J Autism Dev Disord. 2008 May 30. [Epub ahead of print]
Abnormal Transmethylation/transsulfuration Metabolism and DNA Hypomethylation Among Parents of Children with Autism.
An integrated metabolic profile reflects the combined influence of genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors that affect the candidate pathway of interest. Recent evidence suggests that some autistic children may have reduced detoxification capacity and may be under chronic oxidative stress. Based on reports of abnormal methionine and glutathione metabolism in autistic children, it was of interest to examine the same metabolic profile in the parents. The results indicated that parents share similar metabolic deficits in methylation capacity and glutathione-dependent antioxidant/detoxification capacity observed in many autistic children. Studies are underway to determine whether the abnormal profile in parents reflects linked genetic polymorphisms in these pathways or whether it simply reflects the chronic stress of coping with an autistic child.