- An algorithm that
predicts autism uses 24 metabolites in
the blood to detect the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
- Observing the
symptoms as the child grows is the key for diagnosis but it is an obstacle
to early diagnosis and treatment.
- Autism does not
have a proper diagnostic test and so the predictive model using blood
metabolites can help in early detection of ASD.
algorithm based on levels of metabolites found in the
blood sample can accurately detect Autism spectrum
at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed the algorithm and it is
the first physiological test for autism.
‘Individual metabolites produced by the methionine cycle and the transulfuration pathways are associated with autism and is used in the algorithm to help in diagnosing autism.’
algorithm can tell whether or not an individual is on the Autism spectrum by
assessing 24 metabolites in the blood.
of looking at individual metabolites, we investigated patterns of several
metabolites and found significant differences between metabolites of children
with ASD and those that are neurotypical. These differences allow us to
categorize whether an individual is on the Autism spectrum," said Juergen
Hahn, lead author, systems biologist, professor, and head of the Rensselaer
Department of Biomedical Engineering.
different patterns in metabolites is found to be relevant to two connected
cellular pathways and a series of interactions between molecules that control
cell function that are related to ASD.
the methionine cycle which is linked to several cellular functions, including
DNA methylation and epigenetics. The other one is the transulfuration pathway
which results in the production of the antioxidant glutathione, decreasing
is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Spectrum Disorder is a development disorder that affects approximately 1.5
percent of individuals. Autism typically appears during the first two
years of life. It affects the brain's normal development of social and
with autism have difficulty in communication and social interaction. They often
come across as those who remain engrossed with restricted and repetitive
behavior patterns. No two people with autism will have exactly the same
symptoms. Therefore, health care providers think of autism as a 'spectrum'
shows that early intervention can improve development, but mostly ASD is not
diagnosed until age 4. Clinical observation is the key for diagnosis, but it is an obstacle to early diagnosis and treatment.
application of Fisher Discriminant Analysis - a big data analysis technique was
used to generate a predictive algorithm that analyses data.
metabolites produced by the methionine cycle and the transulfuration pathways
are associated with ASD but the correlation has been inconclusive.
we did everything possible to make the model independent of the data, I am very
optimistic we will be able to replicate our results with a different
cohort," said Hahn, a member of the Rensselaer Center for Biotechnology
and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS). "This is the first physiological
diagnostic and it's highly accurate and specific."
lot of studies have looked at one biomarker, one metabolite, one gene, and have
found some differences, but most of the time those differences weren't
statistically significant or the results could not be reliably
replicated," Hahn said.
contribution is using big data techniques that are able to look at a suite of
metabolites that have been correlated with ASD and make statistically a much
Hahn's innovative work to improve the diagnosis for Autism as well as other
ongoing efforts to advance diagnostics and develop new treatments for
Alzheimer's and neurodegenerative diseases at CBIS show how new breakthroughs
in health care are possible when we focus our work at the interface between
traditional boundaries," said Deepak Vashishth, director of the CBIS.
these pathways are different, what happens if I can manipulate the pathway so
that it works similarly to the neurotypical ones?" said Hahn. "What
do I need to prod? Which molecules do I need to add or take away? Having a
model that describes these pathways makes it a lot easier to adjust them."
Facts and Statistics on
Ways To Identify Autism
- Autism spectrum
disorder occurs in 1 in 160 children worldwide.
- Prevalence in
many low-and middle-countries is still unknown.
- The Centre for
Disease Control and Prevention reports 1 in 68 children in the United
States to have autism-related disorders. This has increased compared to a
number of 1 in 88 kids in 2012.
- Autism is more
often diagnosed in boys than girls.
- It is estimated
that prevalence is increasing globally due to awareness, better diagnostic
tools and criteria and better reporting.
If the child does not do most of the
things mentioned in the list, the chances of autism could be high and requires
or baby talk by 12 months
out things by the end of first year.
a word by the middle of the second year.
two-word sentences by the end of two years
to their own name
Specialists like a developmental
pediatrician, a child psychologist or psychiatrist or a speech-language
pathologist can assess cognitive and language abilities and age appropriate
skills needed to perform daily self chores.
blood test for autism - (https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-03/rpi-abt031617.php)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder - (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-asd/index.shtml?utm_source=rss_readersutm_medium=rssutm_campaign=rss_full)
- What Is Autism? - (https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism)