Archive | Autism Treatment

Biomedical Autism Treatment – Additional Blood Testing Markers and Autism

Posted on 08 July 2012 by admin

I want to make sure the next time you do blood testing for your child that certain things are checked for because they are often not. If you go to your pediatrician and they want to do some blood work, well meaning with their approach, but they will often do what is called a comprehensive metabolic panel, a complete blood count with differential to look at immune function and maybe they might order, if it is not a part of the comprehensive metabolic panel, a liver profile. All useful information, what I have found though is that many kids on the Autism spectrum need some additional things looked at.

One is iron. Many kids can be iron deficient, iron deficiency is a problem because iron is utilize within hemoglobin to help bind oxygen and oxygen obviously is necessary for metabolic activity at the cellular level, particularly within the brain. So we need an adequate supply of iron. So minimally doing a serum iron and what’s call a serum ferritin test is important.

Also vitamin D, a lot of information with respects to vitamin D problems and Autism and really vitamin D deficiencies in many people. Minimally you should do what is called a 25 OHD test which is the active form of vitamin D. And we are looking for levels upwards of 70 – 80 nanograms/ml with respects to optimal levels of vitamin D for Autism. And there is a lot of information about that so vitamin D test is important too.

I often see parents come into my practice with what looks like a comprehensive blood analysis but often the doctor forgets to do a total cholesterol. You can do a total cholesterol or a lipid panel. A lipid panel is also going to give you the LDL and HDL and the triglyceride numbers, which is fine, but when we look specifically at Autism we are primarily looking at is a decrease in total cholesterol. So minimally just doing a total cholesterol test and any lab can do that so it is not expensive. And we are looking ideally for levels upwards of 160 to 170. I often find that many kids on the spectrum are quite low, 110, 100 and below.

And then finally if it hasn’t been done, do a thyroid test. And don’t just do a TSH which is the thyroid stimulating hormone. Make sure minimally you do a TSH, a free T3 and a free T4. Often doctors will just do a TSH and it is not sensitive enough to pick up on subclinical hypothyroidism. Because you can have a normal TSH but it may be that your child is not converting T4 to T3. Free T3 is the physiologically active form of thyroid. So whenever I do a thyroid panel I will do a TSH, a free T3, and a free T4. If there is any concern about an auto-immune thyroid problem you can also add what is called an anti-TPO or an anti-thyroid globulin antibody. So that is always an option. So, think about that the next time your child is having a blood test, you can ask your doctor to add those important markers

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Biomedical Autism Treatment – Biomedicine University and Autism

Posted on 10 April 2012 by admin

If you like the information that I put forth in these videos and if you’ve joined me on my webinars through Great Plains Laboratory which I do once a month on a Wednesday, usually at the beginning of the month but make sure you check with Great Plains Laboratory for the schedule for each webinar regarding a specific topic on biomedical intervention. Then if you like the information I put forth I think you’ll also then like having access to this information through a website we’ve created called www.biomedicineuniversity.com.

What I have done is I’ve gone through many of my most popular presentations, redone the slides, we’ve converted those into a color PDF that you can immediately have as a download. Many of those presentations are also recorded as an audio file and then merged together essentially as a movie file that you can access as well.

Some things that I have done recently, one particular topic called Brain Regions and their Dysfunction in Autism goes through in depth the different areas in the brain. The frontal lobe, the temporal lobe, the parietal lobe, the occipital lobe, etc. and looking at different areas that are often dysfunctional in Autism and try and get a better understanding of what’s happening at that neuro-anatomical level. So that has been a popular one.

Another presentation I have done is brain inflammation, specifically brain inflammation with respects to microglia, microglia being these immune cells in the brain that are often activated in Autism leading to chronic inflammation. That information is there as well. But there is a whole host of other presentations on yeast, on biofilms, on supplements, on oxytocin, cholesterol, Respen-A therapy, methyl B-12 therapy, etc. So if you want to keep abreast of the information I am putting out, certainly join me at www.greatplainslaboratory.com once a month for my webinars and you can register through Great Plains Laboratory. And then you have constant access to information as well through www.biomedicineuniversity.com.

