Saliva test to help diagnose autism now on market

SYRACUSE, New York (WPVI) -- A test to help detect autism through saliva is now on the market.

Penn State's Hershey Medical College and the SUNY Upstate Medical University helped develop the Clarifi ASD test.

It measures the way genes express themselves and bacteria in the digestive tract, in hopes of identifying a child with autism earlier.

"Without requiring a thorough behavioral assessment that could take a year and a half to two years to get an appointment to perform," said research leaders Dr. Frank Middleton of SUNY Upstate Medical University, pointing out the major drawback to current diagnostic techniques.

Dr. Middleton has been working on the project for six years.

The research is still going on. However, the need for diagnostic help was so high, Quadrant Bio-Sciences, the company behind the test, released it earlier this month to give more children access.

"Our whole goal with Clarify SD is to change the average age of diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder from the fifth year of life to hopefully the second or third year of life," said Richard Uhling, the CEO of Quadrant Biosciences Inc.

Dr. Middleton says studies show, if early intervention is started, almost half the children will be indistinguishable from their peers by second grade.

An earlier diagnosis would enable earlier intervention, and help more kids get into mainstream classes sooner

For more information on Clarifi ASD, CLICK HERE.
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