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Friday, February 17, 2017

Autism Starts Months before Symptoms Appear

Parents often notice the first signs of autism in their children at around 12 to 18 months. Maybe a child isn’t making eye contact, or won’t smile when mom or dad walks in the door.

But a new study suggests there is evidence of autism in the brain even earlier—well before a child’s first birthday—and that the signs can be seen on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. “We’re learning that there are biological changes that occur at [the time] or before the symptoms start to emerge,” says Geraldine Dawson, a clinical psychologist and autism researcher at Duke University who was not involved in the new work. “It’s the ability to detect autism at its very earliest stages that’s going to allow us to intervene before the full syndrome is manifest.”

Read more here in Scientific American.

There is a deeper exploration of the study here in Forbes magazine.