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Autism Treatment – Pandas, Probiotic Problems and Autism

Posted on 08 January 2012 by admin

PANDAS, PROBIOTICS PROBLEMS AND AUTISM
One phenomenon that I have seen with a number of kids on the Autism spectrum–some kids aren’t necessarily classically diagnosed with Autism but who have the characteristics of something called PANDAS–is a condition in the body that is triggered by a streptococcal infection, specifically Group A Beta Hemolytic Strep. In this case, individuals develop obsessive compulsive behavior, sometimes tics, behavioral issues, weird or odd movements of the head or the eyes, side glancing, or different manifestations that usually come about after an infection, sometimes a sore throat. It can be a marked change in their behavior, social anxiety, anxiety in general and as mentioned before very, very severe forms of obsessive compulsive disorder.

Now there are certain individuals on the Autism spectrum who have this characteristic and there are also other people who develop obsessive compulsive behavior and tics etc, who also have PANDAS but are not Autistic. One of the things that is interesting is in many of the supplements that people take, specifically probiotics, there is a specific bacteria called streptococcus thermophilus that is a natural bacteria and is essentially listed as a beneficial bacterial for the digestive system and for our overall health. You also find it in some yogurt products as well. It’s reported that streptococcus thermophilus is entirely different than Group A Beta Hemolytic Strep as far as its protein structure and therefore should not be a contributing problem to the obsessive compulsive problems or the other manifestation of PANDAS. The problem is that has not always proved to be true. This basically means in many kids, whether they are on the Autism spectrum or not, just don’t seem to react very well to probiotics that have streptococcus thermophilus.

If you have a suspicion that your child has PANDAS or is likely a problem, check their probiotics. See if the probiotics that they are taking have streptococcus thermophilus. If it does, consider changing to a different probiotic. It doesn’t always fit, but often times it does.

I had a situation a couple of years ago where a patient who had PANDAS was successfully treated for it and was essentially in remission started a group of new supplements, and all of a sudden, started coming down with those PANDAS conditions again. Anxiety, tics, obsessive behavior. The parent didn’t realize that the streptococcus thermophilus was an issue until we recognized that that was likely a contributing factor. Just stopping that one supplement alone, his PANDAS symptoms, his OCD, his anxiety disappeared. I have seen that happen now with other kids and other people as well. So it is one of the things that I look at clinically is if streptococcus thermophilus is being used in a supplement, that is one thing I look to remove.

PANDAS

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Autism Treatment – Autism Research and Brain Inflammation

Posted on 08 January 2012 by admin

Microglia Activation–Brain Inflammation and Autism

Brain Inflammation, or neroulogical inflammation, with respects to Autism, has been the topic of a tremendous amount of research out of Johns Hopkins University and other research facilities. Emerging research shows that in Autism, there tends to be a higher prevalence of neuro-inflammatory markers likely affecting individuals on the Autism spectrum more adversely.

In short, there is a cell in the brain or a system in the brain called microglia. Microglia is a part of the immune system function of the brain and the central nervous system. In many individuals with Autism, there appears to be what’s called microglia activation where the microglia become activated, but don’t turn off. They can become activated from a virus or bacteria. They can become activated from a potential chemical reaction. There’s been some cases where it’s shown that certain vaccines may be a contributing factor to microglia activation.

When the system doesn’t turn off, it leads to chronic inflammation and essentially the destruction of what are called synapses. Synapses are the small spaces between nerve cells where neuro-chemicals are transferred from one nerve cell to the next as a communication link. So, we get a chemical reaction across the synapse creating an electrical chemical reaction in the corresponding nerve cell. So, anything that is going to affect the synapse will essentially affect chemical transportation from one brain region to the next and electrical impulse activation in the brain as well.

There isn’t just one thing that causes microglia activation, but it is something that should be on your radar. It is something to consider for your child on the Autism spectrum, something that may be a contributing factor to their overall condition. Whether you feel your child had a vaccine reaction, whether they had an infection at some point where things just never returned to normal, or they’ve had chronic immune problems throughout their life like food sensitivities, gut problems, etc, you could be looking at the potential for microglia activation.

microglia activation

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Autism Treatment – Behavior Changes in Treating Autism

Posted on 12 December 2011 by admin

Behavior Changes

A number of factors can impact behavior in children with Autism, and working on resolving behavior changes means isolating some factors of the behavior. When is the behavior issue occurring? Is it occurring before going to school or in the morning or happening when your child gets home from school? Is it happening at school? In the therapy sessions? Before bedtime? Has there been some type of change in their daily routine?

