Brain Ultrasound Reveals Autism Risk at Birth

More interesting autism research news this week, this time from Michigan State University. Researchers discovered that a brain ultrasound performed at birth can reveal a condition that is tied with an increased risk of autism. If the ultrasound reveals enlarged ventricles, which are cavities in the brain that store spinal fluid, then the child may have a greater risk for developing autism.

Tammy Movsas (pictured to the right), a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at MSU, was the lead study author.

“Movsas and colleagues reached that conclusion by analyzing data from a cohort of 1,105 low-birth-weight infants born in the mid-1980s. The babies had cranial ultrasounds just after birth so the researchers could look for relationships between brain abnormalities in infancy and health disorders that showed up later. Participants also were screened for autism when they were 16 years old, and a subset of them had a more rigorous test at 21, which turned up 14 positive diagnoses.”

The findings will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Pediatrics.

Photo: MSU

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Melissa is the mother of two children on the autism spectrum and strives to provide information about all aspects of autism through her blog, The Autism Education Site. Follow Melissa on Twitter. Like me on Facebook.

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