Conducted at Clarkson University and State University and led by Clarkson University doctoral candidate Armand Gatien Ngounou Wetie the study analyzed saliva from children on, and off, the spectrum from ages 6-16. The research team used a process called mass spectrometry that looked at the protein levels in saliva.
“We found nine proteins that were significantly elevated in the saliva of the people with autism and three that were lower or even absent,” said head study lead Alisa G. Woods, Ph.D., a researcher at both Clarkson University and the SUNY Plattsburgh Center for Neurobehavioral Health to Psych Central.
Co-lead author and proteomics expert Costel C. Darie told Psych Central that:
“We are the first in the world who proposed a protein complex as a potential biomarker signature, which gives us information not only about the proteins, their relative quantities and their modifications, but also about their interactions with other proteins.”
While this study seems like a breakthrough, the researchers caution that more studies of this nature with larger populations need to be completed to really see if there is a connection between autism and elevated proteins in saliva.
Contributed by Audrey L. Hollingshead.