Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a series of complex neurobiological disorders. Adolescents and young adults with ASD are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes mellitus in their later life than those who are not. However, whether ASD patients exhibited a pre-diabetic phenotype in their childhood is still unknown. To answer this question, here we presented this study which focus on whether oral glucose tolerance, insulin and C-peptide release were changed in children with ASD. We recruited 17 patients and 17 age and sex-matched typically developing children in our study. In our study, the fasting blood glucose was significantly decreased in children with ASD. Moreover, two children in the ASD group had impaired glucose tolerance according to 2-hour postprandial blood glucose level. The C-peptide level at 30 minutes after glucose administration in the ASD group was significantly lower than that in the control group. Moreover, four children in the ASD group showed a phenomenon of delayed insulin secretion. All these results suggested that a subgroup of children with ASD might exhibit a pre-diabetic phenotype during early childhood. Finally, this study might bring about new therapeutic interventions for children with ASD.
Lay Summary: The etiology of ASD seems to involve an intricate interplay of genetic, environmental and metabolic disorders. Adolescents and young adults with ASD are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes mellitus in their later life. It is important to find out whether ASD patients exhibited a pre-diabetic phenotype in their childhood. This study provided evidence for dysfunction risk of glucose metabolism in ASD and revealed a pre-diabetes phenotype in children with ASD.
ASD, Blood glucose, Insulin, C-peptide, IGT