Autism spectrum disorder may be diagnosed with spit test
A spit test is poised to become a quicker, more efficient way to diagnose children with autism spectrum disorder, potentially leading to earlier medical and behavioral interventions, revealed a new study published in the journal Autism Research.
“Researchers at Clarkson University and the State University of New York at Plattsburgh have published the first study to show that children with autism spectrum disorder have differences in protein levels in their saliva when compared to typically developing children,” according to an article on the study in Psych Central.
“…Currently, an autism diagnosis is determined from behavioral observations that span several years as a biological test does not exist. Development of a biological test could aid in earlier diagnosis, helping to direct people with autism to interventions.”
Autism spectrum disorder affects more than 3.5 millions Americans, and is the fastest-growing developmental disability, show statistics cited by the Autism Society, a nationwide advocacy organization based in Bethesda, Maryland.
Researchers used “a technique known as mass spectrometry to measure protein differences in saliva taken from the two groups,” Psych Central reported, which included six autistic children, ages six to 16, as well as six kids in the same age range with on-target development.
“We found nine proteins that were significantly elevated in the saliva of the people with autism and three that were lower or even absent,” researcher Alisa G. Woods told Psych Central. “This is the first study to identify these changes in saliva, which is a relatively easy biofluid to obtain for clinical use or research.”
But despite the advances, researchers said they need to study larger groups of children to confirm the findings, as well as analyzing saliva proteins in specific subtypes of autism.
The sample size is small. But if researchers can identify the autism-elevated proteins in saliva and develop a diagnostic test, kids on the autism spectrum disorder would not have to wait months, even years, before receiving interventions–and that is huge. I know many families who would have been saved heartache and stress had their kids received an earlier diagnosis.
To read full article, go to http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/02192015-study-saliva-spit-test-diagnose-autism-kids/