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Special brain scans may predict autism in high-risk babies

Serena Gordon
Health Day Reporter

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 (HealthDay News)-Researchers are of a special type MRI Someday it may help doctors predict which high risk Baby Can occur autism In their childhood.

Known as a functional connection MRI (FcMRI), a scan takes a peek at how different areas of the brain work together.After all, it seems that certain areas that are connected are also linked autism There is a risk, the researchers said.

With fcMRI, researchers were able to accurately predict 9 of the 11 high risks. Baby Those who later showed signs of action autism..

“We used 6 months of functional brain imaging and 24 months of clinical information to determine which high-risk infants could be identified. autism“Research author Robert Emerson, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said.

It is hoped that such predictive tools will one day be used to identify babies in need of early intervention.

“What we find is exciting, but our findings need to be reproduced,” said co-principal research author Dr. John Plouette Jr. He is an associate professor of psychiatry, radiology, psychology and brain science at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. .. Louis.

autism According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spectrum disorders affect one in 68 children in the United States. Prevention.. Currently, children cannot be diagnosed until they are about two years old. At that time, behavioral symptoms of disability begin to appear, such as behavior with others, communication, difficulty interacting, repetitive behavior and attachment.

According to the CDC, the sooner a child receives a behavioral intervention service, the better the results in general.And recent studies have shown that even when the baby begins to intervene. Before Symptomatology first appeared, and at the age of three, those babies improved their attention, language, communication, and social skills. This study was recently presented at an international conference. autism Survey in San Francisco.

“There is little action to tell us about autism in the first year of life,” Pruett said. “It is very important to be able to identify brain-based features early in life. We can identify even higher-risk babies and participate in studies of infant adaptation for current infant-age interventions.”

The new study included 59 babies who were considered at high risk for autism because they had siblings with autism.

“In this high-risk group, the conversion rate to autism is 20 percent,” Emerson said.

The baby underwent fcMRI when he was 6 months old. They were asleep during the exam.

fcMRI observed neural activity across 230 different regions of the brain. Researchers sought areas of collaborative activity, focusing on connections known to be associated with language skills, repetitive behaviors, and social behaviors that characterize autism.

Researchers then categorized this information and developed computer programs to help identify babies who are more likely to develop autism and those who are not.

Eleven of the 59 babies developed autism. Tests and programs were able to predict 82% of these cases. All children who did not develop autism were correctly identified as less likely to develop the disorder in early childhood, the researchers said.

Thomas Frazier is Chief Scientific Officer of Autism Speaks. He was not involved in the study, but confirmed the findings.

“Autism is thought to be a connectivity disorder in the brain, and the fact that functional connectivity MRI is a good predictor of autism helps confirm these suspicions,” Frazier said. Mr. says.

“Another interesting thing is that we can see the difference in autism early in life. It’s worth noting that we were able to capture the autism-related brain changes in 6 months. “I will.”

Like the researchers, Frazier said the study needed to be reproduced. And he wondered, “Can it be replicated in a way that extends its use beyond high-risk siblings?”

The findings were published in the journal on June 7th. Science translational medicine..

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Autism is a developmental disorder.
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References

Source: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Robert Emerson. John Pruett Jr., MD, Ph.D. , Associate Professor, Psychiatry, Radiology, Psychology and Brain Science, University of Washington School of Medicine, St. Louis. Dr. Thomas Frazier, Chief Scientific Officer, Autism Speaks; June 7, 2017, Science translational medicine

Special brain scans may predict autism in high-risk babies

Source link Special brain scans may predict autism in high-risk babies

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