The Connection Between Oxidative Stress And Autism
What Is Oxidative Stress? Recent studies by medical experts in autism have found a link between autism and oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is defined as an imbalance between pro-oxidants and anti-oxidants, resulting in damage to cell by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Reactive oxygen species include oxygen ions, free radicals and peroxides.
There are evidences to show that autistic children have a high level of oxidative stress such as those done by Dr S. Jill James, Woody R. McGinnis, MD and other medical experts. They have also discovered that autistic children have deficits in antioxidant capacity to counter the high level of oxidative stress in their body and hence a lower detoxification capacity.
Extensive studies have suggested that oxidative stress may be the cause of many diseases such as cancer and neurological disorders such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer disease as it damages cells and its DNA causing them to mutate and degenerate.
What this means is that if a high level of oxidative stress is a cause for autism and other neurological disorders, then it further suggested that by reducing oxidative stress among the patients or by increasing the body’s ability to increase the levels of antioxidants in the body to counter oxidative stress via nutritional interventions may be a possible treatment of autism and other brain diseases. This further implied that consuming hydrogen-rich water (high anti-oxidative effects) or other products with high antioxidant properties or detoxifying properties may be a possible treatment for those suffering from autism and other brain disorders. Two reports support hydrogen-rich water or reduced water as a therapy for treating autism.
In his report, Hydrogen as a novel hypothesized emerging treatment for oxidative stress in autism by researcher Ahmad Ghanizadeh it was suggested that hydrogen water may be a potential therapy for reducing oxidative stress in autistic children.
Oxidative stress in autism.
Autism is a severe developmental disorder with poorly understood etiology. Oxidative stress in autism has been studied at the membrane level and also by measuring products of lipid peroxidation, detoxifying agents (such as glutathione), and antioxidants involved in the defense system against reactive oxygen species (ROS). Lipid peroxidation markers are elevated in autism, indicating that oxidative stress is increased in this disease. Levels of major antioxidant serum proteins, namely transferrin (iron-binding protein) and ceruloplasmin (copper-binding protein), are decreased in children with autism. There is a positive correlation between reduced levels of these proteins and loss of previously acquired language skills in children with autism. The alterations in ceruloplasmin and transferrin levels may lead to abnormal iron and copper metabolism in autism.
The membrane phospholipids, the prime target of ROS, are also altered in autism. The levels of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) are decreased, and phosphatidylserine (PS) levels are increased in the erythrocyte membrane of children with autism as compared to their unaffected siblings. Several studies have suggested alterations in the activities of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase in autism. Additionally, altered glutathione levels and homocysteine/methionine metabolism, increased inflammation, excitotoxicity, as well as mitochondrial and immune dysfunction have been suggested in autism. Furthermore, environmental and genetic factors may increase vulnerability to oxidative stress in autism.
Taken together, these studies suggest increased oxidative stress in autism that may contribute to the development of this disease. A mechanism linking oxidative stress with membrane lipid abnormalities, inflammation, aberrant immune response, impaired energy metabolism and excitotoxicity, leading to clinical symptoms and pathogenesis of autism is proposed.
Full Text Here
More related sudies
Physical exercise and intermittent administration of lactulose may improve autism symptoms through hydrogen production.
“Autism is neuro-developmental disorder. Oxidative stress is enhanced in some children with autism. Hydrogen is a gas with anti-oxidative effects suggested for treating or prevention of some medical problems. It is hypothesized that lactulose or hydrogen water may provide hydrogen to reduce oxidative stress in autism.”
Ghanizadeh, A. (2012). Physical exercise and intermittent administration of lactulose may improve autism symptoms through hydrogen production. Medical Gas Research, 2(1), 1-3. doi: 10.1186/2045-9912-2-19
Recent progress toward hydrogen medicine: Potential of molecular hydrogen for preventive and therapeutic applications.
“H2 has a number of advantages as a potential antioxidant: H2 rapidly diffuses into tissues and cells, and it is mild enough neither to disturb metabolic redox reactions nor to affect reactive oxygen species (ROS) that function in cell signaling, thereby, there should be little adverse effects of consuming H2. H2 shows not only effects against oxidative stress, but also various anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects. Moreover, H2 passes through the blood brain barrier, although most antioxidant compounds cannot; this is also an advantage of H2.”
Ohta, S. (2011). Recent progress toward hydrogen medicine: Potential of molecular hydrogen for preventative and therapeutic applications. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 17(22), 2241-2252. doi: 10.2174/138161211797052664.
Downregulation of the expression of mitochondrial electron transport complex genes in autism brains.
“Mitochondrial dysfunction (MtD) and abnormal brain bioenergetics have been implicated in autism, suggesting possible candidate genes in the electron transport chain (ETC). This could have been induced by oxidative stress due to impaired ATP synthesis. We report new candidate genes involved in abnormal brain bioenergetics in autism, supporting the hypothesis that mitochondria, critical for neurodevelopment, may play a role in autism.”
Anitha, A., Nakamura, K., Thanseem, I., Matsuzaki, H., Miyachi, T., Tsujii, M., . . . Mori, N. (2012). Downregulation of the expression of mitochondrial electron transport complex genes in autism brains. Brain Pathology, 23(3), 294-302. doi: 10.1111/bpa.12002.
Mitochondrial dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis
“A comprehensive literature search was performed to collate evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) with two primary objectives. First, features of mitochondrial dysfunction in the general population of children with ASD were identified. Second, characteristics of mitochondrial dysfunction in children with ASD and concomitant mitochondrial disease (MD) were compared with published literature of two general populations: ASD children without MD, and non-ASD children with MD. Overall, this evidence supports the notion that mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with ASD.”
Rossignol, D. A., & Frye, R. E. (2011). Mitochondrial dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Molecular Psychiatry, 17(3), 290-314. doi: 10.1038/mp.2010.136.
Molecular hydrogen and its potential application in therapy of brain disorders
“A possible cause for the neuroprotective effect of hydrogen may be related to its high diffusibility. Hydrogen molecules can readily cross the blood-brain barrier and penetrate biomembranes smoothly to diffuse into the cytosol, nucleus and mitochondria. This is particularly important, as mitochondria is the major source of ROS and notoriously difficult to target. The protective effect of molecular hydrogen on the mitochondria have also been found in our study.”