- Current Pediatric Research (2013) Volume 17, Issue 2
Levels of heavy metal and trace element among children with Autism spectrum disorders.
Persistent exposure to high levels of heavy metals and trace elements has been implicated in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). This study was performed to investigate the levels of heavy metals and trace elements in hair samples of patients with ASDs. Retrospective analysis of data from 58 children with ASDs with the mean age of 6.31+4.12 years between Jan. 2004 and Oct. 2008 was performed at King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh. Hair samples were sent to Micro Trace Mineral Gmbh, Laboratory for Clinical and Environmental Analysis, Hersbruck, Germany for heavy metals and trace elements analysis. Acceptable laboratory reference ranges were used for interpretation of results. Majority of the children (93.1%) were males. Among the 13 heavy metals and trace elements detected in higher concentrations uranium was present in 23 (39.6%), tellurium in 21 (36.2%), mercury in 15 (25.8%), strontium in 15 (25.8%), aluminum in 14 (24.1%) and nickel in 12 (20.6%) patients. High levels of heavy metals and trace elements detected in Saudi children with ASDs indicate environmental exposure. Further investigations are recommended for assessment of the environmental hazard in the region.Author(s): Adel Almogren, Zahid Shakoor, Abdulkareem Almomen, Rana M.W. Hasanato