Lead may contribute to the pathogenesis of autism. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Relationship between chronic lead toxicity and plasma neurotransmitters in autistic patients from Saudi Arabia.
Clin Biochem. 2011 Jul 6. Epub 2011 Jul 6. PMID: 21763301
Biochemistry Department, Science College, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Autism Research and Treatment Centre, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Shaik AL-Amodi Autism Research Chair, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
OBJECTIVE: This study aims to clarify the relationship between blood Pb(2+) concentration as a ubiquitous environmental pollutant and plasma neurotransmitters as biochemical parameters that reflect brain function in Saudi autistic patients. METHODS: RBC's lead content together with plasma concentration of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), serotonin (5HT) and dopamine (DA) were measured in 25 Saudi autistic patients and compared to 16 age-matching control samples. RESULTS: The obtained data recorded that Saudi autistic patients have a remarkable higher levels of Pb(2+) and significantly elevated levels of GABA, 5HT and DA compared to healthy subjects. ROC analysis revealed satisfactory values of specificity and sensitivity of the measured parameters. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that postnatal lead toxicity in autistic patients of Saudi Arabia could represent a causative factor in the pathogenesis of autism. Elevated GABA, 5HT and DA were discussed in relation to the chronic lead toxicity recorded in the investigated autistic samples.