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  • 8/4/2010

Eye movements predict autism in family


Close relatives of individuals suffering from autism have subtle differences in their eye movements, pointing out that autism runs in families, a new study finds.

Autism, a complex brain disorder usually diagnosed in early childhood, is characterized by difficulties in social interaction and communication.

According to the study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, the first-degree relatives of autistic children have more communication abnormalities and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

On eye movement testing, these family members have certain eye movements, similar to that found in the kids with autism; these subtle differences, however, were difficult to detect during regular conversation.

"The present findings document that first-degree relatives of individuals with autism demonstrate a unique pattern of oculomotor impairments similar to that previously reported in independent samples of individuals with autism, suggesting that these alterations within sensorimotor and cognitive brain circuitry may be familial traits," said lead researcher Matthew Mosconi .

Scientists are optimistic that their findings would also pave the way for detecting the brain pathways involved in autism, hoping that it would lead to better diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

"What we hope these tests do is to identify subgroups of individuals or subgroups of families that have some sort of risk for autism," Mosconi added.

Source: presstv.ir

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