Cell-El, Ltd. is striving to create a diagnostic test for ASD based on biomarkers. What are biomarkers? A biomarker is a biological indicator that can be measured and tells us something about a normal or abnormal biological state or a response to a therapeutic intervention or drug. For example – you can do a blood test and see that your hemoglobin is low and know that you are lacking iron. Hemoglobin is a biomarker for iron in the blood. Biomarkers could be measures in the blood, urine, stool or measures on tests such as an MRI, CT, EEG, et cetera. They are objective measures which can be measured with precision.
Despite all of our gains in understanding of individuals on the Autism spectrum, diagnosis of ASD has not changed significantly in decades. Until now, ASD diagnosis has been made using primarily psychological observational evaluations. As much as these tests are created to have high inter-rater reliability (meaning that two different professionals performing the same evaluation on the same child would have similar results) these are subjective measures that lack scientific precision. In addition, these evaluations rely on the active participation of the child which can also vary and requires them to be of a minimum age to demonstrate the skills being observed. In sum, observational diagnosis of ASD is costly, time consuming and may delay effective interventions (for more information see: Screening and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder).
At Cell-El, Ltd. we are trying to change the world of ASD diagnosis, introducing science-based diagnostic tests for ASD that can be undertaken at an early stage and do not require a child’s participation. The immune dysfunction biomarkers we are looking at are found primarily by taking a small blood sample; we are also including biomarkers in the urine and stool. (As discussed earlier, there is much evidence that many children with ASD also suffer from immune dysfunction). (See previous Cell-El ASD blog posts and Neonatal Cytokine Profiles Associated With Autism Spectrum Disorder) These biomarkers are produced by the body and can also change based on therapeutic intervention, e.g., perhaps, Stem Cell treatment. We want to understand what clinical picture is found in most children with ASD – different than those who are neurotypical. We also want to see how these biomarkers co-relate to the psychological/ behavioral evaluations that are normally used in diagnostics of ASD.
We understand that having a diagnostic tool that clinicians can use at a young age and is objective will enable early intervention and treatment which is key. In order to provide this much needed tool to the clinicians and families they are helping- we need your help!
Please join us in making a difference in the lives of children with ASD and their families! We are recruiting both participants who are typically developing as well as those dIagnosed with ASD. We are also looking for parents to help spread the word to others and thus enable this important tool to be integrated into Autism treatment as quickly as possible. And we want to hear from you about your concerns and challenges relating to ASD testing and related therapies. To contact us and learn more – please click here