a new type of medical imaging to diagnose babies earlier

“Diagnosis as early as possible”

It could make it possible to map the areas of the brain whose functioning seems abnormal, and thus to direct towards a very early diagnosis, explained the neurobiologist Pierre Gressens, researcher at Inserm and deputy director of the scientific interest group “autism and TND”. In terms of research on autism, “there is consensus, it is the importance of the earliest possible diagnosis”, which allows more effective care, underlines Claire Compagnon, interministerial delegate for the national strategy “autism and TND”.

In recent years, the average age at diagnosis has fallen: “It is now less than five years, but it is still too much,” she noted.

Tested in 2023 on babies

Marketed by the start-up Iconeus, the new medical imaging device uses technologies developed by researchers from Inserm and CNRS. Easier to use and less expensive than an MRI, the Iconeus device has been tested on mice: by placing a probe on the rodents’ heads, the scientists showed which areas of their brains were solicited when they were touches the whiskers.

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