advertisement
13 September 2012

Possible genetic test to predict autism

Australian scientists say they've developed a genetic test to predict autism spectrum disorder in children, which could help with early detection and intervention.

0

Australian scientists say they've developed a genetic test to predict autism spectrum disorder in children, which could help with early detection and intervention, according to a study. At this point, they admit, they've only tested it in a "genetically homogeneous group".

The researchers used US data from more than 3 000 individuals with autism enrolled in the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) database. There were able to identify 237 single-nucleotide polymorphisms in 146 genes and related cellular pathways.

By measuring these markers, which either contribute to or protect an individual from developing autism, scientists could assess the risk of developing autism. "This test could assist in the early detection of the condition in babies and children and help in the early management of those who become diagnosed," lead researcher Stan Skafidas from University of Melbourne said in a statement.

70% accuracy

The test correctly predicted autism with more than 70% accuracy in people of central European descent, with study into other ethnic groups continuing. The test would allow clinicians to provide early intervention to reduce behavioural and cognitive difficulties in people with autism.

"Early identification of risk means we can provide interventions to improve overall functioning for those affected, including families," clinical neuropsychologist and study co-author Renee Testa said in a statement. The study was published in Molecular Psychiatry.

(Reuters Health, September 2012)

Read more: 

Prenatal smoking an autism risk for child

Babies brains benefit from music lessons

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X

More:

ChildNews
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

FYI »

When the flu turns deadly Why the flu makes you feel so miserable

Could a deadly flu strain hit SA this winter?

Following an intense flu season in the US and UK, should we be worried about our own upcoming flu season?

Alcohol and acne »

Dagga vs alcohol: Which is worse? SEE: Why you are drinking more alcohol than you realise

Does alcohol cause acne?

Some foods can be a trigger for acne, but what about alcohol? Dermatologist Dr Nerissa Moodley weighs in.