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    Genetic Testing for Autism

    Genetic Testing in Autism: Precision Medicine for Mental Health


    Genetic Testing Can Optimize Mental Health for Autism Care.

    As the parent of a child with autism, you are probably devoted to finding the best possible care for your child, to help them have a good life, and achieve their highest level of functioning.

    Over the last twenty years, incredible advances in the science of genetics have made one thing clear: your child’s DNA holds many insights into how we can optimize their mental health—and genetic testing is the key to unlocking them.

    Genetic Testing in Autism

    Precision Medicine through Genetic Testing

    Since 2013, we’ve used genetic testing to help thousands of our patients, including many hundreds of children, by analyzing how their personal genome plays a role in their mental health—and to use precision medicine to build a treatment plan tailored to their unique genetic and epigenetic blueprint. We are nationally recognized experts in the use of genetic testing to help our patients, including those with neurodevelopmental conditions.

    The Importance of Genetic Testing in Autism

    The science of evaluating and treating children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is rapidly advancing. We are proud to be at the forefront of those advances, including the use of scientifically validated, cutting edge laboratory tests such as the Folate Receptor Antibody Test (FRAT), Genomind’s PGx, and IntellxxDNA’s Neurodevelopmental Panel. These panels provide treatment guidance to help “turn off” genes that worsen the symptoms and behaviors of patients suffering from autism, and “turn on” genes that improve social skills, communication and language abilities, cognitive processing, and behavioral control.

    We never test a child for the presence of a gene unless the findings result in scientifically validated interventions that can bring about meaningful clinical improvement.

    Iliad Neuroscience’s Folate Receptor Antibody Test (FRAT)

    A lack of folate in the brain, caused by antibodies to brain folate receptors, represents a recently discovered autoimmune disease prevalent in children with autism. Folate is a vitamin that is essential for DNA synthesis and repair, myelination, and production of neurotransmitters. Certain genetic variations in MTHFR, DNMT3A, and MTHFD2 genes are associated with this condition. Treating this condition with folinic acid may lead to improvement in verbal communication, as well as receptive and expressive language, attention, and stereotypical behavior. A commercially available test called the Folate Receptor Alpha Antibody Test (FRAT®) can help diagnose and treat this condition.

    Genomind’s PGx Genetic Test

    If the use of prescription medication is a consideration, the PGX genetic test leads to more precise prescribing. Clinical research demonstrates that this test helps patients feel better faster, at less cost.

    IntellxxDNA’s Neurodevelopmental Panel

    In many of our pediatric patients we use IntellxxDNA to help us understand the root causes of autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions, and how to achieve the highest possible improvement. 

    There are many genetic factors that contribute to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental conditions, that we test for and treat. Here are a few examples.

    • Various types of genes and other molecules that cause brain inflammation.
    • Genetic variants that cause damage to mitochondria (the power plants of cells, which also regulate the immune system, create hormones and many building blocks of cells, and much more).
    • Genes that relate to regulating the structure and functioning of neurons and synapses in the brain. 
    • Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) create variation in how nutrients are utilized within the cellular machinery that balance neurotransmitters, produce antioxidants, and repair our DNA.

    How Genetic Testing Guides Doctors in Treating Children with Autism

    The recommendations that come from IntellxxDNA genetic testing most often involve the highly targeted use of supplements and nutritional interventions to turn on and turn off specific genes for numerous psychiatric conditions. For example, in children suffering from ASD, OCD, ADHD, anxiety, depression, and/or behavior problems, treatment options may include supplements such as

    • CoQ10
    • Sulforaphane
    • Vitamin B12
    • Quercetin
    • Mitochondrial support nutrients
    • Zinc
    • And over 100 other nutrient interventions

    Using IntellxxDNA’ s genomics platform, we can assess with great precision the genes that are perpetuating emotional, cognitive and behavior problems, and come up with a precise treatment plan specifically designed for each child. Many children and their parents will notice improvement in symptoms within 2 months. 

    Here are some stories from the Journal of Personalized Medicine about how genetic testing improved the lives of children with ASD. 

    Explore how genetic testing can help your child’s mental health

    How genes help determine your mental health

    Your DNA holds valuable information about who you are, what you think, and how you react.



    Could a lack of nutrients contribute to worsening autism? Learn about the “FRAT Test”

    A new form of autoimmunity to brain cells, anti-folic acid receptor antibodies, can be easily diagnosed and treated, bringing about significant improvements in communication and overall behavior. 


    Autism and the Gut Microbiome

    Can your child’s gut microbiome improve or worsen their autism? Research suggests the answer is yes—but it’s complicated.


    Learn more about the Evaluation and Treatment of AutismSpectrum Disorders

    Learn More

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