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Underlying autism issues becoming easier to uncover

Category: Autoimmune Diseases

It's not uncommon for parents to be baffled at first by strange behaviors in their children, but as blood tests and other procedures become more exacting and pick up on more kinds of illnesses, getting an accurate diagnosis is much easier. Understanding the underlying issues can help physicians better treat immediate symptoms, resulting in better overall care and quality of life.

A struggle for a cure
Syndromes that can strongly impact every aspect of a person's daily activity are important to pick up on quickly, especially when these could cause additional health problems later on. Autism is an illness that affects millions of Americans, but knowing whether a person has this condition or some other problem can be hard to diagnose without blood testing to see what the individual's particular status is. In some cases, this information can also be used to treat other underlying conditions as a result of the original ailment, The Daily Universe reported.

Brigham Young University researchers discovered that autism and Asperger's syndrome patients tend to have higher levels of anxiety and fear than other forms of mental illness. In the past, when clinicians were not using blood tests and other means to measure specific signals in patients' bodies, these conditions were assumed to simply be part of the overall disease. Now, according to the source, prescribing medications that help stop anxiety symptoms can help reduce the overall impact of autism on an individual basis.

Diversity in care
For those with anxiety not associated with autism, these same tests can be beneficial. Finding better ways to treat underlying conditions can help alleviate the strain of the overarching problem, according to Good Therapy.

The news source reported that a research team at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, found drastically different long-term outcomes for patients with social anxiety disorder depending on the methods used to treat them. Similar to the autism group, anxiety issues were treated as a single problem in the past, resulting in textbook treatments that didn't work for every person.

Combining innovative counseling methods with medications and traditional treatment seemed to garner a better effect in many patients and a one-fourth reduction in overall symptom severity, the researchers found. In cases where clinicians have been taking illnesses at face value, they might have missed out on diversity of care that could result in better progress and treatment, outcomes that blood testing can facilitate. 

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