The Autistic Spectrum Disorder in both hard and soft-science.

Here are some of my latest findings regarding the hard-science characteristics on how autism spectrum disorder is organized.
First of all, two brains must be compared. A normally-functioning brain and an autistic brain. Now, from looking at these two brains, they may look the same to you, until we go deep into the structures. Take note of these anatomical terms.
Amygdala, part of the limbic system, which controls hormone balances responsible for sensational emotions.
Neurotransmitter: A bond connecting neurons between synapses so that information can be carried between the gap with this bridge.
Hormone: Chemicals produced by several glands in the body that are sent into the bloodstream. Depending on the hormone, they can reach the brain.
Cerebrum: The top portion of the brain, which contains the hemispheres divided into lobes. Take note of the blood brain barrier.
Cerebellum: Coordinates movements mapped by the cerebrum, and is also responsible for voluntary and involuntary functions. It helps in balance and coordinate certain auditory responses such as startle reflexes, music rhythms, etc. It is located in between the cerebrum and brain stem.
Brain stem: Most primitive part of the brain. Medulla Oblongata controls breathing, swallowing, and experts believe primitive instincts are stored here.
Pituitary gland: Master gland, acts as a traffic light and directs all other glands to produce the hormones after receiving input from the cerebrum and cerebellum in voluntary function.
Homeostasis: Provides positive and negative feedback loops that are both voluntary and involuntary. Integrated by internal functions of the brain or other organ.
Gene: A set of instructions carried out in the development of organs to provide them a foundation to build.
Mutation: A string of code that disrupts the development of such organs and continues carrying out the instructions. This can occur due to many internal or external factors.
Now that we covered the primary terms, I will go into how our brain works, although you may find this in one of my earlier posts. If I come across a new term that I haven’t listed in the list above, I will explain what that means before continuing. Note that this is for informational and educational purposes. I am not a professional of any kind, though I would like to be some day. My point here is to raise more awareness about how people should understand these differences, and why it has become such a problem in our society.
Let’s start out with how our brain works in general. Here is a resource which can hopefully explain more:
Our brain is wired in very different ways for each individual. Even twins have slightly different brain structures, mainly because it was due to nurture. Our brain is capable of doing multiple things at once, though how it does it is what changes across one individual to another. Some people are left-brainers, right-brainers, bridge-brained, male, female, etc. I am sure you can think of many more. Behaviour can be divided into two main categories. voluntary and involuntary. This means, in cases of voluntary behaviour, is that you have control over it. Your mind is in sync with your cerebrum, telling the cerebellum to tell your body to do this and that. But what you output must be due to input in order for that to happen. Otherwise that would be known as a reflex, which would be considered involuntary. We have two nervous system types, central and peripheral, afferent and efferent. Or, you can think of this as sympathetic (fight or flight), or parasympathetic (rest and repair). These work in conjunction with hormones provided by internal or external stimuli. Our brain has different lobes, with matching mates on the other hemisphere that conduct certain things, such as visual, auditory, tactile, motor, language, thinking, etc. When we go into the brain, after breaking through the three layers, you will find ridges and bump-like structures all around the brain. You will also find a line right down the middle and at the top that divides the hemispheres. When we take the two halves apart, you will see several connections that bond the two, chief among them is the corpus callosum. Going deeper, you will see areas that are responsible for external and internal pain, internal clock, the main switchboard of the brain, areas that control blood pressure, body temperature, and things we don’t think about.
