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Aim: To assess plasma zinc and copper concentration in individuals with autism and correlate these levels with symptom severity.
Subjects and methods: Plasma from 102 autistic individuals, and 18 neurotypical controls, were tested for plasma zinc and copper using inductively-coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Copper and zinc levels and Cu/Zn were analyzed for possible correlation with severity of 19 symptoms.
Results: Autistic individuals had elevated plasma levels of copper and Cu/Zn and lower, but not significantly lower, plasma Zn compared to neurotypical controls. There was a correlation between Cu/Zn and expressive language, receptive language, focus attention, hyperactivity, fine motor skills, gross motor skills and Tip Toeing. There was a negative correlation between plasma zinc concentration and hyperactivity, and fine motor skills severity.
Discussion: These results suggest an association between plasma Cu/Zn and severity of symptoms associated with autism.
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