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J Autism Dev Disord. 2003 Feb;33(1):93-7.

Plasma amino acid levels in children with autism and their families.

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Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Institute, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET, United Kingdom.


Plasma amino acid levels were measured in autistic and Asperger syndrome patients, their siblings, and parents. The results were compared with values from age-matched controls. Patients with autism or Asperger syndrome and their siblings and parents all had raised glutamic acid, phenylalanine, asparagine, tyrosine, alanine, and lysine (p < .05) than controls, with reduced plasma glutamine. Other amino acids were at normal levels. These results show that children with autistic spectrum disorders come from a family background of dysregulated amino acid metabolism and provide further evidence for an underlying biochemical basis for the condition.

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