Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Researchers Tie Brain Waves to Autism Risk

A simple checklist for behavioral signs and symptoms is all that is used by specialists to diagnose a child with an autism spectrum disorder. Although it is one of the fastest growing diagnoses among toddlers, there are no medical tests to screen for the disorder.
But a new study adds to mounting evidence that measuring brain activity during infancy could help determine whether a baby might be at higher risk of developing autism.
Researchers used electroencephalography, or an EEG, to measure the brain waves of nearly 80 babies from the time they were 6 months old until they reached age 2. Researchers found those who were already known to be at higher risk for autism -- those who had an older sibling on the spectrum -- showed a different brain wave pattern than those with no known risk for the disorder.

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