Reduced minicolumns in the frontal cortex of patients with autism

Authors

Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 33, Issue 5, 597, Article first published online: 10 September 2007
  2. Errata: Corrigendum Volume 33, Issue 6, 720–721, Article first published online: 6 November 2007

Daniel P. Buxhoeveden, Hamilton College, Room 317, 1512 Pendleton Street, The University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29803, USA. Tel: +1 803 777 4460; Fax: +1 803 777 0259; E-mail: buxhoevede@gwm.sc.edu

Abstract

Cell minicolumns were shown to be narrower in frontal regions in brains of autistic patients compared with controls. This was not found in primary visual cortex. Within the frontal cortex, dorsal and orbital regions displayed the greatest differences while the mesial region showed the least change. We also found that minicolumns in the brain of a 3-year-old autistic child were indistinguishable from those of the autistic adult in two of three frontal regions, in contrast to the control brains. This may have been due to the small size of the columns in the adult autistic brain rather than to an accelerated development. The presence of narrower minicolumns supports the theory that there is an abnormal increase in the number of ontogenetic column units produced in some regions of the autistic brain during corticoneurogenesis.

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