New research, published Sunday [Feb. 18] in the journal Molecular Autism, might provide one of the first steps needed toward developing an accurate blood test for the condition. And along the way, it might also help us better understand why autism occurs in the first place.
European researchers looked at the blood and urine of 38 Italian children diagnosed with ASD and compared them to a similarly matched control group of 31 children who did not have autism. The children with autism were 7 and a half years old, on average. In those children, they found signs of damage to certain proteins found in blood plasma that were caused by complex processes that involve either oxygen or glucose.
They then created four different predictive algorithms that tried to tell whether a child had ASD or not, based on the presence of these biomarkers.
This algorithm predicted if a child had autism with 90 percent accuracy, and predicted if a child didn’t with 87 percent accuracy.
Children with ASD in their study were also more likely to show signs of their neurons having less amino acids available. That seems to reaffirm a popular theory that some cases of autism can be sparked by having a rare genetic mutation that causes the proteins responsible for transporting amino acids to become dysfunctional.
Read full, original post: Researchers Say They’ve Created a 90% Accurate Blood Test for Autism