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.)