Strong Papillary Light Reflex in Infants Linked to Later Autism Diagnosis

How many of you like to travel? As human beings, almost all of us hold within them desire to travel, visiting previously unseen places, exploring uncharted territory (though, quite frankly, there aren’t many places which can claim to be uncharted territory in this century of ours). Now, the point is, could all of us, or could any of us, our love for travel notwithstanding, be able to actually enjoy travelling and the associated benefits like getting to see new places, getting to learn about a new culture etc. unless we had the power of sight, isn’t it??

Importance of eyes

I mean, how could we gasp at the sight of the now extinct Fiji volcano, or how could we enjoy the lush greenery of the Canadian woods, or say, how could we see the almost dreamlike Taj Mahal on a moonlit night, or, how could we see the love our parents had or still have for us if we did not possess this God given power of eyesight?

Medical ailments associated with the eye

It is in these circumstances, that we come to realize the importance of our eyes, for being eyes is living in the 21st century with any light, that is, existing in primeval darkness without any light or illumination. And since the topic of darkness has been brought up, why not talk about how sad or depressed or irritated we feel when load shedding occurs? In those moments, we realize, even if for a short amount of time, what it means to be blind, or without eyesight. Now, obviously, eyes too have their own set of diseases right or diseases which have an effect on them as well?

Read on further to know about one such disease or medical condition of the eyes which has a global outreach.


Autism is or can be defined as a disease or a medical condition which leads to social awkwardness and repetition of thought or behavior or patterns in the same.

Papillary responses

Scientific studies have shown that infants or older children with autism tend to have an increased sensitive response to light, that is, they exhibit a strong papillary light reflex, when exposed to it. When further studies were conducted, they showed that infants had a higher tendency of being diagnosed with autism then the general population as they exhibited this strong papillary response more than the general population of adults did.

What are papillary responses?

Papillary responses can be defined as the responses of the nerves of the eyes when exposed to a particular optic environment, or an environment which contains varying degrees or types of light. The responses can be extreme, or, they can be normal or, they can be below average.


Therefore, autism can be said to be a disease or medical deficiency which leads to social awkwardness and repetition of thoughts and behavior, and one of its most visible symptoms with respect to the eyes is the strong papillary response or hypersensitivity to light.

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