Evaluation of Oxidative Stress in Autism: Defective Antioxidant Enzymes and Increased Lipid Peroxidation.
Meguid NA, Dardir AA, Abdel-Raouf ER, Hashish A.
Biol Trace Elem Res. 2010 Sep 16. [Epub ahead of print]

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.

Oxidative stress in Egyptian children with autism: relation to autoimmunity

Mostafa GA, El-Hadidi ES, Hewedi DH, Abdou MM.
J Neuroimmunol. 2009 Dec 23. [Epub ahead of print]

We are the first to study the relationship between oxidative stress (by measuring plasma F2-isoprostane, as a marker of lipid peroxidation, and glutathione peroxidase, as an antioxidant enzyme) and autoimmunity (as indicated by serum antineuronal antibodies) in a group of 44 Egyptian autistic children and 44 healthy matched-children. Our results showed that oxidative stress was found in 88.64% of autistic children. Oxidative stress, resulting from elevated plasma F2-isoprostane and/or reduced glutathione peroxidase, had significant risk for antineuronal positivity, which was found in 54.5% of autistic children, (odds ratio: 12.38 and 6.43, respectively, confidence interval: 1.37-112.10 and 1.21-34.19, respectively). Conclusions: the strong association between oxidative stress and autoimmunity in autistic children may indicate the possible role of oxidative stress, through induction of autoimmunity, in some autistic patients. Therefore, studies considering the role of antioxidants and immunotherapy in amelioration of autistic manifestations are recommended.