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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

Infant EEG activity as a biomarker for autism: a promising approach or a false promise?

Richard Griffin* and Chris Westbury

BMC Medicine 2011, 9:61  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-61

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This needs shouting from the rooftops

Dorothy Bishop   (2011-05-31 12:11)  University of Oxford email

The media appear to take only two messages from biomedical research; this will give us a cure for X, or this will help early diagnosis of X. In the case of autism, the researchers often collude with these unrealistic interpretations by their failure to understand basic issues about sensitivity and specificity. See my blog http://tinyurl.com/33fwmsx for other examples.
Further, as Griffin & Westbury point out, this is made worse in the infant sibs literature by a growing tendency to assume ALL sibs of children with autism have subclinical impairments, even though the genetics and family studies indicate otherwise.
Very glad to see this paper, which deserves wide circulation.

Competing interests

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