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Early diagnosis for autism from blood tests may be possible

Scientists from UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute had reported that the blood samples of autistic children have revealed altered proteins// and components of the immunity system. This may be the first test to be developed that can detect autism from the blood tests of children.

Autism spectrum disorder is a range of disorders that can be seen in a mild to the most sever form. The characteristics of the disease are varying nature of ineffective communication skills; poor levels of social interactions, restricted repeated and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Till date the earliest diagnosis of autism is possible at the age of 3 years.

The scientists have taken blood samples from both autistic children and normal healthy children and tested them for differences in the number and types of immune cells, proteins, peptides and metabolites in the blood drawn from them. The data generated were huge in amount and it may take more time to fully assimilate them. However the initial findings of the tests suggest that autistic children have 20% increase in antibody producing B cells, 40% increase in natural killer cells, and at least 100 proteins are expressed differently in their blood than the healthy children’s blood.

The researchers feel that the nature of the results showing the difference in blood samples may be used as a predictive indicator for conducting early tests of autism in children.

Reference: UC Davis M.I.N.D. (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) Institute, Press Release, May 2005

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