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Michigan State University study links autism with prenatal brain abnormality

A new Michigan State University study finds a link between autism and a brain abnormality in low birth weight babies.

Tammy Movsas is an assistant professor of pediatrics at MSU and medical director of the Midland County Department of Public Health.

She’s been studying ultrasounds of low birth weight babies. She discovered babies were seven times more likely to develop autism if they had enlarged cavities in the brain that store spinal fluid.

“It really springs more research that needs to be done in changes to the brain and the fact that a lot of these changes in the brain may be taking place prenatally, though not all of them are,” says Movsas.

Movsas says this is not definitive proof that the causes of autism occur prenatally.

The MSU study appears in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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