Frontal Lobe Could Be The Key To Early Autism Detection

Autism is a very intricate and complicated disorder. There are a lot of unanswered questions, but one thing we do know is that there are many different forms of Autism, and the disorder affects each and every single child differently. Someone once said “If you’ve met one child with Autism, then you’ve met one chid with Autism.”

Even though the disorder leaves many things to be learned, researchers are working harder than ever to find out more about Autism and what causes it. For it is only then that we can start tackling even better treatments.

Something that researchers and doctors are looking into is to what exact level of a role that the brain plays in Autism, more specifically, the Frontal Lobe.

What is the frontal lobe?

The frontal lobe is the area of the brain located in front of the parietal and temporal lobes. The frontal lobe contains a large majority of the dopamine-sensitive neurons in the cerebral cortex. Dopamine is responsible for the reward system, motivation, short term memory and attention.


The frontal lobe is blue in the above graphic.

What Does The Frontal Lobe Have To Do With Autism?

Researchers are saying that too many tight connections in the circuits of the frontal lobe and too few long distance links between the frontal lobe and the rest of the brain could be the cause of  language and social issues. Furthermore, it could be responsible for repetitive behaviors. All of these are frequently seen in cases of Autism. The study of the brain connections could really provide some key hints and direction for developing an early detection and intervention of autism symptoms and signs.

Dr. David Amaral, director of research at the M.I.N.D. Institute says that some instances of Autism occur when the frontal lobe grows too quickly. He says:

 “This cortical area [the frontal lobe] is involved in social behavior, planning for the future, theory of mind, self-awareness. We’ve found that some of the kids have an abnormally enlarged frontal lobe. We are starting to see in this case that there are some behavioral correlations. For example, whether you have an enlarged frontal lobe or not seems to be associated with whether you had an early-onset versus a regressive form of autism.”

What’s the Next Step?

The next step is more research. The more that we find out about the frontal lobe and its role in Autism, the more we can begin the intervene at the appropriate time an encourage treatment and exercises for this. There are certain behavioral signs and triggers that researchers are looking at that, just as a few spots indicate chickenpox, a few of these behaviors may encourage parents to have their children checked out to be sure that things do not get progressively worse.

Will there ever be a cure?

Cure is a word we’re trying to phase out of the Autism world. Cure indicates that there is something wrong with your child that needs to be fixed. It’s not about that. It’s moreso about improving symptoms and thereby increasing the quality of life of your child.

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