Sunday, February 20, 2011

Autism: New Brain Scan Detects Disability

It sounds too good to be true - but British scientists are in the late stage of developing a brain scan that can detect autism in children in a total of 15 minutes! Britain has used the scan on adults, to date, and it has proved to be 90 per cent accurate.

Presently the scan is being used as an 'extra' diagnostic tool. It is believed that the scan can replace most observational assessments in the future. The scan has been developed by scientists at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London. The scan takes pictures of the brain using a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This is similar to those used in hospitals. The scans are then turned into 3D images. Next they are analyzed by computer software. The software has been programmed so that it is capable of spotting hallmarks of autism in the structure of various brain areas. Although it has been highly accurate in testing adults with autism it is believed it will work even better with children.

Those of us going through the autism diagnosis, in the United States, know it takes days, weeks, and months (sometimes longer) for doctors to reach the conclusion that the person has autism. This does not mention the expense involved. It is said the scan will be at least 20 times less expensive. This does not take into consideration the delay it causes in making the diagnosis - this delay in making the diagnosis is valuable time lost in offering the child different therapies and treatments.

Today a number of doctors often use observation during their diagnosis. They also include various tests that have been created to make for a better conclusion. In the U.S. we always use an entire team of professionals, working together, to conclude the child is autistic. How amazing it might be if this can be done is as little as 15 minutes in the future! This is not to say that the doctors do not play the key role in the diagnosis. Further, this is not to say that doctors will not play a major role in diagnosis in the future.

Scientists involved in the work hope that the scan will be widely used within the next two years in Britain. Hopefully, it will quickly be adopted in the United States and other countries.

Article Source:

No comments:

Post a Comment