LONDON: A group of scientists succeeded in developing a new test method to detect autism in babies and young children using only a strand of their hair.
Report Daily Mailthe test analyzed hair samples for levels of metals such as lead and aluminum, which are said to be higher in children with autism.
The test involved sending a hair sample to a laboratory for analysis and it proved to be able to detect autism accurately which was 81 percent during the review study.
The new test method is described as one of the best achievements by a group of researchers from the LinusBio company based in New York.
In fact, the method is currently being examined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States (US).
Some other scientists also described the method as the latest development in the difficult-to-diagnose health condition that now affects nearly 5.4 million US citizens and 700,000 British citizens.
This is because there is no standard test for autism, so doctors have to rely on the child’s developmental and behavioral history.
According to the group of scientists, the hair sample test should be used in conjunction with several other methods to obtain accurate results.
“We can now accurately detect autism using only about one centimeter of hair.
“The problem with autism is that it is diagnosed at the age of four, so at that time so much of the child’s brain development has already happened. Therefore, we want to detect it at an early stage,” said LinusBio CEO Manish Arora.
For the test, scientists first use a laser to remove the surface layer of the hair.
“They then use a second, more powerful laser along the hair strand before turning it into plasma.
“The sample was tested to detect the level of content linked to autism including metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic and zinc,” explained the report.
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