By: Jon Brock | Autism diagnosis by brain scan? It’s time for a reality check | Neuroscience | The Guardian
Recent reports that it might be possible to use MRI to identify at-risk children are exciting, but we are still a long way from autism diagnosis by brain scan
What if I told you that we can now identify babies who are going to develop autism based on a simple brain scan? This, in essence, is the seductive pitch for a study published last week in the journal Nature, and making headlines around the world.
Early identification and diagnosis is one of the major goals of autism research. By definition, people with autism have difficulties with social interaction and communication. But these skills take many years to develop, even in typically developing (i.e., non-autistic) children. Potential early signs of autism are extremely difficult to pick out amidst the natural variation in behaviour and temperament that exists between all babies.