Can Your Baby's Teeth Predict Autism?

Can Your Baby's Teeth Predict Autism?

New research suggests babies’ teeth, which develop long before they emerge, can help predict autism.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is an extremely common developmental disability with approximately one in 59 children being diagnosed. As with any special needs condition, early detection is essential. We already know that certain types of ovarian condition increase the chances of your child developing autism, but what if the composure of your child's teeth could be an early indicator of ASD? Here are the facts on how your baby's teeth can relate to autism.

It sounds like something out of a science-fiction movie, but researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City say they’ve discovered a test to help detect autism spectrum disorder.

How is this possible? Teeth begin to form as early as late in the first trimester of pregnancy, and when they begin to grow, they form growth rings—much like those in trees. And according to researchers, it’s those markers that can predict the emergence of autism. 

“What we found was that even before we are born, certain, essential elements are not metabolized or regulated well in those children who end up developing autism,” says Dr. Manish Arora of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “The two elements that we found to be most dysregulated are zinc and copper.”

This copper and zinc dysregulation can be found by drilling tiny holes through baby teeth and analyzing the way those elements are embedded in the growth rings of teeth.
This discovery is important, because it allows for early detection—something experts say plays a vital role in how high-functioning an individual with autism is.

“We can hopefully develop an early warning system, a biomarker or an assay, a test that allows us to tell mothers and fathers that their child is perhaps at higher risk,” Arora said.


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