, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 23-29

Dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH) and homovanillic acid (HVA) in autistic children

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Abstract

In the present study, plasma DBH activity and urinary HVA levels were measured in 19 autistic and 15 normal children. DBH activity was significantly elevated in the 8 less retarded autistic patients. In this subgroup, a negative correlation was found between plasma DBH and urinary HVA levels. These results support the hypothesis of a possible involvement of brain catecholamine dysfunction in the production of autistic symptoms.

This study was supported by C.N.R.S. (UA 596) “Biology and Neuropsychiatry,” Sécurité Sociale 1982 and Fondation Langlois. We wish to thank Mrs. Barré, Mrs. Lehn, and Miss Lioret for their technical work.