Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Brain Scan Diagnoses Autism In Adults

UK scientists have developed a new type of brain scan that only takes 15 minutes and can diagnose autism in adults with over 90 per cent accuracy: they hope to develop it so it can be used to screen children for autism spectrum disorders.

Study leader Dr Christine Ecker, a Lecturer in the Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences from the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King's College London, and supervisor Dr Declan Murphy, Professor of Psychiatry and Brain Maturation at the IoP, and colleagues wrote a paper about their pioneering work that is to be published in The Journal of Neuroscience today, 11th of August.

Using an MRI scanner and 3D imaging techniques, Ecker, Murphy and colleagues assessed the structure, shape and thickness of of the brain's grey matter, looking at key measurement markers of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

They studied the brains of 59 male adults aged between 20 and 68 years. 20 of the participants had ASD and 19 had ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder); the other 20 were healthy controls.

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