A Better way to Diagnose Adult Autism

August 11, 2010

British researchers have developed a quick brain scan that can identify autism in adults with very high accuracy.

Across the pond, researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London have developed a quick brain scan that can identify autism in adults—the kicker: it does so with more than 90% accuracy and in just 15 minutes!Rather than relying on personality traits to assess whether a person has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the team used an MRI to obtain images of the brain’s grey matter; reconstructed the scans using a separate imaging technique into 3D images that could be assessed for structure, shape, and thickness; and therefore could rely on biological markers to make the diagnosis.

The value of this rapid and accurate tool to diagnose ASD is immense,” said lead investigator Dr. Christine Ecker, lecturer, Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry. “It could help to alleviate the need for the emotional, time consuming and expensive diagnosis process which ASD patients and families currently have to endure. We now look forward to testing if our methods can also help children.”

Learn more, and see what Ecker’s colleagues had to say at the King’s College London site.

More on autism in the news:

  • Lack of Evidence to Support Use of Antidepressants for Autism
  • Babies as Young as 1 Month may Show Signs of Autism
  • iHelp for Autism: The iPad Opens New Worlds for Autistic Children
  • Studies Link Autism to Wealthier Families
  • New Drug Strategy Against Fragile X Syndrome