Autism spectrum disorders: developmental disconnection syndromes

Daniel H. Geschwind, Pat Levitt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1107 Scopus citations

Abstract

Autism is a common and heterogeneous childhood neurodevelopmental disorder. Analogous to broad syndromes such as mental retardation, autism has many etiologies and should be considered not as a single disorder but, rather, as 'the autisms'. However, recent genetic findings, coupled with emerging anatomical and functional imaging studies, suggest a potential unifying model in which higher-order association areas of the brain that normally connect to the frontal lobe are partially disconnected during development. This concept of developmental disconnection can accommodate the specific neurobehavioral features that are observed in autism, their emergence during development, and the heterogeneity of autism etiology, behaviors and cognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes

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