Autism: a new blood and urine test to diagnose it earlier

    Autism: a new blood and urine test to diagnose it earlier

    Researchers have developed a new blood and urine test that would be able to detect autism in children much earlier.

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    Autism in children: a new blood and urine test has been developed that can detect autism spectrum disorder in children much earlier. The test promises 90% accuracy, but there is still a long way to go.

    Pioneering these new investigations were researchers from the University of Warwick who, in collaboration with the University of Bologna, developed the new test to quickly detect autism in children.

    Therefore, before the onset of symptoms, which usually occur around the age of 2 with impaired social interaction and impaired verbal communication, it can be predicted whether a child will be autistic.

    It is a new biological test to develop which the scholars compared those with and without the autism spectrum disorder, finding higher levels of protein damage in those with autism. They identified chemical differences in the blood and urine of 38 children with autism and 31 children without the condition, all between the ages of 5 and 12.

    The results showed that the levels of protein damage were higher in the blood plasma in autistic children.

    "The test could be used by doctors to diagnose autism much earlier in childhood by detecting these markers," says study author Naila Rabbani. The next step will be to replicate the study's findings in other groups of children. “All we have to do now is repeat the study. The next step, in fact, will be to try again in a much larger sample ".

    In any case, it is a study that “could provide us with clues as to why autistic people are different but it does not provide a new method for diagnosis”, as James Cusack, scientific director of the British research body on autism, Autistica, points out. “We don't know if this technique will detect the difference between autism, ADHD, anxiety or other similar conditions. The study also only concerned a small group of people ”.

    What remains the best way to diagnose autism? Researchers confirm that a disorder can be ascertained with almost absolute certainty through clinical interviewing and observation. This only happens around two years of age.

    Read also:

    • Autism: can be diagnosed as early as 6 months with magnetic resonance imaging
    • Autism: knowing is understanding (video)
    • The world seen by an autistic person (photo)

    Germana Carillo

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