Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(EDINBURGH, Scotland) — In what appears to be a major breakthrough in the early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have found certain fetal defects in ultrasound scans that may help lead to better education about ASD.
Specifically, children with brains and bodies that seemed to be growing more rapidly than their peers during the start of the second trimester went on to develop autism at about the 20th week.
Lead researcher Lois Salter says that typically symptoms turn up at age three or four, although newer studies show it can be detected during infancy.
However, Salter and her colleagues have been searching for fetal defects since late 2008 in an attempt to link larger brains and bodies with the likelihood of developing ASD.
More research will be necessary since the study has only 160 children, about a fourth of whom were later diagnosed with autism.
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