Study: Autism Linked to Siblings

    Research Assistant Laura Girton looks over brain scans of six-year-old Michael Berman at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington Thursday, April 8, 2004. Berman is part of an experiment that measures how his brain processes light and motion by pushing buttons in a video game-like test as the powerful scanner measures brain activity.  The experiment is part of a major new effort to understand exactly what goes wrong inside the brains of children with autism.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    Evan Vucci / AP Photo

    Siblings of children with autism have a higher risk of being diagnosed with the disorder than once thought, according to a new study. The research, funded by Autism Speaks, analyzed more than 600 3-year-olds with an older autistic sibling and found that almost one in five of them eventually developed autism spectrum disorder, which includes Asperger syndrome among others. The findings are cause for pediatricians to keep a close eye on those siblings and use early intervention tools such as therapy to keep symptoms at bay. One in every 110 U.S. children has the disorder, and that number is unlikely to decrease anytime soon. The research is likely to call for more work to figure out what kinds of interventions are most helpful to children who begin to show signs of autism.

    Read it at Reuters