Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Autism Test

Although this study has scientific merit and advances our knowledge of autism, please don't get too excited regarding it's actual impact on diagnosing autism per se. Many neurological disorders (autism, schizophrenia, depression, etc.) have been hypothesized to have some immunological component. I'm not convinced that we will be able to use immune system markers to differentiate among the various disorders linked to infection and/or autoimmune abnormalities using today's technology. Maybe in the future this will be possible, but I don't want anyone getting their hopes up too soon.


At 10:27 AM, Blogger trisha said...

I'm not so sure about that article....there are plenty of signs that are observable much, much earlier. I knew when my son was between 8-9 months. And it isn't so much behaviors...it's something else. Not sure what I would call it. Maybe it is lack of behaviors.

It all just gives me a headache.

At 11:03 AM, Blogger she falters to rise said...

Most people believe that the neurological changes leading to Autism happen before birth, so it doesn't surprise me that you knew so early.

I think these immunological markers will suck as a diagnostic tool when examined in a more global environment, and I'm not even positive that a diagnostic tool is going to help parents that much--like you, most parents know something is different early on, well before diagnostic tools detect any abnormalities.

Don't be discouraged, though. The silver lining: Although the overarching goal of this study may not have been reached, I think the results verify that we should keep pursing hypotheses centered on in utero exposure to infections and environmental agents and that we should not overlook genes associated with immune function (or genes that are regulated by immune responses)when considering the "causes" for autism.

We'll get there someday...


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