Autism Spectrum Disorder is complicated. The neurological dysfunction has been the topic of numerous research through the years, however little is recognized concerning the situation that impacts about one in 68 youngsters, in response to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

While many research concentrate on the why and the way of ASD, one study at UC Davis’ MIND Institute is wanting at one thing solely totally different.

“Everywhere we’ve looked and every brain region we’ve looked and every analysis we’ve done, girls [with ASD] are different than boys,” Christine Wu Nordahl defined.

Nordahl, an assistant professor at the UC Davis MIND Institute, has studied girls with autism for years. Her present study, Girls with Autism Imaging of Neurodevelopment (GAIN Study), focuses on girls between the ages of two and three.

The concept of the GAIN Study, Nordahl stated, is to acquire a greater understanding of the biology of ASD in girls. But, due to the dysfunction’s prevalence ratio in boys and girls, the study hasn’t been straightforward.

According to the CDC, one in 68 boys have ASD, in comparison with one in 189 girls with the dysfunction.

Although one in 189 girls is nonetheless so much, discovering girls who’ve been recognized with ASD early on has confirmed to be troublesome for Nordahl’s study.

At the second, the GAIN study has about 65 girls enrolled, which is 35 in need of their aim.

“We have this model that we think about as to why girls might be diagnosed less often,” Nordahl stated. “And basically it comes down to this idea that girls are more resilient or they have a more protective factor that’s keeping them … from getting the disorder as commonly as boys are.”

Nordahl stated girls with ASD have extra mutations in their genes, which means that girls can “withstand a greater load of problems” earlier than they’re recognized.

“Most of what we know is based on boys,” Nordahl stated. “It’s sort of been developed in primarily boys, so there’s this question in the field right now of even if our diagnostic instruments are catching girls with autism. Maybe we need sex specific diagnostic instruments.”

Another attainable cause is that girls are higher at masking the signs sometimes seen in youngsters with ASD.

According to Nordahl, the group of the corpus callosum, the mind’s largest fiber bundle, is totally different in boys and girls. In boys, it’s the social areas of the bundle that have been affected extra. For girls, it’s the cognitive areas.

“This sort of led me to the hypothesis that the girls are sort of camouflaging, or masking, and are better able to control their social deficits or control them in some way,” Nordahl stated.

But that’s simply an concept for now — at least till the MIND Institute can discover extra younger girls with ASD.

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