Analysis of Hair Trace Elements in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Communication Disorders

The primary objective of the present study is analysis of hair trace elements content in children with communication disorder (CD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A total of 99 children from control, CD, and ASD groups (n = 33) were examined. All children were additionally divided into two subgroups according to age. Hair levels of trace elements were assessed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The difference was considered significant at p < 0.01. The obtained data demonstrate that children with CD are characterized by significantly increased hair lithium (Li) (96 %; p = 0.008), selenium (Se) (66 %; p < 0.001), arsenic (As) (96 %; p = 0.005), beryllium (Be) (150 %; p < 0.001), and cadmium (Cd) (72 %; p = 0.007) content, being higher than the respective control values. In the ASD group, hair copper (Cu), iodine (I), and Be levels tended to be lower than the control values. In turn, the scalp hair content of Se significantly exceeded the control values (33 %; p = 0.004), whereas the level of iron (Fe) and aluminum (Al) tended to increase. After gradation for age, the most prominent differences in children with CD were detected in the elder group (5–8 years), whereas in the case of ASD—in the younger group (3–4 years old). Taking into account the role of hair as excretory mechanism for certain elements including the toxic ones, it can be proposed that children suffering from ASD are characterized by more profound alteration of metal handling and excretion in comparison to CD. © 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Skalny A.V. 1, 2, 3, 4 , Simashkova N.V.5 , Klyushnik T.P.5 , Grabeklis A.R.3 , Radysh I.V. 4 , Skalnaya M.G. 4 , Tinkov A.A. 2, 3, 4, 6
Humana Press Inc.
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  • 1 All-Russian Research Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 2 Orenburg State University, Orenburg, Russian Federation
  • 3 Yaroslavl State University, Yaroslavl, Russian Federation
  • 4 RUDN University, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 5 Scientific Center for Mental Health, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 6 Orenburg State Medical University, Orenburg, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
Developmental disorders; Metals; Neurotoxicity; Psychiatric disorders; Selenium
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