Levels of salivary Sialic acid in children with ASD; Could it be related to stereotypes and hyperactivity?
esra demirci 1*, yunus güler 2, sevgi özmen 1, mehmet canpolat 3, sefer kumandaş 3
Erciyes University School of Medicine, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Kayseri, Turkey, Erciyes University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Kayseri, Turkey, Erciyes University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatric Neurology, Kayseri, Turkey
Received: November 29, 2018; Revised: January 24, 2019; Accepted: January 25, 2019; Published online: January 25, 2019.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

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).
Methods: 46 ASD children and 30 typically developing children aged 3-10 were included in the study. Behavioral symptoms in ASD children was assessed by the Autism Behavior Checklist (AuBC), the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) and the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC). After the collection of saliva samples, the supernatant was separated. All the samples kept at −80°C until sialic acid analysis was done.
Results: 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.
Conclusion: The obtained data indicate that sialic acid levels could have an effect on autism-like behaviors, particularly on stereotypes and hyperactivity.
Keywords: saliva, sialic acid, children, ASD, stereotypes