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J Psychiatr Res. 2012 Mar;46(3):394-401. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.10.004. Epub 2012 Jan 4.

Plasma antioxidant capacity is reduced in Asperger syndrome.

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  • 1Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Centro de Investigación en Red de Salud Mental, CIBERSAM, Dr Esquerdo 46, Madrid, Spain.


Recent evidence suggests that children with autism have impaired detoxification capacity and may suffer from chronic oxidative stress. To our knowledge, there has been no study focusing on oxidative metabolism specifically in Asperger syndrome (a milder form of autism) or comparing this metabolism with other psychiatric disorders. In this study, total antioxidant status (TAOS), non-enzymatic (glutathione and homocysteine) and enzymatic (catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase) antioxidants, and lipid peroxidation were measured in plasma or erythrocyte lysates in a group of adolescent patients with Asperger syndrome, a group of adolescents with a first episode of psychosis, and a group of healthy controls at baseline and at 8-12 weeks. TAOS was also analyzed at 1 year. TAOS was reduced in Asperger individuals compared with healthy controls and psychosis patients, after covarying by age and antipsychotic treatment. This reduced antioxidant capacity did not depend on any of the individual antioxidant variables measured. Psychosis patients had increased homocysteine levels in plasma and decreased copper and ceruloplasmin at baseline. In conclusion, Asperger patients seem to have chronic low detoxifying capacity. No impaired detoxifying capacity was found in the first-episode psychosis group in the first year of illness.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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