Sunday, August 15, 2010

Using MRI to diagnose ASD

Some parts of the brain are thought to be typically changed in ASD. Researchers in the UK have described an analysis for magnetic resonance imaging that is specific for ASD in 80% of cases. They compared adult volunteers with ASD to those with ADHD. Some of the MRI parameters included the brain volume, the curvature of the folds in the brain, the grey matter and the thickness. One of the limitations of the study was the small sample size, but it is hoped that more people can be recruited for further validation of the methods. Also, the participants were high-functioning, allowing compliance with the imaging. No distinction was possible between ASD and Aspergers. Importantly, it demonstrated by imaging that there is a complexity of grey matter changes in the brains of those with ASD and that these can be measured. Finally, the participants were would be nice if such a sensitive and accurate test would work in infants prior to developing the hallmarks of ASD, thereby allowing earlier intervention.
Find the paper here

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