POTENTIAL BIOMARKERS FOR AUTISM FOUND IN BLOOD OFFER HOPE FOR EARLIER DETECTION

In a recent article published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, scientists say they can predict with greater than 97% accuracy whether or not a child has autism from a blood sample.  According to the authors, the import of these findings is that a blood test can lead to an earlier diagnosis and a more favorable outcome in the long run,  as well as facilitating the understanding of this complex disorder and offering significant potential for developing intervention strategies targeted to normalize these biomarkers in the future.

The study involved blood samples collected from 83 children with autism and 76 neurotypical children ages 3 to 10 at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Rather than examining one particular gene or a single biomarker, researchers used big data techniques to take a broader look in order to find statistically significant patterns.

The findings of the study were published in  the article entitled “Classification and adaptive behavior prediction of children with autism spectrum disorder based upon multivariate data analysis of markers of oxidative stress and DNA methylation”, by Daniel P. Howsmon, Uwe Kruger, Stepan Melnyk, S. Jill James, Juergen Hahn. Published in PLOS Computational Biology,  March 16, 2017, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005385.

Sources for the article: “Autism May Be Detectable In Blood”  by Shaun Heasley, Disability Scoop, March 16, 2017: Classification and adaptive behavior prediction of children with autism spectrum disorder based upon multivariate data analysis of markers of oxidative stress and DNA methylation”, by Daniel P. Howsmon, Uwe Kruger, Stepan Melnyk, S. Jill James, Juergen Hahn. Published in PLOS Computational Biology,  March 16, 2017