Autism and Fragile X: Is There a Neurochemical Link?

Nagwa A. Meguid, Hazem M. Atta, Laila A. Rashed, Amr S. Gouda, Rehab O. Khalil, Adel F. Hashish

Abstract


BACKGROUND:Autism and Fragile X syndrome are intertwined. This study aimed at assessing Serotonin, Glutamate, and Gama Amino Butyric Acid (GABA) in autism and Fragile X syndrome patients and to detect possible neurochemical similarities between the 2 disorders that can be used as metabolic biomarkers.

DESIGN AND METHODS: Eighty subjects divided into four groups, two diseased groups (20 male patients with Autism and 20 males with Fragile X syndrome) and two control groups (20 neurotypical male controls and 20 Down syndrome male patients) were included. Estimation of Serotonin, Glutamate and GABA were done using Enzyme linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), Tandem Mass Spectrometry and high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), respectively.

RESULTS: Serotonin was, exclusively, significantly low in autistic children. GABA was significantly high in both autistic and Fragile X children only, but not in Down syndrome children. Glutamate was significantly high in children with autism, Fragile X and Down syndrome Children.

CONCLUSIONS: Autism and Fragile X syndrome share some neurochemical similarities with regards of high Glutamate and GABA levels while Serotonin was significantly different in the 2 disorders and may be used a unique biomarker for autism.

Keywords


Autism; Fragile X Syndrome; Neurotransmitters; Serotonin; GABA; Glutamate.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3889/oamjms.2014.099

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Copyright (c) 2014 Nagwa A. Meguid, Hazem M. Atta, Laila A. Rashed, Amr S. Gouda, Rehab O. Khalil, Adel F. Hashish

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Published by: Id Design 2012/DOOEL Skopje, Republic of Macedonia