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Autism Test: Brain Scans Can Detect Disorder Before Symptoms Emerge, New Study Says

International Business Times

Brain scans can detect autism in children long before they display symptoms, a new study says, giving hope for the development of early testing and intervention methods. MRI scans of of 148 children at six, 12 and 24 months allowed scientists to detect brain surface differences in children who were eventually diagnosed with autism. Researchers used artificial intelligence to analyze the brain scan results and were able to predict an autism diagnosis with 80 percent accuracy. The study, led by researchers from the University of North Carolina, was published Wednesday in Nature. Currently, the earliest age doctors can diagnose autism in a child is at two years old.


Autistic girls have more empathy than male sufferers

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Female autism sufferers are better at overcoming their difficulties with social skills, a new study reveals. The research carried out at Holland's Leiden University has been hailed as a significant step in understanding both autism and gender. Autism is a severe developmental disorder that impacts the nervous system, affecting sufferers' emotional skills. It means autistic people can often come across as unsympathetic or unempathic. However, the study of 68 teenagers found girls were far more likely than boys to react to other people with empathy.


Where is Autism Employment Heading in 2017?

Forbes - Tech

Where is employment for adults with autism and other neurodiverse (developmental and learning) differences heading in 2017? What employment assistance or initiatives offer the greatest promise? If you want to help someone you know who is part of the neurodiverse workforce what should you be doing in 2017? To begin, the current year saw a range of employment initiatives, most of them extra-governmental, often driven by the energy of persons on the autism spectrum, advocates and parents. These initiatives might be grouped among three primary strategies.


Autism detectable in brain long before symptoms appear

BBC News

Brain scans can detect autism long before any symptoms start to emerge, say scientists. The earliest that children tend to be diagnosed at present is at the age of two, although it is often later. The study, published in the journal Nature, showed the origins of autism are much earlier than that - in the first year of life. The findings could lead to an early test and even therapies that work while the brain is more malleable. One in every 100 people has autism, which affects behaviour and particularly social interaction.


AI Predicts Autism By Comparing Babies' Brains

Forbes - Tech

Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder in children is difficult, but that info can give families a wealth of new support options, not to mention a helpful new perspective. Thanks to some infant-focused AI, doctors may soon be able to reach that diagnosis for their little patients at a very early age. Researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill have developed a high-tech method for detecting signs of autism spectrum disorder in children as young as six months. Based on decades-old research that connects brain volume to autism, the technology analyzes scans of babies' brains to spot physical clues of this condition during development and has demonstrated a high rate of success with its predictions. As IEEE Spectrum explains, the team trained its algorithm on scans of infant brains, which can reveal telltale increases in the brain's surface area when children are under a year old, and which often precedes an overgrowth in brain volume that scientists have previously linked to autism spectrum disorder.