Getting The Physcial Picture On Autism: How CT Scans Can Reveal Your Child's Autism

It was once assumed that autism was more of a cognitive impairment than a physical or neurological disability. Until very recently, no one had thought to look at the brains of children and adults on the autism spectrum with the use of a CT scan. However, once neurologists began taking a closer look, they were surprised to find that autism revealed itself with many unusual changes in brain anatomy and physiology. Here is how a CT scan of your child's brain at a clinic like Kinston Medical Specialists PA can help determine if he or she really has autism.

Certain Areas of the Autistic Brain Appear Larger and Smaller

Brain development is very different in children with autism. On the one hand, parts of their brains suddenly begin to grow faster than others, while the other parts of the brain are either smaller or altered in shape. The corpus callosum is smaller, while the amygdala, is larger with an altered shape in many of the brains of children with autism. The amygdala, or amygdalaesince there are two of these little organs in the brain, are responsible for emotional reactions and memory, two things that children with autism often struggle with and have adept skill in, respectively. The corpus callosum is full of nerve bundles and fibers, which with being smaller in children with autism could be the cause of why so many are tactile defensive or hyperstimulated.

Higher Myelin Deposits

Myelin is also referred to as "white matter" because it appears white on brain scans. It is also "white" because if you were to open the skull up to look for it, it contrasts highly with the grayish pink tones of the typical brain matter. In children with autism, studies have shown there are greater deposits of white matter, which affect the child's behavior and language development. If you can get your autistic child to remain still and quiet long enough for a scan, it is possible to see the white matter areas in your child's brain, which, when combined with other physical signs in the brain, would confirm the presence of autism.

Completing a Scan Early

It is very important for you and your child to get a CT scan of your child's brain before he or she enters school. You may already have a diagnosis of autism, or you may suspect that your child is on the spectrum. However, the CT scan, MRIs and other brain imaging scans can confirm with absolute certainty that your child's autism diagnosis is the correct one.