An earlier, more reliable test for autism?

In a recent study, researchers found that EEGs could represent a new diagnostic tool for identifying autism in children as young as 2. At BIPR, clinicians assist with many child behavior and parenting problems and Zero-to-Five and preschool services offer assessments and educational options for children with social, emotional, and intellectual developmental issues. All these issues tie to autism-spectrum disorders, and earlier awareness of a disorder could lead to earlier therapy for a child.

Frank H. Duffy and Heidelise Als of Boston Children’s Hospital compared EEG data of children ages 2-12 with and without autism. EEG results for participants with autism showed altered brain connectivity, especially in areas related to controls and speech in the left hemisphere. During the study, researchers utilized various techniques to get clearer EEG recordings, such as applying computer algorithms to account for the children’s movement. The children studied did not include those with other autism-spectrum disorders such as Asperger’s, those with seizure disorders, those with related genetic syndromes, those taking medications, or those with significant sensory disorders. However, the researchers plan to apply their methods to studying Asperger’s and conditions with which autism is associated. These results could prove very valuable in evaluating children at ages too young for dependable behavior tests.

More details about this research can be found in the following article:

Computer Analysis of EEG Patterns Suggests a Potential Diagnostic Test for Autism at Two Years Old

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