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Autism linked to increased pain.


It is thought that humans are equipped to limit the amount of stimuli entering the brain to prevent overload. This is known as the "normal" range of feeling.

People with autistic spectrum disorder, or Asperger's syndrome, are known to be hypersensitive to stimuli and disruptions in their sensory processing, which can lead to an unequal reaction to certain types of pain.

An elevated level of dopamine beta hydroxylase (DBH), an enzyme involved in cell communication, is present in those with Asperger's syndrome. An abundance of DBH has been linked to repetitive behaviors, agitation, and aggression.

Even though children with autism have a much lower tolerance for pain, certain repetitious activities such as rocking, arm flapping, or pacing result in an increased level of released endorphins, which can reduce the sensation of pain in the body. The build-up of endorphins in the system may explain why children with Asperger's syndrome who have physical accidents report feeling less pain when the accidents occur in the afternoon or evening.
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2005
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