Blood Test For Autism Detects Disorder With 98 Percent Accuracy, Research Reveals

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald March 17, 04:00 am
Scientists have devised a groundbreaking blood test to diagnose autism in children but it will require further studies to perfect the process.
(Photo : Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Researchers reportedly developed a new blood test that helps detects autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children. Experts said the process has a near perfect accuracy at 98 percent in detecting the condition.

Experts from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York developed the groundbreaking test along with the algorithm to diagnose the disorder. The research's initial findings were published in the Computational Biology PLOS journal.

Experts took blood samples from 83 children with autism and 76 neurotypical children, or children with other brain differences, from the ages of 3 to 10 at the Arkansas Children's Hospital. They measured the blood's metabolites and other autism biomarkers in applying their algorithm for the analysis.

They were able to accurately classify the blood samples using their advanced methods at 96.1 percent in neurotypical children and 97.6 percent in children with autism. Only, the findings showed the blood test would be an excellent method for diagnosing brain differences and not exactly autism per se.

"The method presented in this work is the only one of its kind that can classify an individual as being on the autism spectrum or as being neurotypical," study author Juergen Hahn said, as per Science Daily. The scientists said they are not aware of any other studies doing what they have been doing. "We are not aware of any other method, using any type of biomarker that can do this, much less with the degree of accuracy that we see in our work," Hahn said.

Hahn, however, said their findings need further research and confirmation. If succeeding studies show positive results then the blood test would be the fastest, simplest and cheapest way to detect autism in children early.

Currently, autism diagnosis involves specialists some time to observe the child's behavior and activities. A diagnosis also doesn't happen until a child is around 4-years-old. Experts dealing with children with autism recommend speech and behavioral therapies as early as possible following a diagnosis.

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