerebellar and limbic areas Study suggests that abnormalities in the anatomy and  connectivity of the limbic-striatal “social” brain systems may  contribute to the characteristics of autism Williams Syndrome o Characteristics Distinctive facial characteristics (elfin like) Severe mental retardation; extremely impaired spatial ability Hyperverbal -> very good language and music skills Pleasant dispositions -> very socialable o 1/10,000 to 20,000 people
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o a known genetic mutation - the deletion of about 20 genes on allele of  chromosome 7; including gene that codes for elastin (associated with  connective-tissue abnormalities and cardiovascular disease) -> stems  from a sperm or egg cell that by chance suffers a loss of those genes o studies suggest that gray matter reductions in visual and parietal 
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  • Spring '08
  • Szumlinski
  • brain damage, severe mental retardation, partial seizures, major  brain damage

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