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Brain Scans May Help Detect Autism

Study Shows Functional MRI Images Differ Between Autistic Brain, Typical Brain

Second Opinion

''The results are impressive and the accuracy level is uncommon for most imaging findings," says David M. Yousem, MD, director of neuroradiology at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institution in Baltimore.

He reviewed the study findings for WebMD.

However, he says, "it is unlikely that neurologists or neuropsychologists will be using functional MRI to diagnose autism. This really is a disorder that runs much deeper than how a child's brain responds to readings."

The research, when further along, may be most useful, he says, as a way to assess children with a questionable diagnosis of autism. The scans may also be helpful, he says, to evaluate how well medicine or counseling for autism is working.

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