Duquesne University Researchers Fight Autism

Search for Blood Test to Identify Children at Risk

Joe DeStio
February 21, 2020 - 3:28 pm
Groundbreaking work at Duquesne University is making advances in the diagnosis and treatment of autism.

Getty Images

Categories: 

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020KDKA) - Groundbreaking work at Duquesne University is making advances in the diagnosis and treatment of autism.

Dr. Howard Kingston says the problem has been doctors couldn't treat autism without a diagnosis, but by that time a child's brain had already been damaged.

"Trying to heal a brain after the brain itself has been damaged is of course much more difficult because those are the only cells you keep for your entire lifetime," said Kingston.

Kingston and Dr. Mark Faber at Duquesne have identified markers in the blood indicating a weakened immune system. They think toxins in the environment cause some people to develop autism.

"We now have maybe 10,000 new organic chemicals thrown into the environment every year," according to Kingston.

"The goal of our research was to find these biomarkers, we have approximately 21 now, where a doctor could use it to actually diagnose if a child is headed in that direction," said Kingston.
If caught early, they believe damage to the brain might be avoided.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report one in 50 children now have Autism Spectrum Disorder, compared to one in 150 as recently as 2001.

___
Follow KDKA Radio: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Listen to KDKA Radio on the Radio.com App - Download Now