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The MAR Test is a non-invasive, simple blood test that will identify women who have an increased risk of having a child with autism. It currently measures eight (8) specific autoantibodies that have been linked to a form of autism that represents up to 20% of all diagnosed cases, or approximately 1 in 500 live births. Its suggested use is for women prior to becoming pregnant as a family planning tool, or immediately after giving birth to allow early behavioral intervention for the newborn.
The MAR Test is designed to detect specific autoantibodies that are directed against certain fetal brain proteins. The presence of these specific antibodies appears to be found only in mothers who have had a child with autism.
The immune system is charged with identifying and destroying unwanted assailants. One part of that defense system consists of molecules produced by white blood cells called antibodies. Antibodies protect the body by tagging unwanted invaders for destruction and removal. Sometimes, the immune system mistakenly produces antibodies to the body’s own tissues. These are termed ‘autoantibodies’. In such autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, myasthenia gravis and Grave's disease, antibodies are produced to the body’s own tissues.
The MAR Test is an informational test that will determine if an individual has autoantibodies to specific fetal brain proteins.
The MAR antibody test should be ordered on three types of “at risk” women : 1) Women of child-bearing age who have already had a child with autism, 2) Mothers of young children in need of a diagnosis for their child’s perceived developmental delay, and 3) Women over the age of 30 who are at least 2 times more likely to give birth to an autistic child.
The MAR Test is currently in development, with the plan for commercial availability in the first half of 2013. If you would like your name placed on an email list to get updates on our progress, please provide your email address here.
If you are interested in participating in the final development of the MAR Test prior to its commercial launch, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.