Exploring the contribution of prenatal stress to the pathogenesis of autism as a neurobiological developmental disorder : a dizygotic twin study

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dc.contributor.advisor Naude, H. en
dc.contributor.postgraduate Claassen, Marleen
dc.date.accessioned 2013-09-06T14:43:40Z
dc.date.available 2006-06-26 en
dc.date.available 2013-09-06T14:43:40Z
dc.date.created 2006-03-15 en
dc.date.issued 2007-06-26 en
dc.date.submitted 2006-03-15 en
dc.description Dissertation (M.Ed)--University of Pretoria, 2007. en
dc.description.abstract This research project explores the contribution of prenatal stress to the pathogenesis of autism as a neurobiological developmental disorder. The neurobiological impact of stress prior to the 28th week of gestation might produce structural neural changes, specifically regarding the cerebellum, the brain stem and limbic pathways, including the hippocampal area, which concept relates closely to the pathogenesis of autism. In this research project a significant focus is placed on prenatal hipothalamic-pituary-adrenal (HPA) activity due to the HPA axis’ interactivity with cortisol, digoxin and serotonin, as these biochemicals are significantly implicated in programmed foetal development, postnatal cortical behaviour, postnatal learning, as well as in functional impairment of socialization, communication and imagery associated with autism. Based upon the rationale of this research project and the conceptualisation of the topic of interest, the research problem was formulated as follows: In what unique ways does prenatal stress contribute to the pathogenesis of autism as a neurobiological developmental disorder? Sub questions included: Did the mother of the dizygotic twins experience significant stress during the period of gestation? What structural brain differences can be observed among the dizygotic twins at hand of MR-imaging? To which periods of prenatal development can these structural differences be related? How do these differences account for sensory, motor, cognitive, and affective behavioural differences among the dizygotic twins? What plasma differences can be observed among the dizygotic twins at hand of blood sampling? How does elevation of pre- and postnatal glucocorticoids relate to plasma difference among the dizygotic twins? How do these plasma differences account for sensory, motor, cognitive, and affective behavioural differences among the dizygotic twins? This research project represents quantitative research. The mode of inquiry is non-experimental at hand of a single dizygotic twin study. The following data generating strategies were employed: clinical intake interviews, administration of a diagnostic stress inventory and the 16-PF Questionnaire, MR-imaging, and the collection of blood plasma pathology results. en
dc.description.availability unrestricted en
dc.description.department Educational Psychology en
dc.identifier.citation Claassen, M 2006, Exploring the contribution of prenatal stress to the pathogenesis of autism as a neurobiological developmental disorder : a dizygotic twin study, M.Ed dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://hdl.handle.net/2263/23190 > en
dc.identifier.upetdurl http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-03152006-223236/ en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/23190
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher University of Pretoria en_ZA
dc.rights © 2006, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria. en
dc.subject Glucocorticoids en
dc.subject Serotonin en
dc.subject Digoxin en
dc.subject Autistic disorder en
dc.subject Intra-uterine deprivation en
dc.subject Hpa-axis en
dc.subject Sub-optimal placental nutrient supply en
dc.subject Prenatal stress en
dc.subject Neurobiological developmental disorder en
dc.subject UCTD en_US
dc.title Exploring the contribution of prenatal stress to the pathogenesis of autism as a neurobiological developmental disorder : a dizygotic twin study en
dc.type Dissertation en


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