New Method for Detecting Autism Has Been Discovered

By ISAF Headquarters Public Affairs Office from Kabul, Afghanistan (100107-F-8701T-021  Uploaded by Randam) [CC BY 2.0 (http://c

The proof of autism might be found in the composition and malfunction in the blood vessels of the brain. A team of scientists recently did a study that brought new light to the causes of autism, which had previously been linked to neurological make-up, rather than the brain. This study identified a new reason for potential therapeutic intervention and treatment options.

The Study and its Results

According to Efrain Azmitia, a professor at NYU’s Department of Biology and a senior author of the study, “Our findings show that those afflicted with autism have unstable blood vessels, disrupting proper delivery of blood to the brain.”

The study was entitled “Persistent Angiogenesis in the Autistic Brain: An Immunocyto-chemical Study of the Post Mortem Cortex, Brainstem and Cerebellum” and it was published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Other co-authors of the study include Zachary Saccomano an NYU graduate student, Maura Boldrini a research scientist, Mohammed Alzoobaee a NYU undergraduate student and Patricia Whitaker-Azmitia, a professor in the Department of Psychology and director of the Graduate Program in Integrative Neurosciences at Stony Brook University.

Dr. Azmitia states, “In a typical brain, blood vessels are stable, thereby ensuring a stable distribution of blood. Whereas in the autism brain, the cellular structure of blood vessels continually fluctuates, which results in circulation that is fluctuating and ultimately, neurologically limiting.”
In this study, the research team looked at brain tissue from deceased individuals, some from normal brains and some from those who were diagnosed with autism. Under microscopic examination, the researchers were not privy to the nature of the tissue and didn’t know if it came from an autistic brain or normal subject.

Through cellular studies, the team discovered that angiogenesis, the manufacturing of new blood vessels, in autistic brain tissue, did not happen in typical brains. The discovery is significant, because evidence of new blood vessels being created indicates these vessels are always being formed and are in constant flux.

Dr. Boldrini stated, “We found that angiogenesis is correlated with more neurogenesis in other brain diseases, therefore there is the possibility that a change in brain vasculature in autism means a change in cell proliferation or maturation, or survival, and brain plasticity in general. These changes could potentially affect brain networks.”

In closing:

Azmitia observed, “It’s clear that there are changes in brain vascularization in autistic individuals from two to 20 years that are not seen in normally developing individuals past the age of two years. Now that we know this, we have new ways of looking at this disorder and, hopefully with this new knowledge, novel and more effective ways to address it.”

ocd self test
Do you or a loved one feel like you might have a problem with OCD? Take the Self Test now to get more information.

The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Click here to read our complete Terms of Use.

Susbscribe to our free newsletter for information & inspiration

Email Social