Brain Scans May Help Identify and Predict Autism In High-Risk Infants


Brain Scans May Help Identify and Predict Autism In High-Risk Infants

Autism is identified as a neurological disorder that is associated with brain development as well as the cognitive functions. Although the exact cause of the disabling disease is not yet known to the medical world, experts believe the ailment to be a combination of genetic mutations and a host of environmental factors. Experts also suggest lack of proper oxygen supply to fetus’ brain to trigger the condition. The ailment is never similar for two patients and may vary in degree and in nature from person to person. Some of the earliest signs start appearing in kids ageing 2-3 years of age. These children may find it difficult to form words or phrases and may not speak or exhibit gestural ability.

Experts are one step closer to detect and diagnose the condition better. According to a recent research, brain scans of babies who have autistic siblings may help in predicting if the child is susceptible to the condition. This technique may help calculate and establish the risk rate in infants with autistic siblings.

Early diagnosis is of the utmost importance to help manage the condition better. Experts used a functional magnetic resonance imaging procedure on six months old babies. The findings were published in the journal Science Translational Medicine and were pretty accurate in concluding 82% of the babies to have risk of developing autism. The technique helped in analyzing brain differences in all the participating infants to study and estimate their probability of developing autism and the severity of it. Experts looked at how different parts of the brain work in tandem to perform various activities. Researchers believe that a single neuroimaging scan may assist in accurately predicting risk of autism in high-risk infants.