Metabolic pathology of autism in relation to redox metabolism

Biomark Med. 2014;8(3):321-30. doi: 10.2217/bmm.13.158.


An imbalance in glutathione-dependent redox metabolism has been shown to be associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Glutathione synthesis and intracellular redox balance are linked to folate and methylation metabolism, metabolic pathways that have also been shown to be abnormal in ASD. Together, these metabolic abnormalities define a distinct ASD endophenotype that is closely associated with genetic, epigenetic and mitochondrial abnormalities, as well as environmental factors related to ASD. Biomarkers that reflect these metabolic abnormalities will be discussed in the context of an ASD metabolic endophenotype that may lead to a better understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying core and associated ASD symptoms. Last, we discuss how these biomarkers have been used to guide the development of novel ASD treatments.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / metabolism*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / pathology
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Glutathione