A Blood Test For Autism?

Earlier this week, I showed you how parents and physicians can better recognize the behavioral signs of autism far more quickly. Can you imagine determining autism with a blood test? New studies presented at a pair of scientific conferences over the past month have demonstrated there may be a way to do just that.

Two studies were conducted by scientists at the University of California, Davis. One compared blood samples from 56 children (ages 2-5), of which more than half suffer from autism, mixed with toxins and bacteria. Scientists discovered autistic patients had lower cytokine (immune signaling protein) levels and irregular responses to a plant protein that non-autistic patients didn't have.

The second University of California group compared blood samples from 70 autistic children (ages 4-6) with those of 35 other children. Autistic kids had 20 percent more B (immune system) cells and 40 percent more natural killer cells in addition to other differences in proteins found in their blood.

A third study, unveiled at a conference last month in San Diego, provided more evidence of a specific marker in the blood of autistic children found in research I posed earlier this year: Low levels of active glutathione, as well as depleted levels of the amino acids needed to make it. Some 80 percent of autistic patients had notably low levels of glutathione in their blood, clearing the way for free radicals to rampage throughout their little bodies unchecked.

Despite their success, researchers admit a blood test that determines autism will be difficult and take a long time to develop. In the meantime, the best thing you can do for the health and future of your children to guard against autism is to protect them from needless exposure to mercury thanks to vaccines and air pollution. And don't forget to stay away from eating farm-raised fish!

Timesonline.co.uk May 5, 2005

Yahoo News May 5, 2005

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