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article imageTest predicts the risk of getting Autism Spectrum Disorder

By Melissa Horrocks     Sep 22, 2012 in Health
Living with an autistic child can be difficult both emotionally and physically. They test a parent's patience and behave in ways that are difficult to understand. Socially, it is hard, for the autistic child to fit in.
Australian researchers have now discovered a genetic test that predicts the risk of getting Autism Spectrum Disorder. Mothers can have the test to assess the risk for developing the disorder, according to Lead researcher Professor Stan Skafidas, Director of the Centre for Neural Engineering at the University of Melbourne.
The test could help with early diagnosis of the condition in babies and help manage the condition once it is diagnosed. It is also extremely helpful for families that have a history of autism or related conditions like Aspergers, said Skafidas, according to The Times Of India.
The test correctly predicted autism with an astounding 70 per cent accuracy in individuals of central European descent. Further validation testing is being continued as well as the development of precise tests for other ethnic groups.
I am more than Autism
I am more than Autism
The test is significant because children will have earlier intervention measures that will help them progress. By receiving early intervention behavior and functioning can be improved. Dr Testa said that it can be an awful process for parents and children waiting for a diagnosis and they want to remove that stress.
There are some genetic markers that can increase a person's risk of developing autism. With this new discovery, it is hoped that specific drugs can be developed to turn genes on or off to help the disorder, according to Theage.com.
Researchers discovered 237 genetic markers in 146 genes that were responsible for or protected a person from getting autism. There are validation tests being continued, reports theconversation.edu.au.
More about Autism, autism spectrum disorders, Test, New research, Scientists