Led by Ohad Regev and his Israeli research colleagues, a study in the journal Brain has explored the use of a routine prenatal ultrasound with the capability to detect possible early indications of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
The research was conducted at the Azrieli National Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopment Research and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
The study points to unusual ultrasonography fetal anomalies as a potential early indicator of autism during gestation.
“Prenatal ultrasound is an excellent tool to study abnormal fetal development as it frequently used to monitor fetal growth and identify fetal anomalies throughout pregnancy,” said one of the study’s authors in a news statement.
The study included over 650 children, some of which had a diagnosis of autism and the rest served a healthy controls.
“Our findings shed important light on the abnormal multiorgan embryonic development of ASD and suggest fetal ultrasonography biomarkers for ASD,” the study concluded.