Twin Study Reveals Smaller Brain Regions In Autistic Children

Ken Collins KPaulC at
Sun Sep 12 00:33:59 EST 1999

see, for instance, "Threatened mothers have tougher offspring", by S.
Milius, _Science News_, 4Sep99, p. 15.

i emphasize, again, that, until, the stuff of the prenatal environment is
thoroughly worked out, so-called 'twin studies' are indeterminant.

and this applies with respect to =ALL= neuro-behavioral correlations, such
as 'ADHD', etc.

it must be understood that the neural architecture is robustly-formed as a
consequence of experience, including prenatal experience... so, of course,
embryos/fetuses sharing the same prenatal experience will show similar
neuroanatomical correlates of that shared experience.

i read a good analogy, somewhere, recently (paraphrase): "the fact that the
stars 'disappear' when the sun 'rises' does not mean that the stars cease
their existneces be-cause the sun 'rises'."

the analogous thing in Neuroscience is that, the fact that there's a
detectible neuroanatomical correlate, does not mean that the shared
neuroanatomy is 'genetically' caused... the cause can very-well be, and it's
easily demonstrated using existing experimental results, most-often is, the
by-product of experience-driven activation 'states'.

why do i repeat this one point over and over again?

because it's important that folks comprehend 1. the neuroanatomical
consequences inherent in the experiential consequences of behavioral
decisions, and 2. it's important for folks to comprehend that, given such
neuroanatomical consequences, such are not 'fatalistic traps', with respect
to which there's no hope of 'escape'... the neuroanatomical consequences of
experience are real, but 'escape' from any of them can be accessed via
further, albeit, often-arduous, experience... and 3. there are folks in
'science' who greatly ab-use Science in their quests to do 'molecular
neuroscience'... they say this-or-that 'is genetic' without comprehending
the first thing about how structure develops in ways that are
strongly-coupled to experience.

i'll add a 4th thing, in answer to the question inherent in 1 & 2, above...
why is it 'important' that folks understand all these things?

4. it's important for folks to understand all of this because folks,
themselves, constitute the vast majority of 'environment' as 'environment'
is experienced by others... there's a need for responsibility with respect
to one's contributions to the 'environment' that fellow Humans experience,
be-cause one's contributions to 'environment' have neural-structure
consequences in the nervous systems of others.

all those who 'think' that 'loving one's neighbor' is 'mamby-pamby',
'weak-kneed', stuff, are 'just' totally-ignorant of Neuroscientific Truth...
the imperative in 'loving one's neighbor' is as above, be-cause what each of
us does is as environment to our 'neighbors', and when they experience such,
the neural structures of their nervous systems are modified with respect to

clearly, irresponsible behaviroal decisions, then, 'come back to haunt' one,
be-cause  development of negative neural-structure consequences, via
experience, create negative 'environmental' consequences with which the
progenitors must, subsequently, deal... as Lincoln said (paraphrase): "put
folks in chains, and one sows the seeds of one's own destruction". the
non-sense inherent in such is obvious. that such has been so commonplace
within Human affairs, discloses the degree to which the "Beast", Abstract
Ignorance, has victimized Humanity... folks ravage one another be-cause such
ravaging has been the merely-familiar thing within Human experience... which
merely-familiar stuff, 'simply' forms the neural structures of individuals
within experiential populations in ways that tend, strongly, to perpetuate
the negative consequences of the merely-familiar progenitoring-experience.

in other words (to put it 'bluntly'), there's nothing more-stupid than to
so-co-operate with merely-familiar Ignorance.

when will Humanity wake-up from the 'ightmare' inherent?

K. P. Collins

[p. s. what's here needs to be stated much more eloguently, but i'm
exhausted... i can only hope that folks will not be deterred by my
ineloquence, but will, in their own gentle ways, find the stuff of such
eloquence within their own strong minds (or allow me to discuss in-depth,
in-person, where all the necessary delicacy can be responsibly carried
through the discussion. kpc]

John <johnhkm at> wrote in message
news:936853883.908290 at
> Twin Study Reveals Smaller Brain Regions In Autistic Children
> --
> In the first published brain imaging study of autism in identical twins,
> scientists have identified brain regions that are abnormally small in
> children with autism. Their report appears in the June issue of the Annals
> of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Neurological
> Association.
> --
> These results appear to support a recent theory that there is a mild form
> autism in relatives of autistic children that derives from some of the
> genetic abnormalities that lead to severe autism.
> "It's one pair of twins," cautions Wendy R. Kates, Ph.D., assistant
> professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and
> research psychologist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins
> University, one of the authors of the study. "The results are very
> preliminary and they need to be replicated on a larger scale."
> But the results are promising enough that the National Alliance for Autism
> Research and the Autism Society of America are funding a larger follow-up
> study that will compare 10 identical-twin pairs in which one sibling has
> autism and the other exhibits less severe, yet similar, language and
> delays.
> --
> Kates and her colleagues from Kennedy Kreiger Institute, Johns Hopkins
> University, and Stanford University found that, compared to his brother,
> autistic twin had a smaller amygdala, a structure involved in emotion, and
> smaller hippocampus, an area critical for learning and memory. They also
> found that parts of the cerebellum that are involved in shifting attention
> from one task to another were reduced in size.
> Relative to the normal boys, both twins had reduced frontal cortex, an
> responsible for organizing, planning, and problem-solving, and a reduced
> superior temporal gyrus, a region responsible for processing language.
> --
> --
> --
> John
> Remove XXXX in reply address

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