Researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill studied 106 infants at high risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 42 low risk infants. The researchers studied the infant’s brains at 6, 12, and 24 months after birth using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The images revealed that an over-expansion of the brain surface at the age of 6‑12 months preceded the excessive increase in brain volume that gives rise to symptoms of ASD between ages 1 and 2 years. Using specially developed algorithms on brain growth parameters, researchers correctly predicted 80 percent of those infants who would be diagnosed with ASD at the age of two years. Identifying ASD risk before symptoms are apparent raises the possibility that preventive treatments can be implemented. Corrective treatment is most effective when started early.