New Technique for the Early Detection of Autism

Tue 26 Jun 2012

A team of scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital invented an easy technique, that will help doctors to diagnoses autism in children in its early stages and will help in better treatment of the brain disorder in young children. The work detail of the new technique was published in journal BMC Medicine on 26 June 2012.

The technique, uses EEG scalp scanning equipment used for decades to diagnose epilepsy to spot weaknesses in the brain’s wiring. The researchers who carried out tests on more than 1000 children aged between two and 12 years found that it was up to 90 per cent accurate in detecting the disease.

Every two in 1000 children worldwide is suffering from Autism. The symptoms of the disease vary from child to child, however, the disease have some very common and invariable characteristics like difficulty with social interaction, difficulty with communication and a need for routine and repetitive behaviour. Since there is no permanent cure of the disease, patients are usually treated by a combination of speech, behavioural and other therapies.

Diagnosis of autism is more often a lengthy and complicated process and the average child is not diagnosed until the age of five and a half.


It is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills. Autism is a physical condition linked to abnormal biology and chemistry in the brain. The exact causes of these abnormalities remain unknown, but this  is a very active area of research. There are probably a combination of factors that lead to autism but Genetic factors seem to be most important.


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