Department of physiology (29), Autism Research and Treatment center (ART center) (99), Al-Amodi Autism Research Chair, Faculty of Medicine, king Saud University, P.O. Box 2925, Riyadh 11461, Saudi Arabia.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental behavioral disorder with unknown etiology characterized by impairment of
social contact and communication, restricted and repetitive interest and behaviors. The aim of the current study is to
explore possible role of Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and serum myelin basic protein (MBP) auto-antibody
in autism spectrum disorders. The study was conducted at the autism research & treatment center and Al-amodi autism
research chair, king Saud University. Forty six autistic children, age up to 12 years (41 males and 5 females), with
confirmed diagnosis according to DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for autistic spectrum disorders, and 3DI (Dimensional,
Developmental, Diagnostic Interview) participated in the study. And 53 age matched normal children, were recruited in
the study. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and myelin basic protein antibody, were measured by ELIZA
method. Results showed that Serum levels of BDNF in autistic children expressed as mean ± S.D were significantly
lower than those of normal controls (353.2 ± 78 ng/ml) versus (540 ± 57 ng/ml) respectively. Nevertheless, we found
no correlations between BDNF levels and clinical variables in autistic patients. On the other hand, myelin basic protein
autoantibody serum levels expressed as mean ± S.D in autistic were significantly (P < 0.001) higher than those of agematched
healthy controls (590± 27ng/ml) versus (390 ± 35) respectively. This study suggests a highly possible pathophysiological
role played by BDNF and MBP in autism spectrum disorders.