Simple Test May Help Diagnose Autism Early

Stomach microbes could signal onset at 6 months old
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Suggested by Disillusioned
Posted Jun 7, 2010 3:45 PM CDT
In a Jan. 13, 2010, photo, technician Carole Glavicich mixes urine samples at the National Scientific Research Institute in Laval, Quebec.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)
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(Newser) – Children with and without autism show marked differences in the makeup of their intestinal bacteria, and a simple urine test may help doctors diagnose the condition in children as young as 6 months old. Children typically aren't diagnosed until they're 2, delaying the start of intervention and other treatments. With the earlier diagnosis, "it might become a preventable disease," the author of a new study tells the Telegraph.

The findings are preliminary: the researchers need to replicate the results in young children to ultimately develop a safe test. The new research involved just 75 children. "Before these findings could be applied more widely," cautions an autism advocate, "they would need to be tested and scrutinized on a much broader scale."
(Read more autism stories.)

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