New Autism Test for Infants

There is a new study out concerning early detection of autism:

Researchers believe that analyzing how a child’s brain works while they are an infant may suggest various risk factors of whether or not an autism disorder may develop.

For the study, an EEG device (electroencephalography) was used on children. The device measures activity throughout the brain.

More than 70 babies were monitored for 18 months, from 6 months old until 24 months old.

Researchers discovered that children who had an older sibling with an autism disorder had different brain wave patterns than children with seemingly no autism risks.

I found this highly interesting, as it seems to coordinate with research that antidepressant use by the mother affects fetal brain development as I reported in Are Antidepressants Causing Autism?

During gestation and the first three years of life, brains grow new neurons and make connections between these cells at a phenomenal rate.

The researchers figured SSRI exposure could affect the developing fetus’ brain. Serotonin works differently in adults, where it acts as a neurotransmitter, primarily carrying signals from one nerve cell to another, than in infants where it acts like a growth factor telling the brain how to develop

In what the researchers suggest is more than coincidence, rates of autism spectrum disorders, or ASDs, exploded during the past two decades.

I think serotonin might explain the different brainwave patterns in children with autistic siblings. Personally, I think the best test for autism in children will be found in the medical records of their mother, and their prenatal antidepressant use.

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