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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 73-80

Dietary and antioxidant therapy for autistic children: Does it really work?

1 Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
2 Columbus County Department of Public Health, North Carolina, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Lubna A. G. Mahmood
Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/amhs.amhs_82_17

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Autism or autism spectrum disorder are both general terms for a group of complex neurodevelopment disorders that are characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, impaired social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, repetitive, and stereotyped behaviors as well. Autism has a significant genetic basis; even the genetics of autism are complex and mostly unclear if it is explained by rare multigene interactions of common genetic variants or rare mutations with major effects. Autism is known as a severe neurodevelopmental disorder with a poorly understood etiology. The oxidative stress in autism has been studied at both the membrane level as long as measuring products of lipid peroxidation, antioxidants, and detoxifying agents (such as glutathione) involved in the defense system against reactive oxygen species. Antioxidants have some potential therapeutic value in the treatment of certain neurodegenerative diseases though catabolizing H2O2. Since mitochondrial dysfunction is involved in the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases such as autism disorder, so developing new therapeutic strategies targeting the mitochondria may shed a new light to autism treatment. Given the evidence hinting at neurological changes following the implementation of dietary intervention in related conditions, future research might also benefit from looking at brain structural and biochemical changes in cases of altered state of consciousness (ASCs) adopting dietary intervention. Indeed, the gut-brain relationship, seemingly so important to explaining the role of dietary intervention in best-responder cases, is a woefully under-researched area with ASCs in mind.

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