Diagnostic Blood Test For Autism Spectrum Disorder: In the Works

Laboratory services company, SynapDx, is developing a diagnostic blood test for autism. While research indicates that autism is caused by both environmental and genetic factors, research has also uncovered potential biomarkers of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

“Our idea was to create a simple blood test to look at markers in the blood associated with autism, but not with other developmental disorders,” explains CEO Stanley Lapidus. The goal is to facilitate earlier diagnosis and treatment. Many infants show possible signs of autism as early as 18 months, but because all children develop at different rates and many grow out of early developmental delays, diagnosis is usually made around the age of four years.

The company has not yet announced when the blood test will be made available, but it currently is showing 90% sensitivity in detecting autism. The Lexington, MA based laboratory is currently conducting a clinical study of 880 children aged 18 months – five years to determine the accuracy of the blood test and at what age it is most effective.

Early intervention is key in the treatment of ASD, and advances in therapy and education techniques have enabled many children to lose the autism label. A test that enabled parents to intervene at an earlier age would help them give their children an advantage over their disorder.

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