Stratford, N.J. — A study conducted by researchers from the Rowan University School of Medicine in Stratford (RowanSOM) and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark found that Bisphenol-A (BPA)— a chemical component commonly found in soda cans, water bottles, and some paper products— is processed differently in children on the autism spectrum.
According to the study, BPA is not metabolized well in children with ASD, and this, researchers believe, can cause problems for children on the spectrum. Lead researcher Dr. T. Peter Stein of RowanSOM said that the studies have found that BPA acts as an endocrine disruptor.
“There are different kinds of steroids (hormones) in the body — testosterone, estrogen, progestins — that regulate metabolism. It turns out that BPA is a compound that can cause problems.”
Researchers suspect that the BPA chemical is harder for children with ASD to metabolize due to the interference it causes on amino acids. According to Stein:
“BPA interferes with amino acids. Some amino acids serve as starting material for neurotransmitters. That could be a connection.”
Although the research conducted by Stein and company was conducted on a relatively small group— 42 children with autism and 52 typically developing ones— he hopes that further study will be done on the subject in the future.
Contributed by Althea Estrella Violeta