Autism Disease: Neural Network Going Awry and Therapeutic Strategy Underlying Neural Plasticity

Mei Zhang, MD, PhD


Autism is the major form of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Autism was first discovered in 1940s and has attracted enormous research and social activities recently. It is a disease currently defined only by behavior problems including impairments in communication, inability in social interactions, and stereotyped patterns of interest and behavior. Because of the complexity nature of the disease, there are many basic questions yet to be answered by scientific research. Autism is of great and increasing public health concern because the number of children receiving services is growing each year. In this commentary review, we will analyze recent studies on brain structure, genetics, and brain conditions and graph an overview of autism from these findings. Under the basis of synaptic plasticity, we believe the findings have led us to propose a hypothesis on therapeutic strategy, by which we may be able reshape the troubled neural network towards its normal networking function.


Autism Spectrum Disorders, DSM-V, Rett’s Syndrome

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