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Autism Research and Treatment
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 609705, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/609705
Clinical Study

Effectiveness of Methylcobalamin and Folinic Acid Treatment on Adaptive Behavior in Children with Autistic Disorder Is Related to Glutathione Redox Status

1Department of Pediatrics, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72202, USA
2Department of Biostatistics, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72202, USA

Received 15 July 2013; Accepted 4 September 2013

Academic Editor: Klaus-Peter Ossenkopp

Copyright © 2013 Richard E. Frye et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Treatments targeting metabolic abnormalities in children with autism are limited. Previously we reported that a nutritional treatment significantly improved glutathione metabolism in children with autistic disorder. In this study we evaluated changes in adaptive behaviors in this cohort and determined whether such changes are related to changes in glutathione metabolism. Thirty-seven children diagnosed with autistic disorder and abnormal glutathione and methylation metabolism were treated with twice weekly 75 µg/Kg methylcobalamin and twice daily 400 µg folinic acid for 3 months in an open-label fashion. The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (VABS) and glutathione redox metabolites were measured at baseline and at the end of the treatment period. Over the treatment period, all VABS subscales significantly improved with an average effect size of 0.59, and an average improvement in skills of 7.7 months. A greater improvement in glutathione redox status was associated with a greater improvement in expressive communication, personal and domestic daily living skills, and interpersonal, play-leisure, and coping social skills. Age, gender, and history of regression did not influence treatment response. The significant behavioral improvements observed and the relationship between these improvements to glutathione redox status suggest that nutritional interventions targeting redox metabolism may benefit some children with autism.