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ASPartOfMe
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21 Jun 2022, 8:47 am

Simple retina test could accurately distinguish autism from ADHD

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Autism and ADHD are becoming better understood, but clinicians can still find the two conditions difficult to tell apart. Now, South Australian researchers say they've identified biomarkers that could allow these two conditions to be diagnosed and distinguished from one another using a simple eye test.

They're very different conditions, but they sometimes overlap, and in many cases the behaviors involved look the same, making it hard to differentiate between the two conditions and put kids on the right treatment paths.
Finders University research optometrist Dr. Paul Constable has been working on detecting Autism through retinal scanning for many years now – we last wrote about his work in 2019. But in a new paper published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, Constable and a team from the University of South Australia, McGill University, Montreal, University College London and the Great Ormond Street Hospital in the UK say they've found a particular electroretinogram (ERG) signal that can not only be used to separate ADHD and autism cases from control cases, but to clearly distinguish between the two conditions.

ERGs are a standard diagnostic test that opticians have been using since the 1940s to identify retinal disorders. Flashes of light, or certain patterns, are shown to the patient while an electrode – either a thin fiber, or a contact lens – is in contact with the cornea. The electrical activity in the retina can thus be recorded at the cornea non-invasively.

The study examined 55 ADS-diagnosed subjects, 15 ADHD-diagnosed subjects and 156 control individuals aged between 3 and 27, running them through an ERG test. Significant differences were found between control subjects, ASD patients and ADHD patients in b-wave energy levels and oscillatory potentials, with ADHD patients showing high overall ERG energy levels and ASD patients showing lower overall ERG energy levels than control patients.

While further work will be required before this technique can be used in diagnosis, the researchers say it could potentially be used to spot a range of other neurological conditions as well as ASD and ADHD.


Discrete Wavelet Transform Analysis of the Electroretinogram in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


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Fenn
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21 Jun 2022, 10:11 am

Another article on adhd and ASD

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Fenn
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21 Jun 2022, 10:15 am

Just the abstract

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PM me (or contact your library) to get the whole article.


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Fenn
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21 Jun 2022, 10:16 am

I wonder how the eye test does with people who have both diagnosis (ADHD and ASD)


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DanielW
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21 Jun 2022, 12:11 pm

Considering the number of people who are diagnosed with both conditions, I don't think its all that useful. But it is interesting nonetheless



ThisTimelessMoment
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21 Jun 2022, 1:20 pm

Interesting. But I'd still rather not have docs poke me in the eyes when i dont think they have much to offer me whatever the dx.


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naturalplastic
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21 Jun 2022, 3:36 pm

Your nerves shoot signals from your retina in your eyes.

Opticians have tested for this for decades to fit you with glasses/contacts, but now shrinks could in theory test for this for something unrelated to eyesight because they have just found that NTs (ie 'controls') differ from neurodiverse folks, and neurodiverse folks differ from each other in these signals. ADHD folks have over active signal shooting retinas, while autistics have less active than normal signal shooting retinas.

Thats my understanding of the article.

Not as crazy as it sounds because the eye is described as being kinda of a neurological "outpost of the brain".

Have long been waiting to see when and if they will ever discover that conditions like ADHD and autism correlate to something physical -concrete- and out there- that can be observed- not just to diagnose them, but show that the conditions are real. And this is a start.

Though I gotta agree that with the above sentiment I am reluctant to have some one mess with my eyes for no obvious benefit (though the article says that the test is somehow 'noninvasive'). But its a start.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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21 Jun 2022, 6:30 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Though I gotta agree that with the above sentiment I am reluctant to have some one mess with my eyes for no obvious benefit (though the article says that the test is somehow 'noninvasive'). But its a start.


The article says, “Flashes of light, or certain patterns, are shown to the patient while an electrode – either a thin fiber, or a contact lens – is in contact with the cornea.”

If I were to do the test [significant if], I think I would go with the contact lens placed on my eye.



Pteranomom
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21 Jun 2022, 7:46 pm

I could never wear contacts. Too sensitive.



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21 Jun 2022, 7:55 pm

being that i've had to deal with a wide range of medical irritants to my eyes for the past 5 years, i could probably tolerate the test.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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21 Jun 2022, 10:32 pm

We need people good at both inspiring and also delegating to help form our own autism groups.

And once we start hiring employees and/or bringing in significant money, we need to hire the services of an outside accountant to make sure the money is on the up and up.