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The researchers found that about 23 percent of study participants with ASD also had a larger than normal head size.
Generally, doctors use the MRI to eliminate other possible diagnoses, such as cerebral palsy.Typically, the hair grows in a spiral shape, spreading out from a center point; this is called a hair whorl.There's some limited evidence to suggest that abnormal hair whorls may be a trait of neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.If you are concerned about a child's head circumference or growth, talk to the child's pediatrician.He or she can evaluate the child to determine whether there are any actual red flags for autism spectrum disorders or if the child simply inherited a larger head from the family gene pool.A 2013 study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found the presence of multiple hair whorls was associated with a higher incidence of autism spectrum disorders.
The study noted multiple hair whorls weren't necessarily linked with any subgroup of autism or functioning level.However, there's also research to suggest this may not be true.Doctors can examine brain volume using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and then compare the amount of white and grey matter present in various parts of the brain to the average.According to the University of Deleware, up to 94 percent of newborns in the United States may have hair whorls that turn in a clockwise direction, and a very small minority of people have multiple hair whorls.Whether abnormalities in direction or number of hair whorls have long been a source of study, there is very limited evidence to suggest they may be a physical characteristic of some types of autism.MRIs of the brains of these children indicated significantly larger cerebral cortical volume in children on the spectrum.