Light Reflexes in Infants’ Eyes May Presage ASD Diagnosis Strong pupillary light reflex in infants may be a clue to a future diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by the age of 3, according to a study in Nature Communications. Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden combined data from a Swedish longitudinal study with data from a similar longitudinal ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   August 01, 2018
Light Reflexes in Infants’ Eyes May Presage ASD Diagnosis
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Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   August 01, 2018
Light Reflexes in Infants’ Eyes May Presage ASD Diagnosis
The ASHA Leader, August 2018, Vol. 23, 16. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB3.23082018.16
The ASHA Leader, August 2018, Vol. 23, 16. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB3.23082018.16
Strong pupillary light reflex in infants may be a clue to a future diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by the age of 3, according to a study in Nature Communications. Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden combined data from a Swedish longitudinal study with data from a similar longitudinal study of children with an older sibling with ASD conducted at Birkbeck, University of London.

Infants later diagnosed with ASD exhibited stronger reactions to sudden changes in light.

The researchers measured pupillary light reflexes in the infants at 9 to 10 months old and followed them until age 3. An additional 40 infants from the general population were included as a control group for a total of 147 participants. Of this number, 29 were diagnosed with ASD at age 3.
The infants later diagnosed with ASD had exhibited stronger reactions to sudden changes in light. Additionally, researchers noted that the magnitude of pupil constriction correlated with the severity of ASD symptoms at follow-up.
“This indicates that early atypicalities in sensory processing may play an important role in autism spectrum disorder,” says Terje Falck-Ytter, associate professor at the Department of Psychology at Uppsala University and principal investigator for the study.
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August 2018
Volume 23, Issue 8