Severity of Symptoms among Children with Autism
The following study was published in ‘MEDICA – a Journal of clinical Medicine’ 2012.
Objective: To assess the levels of ten toxic metals and essential elements in hair samples of children with Autism, and to correlate the level of these elements with the severity of Autism.
Method: The participants were 44 children, age 3 to 9 years. The severity of autistic symptomatology was measured by the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). Hair analysis was performed to evaluate the long term metal exposure and mineral level.
Results: By comparing hair concentration of autistic vs non-autistic children, elevated hair concentrations were noted for aluminium, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, antimony, nickel, lead, and vanadium.
Hair levels of calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, and selenium were considered deficient. There was a significant positive correlation between lead and verbal communication and general impression. In addition, there was a significant negative correlation between zinc and fear/nervousness.
Conclusion: The data supports the historic evidence that heavy metals play a role in the development of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In combination with an inadequate nutritional status the toxic effect of metals increase along with the severity of symptoms.’