Saliva-based autism test

Researchers in Italy have reported the discovery of abnormal proteins in the saliva of autism patients (analysed using mass spectrometry) that could eventually provide a clue for the molecular basis of this severe developmental disorder. They say that the discovery could be used as a biomarker for a sub-group of patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Writing in the January 2 issue of the Journal of Proteome Research Massimo Castagnola of Rome's Catholic University and colleagues explain how two-thirds of ASD children have at least one salivary peptide that differs from those without autism. Further testing and clinical trials will be required before the test becomes available.