A research study conducted at the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge suggests that Autism affects different parts of the brain in women and men. The study used magnetic resonance imaging to examine whether autism affects the brain of females and males in a similar or different way. Results of the study concluded that the anatomy of the brain of someone with autism substantially depends on whether an individual is male or female, with “brain areas that were atypical in adult females with autism being similar to areas that differ between typically developing males and females. This was not seen in men with autism.”
Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, senior author of the paper, stated that the major finding of this study is that females with autism show “some neuroanatomical ‘masculinization’ which may implicate physiological mechanisms that drive sexual dimorphism, such as prenatal sex hormones and sex-linked genetic mechanisms.” Thus, these findings strengthen the importance of the diversity within the ‘autism spectrum’ and suggest that we should not assume that everything found in males with autism applies to females just because autism is more prevalent in males.
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