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J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2005 Nov;64(11):925-35.

The neuropathology of autism: a review.

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Autism Tissue Program, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA.


Presented is a review of recent progress in the understanding of autism based on investigations of donated human brain tissue. Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) criteria, manifesting by age 3 and characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication, as well as restricted, repetitive, stereotyped patterns of behavior. Based on reported neuropathologic findings, these characteristic behaviors are clinical manifestations of both pre- and postnatal alterations. This review summarizes the current data obtained from postmortem brain studies in the areas of stereology, neurotransmitter systems/synaptic processes, molecular mechanisms, and neuroimmunology. In addition, we discuss current research strategies designed to facilitate translational research and maximize the yield of precious resources (e.g. the Autism Tissue Program), highlight barriers to research, and consider future trends.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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