Saliva Test for Autism: Nothing to spit at.

saliva test for autism?

No one likes waiting, but we know it’s a part of life. Some would argue that it’s an even bigger part of life for families in the autism community than the  general public.

Many families could probably tell you that their loved one has autism before any formal diagnosis is made. Families are left with a way for their medical professional to give them a bittersweet affirmative, one that is sadly becoming more common every day. If there was only a way to know without the agonizing wait, treatment could be started and the next stage of life could begin.

Researchers in New York at Clarkson University are pioneering a test to make this a reality in the near future. Using your child’s saliva, it may be possible to know if your child has autism within a very short time. Saliva is a complex biological fluid that can be examined using mass spectrometry. In simple terms, a person’s saliva is looked at to determine its protein contents. It is unclear what the researchers in this study were thinking they might find when they performed this test on the 12 children studied. But it is clear that their results are to be noted.

The children without autism had higher levels of certain proteins in their saliva while the children with autism showed an absence of those proteins. Although this is young research, the low levels of these certain proteins spur the scientists into further study to confirm what these early findings may be pointing to.  Their next step appears to be a widening of the group of research participants.

What many may find relieving is that there seems to be no mention of blood testing, which would involve a needle prick. The article does warn that this is not a new concept; researchers have attempted saliva test trials in the past with little success. But for now it is important to understand that although autism rates are climbing, this a time to understood and aware. The more people know, the more action they can take. Those who care are not in the shadows anymore. That’s when light can shine.

By Melanie L. Reach

This entry was posted in Autism Action Alerts, Autism Advocacy, Autism America, Autism Awareness, Autism Diagnosis, Autism Education, Autism New York, Autism News, Autism News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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