HAC (Russian)
RSCI (Russian)
Ulrichsweb (Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory)
Scientific Indexing Services


DOI: https://doi.org/10.29296/25877305-2021-11-12

L. Chernova, A. Skalny I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (Sechenov
University), Ministry of Health of Russia

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a heterogenous group of neurodevelopmental disorders associated with distinct somatic comorbidities. The core symptoms of ASD in children are often aggravated by co-occurring conditions and require the awareness of pediatricians and other specialists. Imbalance of elements are currently considered as one of the possible etiopathogenetic factors of ASD and comorbid conditions. Elements plays crucial role in the formation and development of the child body. They act as cofactors of a number of enzymes, providing the functioning of various metabolic pathways. The study analyzed the structure of somatic symptoms in 62 children (45 boys, 17 girls) 1–13 years old with ASD (F.84) confirmed by a psychiatrist and compared it with hair elements’ levels. Correlation analysis using nonparametric methods was used to study the relationship between the hair elements’ content and various somatic conditions in children with ASD. Thus, musculoskeletal diseases correlated with the hair level of potassium (r=-0.284; p=0.05), calcium (r=0.251; p=0.05) and copper (r=0.281; p=0.05), cardiovascular diseases correlated with the hair level of sodium (r=-0.260; p=0.05), pathology of respiratory tract correlated with the hair level of selenium (r=0.295; p=0.05), genitourinary diseases correlated with the hair level of iodine (r=0.375; p=0.01) and silicon (r=0.265; p=0.05), endocrine pathology correlated with the hair level of calcium (r=0.309; p=0.05) and zinc (r=0.270; p=0.05), immunopathology correlated with the hair level of vanadium (r=0.252; p=0.05), and allergic pathology correlated with the hair level of nickel (r=0.346; p=0.01) and aluminum (r=0.251; p=0.05). The revealed correlations between the hair elements’ content and various somatic conditions confirm the effect of elemental metabolism on health status of children with ASD.

