The Cerebellum

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 777–807 | Cite as

Consensus Paper: Pathological Role of the Cerebellum in Autism

  • S. Hossein Fatemi
  • Kimberly A. Aldinger
  • Paul Ashwood
  • Margaret L. Bauman
  • Charles D. Blaha
  • Gene J. Blatt
  • Abha Chauhan
  • Ved Chauhan
  • Stephen R. Dager
  • Price E. Dickson
  • Annette M. Estes
  • Dan Goldowitz
  • Detlef H. Heck
  • Thomas L. Kemper
  • Bryan H. King
  • Loren A. Martin
  • Kathleen J. Millen
  • Guy Mittleman
  • Matthew W. Mosconi
  • Antonio M. Persico
  • John A. Sweeney
  • Sara J. Webb
  • John P. Welsh
Review

Abstract

There has been significant advancement in various aspects of scientific knowledge concerning the role of cerebellum in the etiopathogenesis of autism. In the current consensus paper, we will observe the diversity of opinions regarding the involvement of this important site in the pathology of autism. Recent emergent findings in literature related to cerebellar involvement in autism are discussed, including: cerebellar pathology, cerebellar imaging and symptom expression in autism, cerebellar genetics, cerebellar immune function, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, GABAergic and glutamatergic systems, cholinergic, dopaminergic, serotonergic, and oxytocin-related changes in autism, motor control and cognitive deficits, cerebellar coordination of movements and cognition, gene–environment interactions, therapeutics in autism, and relevant animal models of autism. Points of consensus include presence of abnormal cerebellar anatomy, abnormal neurotransmitter systems, oxidative stress, cerebellar motor and cognitive deficits, and neuroinflammation in subjects with autism. Undefined areas or areas requiring further investigation include lack of treatment options for core symptoms of autism, vermal hypoplasia, and other vermal abnormalities as a consistent feature of autism, mechanisms underlying cerebellar contributions to cognition, and unknown mechanisms underlying neuroinflammation.

Keywords

Cerebellum Autism 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Hossein Fatemi
    • 1
  • Kimberly A. Aldinger
    • 2
  • Paul Ashwood
    • 3
  • Margaret L. Bauman
    • 4
    • 5
  • Charles D. Blaha
    • 6
  • Gene J. Blatt
    • 7
  • Abha Chauhan
    • 8
  • Ved Chauhan
    • 8
  • Stephen R. Dager
    • 9
    • 10
  • Price E. Dickson
    • 6
  • Annette M. Estes
    • 10
  • Dan Goldowitz
    • 11
  • Detlef H. Heck
    • 12
  • Thomas L. Kemper
    • 13
  • Bryan H. King
    • 14
  • Loren A. Martin
    • 15
  • Kathleen J. Millen
    • 16
  • Guy Mittleman
    • 6
  • Matthew W. Mosconi
    • 17
  • Antonio M. Persico
    • 18
  • John A. Sweeney
    • 17
  • Sara J. Webb
    • 14
  • John P. Welsh
    • 19
  1. 1.University of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, Keck School of MedicineUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, The Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (M.I.N.D.) InstituteUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  4. 4.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  5. 5.Department of Pediatrics and NeurologyMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  6. 6.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MemphisTennesseeUSA
  7. 7.Department of Anatomy and NeurobiologyBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  8. 8.NYS Institute for Basic Research in Developmental DisabilitiesStaten IslandUSA
  9. 9.Departments of Radiology and BioengineeringUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  10. 10.Autism CenterUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  11. 11.Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, Department of Medical GeneticsUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  12. 12.Department of Anatomy and NeurobiologyUniversity of Tennessee Health Science CenterMemphisUSA
  13. 13.Department of Anatomy and NeurobiologyBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  14. 14.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Washington Seattle Children’s Autism CenterSeattleUSA
  15. 15.Department of PsychologyAzusa Pacific UniversityAzusaUSA
  16. 16.Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Department of PediatricsUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  17. 17.Departments of Psychiatry and PediatricsUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA
  18. 18.Child Neuropsychiatry Unit, Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry and Neurogenetics, University Campus Bio-Medico, and Department of Experimental Neurosciences, I.R.C.C.S. “Fondazione Santa Lucia”RomeItaly
  19. 19.Center for Integrative Brain Research, Seattle Children’s Research Institute Department of PediatricsUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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