Brain scans can detect autism long before symptoms begin to appear, scientists claim.

Currently, the earliest age when the autism can be diagnosed in a child is at two years of age, though it is most commonly diagnosed later. The study, published in the journal Nature shows that the roots of autism’s can be seen much sooner than that – since the first year of a lifetime. The findings may lead to early testing and even find therapies that will have an impact while the brain is still not fully formed.

The statistics

1 in 100 people has this, which affects their entire behavior, especially the social one. The study covered 148 children including those at high risk of this disease because they have older siblings with that disorder. Everybody performed brain scans in the sixth, twelfth and fourteenth week of their lifetime. The study found early changes in the brain that are responsible for the functions of high-level as language speaking – the cerebral cortex – the children who later developed autism. Dr. Heather Hazlet, one of the researchers at the University of North Carolina, said:

“Earlier, at the first year of a lifetime we can see the differences in the surface of the brain that are preceded by symptoms that have people with autism”…

The study is very important because it opens opportunities for major changes in how autism is diagnosed and treated. Scanning the brains of newborns, especially those at high risk due to a member of their family who has this can lead to children being diagnosed earlier and in the long run can do something such as those therapies that train parents for a special interaction with a child with autism and if introduced earlier it is supposed to be more efficient.

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