Monday, December 21, 2009

Diagnosing autism with an MRI

Now I'm a fairly technological person, and I believe in the efficacy of all manner of medical tests. But I'm creeped out by this. A company called Private MD asserts it can identify autistic kids with an MRI. They quote research showing that a section of the brain associated with talking about oneself lights up more in normals when they are talking about themselves than in autists doing the same thing.

I hope it's true that we can identify autistic kids early and simply. And it may be. It might even be that this particular area of the brain is where we should be looking.

But I can't trust a company that makes its living by offering diagnostic tests when it says their test can diagnose autism. If it's true, I'd take my autistic kid to Kaiser but not to a company whose bottom line is improved if we take their test.

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