Toward a long-sought saliva test for autism

Jan 12, 2009

Researchers in Italy are reporting discovery of abnormal proteins in the saliva of autism patients that could eventually provide a clue for the molecular basis of this severe developmental disorder and could be used as a biomarker for a subgroup of patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Their study is in the January 2 issue of ACS' Journal of Proteome Research.

Autism involves social withdrawal, impaired emotional responses and communication skills, and other symptoms. With no laboratory test available, scientists are searching for biomarkers such as abnormal proteins that appear in the body fluids of individuals with autism that may provide a way to accurately diagnose autism and track its response to potential treatments.

Massimo Castagnola, Irene Messana, Maria Giulia Torrioli and Fiorella Gurrieri, compared proteins in the saliva of 27 children with ASD to those in a control group without ASD. They discovered that at least one of four proteins in 19 children in the ASD group had significantly lower levels of phosphorylation. That key body process activates proteins so that they can work normally. The results suggest that these abnormal proteins might be the clue for anomalies in the phosphorylation of proteins involved in development of central nervous system in early infancy that are involved in ASD.

Article: "Hypo-Phosphorylation of Salivary Peptidome as a Clue to the Molecular Pathogenesis of Autism Spectrum Disorders", pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/p… ll/10.1021/pr8004088

Source: ACS

Explore further: New molecule puts scientists a step closer to understanding hydrogen storage

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Autistic mice act a lot like human patients

Sep 29, 2011

UCLA scientists have created a mouse model for autism that opens a window into the biological mechanisms that underlie the disease and offers a promising way to test new treatment approaches.

New study presents surprising view of brain formation

Feb 09, 2011

Embargoed by the journal Neuron until February 9, 2011, noon, Eastern time – A study from The Scripps Research Institute has unveiled a surprising mechanism that controls brain formation. The findings have implications ...

Recommended for you

A new approach to creating organic zeolites

Jul 24, 2014

Yushan Yan, Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Delaware, is known worldwide for using nanomaterials to solve problems in energy engineering, environmental sustainability and electronics.

User comments : 0