Collaboration Leads to Early Implementation

With 36 years of autism research under his belt and with the help of new technologies, Joseph Piven, M.D. —  distinguished professor of psychiatry and pediatrics and director of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities — has made significant headway in identifying signs of autism in infants. 

“Autism is understood to be a heritable condition, but that information hasn’t really been put to use until recently,” said Piven. “Babies who have older siblings with autism are 20 times more likely to have autism than the average person. These babies had brain changes that were related to autism that appeared before diagnosis.”

In applying their research, Piven and his team are able to correctly predict, 8 times out of 10, which infants will go on to meet criteria for autism at two years of age — a huge discovery in autism research.

“We are able to take advantage of some incredibly strong researchers at Carolina,” said Piven. 

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