A possible link between autism and airway abnormality has been discovered by researchers in Hawaii.
Previously autism has been diagnosed through the observation of autistic behaviours but a new study suggests that a physical abnormality in the airway may be a prominent indicator of autism.
Dr Barbara Stewart, author of the study, stated: "I have not seen this type of abnormality in children who aren't autistic.
"It appears to be a definitive marker for autism or autistic spectrum disorder."
Following Bronchoscopic evaluations, patients with autism were found to have an anatomy that was initially normal, followed by take-offs in the lower airway that were doubled.
Dr Stewart explained that patients who exhibited these markers in the lower airway may have higher airway resistance.
Researchers in New York are also working to discover a physical marker of autism.
The first transgenic mouse model of a rare type of autism, Timothy Syndrome, is improving the understanding of autism at a molecular level.
It is hoped that this will lead to more targeted interventions and treatments of autism.
Find out about Barchester's support for adults and children with a wide range of Autistic spectrum conditions.