In this entry, autistic disorder (Kanner’s “autism”), childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified (“atypical autism”), and Asperger syndrome are collectively termed “autism spectrum disorder (ASD).” ASDs are complex neurodevelopmental disorders with a wide range of behavioral manifestations (Persico & Bourgeron, 2006). Research in the neurobiology of ASD will lead to optimal treatments for this heterogeneous group of ASDs; the impact of ASD can be minimized through intensive intervention, especially during early childhood. (Holden & Liu, 2005; Johnston & Blue, 2006; Lam, Aman, & Arnold, 2006; Persico & Bourgeron, 2006).
Abnormalities in brain structure and function are common in ASD patients, but there is variability among subjects. Several reports have described postnatal macrocephaly in ASD patients (Amaral, Schumann, & Nordahl, 2008). Qualitative magnetic...
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