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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(11), 6027-6043; doi:10.3390/ijerph10116027
Review

Assessment of Infantile Mineral Imbalances in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)

*  and
Received: 26 August 2013; in revised form: 31 October 2013 / Accepted: 6 November 2013 / Published: 11 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environment Risk of Autism)
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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 autism spectrum disorders; etiology of neurodevelopment disorders; infantile zinc deficiency; toxic metal burdens; metallomics profiles; epigenetic alterations; infantile window
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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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.

AMA Style

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.

Chicago/Turabian Style

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.



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