A new study has found that Autism does not begin late but it starts at very early stage of life i.e. in womb.
According to the researchers, the disease begins when certain brain cells fail to properly mature within the womb.
The researchers analysed the post-mortem brain tissue of the kids to study the onset of autism. During the study, the researchers found the key genetic markers for brain cells, that are supposed to develop prior to birth, were absent in those diagnosed with the autism.
For the study, the researchers examined samples from 22 children between age group 2 and 15. The half of participants was diagnosed with autism before they died. Samples from the 11 children who didn’t have autism were used as a control group in the study.
The defects occurred in regions that control emotion, communication, language and social comprehension, all functions impaired in autism, the researchers wrote.
Eric Courchesne, director of the University of California at San Diego’s Autism Center of Excellence, said, “We found a novel aspect of cortical development never seen before that provides clues to the potential cause of autism and when it began. The type of defect we found points directly and clearly to autism beginning during pregnancy.”
Researchers believe the study may pave the way for diagnosis of the disorder earlier, when the potential for treatment is greatest. Scientists are still unaware of the cause of autism.
One in 50 U.S. children suffer from autism. It is mostly diagnosed from the ages of 3 to 5, based on behavioral changes that can occur.
The finding was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.