TODAY   |  April 17, 2014

Study: Home videos could help diagnose autism

Dr. Keri Peterson and Dr. Samson Davis present the latest health headlines, including a new study that suggests that home videos could be a valuable tool in diagnosing autism, and another study that suggests cognitive decline begins at age 24.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> if you're above the age of 24, i hate to break it to you, your brain is already on the decline.

>> that's one of the headlines that came to our attention. dr. kelly peterson and emergency room physician dr. davis. good to see you both. short videos like those on youtube may be a tool to diagnose autism. why is that effective?

>> the home video is a tool that aided patients in terms being autistic earlier. not making eye contact , not playing with toys appropriately. it was found that 95% of the time accurately identified children who were autistic. this would be a wonderful tool in may going the diagnosis earlier. right now, the average age of diagnosis is age 4. but the average treatment time is age 2 or 3.

>> what are the symptoms and signs they're looking for?

>> they're looking for things like being able to maintain eye contact which is a important tool. poor language skills. not playing with toys in an appropriate way. and not responding to social cues as well as others would.

>> earlier, we intervene and help to treat kid's autism, the better they do long term and adjusting.

>> dr. davis, the next one i mentioned in the lead-in, cognitive decline can begin as early as 24 years old.

>> that's scary. the study takes into account using video games as well as we get older we lose the ability to concentrate and sort of multitask. they think as early as 24 years old this can happen. now the problem i have with the study, very small decline at age 24. the next age they measure is 15 years later. yes, by 40, you should have a little bit of a delay. what's good about the study, although we lose some ability to focus or concentrate, we're smarter at sort of taking the issue at hand in making decisions. whatever the challenge would be used, experiences from before, to sort of make a rapid decision, although it may be a little slower, delayed in making that condition process, we use our past experience to shape our goals or make our decision based upon the question at hand.

>> so we can gain some new skills as well then?

>> in a way, we can. but also we use what we have in place to make a decision. so that's good. we lose a little ability in sort of the rapid response in what we're thinking but at the same time, what we have in place from previous experience, we use that to make a decision given to us.

>> next one, 1 in 20 adults dr. peterson is misdiagnosed in at outpatient clinic . that's a big number.

>> this is information that just came out. it's hard to assess how often misdiagnosis are made. this study was able to extrapolate some data for us by looking at three articles. one was mistakes made in the primary care setting. and one was delaying diagnosis of colon cancer and lung cancer . it found 5% of the time there's a delay in diagnosis for patients with these these issues. so about 12 million american americans and 6 million of those are potentially harmful outcomes. so, it's a wake-up call. and it's potentially opening the door to tune into where along the protocol a physician is making these errors, how can we improve the quality of our health care .

>> and the same question is, how do you become more proactive when you go to the emergency room or an outpatient clinic then?

>> correct. this is predominantly looking at the outpatient clinic and this is the first of its kind on a scale to determine when misdiagnosis is actually happening. it's more of a wake-up call and it will potentially new pursue how do we intervene to correct the problems.

>> thank you so much.