"IMG_9583" by SeRVe Photography licensed under CC BY 2.0

IMG_9583” by SeRVe Photography licensed under CC BY 2.0


Source: Quartz

Researchers at the Yale Child Study Center found a new way to track whether treatments are working to improve conditions for children with autism. The study published in JAMA Psychiatry reported examining the brain functions of 114 autistic boys to see if brain ‘biomarkers’ could indicate improvements and change after applied treatment. Researchers utilized brain scans to track the ‘social perception circuits’ — “neural pathways that underpin how we perceive social interaction,” said lead Swedish researcher and neurophysiologist, Malin Bjornsdotter.

Seventy-five percent of the time, the brain scans revealed impairments that are known to frequent social perception circuits in patients with autism. This indicated that brain scans could be examined over a period of time for any indicators of progress — or no progress — in the area, ultimately helping doctors to target and administer only the treatment that actually works for any given patient. Because progress in autistic patients has previously been based on behavioral analyses mostly, researchers hope this tangible tracker will help shorten the time it takes to see if a treatment is working for any particular patient with autism.

Read full story at: Quartz

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A New Approach to Autism