University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Italy
Keynote: J Neurol Neurosci
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by lifelong deficits in both socializing and non-verbal behaviors.
Parents often reported children’s sleep disorders (about from 44% to 83% of cases), as difficulty in sleep onset at bedtime, and alterations in sleep stability and continuity.
The first aim of the present study is to evaluate the putative relationship between leptin plasmatic levels and sleep habits in a cohort of ASD children naive to any antipsychotic drug treatment compared to a group of controls. The second aim is to investigate the relationship between social impairments and the leptin plasmatic levels.
Methodology and Theoretical Orientation: The ASD group included 76 ASD medication-naive children (49 males/37 females) and the control group consisted of 105 typical developing children (40 males/65 females).
To evaluate sleep habits and disturbances, all children’s mothers filled out the Sleep Disturbances Scale for Children (SDSC). Serum leptin levels were measured using the commercial ELISA kit.
Findings: The analyses of the mean scores on the sleep disorder scale (SDSC) and its subscales revealed a significant group effect. Specifically, the ASD group showed a significantly higher rate of sleep disorders in all subscales investigated by the SDSC scale (Table 1). Also measures of serum leptin levels showed significant effect group with a higher rate in the ASD group (ASD: 1.69 ng/ml ± 0.09; TDC: 0.95 ng/ml ± 0.20; p < .0001]. Correlations were all significant and positive in the overall sample. (Table 2)
Conclusion and Significance: The present study findings showed not only that ASD could be considered as a relevant risk factor for referred sleep troubles disorders, but that plasmatic leptin levels may be a putative biochemical marker for them.
Marco Carotenuto is Associate Professor and Chief of Clinic of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry at the Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli in Italy.Presently, he is currently involved in specific clinical research area such as pediatric sleep disorders, autism spectrum disorders neurochemistry, neurochemical alterations in neurodevelopmental disorders.