Why autism is a complex disorder of the central nervous system? The reason for this is simple. Doctors still do not know what causes autism, but they know for sure that certain environmental and genetic factors play a role in it. Furthermore, the severity of the disorder can vary from child to child.
According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the US, autism is a nervous system disorder which affects the proper working of the brain, causes learning problems, behavioral problems, delay in speech, movement problems, sensory problems and seizures.
As the central nervous system is a highly complicated structure in the human body, researchers are still trying to find out how it works and functions. In a person with autism, the working of the central nervous system gets disrupted and results in changes in the way the brain processes information. This can cause behavioral issues, language issues as well as social problems. It seems that some people are genetically predisposed to autism and now researchers are trying to figure out whether brain inflammation could be one of the causes.
A study conducted by the John Hopkins University found that two brain cells of the central nervous system, microglia and astroglia, tend to get swollen more often in people suffering from autism compared to normal and otherwise healthy people. Also, the same study found that the cerebro-spinal fluid showed enhanced cytokine response in people suffering from autism. These results lend credibility to the claims that inflammation could result in autism. At the moment, National Children's Study is researcher whether prenatal inflammation could be one of the causes for autism.
Another study conducted the University of North Carolina School of Medicine found that neurotransmitters are extremely important in the neural development of fetuses. So, the study is delving further to see what effects exposure to toxins during the fetal stage has on the receptors and neurons in the brain. Through this study it will come out whether toxin exposure can cause problems in the formation of neurotransmitter systems, particularly in people who are genetically prone.
Autism has been linked to poor growth of the central nervous system and if researchers can find out what causes it, they can also find out ways to prevent it in the future.
The Autism Genome Projected funded by the National Institute of Mental Health in the US is investigating whether certain environmental and genetic factors can cause autism. The project is exploring the possibility of certain neurotransmitters, the role of molecules that create synapses between neurons and chromosome abnormalities that could result in development of autism in certain individuals.
Many people claim that autism is a disorder and not a disease and those suffering from it are different from so-called normal people. However, there are others that claim it is a disease and should be treated as one. This is a long going debate on autism and has a lot to do with the complexity of the central nervous system and its working.
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