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14-09-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 5/2021 Open Access

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 5/2021

How Robust is the Evidence for a Role of Oxidative Stress in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Intellectual Disabilities?

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 5/2021
Shanna L. Burke, Jessica Cobb, Rumi Agarwal, Marlaina Maddux, Marcus S. Cooke
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Shanna L. Burke and Marcus S. Cooke are co-first authors.

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Growing interest in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and other intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) has led to emerging evidence implicating a role for oxidative stress. However, understanding the strength of this association is made challenging by the use of a variety of purported biomarkers of oxidative stress, many of which have either uncertain specificity or flawed methods of analysis. This review aims to address this issue, which is widespread in the ASD and IDD literature, by providing readers with information concerning the strengths and limitations of the choice and analysis of biomarkers of oxidative stress. We highlight that biomarkers and assays should be specific, sensitive, reproducible, precise, robust, and chosen with careful consideration. Future studies should be sufficiently powered and address sample collection, processing, and storage which are, additionally, poorly considered, sources of bad practice, and potential errors. Only with these issues considered, will the data lead to conclusions as to the precise role of oxidative stress in ASDs and IDD.

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