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Light could give an early clue to autism

Tuesday 28 August 2018

We are only just beginning to understand the pivotal role light plays in well-being, and how it can be used in therapy and medical diagnosis. Swedish scientists have now discovered a link between how babies react to bright light and their propensity to be diagnosed with autism.

The work forms part of the Early Autism Sweden Project and focuses on babies with an older sibling already diagnosed with autism. The researchers noticed that infants whose pupils constricted to a greater degree when exposed to bright light were more likely to meet the diagnostic criteria for autism at age 3. They also concluded that the degree of constriction was directly associated with the severity of the autism.

The finding supports previous studies indicating that sensory processing plays a role in autism spectrum disorders conducted at the University of London.


  1. Health Central:
    Baby's Response to Bright Light May Be Linked to Autism Risk.

  2. Nature Communications:
    Enhanced pupillary light reflex in infancy is associated with autism diagnosis in toddlerhood.


Autism and Light, Light and Science

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