Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Test Could Spot Autism at Birth

I'm back from vacation - very busy at work, so posting may be spotty for the next several weeks. This article is making the rounds.
"Previous studies noted the presence of "trophoblast inclusions" -- an indicator of cellular abnormality -- in the placenta as a marker for Asperger Syndrome, an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine studied the placentas of 13 children diagnosed with ASD to determine if there was a similar marker.
Compared to the placentas of 61 healthy children, the 13 placentas of Asperger-affected children were three times more likely to have trophoblast inclusions, the Yale team found.
"We knew that trophoblast inclusions were increased in cases of chromosome abnormalities and genetic diseases, but we had no idea whether they would be significantly increased in cases of ASD," study author Dr. Harvey J. Kliman, research scientist in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale, said in a prepared statement. "These results are consistent with studies by others who have shown that ASD has a clear genetic basis," Kliman said.
Results of the study are published in the June 26 online issue of Biological Psychiatry. The researchers said they expected to further examine the presence of trophoblast inclusions as an indicator of ASD in future studies, with a larger study base and more in-depth analysis."

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