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Plasma androgens in autism.

Plasma levels of testosterone and the adrenal androgen dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) were measured in male autistic Ss (31 prepubertal [mean age 5.55 yrs], 8 postpubertal [mean age 22.9 yrs]), mentally retarded/cognitively impaired (MRCI) Ss (12 prepubertal [mean age 6 yrs]), and normal controls (10 prepubertal [mean age 7.7 yrs], 11 postpubertal [mean age 22.1 yrs]). Mean levels of plasma testosterone and plasma DHEA-S levels were similar in postpubertal autistic and postpubertal control groups. Similarly, no significant group differences were seen for testosterone or DHEA-S, although prepubertal MRCI Ss with cerebral palsy did have increased plasma DHEA-S levels. Significant negative correlations were found between testosterone and whole blood serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) levels in the combined groups and in the autistic group. Data indicate that altered secretion of the androgens is not a common feature of autism. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)