Asperger | What are the real causes of this syndrome in children? Dr. Ioana Georgescu: "There are many interesting theories about the onset of the disease!"

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Asperger | What are the real causes of this syndrome in children? Dr. Ioana Georgescu: "There are many interesting theories about the onset of the disease!" / PHOTO:
Asperger | What are the real causes of this syndrome in children? Dr. Ioana Georgescu: "There are many interesting theories about the onset of the disease!" / PHOTO:

During the "Present Parents" show hosted by Loredana Iriciuc, editor-in-chief of Părințiș, the discussion centered around Asperger syndrome. This disorder still raises many questions among parents. The special guest was Dr. Ioana Georgescu, a specialist in pediatric psychiatry, who provided important clarifications on the subject.

"Asperger's is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized primarily by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication", explained Dr. Georgescu. The doctor emphasized that these difficulties are often accompanied by restrictive, repetitive interests and behaviors typical of autism.

Although these children typically function well cognitively and linguistically, Dr. Ioana Georgescu pointed out that "they have a pronounced inability for affective resonance, expressing emotional reciprocity, and empathic communication."

In other words, children with Asperger's may struggle to understand and respond to others' emotions, which can pose challenges in social relationships.

Where does this sophisticated name come from: Asperger?

The sophisticated name "Asperger" comes from the Austrian pediatrician and university lecturer Hans Asperger.

"In the early years of his career, he worked at the psychiatric hospital in Leipzig. There, he first observed that certain children, despite having normal intelligence, exhibited specific characteristics: they had difficulty forming friendships and engaging in dialogue, often engaging in one-sided conversations focused on their interests, lacked empathy, did not understand others' thoughts and feelings, or had clumsy and awkward movements.

He initially referred to this condition as 'autistic psychopathy'. He published his descriptions in 1944, but his works, written in German, did not gain much attention. It wasn't until the 1990s that the official term for this disorder was introduced, which, in recognition, bears his name", further explained dr. Ioana Georgescu on "Present Parents", a show by

Causes of Asperger's

PHOTO: @wosunan5

Dr. Ioana Georgescu discussed the most important factors in the onset of Asperger syndrome, highlighting that, similar to childhood autism, genetics play a crucial role.

"Similar to childhood autism, genetic factors are the most important, but environmental factors can also contribute to its onset: prematurity, maternal viral infections or uterine hemorrhages during pregnancy, low Apgar score, low birth weight (under 2500 g), advanced parental age, particularly paternal age at conception, family history of autoimmune diseases, and any factors causing inflammation in the child's brain during pregnancy, birth, or immediately postnatal.

The syndrome tends to appear in families where multiple members have similar behavioral symptoms, such as social interaction issues or empathy deficits.

Asperger syndrome may have a stronger genetic component than autism. Each of us is a mosaic formed from the genes of all our ancestors, and the diverse combinations of genes lead to varying severity and symptoms in each person with Asperger syndrome.

There are many interesting theories about the disease's onset", added the pediatric psychiatry specialist.

Dr. Ioana Georgescu: "One theory is that of the extremely male brain"

"A theory is that of the extremely male brain, it is said that TSA is an exaggerated form of the perfect type of male thinking - logical, precise, directed towards deciphering mechanisms and not towards people.

The development of this thinking is attributed genetically and hormonally mediated. Thus, an idea has developed that assortative mating, meaning marriage between people with similar characteristics, leads to increased intensity and frequency of those characteristics in the child.

For example, if two people with very precise, systematic, mathematical minds marry, the chance that their child will have a hypermasculine and unempathetic brain will significantly increase.

Often, Asperger's children have grandparents who are engineers or parents who are mathematicians or very organized and detail-oriented, cognitively rigid, fixated, stubborn parents.

Of course, not all intelligent people have Asperger's children.

Emotional intelligence must be developed proportionally to logical-operational intelligence. When they are at similar levels, the disorder does not appear", explained Dr. Ioana Georgescu.

Dr. Ioana Georgescu: "There is also a neurobiological theory"

"There is a neurobiological theory that these children have a hyperfunction of local neural circuits, that is, there is an exaggerated development of connectivity between neurons, but unfortunately this excess connectivity is disorganized and a little selective.

We have a normal physiological mechanism in the brain, to cut the connections, the neural synapses that are aberrant or unnecessary.

Just as you cut twigs with scissors and remove dry leaves from plants so that they grow more vigorously, our brains cut off extra connections. This phenomenon is called pruning.

In those with ASD, this mechanism is altered so that the number of synapses increases and the electrical reactivity of neuronal membranes is amplified.

This hyper-connectivity causes the amplification of sensory, cognitive, and motor processes. This explains the sensory hypersensitivity of certain children - some cannot stand the noise of a vacuum cleaner or mixer or foehn, others tend to smell things, others have an extraordinary visual memory or a very precise auditory perception or a special attention to detail or have an exaggerated development of certain skills in a certain area.

The problem is, however, that these local microcircuits are not connected at a distance, that is, the transmission of information between the two hemispheres is insufficient, and the intrahemispheric connections are not well developed either. The limbic system, necessary for emotions, cannot communicate too well with the cerebral cortex, and the long-distance connections are not sufficiently developed.

The limbic system sends axons to the prefrontal cortex. The cortex is the one that interprets the emotion and exercises control over it, it is the one that says: wait a minute, now I'm ashamed or now I'm sad or I'm afraid, and it sends the inhibitory information, with the purpose of the regulation, to the deeper structures.

Thus, if these remote connections are not well developed, the child cannot understand very well the emotions he feels and cannot inhibit or control them. And if he doesn't realize his feelings, even more so he can't realize what others feel and that's how deficits in empathy and socialization appear.

People with Asperger's not only can't read themselves, they can't read others and then they can't adapt to those in front of them, they don't know how to socialize and what to say to be good, I can hurt/offend them without intention", dr. Ioana Georgescu also presented.

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Autorul articolului: Loredana Iriciuc | Categorie: English

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