A team of researchers at King’s College London has developed a brain scan which can purportedly detect autism in adults. The scan, which uses MRI to obtain images of the brain, can identify autism based on the physical makeup of grey matter in the brain. Results of an initial study involving the scan were published in the Journal of Neuroscience today.
The team used an MRI scanner to take pictures of the brain’s grey matter. A separate imaging technique was then used to reconstruct these scans into 3D images that could be assessed for structure, shape and thickness – all intricate measurements that reveal Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at its root.
The research studied 20 healthy adults, 20 adults with ASD, and 19 adults with ADHD. All participants were males aged between 20 and 68 years. After first being diagnosed by traditional methods (an IQ test, psychiatric interview, physical examination and blood test), scientists used the newly-developed brain scanning technique as a comparison. The brain scan was highly effective in identifying individuals with autism and may therefore provide a rapid diagnostic instrument, using biological signposts, to detect autism in the future.
KCL’s press release: Adult autism diagnosis by brain scan…
Abstract in The Journal of Neuroscience: Describing the Brain in Autism in Five Dimensions – Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Assisted Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder Using a Multiparameter Classification Approach