Cross-sectional investigation of insulin resistance in youths with autism spectrum disorder. Any role for reduced brain glucose metabolism?

Stefano Vicari, Melania Manco, Silvia Guerrera, Lucilla Ravà, Marta Ciofi Degli Atti, Silvia Di Vara, Giovanni Valeri

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

Abstract

The autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is an etiologically heterogeneous disorder. Dysfunctions of the intermediate metabolism have been described in some patients. We speculate these metabolic abnormalities are associated with brain insulin resistance (IR), i.e., the reduced glucose metabolism at the level of the nervous central system. The Homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) is very often used in population studies as estimate of peripheral IR and it has been recently recognized as proxy of brain IR. We investigated HOMA-IR in 60 ASD patients aged 4–18 years and 240 healthy controls, also aged 4–18 years, but unmatched for age, sex, body weight, or body mass index (BMI). At multivariable linear regression model, the HOMA-IR was 0.31 unit higher in ASD individuals than in controls, after having adjusted for sex, age, BMI z-score category, and lipids that are factors known to influence HOMA-IR. Findings of this preliminary study suggest it is worth investigating brain glucose metabolism in larger population of patients with ASD by using gold standard technique. The recognition of a reduced glucose metabolism in some areas of the brain as marker of autism might have tremendous impact on our understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of the disease and in terms of public health.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)229-N/A
RivistaTranslational Psychiatry
Volume11
DOI
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021

Keywords

  • Autism
  • metabolism

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