Autistic Research Patients Help Scientists Better Understand Their Brains

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Knowledge about Autism is gained when people like Jeff Hudale, who has been diagnosed with the disease, participates in numerous scientific …

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Knowledge about Autism is gained when people like Jeff Hudale, who has been diagnosed with the disease, participates in numerous scientific studies. For the past 25 years, Hudale has helped scientists understand autism by letting them study his brain.

Hudale is a normal 40 year old guy with an everyday job. He’s talented when it comes to mathematics but his brain struggles with other subjects like literature and philosophy. Autistic patients, like Hudale normally like subjects with some logic and rules to it, but don’t do well with social interactions.

Hudales’s career as a research subject began in 1985. At 13, he was committed to the Western Psychiatric Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was misdiagnosed as schizophrenic.

During his stay, a neurologist ran some tests on Hudale and realized that his real problem wasn’t schizophrenia; it was autism.

She and her colleagues also realized that even though Hudale was a teenager, his intelligence and curiosity made him a great candidate for research studies.

Eventually other researchers began asking him to take part in some experiments. Hudale didn’t hesitate and said yes to just about every scientist who asked him to participant in an autism study. By participating in various studies, Hudale has helped researchers understand how autistic brains work over years as technology improves.

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Source:

NPR.org

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