A recent research conducted on the brain pattern of autistic individuals has revealed that it is nothing more than an exaggeration of the normal male brain. The study has been conducted by researchers at the Cambridge Autism Research Centre who believe that a deep insight into the above mentioned theory would help in better understanding of the disease process.
Boys' brains grow more quickly than girls'. In the brains of people with autism, this growth appears to occur to an even more extreme degree. The findings are consistent with the fact that males generally have greater early growth of certain brain regions, and less hemispheric connectivity than females. There are also specific differences seen in certain areas of the brain.
Yet another finding that substantiates that autism is an exaggeration of the typical male brain development is the abnormally large amygdala, in toddlers with autism, which plays a key role in emotional responses.
The research has also pointed out that exposure of the fetus to male sex hormones such as testosterone during pregnancy can significantly affect these brain development patterns. Male fetuses produce these hormones from their testes, and female fetuses from their adrenal glands.
The possibility of female children being affected with the disease can still not be ruled out because they too could be exposed to higher than normal level of hormones.
Further research in the same direction would help understand if autism is a disease by itself or a manifestation of children who simply develop in a different way.