Abstract: The interactions between genes and the environment are now regarded as the most probable explanation for autism. In this review, we summarize the results of a metallomics study in which scalp hair concentrations of 26 trace elements were examined for 1,967 autistic children (1,553 males and 414 females aged 0–15 years-old), and discuss recent advances in our understanding of epigenetic roles of infantile mineral imbalances in the pathogenesis of autism. In the 1,967 subjects, 584 (29.7%) and 347 (17.6%) were found deficient in zinc and magnesium, respectively, and the incidence rate of zinc deficiency was estimated at 43.5% in male and 52.5% in female infantile subjects aged 0–3 years-old. In contrast, 339 (17.2%), 168 (8.5%) and 94 (4.8%) individuals were found to suffer from high burdens of aluminum, cadmium and lead, respectively, and 2.8% or less from mercury and arsenic. High toxic metal burdens were more frequently observed in the infants aged 0–3 years-old, whose incidence rates were 20.6%, 12.1%, 7.5%, 3.2% and 2.3% for aluminum, cadmium, lead, arsenic and mercury, respectively. These findings suggest that infantile zinc- and magnesium-deficiency and/or toxic metal burdens may be critical and induce epigenetic alterations in the genes and genetic regulation mechanisms of neurodevelopment in the autistic children, and demonstrate that a time factor “infantile window” is also critical for neurodevelopment and probably for therapy. Thus, early metallomics analysis may lead to early screening/estimation and treatment/prevention for the autistic neurodevelopment disorders.
Keywords: autism spectrum disorders; etiology of neurodevelopment disorders; infantile zinc deficiency; toxic metal burdens; metallomics profiles; epigenetic alterations; infantile window
Export to BibTeX
MDPI and ACS Style
Yasuda, H.; Tsutsui, T. Assessment of Infantile Mineral Imbalances in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 6027-6043.
Yasuda H, Tsutsui T. Assessment of Infantile Mineral Imbalances in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(11):6027-6043.
Yasuda, Hiroshi; Tsutsui, Toyoharu. 2013. "Assessment of Infantile Mineral Imbalances in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 11: 6027-6043.