MADRID, June 25 (EUROPA PRESS) –
It’s often said that “the eyes tell everything,” but regardless of their outward expression, the eyes may also be able to signal neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). according to new research from Flinders University and the University of South Australia.
In the first study of its kind, published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, researchers found that retinal recordings could identify distinct signals for both ADHD and ASD, providing a potential biomarker for each condition.
Using the electroretinogram (ERG), a diagnostic test that measures the retina’s electrical activity in response to a light stimulus, the researchers found that children with ADHD showed higher total ERG energy, while children with ASD showed lower energy.
“ASD and ADHD are the most common neurodevelopmental disorders diagnosed in childhood. However, because they often share similar characteristics, diagnosing both disorders can be lengthy and complicated. Our research aims to improve this situation by studying how people respond to signals from the retina to light stimuli. We hope to develop more accurate and earlier diagnoses for various neurodevelopmental disorders,” explains one of the leaders of the work, Dr. Paul Constable, a research optometrist at Flinders University.
The retinal signals have specific nerves that generate them. So if these differences can be identified and localized to specific pathways that use different chemical signals that are also used in the brain, the researchers believe they will be able to show clear differences for children with ADHD and ASD and possibly others neurodevelopmental states.
“This study provides preliminary evidence of neurophysiological changes that not only distinguish ADHD and ASD from normally developing children, but also evidence that they can be distinguished from one another based on ERG properties,” the scientist added.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in 100 children has ASD, and 5 to 8 percent of children are diagnosed with ADHD.
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by being overly active, having difficulty paying attention, and controlling impulsive behavior. ASD is also a neurodevelopmental disorder in which children behave, communicate, interact, and learn differently than most people.