Brain Scans Identify if Baby Sibling Also Has Autism

Guido Gerig, chair and professor of computer science and engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, was involved in this research.

By using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the brains of infants who have older siblings with autism, scientists were able to correctly identify 80 percent of the babies who would be subsequently diagnosed with autism at 2 years of age.

The researchers used MRI to measure the brains of “low-risk” infants, with no family history of autism, and “high-risk” infants who had at least one autistic older sibling. A computer algorithm was then used to predict autism before clinically diagnosable behaviors set in.

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