Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
ElsMed
Schiller
Ampronix

Ultrasound Reveals Risk of Autism for Newborn Babies

By Medimaging International staff writers
Posted on 06 Mar 2013
Low-birth-weight infants with a specific brain disorder are at greater risk for autism, according to new imaging findings that could provide clinicians with new indications for early detection of the still little known disorder.

Led by Michigan State University (MSU; East Lansing, USA) investigators, the research demonstrated that low-birth-weight newborns were seven times more apt to be diagnosed with autism later in life if an ultrasound captured just after birth revealed they had enlarged ventricles (cavities in the brain that store spinal fluid). The study’s findings were published February 13, 2013, in the Journal of Pediatrics.

“For many years there’s been a lot of controversy about whether vaccinations or environmental factors influence the development of autism, and there’s always the question of at what age a child begins to develop the disorder,” said lead author Dr. Tammy Movsas, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at MSU and medical director of the Midland County Department of Public Health. “What this study shows us is that an ultrasound scan within the first few days of life may already be able to detect brain abnormalities that indicate a higher risk of developing autism.”

Dr. Movsas and coworkers reached that conclusion by analyzing data from a cohort of 1,105 low-birth-weight infants born in the mid-1980s. The babies had cranial ultrasound scans right after birth, thus the researchers could search for relationships between brain abnormalities in infancy and health disorders that showed up later. Participants also were screened for autism when they were 16 years old, and a subset of them had a more rigorous test at 21, which turned up 14 positive diagnoses.

In premature infants, ventricular enlargement is identified more frequently and it may indicate loss of a type of brain tissue called white matter. “This study suggests further research is needed to better understand what it is about loss of white matter that interferes with the neurological processes that determine autism,” said coauthor Nigel Paneth, an MSU epidemiologist who helped organize the cohort. “This is an important clue to the underlying brain issues in autism.”

Earlier research had demonstrated an increased rate of autism in low-birth-weight and premature babies, and earlier research by Drs. Movsas and Paneth found a slight increase in symptoms among autistic children born early or late.

Related Links:
Michigan State University



Channels

Radiography

view channel

Healthcare Costs Could Be Cut by More Appropriate Use of Cardiac Stress Imaging

In new research, investigators concluded that overuse of cardiac stress testing using advanced imaging technology has led to increasing healthcare costs in the United States and unnecessary radiation exposure to patients. Researchers from the New York University Langone Medical Center (NYU; New York, NY, USA), in... Read more

MRI

view channel
Image: MagLab’s 900 MHz magnet (Photo courtesy of FSU – Florida State University).

High Magnetic Field MRI Technology Provides Comprehensive Analysis of Strokes

A new, novel way to categorize the severity of a stroke, help in diagnosis, and assesse potential treatments has been demonstrated by US researchers. “Stroke affects millions of adults and children... Read more

Nuclear medicine

view channel
Image: The ProBeam system treatment room (Photo courtesy of Varian Medical Systems).

Five Proton Therapy Treatment Rooms Plus System Upgrade Deployed at Scripps Proton Therapy Center

An upgrade of a proton system will improve workflow at a US proton therapy center, enabling the use of the fixed-beam treatment rooms as well as more diverse patient-positioning devices.... Read more

General/Advanced Imaging

view channel
Image: A collaborative effort between EPFL, CNRS, ENS Lyon, CPE Lyon, and ETH Zürich has led to the development of a novel approach that can considerably improve the capabilities of medical imaging with safer procedures for the patient (Photo courtesy of EPFL - Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne).

Collaboration to Make Diagnostic Medical Imaging Less Hazardous Using Hyperpolarization Agents

A collaborative effort by scientists has led to the development of an innovative strategy that can considerably improve the capabilities of medical imaging with safer procedures for the patient.... Read more

Imaging IT

view channel

Tabbed Barcodes and Management System Software Designed to Help Apron Tracking to Improve Radiology Inventory Management

A web-based inventory management system has been designed to link each radiology apron with a distinct barcode ID. As a cloud-based, decision support system, staff can track, audit, and maintain aprons using data sorted by department, area, and garment type. Healthcare personnel can see details on individual inspections... Read more

Industry News

view channel

Global Partnership Provides Treatment Planning Support for Modulated Arc Radiotherapy

Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto, CA, USA) Eclipse treatment planning software can now be used to plan modulated arc radiotherapy (mARC) treatments at sites using Siemens Healthcare (Erlangen, Germany) medical linear accelerators. Varian Medical Systems and Siemens Healthcare presented their range of solutions that... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.