Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Urine test for autism

I'm not sure what to think about this article in Science Daily. It says researchers have found a chemical signature for autism in urine, leading to a simple test. It says further that
People with autism are also known to suffer from gastrointestinal disorders and they have a different makeup of bacteria in their guts from non-autistic people.
Today's research shows that it is possible to distinguish between autistic and non-autistic children by looking at the by-products of gut bacteria and the body's metabolic processes in the children's urine. The exact biological significance of gastrointestinal disorders in the development of autism is unknown.
Not knowing anything about these researchers (the lead author is head of the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London), I associate autism-gut bacteria discussions with Andrew Wakefield, but maybe there's something here. I mean, some researchers now think Pons and Fleisdhmann were onto something with cold fusion, but it's hard to give it a lot of credence because of the association.

But if it's true, then we may be able to diagnose autism at birth and intervene really early.

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