Lower Levels of Urine Nitric Oxide Metabolites Found in ASD Parents

June 21, 2021

Problematic Physical Manifestation Shows that Parents Need More Support

A recent study from China has associated lower urine nitric oxide (NO) metabolites levels in parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to healthy adults of the same age. This finding suggests that parents dealing with autism, especially mothers, may have experienced more mental and physical stressors which produced lower NO levels compared to the study’s controls. This research points out that parents of children on the spectrum are impacted and challenged by many factors including: the severity of their child’s symptoms and behavioral problems, receiving appropriate support from society, and even their own personality figures into the equation. The study demonstrated that parents experienced less stress if they had a more optimistic view on life, had a stronger personality, or had an accepting attitude towards their child’s disability. A word of warning, this study should not be interpreted as research merely calling for  parents to have a better attitude about the challenges they face. It’s the opposite, the study’s authors suggest that more support for parents is needed for parents to remain healthy both mentally and physically.  Insufficient nitric oxide production is not a trivial problem. It can result in endothelium dysfunction, which may contribute to atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease.

Original Study


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