Wednesday, Feb 22 2017 | Updated at 07:30 PM EST

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Feb 16, 2017 07:00 AM EST

Autism In Babies: University of Minnesota Study Has Prediction Markers

World Landmarks Light It Up Blue for World Autism Awareness Day 2016
University of Minnesota researchers can now predict which babies would later feature autism spectrum order.
(Photo : Ernesto Ruscio/ Getty Images for Autism Speaks)

The study of autism in infants particularly is critical especially when it comes to determining which babies would meet the disorder. This also helps in future diagnosis and psychiatric support.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is difficult to diagnose in children less than two years of age. Which is why the University of Minnesota is working on a research study that uses magnetic resonance imaging in infants. They are now able to predict which infants would meet the criteria for ASD in just two years of age.

The University of Minnesota researchers were able to find biomarkers with 80 percent accuracy. Jed Elison, Ph.D, the assistant professor in the UMN Institute of Child Development, says that this is a step forward to implementing interventions before the symptoms of autism occur.

This is possible for babies with older autistic siblings, as reported by the University of Minnesota. The imaging scans from the MRI would help predict during the first year of life, especially for babies with older autistic siblings.

With funding from the National Institutes of Health, the University of Minnesota team found that they now have an opportunity to understand how early autism unfolds in life. They can determine the timing and specific mechanisms of brain development that precede diagnosis.

Currently, there are reportedly 3.5 million Americans diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. About 1 in 68 American children are diagnosed. With this new method which has an 80 percent accuracy of prediction, it also means an 89 percent accuracy in predicting babies who will not develop the disorder, as reported by Star Tribune.

The University of Minnesota study may not be as significant in the field of autism. However, this can help aid in psychiatry and prevention to help families.

In the meantime, in the TEDx Talk video below, Wendy Chung shares what we know about autism spectrum disorder:

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