A new study has indicated that autistic toddlers’ brains are out of sync at a very early stage in their life. This finding sheds some new light on this complex brain disorder. It may lead to more accurate diagnoses at an earlier stage.
Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the brains of toddlers as they were sleeping. Their findings showed that neural activity wasn’t disrupted in typical children, but it was in the toddlers with autism.
The researchers were looking at how activity gets synchronized. They found that synchronization is different in the area of the brain that deals with language and communication.
Autism usually gets diagnosed early in a child’s life. The disorder causes children to have a difficult time with social interaction, communication and empathy. They have a hard time understanding another person’s feelings.
One in 100 children is diagnosed with autism in the United States and Europe. It affects boys more than it does girls. However, the disorder often gets misdiagnosed. Some children turn out to only have a language delay.
This new finding is the first step for having a new diagnostic tool. Sometime in the near future, doctors may have a new way to determine whether or not a child has autistism.