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Swedish research leads to 'autism blood test'

Swedish research leads to 'autism blood test'

Published: 29 Mar 2012 15:47 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Mar 2012 15:47 GMT+02:00

Soon parents may be able to perform a simple blood test to determine whether or not their children have autism, thanks to new findings from Swedish researchers.

The findings, which are a result of research by Linnaeus and Kalmar universities, was completed with the help of Jonas Bergquist from Uppsala University, and has been published in Nature's Translational Psychiatry journal.

"What we've found is a way to potentially determine whether a child is autistic based on their blood sample," Bergquist told The Local.

"It comes down to the metabolizing of a specific protein, or rather, a part of that protein, a process which differs between children who have autism and those who don't. We have been able to measure these proteins and monitor their effects."

Bergquist is quick to point out that he doesn't see autism as a disease to be "cured", rather that it is a different type of personality that can be supported and cared for quicker and earlier.

He pointed out that society, and in particular schools, will benefit from such information, as they will be able to work with the information and support those affected by autism.

In the long run, Bergquist hopes that further developments will help scientists to understand autism and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

He added that another goal would be to make the blood test simpler and potentially available to everyone.

"At the moment, it's not something you can just go and buy at the drug store. But it would be great if we could eventually get to that," he told The Local.

Autism is a neural development disorder which affects social interaction and communication capabilities. Some 9,000 school children in Sweden have some form of autism, according to the Swedish autism association.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:51 March 29, 2012 by JulieLou40
That would be great. My son is possibly autistic but we've not had it confirmed. To know for sure with a simple blood test would set our minds at rest.
17:10 March 29, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
I don't know how soon they mean by "Soon" (first line of article) but research has been going on elsewhere in the world: in the UK for example, they are expecting such a blood test to be available in 2013.

An even bigger problem is in getting acceptance of what exactly 'autism' is, among many in society
21:07 March 29, 2012 by Baned
What's the difference with this and a Triple/Quad Screening that's been readily available in other countries?
01:52 March 30, 2012 by VicTaulic
That would be good. Find out early, then put them up for adoption.
03:34 March 30, 2012 by Da Goat
what a logical question?

if they have a blood test for it then they also now have the cause which means they can make a cure for it ! (or at least a treatment)

or the blood test is fake!
17:24 March 30, 2012 by Lemanic
The New Adventures of Eugenics is right here.

Wonder what Jan Björklund would do with it.

Make sure that the elite schools are "clean" enough?
03:36 April 1, 2012 by victor pavlovic
Very good, how about you use that blood test to do a vaccinated versus non-vaccinated study, to rule out vaccines, so that we may move on if its not the case, currently there isn't enough evidence to rule out vaccines, unless you use the Big Pharmaceutical Companies research which most parents don't trust!
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