Author(s): Meguid NA, Dardir AA, AbdelRaouf ER, Hashish A
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Abstract Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood with poorly understood etiology and pathology. This pilot study aims to evaluate the levels of antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), a marker of lipid peroxidation, in Egyptian autistic children. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood with poorly understood etiology and pathology. The present study included 20 children with autism diagnosed by DSM-IV-TR criteria and Childhood Autism Rating Scale. Controls included 25 age-matched healthy children. Cases were referred to Outpatient Clinic of Children with Special Needs Department, National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt. We compared levels of SOD, GSH-Px, and MDA in children with autism and controls. In children less than 6 years of age, levels of SOD, and GSH-Px were significantly lower in autistic children compared with their controls, while MDA was significantly higher among patients than controls. In children older than 6 years, there was no significant difference in any of these values between cases and controls. We concluded that children with autism are more vulnerable to oxidative stress in the form of increased lipid peroxidation and deficient antioxidant defense mechanism especially at younger children. We highlight that autistic children might benefit from antioxidants supplementation coupled with polyunsaturated fatty acids. Moreover, early assessment of antioxidant status would have better prognosis as it may decrease the oxidative stress before inducing more irreversible brain damage.
This article was published in Biol Trace Elem Res
and referenced in Journal of Socialomics