Just as the DSM-V merges autism and Asperger’s Syndrome into one diagnostic category, new research has emerged that shows these two conditions might be biologically different. Surprise!
I came across an interesting article on LiveScience.com about a new study that looks at the differences in the brains of children with autism and those with Asperger’s Syndrome:
“The results suggest the conditions are related, but there are physiological differences in brain connectivity that distinguish children with Asperger’s from those with autism, according to the study published Wednesday (July 31) in the journal BMC Medicine.”
The full text of the study is available on the BMC Medicine website: The relationship of Asperger’s syndrome to autism: a preliminary EEG coherence study.
Researchers concluded, “A diagnostic classifier based upon EEG spectral coherence data, previously reported to accurately classify controls and ASD subjects , has identified ASP subjects as within the ASD population. Thus, there is justification to consider Asperger’s Syndrome as broadly belonging within the Autism Spectrum Disorders. However, there is also evidence demonstrating that ASP subjects can be physiologically distinguished from ASD subjects. Just as dyslexia is now recognized as the low end tail of the reading ability distribution curve , so Asperger’s Syndrome may be similarly and usefully defined as a distinct entity within the higher functioning tail of the autism distribution curve. Larger samples are required to determine whether ASP subjects should be considered as an entity physiologically distinct from the ASD population or whether they form an identifiable population within the higher-functioning tail of ASD.”
This is an interesting, albeit a bit confusing, read – especially for those of us with children with Asperger’s Syndrome or high-functioning autism.
Photo: Jon Olav/Flickr