Neurochemical Research

, 34:386 | Cite as

A Prospective Study of Transsulfuration Biomarkers in Autistic Disorders

  • David A. Geier
  • Janet K. Kern
  • Carolyn R. Garver
  • James B. Adams
  • Tapan Audhya
  • Mark R. GeierEmail author
Original Paper


The goal of this study was to evaluate transsulfuration metabolites in participants diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Transsulfuration metabolites, including: plasma reduced glutathione (GSH), plasma oxidized glutathione (GSSG), plasma cysteine, plasma taurine, plasma sulfate, and plasma free sulfate among participants diagnosed with ASDs (n = 38) in comparison to age-matched neurotypical controls were prospectively evaluated. Testing was conducted using Vitamin Diagnostics, Inc. (CLIA-approved). Participants diagnosed with ASDs had significantly (P < 0.001) decreased plasma reduced GSH, plasma cysteine, plasma taurine, plasma sulfate, and plasma free sulfate relative to controls. By contrast, participants diagnosed with ASDs had significantly (P < 0.001) increased plasma GSSG relative to controls. The present observations are compatible with increased oxidative stress and a decreased detoxification capacity, particularly of mercury, in patients diagnosed with ASDs. Patients diagnosed with ASDs should be routinely tested to evaluate transsulfuration metabolites, and potential treatment protocols should be evaluated to potentially correct the transsulfuration abnormalities observed.


Heavy metal Metabolic endophenotype Sulfation Sulfur 



The authors wish to acknowledge the generous help of Brandon Work at LabCorp, Dallas and the phlebotomists at Medical Center Plano, Outpatient Phlebotomy. The authors wish to acknowledge the help of the parents and children who participated in the study; without their participation this type of investigation would not be possible. Study Funding: This research was funded by a grant from the Autism Research Institute, non-profit CoMeD, Inc., and by the non-profit Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc., through a grant from the Brenen Hornstein Autism Research & Education (BHARE) Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Geier
    • 1
    • 2
  • Janet K. Kern
    • 3
    • 4
  • Carolyn R. Garver
    • 3
  • James B. Adams
    • 5
  • Tapan Audhya
    • 6
  • Mark R. Geier
    • 7
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc.Silver SpringUSA
  2. 2.CoMeD, Inc.Silver SpringUSA
  3. 3.Autism Treatment CenterDallasUSA
  4. 4.University of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA
  5. 5.Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  6. 6.Vitamin DiagnosticsCliffwood BeachUSA
  7. 7.The Genetic Centers of AmericaSilver SpringUSA

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