Home » Your Health » Children's Health News » A Genetic Test for Autism?

A Genetic Test for Autism?


To currently diagnose an autistic child, clinicians must monitor that child for hours to measure their behavior. However, a genetic test, which examines a set of markers in the blood, could make diagnosis faster and more efficient.

A study from Children’s Hospital Boston has discovered a new method for differentiating between kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and those without the condition. Welcome news, since one in 88 kids are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder each year and with incidences of ASD at an all time high over the last 30 years.

This new blood-based test appears to predict autism relatively accurately (with at least the same accuracy as any other genetic test for autism that doctors currently administer). The genetic test has shown positive testing results, particularly among boys, and due to the simple fact that the condition seems to run in families.

During the study, medical researchers compared the blood of 66 patients with ASDs and 33 similar patients without the disorder. Researchers found certain markers in the blood of the autistic participants that weren’t evident in the blood of those without the disorder. Researchers then narrowed the marker list down to 55 genes that could predict autism in about two-thirds of the participants.

Even though the test remains in early stage development (with accuracy around 70-percent), it has already been licensed to SynapDx, for commercial development. The company plans to start clinical trials in early 2013.

“There are a lot of different mutations involved, and a lot of different pathways that seem to be involved in autism…,” says Isaac Kohane, a pediatric endocrinologist and computer scientist at Children’s Hospital Boston, and the study’s senior author. “…Some are related to learning, and some linked to immune function…The fact that not all kids had both, [means that] autism is beginning to look a lot like what the cancer biologists are telling us about breast cancer, or lung cancer…there may be hundreds of different molecularly defined cancers, which each have their own specific optimal treatment.”

Diagnosing ASD in the early stages is vital to a child’s behavioral, language, communication, and cognitive development. Kohane believes that a blood test such as this one can help identify those at risk of autism before symptoms appear, and get children into beneficial therapies.

 

Source: CNN.com

ADVERTISEMENT

We Recommend

More on ActiveBeat
  • 15 Telltale Signs of Iron Deficiency
    Out of all nutritional shortages, iron deficiency is the most prevalent in North America, particularly for women.
    Children's Health News
  • Filtering Out 12 Important Functions of the Liver
    Your liver is large (about 3-pounds) and a very important organ (and gland) located in the upper right part of your abdomen.
    Children's Health News
  • 12 Symptoms and Causes of Schizophrenia
    According to WebMD, schizophrenia is “a serious brain disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others.
    Children's Health News
  • 15 Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
    Possessing a sense of importance and uniqueness are important aspects of being a happy and fulfilled person, but those with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) take these...
    Children's Health News
  • Take in These 14 Best Foods for Crohn's Disease
    Crohn's disease – it's an inflammatory bowel disease that can cause abdominal pain and weight loss, and is caused by an autoimmune response in which the body attacks the...
    Children's Health News
  • 18 Reasons You Feel Tired All of the Time
    It’s a problem many of us have to deal with—feeling tired in the middle of the day. It’s a costly problem.
    Children's Health News
  • 15 Foods Proven to Trigger Kidney Stones
    Your kidneys play a vital role when it comes to filtering waste out of the body. Each day, these organs on either side of the spine, filter more than 200 quarts of blood and 2...
    Children's Health News
  • 12 Myths About Aging and Exercise
    For many people, reaching the middle stages of life makes getting physical exercise more difficult.
    Children's Health News
  • The Signs and Symptoms of PTSD
    According to mental health professionals, post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD) is a mental condition that results in a series of emotional and physical reactions in individuals...
    Children's Health News
  • 12 Most Common Thyroid Disorders
    The thyroid gland (located in the front of the neck) is very important to metabolic processes in your body, but if it produces too much or too little of a hormone (called T4), it...
    Children's Health News
  • Breaking Through 12 Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments of a Pulmonary Embolism
    A pulmonary embolism is as bad as it sounds – it can restrict blood flow to the lungs and cause damage, and in some cases it can be fatal, according to Healthline.com.
    Children's Health News
  • 12 Signs and Risk Factors of Gallstones
    If you're having unexplained abdominal pain, it could be traced to a number of culprits – including gallstones, which are crystalline masses in the bile ducts from cholesterol,...
    Children's Health News
  • 12 Telltale Signs of Hypochondria
    Hypochondriacs suffer from a type of mental illness known as hypochondriasis (or hypochondria), which is now also commonly referred to as Illness Anxiety Disorder (IAD).
    Children's Health News
  • 15 Signs and Symptoms of a Hernia
    A hernia can occur in any part of the body. However, the most common areas of the body inflicted are the inner groin (inguinal hernia), outer groin (femoral hernia) near the navel...
    Children's Health News
  • 12 Differences and Similarities of Ministroke And Ischemic Stroke
    A stroke is always just a stroke, right? Not always. There are the classic strokes that cause all the telltale signs such as slurred speech and numbness in the limbs on one side,...
    Children's Health News