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The severity of autism is associated with toxic metal body burden and red blood cell glutathione

 

 


J Toxicol. 2009;2009:532640. Epub 2009 Aug 26.


The severity of autism is associated with toxic metal body burden and red blood cell glutathione levels.

Adams JB, Baral M, Geis E, Mitchell J, Ingram J, Hensley A, Zappia I, Newmark S, Gehn E, Rubin RA, Mitchell K, Bradstreet J, El-Dahr JM. Division of Basic Medical Sciences, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Tempe, AZ 85282, USA.



This study investigated the relationship of children's autism symptoms with their toxic metal body burden and red blood cell (RBC) glutathione levels. In children ages 3-8 years, the severity of autism was assessed using four tools: ADOS, PDD-BI, ATEC, and SAS. Toxic metal body burden was assessed by measuring urinary excretion of toxic metals, both before and after oral dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA). Multiple positive correlations were found between the severity of autism and the urinary excretion of toxic metals. Variations in the severity of autism measurements could be explained, in part, by regression analyses of urinary excretion of toxic metals before and after DMSA and the level of RBC glutathione (adjusted R(2) of 0.22-0.45, P < .005 in all cases). This study demonstrates a significant positive association between the severity of autism and the relative body burden of toxic metals.


PMID: 20107587 [PubMed - in process]

 


 

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  • This study was reported on in November 2009 by Lourdes Salvador in her column article Chelation Effective for Autism in which she explains some of the background and terms used in the study.

    This study is certainly interesting and appears to validate the both that heavy metals are one environmental factor associated with autism and that chelation therapy brings clinical improvements. However, the results are tempered by recent findings from the Childhood Autism Risk from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) study, the largest of its kind, which found no significant differences in blood levels of mercury (Hg) between children with autism and healthy controls.

    The debate is set to continue for some time yet it seems.

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