Regional cerebral blood flow was measured with positron emission tomography (PET) in 21 school-aged children with primary autism and in 10 nonautistic children with idiopathic mental retardation, at the Institut National de la Sante, Tours, and Hopital La Salpetriere, Paris, France. A highly significant hypoperfusion was noted in both temporal lobes, centered in auditory and adjacent cortex, in 76% of autistic children. [1]

COMMENT. Hypoperfusion in the temporal lobes of children with primary autism suggests a temporal lobe dysfunction as the basis for the variety of perceptive, cognitive, and affective deficits found with this disorder.

Macrocephaly and autism. The prevalence of macrocephaly (>97th centile) in autism and other pervasive developmental disorders was studied in 41 autistic children and in 21 children with tuberous sclerosis. Macrocephaly was diagnosed in 12% of probands with autism and in 15% of their first-degree relatives. These were higher prevalence rates than in normal children and in the comparison group of probands with TS (9.5%) and their first-degree relatives (8.3%). Macrocephaly may be a familal risk factor in the pathogenesis of autism. [2]

Prognosis of autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Children with Asperger’s syndrome had better social skills and fewer autistic symptoms when studied at 2 year follow-up than children with autism. [3]