The current focus of our research is to bring forward
the diagnosis and the intervention of autism.

Based on evidence that suggests the surprising yet intimate connection between the skin and the brain, we are developing technologies that will establish a new paradigm for early diagnosis and intervention for autism.

Patents

US20180259542A1

"Disclosed herein is a method for predicting or diagnosing psychiatric disorders through analyzing skin tissues samples minimally invasive or non-invasively collected. The method disclosed herein makes it possible to diagnose psychiatric disorders through objective biomarkers at a very early age, without giving pain to subjects because of noninvasive or minimally invasive feature of skin sample collection method."

US20180015150A1

"A therapeutic intervention guidance system for atopic eczema includes a device measuring a skin surface moisture level and a Trans-Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL) value of a subject, a process comparing the skin surface moisture level and the TEWL value with a predetermined level and value, and an outcome providing a therapeutic intervention guidance based on the comparison. A method of providing therapeutic intervention guidance for atopic eczema includes measuring a skin surface moisture level and a Trans-Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL) value of a subject, comparing the skin surface moisture level and the TEWL value with a predetermined level and value, and providing a therapeutic intervention guidance based on the comparison."

Presentations

The Skin is the Mirror of The Brain: Can the skin be the bio-marker of  Autism?

Presented at 2019 Gordon Research Conference: Barrier Function of Mammalian Skin

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD), which are characterized by deficits in sociability and communication, affect as many as 1 in 59 children worldwide. Recent epidemiological studies suggest a significant statistical correlation between ASD and atopic dermatitis (AD), asthma, eczema, and food intolerance. Currently, the diagnosis of ASD is based primarily on altered behavior, changes that become apparent only after 2 years. Because an early diagnosis could improve disease outcomes in ASD, significant efforts are underway to develop new diagnostic methods. Based upon the crucial roles of skin barrier function impairment in AD, we hypothesized that skin barrier dysfunction might also be used as Early Diagnosis of ASD.


To begin to clarify whether and how skin barrier dysfunction could be a biomarker of ASD, we assessed skin barrier function in a valproic acid (VPA)-induced murine autism model. Lipid analysis of brain and skin tissues showed decreased amounts of very-long-chain ceramides, dihydroceramides, and sphingomyelin, while short-chain ceramide (C16) instead increased, alterations that are similar to reported changes in lipid content in AD. Cytokine profile showed a similar pattern in AD.  Likewise, ultrastructural observations displayed evidence of an impaired barrier in the skin of VPA mice, mirroring observations previously seen in AD epidermis. Together, these results suggest that assessments of skin barrier status could permit the early diagnosis of ASD, and perhaps provide further clues into the pathogenesis of ASD and insight of early intervention.

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