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Androgenic activity in autism.

Examined androgenic activity in autistic children. Plasma testosterone and adrenal androgen was measured in 9 drug free inpatients and 62 normal, matched Ss. The autistic Ss consisted of 5 prepubertal boys and 2 prepubertal girls (aged 8-10 yrs), 1 pubertal boy (aged 17 yrs), and 1 pubertal girl (aged 13 yrs). Measures of plasma testosterone concentration and adrenal androgen were made by immunoradiometry. Results show that 3 of the 9 autistic Ss had an abnormally high plasma testosterone concentration, with values above that of the highest comparison Ss. The 13-yr-old girl had adrenal androgen levels 500% higher than the mean of the comparison Ss. All other autistic Ss had normal adrenal androgen levels. These findings suggest that abnormally high plasma testosterone concentration is associated with aggression against others and having fewer of the main autistic symptoms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)