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Pathophysiology of autism: current opinions

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Croonenburghs J, Deboutte D, Maes M. Pathophysiology of autism: current opinions.

Acta Neuropsychiatrica 2002: 14:93–102. © Blackwell Munksgaard 2002

Research on the neurochemical aspects of the pathophysiology of autism is still increasing and publications are abundant.

In this paper we reviewed significant data from the last decade and recent research results from our center. We focused on molecules influencing the central nervous system (CNS) and consecutively responsible for typical autistic behavior. We highlighted the mutual relationship between the serotonergic, immunological and endocrinological system and the interaction of these three pivotal systems with predisposing (genetic)and external (pre-, peri- and postnatal) conditions and xenobiotics. We stressed the influence of age, pubertal stage, sex, race and IQ on biological data. There is growing evidence that the complexity and variability of those interactions might be responsible for the heterogeneity of behavioral phenotypes and biological findings in Autism. Genetic, neuroanatomical and neurophysiological data were mentioned according their relevance to neurochemical opinions.
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Keywords: autism; endocrinology; immunology; neurochemical aspects; pathophysiology; serotonin

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Antwerp, the University Center of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, A.Z.M., Antwerp, Belgium, 2: The Clinical Research Center for Mental Health (CRC-MH), Antwerp, Belgium

Publication date: 01 April 2002

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