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Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect about 9 to 161 in 10,000 children worldwide(1). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates at it could be as high as 3% of children(2). It is a collection of conditions that affect how children interact and communicate. Some children may also have a range of other disabilities including speech disturbances, repetitive and/or compulsive behaviours, hyperactivity, anxiety, and difficulty to adapt to new environments, and learning difficulties.

A research collaboration between the United Kingdom and Italian scientists found higher levels of the following chemicals in the blood and urine of children with ASD: advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs), Nε-carboxymethyl-lysine (CML) and Nω-carboxymethylarginine (CMA), and increased oxidation damage marker, dityrosine (DT)(3).

This test presents the possibility of a quicker diagnosis of ASD, thereby allowing children to get the help they need earlier. Currently, if a parent thinks that their child has autism, they must wait until the child is old enough to undertake a series of communication and behavioural assessments. This method may not give an accurate diagnosis due to the complex nature of ASD. However, a blood or urine test could give a definitive diagnosis within a few days.