Now let’s see what happens when we open up an autistic brain. You will notice a difference right away, and this may vary on the severety of the disorder, for there are many mental disorders out there, many due to lack of hormone and neurotransmitter production. When you open up the autistic brain, you would most likely find an enlarged amygdola, which might explain why the brain gets overwhelmed with sensory overload. This is also in conjunction with an enlarged cerebellum. This makes a person repeat an action over and over and not even realise it. The temporal lobe, responsible for auditory and language coordination also show some abnormal patterns. This might explain why some people may not follow conversations, and, in general, may have problems in other areas along the spectrum. This is different than dyslexia, which is a totally different disorder. It is classified more as a learning disability since it only affects the occipital and or temporal lobes. Another interesting abnormality is the parietal lobe, the area responsible for tactile and motor function. In many autistic people, they experience involuntary skin receptor stimulation, as if an invisible knife were stabing, or invisible ants were crawling. When you lightly touch the skin of an autistic person, to them it is going to feel like a hard blow. Impulse control is kept somewhere in the limbic system and or frontal lobe, and this might explain why autistic people may have different impulses than neurotypicals. In a famous news story you will be able to learn a whole lot more about this ground-breaking discovery:
One of the most interesting things that fascinate me is how we communicate. If you go back to an earlier post in which I discussed the three methods for communication, based on the learning model and many other forms of language, some oral motor conditions prevent the movement of vital vowel and or consonant manipulators. This is why autistic people with this condition use alternative forms of communication. I do my best to find away to imagine to be someone else, and with the technology of the future, I hope that it will be possible. At this time, it is not known if intelligence and memory is affected in a person with ASD. This might be due to short-lasting neuron cells that die faster than they are supposed to, or they do not develop properly during the synaptic exuberance and synaptic pruning phases. If I am not mistaken, long-term memory occurs when neurones carry their messages to a wide number of neurones, which contain that information for future retrieval. But if these neurones died and were not replaced as fast as they should, then that person may forget certain things. Our brain is still one big mystery, but we are slowly coming to know more about it every day. More research would have to be conducted on attention and memory spams.
Many of our work is primarily focused on the obvious. That is: how to take care of our children with such problems. Truth is, how can we if we don’t know what’s going on inside their head? Many of us only focus on the soft-science characteristics of the problem, rather than get down to the real stuff. When I say soft-science, I am referring to the psychology, the social interaction, etc that is associated with such a disorder. A disorder need not be hard-science-based. A disorder is simply something that is not normal or not working the way something should, and yes, some disorders can be purposefully induced. These things that a person is not born with can become easily rewired into their brains, otherwise known as nurture’s neuroplasticity. One common type of misinterpreted behaviours is obsession with interests that cannot be pursued, or repetitive actions. Just because a person may have such doesn’t mean they have autistic tendencies. It might just be something they managed to get their brains wired to and can easily be reversed.
Now, here’s an interesting topic. What are seisures? A seisure is similar to what I described in regards to false stimulation in the receptors of the skin. But this is a lot more complicated. In a seisure, certain regions of the brain have abnormal currents passing through bad channels. Think of it as a short-circuit. A chemical reaction gone totally wrong. A seisure can vary immensely from person to person. It is simply a rapid firing or misfiring of neurones. But, usually the characteristics are fairly the same. The brain goes into lockdown, usually a person feels stimulation in the visual, auditory, and tactile areas of the brain. Some people may move about in an involuntary fashion, coordinated by stimulation in the cerebrum and cerebellum. Then they usually go unconscious for a while. Medication usually triggers chemical reactions inside the brain that are supposed to even out these abnormalities in hope that such short-circuits are not happening. In severe cases, the entire half of one hemisphere is removed. This makes it so that a person might end up being paralysed on the crossed side, but their personalities and or identities may not change. Or, the corpus callosum can be severed and the two hemispheres would now be independent of each other. This is another mystery that we are slowly solving. Also, seisures can be triggered by sudden external stimuli.
Now, one final proposal. Would it not be nice if we could find a way to reprogramme the pituitary gland by modifying a gene? We could do this instead of having to administer tons of chemicals that are human-made. Many of such chemicals have good or bad side-effects. So, what I would like to find out is how we can use the body as a host for treatment of any number of things. Also, since autism currently has no known medical cause, there is equally no cure. However, some parents are convinced that using bleach might fix the problem. If the results were successful, perhaps we could isolate whatever was in the chemical solution and administer it as a bacterium or virus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.