Posted: 07/11/2013 5:22 pm EDT
Kids with sensory processing disorder (SPD) -- a condition where common sensations are unbearable and disrupt daily life -- have differences in brain structure compared with other kids, according to a new study. The condition has yet to be recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the psychiatrists' manual of mental disorders.
"We are just at the beginning, because people didn’t believe this existed," study researcher Dr. Elysa Marco, M.D., who is a cognitive and behavior child neurologist at the University of California, San Francisco's Benioff Children's Hospital, said in a statement. "This is absolutely the first structural imaging comparison of kids with research diagnosed sensory processing disorder
and typically developing kids. It shows it is a brain-based disorder and gives us a way to evaluate them in clinic."
The study, published in the journal NeuroImage: Clinical
, involved studying the brains of kids with SPD. Researchers conducted diffusion tensor imaging on the brains of 16 boys ages 8 to 11, all who have SPD but don't have autism or prematurity, as well as 24 similar boys without SPD.