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Professor Declan MurphyProfessor Declan Murphy

Head of Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences

Helping diagnose and treat people with autism

'In less than two years we have found this brain abnormality, and we’ve been able to show we can reverse it –something that usually takes 10-20 years. We’re making huge progress towards developing treatments for autism – this an incredibly exciting time for our research.'

Autism costs the UK economy more than £25 billion each year and affects around 1 in 100 people. Professor Declan Murphy has pioneered the first test to help diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in research settings. They are now testing it in the clinic.

Taking just 15 minutes, this new technique uses brain imaging to identify people with autism based on their brain biology and they are testing if it will enable more accurate diagnoses in ‘real world’ settings. Better diagnosis will enable more patients to access the services they need to better manage and alleviate their symptoms.

The test that Murphy and his team have designed can categorise ASD with 90% accuracy in adults and may offer a quicker, cheaper and more accurate diagnosis than alternatives when used in combination with the clinical history from friends and family.

Declan Murphy

Within the last year Professor Murphy has also shown for the first time that it is possible to reverse biological brain abnormalities in adults with autism. This is hugely significant as it has never been done before and will be key to finding treatments.

One of the ways Professor Murphy is trying to understand autism is by examining at-risk children to see if biological differences in their brains can predict their likelihood of developing autism or Attention Deficit And Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) as they get older.

Your support will enable exciting research like this to continue.

>> Read more about Professor Murphy’s fascinating research in InTouch Magazine.

>> Donate to research at King’s and change lives.