Asperger's syndrome and cortical neuropathology.

J Child Neurol 2002 Feb;17(2):142-5

Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Georgia, USA.

Asperger's disorder or syndrome is characterized by impaired social interaction, normal intelligence, and adequate language skills in the areas of grammar and vocabulary. The symptoms are pervasive in nature and usually manifested in childhood. Despite the gravity and chronicity of the condition, the medical literature remains sparse and offers no information about possible neuropathologic underpinnings. The present study is a case report on two patients with Asperger's syndrome. Neuropathologic examination revealed no degenerative changes or gliosis. A more detailed assessment with computerized image analysis indicated abnormalities in the minicolumnar organization of the three areas examined (9, 21, 22) (P = .032). Specifically, minicolumns were smaller, and their component cells were more dispersed than normal. A similar neuropathology has recently been reported for autism and disputes the uniqueness of these findings. The minicolumnar changes provide a possible link to receptive field abnormalities and a useful clinicopathologic correlate to Asperger's syndrome.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/088307380201700211DOI Listing
February 2002
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