[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Biological Markers Found in the Blood of Newborn Infants Who Later Develop Autism
New Hope for Screening Tool Development
Dr. Karin Nelson presented this important abstract titled Neuropeptides and Neurotrophins in Neonatal Blood of Children with Autism, Mental Retardation or Cerebral Palsy at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology held in San Diego, California last May.
A collaborative effort between the California Department of Health Services/California Birth Defects Monitoring Program and the National Institutes, the California Department of Developmental Services, California Department of Health Services/Genetic Disease Branch and the M.I.N.D. Institute, this study has shown findings that could provide hope for developing a new screening tool for autism.
By conducting laboratory tests on blood samples from newborn children the investigators found that children who were later diagnosed with autism or mental retardation, when compared to children without these conditions, had higher levels of four specific proteins (V.I.P., NT-4, CGRP and BDNF) crucial to nervous system development, at the time of birth.
The proteins selected for study were known to have a role in regulating growth and development of the brain during gestation and proteins that are known to contribute to long-term memory, learning and responses to sensory stimuli as these aspects of behavior are particularly important in autism.
Key Findings and Implications
Strikingly higher levels of four substances crucial in nervous system development in children with autism were found. The same high levels were seen in children with mental retardation, suggesting a similar biological process. Elevated levels of the four substances were found in 95% of children with autism and/or mental retardation. Children with cerebral palsy had biomarkers similar to healthy children.
If these findings are replicated in further studies, children who are at risk for these conditions can be identified very early and a various interventions tried. The investigators will confirm results by looking at blood samples from additional children. They want to develop a database of children with these conditions so that they can look at other ways in which they are alike or different in order to find additional clues about the causes.
Cure Autism Now is currently working with the investigators to provide additional funding for this crucial research as well as to allow them full use of the AGRE sample as one method of replicated results.
The complete New York Times article on these findings is available at http://www.nytimes.com Neuropeptides and Neurotrophins in Neonatal Blood of Children with Autism, Mental Retardation or Cerebral Palsy Karin B. Nelson, M.D., J.K. Grether, Ph.D., James M. Dambrosia, Ph.D., Lisa A. Croen, Ph.D., Ben F. Dickens, Ph.D., Robin L. Hansen, M.D., Terry M. Phillips, M.D.
More With Cure Autism Now
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.