A Prospective Study of Oxidative Stress Biomarkers in Autistic Disorders

David A Geier, Janet K Kern, Mark R Geier


The aim of this study was to evaluate oxidative stress (OS) biomarkers in a prospective, blinded cohort study of participants diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). OS biomarkers, including: blood glutathione (GSH), urine lipid peroxide, blood superoxidase dismutase (SOD), and blood GSH peroxidase (GPx) among participants diagnosed with ASDs (n=28) were evaluated in comparison to laboratory provided reference ranges. Testing was conducted using Genova Diagnostics (CLIA-approved). Participants diagnosed with ASDs had significantly (p<0.005) decreased blood GSH and GPx relative to laboratory reference ranges. By contrast, participants diagnosed with ASDs had significantly (p<0.0001) increased urine lipid peroxide levels relative to laboratory reference ranges. A bimodal distribution of significant differences from the laboratory reference for blood SOD levels were observed (high=10.7%, low=14.3%). Finally, a significant (p=0.05) inverse correlation was observed between blood GSH levels and ASD severity using childhood autism rating scale (CARS) scores. The present observations are compatible with increased OS and a decreased detoxification capacity, particularly of mercury, in patients diagnosed with ASDs. Patients diagnosed with ASDs should be routinely tested to evaluate OS biomarkers and potential treatment protocols should be evaluated to potentially correct the OS abnormalities observed.

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heavy metal; metabolic endophenotype; sulfation; sulfur

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ISSN 1832-7931
Swinburne University of Technology