Scientists Have Developed A 90% Accurate Blood Test To Detect Autism

  • Scientists Have Developed A 90% Accurate Blood Test To Detect Autism

Scientists Have Developed A 90% Accurate Blood Test To Detect Autism

The researchers took blood and urine samples from a group of 38 children diagnosed with ASD and a control group of 31 children.

"With further testing we may reveal specific plasma and urinary profiles or "fingerprints" of compounds with damaging modifications".

Most doctors will not diagnose a child as autistic until about 18 months old, according to the CDC, though symptoms can appear earlier.

In a paper published to the journal Molecular Autism, the team led by Dr Naila Rabbani detailed how it can be detected with a series of blood and urine tests that identify damaged proteins believed to be key to the development of ASD. "We hope the tests will also reveal new causative factors".

Autism disorders mainly affect social interaction, and can include a number of behavioural problems, including speech disturbances, compulsive behaviour, hyperactivity, anxiety and a difficulty adapting to new environments. They need to repeat the study's findings in other groups.

Researchers have studied blood samples from children with autism and compared those with samples from healthy children.

Genetic causes have been found in 30-35 percent of cases of ASD and the remaining 65-70 percent of cases are thought to be caused by a combination of environmental factors, multiple mutations, and rare genetic variants.

The outcome was a diagnostic test better than any method now available, the researchers said.

Yet, specialists alert the tests are a long way from getting to be accessible clinically and that more research should be finished.

The study was done by researchers at the University of Warwick, who built on previous research that find a link between damaged protein found in blood plasma and the occurrence of autism.

"This study may give us clues about why autistic people are different but it does not provide a new method for diagnosis", Dr James Cusack, director of science at the United Kingdom autism research charity Autistica, told the BBC.

However, some experts have warned that we shouldn't expect to see the Warwick team's blood test being used in the real world any time soon."There have been several attempts at developing biomarkers for autism, none of which have been particularly successful", said Autistica's Director of Science, Dr James Cusack. It is far too early for that.

There is no biological detection of this condition, thus only the behavioral assessments made by doctors can diagnose autism. "The study also only looked at a small group of people". Many families wait 3-4 years for diagnosis. The efficacy of such has been shown to improve the earlier such therapies are begun, something which could clearly benefit from earlier diagnosis.

She explained: "Early diagnosis in children [means they] will have better support and maybe earlier therapeutic intervention".