You are viewing AANS Neurosurgeon Volume 27, Number 3, 2018. View our current issue, Volume 28, Number 2, 2019

AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 3, 2018

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Autism Severity Detected with Brain Activity Test

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UCLA researchers have discovered that children with autism have a tell-tale difference on brain tests compared with other children. Specifically, the researchers found that the lower a child’s peak alpha frequency — a number reflecting the frequency of certain brain waves — the lower their non-verbal IQ was. This is the first study to highlight peak alpha frequency as a promising biomarker to not only differentiate children with autism from typically developing children, but also to detect the variability in cognitive function among children with autism. 

Autism spectrum disorder affects an estimated one in 68 children in the United States, causing a wide range of symptoms. While some individuals with the disorder have average or above-average reasoning, memory, attention and language skills, others have intellectual disabilities. Researchers have worked to understand the root of these cognitive differences in the brain and why autism spectrum disorder symptoms are so diverse.

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