Brain mitochondrial dysfunction has been proposed as an etiologic factor in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging ((1)HMRS) and MRI were used to assess for evidence of brain mitochondrial dysfunction in longitudinal samples of children with ASD or developmental delay (DD), and cross-sectionally in typically developing (TD) children at 3-4, 6-7 and 9-10 years-of-age. A total of 239 studies from 130 unique participants (54ASD, 22DD, 54TD) were acquired. (1)HMRS and MRI revealed no evidence for brain mitochondrial dysfunction in the children with ASD. Findings do not support a substantive role for brain mitochondrial abnormalities in the etiology or symptom expression of ASD, nor the widespread use of hyperbaric oxygen treatment that has been advocated on the basis of this proposed relationship.

Corrigan NM, Shaw DW, Richards TL, Estes AM, Friedman SD, Petropoulos H, et al. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy and MRI reveal no evidence for brain mitochondrial dysfunction in children with autism spectrum disorder. J Autism Dev Disord [Internet]. 2012 Jan [cited 2017 Sep 7];42(1):105-15. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21404085