Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci 2018; 16(4): 383-390  
The Levels of Vitamin D, Vitamin D Receptor, Homocysteine and Complex B Vitamin in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Hatice Altun1, Ergül Belge Kurutaş2, Nilfer Şahin3, Olcay Güngör4, Ebru Fındıklı5
Departments of 1Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2Biochemistry, 4Pediatric Neurology, and 5Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University, Kahramanmaras, 3Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Mu?la Sıtkı Koçman University, Mu?la, Turkey
Correspondence to: Hatice Altun, MD
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University, Batı Çevreyolu Bulv., 251/A Onikişubat, Kahramanmaraş 46040, Turkey
Tel: +90-3443003374, Fax: +90-3443003409
E-mail: drhaticealtun@gmail.com
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6802-8216
Received: May 4, 2017; Revised: July 29, 2017; Accepted: August 1, 2017; Published online: November 30, 2018.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract
Objective: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental syndrome with an increasingly prevalent etiology, yet not fully understood. It has been thought that vitamin D, complex B vitamin levels and homocysteine are associated with environmental factors and are important in ASD. The aim of this study was to examine serum vitamin D, vitamin D receptor (VDR), homocysteine, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folate levels in ASD.
Methods: In this study, serum vitamin D and VDR, homocysteine, vitamins B6, B12 and folate levels were determined in 60 patients with ASD (aged 3 to 12 years) and in 45 age-gender matched healthy controls. In addition, calcium, phosphorus and alkaline phosphatase, which are associated with vitamin D metabolism, were measured from serum in both groups. ASD severity was evaluted by the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS).
Results: Serum vitamin D and VDR were substantially reduced in patients with ASD in comparision to control group. However, homocysteine level was significantly higher and vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folate were also reduced in patients with ASD. Total CARS score showed a positive association with homocysteine and a negative correlation with vitamins D,B6, B12, folate and VDR.
Conclusion: This comprehensive study, which examines many parameters has shown that low serum levels of vitamins D, B6, B12, folate and VDR as well as high homocysteine are important in the etiopathogenesis of ASD. However, further studies are required to define the precise mechanism(s) of these parameters and their contributions to the etiology and treatment of ASD.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; Vitamin D; Vitamin D receptor; Homocysteine; Complex B vitamin.


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