Autism is a disorder some people are born with that makes it difficult for them to express themselves verbally or non-verbally and to respond to social interactions. Usually, parents are identifying signs of this condition when their kids reach the age of two. However, a new international research found an innovative algorithm that can identify an autistic child with 80% precision before he or she even develops the first signs of this neurodevelopmental disorder.
A new study was published on Wednesday according to which scientists found a method to identify the presence of autism disorder in infants as young as 12 months. However, the procedure is possible to those babies that have at least one sibling with autism. The new algorithm that can detect such condition relies on the old suggestions that certain brain regions are overgrowing under the influence of autism.
If the medical world approves this practice to be applied in real world, it can revolutionize the treatment for an autistic child. Scientists will be able to understand the origin of this neurodevelopmental disorder and find new ways to fix the undesirable effects in due time. For the moment, the study is at an experimental stage only.
The study collected data from 15 high-risk babies that were diagnosed with autism when they were two years old. Some experts say that the study group was too small, and a more complex one is needed. Nonetheless, the results were satisfactory. With the use of an MRI, scientists managed to scan the brain of the babies. What they found was that certain areas showed signs of overgrowth and this event is thought to take place under the influence of autism.
The study was conducted by a team of American and Canadian researchers, and it received funds from the National Institute of Health, Simons Foundation, and Autism Speaks. By identifying their infant as an autistic child, parents can prepare for the treatment in due time. Experts are of the opinion that the sooner the child gets help, the better the side effects of the disorder will be corrected.
Another advantage of the new technology is that scientists will be able to understand better why this condition affects people. As infants have their brain plasticity extremely flexible, scientists can have a better glimpse of what happens at a neurological level.
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