Study Advanced Gene Test Better At Detecting Autism

03.15.10 | FL News Team

An advanced gene test may be the best bet for spotting the genetic cause of a child's autism early on. The Children's Hospital of Boston has been offering a sensitive type of screening called chromosomal microarray analysis as part of its standard autism work-up since 2006. A study by the hospital and the Boston-based Autism Consortium found it was three times more effective at detecting genetic abnormalities linked to autism than other standard gene tests. The researchers hope the figures will convince health insurers to cover CMA tests as part of the first round of screenings doctors use to look for the genetic cause of a child's autism. Parents often rely on such gene tests to determine their risk of having another autistic child and to get early intervention for siblings who may be too young to be formally diagnosed with autism. The study is published in the journal "Pediatrics."