Brain scans may predict autism


The two words “Autism Awareness” still get tossed around daily. There isn’t really a whole lot information about autism, including why children are born with it and the time sensitive years where parents may not be aware that their children have autism.

A new study revealed that it now may be possible to detect autism in babies before their first birthdays, a much earlier diagnosis than ever before.

Using magnetic-resonance imaging scans, otherwise known as MRI’s, researchers at the University of North Carolina were able to predict, with 80 percent accuracy, which babies who had an older sibling with autism would be later diagnosed with the disorder.

The brain imaging scans were strategically taken at six months, 12 months and again at two years. The results showed significant growth in brain activity during the first 12 months in babies who would later meet the criteria for autism.

Symptoms such as not making eye contact, not being able to talk when babies normally start talking and other behaviors are included in babies that might have autism.

Autism is a very interesting subject because very little is known about it. Studies are done but there isn’t a lot of funding and money going into it, especially when compared to the magnitude of funding that goes into breast cancer.

This being said, it makes it hard for journalists to report about autism. In general, there aren’t a lot of studies being released or even underway for that matter. This is one of very few articles I have ever seen about autism when it’s not around the “Autism Awareness” date.

Since there aren’t a lot of breakthroughs, journalists don’t really have anything to write about when it comes to autism.

This new breakthrough where autism can now be detected in babies less than a year old is, in my opinion, monumental.

I have a cousin who has autism, so I hope that more awareness can be spread about it by journalists so that more money can go into studies such as why kids are born with it and fine tuning the detection of babies that have autism.