New test method allows diagnosing autism from a blood sample with 97% accuracy

A group of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (USA) has published a paper that describes a reliable set of biomarkers in human blood that can indicate signs of autism spectrum disorder. Clinical studies have confirmed that this complex disease can already be diagnosed in 97.6% of cases by blood tests. Or with a probability of 96% to prove its absence, if there is no illness.

The main problem in diagnosing autism is the mandatory study of the patient's behavioral characteristics, which poses enormous difficulties when working with infants. Scientists around the world are looking for alternative signs, even if they are not the most accurate - but they can be studied under a microscope, and not in a psychiatrist's office. The new study describes just such a criterion - a complex of 24 metabolites that can be analyzed algorithmically to conclude that autism is present.

The problem is that the methodology is based not on scientific information, but on statistical information. Researchers have no idea how these 24 metabolites are associated with the development of autism, they only state that they are present in both explicit and implicit patients. Although in practice everything depends on the accuracy of data collection - when compared with another large-scale clinical trial, it turned out that there are only 22 metabolites-markers. In addition, the tests were taken from patients aged 3-10 years, but what happens in the body of very young autists?

At this stage, there is no talk of creating a new method for diagnosing autism, scientists have only made an important step in this direction, but they do not know how long it will take to work. So far, we can only state an important fact - autism can be detected through a blood test.