Autism is a neuropathologic condition believed to be the consequence of cerebral dysconnectivity. Hypomyelination of axons in brain nerve pathways parallels behavioral abnormalities characteristic of autism. The present discussion will examine the functional association of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) to neo-neuron myelination, especially in autistic children. These structural defects apparently correlate with a reduced level of circulating IGF. In addition, the potential connection of single nucleotide polymorphism to the etiology of autism is considered. Pharmaceutical and nutritional supplements that may enhance IGF1 to reduce the incidence of autism are proposed.
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