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Salivary Bioscience News

Association of salivary metals with ADHD

Increased risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in adolescents with high salivary levels of copper, manganese, and zinc

Robinson, D M et al. (2024) Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry

ABSTRACT: Exposure to toxic heavy metals has been associated with the development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, fewer studies have examined the associations between abnormal levels of essential trace metals and ADHD, and none have done so using saliva. We investigated whether salivary metals were associated with ADHD in adolescents aged 12 from the Family Life Project (FLP) using a nested case-control study design that included 110 adolescents who met diagnostic criteria for inattentive (ADHD-I), hyperactive-impulsive (ADHD-H), or combined type ADHD (ADHD-C) (cases) and 173 children who did not (controls). We used inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrophotometry to measure chromium, copper, manganese, and zinc in saliva samples. We employed logistic regression models to examine associations between quartile levels of individual metals and ADHD outcomes by subtype. Salivary copper levels were significantly associated with increased odds of any ADHD diagnosis (OR = 3.31, 95% CI: 1.08-10.12; p = 0.04) and with increased odds of ADHD-C diagnosis (OR = 8.44, 95% CI: 1.58-45.12; p = 0.01). Salivary zinc levels were significantly associated with increased odds of ADHD-C diagnosis (OR = 4.06, 95% CI: 1.21-13.69; p = 0.02). Salivary manganese levels were also significantly associated with increased odds of ADHD-C diagnosis (OR = 5.43, 95% CI: 1.08-27.27, p = 0.04). This is the first study using saliva to assess metal exposure and provide a potential link between salivary levels of copper, manganese, and zinc and ADHD diagnoses in adolescents. Public health interventions focused on metal exposures might reduce ADHD incidence in low-income, minority communities.

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Keywords: saliva, salivary metals, chromium, copper, manganese, zinc, ADHD, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, metal exposure

*Note: Salimetrics provides this information for research use only (RUO). Information is not provided to promote off-label use of medical devices. Please consult the full-text article.

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