New blood, urine tests can determine autism in children

Ebony Scott
February 20, 2018

They found a link between autism and damage to proteins in blood plasma by oxidation and glycation - processes where reactive oxygen species (ROS) and sugar molecules spontaneously modify proteins.

Thornalley disclosed to CNN that later on, the examination would hope to distinguish ASD in kids from as youthful as 2-years of age. These problems can vary wildly in intensity and how they manifest themselves, potentially including speech disturbances, repetitive and/or compulsive behavior, hyperactivity, anxiety, and difficulty to adapt to new environments.

The study, using complex machine learning algorithms created to identify differences in blood and urine between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) subjects and healthy children, suggests a variety of new biomarkers that could be related to the condition.

The researchers took blood and urine samples from a group of 38 children diagnosed with ASD and a control group of 31 children. But the new test could reveal another cause of ASD, according to scientists.

Yet, specialists alert the tests are a long way from getting to be accessible clinically and that more research should be finished. With further testing we may reveal specific plasma and urinary profiles or "fingerprints" of compounds with damaging modifications.

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"We have found that the power of measuring damaged proteins to the brain may be a cause for a development of autism", said Paul Thornalley, a professor in systems biology at the University of Warwick, who co-led the study. 30% to 35% of cases of autism are attributed to exclusively genetic causes and the remaining 65% to 70% in a combination of environmental factors and genetic mutations.

The researchers admitted that they need for more clinical trials before stating that the test is viable. The efficacy of such has been shown to improve the earlier such therapies are begun, something which could clearly benefit from earlier diagnosis. "This may help us improve the diagnosis of ASD and point the way to new causes of ASD", Rabbani said in a statement.

The test could be offered at well-equipped hospitals which do not already have high level expertise in neurological disorders, she said. It is far too early for that.

More men are diagnosed with autism than women - estimates vary from twice to 16 times as many The number of diagnosed cases has increased during the past 20 years, reportedly because of more accurate diagnoses.

For now, the only thing that current science is able to tell is that the samples are chemically different from each other. The study also only looked at a small group of people.

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