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

More on ActiveBeat
  • Studying 7 Scientific Facts About IQ
    We often associate a person with how well they function mentally by their intelligence quotient (IQ) score, and there is something to it.
    Children's Health News
  • A Breakdown Of The Myers-Briggs Personality Types
    The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test that examines all the different personality types and how a person's personality can dictate their strengths and...
    Children's Health News
  • Foods Good For Your Kidneys
    The kidneys have an extremely important job. We all have two bean-shaped organs located below our ribs and on either side of our spine.
    Children's Health News
  • Dehydration: Causes, Risk Factors, and Complications
    Water is the most important thing our body needs to function properly, but most of us don't drink enough of it!
    Children's Health News
  • The Best Face Washes for Sensitive Skin
    The struggle is real for people with sensitive skin who are looking for a good face wash that won't irritate their skin, especially since most products contain an array of...
    Children's Health News
  • The Best Mascaras for Long Lashes
    Most women dream about having longer and fuller lashes. One can only hope! It's also one of the main reasons we invented mascara in the first place.
    Children's Health News
  • The Best Anti-Aging Foundation For Mature Skin
    Aging is inevitable, but that doesn't stop us from trying to slow the whole process down or at least look good while we're doing it!
    Children's Health News
  • How Stress Can Affect Our Physical Health
    We all deal with a little bit of stress from time to time. We all go through at some point, some more than others, it can happen at work, during school, or anytime we get...
    Children's Health News
  • Reasons You’re Waking Up In The Night
    We've all been there before, lying awake at night, tossing and turning, wondering why you're unable to sleep.
    Children's Health News
  • Common Health Problems Related to Fingernails
    If you can't quite put a finger on what's ailing you, perhaps you should take a closer look at your fingernails.
    Children's Health News
  • Best and Worst Foods For Gallbladder Issues
    For the many Americans who suffer from gallbladder issues, like gallstones, on a daily basis, it's important to learn more about nutrition with a special focus on foods that won't...
    Children's Health News
  • Be Schooled By These Health Signs From Stool
    Okay, we admit this isn't the most pleasant topic, but what comes out of you can say a lot about your overall health. In fact, Prevention.
    Children's Health News
  • Common Causes of Swollen Feet
    We've all been there before when our feet get a little puffy and swollen. It will most likely occur after sitting through a long flight, during pregnancy, or being on your feet all...
    Children's Health News
  • Best Natural Remedies For Gout
    Gout is a type of arthritis that causes a great deal of pain and discomfort in the joints.
    Children's Health News
  • Most Common Warning Signs of Glaucoma
    Glaucoma causes progressive and permanent vision loss due to a buildup of fluid pressure in the eyeball.
    Children's Health News