Article Review 2
The idea of whether or not an excess amount of neurons in the prefrontal cortex in early brain overgrowth development was linked to the cause of autism was questioned in this experiment. The prefrontal cortex has been shown to control the social, emotional, communication and language development in the brain. The hypothesis of the study researched if having too many nerve cells in this part of the brain (the prefrontal cortex) was the origin to autism.
The context of the study was that autism involved in early brain overgrowth, and that cellular defects that cause abnormal overgrowth are still unknown. Their investigation was small yet thorough in finding that brain overgrowth in males with autism involved an abnormal excess number of neurons in the PFC (prefrontal cortex). Eric Courchesne goes into further explanation, saying that in addition to the overload of brain cells, children with autism have heavier brains than children typically developed.
The methods used in this experiment involved postmortem prefrontal tissue from 7 autistic and 6 control male children between the ages of 2 to 16. The brains were examined by expert anatomists. The number and size of neurons were measured using stereological methods within the dorsolateral and mesial parts of the prefrontal cortex. The postmortem brains were obtained from several different locations from New York to Maryland. The brain weight of each male individual was the first diagnostic test. To determine whether or not the control (normal) brains had weights expected of typical individuals, each weight was compared to the mean weight for that age. The differences in the mean of the brain weights were then compared. Stereology procedures were also performed on the brain. This involved the brains being sectioned and prepared for the measure of neurons in the DL-PFC and the M-PFC with blind to diagnostic membership, age of case, and he purpose,...