Are Steroid Hormones Dysregulated in Autistic Girls?
Department of Clinical Research, University of Bern, 3010 Berne, Switzerland
Teaching Hospital Internal Medicine, Lindenhofgruppe, 3006 Berne, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diseases 2020, 8(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases8010006
Received: 30 January 2020 / Revised: 12 March 2020 / Accepted: 12 March 2020 / Published: 14 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Neuropsychiatric Disorders)
Evidence of altered cholesterol and steroid hormones in autism is increasing. However, as boys are more often affected, evidence mainly relates to autistic males, whereas evidence for affected autistic girls is sparse. Therefore, a comprehensive gas chromatography mass spectrometry-based steroid hormone metabolite analysis was conducted from autistic girls. Results show increased levels of several steroid hormones, especially in the class of androgens in autistic girls such as testosterone or androstenediol. The increase of the majority of steroid hormones in autistic girls is probably best explained multifactorially by a higher substrate provision in line with the previously developed cholesterol hypothesis of autism.