Nutr Neurosci. 2008 Feb;11(1):9-17.
Altered amino acid excretion in children with autism.
Evans C, Dunstan HR, Rothkirch T, Roberts TK, Reichelt KL, Cosford R, Deed G, Ellis LB, Sparkes DL. School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New south Wales, Australia.
Autism is a complex and life-long behavioural disorder of unknown aetiology. Recent reports have indicated the involvement of digestive tract dysfunction and possible complications from inadequate nutrition. In this study, 34 autistic children (12 untreated and 22 receiving therapeutic treatments related to digestive function and nutritional uptake) and 29 control subjects (all 5-15 years of age) were investigated to determine whether there were any anomalies in the urinary excretion of amino acids, glucose, sucrose, arabinose and tartaric acid using GC/FID and GC/MS analysis techniques. Significantly lower relative urinary levels of essential amino acids were revealed for both the untreated (mean +/- SEM, 32.53 +/- 3.09%) and treated (31.98 +/- 2.87%) autistic children compared with the controls (37.87 +/- 1.50%). There were no significant differences in measured excretions of sugars or tartaric acid. It was concluded that the untreated autistic children had evidence of altered metabolic homeostasis.