A blood test for autism.

MedicalXpress reports that Swedish and Iranian researchers might have identified a way to diagnose autism physically, by checking biomarkers in blood plasma:

In the current study disruptions of the nervous system were in focus when the scientists studied protein patterns in autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

To identify potential biomarkers (peptides or proteins), the researchers performed a detailed protein analysis of blood plasma from children with ASD compared with a control group. Using advanced mass spectrometric methods, they succeeded in identifying peptides consisting of fragments of a protein whose natural function is in the immune system, the complement factor C3 protein.

The study is based on blood samples from a relatively limited group of children, but the results indicate the potential of our methodological strategy.

One of the trickiest things with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) so far has been diagnosing them, so it’d be interesting to see where this blood protein research leads.