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Biomarkers. 2011 May;16(3):252-60. doi: 10.3109/1354750X.2010.548010. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

Urinary p-cresol is elevated in small children with severe autism spectrum disorder.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry and Neurogenetics, University Campus Bio-Medico, Via Alvaro del Portillo 21, Rome, Italy.

Abstract

Several studies have described in autistic patients an overgrowth of unusual gut bacterial strains, able to push the fermentation of tyrosine up to the formation of p-cresol. We compared levels of urinary p-cresol, measured by high-performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet, in 59 matched case-control pairs. Urinary p-cresol was significantly elevated in autistic children smaller than 8 years of age (p < 0.01), typically females (p < 0.05), and more severely affected regardless of sex (p < 0.05). Urinary cotinine measurements excluded smoking-related hydrocarbon contaminations as contributors to these differences. Hence, elevated urinary p-cresol may serve as a biomarker of autism liability in small children, especially females and more severely affected males.

PMID:
21329489
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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