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"The main theory is that it is important for the proper communication between different brain areas," Dinstein added. "Such communication is thought to be essential for normal brain function and for normal behavior."
a Possible Sign of Autism
In the study, researchers did brain imaging scans (fMRIs) on 29 sleeping toddlers with autism, 30 typically developing kids and 13 children with significant language delays, but not autism. All were between 1 and Nike Uptempo True To Size
4 years old.
"The idea is that our measure would be one of several measures developed over the next few years, which together would give good accuracy in identifying autism in extremely young toddlers," Dinstein said. "Having biological measures for diagnosing autism would revolutionize the field."
Specifically, researchers found communication differences in the left and right inferior frontal gyrus, which is involved with speech, and the superior temporal gyrus, which is involved in receptive language, or understanding what people say, Goldstein said.
The study is published in the June 23 issue of the journal Neuron.
The weaker the synchronization, the more severe the autistic child's communication difficulties.
Researchers said the findings could help in the search for methods to screen for autism even before obvious symptoms emerge.
It would be interesting to study whether learning and behavioral therapy can change those patterns, he added.
"The brain is always active, even when you're sleeping. So you can assess synchronization both during wake and sleep," Dinstein said.
In the brains of normally developing children and kids with language difficulties, the lightbulbs on the circuits oscillate, that is, all get brighter or dimmer in the right and left hemispheres at the same time. In the kids with autism, the hemispheres are out of sync. The circuits on the left side get brighter as those on the right side get dimmer.
Think of it like a Nike Air More Uptempo Sneakers
series of lightbulbs on the same circuit, explained Dr. Gary Goldstein, president and chief executive officer of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, who was not involved in the research.
By Jenifer GoodwinWEDNESDAY, June 22 (HealthDay News) Researchers searching for an early indicator of autism say they've Nike Zoom Uptempo V Premium Ap
Even so, the study is intriguing in that it fits with genetic research that's identified more than 20 autism risk genes. "Those genes, by and large, code for proteins that make the synapses work, or the connections between neurons," Goldstein said. "These researchers are looking at the next step up, which are the circuits, or the connections between the brain regions."
The scans showed that the language areas of the left and right hemispheres of the autistic toddlers' brains were less "in sync" than the hemispheres of the typical kids and the children with other language delays.
Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer of Autism Speaks, said the study adds to the evidence that autism may be, at least in part, a "developmental disconnection syndrome." Prior research has also found connectivity problems between different brain regions in autism.
discovered a promising possibility: an impairment in the ability of the brain's right and left hemispheres to communicate with each other.
Neural synchronization refers to the coordinated timing of neural activity across distinct brain areas, Dinstein explained. In a normal brain, neurons in separate areas belonging to a system with a particular function, such as vision Nike Uptempo White Black Grey or language, always stay in sync, even during sleep.
Goldstein said it was unlikely fMRIs would be used to diagnosis autism. Most hospitals don't have the equipment. It's expensive, time consuming, and interpreting the images requires extensive training, he said.
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