Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) comprises a heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental
disorders that begin in early childhood. They are characterized by differences in behavior and delays
in communication and affect at least 1% of children. Observational studies have now confirmed that
behaviors of a substantial percentage of children with autism tend to improve with the onset of febrile
illness, which might be the downstream effects of altered metabolic pathways involving increased expression
of heat shock proteins (HSP) and cellular stress responses. Sulforaphane, a phytochemical derived
from a number of cruciferous vegetables, most notably broccoli sprouts, has metabolic effects that in some ways resemble
that of fever. This review paper discusses this “fever effect” and the intracellular effects of sulforaphane as well as
the results of our recent clinical trial of sulforaphane in young adults with autism. The accompanying review by Liu et al.
describes the cellular actions of sulforaphane and potential biomarkers in the study of ASD.
Keywords: ASD, Autism, Fever effect, Sulforaphane.
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport