Many of those with autism have biochemistry that is characterized by high levels of oxidative stress and low levels of sulfur antioxidants. Of the small set of compounds which have been shown to have some efficacy in double-blind trials in treating some aspects of autism, four are sulfur containing compounds with antioxidant properties. Specifically these four have been found to be efficacious with statistical significance in double-blind trials in autism: n-acetylcysteine, sulforaphane, l-carnitine, and a multivitamin containing methyl-sufonyl-methane and n-acetylcysteine. Each of these compounds has antioxidant properties, and there are other sulfur containing compounds with antioxidant properties which case studies suggest may have some efficacy in autism as well. The over-representation of sulfur containing antioxidants in the set of compounds that have been found to be therapeutic for autism as well as the indications of therapeutic potential of others, and the low levels of sulfur compounds and high oxidative stress that are often seen in autism biochemistry suggest that sulfur deficits are often fundamental to autism etiology, and sulfur containing antioxidants are worthy of additional study as a class of therapeutics for autism.
Keywords: Autism, NAC, sulforaphane, n-acetylcysteine, sulfate, oxidative stress, biotin, benfotiamine, DMSA, therapeutics, MSM, sulfation, biochemistry, cysteine, garlic, carnitine, TTFD, suramin, IGF-1