Autism treatment should be adapted according to gender

A recent study published in Brain Neuroscience Journal has indicated that differential treatments should be offered to Autistic individuals according to their gender.

Historically, as autism has been more prevalent (up to three to five times more so depending on population) in young boys, studies have centered around treatment for the male brain, this new study conducted by The University of Cambridge, compared brain scans of 120 men and women.

Looking at the research conducted by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen on the psychological differences of the neuroscience of men and women diagnosed with Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) the researchers set out to examine the effectiveness of previously emasculated techniques in therapy on female individuals with an ASD diagnosis.

They scanned the brains of an equal number of men and women with and without Autism, and noticed that the Autistic females’ brains closely resembled those of their male counterparts but without the “extreme male brain” which causes high functioning male Autistics to become detached or seem un-empathetic.

Talking to The independent, Professor Baron-Cohen said:

“One of our new findings is that females with autism show neuroanatomical ‘mascularisation’. This may implicate physiological mechanisms that drive sexual dimorphism, such as prenatal sex hormones and sex-linked genetic mechanisms.”

The news comes in the same week Professor Baron-Cohen announced the link between High Functioning Autism symptoms and those found in girls with eating disorder Anorexia Nervosa as reported by Autism Daily Newscast on August 8.

The research shows a distinct difference in High functioning Autism in females as compared to recent studies of the male brain, such a distinct difference, that it could almost be classified as a completely different infliction.

Senior researcher and co-author of the research Dr Meng-Chuan Lai explained that the differences in brain behaviour were so startling and pronounced that treatment for women simply had to differentiate for that available for men.

Dr Lai said:

“In future research we should not assume that what applies to males blindly applies to females. How autism manifests in males is quite different to how it manifests in females in terms of brain structure.

“The differences between females with and without autism look typically like the differences between males and females without autism, this is an important example of the diversity within the ‘spectrum’.”

Carol Povey, Director of The National Autistic Society’s Centre for Autism, said:

“Historically, research on autism has been largely informed by the experiences of men and boys with the condition.

“This important study will therefore help our understanding of how the condition differs between genders. Girls can be more adaptive than boys and can develop strategies that often mask what we traditionally think of as the signs of autism.

“This “masking” can lead to a great deal of stress, and many girls go on to develop secondary problems such as anxiety, eating disorders or depression.

“It’s important that we build on this study and more research is conducted into the way autism manifests in girls and women, so that we can ensure that gender does not remain a barrier to diagnosis and getting the right support.”

 

 

 

 

 

Top Stories and Breaking News

Matthew and LeBron James: image taken from YouTube

Nike creates Flyease shoes for individuals with disabilities – w/video

Fort Myers, Fla. — In 2012, a then-16-year-old Matthew Walzer was just as anxious about putting on his shoes on his own as he was about getting into college. Matthew has cerebral palsy, and due to this, his physical abilities are limited. He couldn’t put his shoes on without someone helping him, and this made […]

image taken from Wikipedia

Cannabis for Autism – Michigan on the forefront

Residents in Michigan may submit medical conditions to LARA in order for the Michigan Medical Marihuana Review Panel to review whether there is ample evidence that cannabis may have palliative relief in the treatment of that condition. It is the voter’s intent to protect those with debilitating medical conditions that may receive palliative relief from […]

cat

Studies show that pets are good social buffers for children with autism

New York — These days, more and more children with autism are benefiting from the company of their highly-trained service dogs. It has been proven many times over that service dogs are capable of making positive impacts on children with autism, especially when it comes to socialization. Now it appears that cats can also have […]

Shân Ellis About Shân Ellis

Shân Ellis, is a qualified journalist with five years experience of writing features, blogging and working on a regional newspaper. Prior to working as a journalist, she was a ghost writer for top publishers and was closely involved in the editing and development of book series. Shân has a degree in the sciences, and 5 A levels. She lives in the UK and is the mother of an autistic child.