The Medical University of South Carolina has been chosen as one of 20 test sites across the nation for a new study that is evaluating whether blood testing can predict if a child will develop autism.

About one in 88 children is diagnosed with autism in the U.S., according to SynapDx Corporation, the organization conducting the study. It’s more prevalent in boys — one is 54 are diagnosed with the developmental disability. Children can exhibit symptoms as early as 18 month, but the average diagnosis is usually around 4.

The blood test studies the amount of RNA replicated in a child’s genes. Researchers believe studying these molecules will help predict a child’s risk for autism.

MUSC has also partnered with public schools in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties to study the autism spectrum.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.