Autism spectrum disorders are a set of neurodevelopmental disorders that are highly hereditable. Increased genomic instability has been observed in other heritable paediatric neurobiological disorders; therefore, the aim of our study was to test the hypothesis that DNA damage is increased in children with autism and that B vitamin status may explain variations in genome integrity between autistic and normal children. We compared 35 children with autism, 27 of their siblings without autism and 25 age- and gender-matched community controls for genomic stability using the cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome (CBMN-cyt) assay, B vitamins and homocysteine, as well as autism-related behaviours. It was found that there were no differences in CBMN-cyt biomarkers between the three groups. Vitamin B2 was significantly raised in children with autism and their siblings compared with controls (P=0.027 and P=0.016 respectively) but there was no difference in other B vitamins or homocysteine. In conclusion, although replication using a larger cohort is needed, it appears unlikely that genomic instability is a feature of the aetiology of autism. We cannot rule out in utero effects or other types of DNA damage not measured by the CBMN-cyt assay. Autism Res 2015, 8: 94-104.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2015|
- B vitamins
- DNA damage
- Genomic instability