Last year a team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, US, developed a simple blood test for diagnosing ASD (autism spectrum disorder). At the present moment, a follow-up study confirms the original finding.
In this test, there is an algorithm that takes into account the presence and concentration of numerous chemicals in the blood associated with ASD.
To make the test more predictive, the scientists worked with children divided into several groups within the existing studies. Using the test, they found 154 aged from 2 5o 17 years.
Systems biologist and senior author Juergen Hahn says: “This is an approach that we would like to see move forward into clinical trials and ultimately into a commercially available test.” She also adds: “We were able to predict with 88% accuracy whether children have autism.”
A team of researchers from McMaster University’s Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute in collaboration with Sick Children’s Hospital identified genetic alterations in the gene DIXDC1 in people with autism spectrum disorder. This gene is responsible for changing the way brain cells communicate and grow.
The study suggests new insights into ASD that will help develop new medications for individuals with the condition.
Karun Singh, a scientist with the Stem Cell and Cancer Research, who was a lead author of the study, says: “Because we pinpointed why DIXDC1 is turned off in some forms of autism, my lab at the SCCRI, which specializes in drug discovery, now has the opportunity to begin the searching for drugs that will turn DIXDC1 back on and correct synaptic connections. This is exciting because such a drug would have the potential to be a new treatment for autism.”