Brain scans detect early signs of autism in babies

Monday, May 1, 2017 by Child & Family Development

blog_brain.png

Ashley Kies, PhD LPA NCSP is one of the autism expert psychologists at the Child and Family Development- Midtown office. Recently, she reviewed an article in Nature magazine: International weekly journal of science titled “Brain Scans Detect Early Signs of Autism in Babies”. 

The study was led by researchers Joseph Piven and Heather Cody Hazlett at University of North Carolina and scanned the brains of 106 “high-risk” infants at age 6, 12, and 24 months using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). They also followed 42 low-risk infants.  Results revealed that 15 of the high-risk infants were diagnosed with autism at 24 months.  MRI scans revealed that the volume of these infants’ brains grew faster between 12 and 24 months, compared with children who were not diagnosed with ASD, and that this accelerated growth occurred at the same time that behavioral signs of autism appeared.  The researchers also found brain changes between 6 and 12 months, before ASD symptoms appeared.  The cortical surface area — a measure of the size of folds on the outside of the brain — grew faster in infants later diagnosed with autism, compared with those who did not receive a diagnosis. 

Hazlett and Piven’s team then used a deep-learning neural network, a form of machine learning, to ask if MRI scans at 6 and 12 months in a larger set of high-risk infants could predict an autism diagnosis at age 2.  The algorithm correctly predicted 30 out of the 37 autism diagnoses (81 percent), while producing false-positives in 4 out of the 142 infants who were not later diagnosed.  “We now have this finding in these high familial risk infants that we can predict 8 out of 10 that we think will get autism,” says Piven, adding that behavior-based predictions do no better than 50–50 at  that age. “This has tremendous clinical implications.” 

Read the full article here.

Read more about our autism spectrum disorder evaluation services here.  

 

Topics: C&FD Psychological Services, Ashley Kies

follow us

About

insights is a helpful blog brought to you by Child & Family Development

Child & Family Development is a multi-disciplinary pediatric clinic serving the needs of Charlotte area children and their families.

CONTACT US TODAY TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT

Contact

  • MIDTOWN OFFICE
  • 4012 Park Road, Suite 200
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 704.332.4834
  • PINEVILLE OFFICE
  • 10516 Park Road
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 704.541.9080

latest news

General
The information contained in this website is intended to provide general educational information and client education on certain topics only and is not intended to offer healthcare/medical advice. This information should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice from a licensed healthcare professional. Child and Family Development is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information or services you obtain through this website. If you have, or suspect you have, a health problem you should never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical attention because of something you have read on this website. Never rely on information on this website in place of seeking professional medical advice. If you have questions about a medical condition or seek advice, see your healthcare professional immediately.

Links
Links from our website to other websites are provided as a service to help users find appropriate information. Absolutely no responsibility is taken by Child and Family Development or its employees for the accuracy of the information you may receive from any of the referred links. If you have questions about a medical condition or seek medical advice, contact your healthcare professional.