17. A Stereologic Perspective on Autism Neuropathology

  1. Peter R. Mouton PhD
  1. Neha Uppal1 and
  2. Patrick R. Hof2

Published Online: 22 NOV 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118444177.ch17

Neurostereology: Unbiased Stereology of Neural Systems

Neurostereology: Unbiased Stereology of Neural Systems

How to Cite

Uppal, N. and Hof, P. R. (2014) A Stereologic Perspective on Autism Neuropathology, in Neurostereology: Unbiased Stereology of Neural Systems (ed P. R. Mouton), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Ames, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118444177.ch17

Author Information

  1. 1

    Fishberg Department of Neuroscience, Seaver Autism Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA

  2. 2

    Friedman Brain Institute, New York, NY, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 22 NOV 2013
  2. Published Print: 17 JAN 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118444214

Online ISBN: 9781118444177

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Keywords:

  • autism neuropathology;
  • brain pathology;
  • cortical areas;
  • prefrontal cortex (PFC)

Summary

Autism spectrum disorders are symptomatically defined conditions affecting 1 in 88 children in the United States. Behavioral symptoms of autism patients combined with qualitative studies of brain sections indicate that pathology will be strongly represented in cerebral cortex. The role for the prefrontal cortex (PFC), usually categorized as “executive functions,” is thought to regulate planning, decision making and, most importantly, social behavior. Cortical neurons are generated in excess early in gestation, and this overabundance may be even larger in children with autism. Impairment in apoptosis during early postnatal life, which typically removes subplate neurons, may also contribute to the excess amount of cortical neurons in autism. This chapter discusses several neuropathological studies. The differences in results between two studies highlight the importance of having both detailed analysis of individual areas and broad analysis of regions, as they both give distinct views on the effect of autism on brain pathology.