Slower cortisol response during ACTH stimulation test in autistic children.
ABSTRACT Autism is a hereditary, pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder that starts early in life. The main characteristics of the autism are impairment in social interactions, difficulties in adapting to novel environmental situations and improper reaction to stress. Since the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenocortical (HPA) axis plays a key role in the response to stress and because the previous research found abnormalities in HPA system, we conducted a study to test several elements of the HPA axis. Because autism is a heritable disorder, autistic subjects were studied as well as their parents. Cortisol circadian rhythm, cortisol daily secretion and its suppression response to dexamethasone had been measured from saliva or urine samples of the autistic children and their parents. Cortisol secretion response after ACTH stimulation was done with the autistic children only. The cortisol elevation after ACTH stimulation among the autistic individuals was slower (P = 0.017) than in healthy controls. No differences were found in salivary cortisol circadian rhythm or suppression response, as well as in cortisol daily excretion. These data indicate that, compared to healthy subjects, autistic individuals have fine differences in cortisol response to ACTH stimulation or possibly to other types of stress.
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ABSTRACT: We examined daytime salivary cortisol and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) secretion levels and variability in preschool-aged children with autism (AUT) and typically developing children (TYP). Fifty-two subjects (26 AUT and 26 TYP) were enrolled. Salivary samples were obtained at waking, midday, and bedtime on two consecutive days at three phases (baseline, 3 months later, 6 months later). There were modest increases in waking cortisol and sAA levels in AUT relative to TYP, but the increases were not statistically significant. Important differences were observed in cortisol and sAA variability between AUT and TYP. There was also a graded response among AUT by functional status-cortisol and sAA secretion levels were higher when IQ was lower.Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 04/2012; 42(12). DOI:10.1007/s10803-012-1522-z · 3.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The objective of the study was to evaluate saliva flow rate, buffer capacity, pH levels, and dental caries experience (DCE) in autistic individuals, comparing the results with a control group (CG). The study was performed on 25 noninstitutionalized autistic boys, divided in two groups. G1 composed of ten children, ages 3-8. G2 composed of 15 adolescents ages 9-13. The CG was composed of 25 healthy boys, randomly selected and also divided in two groups: CG3 composed of 14 children ages 4-8, and CG4 composed of 11 adolescents ages 9-14. Whole saliva was collected under slight suction, and pH and buffer capacity were determined using a digital pHmeter. Buffer capacity was measured by titration using 0.01 N HCl, and the flow rate expressed in ml/min, and the DCE was expressed by decayed, missing, and filled teeth (permanent dentition [DMFT] and primary dentition [dmft]). Data were plotted and submitted to nonparametric (Kruskal-Wallis) and parametric (Student's t test) statistical tests with a significance level less than 0.05. When comparing G1 and CG3, groups did not differ in flow rate, pH levels, buffer capacity, or DMFT. Groups G2 and CG4 differ significantly in pH (p = 0.007) and pHi = 7.0 (p = 0.001), with lower scores for G2. In autistic individuals aged 3-8 and 9-13, medicated or not, there was no significant statistical difference in flow rate, pH, and buffer capacity. The comparison of DCE among autistic children and CG children with deciduous (dmft) and mixed/permanent decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) did not show statistical difference (p = 0.743). Data suggest that autistic individuals have neither a higher flow rate nor a better buffer capacity. Similar DCE was observed in both groups studied.Clinical Oral Investigations 08/2008; 13(1):23-7. DOI:10.1007/s00784-008-0209-5 · 2.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In addition to abnormalities in social and communication development, a 'need for sameness' and 'resistance to change' are features of autistic spectrum disorders first identified by Kanner in 1943. Our ability to react to change is modulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a feature of which is a dramatic increase in cortisol upon waking, the Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR). This study examined whether the CAR was evident in 20 adolescent males with Asperger Syndrome (AS) and 18 age-matched typically developing (TD) controls (aged 11-16). Whilst a significant CAR was evidenced in the TD control group, this was not the case for those with AS. A normal diurnal decrease in cortisol, however, was evident in both groups. The implication that individuals with AS may have an impaired response to change in their environment due to a refractory HPA axis is discussed.Psychoneuroendocrinology 04/2009; 34(7):1095-100. DOI:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2009.02.011 · 5.59 Impact Factor