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March 25, 2022

Scientists Identify Overgrowth of Key Brain Structure in Babies Who Later Develop Autism

Research led by Mark Shen, PhD, Heather Hazlett, PhD, and Joseph Piven, MD, from UNC-Chapel Hill is the first to demonstrate overgrowth of the amygdala in the first year of life, before babies show most of the behavioral symptoms that later consolidate into a diagnosis of autism. This overgrowth may be unique to autism, as babies with fragile X syndrome show a different brain growth pattern.