Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Neurofilaments are intermediary filaments associated with neurodegenerative processes. Thrombospondin-1 (TSP1) is a biological marker playing a role in synaptogenesis. This study aimed to investigate serum neurofilament light chain (NFL), and TSP1 levels of patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to typically developing (TD) children. Materials and methods: Forty-three patients with ASD and forty-five TD children were included. Serum biomarker levels were measured using the sandwich ELISA technique. The Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) was implemented to measure the severity of ASD. Results: NFL and TSP1 levels did not differ between study groups (For NFL, ASD = 47.8 ± 11.4 vs. TD = 48.2 ± 15.3 pg/mL, p = 0.785; for TSP1, ASD = 224.4 ± 53.7 vs. TD = 224.7 ± 69.0 ng/mL, p = 0.828). Stereotyped behavior and sensory sensitivity domain of the CARS scale was negatively correlated with serum TSP-1 (r = -0.390, p = 0.010) and NFL (r = -0.377, p = 0.013) levels. Age was also positively correlated with NFL levels (r = 0.332, p = 0.030) in the ASD groups but not in the TD group. Conclusion: Our results did not support the neurodegenerative process of ASD. Future studies are needed to investigate neuroprogression in a longitudinal follow-up


Neurofilament light chain, thrombospondin, autism, neurodegeneration

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