A new brain scan that takes only 15 minutes is being used to test for autism in adults. Autism has been known to be tricky to diagnose; however, this new cheap and efficient brain scan is reporting 90% accuracy in diagnosis. Researchers have only tested on adults; but claim that there is no reason that they can find that it would not work just as well in diagnosing children.
Autism is characterized by difficulties in communication and social interactions and the symptoms can be barely detectable to severe impairments. In the past, the diagnosis of autism involved lengthy interviews, behavior observation, and a variety of tests having a highly charged emotional burden on the patients. This test is objective and based on biological findings rather than a set of observations and interviews, taking the subjective nature out of the diagnosis process. The observational aspect of diagnosis is now just a part of the process instead of being the only means of diagnosing autism.
The brain scan is done using MRI – magnetic resonance imaging technology and only costs about $150 to perform, rather than the expensive and cumbersome processes used at present. Parents with children who start to show signs of autism now may have a much cheaper, quicker, and more objective means of diagnosing autism, making the transition to treatment much quicker and easier to accept.
MRI Technicians may soon be in greater demand as this technology continues to be tested and allowed into mainstream use.