Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Autism and ADHD : The clinical intersection


Autism and Attention - Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may co - occur in upto 80% of children and they share about 50 - 75% of their genetic factors and pathologic features, thus resulting in some clinical intersection.

Abnormalities in reward processing ― the way that brain processes desire, potential rewards, and motivation ― are common to both autism and ADHD, and a new study reveals a closer look at how this plays out on a neurological level. The researchers have found that one particular brain region, the caudate nucleus ― a mass of grey matter, which is involved in things like planning, directed movement and goal-directed behavior ― engages in a complex interaction with another part of the brain, the globus pallidus, which is involved in functions such as the regulation of voluntary movement. This complex interaction determines the autistic traits in patients with ADHD.

Both of these structures are located in a section of the brain called the striatum, which acts as a monitoring system for rewards and plays a critical role in planning, decision -making and motivation. Within this system, the caudate nucleus guides the selection of goals while the globus pallidus updates the reward value based on the outcome of an action.

Abnormal functioning of the reward circuits of the striatum function can result in a lowered motivation to respond to social input, such as the sound of someone’s voice or the sight of a frown or smile. This is commonly seen in autism and can also occur in cases of ADHD.

Thats all
- Jaskunwar Singh

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