Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Flow of water in the brain fingers autism

An analysis of brain scans correctly distinguishes between people with autism and controls more than 90 percent of the time, according to a study published last week in Autism Research.

This type of analysis is at least several years away from being used in the clinic, but the findings represent a solid step toward an objective test for autism, scientists say.

The study focuses on two brain regions implicated in autism: the superior temporal gyrus, which is involved in language, emotion and social behavior, and the temporal stem, one of the major conduits of information between the temporal lobe and other parts of the brain.

The researchers used a method called diffusion tensor imaging, or DTI, to explore the flow of water molecules through the brain. Applying several layers of analysis to this, they found that in one region, the water flow pattern in people with autism is a mirror image of the pattern in controls.

Read more here: Flow of water in the brain fingers autism - Current Articles - Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI)

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