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Feb 21, 2017 09:33 AM EST

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Finds Autism Clues In Early Brain Development

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University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill has high hopes in predicting which babies are going to be high-risk. Previously, University of Minnesota researchers are also looking into which babies would later feature autism spectrum order.

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill researchers are also looking into the same study using an MRI to image the brains of infants. The results and images from the MRI tests can create brain measurements and computer algorithms that can predict autism before behavioral symptoms sets.

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in babies with older siblings diagnosed with autism, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill researchers are able to predict 80 percent of infants who would later exhibit autistic signs at two years old, as reported by Science Daily.

Joseph Piven MD, a senior author from the Thomas E. Castelloe Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, says that brain bio markers can prove to be very useful in identifying autism development.

Currently, studies can only pinpoint the development of autism between two and three years old because of the behavioral symptoms being exhibited. By that time it would be too late because the brain has already changed substantially. With this research in place, the study could help diagnose early autism in babies with less than two years of age. This new insight is promising as it would lead to earlier management of the disorder and categorize infants in a high risk pool, as reported by Seattle PI.

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and University of Minnesota are not the only teams who are focused on this study. This research project included other researchers from other clinical sites such as the University of Washington, Washington University in St. Louis, and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Other key collaborators are McGill University, the University of Alberta,, the College of Charleston, and New York University.

In the meantime, watch The National's clip below as autism studies aim to crack down on autism:

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