Hyperserotonemia in Adults with Autistic Disorder
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Hyperserotonemia is the most consistent serotonin-related finding in autism. The basis of this phenomenon, and its relationship to the central serotonergic dysfunction remains unclear. Platelet serotonin level (PSL) in 53 autistic adults and 45 healthy controls was measured. Mean PSL in autistic group (75.7 ± 37.4 ng/μL) was significantly higher than the control sample (59.2 ± 16.2 ng/μL) due to a presence of hyperserotonemic subjects which comprised 32% of the patients. PSL of autistic subjects did not correlate with the severity of symptoms, as measured by total CARS score, or the degree of mental retardation. However, significant negative relationship was observed between PSL and speech development, indicating the relationship between the peripheral 5HT concentrations and verbal abilities in autistic subjects.
KeywordsAutism Hyperserotonemia Platelet serotonin level Speech development Verbal communication
This study was supported by the Ministry of Science Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia. The authors wish to thank Mrs. Drina Bagaric, a medical laboratory engineer, for her skillful, kind, and gentle approach to the patients during blood sampling, and to Mrs. Katarina Karlo, a senior technician, for her assistance in PSL measurements.
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