Very early detection is nearly impossible at the moment. But the sooner you can intervene, the better your child’s future may be.
Every parent wishes their child would grow up happy and healthy. If something goes wrong, detecting it and having the right support on-hand to deal with it, is the next best scenario.
That’s where the accuracy and use of blood and urine tests comes into play. A study done at the University of Warwick in England has found a new test could be a key player in earlier detection of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Researchers recruited 38 children already diagnosed with ASD between the ages of 5 and 12 for the study. They compared their results to a control group of 31 children who didn’t have ASD.
Children with ASD were found to have a higher level of the oxidation marker dityrosine (DT), as well as certain sugar-modified compounds called “advanced glycation endproducts” (AGEs), when tested. Essentially, the study found that there’s a link between ASD and damaged proteins in the body.
Uncovering the Unknown
What will this lead to? Scientists are hoping that the discovery can result in even earlier diagnosis and treatment for kids. At the moment, ASD can be difficult to detect. It’s especially challenging when a child is very young and in the early stages of development.
Experts often can’t concretely diagnose any form of autism before a child is 2 years old. That being said, symptoms can start to surface when a baby is between 12 and 18 months old.
What causes autism disorders? It’s thought that genetic causes are behind 30-35% of cases and that the remaining 65-70% are the result of a combination of environmental factors, multiple mutations, and rare genetic variants.
Researchers are also hoping the new tests can help further identify causes of the disorder that haven’t yet been found.
About 1 in 45 children ages 3 to 17 currently live with autism in the U.S.