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Study on the Mineral and Heavy Metal Contents in the Hair of Preschool Aged Autistic Children

자폐아동 모발에서의 미네랄 및 중금속 함량에 관한 연구

  • Jung, Myung-Ae (Dept. of Food Science and Nutrition, Catholic University of Daegu) ;
  • Jang, Hyun-Seo (Korea research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology) ;
  • Park, Eun-Ju (Dept. of Food Science and Nutrition, Kyungnam university) ;
  • Lee, Han-Woo (School of Social Welfare, International University of Korea) ;
  • Choi, Jeong-Hwa (School of Food Science, International University of Korea)
  • 정명애 (대구가톨릭대학교 식품영양학과) ;
  • 장현서 (한국생명공학연구원) ;
  • 박은주 (경남대학교 식품영양학과) ;
  • 이한우 (한국국제대학교 사회복지학부) ;
  • 최정화 (한국국제대학교 식품과학부)
  • Published : 2008.11.28

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to test characteristics between normal and autistic children via comparison of nutrient intakes, hair mineral, blood free radical, and serotonin contents. A total of 50 children aged 3-9 were divided into two main groups of normal control children (n=22) and autistic children (n=28) tested by child psychiatrist. The nutrient intakes by 24-hour recall method were no significantly different between the two groups. The concentrations of toxic mineral, such as cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) in hair of autistic children were significantly higher, while concentration of antioxidant mineral (Cu, Zn, Fe) was lower than that of normal children. The autistic children had significantly higher concentrations of blood free radical than that of normal children. No significant difference was observed in serotonin concentration between the two groups. Our results suggest a possible role of increased toxic mineral and free radical, both of which may be relevant to the pathophysiology of autism in children with developmental delay.

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