Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2019 Aug;17(3):415-422. 10.9758/cpn.2019.17.3.415.

Levels of Salivary Sialic Acid in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder; Could It Be Related to Stereotypes and Hyperactivity?

  • 1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Erciyes University School of Medicine, Kayseri, Turkey.
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Erciyes University School of Medicine, Kayseri, Turkey.
  • 3Department of Pediatric Neurology, Erciyes University School of Medicine, Kayseri, Turkey.


OBJECTIVE: Sialic acid (Sia) is an essential nutrient for brain development, learning, memory and cognition and plays a role in neurodevelopment of infants. The aim of this study was to determine whether Sia levels are significantly associated with the autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Forty-six ASD children and 30 typically developing children aged 3 to 10 years were included in the study. Behavioral symptoms in ASD children was assessed by the Autism Behavior Checklist (AuBC), the Childhood Autism Rating Scale, and the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC). After the collection of saliva samples, the supernatant was separated. All the samples kept at −80°C until Sia analysis was done.
Sia level was found to be significantly lower in the ASD group when compared to healthy controls (p = 0.013). There was no correlation between severity of ASD and salivary Sia levels. We found a negative correlation between AuBC scores and Sia levels and a negative correlation in both ABC Stereotypic Behavior and Hyperactivity/Noncompliance subscales with Sia levels in ASD group.
The obtained data indicate that Sia levels could have an effect on autism-like behaviors, particularly on stereotypes and hyperactivity.


Saliva; Sialic acid; Child; Autism spectrum disorder; Stereotypes
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