Identification of Auto-Antibody to Folate Receptors

The critical role of folates in the normal development of the nervous system in mammals is well-established. Cerebral folate deficiency (CFD) can potentiate or contribute to multiple neurodevelopmental disorders in humans, including autism. Dietary folates are normally transported to the central nervous system via specific folate receptors. To directly determine the level of folates in the CNS requires invasive sampling of cerebrospinal fluid (spinal tap), and this is untenable for the newborn population as a routine analysis. Downstate researchers have through numerous studies found a strong link between abnormal CNS folate levels and the presence of serum autoantibodies to the folate receptor, which block transport to the CNS. The current technology provides proprietary methods for assaying the presence of these autoantibodies, and thus represents a simple blood test useful as a primary screen for individuals at risk for CFD. Since CFD can often be ameliorated by high-level, aggressive folate supplementation protocols, commercial introduction of this test may have a large clinical impact on frequency and severity of various neurodevelopmental disorders, such as ASD.

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