Autism Spectrum Disorder: Beyond Behavioral Testing

A Bioengineering & Translational Medicine article, “Multivariate Techniques Enable a Biochemical Classification of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder versus Typically‐Developing Peers: A Comparison and Validation Study,” by Juergen Hahn of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY,  and 11 co-authors presents a study which compares “several different classification techniques applied to FOCM/TS metabolites with the purpose of evaluating these metabolites and the analysis techniques as potential biomarkers for ASD.”

The article’s author abstract states, “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder which is currently only diagnosed through behavioral testing. Impaired folate-dependent one carbon metabolism (FOCM) and transsulfuration (TS) pathways have been implicated in ASD, and recently a study involving multivariate analysis based upon Fisher Discriminant Analysis returned very promising results for predicting an ASD diagnosis."

A biochemical diagnostic for ASD

This article takes another step toward the goal of developing a biochemical diagnostic for ASD by comparing five classification algorithms on existing data of FOCM/TS metabolites, and also validating the classification results with new data from an ASD cohort.

The comparison results indicate a high sensitivity and specificity for the original data set and up to an 88% correct classification of the ASD cohort at an expected 5% misclassification rate for typically developing controls. These results form the foundation for the development of a biochemical test for ASD which promises to aid diagnosis of ASD and provide biochemical understanding of the disease, applicable to at least a subset of the ASD population.”

The Altmetric Attention Score

The article has a high Altmetric Attention Score of 199.

This Attention Score is in the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric. This is one of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#5 of 464). It is 98th percentile compared to outputs of the same age. It is 85th percentile compared to outputs of the same age and source. Learn more here


Altmetric has also seen 56 tweets on this article from seven countries online at There is also coverage across Facebook, Blogs, News, etc. The article has been added to Wikipedia as well.

More on Altmetrics

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Bioengineering & Translational Medicine focuses on ways chemical and biological engineering drive innovations and solutions that impact clinical practice and commercial healthcare products.

The journal also highlights scientific and technical breakthroughs currently in the process of clinical and commercial translation.

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