San Diego, CA-Being an asshole may not be obvious until a child is a toddler, but some surprising new evidence is emerging that may prove that the condition begins in the womb.
Brain tissue obtained from patients with type 2, or early onset, Pediatric Asshole Disorder (PAD) who had died of unrelated causes revealed patches of disorganization in the cortex, a thin sheet of cells critical for learning, memory, and not being a complete asshole. Researchers were unable to demonstrate the same findings in brain samples obtained from kids who weren't assholes. The results of the study were published in the West Coast Journal of Medical Interest this month.
The organization of the brain, specifically in the cortex, begins early in pregnancy. "Something must have gone wrong at or before that time," PAD researcher and co-author of the paper Mort Fishman explained. "But I do want to be perfectly clear that parenting still plays a large role in this, especially the mother."
The developing brain in children, in particular the cortex, is arranged in a series of layers. Each layer contains different types of cells. In asshole kids, there are areas in the layers that lose distinction because the pattern of cells specific to each layer isn't there. According to Fishman, this disorganization may be the key to why some toddlers are just awful, awful people and everybody hates them.
Fishman, who is the director of the Institute for Asshole Science at the University of West Dakota in San (IASU-WDSD) Diego, believes that the findings add to a growing body of research on how genes control the development of the brain and play a role in PAD. "This tells us that perhaps initiating treatment early in childhood, when the brain has more potential to reorganize itself and circumvent impaired regions, might lead to improved outcomes. Maybe instead of an asshole, they'll just be really big jerks."
Fishman and the researchers at the Institute for Asshole Science are asking for help. They need more brains from both asshole kids and normal toddlers, and this is where the public can truly make a difference. "Unfortunately, parents of assholes don't typically agree to donate their child's brain to asshole science. Probably because they themselves are assholes." Parents can donate their child's brain pretty much whenever, but the IAS-WDSD prefers waiting until the child has died.