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Med Hypotheses. 1990 Jul;32(3):169-72.

Infantile autism and Wernicke's encephalopathy.


In this paper I discuss evidence that brain damage in infantile autism may involve the same complex of brainstem nuclei that are damaged by alcohol abuse, thiamine deficiency, and asphyxia. These are metabolically the most active structures in the brain, which makes them vulnerable to many injurious factors. It is my belief that the high metabolic rate in the brainstem nuclei could support a control function for multiplexing of neural pathways, and that if this control is lost it may result in the defects of awareness and responsiveness seen in autistic children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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