Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Inositol: Definition

  • Jonathan KopelEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_102080-1



Inositol is an abundant sugar responsible for important cellular transduction pathways involving hormones, neurotransmitters, and growth factors (Parthasarathy et al.). Among the nine inositol isomers, the myo-inositol has the greatest biological activity and serves to synthesize cell membrane inositol phospholipids (Parthasarathy et al.). In the brain, myo-inositol links several extracellular signaling pathways activating phospholipase C and increasing cytosolic calcium from the endoplasmic reticulum (Parthasarathy et al.). The resulting calcium surge activates many enzymes and receptors controlling essential physiological and neurological functions (Parthasarathy et al.).

As a result, the inositol pathway remains an attractive pharmacological target towards the treatment and management of many psychiatric disorders. Several clinical studies have demonstrated a correlation between decreased myo-inositol levels and the severity...

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References and Reading

  1. Einat, H., & Belmaker, R. H. (2001). The effects of inositol treatment in animal models of psychiatric disorders. Journal of Affective Disorders, 62(1–2), 113–121.  https://doi.org/10.1016/s0165-0327(00)00355-4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Levine, J. (1997). Controlled trials of inositol in psychiatry. Biological Psychiatry, 42(1), 289S.  https://doi.org/10.1016/s0006-3223(97)88102-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Levine, J., Aviram, A., Holan, A., Ring, A., Barak, Y., & Belmaker, R. H. (1997). Inositol treatment of autism. Journal of Neural Transmission, 104(2–3), 307–310.  https://doi.org/10.1007/bf01273191.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Parthasarathy, L. K., Ratnam, L., Seelan, S., Tobias, C., Casanova, M. F., & Parthasarathy, R. N. Mammalian inositol 3-phosphate synthase: Its role in the biosynthesis of brain inositol and its clinical use as a psychoactive agent. In Subcellular biochemistry (pp. 293–314). Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Vasconcelos, M. M., Brito, A. R., Domingues, R. C., da Cruz, L. C. H., Gasparetto, E. L., Werner, J., & Gonçalves, J. P. S. (2008). Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in school-aged autistic children. Journal of Neuroimaging, 18(3), 288–295.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1552-6569.2007.00200.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC)LubbockUSA