Autism Spectrum Disorder has been for long found to be significantly higher among male children than female children. In most cases the diagnosis takes a while and most parents are able to identify the autistic traits by the time the child is 2-3 years of age.
According to the study published in the JAMA Psychiatry online magazine, it has been seen that identifying autism in a toddler is challenging because of the ‘genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity of the disorder’. In the process the parents and the child both lose significant time, that could have been otherwise used to treat the symptoms of Autism.
The new study conducted by San Diego School of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience in University of California, along with researchers from other international institutes aimed at finding a ‘functional genomic approach‘ to identify the presence of autistic traits in infants and toddlers aged as young as a year.
Using Illumina microarrays the researchers studied the leukocyte RNA levels in male children aged 1-4 years. The children were grouped in two sections consisting of 142 discovery participants along with 73 replication participants.