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Biolog’s Phenotype MicroArray Technology Unlocks Critical Clue in Understanding Autism
Date:6/5/2013

Hayward, CA (PRWEB) June 05, 2013

Discovery Demonstrates Advantage of Metabolic over Genetic Screening

Biolog, Inc., creator of powerful cell analysis technologies for biomedical research and development, announced today a breakthrough in autism research made by using its advanced Phenotype MicroArray (PM) cell scanning technology. In a paper published in the journal Molecular Autism, researchers from the Greenwood Genetic Center reported a 100 percent correlation (87/87) of decreased metabolism of L-tryptophan in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders or ASDs. The metabolic alteration was not seen in 128/128 controls sampled from normal and other neurologically-impaired populations. This is the first time L-tryptophan metabolism has been definitively linked to ASDs and this connection may lead to a better understanding of the biochemistry underlying ASDs and direct studies toward effective diagnosis and treatment.

“Autism is having a tremendous societal and financial impact with an alarming incidence rate, affecting approximately 1 in 50 school-aged children in the US. But the reasons behind the rise of this disorder remain a mystery to researchers,” states Charles Schwartz, Ph.D., Director of Research at Greenwood Genetic Center and lead investigator. “This critical discovery has important implications and applications, focusing future research on tryptophan metabolism as a possible basis for diagnosis and treatment of ASD. As tryptophan is a precursor to many important neurochemicals, changes in its metabolism could result from many genetic changes and explain why single gene association studies have been unsuccessful in providing an understanding of this disorder. We believe that these findings are just the beginning steps toward solving the multiple mysteries that make up ASDs.”

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