macro elements
trace elements
co-occurring conditions

  1. Buie T., Campbell D.B., Fuchs G.J. et al. Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in individuals with ASDs: A consensus report. Pediatrics. 2010; 125 (Suppl. 1): S1–18. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-1878C
  2. Rubenstein E., Schieve L., Wiggins L. et al. Trends in documented co-occurring conditions in children with autism spectrum disorder, 2002–2010. Res Dev Disabil. 2018; 83: 168–78. DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2018.08.015
  3. Neumeyer A.M., Anixt J., Chan J. et al. Identifying Associations Among Co-Occurring Medical Conditions in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Acad Pediatr. 2019; 19 (3): 300–6. DOI: 10.1016/j.acap.2018.06.014
  4. Soke G.N., Maenner M.J., Christensen D. et al. Prevalence of Co-occurring Medical and Behavioral Conditions/Symptoms Among 4- and 8-Year-Old Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Selected Areas of the United States in 2010. J Autism Dev Disord. 2018; 48 (8): 2663–76. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-018-3521-1
  5. Vargason T., Frye R.E., McGuinness D.L. et al. Clustering of co-occurring conditions in autism spectrum disorder during early childhood: A retrospective analysis of medical claims data. Autism Res. 2019; 12 (8): 1272–85. DOI: 10.1002/aur.2128
  6. Schieve L.A., Gonzalez V., Boulet S.L. et al. Concurrent medical conditions and health care use and needs among children with learning and behavioral developmental disabilities, National Health Interview Survey, 2006–2010. Res Dev Disabil. 2012; 33 (2): 467–76. DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2011.10.008
  7. Tye C., Runicles A.K., Whitehouse A.J.O. et al. Characterizing the interplay between autism spectrum disorder and comorbid medical conditions: An integrative review. Front Psychiatry. 2018; 9: 751. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00751
  8. Kurtz-Nelson E.C., Beighley J.S., Hudac C.M. et al. Co-occurring medical conditions among individuals with ASD-associated disruptive mutations. Child Health Care. 2020; 49 (4): 361–84. DOI: 10.1080/02739615.2020.1741361
  9. Cao J., Gao Z., Yan J. et al. Evaluation of Trace Elements and Their Relationship with Growth and Development of Young Children. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2016; 171 (2): 270–4. DOI: 10.1007/s12011-015-0537-7
  10. Saghazadeh A., Ahangari N., Hendi K. et al. Status of essential elements in autism spectrum disorder: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Rev Neurosci. 2017; 28 (7): 783–809. DOI: 10.1515/revneuro-2017-0015
  11. Skalny A.V., Mazaletskaya A.L., Ajsuvakova O.P. et al. Hair trace element concentrations in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2020; 61: 126539. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2020.126539
  12. Chernova L.N., Nor A.A., Kozlova A.O. et al. Gender- And age-related differences of hair calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and phosphorus levels in children with autism spectrum disorder and speech development delay. Trace Elements and Electrolytes. 2021; 38 (2): 56–62. DOI: 10.5414/TEX01662
  13. Skalny A.V., Simashkova N.V., Skalnaya M.G. et al. Mercury and autism spectrum disorders. Zhurnal Nevrologii i Psihiatrii imeni SS Korsakova. 2018; 118 (5): 75–9. DOI: 10.17116/jnevro20181185275
  14. Wang L.W., Tancredi D.J., Thomas D.W. The prevalence of gastrointestinal problems in children across the United States with autism spectrum disorders from families with multiple affected members. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2011; 32 (5): 351–60. DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31821bd06a
  15. Xu G., Snetselaar L.G., Jing J. et al. Association of Food Allergy and Other Allergic Conditions with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children. JAMA Netw Open. 2018; 1 (2): e180279. DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0279
  16. Samsam M., Ahangari R., Naser S.A. Pathophysiology of autism spectrum disorders: Revisiting gastrointestinal involvement and immune imbalance. World J Gastroenterol. 2014; 20 (29): 9942–51. DOI: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i29.9942
  17. Lasheras I., Seral P., Latorre E. et al. Microbiota and gut-brain axis dysfunction in autism spectrum disorder: Evidence for functional gastrointestinal disorders. Asian J Psychiatr. 2020; 47: 101874. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajp.2019.101874
  18. Jyonouchi H. Autism spectrum disorders and allergy: Observation from a pediatric allergy/immunology clinic. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2010; 6 (3): 397–411. DOI: 10.1586/eci.10.18
  19. Theoharides T.C., Tsilioni I., Patel A.B. et al. Atopic diseases and inflammation of the brain in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders. Transl Psychiatry. 2016; 6 (6): e844. DOI: 10.1038/tp.2016.77
  20. Adams J.B., Audhya T., McDonough-Means S. et al. Effect of a vitamin/mineral supplement on children and adults with autism. BMC Pediatr. 2011; 11: 111. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2431-11-111
  21. WHO. Trace elements in human nutrition and health World Health Organization. World Health Organization, 1996.
  22. O’Dell B.L.. Roles for iron and copper in connective tissue biosynthesis. Philosl Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1981; 294 (1071): 91–104. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.1981.0091
  23. Clausen T. Na+-K+ pump regulation and skeletal muscle contractility. Physiol Rev. 2003; 83 (4): 1269–324. DOI: 10.1152/physrev.00011.2003
  24. Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes of Vitamins and Elements, 2011.
  25. Kong Y.W., Baqar S., Jerums G. et al. Sodium and its role in cardiovascular disease – The debate continues. Front Endocrinol. 2016; 7: 164. DOI: 10.3389/fendo.2016.00164
  26. Schwarz K., Foltz C.M. Selenium as an Integral Part of Factor 3 Against Dietary Necrotic Liver Degeneration. J Am Chem Soc. 1957; 79 (12): 3292–3. DOI: 10.1021/ja01569a087
  27. ATSDR. Toxicological Profile for Selenium, 2003.
  28. Stratta P., Canavese C., Messuerotti A. et al. Silica and renal diseases: No longer a problem in the 21st century? J Nephrol. 2001; 14 (4): 228–47.
  29. Ghahramani N. Silica nephropathy. Int J Occup Environ Med. 2010; 1 (3): 108–15.
  30. Gad S.C. Iodine. Encyclopedia of Toxicology: Third Edition. 2014; p. 1105–7. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-386454-3.00863-0
  31. Baltaci A.K., Mogulkoc R., Baltaci S.B. The role of zinc in the endocrine system. Pakistan J Pharm Sci. 2019; 32 (1): 231–9.
  32. Miekeley N., de Carvalho Fortes L.M., Porto Da Silveira C.L. et al. Elemental anomalies in hair as indicators of endocrinologic pathologies and deficiencies in calcium and bone metabolism. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2001; 15 (1): 46–55. DOI: 10.1016/S0946-672X(01)80026-2
  33. Cohen M.D. Vanadium and the Immune System. Encyclopedia of Immunotoxicology, 2016. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-54596-2_1544
  34. Yoshihisa Y., Shimizu T. Metal allergy and systemic contact dermatitis: An overview. Dermatol Res Pract. 2012; 2012: 749561. DOI: 10.1155/2012/749561
  35. Chen J.K., Thyssen J.P. Metal Allergy: From Dermatitis to Implant and Device Failure, 2018. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-58503-1