U.S researchers have reported that men and boys with autism have lesser number of neurons in the amygdala, a region in the brain that is responsible for emotion and memory.
The research team compared the brains of 9 men and boys in the age bracket of 10 to 44 with that of 10 normal males. The comparative study checked out if the brain cells were smaller in size or if they were lesser in number. While there is a possibility that autistic people are born with fewer neurons in the amygdala, it is also possible that the degenerative process in the brain has triggered neuron loss over a period of time. The researchers feel that this subject needs to be explored further to understand its implications in autistic people.
This finding is relevant because it establishes that amygdala is abnormal in people with autism. Since this region in the brain is in charge of memory and emotion, researchers are beginning to think about the connection between emotional response and memory, determinants to learning, and its behavior in autistic people.