Trace Elements in Medicine (Moscow)
2020, 21(4): 32-39
ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS IN THE ETIOLOGY AND PATHOGENESIS OF AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER IN CHILDREN
First Sechenov Moscow State Medical University, 19-1, Bolshaya Pirogovskaya Street, Moscow, 119146, Russia
ABSTRACT. A large number of studies have been conducted up to date associated with the elemental status of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, it is still difficult to fully explain the relationship between ASD and elements due to previous inconsistent scientific results. The article reviews the possible role of essential elements in the etiopathogenesis of ASD in children. An imbalance of essential elements can cause a disruption in development of central nervous system. It leads to impaired differentiation and proliferation of neurons and disruption in myelination, affects neurochemistry and neurotransmitter balance, provokes oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. In particular, the balance of trace elements such as copper, iron and selenium is necessary to maintain the antioxidant defense systems. Increased levels of free radicals lead to cellular damage, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation linked to ASD. Magnesium and calcium, acting as secondary messengers in the central nervous system (CNS), regulate the processes of neural networks’ maturation and neurotransmitter release. An imbalance of potassium and sodium changes electrical activity of the brain and may be the cause of epileptiform discharges in ASD. Zinc provides the processes of neuronal migration and neurotransmission, while copper, iodine and iron contribute to myelination of nerve fibers.
KEYWORDS: trace elements, micronutrients, macronutrients, autism, eurodevelopmental disorders, etiology, pathogenesis.Corresponding author: L.N. Chernova E-mail: email@example.com