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Oxidative imbalance in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder

Onder Ozturk, Omer Basay, Burge Kabukcu Basay, Huseyin Alacam, Ahmet Buber, Bunyamin Kaptanoglu, Yasar Enli, Mustafa Dogan, Omer Faruk Tuncer, Aysen Cetin Kardesler.

Abstract
Objective: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social interactions and behavioral problems. Various genetic and environmental factors, including oxidative stress, are claimed to play a role in the etiopathogenesis of ASD. In this study, we aimed to examine the status of oxidative metabolism in ASD and the association between oxidative parameters and ASD symptom severity and subtype of ASD.
Method: Thirty-three children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD (16 children diagnosed with autistic disorder, 13 children with pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, and 4 children with Asperger syndrome) according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) and 28 healthy controls, aged 2-17 years, were recruited in this study. Total oxidant status (TOS) and total antioxidant status (TAS) were evaluated using Rel Assay Kit in children and adolescents. The oxidative stress index (OSI) was calculated by dividing the TOS values by the TAS values. Autistic symptoms for these patients were scored on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS).
Results: In patients with ASD, TAS was statistically significantly lower and OSI statistically significantly higher than in healthy controls. There were no statistically significant differences in TOS between the ASD and control groups. There were no statistically significant differences between the subtypes of ASD in terms of oxidative stress parameters. In addition, TAS, TOS, and OSI values did not differ statistically significantly between the patients’ CARS groups, and were not associated with the CARS scores of the patients.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that oxidative imbalance is present in ASD and that oxidative stress may play a role in the etiopathogenesis of ASD. Therefore, it is suggested that antioxidants may have beneficial effects on ASD and may be a new therapeutic target in treating ASD.

Key words: autism spectrum disorder, total oxidant status, total antioxidant status, oxidative stress index, oxidative stress



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