Send to

Choose Destination
Biol Trace Elem Res. 2017 Jun;177(2):215-223. doi: 10.1007/s12011-016-0878-x. Epub 2016 Oct 26.

Analysis of Hair Trace Elements in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Communication Disorders.

Author information

All-Russian Research Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Moscow, Russia.
Orenburg State University, Orenburg, Russia.
Yaroslavl State University, Yaroslavl, Russia.
RUDN University, Moscow, Russia.
Scientific Center for Mental Health, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia.
Yaroslavl State University, Yaroslavl, Russia.
RUDN University, Moscow, Russia.
Orenburg State University, Orenburg, Russia.
Orenburg State Medical University, Orenburg, Russia.


The primary objective of the present study is analysis of hair trace elements content in children with communication disorder (CD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A total of 99 children from control, CD, and ASD groups (n = 33) were examined. All children were additionally divided into two subgroups according to age. Hair levels of trace elements were assessed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The difference was considered significant at p < 0.01. The obtained data demonstrate that children with CD are characterized by significantly increased hair lithium (Li) (96 %; p = 0.008), selenium (Se) (66 %; p < 0.001), arsenic (As) (96 %; p = 0.005), beryllium (Be) (150 %; p < 0.001), and cadmium (Cd) (72 %; p = 0.007) content, being higher than the respective control values. In the ASD group, hair copper (Cu), iodine (I), and Be levels tended to be lower than the control values. In turn, the scalp hair content of Se significantly exceeded the control values (33 %; p = 0.004), whereas the level of iron (Fe) and aluminum (Al) tended to increase. After gradation for age, the most prominent differences in children with CD were detected in the elder group (5-8 years), whereas in the case of ASD-in the younger group (3-4 years old). Taking into account the role of hair as excretory mechanism for certain elements including the toxic ones, it can be proposed that children suffering from ASD are characterized by more profound alteration of metal handling and excretion in comparison to CD.


Developmental disorders; Metals; Neurotoxicity; Psychiatric disorders; Selenium

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center