This is good news for autism detection: a new brain scan can detect autism at 6 months, when signs can start to manifest!
"This is the earliest study of brain development using neuro-imaging.By six months of age, even before the symptoms [of autism] emerge, the brain networks that connect different brain regions do not develop correctly."
We're excited to hear this, because as soon as a diagnosis is made, steps can be taken. Plus currently, about one in 110 children in the United States has autism, according to the latest CDC statistics, so a lot of kids could be helped.
"Usually we are picking up clinical [behavioral] symptoms at 18 months, some say even earlier… clearly they are picking up alterations in white matter as early as 6 months. It provides the best evidence to date that core features of autism are likely related to nerve biological connectivity. This is really compelling evidence that we should be focusing on connection and disconnection in the brain."
An early diagnosis of autism leads to quicker interventions and, because this study points out problems with the brain's connections before symptoms appear,it could lead to earlier interventions. If autism could be found in infants before symptoms are apparent, they could receive therapies to stimulate early social development and possibly even prevent the start of symptoms!
Sounds like worthy research to us!
[Image via AP Images.]