Asperger's Disorder

Asperger's Disorder

Asperger's Disorder

Asperger's Disorder

Synopsis

Today at least seven million children and adolescents are afflicted with Asperger's disorder. Examining the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of this condition, this volume provides the necessary guidance to psychiatrists and neurologists so they can correctly differentiate Asperger's from other neurodevelopmental disorders. The book discusses brain morphology, chemistry, and function; related neuropathological findings; and screening instruments and imaging techniques. Also discussed are the genetics, epigenetics, and proteomics of Asperger's, relevant gene-environment interaction, social assimilation in the classroom, and biological treatment. Case studies enhance the text.

Excerpt

For me, the opportunity to practice in academic medicine has been one of the finest rewards of a medical career. It has given me the privilege to teach, to interact with great minds, and to meet so many fine people. As Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, “a chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.”

Hans Asperger described his childhood cases as “little professors,” so maybe it’s fitting to describe the professorial phenotype, at least the academic medicine version, because in academic medicine you’ll meet all kinds: the pedantic stuffed shirts, rigid, poker-faced, retentive of divulging any unnecessary information, the hypercritical, the critically minded, and sometimes even the rather uncritical (usually constrained to the youngsters, one would hope). There are the social climbers, the snobs, the one-upmanship types, the regular guys (“guys” includes the gals here), the salt of the earth types, transparent, genuine, unassuming, the phonies, the posers, the cavalier, the fearful, the timid, the worriers, the self-effacing, the highly dedicated, those dedicated to their patients, their careers, those dedicated to the advancement of their fields, the adventurers who take thrill in the discovery of new knowledge, the mensches on the high road you can always count on, as well as the meshuggeners, the just plain crazies, the paranoid, and the grandiose, as well as the family types, the perennial student types, the spiritual, the devout, the atheistic, the agnostic, the overwhelmed, the underwhelmed, the introverted, the extroverted, the geniuses (a few), the brilliant, the bright, the outstanding, the remarkable, the not-soremarkable, and the gifted. Some are driven by neurosis, and some are driven by love; all are driven by hope.

Most of us constitute some combination of the above, but don’t get the idea that I’ve got everyone pegged; it’s in the perception of the beholder, and both . . .

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