Research on Head Circumference in Young Children with Autism

April 15, 2014

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 Dr. Pasquale Accardo, James H. Franklin Professor of Developmental  Pediatrics at and Interim Director of Virginia LEND at Virginia Commonwealth  University (VCU), working with colleagues from Children's Hospital of  Richmond, VCU, and Penn State University have been investigating the head  circumference in young children with autism and the impact of different head  circumference charts. The recently published article in the Journal of Child  Neurology (  ) reports on their  research.

Abstract: The hypothesis that the presence of macrocephaly might vary with the specific growth chart used was tested by using the Nellahus, CDC, and recent Rollins et al revision head circumference charts to plot the head circumferences of 253 children with neurodevelopmental disorders and with ages between 12 to 36 months; of these children, 59 had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. The CDC and Rollins et al head circumference charts identified more cases of macrocephaly and fewer cases of microcephaly than did the older Nellhaus chart but did not significantly differ in their identification of macrocephaly in children with autism.