The Autistic Journalist

Using words to explain the mind

This just in…5,000 hits to tickle your brain

with one comment

Autism news has been a little slow lately, but there’s still plenty of you interested in my previous posts based on the number of visits in the last few weeks, making today a milestone moment in the history of this blog.

The Autistic Journalist recorded its 5,000th hit today, less than a year after I toasted the 1,000th hit of this site. While my employment status is struggling, I find the slow but increasing growth of this site encouraging.

I don’t have any original material to contribute to honor this occasion, but I can offer some insight from Fox News via Reuters (don’t worry you politicians/pundits, lol) reporting on findings published by British scientists suggesting a 15-minute brain scan could be used in the future to detect autism.

The results came from testing 40 adults, half with autism and the other half not on the spectrum, and boasted an accuracy rating above 90% in detecting the condition. Using standard MRI machines, they analyzed structural changes in the brain’s gray matter. Scientists are hoping tests on children will produce similar results.

Obviously, the small sample size compromises this study to an extent. While intriguing, others may want a more expansive study to reduce margin of error. However, this marks the third story I’ve noted this year reporting on potential methods of discovering autism in the future. I discussed the cons of current testing before, requiring the need for a more objective supplement. Reuters also believes more education is needed, as they use a couple paragraphs to reiterate what autism is and the frequency level in the United States and Great Britain, where most autism cases and research appears. However, with media coverage continuing its shift to answering the questions they brought up in the last few years, the trend I’ve noticed regarding detection methods reveals two theories: an objective test for autism may be widespread within our lifetime, or the Internet is increasingly effective at spreading news not picked up by newspapers or traditional TV newscasts.

Whatever the reason, I’ve analyzed too many stories to rule out new detection possibilities as a coincidence (urine test, speech recognition software, brain scan). The question will eventually transform to which test comes out first, and how many will be available to a culture of paranoia.

Perhaps the best benefit out of this is the chance that people will finally stop inquiring about my thought process and focus on other topics within the autism spectrum.


Written by TheSportsBrain

August 25, 2010 at 10:23 pm

One Response

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  1. This just in?5,000 hits to tickle your brain…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

    Mental Disorders 101

    August 27, 2010 at 6:08 am

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