Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain scans detect autism's signature

Date:
December 1, 2010
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
An autism study using functional magnetic resonance imaging has identified a pattern of brain activity that may characterize the genetic vulnerability to developing autism spectrum disorder. The study could eventually lead to earlier and more accurate autism diagnosis.

Brain scans. An autism study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has identified a pattern of brain activity that may characterize the genetic vulnerability to developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Credit: iStockphoto/Hayden Bird

An autism study by Yale School of Medicine researchers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has identified a pattern of brain activity that may characterize the genetic vulnerability to developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Published Nov. 15 in the early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study could eventually lead to earlier and more accurate autism diagnosis.

Related Articles


ASD is defined by impaired social interaction and communication, and can disrupt the brain's ability to interpret the movements of other people, known as "biological motion." ASD is a strongly genetic, highly prevalent disorder.

Using fMRI, Yale researchers Martha Kaiser, Kevin Pelphrey and colleagues scanned the brains of children with autism and their unaffected siblings, as well as those of typically developing children as the three groups watched animations of biological movement. The study included 62 children age 4 to 17.

The team identified three distinct "neural signatures": trait markers -- brain regions with reduced activity in children with ASD and their unaffected siblings; state markers -- brain areas with reduced activity found only in children with autism; and compensatory activity -- enhanced activity seen only in unaffected siblings. The enhanced brain activity may reflect a developmental process by which these children overcome a genetic predisposition to develop ASD.

"This study may contribute to a better understanding of the brain basis of ASD, and the genetic and molecular origin of the disorder," said first author Kaiser, a postdoctoral associate in the Yale Child Study Center.

Other authors on the study from Yale include Caitlin Hudac, Sarah Shultz, Su Mei Lee, Celeste Cheung, Allison Berken, Ben Deen, Naomi Pitskel, Daniel Sugrue, Avery Voos, Celine Saulnier, Pamela Ventola, Julie Wolf, Ami Klin, Brent Vander Wyk and Kevin Pelphrey.

The study was supported by grants from the Simons Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, Autism Speaks, The John Merck Scholars Fund, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Martha D. Kaiser, Caitlin M. Hudac, Sarah Shultz, Su Mei Lee, Celeste Cheung, Allison M. Berken, Ben Deen, Naomi B. Pitskel, Daniel R. Sugrue, Avery C. Voos, Celine A. Saulnier, Pamela Ventola, Julie M. Wolf, Ami Klin, Brent C. Vander Wyk, and Kevin A. Pelphrey. Neural signatures of autism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1010412107

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Brain scans detect autism's signature." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115161253.htm>.
Yale University. (2010, December 1). Brain scans detect autism's signature. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115161253.htm
Yale University. "Brain scans detect autism's signature." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115161253.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

AFP (Dec. 12, 2014) As the countdown to Christmas gets underway, so too does the Father Christmas conspiracy. But psychologists say that telling our children about Santa, flying reindeer and elves is good for their imaginations. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins