WASHINGTON - A large clinical trial is trying to determine if a simple blood test could diagnose autism.
Twenty institutions scattered across the country are enrolling more than 600 young children who have not been diagnosed with autism in the study.
The goal is create the first blood test that looks for biological markers associated with the disorder.
Participants will still need a behavioral evaluation by a trained expert, but researchers say a blood test could help doctors diagnose the disease when patients are still very young before autism symptoms are usually recognized.
Outside experts say it will be several years before this test - if it proves effective - would be used in a doctor's office.
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