A prospective study of transsulfuration biomarkers in autistic disorders

David A. Geier, Janet K. Kern, Carolyn R. Garver, James Adams, Tapan Audhya, Mark R. Geier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to evaluate transsulfuration metabolites in participants diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Transsulfuration metabolites, including: plasma reduced glutathione (GSH), plasma oxidized glutathione (GSSG), plasma cysteine, plasma taurine, plasma sulfate, and plasma free sulfate among participants diagnosed with ASDs (n = 38) in comparison to age-matched neurotypical controls were prospectively evaluated. Testing was conducted using Vitamin Diagnostics, Inc. (CLIA-approved). Participants diagnosed with ASDs had significantly (P < 0.001) decreased plasma reduced GSH, plasma cysteine, plasma taurine, plasma sulfate, and plasma free sulfate relative to controls. By contrast, participants diagnosed with ASDs had significantly (P < 0.001) increased plasma GSSG relative to controls. The present observations are compatible with increased oxidative stress and a decreased detoxification capacity, particularly of mercury, in patients diagnosed with ASDs. Patients diagnosed with ASDs should be routinely tested to evaluate transsulfuration metabolites, and potential treatment protocols should be evaluated to potentially correct the transsulfuration abnormalities observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-393
Number of pages8
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009



  • Heavy metal
  • Metabolic endophenotype
  • Sulfation
  • Sulfur

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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