The researchers examined the electrical activity of infants and found that it was different in those who had autism. Now they hope to be able to reduce the age at diagnosis of autism, currently carried out only after the age of two, which minimizes the injury to the brain.
In the near future it may be possible to diagnose autism at the age of six months - not two years old. Researchers have found that brain function of children with autism is different from that of normal infants, and it can be spotted using a simple test. Early diagnosis can leadto early treatment - which increase the chance of success. The study was published in the latest volume of the journal "Current Biology".
Infants with autism had a different activity of the brain
Researchers from London University studied 104 infants aged six to 10 months, and again at the age of three years. Infants tested had brothers with autism, so they were at higher risk to develop the syndrome themselves.
Sensors were attached to a baby that measure brain activity. First, the infants were showed people looking at them and then people that turning their gaze away from them. The study showed that those that have developed into healthy children were of different brain activity when they saw a face looking at them and other brain activity when they say a face that looked away from them. In contrast, most babies that were later detected with autism did not show significantly different brain activity, whether they saw a face looking directly at them or a face looking away from them.
According to the researchers, while at present autism diagnosis is made only after the age of two years, then, based on new research findings early signs of autism can be detected from the age of six months and thus start treatment
Autism: an increase in the number of diagnosed
Autism is a syndrome characterized by disturbances belonging in three areas of functioning: social, communication and behavior. Disability affects ones ability to understand messages from others and develop mutual relations with order. It is caused by a defect in brain activity and does not pass with age.
Research on autism still continues, but what comes with them so far is that there is a genetic disorder that interferes with the activity that moves neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain.
Brain imaging also showed that the brains of autistic are slightly larger than normal. In addition, it was found that people with autism have hypersensitive hearing, so that in a noisy environment they are rapidly entering a state of anxiety. This Hearing condition, called Hyperacostic, apparently created quite a few gifted musicians with autism.
In recent years there has been a rise in the number of reports of diagnoses of autism in the Western world. There are several reasons for this increase. The first is that unlike in the past, today there is an understanding of what called the "autism spectrum". Therefore, people that do not suffer from the worse kind of autism are still diagnoses at being "on the spectrum".
In addition, the increasing awareness and new diagnostic methods also led to increased diagnoses of autism. According to medical literature the prevalence of PDD disorders is among one of every 150 children.
The origianl article can be found here.