Nature study: Autism detectable early with MRIs

A Massapequa mom has three children who have all been diagnosed on the autism spectrum -- but she says early diagnoses have made a difference

A Massapequa mom has three children who have all been diagnosed on the autism spectrum -- but she says early diagnoses have made a difference in their lives.

A Massapequa mom has three children who have all been diagnosed on the autism spectrum -- but she says early diagnoses have made a difference in their lives. (2/15/17)

MASSAPEQUA - A Massapequa mom has three children who have all been diagnosed on the autism spectrum -- but she says early diagnoses have made a difference in their lives.

"It has brought out some language in my daughter," says Rachel O'Connor. "She can now say what she wants and she desires. She makes better eye contact."

Doctors say that early intervention is the key when it comes to diminishing the effects of autism in young children. 

A new study in Nature, a medical journal, claims to have found a way to diagnose the potential for autism earlier using MRI brain scans. 

The study's authors analyzed results taken from infants. They found that the children who were ultimately diagnosed with autism had an overgrowth in brain volume when compared to other children of the same age.

Dr. John Zaso, a pediatrician based in East Meadow, says that the study's findings are not just useful for early diagnosis and treatment -- but may also finally prove a commonality in how and why children develop autism.

"It's probably not going to be the screening test, only because you would have to sedate the child for that procedure," he says. "But I think that it does show that there is an anatomical difference, which is very important."

The study also found that children with a sibling who has been diagnosed with autism are much more likely to develop the disorder as well. 

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