Scientists have developed a groundbreaking new test that can detect autism in babies from a single hair.
A new test that can predict developmental disorders years before symptoms appear looks for the presence of certain metals that are common in people with autism.
A study found that by analyzing a single hair, scientists can predict autism in babies with 81% accuracy.
There is currently no standard test for this condition. Instead, doctors should base their decisions on the child’s past and current behavior.
On average, children with autism in the UK are diagnosed at the age of 6, and girls are often diagnosed longer.
Test creators at LinusBio, a US startup, argue the innovation could help doctors identify autism in young children before they miss developmental milestones.
Manish Arora, co-founder and CEO of the company, told NBC News:
“The problem with autism is that it’s diagnosed at the average age of 4. By that time, a lot of brain development has already occurred.
“We want to enable early intervention.”
New autism research shows that the sooner a child receives a diagnosis and receives help, the better chances they have of learning and progressing.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an incurable, lifelong developmental disorder that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.
It affects about 1 in 100 people in the UK and is three to four times more common in boys than girls.
The results were published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, and the developers are now working on a new, expanded study of 2,000 people.
The exact cause is unknown, but it can occur as a result of many genetic, environmental, and unknown factors.
Many scientists believe that children inherit certain genes from their parents that predispose them to ASD.
Other researchers argue that these genes are only triggered when exposed to certain environmental factors.
What are the signs and symptoms of autism?
The NHS has outlined the symptomatic signs of autism spectrum disorders in school-aged children.
- prefers to avoid using spoken language
- Speech that sounds very monotonous or monotonous
- Speak in pre-learned phrases instead of combining individual words to create new sentences
- Appears to be talking to people instead of sharing a two-way conversation
Dealing with others
- Takes people’s words literally, unable to understand sarcasm, metaphors, and metaphors
- reacts unusually negatively when others ask them to do something
interact with others
- Is unaware of other people’s personal space or unusually intolerant of others entering their own personal space
- Has little interest in interacting with other people, including children their own age, or few close friends despite trying to form friendships
- Does not understand how people normally interact socially, such as greetings and goodbyes
- Inability to adapt tone and content of speech to different social situations – for example, speaking very formally at a party but speaking to strangers in a familiar way.
- Does not enjoy situations or activities that most children their age enjoy
- Uses few gestures or facial expressions when communicating
- avoid eye contact
- Repetitive motions such as flapping hands, rocking back and forth, flicking fingers
- Repetitive and unimaginative play style, often preferring to play with objects rather than people
- have a very specific interest in a particular subject or activity
- Likes familiar Dailies, but gets very upset when there are changes to her regular Dailies
- A strong liking or dislike for certain foods based not only on taste but also on texture and color
- Abnormal sensory interest – For example, children with ASD may sniff toys, objects, or people inappropriately.