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Developmental medicine and child neurology (1)
Physiology & behavior (1)
Bloom, Michael S. (1)
Hediger, Mary L (1)
Hediger, Mary L. (1)
Houston, Allison S. (1)
Kalkwarf, Heidi J (1)
Manning-Courtney, Patricia (1)
Mills, James L (1)
Mills, James L. (1)
Molloy, Cynthia A (1)
Molloy, Cynthia A. (1)
Year of Publication
Plasma 25(OH)D concentration in children with autism spectrum disorder
Kalkwarf, Heidi J
Mills, James L
Hediger, Mary L
Developmental medicine and child neurology
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are reported to have decreased bone cortical thickness (BCT). Vitamin D plays an important physiological role in bone growth and development, so deficiency of vitamin D could contribute to decreased BCT. The goal of this study was to compare plasma 25(OH)D concentration in three groups of Caucasian males age 4 to 8 years old: (1) ASD and an unrestricted diet (n=40), (2) ASD and a casein-free diet (n=9), and (3) unaffected controls (n=40). No significant group differences were observed (p=0.4). However, a total of 54 (61%) of the children in the entire cohort had a plasma 25(OH)D concentration of less than 20ng/mL, similar to findings of low 25(OH)D concentrations in population-based studies. Children with ASD should be monitored for vitamin D deficiency.
Finger bone immaturity and 2D:4D ratio measurement error in the assessment of the hyperandrogenic hypothesis for the etiology of autism spectrum disorders
Bloom, Michael S.
Houston, Allison S.
Mills, James L.
Hediger, Mary L.
Physiology & behavior
Emerging hypotheses suggest a causal role for prenatal androgen exposure in some cases of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The ratios of the lengths of the bones of the 2nd to the 4th digit (2D:4D) are purported to be markers for prenatal androgen exposure and to be established early in gestation. Elongation of the 4th digit in response to testosterone is said to reduce 2D:4D in males versus females. We examined the ratios of bones from the left hand radiographs of 75 boys and 6 girls 4–8 years of age, diagnosed with ASD, to evaluate digit ratio as a marker for gestational androgen exposure. Contrary to our expectations, girls had reduced 2D:4D compared to boys but the difference was not significant (Cohen’s D 0.51–0.66, P>0.05). The limited sample size for this study and the absence of a referent group precluded providing robust estimates for girls and identifying possible statistical differences between the sexes. Tanner-Whitehouse 3 (TW3) rating of finger bone growth suggested relative immaturity of the 4th relative to the 2nd digits. Positive correlations were detected for 2D:4D ratios, body mass index (r=0.23, P=0.039), chronologic age (r=0.35, P=0.001), and skeletal age (r=0.42, P<0.0001). The TW3 ratings and associations between 2D:4D ratios and indicators of growth suggest that digits develop at different rates. This asynchronous development may produce differences in 2D:4D over time which could lead to erroneous interpretation of androgen exposure in utero among young ASD children.
Autism spectrum disorder; digit ratio; hyperandrogenic hypothesis; measurement error
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