In an interview with Spectrum, Dr. Manish Arora, director of The Mount Sinai Institute for Exposomic Research labs and Co-founder of ‘Linus Biotechnology’, described what is next for the company’s hair-based early autism diagnosis tool
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted ‘breakthrough device’ designation in December 2021 for Linus Biotechnology’s hair-based test designed to aid autism diagnosis. Laura Dattaro of Spectrum explores what this new technology is all about and what the exposome offers with further development.
Manish Arora, PhD, BDS, MPH, Edith J. Baerwald Professor, Vice Chair of the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of the company explains how the technology works.
“StrandDx, analyzes the levels of chemicals in a strand of a child’s hair to capture a temporal sequence of her ‘exposome’ — some of her cumulative environmental exposures and how she regulates certain essential nutrients. The measures suggest how a person’s physiology responds to her environment, which can predict her chances of having autism,” said Arora.
Previous studies from the Mount Sinai research team showed that certain metals were regulated differently in individuals later diagnosed with autism. Those findings suggested that the cyclical metabolism of nutrients and toxicants is critical to healthy neurodevelopment.