New blood test developed to diagnose autism has 92 percent sensitivity, say Warwick researchers
British researchers have developed a blood test that can predict autism with 92 per cent accuracy, according to findings published in the journal Molecular Autism. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterised by impairment in cognition, behaviour, and social interaction. 1 in 68 children have ASD, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Early detection of autism is important as it can help children get the care they need much earlier on. But as of today, there is no definitive diagnostic test to detect the disorder early.
Researchers from Warwick University in the United Kingdom have designed tests that can accurately detect ASD-related protein changes in the blood and urine samples of autistic children. The team of researchers — led by Dr Naila Rabbani, a reader of experimental systems biology at the University of Warwick — collected and analysed blood and urine samples from 38 children aged between 5 and 12 who had been diagnosed with ASD, as well as from 31 children who had not.
On analysing the samples, they found chemical differences between children with ASD and children without ASD. The scientists found a specific association between ASD and damage to some proteins found in the blood’s plasma.