Um teste de urine para crianças autistic?

por Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | June 07, 2010

In the study, autistic children were all diagnosed with full autism using the DSM-IV, the standard psychological manual for diagnoses. Nicholson said those with Asperger's, or milder versions of the disorder, were excluded.

"Asperger's is diagnosed much later, usually when they're teenagers," Nicholson said. "They're metabolically very different, fully sexually mature, with changes in hormones." There might be a separate set of biomarkers for that condition, he noted.

For a follow-up study, he wants to enroll more children and check them every day, or week, to get a better picture of their metabolic profile. Controlling the children's diet -- to ensure supplements or foods weren't interfering with the results -- while possibly hard to pull off, would also help bolster the findings.

The incidence of autistic spectrum disorders has nearly doubled over the last 30 years, from one out of 1,000 in 1980 to one out of 500 now, according to the Annual Review of Public Health, although no one is sure if the increase is caused simply by changes in how diagnoses are made.

Nicholson suspects that ultimately the cause for autism spectrum disorders will be a gene-environment interaction that affects development.

"Probably, we can only really solve the problems associated with autism by stepping back and looking at the whole mosaic and finding which bits of the pattern are really important," he said.

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