Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) represents a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by impairments in social interaction, language, communication and range of interests. Autism is usually diagnosed in children 3-5 years of age using behavioral characteristics; thus, diagnosis shortly after birth would be beneficial for early initiation of treatment.
Aim: This retrospective study sought to identify newborns at risk for ASD utilizing bloodspot specimens in an immunoassay.
Materials & methods: The present study utilized stored frozen specimens from ASD children already diagnosed at 15-36 months of age. The newborn specimens and controls were analyzed by immunoassay in a multiplex system that included 90 serum biomarkers and subjected to statisical analysis.
Results: Three sets of five biomarkers associated with ASD were found that differed from control groups. The 15 candidate biomarkers were then discussed regarding their association with ASD.
Conclusion: This study determined that a statistically selected panel of 15 biomarkers successfully discriminated presumptive newborns at risk for ASD from those of nonaffected controls.