Autism (now known as Autism Spectrum Disorder- ASD) is a developmental condition of the brain that appears suddenly in childhood with over 200,000 new cases diagnosed each year. The condition causes impairment of social interaction and communication, as well as unusual behaviors. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. Many famous scientists, artists and performers experienced ASD. Having a loving, caring and informed family may be the most important factor in the evolving life a someone with ASD.
What are the symptoms of autism?
Symptoms vary but are characterized by a difficulty in relating to people, objects, and events. Communication problems may be present, such as a lack of eye contact or response when their name is called; fixation on specific subjects or toys; difficulty with changes to routine or surroundings; and repetitive body movements, such as head banging or hand flapping.
Conventional treatment options:
There is no established conventional treatment for autism. Therapy generally consists of using medications, such as antidepressants, stimulants, and antipsychotics, to manage symptoms of associated disorders, which include attention deficit, hyperactivity, obsessions, compulsions, tics, irritability, seizures, and depression. Institutionalization was the standard of care for ASD.
Can Nutrition Affect Autism?
Research is showing a definite yes! Many children with autism have food sensitivities, due to abnormalities in their digestive and/or immune systems. If food is not fully digested into individual sugars, amino acids, etc., then the partly digested food can cause the immune system in the gut to react to those foods. This reaction is much more likely to occur if there is inflammation of the gut.
Over the last several hundred years, wheat has been bred to greatly increase its gluten content, and a typical US diet contains far higher amounts of wheat than humans were eating 1000-10,000 years ago. Gluten (in wheat, rye, barley, and possibly oats) and cow’s milk proteins (including casein, β lactoglobulin, α-lactoalbumin which are present in all dairy products, including milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, caseinate) can act as neurotoxins.
There are over 20 studies of vitamin B6 with Magnesium for autism, including 12 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, making it one of the most studied nutritional treatments for autism. Almost all of these studies found that 30-40% of children and adults with autism benefited from high-dose supplementation of vitamin B6 with magnesium. Vitamin B6 is required for over 1113 enzymatic reactions, including the production of major neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, and others), glutathione (needed for detoxification), and hemoglobin (carries oxygen in blood). Magnesium is used to prevent the possibility of hyperactivity, which can occur if the vitamin B6 is taken by itself.
Newer Research on Autism
Our understanding of autism expanded in 2015, with scientific publications on a number of advances and discoveries. They included previously unknown connections between the brain and the immune system and the results of the largest-ever comparison of autism rates among vaccinated versus unvaccinated children. At the same time, one of science’s first deep dives into the autism genome revealed that the condition’s genetic underpinnings are even more complex than previously thought.
Here are some updated autism research stories of 2015:
#10 Autism and speach: The importance of screening for both
In June, researchers reported that this otherwise rare speech disorder affects nearly 65 percent of children who have autism.
#9 Study finds that half of all autism cases trace to rare gene-disabling mutations
Investigators reported that at least half the time, autism traces to one of roughly 200 gene-disabling mutations found in the child but neither parent.
#8 Doctors, listen up! Parents can spot autism long before diagnosis
One of the world’s leading experts on how to identify autism as early as possible reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, describing how parents’ concerns at 12 months accurately predicted a later autism diagnosis.
The study also confirmed that autism rates rise steadily with parental age after 40. These results suggest that multiple mechanisms are contributing to the association between parental age and ASD risk.
#6 ADHD symptoms can delay autism diagnosis for years
Writing in the journal Pediatrics, investigators reported that the symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can significantly delay the identification of autism.
#5 Largest-ever autism genome study finds most siblings have different autism risk genes
The largest-ever autism genome study revealed that the condition’s genetic underpinnings are even more complex than previously thought: Even within a family, most affected siblings have different autism-linked genes.
#4 Researchers urge greater attention to autism-related food issues
A study of more than a hundred children ages 3 to 11 confirmed that those affected by autism have high rates of food aversions, or extremely selective eating. Their parents reported more mealtime behavior problems, higher spousal stress and significant limitations to what the family ate, compared to the parents of typically developing kids. Check for sensitivities – ALCAT test.
Andrew Wakefield, MD – “It’s not my opinion alone that MMR vaccine, or many vaccines, are associated causally with autism. It is the opinion of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and it is the opinion of senior scientists at the CDC as well, as of many, many, many thousands of parents who have experienced this injury first hand in their own children.”
#2 Study links autism to epigenetic changes in dads’ sperm
An abundance of “epigenetic” changes to the DNA of sperm is seen from men whose young children had autism symptoms. A man’s sperm-producing cells as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals, infections and other environmental hazards over a lifetime can accumulation with age may help explain the high rates of autism seen among the children of older dads.
#1 Discovery of brain-immune system link could advance understanding of autism
In June, University of Virginia neuroscientists reported their discovery of a previously undetected system of lymph vessels in the membranes surrounding the brain. Poor neurotoxic handling within the brain of autism sufferers may offer a means of therapy. Take Shaklee Mind Works!
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