Published: Fri, February 17, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Autism Starts Months before Symptoms Appear, Study Shows

Autism Starts Months before Symptoms Appear, Study Shows

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, scans were conducted on each child at 6, 12 and 24 months of age.

The latest study was carried out in 106 infants at high risk of ASD, which runs in families, and 42 low-risk peers.

The faster the brains of children with autism grow in their first year of life, the more severe their autism features are likely to be at age 2, according to a study published today in Nature.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is hard to diagnose in children less than two years of age. Researchers believe being able to predict the likelihood of autism in children is one way of reducing the severity of the developmental disorder.

"We view this is, particularly in this high-familial risk sample, as a very real possibility of pre-symptomatic detection", Piven said.

"By the time ASD is diagnosed at 2 to 4 years, often children have already fallen behind their peers in terms of social skills, communication and language", said Estes, who directs behavioral evaluations for the network.

Researchers still aren't sure what causes this neurological development, but being able to spot it early on would enable doctors to give parents of high-risk children an earlier diagnosis and intervention plan.

Joseph Piven of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the study's lead author, said that in the larger field of neuroscience and treatment, the "big push" has been to find the biomarkers of conditions before patients are diagnosed, so that some preventive efforts may still be possible. In about 3% of cases, it predicted autism that did not appear.

Samsung's billionaire heir tries to avert arrest in court
Samsung is South Korea's largest business group and its revenue is equivalent to about a fifth of the country's GDP. An earlier request for an arrest warrant had been denied, but the charges against Lee have expanded since then.

"Decreasing the age of diagnosis, even by a couple years, could have profound impacts for the entire lifetime of that particular person", Pletcher told NBC News. It is estimated that one in 68 school-aged children are diagnosed with autism.

Brain scans can detect autism in children long before they display symptoms, a new study says, giving hope for the development of early testing and intervention methods. Piven says a next step is to compare brain growth patterns in children who have autism with those of children who have other neurodevelopmental conditions.

It shows that autism, which was once thought to be incurable, does have a solution provided that the treatment begins from the start.

The National Institutes of Health funded this study.

Signs of potential autism spectrum disorder can be detected in high-risk infants as young as 12 months with 80 percent accuracy, according to an worldwide study published Wednesday. Other key collaborators are McGill University, the University of Alberta, the University of Minnesota, the College of Charleston and New York University.

They then noted which children had been diagnosed with autism based on criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and designed a machine-learning algorithm to discern the differences in their brains.

The study's most important immediate contribution lies in providing more evidence for the overgrowth theory, along with identifying additional brain regions that may be affected, said one of the non-involved researchers, Eric Courchesne, an autism expert at UC San Diego. That change happened before the child's first birthday. She now has three more boys.

Like this: