*According to a new study, the difference in brain visual processing regions of infants diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at the age of 24 months is already obvious at the age of 6 months *. According to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), infants diagnosed with ASD at 24 months of age had significant differences in the visual processing areas of the brain at 6 months of age.
Scientists speculate that interruptions in visual processing may interfere with how infants view the world around them and change the way they interact and learn with caregivers and the environment. These early changes may affect the further development of the brain and play a role in ASD symptoms.
The study was conducted by Dr. Jessica Girault of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of medicine and colleagues. The relevant research report was published in the American Journal of psychiatry on May 26.
The study recruited 384 siblings, the oldest of whom was diagnosed with ASD. Previous research by the team found that if older siblings have higher ASD characteristics, younger siblings are also more likely to suffer from ASD. The researchers performed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brains of younger siblings at 6, 12, and 24 months of age.
Among the 89 young siblings with ASD, the older siblings with severe ASD had larger brain volume and surface area, which controlled language, thinking, emotion, reading, writing and learning; The surface area of the part of visual cortex which is very important for object recognition is larger; The spleen's connections are less mature -- it connects the left and right visual cortex of the brain and plays a role in visual attention.