Navigation Links
Brain Imaging May Help Diagnose Autism
Date:1/8/2010

- Subtle Language Delay, Visible in MEG, May Flag Disorder -

PHILADELPHIA, Jan 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) process sound and language a fraction of a second slower than children without ASDs, and measuring magnetic signals that mark this delay may become a standardized way to diagnose autism.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100108/DC34671 )

Researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia report their findings in an online article in the journal Autism Research, published today.

"More work needs to be done before this can become a standard tool, but this pattern of delayed brain response may be refined into the first imaging biomarker for autism," said study leader Timothy P.L. Roberts, Ph.D., vice chair of Radiology Research at Children's Hospital.

ASDs are a group of childhood neurodevelopmental disorders that cause impairments in verbal communication, social interaction and behavior. ASDs are currently estimated to affect as many as one percent of U.S. children, according to a recent CDC report.

Like many neurodevelopmental disorders, in the absence of objective biological measurements, psychologists and other caregivers rely on clinical judgments such as observations of behavior to diagnose ASDs, often not until a child reaches school age. If researchers can develop imaging results into standardized diagnostic tests, they may be able to diagnose ASDs as early as infancy, permitting possible earlier intervention with treatments. They also may be able to differentiate types of ASDs (classic autism, Asperger's syndrome or other types) in individual patients.

In the current study, Roberts and colleagues used magnetoencephalography (MEG), which detects magnetic fields in the brain, similar to the way electroencephalography (EEG) detects electrical fields. Using a helmet that surrounds the child's head, the team presents a series of recorded beeps, vowels and sentences. As the child's brain responds to each sound, noninvasive detectors in the MEG machine analyze the brain's changing magnetic fields.

The researchers compared 25 children with ASDs, having a mean age of 10 years, to 17 age-matched typically developing children. The children with ASDs had an average delay of 11 milliseconds (about 1/100 of a second) in their brain responses to sounds, compared to the control children. Among the group with ASDs, the delays were similar, whether or not the children had language impairments.

"This delayed response suggests that the auditory system may be slower to develop and mature in children with ASDs," said Roberts. An 11-millisecond delay is brief, but it means, for instance, that a child with ASD, on hearing the word 'elephant' is still processing the 'el' sound while other children have moved on. The delays may cascade as a conversation progresses, and the child may lag behind typically developing peers."

A 2009 study by Roberts and colleagues sheds light on how changes in brain anatomy may account for the delays in sound processing. The study team used MEG to analyze the development of white matter in the brains of 26 typically developing children and adolescents. Because white matter carries electrical signals in the brain, signaling speed improves when neurons are better protected with an insulating sheath of a membrane material called myelin.

In this previous study, the researchers showed that normal age-related development of greater myelination corresponds with faster auditory responses in the brain. "The delayed auditory response that we find in children with ASDs may reflect delayed white matter development in these children," said Roberts.

Roberts says his team's further studies will seek to refine their imaging techniques to determine that their biomarker is specific to ASDs, and will investigate other MEG patterns found in children with ASDs in addition to auditory delays.

Grants from National Institute of Health, the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation, Autism Speaks, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health supported this research. In addition, Roberts holds an endowed chair, the Oberkircher Family Chair in Pediatric Radiology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Roberts' co-authors were from Children's Hospital, including the Hospital's Center for Autism Research.

About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking second in National Institutes of Health funding. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 430-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.chop.edu.

CONTACT: Rachel Salis-Silverman of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, +1-267-426-6063, Salis@email.chop.edu

SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

RELATED LINKS
http://www.chop.edu

'/>"/>

SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Draining away brains toxic protein to stop Alzheimers
2. Vision restoration therapy shown to improve brain activity in brain injured patients
3. Clinical depression linked to abnormal emotional brain circuits
4. Brain imaging reveals breakdown of normal emotional processing
5. Brain cells work differently than previously thought
6. Vaccine Stops Alzheimers Brain Tangles
7. Research may unlock mystery of autisms origin in the brain
8. Scientists Spot Brains Free Will Center
9. Free will takes flight: how our brains respond to an approaching menace
10. Alcoholics With Cirrhosis Have More Brain Damage
11. Brain Lesions Predict MS Progression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... Foundation, the national charitable foundation serving the footwear industry, has broken all previous ... more than 130 companies across 23 states during the months of April and ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... Awakening , announces the addition Onnit brand Alpha BRAIN and New Mood Daily-Stress ... Onnit brain and mood optimization products to the store is just one more ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... On Tuesday, April 26, ... the Southeast, celebrated the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal on SB 258, the “Rural ... (R - Cumming), offers a 70% tax credit to individuals and corporations which donate ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... and author of best seller "LOVE, MEDICINE and MIRACLES") addresses touchy topics related ... 2016 and podcasted thereafter . Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of a plethora ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... 5K Run/Walk” at Cove Island Park on Sunday, with sunny skies, a light breeze ... event, raising nearly $33,000. , The 5k Run and Walk and 1-mile ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... on the development of oral drug delivery systems, announced today ... conference, presented by Joseph Gunnar & Co. LLC, ... York . Nadav Kidron , CEO of Oramed, ... Presentation Details:   PIONEERS 2016, presented by ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... New market research titled ... report that provides an overview of the Osteoarthritis,s ... identifying new targets and MOAs to produce first-in-class ... in this H1 2016 Osteoarthritis Pipeline report include ... Abiogen Pharma S.p.A., Ablynx NV, Achelios Therapeutics, Inc., ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... April 27, 2016   ... Growth in Recurring Consumable Sales  Clinical sales ... Kea Technologies (Euronext: MKEA, OTCQX: MKEAY) inventor of Cellvizio®, ... sales for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016 ... execution of its commercial strategy. First Quarter ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: