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Published on : Feb 19, 2018

Published in Molecular Autism, a new research is anticipated to better the accuracy achieved by neurological disorder experts in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from 60-70% to roughly 90%. The findings have been expected to not only help develop an accurate blood test for ASD but also understand why people suffer the condition in the first place. European researches compared the urine and blood of 38 Italian children having ASD to 31 other fitting to a similarly matched group but without the condition. On an average, the autism children were seven and a half years old.

Build-up of AGEs and Oxidation as Autism Symptoms

Children with autism were examined to find hints of protein damage in blood plasma due to complex processes involving glucose or oxygen. Four predictive algorithms were created by the researchers to classify if a child has ASD or not, on the basis of the presence of these biomarkers. Amongst these, higher levels of dityrosine were looked for by the most successful algorithm. Dityrosine is a molecule which appears during the process of oxidation when oxygen-containing free radicals change proteins. The algorithm was also found to look for advanced glycation end (AGE) products: fats or proteins altered due to contact with glucose.

The above algorithm predicted if a child did not have autism with 87% accuracy and with 90% to tell if a child had the condition. Lead author Naila Rabbani said that the team is looking for commercial partners to further progress toward clinical availability and regulatory approval. The test is, however, patented, according to Rabbani.