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Brain Overgrowth in Autistic Children May Occur before Age 2, Study Says

David De Lossy/Digital Vision(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) -- It is known that children with autism have somewhat larger brains than unaffected children, and now a new study, published in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, reports that the enhanced growth leading to the difference in size occurs before the age of two.

Using brain scans, researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Medicine found that rate of growth was the same in children with and without autism when they were both two and four years of age, indicating that the enlargement of the brain must have occurred prior to two years of age.

The authors argue that this information now allows researchers to focus on the first two years of life as the time period during which some of the abnormalities occur.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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