A substantial number of children with ASD generate antibodies to the receptor responsible for allowing folate to enter the brain. These antibodies can block the entry of folate to the brain resulting in cerebral folate deficiency (CFD). The presence of such antibodies, which FRAT® measures, is an indication that folate needs to be delivered in different ways (bypassing the blocked receptor) to enter the brain. One such substance, called Folinic acid, when administered to children with ASD, increases the levels of active folate metabolites and leads to clinical improvements in these patients.
“The association of FRA Autoantibodies with pregnancy-related complications, CFD syndrome, and autism spectrum disorders and response to folate therapy is highly suggestive of the involvement of these Autoantibodies in the disruption of brain development and function via folate pathways.
Because these Autoantibodies are associated with various pathologies during fetal and neonatal development, early detection and intervention could prevent or reverse the consequences of exposure to these Autoantibodies.”—Jeffrey M. Sequeira et al., The diagnostic utility of folate receptor autoantibodies in blood Clin Chem Lab Med 2013; 51(3): 545-554