The Academic Research Center for Autism (ARCA) is a part of the Medical Faculty of Comenius University and is the first academic research institute of this type in Slovakia.

Thanks to support from the grant schemes of the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic, a process began in Slovakia in 2011, which led to the use of diagnostic scales, which belong to the golden diagnostic standard of autism in the world (ADOS-2 and ADI-R).

Every year, around 100 children undergo diagnostics at the center, after the informed consent of the parents with the child’s participation in research projects.

The etiology of autism is still unclear and is the subject of intensive research. It is thought to be a multifactorial disease, with genetic and environmental factors involved in prenatal and perinatal life. At present, the pharmacotherapy of the basic symptomatology is not known, we do not know the relevant biomarker. In the search for etiological factors determining autism spectrum disorders (ASD), ARCA focuses on specific biochemical, hormonal and genetic markers and their interactions. We use blood plasma, saliva, urine, and faeces for the analysis of potential biomarkers, and in our methodological projects we optimize the methodology of collection and processing of biological material.


The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health of Slovak families with children with autism spectrum disorder and families with typically developing children The research aimed to monitor changes in the mental health of families with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as well as families with neurotypical children, from first to third wave of

Anthropometric indicators

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, the responsible factors that increase the risk of this disorder exert their effects already during the prenatal period. Dermatoglyphs (formations that are formed by a unique arrangement of papillary lines – fingerprints are most often described) and their asymmetry are a reflection of developmental instability / instability during embryogenesis. Developmental


The mechanical properties of the erythrocyte membrane are very important clinical indicators. Deformability is the ability of erythrocytes to pass through thin capillaries without damage. Its disorder can lead to the pathogenesis of several diseases, including ASD. More Examination of erythrocyte deformability in relation to the clinical manifestations of autism in children. In this study,

Metabolic disorders in autism spectrum disorders

The pathomechanisms of ASD have not yet been elucidated; metabolic disorders may play a role. Thanks to innovative methods such as the mass spectrometry and the statistical possibilities of large-scale data analysis, the metabolomics method is finding an increasingly widespread application in current medical research. Metabolomics involves the determination of the concentration of endogenous molecules

Immune disorders and low-grade chronic inflammation in individuals with autism spectrum disorders

Compared to the general population, individuals with autism have been diagnosed with a dysregulation of the immune system with the possibility of serious effects on the overall health of these individuals. The role of the immune system, especially the involvement of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which also affect the function of certain brain structures and thus patient


Children with ASD often have trouble sleeping. Their causes can be different, one of the theories assumes disruption of circadian rhythms (so-called internal biological clocks). This theory is evidenced by the differences in the levels of melatonin – a hormone that is involved in the regulation of biorhythms depending on changes in light intensity during

Nutritional and gastrointestinal disorders in people with autism spectrum disorders

Compared to the general healthy population, people with autism have a higher incidence of associated disorders that have serious implications for the individual’s overall condition and prognosis. Many people with autism spectrum disorders suffer from disorders of the digestive system. In ASD, they occur more frequently than in the general population. Studies report their presence

Intestinal microbiota in individuals with autism spectrum disorders

Research in recent years has enriched the knowledge about the intestinal microbiota and the gut-brain axis through which the microbiota can affect the brain. An increasing number of studies point to intestinal dysbiosis – a different microbial population – as one of the possible factors involved in the development of ASD. In the project we


In genetic projects, we perform an analysis of selected genetic markers in phenotypically homogeneous individuals due to the high heterogeneity of the spectrum of autistic disorders. We focus on the analysis of selected genetic markers in phenotypically homogeneous individuals due to the large heterogeneity of ASD people. The goal of such oriented autism research

Passive smoking and ASD

Passive smoking, or otherwise called secondary smoking, is now a serious problem affecting non-smokers in households and public places. Prenatal nicotine exposure can cause neurotoxic and neuromodulatory effects on the brain that lead to modifications in healthy development. … More Consequences of passive smoking on adaptive behavior of children with ASD In the study, we


Oxytocin as a prosocial hormone affects relationships, empathy, socialization but also the protection of offspring. In the projects, we monitor oxytocin levels in children with ASD in comparison with the general population, as well as selected genetic polymorphisms of the oxytocin receptor gene and determine the association of oxytocin with behavioral characteristics. The effect of

Steroid metabolome

Following the verification of the effect of testosterone and its metabolites, we find out whether other steroid hormones such as mineralocorticoids or glucocorticoids also interfere with the pathogenesis of autism. The involvement of these hormones has not yet been precisely elucidated. The aim of the project is a comprehensive analysis of the steroid metabolism in


The ratio of boys to girls with an autistic phenotype is approximately 4: 1, suggesting the involvement of genes on the Y sex chromosome and male sex hormones in the etiology of autism. Sex hormones significantly modulate brain activity at certain developmental stages with cognitive consequences that we observe in the behavioral and cognitive characteristics

Evaluation of psychological and behavioral indicators in people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

In individuals with ASD, we assess the overall rate of autism as well as the depth of deficits in the triad of impairment using ADI-R ADOS-2 diagnostic tools. The development of diagnostic methods and the experience gained over the years by a team of certified experts represent significant outputs for both scientific research and

Screening and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders

In our research center we use standard screening (MCHAT) and diagnostic (ADOS2, ADI-R) tools for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. We use standard rating scales to detect aggressive behavior, adaptive behavior, GIT difficulties and cognitive abilities. Verification of the effectiveness of the M-CHAT questionnaire in the Slovak population and introduction of mandatory ASD screening