New Study Finds Sex Differences in Autistic Brainswhat zodiac sign is october 21st
New Study Finds Sex Differences in Autistic Brainswhat zodiac sign is october 21stTHE BASICS What Is Autism? Find a therapist to help with autism Key points A large-scale research project revealed neurological differences between the brains of autistic boys and autistic girls. These differences likely underpin the significant differences in the experiences of autistic males vs. autistic females. The findings offer potential for a diagnostic procedure that is more sensitive to sex and gender differences in autism.
In recent years, clinicians, researchers, and other professionals working in the field of autism have become increasingly aware of the differences between autistic girls and boys when it comes to how they experience and present symptoms.1 Yet despite this awareness, there has been little reliable information about the differences between autistic boys’ and girls’ brains.
One recent study2 aimed to redress the situation by attempting to answer whether neurology—and in particular, brain function organisation—differed between males and females with autism. This study, which analysed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans of 773 autistic children—637 boys and 136 girls—revealed significant differences between the brains of autistic boys and autistic girls. What’s more, when the researchers applied the algorithms they had developed to the brains of neurotypical girls and boys, they didn’t find the same differences—suggesting that they are unique to autism.
One of the main findings from the study is that girls with autism had a functional brain organisation that significantly differed from boys with autism. The study revealed different areas of connectivity between girls and boys in various brain centres, including the brain’s motor, language, and visuospatial attention systems. This fundamental difference in brain organisation likely underpins the differing clinical symptoms that girls and boys tend to present.
Source: Kevin Gent, UnsplashImplications for Clinical Practice and Other Professionals
The implications of this study are significant and could help encourage increased awareness of the different ways that girls and boys experience autism. As the study’s lead author Dr. Kaustubh Supekar noted in a statement, “When you see that there are differences in regions of the brain that are related to clinical symptoms of autism, this seems more real.”
Countless autistic girls have been under- or misdiagnosed to date and many have not received the support they need. The findings from this research could help redress that imbalance. With regard to clinical diagnosis, Dr. Supekar suggests that “we may need to have different tests for females compared with males. The algorithms we developed may help to improve diagnosis of autism in girls.”
Studies like this one, which provide neurological evidence of the differences between males and females with autism, could help pave the way to a more nuanced approach to diagnosis and treatment—one that takes sex and gender into account.
THE BASICS What Is Autism? Find a therapist to help with autism
1. Pellicano, E, Dinsmore, A & Charman, T (2014) What should autism research focus on? Community views and priorities from the United Kingdom, Autism, 18(7), p756-770
2. Supekar, K., et al. (2022) Deep learning identifies robust gender differences in functional brain organization and their dissociable links to clinical symptoms in autism. The British Journal of Psychiatry. doi.org/10.1192/bjp.2022.13.
what zodiac sign is october 21stNew Study Finds Sex Differences in Autistic Brains