Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to analyse the children's urine, they found that each of these groups had a distinct chemical fingerprint, with clear and significant differences between children with autism and unrelated controls.[...]
Autism is currently diagnosed using a series of behavioural tests, and while children can show symptoms of the condition when as young as 5 months old, a clear diagnosis is not usually possible until they are age 2 or 3 years. This is problematic, because there is growing evidence that the earlier behavioural therapies for autism are started, the better the chances of children being able to lead relatively normal lives.
"If you could identify kids who were at risk much earlier by a chemical test rather than by observing the manifestation of full-blown behaviour, we could get them into therapy much earlier," says Nicholson.
Link via Popular Science | Photo: CDC
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