Metabolic Test
 /  Metabolic Test

METABOLISM & AUTISM

In our research of autism and metabolism, we have found connections between the way some children process certain proteins and the likelihood that the child will be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

A simple blood test has been developed that can identify metabolic imbalances. An imbalance in one or more of the metabolic subtypes (or metabotypes) we measure means the child has a 94% chance of an ASD diagnosis.

THIS TEST COULD LEAD TO AN EARLIER AUTISM DIAGNOSIS

The metabotypes were identified in a clinical study, called the Children’s Autism Metabolome Project (CAMP), of about 1,100 children, 18-48 months old.

The average age of ASD diagnosis in the United States is over 4 years old.1 Psychological testing usually doesn’t begin until 24 months old.

That means our metabolic test can identify children with ASD up to 6 months earlier than behavioral testing, and nearly 3 years earlier than the US average.

A child who has delayed development that could be associated with autism is a good candidate for this test. One tool that pediatricians use as a first check for this type of delay is the M-CHAT (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers). Contact your child’s pediatrician for more information about the M-CHAT.

Children develop skills like walking and talking at different time, so some pediatricians may suggest a “wait and see” approach when a child shows delays. Unfortunately, this is not optimal for a child with autism because an earlier diagnosis and treatment is important for their short- and long-term development.

“Wait and see” can be frustrating for parents, too. It’s tough to consider waiting it out when their child needs help.  What if something could be done right now? Wouldn’t that be a better choice?

That’s where NeuroPointDX comes in. Our metabolic test is an alternative to “wait and see.” If the test comes back positive, a pediatrician could make the referral to a psychologist with sound scientific support that further testing could benefit the child—and should be performed sooner than later.

Research shows that the earlier a child receives an ASD diagnosis, the better. Treatment can begin sooner, leading to better outcomes for the child for years to come. NeuroPointDX’s test has been developed for children as young as 18 months of age.

NeuroPointDX’s ASD Panel is an additional tool that parents and physicians can use to reach a diagnosis sooner. It can be used in combination with other tools, like genetic tests and evaluation for co-occurring disorders like Fragile X or Attention Deficit Disorder, to build a more complete picture of the child’s autism profile and how it should be treated.

Another advantage of the NeuroPointDX ASD Panel is that it’s an objective test. A blood test isn’t open to interpretation and debate the same way that a behavioral evaluation is. Two different psychologists could evaluate the same child and come to different conclusions about whether the child should be diagnosed with autism. There’s less gray area in a blood test, which can help support a behavioral diagnosis or serve as supporting evidence to receive psychological testing in the first place.

Our metabolic test measures amine levels, so you may wonder if a basic amino acid test is sufficient. An amino acid test does provide some information, but doesn’t tell the whole story. The NeuroPointDX team has developed algorithms that evaluate the amino acids in relation to one another, resulting in a diagnosis of a metabolic imbalance. Levels of individual amino acids are not, on their own, indicative of a higher risk of ASD.

It’s important to understand that a “negative” result does not necessarily mean that a child won’t be diagnosed with ASD. We have uncovered several metabotypes, which together account for about 30% of children with ASD. Please know that the NeuroPointDX team is working hard to identify more metabotypes so we can help more children and families impacted by autism.

For children who receive a positive result, the physician and family can work together to obtain an official behavioral ASD diagnosis from a specialist. A positive result on the ASD Panel could also justify beginning treatment before a behavioral diagnosis is conferred. The physician may also request other testing, depending on the specific symptoms and needs of the child.

Multiple studies have shown that earlier diagnosis leads to earlier interventions, which can mean better outcomes for children with ASD.2-4

This is our ultimate goal—help children receive an earlier autism diagnosis.

SOUNDS GREAT! HOW CAN I GET THIS TEST NOW? 

ASD Panel v. 1.0 is our first-generation diagnostic blood test for autism. It will become widely available soon. In the meantime, we are looking for physicians and families to participate in our Beta Program.

Beta Program Details

We are making this test available to a limited number of patients in the coming weeks, prior to the wider release that will follow. Throughout the Beta Program, we will evaluate the documents and processes used to order the test, collect and ship the sample, and deliver the results.

Our evaluation and your feedback will help us make adjustments before the broader release. You can help us make this test better!

The ASD Panel test and shipping will be provided at no charge during the Beta Program, but due to federal guidelines, we are unable to cover the cost of the blood draw and processing to blood plasma.

Because a positive result is indication of a metabolic dysregulation/imbalance AND a strong indicator of an ASD diagnosis, the following are good candidates for this test:

  1. Any child > 18 months of age who has recently failed an M-CHAT
  2. Children 18-48 months old with siblings previously diagnosed with autism
  3. Children with diagnosed autism for which you may want to:
    1. Try to obtain objective confirmation of ASD diagnosis
    2. Identify metabolic dysregulation for which parents or health care professionals could research possible interventions such as dietary adjustments

Contact us for more information if you’re interested in participating in the Beta Program.

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
  2. Fernell, Elisabeth, et al: Early diagnosis of autism and impact on prognosis: a narrative review. Clinical Epidemiology. 2013; 5: 33-43.
  1. Rogers, Sally et al: Evidence-based comprehensive treatments for early autism. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology. 2008; 8-38.
  2. Corsello, Christina: Early intervention in autism. Infants & Young Children. 2005: 18: 74-85.

(608) 441-8187

504 S. Rosa Rd. Suite 150
Madison, WI 53719

contact@NeuroPointDx.com

FOLLOW US