Autism Brain-wave test?
Scientists in Boston say they've come up with the beginnings of a noninvasive diagnostic test - one that spots abnormal brain waves that suggest increased risk for the debilitating neurological disorder.
Such a test - safe, inexpensive, and easy to perform - could make it possible for at-risk kids to get help right away rather than having to wait until months or years later, which is now the case with the behavioral tests now used.
In a recent study, the experimental test identified nine-month-olds at increased risk for autism with 80 percent accuracy, according to a written statement released by Children's Hospital Boston. The test involves computer analysis of brain wave signals captured by the standard test known as the electroencephalogram (EEG).
"Electrical activity produced by the brain has a lot more information than we realized," study author Dr. William Bosl, a neuroinformatics researcher at the hospital, said in the statement. "Computer algorithms can pick out patterns in those squiggly lines that the eye can't see."
EEG testing takes only minutes to perform right in a doctor's office. And unlike MRI imaging, no sedation is required. Infants are simply fitted with an electrode-studded hairnet.
Autism affects an estimated 730 individuals under the age of 21, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study was published online in "BMC Medicine" on Feb. 22."
It makes you wonder what kind brain waves people with autism have, and how they are different from people who don't? What is it about their brain that makes them different? Are they so different that the waves their brains make are not the same as other people?