Men and Boys With
Autism have Fewer Neurons Than Counterparts without Autism - Brain
Structure Not the Same in Autistic People
July 23rd 2006
Researchers say that they have discovered that males with autism have
fewer neurons in the amygdala than their counterparts without the
condition. David Amaral says “"This is the first quantitative evidence
of an abnormal number of neurons in the autistic amygdala and the first
study to use modern unbiased sampling techniques for autism research."
Amaral is the research director of the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute.
Amaral and graduate student Cynthia Mills Schumann counted and measured
representative samples of neurons in the amygdala of nine postmortem
brains of autistic males. They compared this to the brains of 10
postmortem males who did not have autism. The subjects ranged from 10
to 44 years of age at the time of death.
They used a technique called "unbiased stereological analysis" and a
computer-aided microscope to count the neurons. They concluded that the
autistic subjects had fewer neurons in the amygdale portion of their