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

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
Image: GE Healthcare’s Revolution EVO CT system (Photo courtesy of GE Healthcare).

CT System Improves Outcomes While Supporting Wide Range of Patients

New computed tomography (CT) technology can improve patient outcomes while cutting the cost of providing care. Revolution EVO, developed by GE Healthcare (Chalfont St. Giles, UK), is designed to support... Read more

Nuclear medicine

view channel

PET Imaging Reveals Brain Benefits from Weight Loss After Bariatric Surgery

Imaging studies revealed that weight loss surgery has been found to suppress changes in brain metabolism associated with obesity and improve cognitive function involved in planning, strategizing, and organizing. Therefore, researchers have hypothesized that a specific surgical procedure could reduce risk of Alzheimer’s... Read more

General/Advanced Imaging

view channel

Diagnostic Imaging Tests Ordered by General Practitioners in Australia Nearly Double in 10 Years

A 45% increase in diagnostic imaging tests ordered by Australian general practitioners (GPs) is being fueled by increasing GP visits, an escalating number of problems managed at doctor visits, and a higher probability that GPs order imaging tests for these problems, according to a new study. Based on a long-term national... Read more

Imaging IT

view channel
Image: An X-ray using the ClearRead bone suppression software technology (Photo courtesy of Riverain Technologies).

Bone Suppression Software Used to Optimize Diagnostic Capability of X-Ray Systems

Clinicians are gathering important information from the most routine imaging exam, the chest X-ray, by using advanced software that enhances X-ray images captured by the equipment they already have or... Read more

Industry News

view channel

Acquisition Includes Radiation Simulation Software for Radiotherapy Applications

Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (Palo Alto, CA, USA) has acquired certain assets of Transpire, Inc. (Gig Harbor, WA, USA) including the Acuros dose calculation software, which has been incorporated into Varian’s BrachyVision and Eclipse treatment planning software systems. The acquisition closed at the end of July 2014.... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.