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Panminerva Medica 2001 December;43(4):311-5

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Autism and cerebellum. An unusual finding with MRI

Muratori F., Cesari A., Casella C.

From the Institute of Child Neuropsychiatry IRCCS Stella Maris University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy


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In ­recent ­years neu­ro­im­ag­ing tech­niques ­have ­shown in ­young autis­tic chil­dren mor­pho­log­i­cal dis­or­ders of the brain­stem and cer­e­bel­lum. After a ­review of the lit­er­a­ture the ­authors ­present a ­three-year-old ­child, ­with a pervasive developmental disorder (autistic type) ­whose MRI ­shows an unusu­al find­ing in the ­right cer­e­bel­lar hem­i­sphere. The ­achieved lev­els in ­many devel­op­men­tal are­as (lin­guis­tic, cog­ni­tive, rela­tion­al, com­mu­ni­ca­tive) ­have ­been ­referred too. This devel­op­men­tal descrip­tion rep­re­sents addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion to the ­research ­about pos­sible cor­re­la­tions ­between autis­tic symp­toms and neu­ro­an­a­tom­ic abnor­mal­ities. The ­focus is ­about the ­role of neo­cer­e­bel­lum in com­plex pro­cess­es ­such as ­joint atten­tion, ­shift atten­tion, cog­ni­tive and lin­guis­tic func­tions ­which are prob­ably ­involved in path­o­gen­e­sis of autistic disorder. The pres­ence of ­such inabil­ities in a ­case ­with cer­e­bel­lar hem­i­sphere abnor­mal­ities, with­out ver­mis com­pro­mis­sion, ­could sug­gest ­that in aut­ism ­exist def­i­cits in ­more com­plex con­nec­tions ­between neo­cer­e­bel­lum and oth­ers ­regions of the ­brain.

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