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Home Industry News Potential fMRI-based autism diagnosis technique developed

Potential fMRI-based autism diagnosis technique developed

1st June 2011

A new study has found that functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) could be used as a means of diagnosing autism in children at an early stage.

Researchers at Columbia University have used the technique to monitor the brains of a number of paediatric patients – including language-impaired autistic children – as they listened to recordings of their parents talking to them.

It was found that activation in the superior temporal gyrus, a region associated with sentence comprehension, was higher among control patients than those affected by autism.

According to the scientists, this technique could form the foundation of an "early and objective imaging indicator" for autism, diagnosis of which is currently dependent on passive observation of missed developmental milestones.

Dr Joy Hirsch, a professor at Columbia University Medical Center, said: "With the extraordinarily high prevalence of autism, you would think there would be an objective diagnosis for the disorder."

Last month, scientists based in Italy detailed the creation of a new mouse research model that can be used to assess the role of the hormone oxytocin in developmental disorders such as autism, as well as what treatments could be used to counteract them.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800563898-ADNFCR

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