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Neuropathology of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Postmortem Studies 

Neuropathology of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Postmortem Studies
Neuropathology of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Postmortem Studies

Cynthia M. Schumann

, Steven C. Noctor

, and David G. Amaral

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date: 15 July 2020

This chapter first reviews studies of the last thirty years that have utilized postmortem tissue and contributed to the current understanding of the neuropathology of autism. Since autism, at its core, is a disorder of early development, it then reviews the pre- and postnatal stages of brain development. It speculates about how disruptions in the progressive and regressive events of brain development might result in the known pathology of autism. Next, data indicating that autism may involve ongoing inflammatory processes in the central nervous system is considered. Finally, the chapter discusses ideas about the future direction of postmortem neuropathological studies, the need for better preparation of brain tissue to maximize the use of each precious case, and how best to serve the needs of multiple research specialties that must accommodate both classical histology and modern molecular approaches.

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