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Brain Waves Show Sound Processing Abnormalities in Autistic Children
Date:11/30/2008

from a control group of age-matched non-autistic children.

The findings showed that in the children with autism there was a fraction of a second delay in the brain's response while processing the rapid succession sounds and the unusual streams, giving researchers an insight into the dysfunction of the auditory processing system in autistic children.

"This delay in processing certain types and streams of sound may underpin the subsequent language processing and communication impairment seen in autistic children," Dr. Roberts said.

Dr. Roberts predicts that the signatures of autism found in brain activity will become biomarkers to improve classification of the disorder and aid in treatment and therapy planning.

"We hope that in the future these signatures will also be revealed in the infant brain to help diagnose autism and allow earlier intervention," he said.

Co-authors are J. Christopher Edgar, Ph.D., Deborah M. Zarnow, M.D., and

Susan E. Levy, M.D.

Disclosure: This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and by the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation.

AT A GLANCE

  • Abnormalities in language processing in children with autism can be identified using magnetoencephalography (MEG).
  • The brain's auditory processing system is delayed a fraction of a second in children with autism.
  • Autism affects one in every 150 American children, mostly boys.

Note: Copies of RSNA 2008 news releases and electronic images will be available online at RSNA.org/press08 beginning Monday, Dec. 1.

RSNA is an association of more than 42,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care throug
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SOURCE Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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