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Contact: Morgan Kelly
Princeton University

Autism Causes

Caption: Princeton University researchers offer a new theory that an early-life injury to the cerebellum disrupts the brain's processing of external and internal information and leads to 'developmental diaschisis,' wherein a loss of function in one brain region leads to problems in another. Applied to autism, cerebellar injury could hinder how other areas of the brain interpret external stimuli and organize internal processes. Based on a review of existing research, the researchers found that a cerebellar injury at birth can make a person 36 times more likely to score highly on autism screening tests, and is the largest uninherited risk.

Credit: Samuel Wang

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Related news release: Early cerebellum injury hinders neural development, possible root of autism

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