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ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder for which not only no exact cause has been identified but also no definitive cure has been found yet. Its prevalence has dramatic rise (1in 68 individuals).
ASD is characterized by persistent impairment of social interaction, deficits in verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted repetitive and stereo-typed patterns of behavior and interests (DSM-5).
There is decrease in acylghrelin, des acylghrelin and growth hormone(GH) levels in autistic children in comparison with age matched control group. This is the first study in Egypt in which ghrelin was measured in autistic children. Owing to ghrelin capacity to affect neuroinflammatory and apoptotic processes that were shown to be linked to autism, a potential role for ghrelin in the pathogenesis of autism is considered and further studies are needed to elucidate the role of ghrelin as a diagnostic marker and a potential therapeutic agent in autism. This study is also aimed to further elucidate the associated hormonal dysregulation.
In the current study, we measured the level of acyl ghrelin and growth hormone (GH) in patients with ASD compared to control group. We conducted this study on 45 patients with autism and 30 controls as much as possible matched with ASD group as regards age and gender. We found that 86% of patients with ASD show low acyl ghrelin levels and 73% of patients with ASD have lower GH levels than controls.
All the studied patients were subjected to psychiatric evaluation, anthropometric measurements such as weight, height, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and head circumference. Further evaluation was done using;
1. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 5th version (DSM- 5).
2. Childhood autism rating scale (CARS).
3. IQ assessment.
4. Egyptian growth centiles.
In the current study, there was no significant difference between the cases and controls as regards the personal characteristics as age and sex. But there was significant difference as regards consanguinity.
The present study revealed highly significant difference between cases and controls as regards natal and postnatal history.
The current study revealed highly significant difference between autistic children and controls as regards acyl ghrelin level. The present study also showed highly significant difference between autistics and controls as regards GH.