First of Its Kind Blood Test Can Spot Autism in Children

Around 700,000 people in Britain – approximately one in 100 – are believed to be autistic. Children are principally diagnosed by judging speech and communication problems which is difficult for doctors as autism affects people differently (file

New blood and urine tests have been developed by researchers at the University of Warwick that may indicate if a child has autism and thereby enable earlier administration of appropriate treatment.

One in in 68 children have been identified with some form of ASD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2014.

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 searched for contrasts in tests of blood and urine between the two gatherings.

"Our discovery could lead to earlier diagnosis and intervention,"said lead author Naila Rabbani, Reader at the University of Warwick in Britain". We hope the tests will also reveal new causative factors", Rabbani said. With further testing we may reveal specific plasma and urinary profiles or "fingerprints" of compounds with damaging modifications. In the press release talking about the breakthrough, the researchers note how this could vastly improve detection of autism in children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about one in 68 children in the USA are affected by autism - which is more than four times more common among boys.

They found there were chemical differences between the two groups. When taking a gander at plasma in the blood, the youngsters with autism had more prominent protein harm, bringing about more elevated amounts of an oxidation marker known as ditryosine (DT) and sugar-altered mixes called 'propelled glycation finished results'.

They say the tests have the potential to diagnose ASD in the early stages of life.

However, critics have warned against reading too much into the test, saying it is "far too early" for any such method of diagnosis.

It is thought that genetic causes are behind one third of ASD cases, with a combination of other factors - environmental factors, mutations, and rare genetic variants - behind the rest.

"The best way to diagnose autism is still through clinical interview and observation."Dr Max Davie, from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said it was a promising area of research but it was a "very long way indeed from a test for autism".

The test could be offered at well-equipped hospitals which do not already have high level expertise in neurological disorders, she said.

For now, the only thing that current science is able to tell is that the samples are chemically different from each other. This attempt is weakened by a small sample size, possible overfitting of data and a lack of comparison groups.

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