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A Dimensional Approach to the Autism Spectrum

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 November 2014


Autism is heterogeneous with respect to clinical symptoms and etiology. A significant limitation in research of the neurobiology and treatment of autism has been the lack of attention to this heterogeneity. A dimensional approach to the study of autism is valuable in linking key symptoms to the neurobiology and treatment of the disorder in a clinically meaningful way. In this article, we outline a dimensional approach to the autism spectrum, discuss the three core dimensions of autism and their neurobiology, and review the possible links of serotonin, anterior cingulate gyrus activity, and the immune marker D8/17 to the repetitive behavior/compulsivity dimensions.

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