Heavy Metals and Trace Elements in Blood, Hair and Urine of Nigerian Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Heavy Metals and Trace Elements in Blood, Hair and Urine of Nigerian Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Blaurock-Busch E. PhD1 and Nwokolo Chijioke C.2

1Research Scientist, Lecturer, Micro Trace Minerals Laboratory, Germany. Advisor, German Medical Association of Clinical Metal Toxicology; Address: Röhrenstr. 20, 91217 Hersbruck, Germany; 2University of Benin, Dept. of Biochemistry Faculty of Life Sciences, Benin City, Nigeria

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of developmental disorders defined by a range of behavioral problems including social withdrawal, communication deficits, and stereotypic/repetitive behavior. Patient observation and clinical history rather than biomarkers as known in laboratory analysis are the defining factors. Pathophysiological etiologies remain controversial, but genetic and environmental factors have been discussed in recent years. International research has focused on neurotoxic metals such as mercury and lead, suggesting that these and other metals contribute to the development of the disorder.
Since the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria is widely known for its petroleum industry and pollution, we aimed to evaluate if Nigerian children diagnosed with ASD carry a greater burden of toxic metals compared to healthy Nigerian children living in the same region. While the ASD group shows a higher metal concentration in blood and hair, combined with low blood zinc levels, we also determined an unusual metal burden in the healthy group but no zinc deficiency.

Keywords:Autism, Toxic Metal Burden, Zinc, Niger Delta.

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How to cite this article:
Blaurock-Busch E. and Nwokolo Chijioke C. Heavy Metals and Trace Elements in Blood, Hair and Urine of Nigerian Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. International Research Journal of Public Health, 2018; 2:13. DOI:10.28933/irjph-2018-07-2201

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