The two cerebral hemispheres are not completely symmetrical and develop differently, also because each hemisphere has several areas of different functions. The new study now shows that people with certain developmental or psychiatric disorders, such as autism, may not be characterized by the brain as asymmetrically as Merel Postema, one of the authors of a study that appeared in Nature Communications, explains.
According to the researcher, in the past, other studies have shown that people with autism spectrum disorders are less likely to represent classic brain asymmetries that characterize different areas, such as language and hand preferences. The researcher, together with colleagues from the international consortium ENIGMA, conducted an extensive study that presented various data on brain scans of different healthy people or people with autism, collected over 20 years and from different countries.
The researchers concluded that people with autism in the left and right hemispheres of the brain are actually more like left and right, i.e. less cerebral asymmetry. The symmetry was mainly in relation to the thickness of the cerebral cortex and in different areas of the brain.
According to the same researchers, these anatomical differences compared to the brain of healthy people cannot be related to factors such as age, gender, the severity of symptoms due to autism spectrum disorders or drug use. These are small differences in the natural level of cerebral asymmetry, the discovery of which may be useful for understanding the neurobiology of autism spectrum disorders, as noted by Clyde Franks, another author of the study.
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