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Microbial Activity in the Mouth May Differentiate Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, New Research Suggests.

M2 PHARMA-August 20, 2018-Microbial Activity in the Mouth May Differentiate Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, New Research Suggests

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- New research suggests that shifts in the bacteria within a child's mouth could provide objective biomarkers for identifying autism spectrum disorder, US-based Quadrant Biosciences, Inc said.

The findings of this research, conducted by scientists from Penn State Medical Center, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and Quadrant Biosciences, Inc., catalyze development of a novel, saliva-based panel to aid clinicians in the early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

The new study, "Oral Microbe Activity in Autism," was published online by the journal Autism Research.

Previous research has suggested that bacteria living in the gastrointestinal tract may influence autistic behavior. Moreover, autism spectrum disorder is associated with several abnormalities related to the mouth and throat, including taste and texture aversions, speech difficulties and salivary transcriptome alterations.

In this study, researchers identified changes in the salivary microbiome of 346 children aged 2-6 years across three developmental profiles: ASD (n=180), non-autistic developmental delay, and typically developing children (n=106).

Saliva was collected via cheek swab from each study participant. RNA from actively transcribing microbes was sequenced, quantified and analyzed across the three groups of children.

ASD children with and without GI disturbances were also compared. The researchers found 12 groups of microbes to be altered between the development status groups and identified 28 groups that distinguished ASD patients with and without GI disturbances.

Five ratios of microbes distinguished ASD from TD children (79.5% accuracy), three distinguished ASD from DD (76.5% accuracy), and three distinguished ASD children with/without GI disturbance (85.7% accuracy). Interestingly, the microbial gene expression patterns associated with autism were implicated in energy processing.

Richard Uhlig, Founder and chief executive officer of Quadrant Biosciences and one of the co-authors of the study, noted that Quadrant is developing a saliva-based biomarker panel to aid clinicians in the earlier diagnosis of ASD.

Quadrant Biosciences is developing clinical assessment and molecular diagnostic tools to help physicians assess brain health and support more rapid accurate diagnoses of brain-based disorders.

The company's tests are expected to improve the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of serious health conditions including autism spectrum disorder, concussion and Parkinson's disease.

Quadrant is collaborating with leading research institutions and hospitals to develop novel saliva-based tests that measure epigenetic biomarkers related to gene expression patterns underlying these disorders.

Current products include the FDA-compliant ClearEdge toolkit for functional assessment of neurological disorders, and the Clarifi epigenetic biomarker panel in development to aim clinicians in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

Quadrant Biosciences is a participant in START-UP NY, a New York State economic development programme.

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Date:Aug 20, 2018
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