Children with Asperger and Kanner syndromes in the stable state demonstrate similar decrease in plasma norepinephrine. In the aggravated state, these changes become more expressed and are characterized by a decrease in plasma tyrosine, norepinephrine, normetanephrine and by an increase in dopamine and homovanylic acid and a decrease in excretion of norepinephrine and an increase in excretion of homovanylic acid, epinephrine and MHPG. Only in children with Kanner syndrome in the aggravated state plasma MHPG increases, excretion of tyrosine decreases and excretion of normetanephrine increases. The observed imbalance in dopamine and epinephrine/norepinephrine systems justifies combined analysis of changes in catecholamines and their metabolites levels as the most informative approach in the study of the effect of autistic disorders.
Croonenberghs J., Delmeire L., Verkerk R., Lin A., Meskal A., Neels H., Planken M., Scharpe S., Deboutte D., Pison G., Maes M. (2000) Neuropsychopharmacology, 136, 275-283. CrossRef Scholar google search