Authors: H. Ošlejšková;  J. Pejčochová
Authors‘ workplace: Klinika dětské neurologie LF MU a FN Brno
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2010; 73/106(6): 627-642
Category: Minimonography


Autism is a complex, serious and biologically-based disorder of the development of the brain. Its clinical picture involves characteristic social deficits, abnormalities in interpersonal communication, repetitive behaviour and cognitive inflexibility. It is currently understood as a clinically and aetiologically extremely heterogeneous spectrum of cognitive-behavioural and emotional symptoms with various expressions of respective severity. So far there exists no specific biochemical indicator or neuro-anatomical abnormality by which it might be identified explicitly. The disorder diagnosis continues to be based on clinical and behavioural assessment and on MKN-10 criteria or DSM-IV classifications. Genetic, epigenetic as well as environmental factors play their roles in the aetiology of the disease. In spite of a great number of research contributions, the core symptoms remain inaccessible to pharmacology, with therapeutic possibilities limited to educational and cognitive-behavioural interventions. This paper provides a brief and didactic overview of the disorder: historical aspects of the development of the concept of autism; the nomenclature used; diagnostic methods and classification systems; new insights into clinical manifestations; and aetiology and therapeutic possibilities.

Key words:
autizm – autistic spectrum disorders – pervasive developmental disorders – broader autistic phenotype – autistic-like phenotype


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