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January2011 Vol.48 Issue:        1        Table of Contents
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Dermorphin Peptide Action in a Sample of Arab Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Omnia R. Amin, Amany A. Abdou


Department of Child Psychiatry, Cairo University; Egypt



Background: The Dermorphin peptide hypothesis of autism suggests that autism is the consequence of the incomplete breakdown and excessive absorption of peptides with opioid activity, causing disruption to neuroregulatory processes. Dermorphin is thought to be one of the cause affecting brain neurons. This neuropeptide is 40 times more potent than morphine. It is hypothesized that there is blood brain barrier for this peptide causing autism. Biochemical evidence has demonstrated a connection between the exclusion of gluten and casein from the diet and improvements in the behavior of children with autism. Objective: To find the relation between autistic symptoms and Dermorphin peptide. To detect if gluten and casein elimination has a role in autism. Methods: 42 autistic spectrum disorder children according to DSM IV-R criteria between 3- 6 year old and the control group included 36, same age, normal children. The whole sample was subjected to full child psychiatric sheet, The Childhood Autism Rating Scale, Blood level of Dermorphin peptide and elimination of both casein and gluten products. Results: There was no significant difference in severity of autistic criteria in both Dermorphin positive and negative autistic children with Improvement of autistic criteria after casein and gluten. Conclusion: Diet elimination may have a role in improvement in all autistic children and not specific to the presence of Dermorphin like action (with and without Dermorphin action).This improvement may be related to the effect of the specific educational program received by each child. [Egypt J Neurol Psychiat Neurosurg.  2011; 48(1): 19-24]


Key Words: Dermorphin- Arab- Autistic- Children


Correspondence to Omnia R. Amin, Cairo, Department of Child Psychiatry, Cairo University Egypt.

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