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Clin Biochem. 2011 Sep;44(13):1116-1120. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2011.06.982. Epub 2011 Jul 6.

Relationship between chronic lead toxicity and plasma neurotransmitters in autistic patients from Saudi Arabia.

Author information

1
Biochemistry Department, Science College, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Autism Research and Treatment Center, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Shaik AL-Amodi Autism Research Chair, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: elansary@ksu.edu.sa.
2
Biochemistry Department, Science College, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Autism Research and Treatment Center, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Shaik AL-Amodi Autism Research Chair, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
3
Autism Research and Treatment Center, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Shaik AL-Amodi Autism Research Chair, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study aims to clarify the relationship between blood Pb(2+) concentration as a ubiquitous environmental pollutant and plasma neurotransmitters as biochemical parameters that reflect brain function in Saudi autistic patients.

METHODS:

RBC's lead content together with plasma concentration of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), serotonin (5HT) and dopamine (DA) were measured in 25 Saudi autistic patients and compared to 16 age-matching control samples.

RESULTS:

The obtained data recorded that Saudi autistic patients have a remarkable higher levels of Pb(2+) and significantly elevated levels of GABA, 5HT and DA compared to healthy subjects. ROC analysis revealed satisfactory values of specificity and sensitivity of the measured parameters.

CONCLUSION:

This study suggests that postnatal lead toxicity in autistic patients of Saudi Arabia could represent a causative factor in the pathogenesis of autism. Elevated GABA, 5HT and DA were discussed in relation to the chronic lead toxicity recorded in the investigated autistic samples.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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