Altered urinary porphyrins and mercury exposure as biomarkers for autism severity in Egyptian children with autism spectrum disorder
Children with ASD have higher urinary levels of mercury and lead.
Khaled EM, Meguid NA, Bjørklund G, et al. Metabolic Brain Disease 2016. DOI 10.1007/s11011-016-9870-6.
Results of this case-control study showed that children with ASD had higher urinary levels of mercury and lead as well as porphyrins that are characteristic of mercury toxicity as compared to non-ASD control children. Porphyrins are complex molecules that are processed in the body through a series of chemical reactions. Mercury poisons the enzymes that are needed in the process, causing a buildup in the body of excess levels of specific porphyrins. The porphyrins for mercury toxicity also correlated with autism severity in ASD patients.