A team of researchers may have found a way to predict which high-risk, 6-month-old infants will develop autism by age 2.


The infants were deemed high-risk because they have older siblings with the spectrum disorder.

A neuroimaging technique called functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging was used to predict future occurrence in some of the children.

The technology looks for differences that can separate the neuroimaging results into two groups (autism or non-autism) and predict future diagnoses.


59 high-risk, six-month-old infants were scanned while they slept.

The scan was said to have correctly identified the infants that would go on to have autism and those who did not develop the disorder.

Overall, the team found 974 functional connections in the brains of 6-month-olds that were associated with autism-related behaviors.


The study was carried out by researchers from the University of North Carolina and Washington University.

According to Science Daily, it was published in the June 7, 2017, issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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