Brain scans to diagnose ADD and Autism - FamilyEducation
Brain scans to diagnose ADD and Autism
06/01/2009 at 02:51 AM

Hi all! Just wondering if anyone knows anything about this. I have read that they can tell children are ADD, by looking at scans(Petscans/MRIs). Can they tell if children have Autism in this way? Does anyone know of any hospital or university doing these types of studies currently? This topic just came up in a discussion recently and I was thinking maybe I'd ask it here to see if anyone knows. If you have had this testing done, I'd love to also hear about it.


This post immediately caught my eye as I've always wondered about this option myself. I wanted to bring my son for a brain scan when we found he was having learning problems and difficulty focusing in school. When we first brought our son to a neurologist, we asked about having a scan done. The dr felt at the time it was not necessary. I still wonder, though, what wld be detected if we got the scan. So many questions wld be answered and so many unknowns wld be resolved. I, too, have always wanted to look into this further for my son. My first thought is to start w/ a large university medical center and see if you can get the test performed there. Ask around. I don't know if you live in or around a big city w/ a large reputable hospital, but that's where I'd go first. Good luck! Please let me know how you make out. Also if anyone else has any insight into this, please respond. Thanks very much.

I don't think it can diagnose autism at the moment but I could be wrong. ADHD can definitely be picked up on brain scans and the effects of medication can also be seen to dramatically change it. This was a few years ago however so there must have been a lot of research since then.

Thx, junieg.

Thanks for your comments ladies. I just read several articles where they are finding that the right hemisphere is showing abnormalties in children with Autism/NLD on brain scans. I don't think they can simply say there is an abnormality there so it must be Autism, because there are lots of things it could be. I was just thinking it could help confirm a child's Autism or ADD maybe. We've come along way, but sometimes it isn't enough. :) We go to a children's hopsital at the end of the month and I plan to ask some questions on brain scans and Autism. I'll try to let you gals know what I find out. Thanks. Only

I have a son who was diagnosed severe ADHD and NLD in 2005. Dr. Margaret Kay (PA) told us to go to the Amen Clinic and we would see that on the brain spect. They discovered in his that he has evidence of past brain trauma/brain injury; they also could see evidence of ADHD. I am going to a neurologist now 2011 to see if they confirm the "brain injury" because he is having a lot of difficulty with fatigue and short term memory loss which seems to be getting worse and hurting him in keeping jobs. I will repost if I find anything interesting.