Results published in the Journal of Pediatrics reveals it is possible to detect a predisposition of developing autism on an ultrasound at birth.
The Michigan State University led study determined low-birth-weight newborns are seven times more likely to be diagnosed with autism. An analysis was performed on 1,105 low-birth-weight records from infants born in the mid-1980s.
Cranial ultrasounds were performed at birth. These scans were precautionary in the event brain abnormalities emerged later in life, allowing for comparison. Subjects were tested at 16 and 21 years of age for autism. Of those tested, 14 participants were positively diagnosed with the condition.
Researchers were able to identify ventricular enlargement in the brains of premature newborns later afflicted with autism. These are cavities in the brain that store spinal fluid.
Tammy Movsas, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at MSU and medical director of the Midland County Department of Public Health, said:
“What this study shows us is that an ultrasound scan within the first few days of life may already be able to detect brain abnormalities that indicate a higher risk of developing autism.”
Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder which manifests in the first three years of live. The condition is characterized by the effect of impaired social interaction and communication.
Autistics have a restricted understanding of non-verbal communication, have difficulty with empathy, and exhibit repetitive behaviors as they like predictability. Autistics can suffer from a comorbidity of obsessive compulsive disorders. There are varying degrees of autism (autism spectrum), as no two people with the condition are alike.
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