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Micromovements hold hidden information about severity of autism, researchers report
Date:12/2/2013

o identify the degree of the severity of the person's autism spectrum disorder, he said.

"Often in movement research, such fluctuations are considered a nuisance," Dr. Jos said. "People averaged them away over repeated movements, but we decided instead to analyze the movements on a smaller time scale and found they hold lots of information to help diagnose the continuum of autism spectrum disorder.

"Looking at the speed versus time curves of the motion in much more detail, we noticed that in general many smaller oscillations or fluctuations occur even when the hand is resting in the lap. We decided to carefully study that jitter. Our remarkable finding is that the fluctuations in this jitter are not just random fluctuations, but they do correspond to unique characteristics of the degree of autism each child has."

Wu said the more detailed information allows subtyping autism spectrum disorder, Asperger's and identify typically developing individuals much better than what had been done before in terms of the global distribution of movements.

The next step is to compare the output of the new methodology in individuals with autism of idiopathic origins with those with autism of known etiology. The new refinement may help advance research in autism spectrum disorder to develop treatments tailored to the individual's needs and capabilities. A collaborative effort with the Torres lab at Rutgers is underway.


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Contact: Mary Hardin
mhardin@iu.edu
317-274-5456
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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