Researchers in a new study discovered a blood test could determine with as much as 90 percent accuracy whether a child has autism.
A University of Warwick project aimed to figure out whether autism spectrum disorder could be discovered early by way of a simple blood or urine test, rather than the rigorous battery of behavioral tests that is currently used.
Published in the journal Molecular Autism, the study results show that children with autism generally have certain biomarkers that can be detected in blood or urine.
Dr. Naila Rabbani of England’s University of Warwick led the study and told Gizmodo, “Our test is expected to improve the accuracy of ASD diagnosis from 60-70 percent currently achieved by experts in neurological disorders to approximately 90 percent accuracy and potentially offered at all well-equipped hospitals with or without high level expertise in neurological disorders.”
The study compared 38 children with autism and 31 who did not, at ages ranging from five to 12. Rabbani told the BBC the next step will be to look at younger children.
“We have the method, we have everything,” she said. “All we need to do is repeat it. I would really like to go forward with younger children, maybe two years, or even one year old. Then the next step will be to validate in a larger cohort. Then the tests will be ready for screening.”