Scientists revealed that MRI scans could help predicting autism at a younger age. The earliest time when children can get diagnosed with this condition is the age of two. Nevertheless, the new study which was recently published in Nature magazine proves that the origins of autism may be predicted much earlier, in the first year of life by using MRI scans.
These findings could help specialists develop more therapies for children when they are little, and their brain is more adaptable. Statistics have proved that one out of a hundred persons has autism. This condition affects an individual’s social interaction and behavior. The new study analyzed about 148 children, also including in this study those kids which indicate da high risk of developing the disease because older brothers were previously diagnosed with it.
All children who participated in the study performed MRI scans at six, twelve and twenty-four months of age. The new research revealed some early differences which occur in the area of the brain responsible for high-level functions in children who were later diagnosed with autism.
Dr. Heather Hazlett, one of the researchers at the University of North Carolina, claimed that in the first months of life, doctors could trace differences which occur at the surface of certain brain areas. These differences are later preceded by symptoms which are usually associated with autism. Hazlett also argued that this offers specialists a good target for when these brain changes might occur in children with a high risk of autism.
The new study helps researchers reveal new possibilities of developing significant modifications in the methods used nowadays to treat autism. Due to the use of MRI scans to help to predict autism, especially in children which indicated a high risk of developing the condition, could help researchers to establish an early diagnose for those kids.
If DNA testing reaches a new level, then, soon, specialists will be able to predict this condition for all infants from high-risk families. If the illness is diagnosed earlier, then behavioral therapies can be implemented earlier, being more efficient. These therapies train parents about methods they can use to interact with an autistic kid.
Professor Joseph Piven, another researcher who took part in the study, argued that specialists are thrilled to find out that they have the chance to identify children who are most likely to develop this condition so that they could help them even before the symptoms appear.
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