Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by impairments in verbal and non-verbal expressive speech, deficits in social interaction and hyper-focused repetitive behaviors from childhood. Although the prevalence of the disorder is increasing globally, the causes and pathophysiology of ASD are not fully understood. There is a general agreement that ASD could result from interaction between genetic and environmental factors with oxidative stress as a potential link. Hence, development of oxidative stress especially in the formative years of children has equally gained prominence as the basis of the disorder. Oxidative stress determined by imbalance in oxidant/antioxidant ratio was investigated in children clinically diagnosed for ASD (cases) according to DSM-IV-TR and neuro-typical children (controls). We also determined levels of essential metals [magnesium, zinc, and copper] and toxic metal, lead in the cohort. We found an imbalance of oxidant/antioxidant system causing production of reactive oxygen species (a highly destructively group of free radicals) in the children with ASD compared to the control group. This may be very significant as a precipitating agent of structural damage and attendant disruption in transduction and transmission of signals across neurons especially in sensitive organs like the brain in the developing child.  Findings in this work underscore the need for optimal intake of Zn and Mg especially by pregnant women in order to mitigate consequent damages to sensitive organs like the brain in the developing child.

Dr Ishiaq Oomotosho.pnglayinka OMOTOSHO is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan. He also holds numerous professional fellowships in Medical Laboratory Science and joined the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine University of Ibadan in 2011 after obtaining a masters (1992) and doctor of philosophy (2007) degrees respectively with primary research interest in biochemical toxicology. His Master's degree research in Biochemistry was on Nitrosamine Toxicity while he worked on “Novel Biomarkers of Lead Nephropathy in Nigerians Occupationally Exposed to Lead (Pb)” for his doctoral degree. In the course of his research in biochemical toxicology, he has investigated the toxicity of lead and other toxic metals with a view to developing early markers of their deleterious effects especially in subjects occupationally exposed to these metals. He has also investigated the toxic roles of imbalance in essential and toxic metals interaction in the aetiopathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases and secondary infertility in addition to his current report on ASD. Other research interests include the bio-nutritional values of coconut fruit and water as well as the biochemical and cellular toxicity of Yoyo Bitters on the kidney, liver and the female reproductive tract.  He has supervised more than 10 Masters' projects, co-supervised 2 doctoral works and presently supervising 3 doctoral theses.

Please read the full - length article at:

Newscast Series from the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan (CoMUI),

Translational Research & Community Impact Committee (TRaCC) 0006

Social Links

Get In Touch