Autism disorders affect one in 110 children in the U.S.--or perhaps more--but the method of diagnosing the condition, which is characterized by difficulties socializing and communicating, among other behavioral and emotional problems, is largely subjective. Now, researchers may have finally found a way to objectively and scientifically diagnose the condition early, with 94 percent accuracy, using simple MRI brain scans.
Autism is generally diagnosed during childhood, but it is often difficult to detect early, particularly among those suffering form a high-functioning form of the condition; those symptoms may be less overt. With a more scientific, biological means of testing children early, it may be possible to get them the proper therapy early when it can do them the most good.
The researchers at McLean Hospital in Belmont Massachusetts used an MRI machine to zero in on microscopic nuances in the brain's circuitry. The technique, known as diffusion tensor imaging, allowed them to focus on areas of the brain that engage in social and emotional functioning, as well as language. They found that subjects suffering from autism show significant differences in their neural wiring from those without the disorder.
In a test of 30 people with autism and 30 people without, the team was able to pick out the subjects with autism with 94 percent accuracy. A repeat of the same experiment with different subjects yielded the same results. It's only a preliminary result, but the fact that it was repeatable bodes well for the diagnosis of a condition that has largely confounded scientists in the past. Larger studies will be conducted soon to see if this new MRI method could replace the current battery of subjective tests used to diagnose autism.
Lemme guess ... Every one of is Autistic, it is only a question of "how severe" the condition.
Sort of like the "Criminal Bell Curve", eh?
And ... hey ... It would look a lot less scary if you were to paint it to look like one of Homer's speckled doughnuts.
My son is Autistic.
No. And to make that statement means you know absolutely zero about the subject, nor do you care at all about what we deal with everyday. So zip it.
Being able to Diagnose with this kind of accuracy means we are very close to a better kind of treatment. My son is very high functioning, but some of the kids in his group are really not. They were diagnosed when they were 5 and 6. My son was caught at 11 months.
This is really exciting news, and I hope lots of parents of Autistic kids read it.
This really is an amazing result and can be a tremendous benefit...
Parents like me(2 children on the spectrum)spent too many years getting the run-around: yes he has it, no he doesn't, yes he does. Anything that improves the chances of early intervention is a good thing.
This is really promising news. I think autism, like a lot of other mental/emotional conditions, is incredibly mis-diagnosed. Still, telling the difference between people who are clearly autistic and who are clearly not (else they wouldn't have been chosen for the test) isn't the same as diagnosing the many degrees of the condition. Let's hope they learn enough to do that as well.
Sweet, I can fianlly get tested on the cheap!
*my sister is Autistic and ive always been considered fairly odd also*
I just hope it doesnt come back with the blue screen after my scan D: or worse... kitty chan and spongebob high fiving while windows does the air conditioner from the brave little toaster :x
wonderful so now we can know for sure all the retards running around, cant they find a way to fix it that would be much more appealing then just finding out who has it.
And they thot *I* was politically incorrect !! OUWWCH !
OK, Wolfie, this is obviously a very serious and a very personal and a very "not funny" subject ... check!
I STILL think they should paint it up like a SPECKLED DOUGHNUT. Would be less intimidating, for young kids.
Was this response acceptable to you?
I sure hope so.
This is very promising indeed..
Do keep in mind though, that the sample size is only 60 people so far, which is hardly a relevant chunk. All we can really do right now is keep on scanning and see what else comes up, whilst fine-tuning our methods & technology at the same time of course ;)
now i gotta admit, as soon as i read a comment or so and looked back up at the picture...
it _would_ look pretty neat with some sprinkles on it & homer or someone standin next to it, now, wouldn't it?
it's open-ended, sure.. but those things are disconcerting to me, so it has to be daunting for someone much younger, let alone someone autistic, to slide into one of those.. soothing music could work, but that could also have the reverse effect in some cases.. be careful with the artwork, but you can't help but see a doughnut in there :)
I knew of some pediatric facilities using Tensor Diffusion(DTI) on head injury studies. Results of this nature seem exceedingly promising. I look forward to the research spreading to other facilities for wider based testing.
The Philips MRI in the picture does look donut like(I have also heard Easter Egg due to the color). But save the donut for the CT. It has a better "donut-like" shape.
And while the extra money to paint it is nice, the kids tend to be more comfortable with a DVD player/projector or specialized room lighting.
very exciting news. my daughter works with young autistic children and I will forward this article to her. And yes, I too think that it would look less threatening painted in colours. maybe like a doughnut, or something else.
Kewl! Does anyone know if they can use this technique for diagnosing Aspbergers or ADD?
If the specialized MRI brain scans are proven conclusively to be accurate, those at risk or who are suspected to have neurological disorders can be objectively diagnosed early on. Early intervention with targeted therapy plans that address the individual's specific brain dysfunction will help those with autism maximize their full potential.
Dr. Keri Chiappino, DC DACNB
Board-certified Chiropractic Neurologist
Defeat Autism Now! Practitioner
buzzlightyear, you are a sicko. You may think you are being funny but you are not. You are probably a pos that lives in his parents basement and couldn't get laid if he was a brick at a construction site.
So please, do everyone on this page a favor and go hang yourself with flaming barbed wire.