"We're not at the point just yet where we're telling clinicians to use ABR testing as a determinant for autism in babies," said study co-author Elizabeth Simpson, an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Psychology, whose research focuses on understanding infant social cognitive development. The researchers note that such tests are already regularly and widely used to screen newborns for hearing loss. Published in the journal Autism Research, the findings could inform additional research and pave the way for evaluations that can better identify newborns with elevated autism risk by using standard hearing tests. The research team analyzed nearly 140,000 auditory recordings from babies born in Florida and matched the data with records from the Florida Department of Education indicating children with developmental disabilities. A small study looking at ultrasound scans that checked for fetal defects showed that children who went on to develop ASD had greater head and abdominal sizes at around 20 weeks' in the womb than did their healthy peers. "But we are saying that this study presents a promising direction in how ABR testing can be used as a method for precise autism detection at birth. "Any additional tool that could clarify diagnostic clues would be invaluable in that regard.". Beaudet’s team conducted two pilot studies of their test. All of the women were in the first trimester of pregnancy. All rights reserved. They wanted to explore whether it could be detectable even earlier. For the study, researchers analyzed large datasets of Florida infants who were screened for hearing impairments with ABR tests. And given that it's clearly a neurodevelopmental disorder, I think looking at those early stages of development [is] going to be fundamental to improving our understanding," she says. “This test will revolutionize prenatal diagnosis,” says lead investigator Arthur Beaudet, professor and chair of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details to third parties. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The content is provided for information purposes only. We do not guarantee individual replies due to extremely high volume of correspondence. "Within the dataset we used from the Department of Education records of children who had autism, we saw how many we could match up from the ABR test screenings," Simpson said. The researchers then focused on the 47 women whose blood yielded at least two fetal cells with high-quality DNA; 36 of those women had also undergone amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, which revealed six fetuses with major genetic abnormalities. Click here to sign in with Usually conducted in hospital maternity wards, the tests make computer recordings of the auditory nerve activity of babies who are exposed to sounds transmitted by electrodes placed on their scalps. Your email address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the email. or, by Deserae E. Del Campo, University of Miami. It looked at traits that might predict ASD later in childhood. We care about your data and we’d like to use cookies to make your browsing experience as smooth as possible. It just opens a whole range of possibilities if autism is detectable this early on," Salter says. How Long Does Coronavirus Live On Surfaces?

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