A new study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, gives new insight into autism. The remarkable findings: Infants who later develop autism show significant differences in brain development starting at just six months. In the study, 92 infants considered high-risk because they all had older siblings with autism were given MRI brain scans at six months and behavioral assessments at 24 months, with some receiving additional MRI scans at 12 and 24 months.

At 24 months, 30 percent of the infants met criteria for autism, and showed different patterns of white matter fiber tract development in the brain compared to the other babies. It’s a great first step toward early diagnosis and intervention.