Title Basal and Adrenocorticotropic Hormone Stimulated Plasma Cortisol Levels Among Egyptian Autistic Children: Relation to Disease Severity
Author Rasha T Hamza
Publisher Italian Journal of Pediatrics 2010, 36:71 Published: 30 October 2010 Abstract
Autism is a disorder of early childhood characterized by social impairment, communication abnormalities and stereotyped behaviors. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis deserves special attention, since it is the basis for emotions and social interactions that are affected in autism. To assess basal and stimulated plasma cortisol, and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels in autistic children and their relationship to disease characteristics.
Fifty autistic children were studied in comparison to 50 healthy age-, sex- and pubertal stage- matched children. All subjects were subjected to clinical evaluation and measurement of plasma cortisol (basal and stimulated) and ACTH. In addition, electroencephalography (EEG) and intelligence quotient (IQ) assessment were done for all autistic children.
Sixteen% of autistic patients had high ACTH, 10% had low basal cortisol and 10% did not show adequate cortisol response to ACTH stimulation. Autistic patients had lower basal (p = 0.032) and stimulated cortisol (p = 0.04) and higher ACTH (p = 0.01) than controls. Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) score correlated positively with ACTH (r = 0.71, p = 0.02) and negatively with each of basal (r = -0.64, p = 0.04) and stimulated cortisol (r = -0.88, p < 0.001). Hormonal profile did not differ in relation to EEG abnormalities, IQ and self- aggressive symptoms.
The observed hormonal changes may be due to a dysfunction in the HPA axis in autistic individuals. Further studies are warranted regarding the role of HPA axis dysfunction in the pathogenesis of autism.
Title The prevalence of anxiety and mood problems among children with autism and Asperger syndrome
Author(s) JOSEPH A. KIM McMaster University, Canada; PETER SZATMARI McMaster University, Canada SUSAN E. BRYSON York University, Canada; DAVID L. STREINER University of Toronto, Canada; FREDA J. WILSON McMaster University, Canada
Publisher: The National Autistic SocietyPublished 2000
Abstract The objective of this study was to report on the prevalence and correlates of anxiety and mood problems among 9- to 14-year-old children with Asperger syndrome (AS) and high-functioning autism. Children who received a diagnosis of autism (n 40) or AS (n19) on a diagnostic interview when they were 4 to 6 years of age were administered a battery of cognitive and behavioral measures. Families were contacted roughly 6 years later (at mean age of 12 years) and assessed for evidence of psychiatric problems including mood and anxiety disorders. Compared with a sample of 1751 community children, AS and autistic children demonstrated a greater rate of anxiety and depression problems. These problems had a significant impact on their overall adaptation. There were, however, no differences in the number of anxiety and mood problems between the AS and autistic children within this high-functioning cohort. The number of psychiatric problems was not correlated with early autistic symptoms but was predicted to a small extent by early verbal/non-verbal IQ discrepancy scores. These data indicate that high-functioning PDD children are at greater risk for mood and...