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      Serum protein profiling and proteomics in autistic spectrum disorder using magnetic bead-assisted mass spectrometry.

      European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience
      Adolescent, Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity, epidemiology, metabolism, Autistic Disorder, classification, Biological Markers, blood, Blood Proteins, Case-Control Studies, Child, Computational Biology, methods, Humans, Male, Neuropsychological Tests, Protein Array Analysis, Proteomics, Psychometrics, Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization

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          The pathophysiology of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is not fully understood and there are no diagnostic or predictive biomarkers. Proteomic profiling has been used in the past for biomarker research in several non-psychiatric and psychiatric disorders and could provide new insights, potentially presenting a useful tool for generating such biomarkers in autism. Serum protein pre-fractionation with C8-magnetic beads and protein profiling by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation-time of flight-mass spectrometry (MALDI-ToF-MS) were used to identify possible differences in protein profiles in patients and controls. Serum was obtained from 16 patients (aged 8-18) and age-matched controls. Three peaks in the MALDI-ToF-MS significantly differentiated the ASD sample from the control group. Sub-grouping the ASD patients into children with and without comorbid Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD (ASD/ADHD+ patients, n = 9; ASD/ADHD- patients, n = 7), one peak distinguished the ASD/ADHD+ patients from controls and ASD/ADHD- patients. Our results suggest that altered protein levels in peripheral blood of patients with ASD might represent useful biomarkers for this devastating psychiatric disorder.

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