American research analysts, experts in the field of Autism claim to have discovered a “genetic signature” for children with communication disorders. The “signature” is made up of networks of genes with a unique communication between them that can be identified by a simple blood test.

Researchers from University of San Diego are currently developing a simple blood test for detection of autism in the first year of a child’s life.  This early detection could enhance the success of treatments.

Tomorrow, at an international conference, Professor Eric Courchesne, head of the research center for autism at the University of San Diego, will present the latest findings of his teams’ research: early detection of autism through the “genetic signature”. This same “signature” is said to yield detection through a simple blood test that they are trying to make available in the next two years.

The research facility

The research facility Photography: Reuters

Better treatments at a younger age: “this discovery really changes the landscape of our understanding of the causes, and of the effective treatments,” said Professor Courchesne. “This will lead to much better treatments at a much younger age”.

He said that the “gene networks” common in autism were identified for the first time, and it seems as if, “during the fourth, firth and sixth months of pregnancy, these genes disrupt the normal development of brain cells”.

 “We have also identified several gene networks that constitute a biological signature of autism in babies as young as one year. We are developing a comprehensive blood test”. The professor and his team have been working on this project for six years, and have scanned the brains of more than 600 infants and toddlers aged one to four. This breakthrough discovery could help millions of future children get better treatments and have better lives.