The alteration in social interaction, communication, and repetitive and obsessive behaviors that are the hallmark of autism are a consequence of a series of anatomical and histological abnormalities in the cerebral cortex and other brain areas in patients with autism. However, due to the heterogeneous nature of this disorder, not all the subjects with autism suffer the same symptoms, indicating that their brain abnormalities vary in form and/or severity. The pathology reports of brains with autism by Bauman and Kemper gave us the first observations about the macro- and microscopical structure of the autistic brain. These observations were followed by anatomical studies that focused on individual brain areas and specific traits such as the size of brain nuclei or the number and size of neurons in a given structure. Most of the later studies were performed using unbiased stereological methods of cell number and volumes. Here, we will review the available data on the anatomy of autism from the macro- to microscopic characteristics present in this disorder.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)