Screening for autism in children has recently been a large debate in the ASD research community, revolving around the issue of effectiveness the screening has for accurate diagnosis. Another form of screening has recently gained attention for focusing on autism screening using biologically based methods.
In 2015, the National Institute of Mental Health provided Stemina Biomarker Discovery with $2.7 million to support their study, the Children’s Autism Metabolome Project.
The goal of the study, referred to as CAMP, is to examine indications of autism through blood samples. The participants consist of 1,500 children between the ages of 18-48 months.
The study focuses on the pinpointing of metabolites that responded to disease or toxic substances. CAMP will compare blood of 500 children with ASD, 500 children with average development, and 500 children with non-ASD neurodevelopmental disorders.
In the past, Stemina had found six possible metabolic subtypes that pertained to approximately 50 percent of the participants. Three studies concluded that combined metabolic signatures identified 80 percent of the children with autism out of the 495 blood samples that were collected.
These “autism signatures” led the researchers to believe that autism has specific metabolic subtypes.
Elizabeth Donley, Stemina founder and CEO, hopes that CAMP will solve unanswered questions.
“If we have a group of molcules that changed in response to a treatment or a disease,” Donley said, “What is the statistical likelihood that they are a reliable warning sign? What do they tell us about the biochemistry, genetics, or environmental toxicity of this combination? Do they suggest a diagnostic test or treatment pathway?”
CAMP is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation of Massachusetts.
For more information, check out this post’s source, News Medical.