I’ve often had kids who’ve had behavior changes because they’re in a classroom and a new child comes into the classroom that they either don’t like or they’re not getting along with or there is some type of conflict. It can even be a result of a new therapist or a new teacher.

Behavior changes can break down to something in their daily routine. Has there been some sort of change in their diet? Eating new foods or taking certain foods away that your child likes certainly can contribute to behavioral problems. Have you added a new supplement? Often times, changes in behavior occur when new supplements are added. Often times people will add too many supplements at one time instead of spacing them out every two to three days when introducing a new thing. Supplements sometimes can cause problems.

So you really have to be a detective in what is actually happening with your child and how long has that behavior change been occurring. Keep a journal on your child’s behavior changes to help you establish patterns. Has it been over a couple days or a couple weeks? Really try to piece together what may be going on, and keep in mind it may not be biomedical. It could be situational.

By the way, if it is something that might be tied to supplements, generally what I do is isolate which supplements have been added since the behavioral change started. Then, I recommend taking all of those new supplements out. Wait four to five days and see if the behavioral change shifts. Reintroduce those supplements one at a time, maybe sometimes at half a dose, and take implementation slower because just that change alone may be enough for your child to handle whatever new program you are putting them on.

Behavior Changes

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Helicobacter Pylori and Autism – What Tests to Perfom

Posted on 20 November 2011 by admin

Helicobacter Pylori

Helicobacter Pylori, or what is called H. Pylori, is a bacteria that has been responsible for the development of stomach ulcers. We know that kids on the Autism spectrum seem to have a lot of gut problems, including bacterial imbalances, yeast problems, and digestive problems in general. Helicobacter Pylori typically tends to aggravate the stomach and alters stomach acid production which can affect digestive enzyme function in the small intestine. It leads to poor digestion and malabsorption, and can also be a trigger for food allergies or sensitivities. It can cause stomach pain, acid reflux, gastritis and overall discomfort in the upper intestinal area, particularly after eating.

There’s a number ways of testing for H. Pylori. The most common test is called an H. Pylori antibody test, where they look at antibodies, which are immune proteins that are generated by our immune system to the presence of an infection, whether it’s a bacteria or a virus. The most common antibody is called an IGG antibody to H. Pylori. The problem is that IGG is only indicative of exposure to H. Pylori, and doesn’t really give you any idea if there is an active infection, so with that test, you still have to correlate it to symptoms. Some labs will also do an IGA and an IGM antibody to H. Pylori, which often times you have to specifically request. Those are important because IGM is actually a marker of active immune activity or immune activity against an active infection. IGA is also part of the complex as well. IGA, IGM and IGG are the common bloodtests that are done for H. Pylori. There is also a breath test that can be done, but it’s difficult to do with kids, so its not frequently used. Some of the labs are doing stool testing for H. Pylori, and are looking for what are called antigen staining or an antigen test.

One of the labs I use is called Biohealth Diagnostics and they have a panel called 401 which is a stool pathogen panel. When you add the H. Pylori component to it, it’s called the 401 H, it not only becomes a great test for parasites, looking for things like giardia, cryptosporidium, blastocystis hominis, entamoeba histolytica, but it also has a stool antigen test for H. Pylori and that if a stool antigen is present, it’s very good evidence that H. Pylori active infection is present. I often will do that, as an add-on stool test for kids on the autism spectrum to look for the presence of H. Pylori and also to look for the presence of other parasites that maybe missed by other stool tests. Those typically are the major tests that are done; the blood testing, the breath testing and the stool testing. The ones that are most common in the autism community would certainly be doing stool testing and the blood testing as well. I realize with some kids, it’s difficult to get blood, so again, if your doctors only gonna run H. Pylori IGG, in my experience that’s not going to be enough. Ask them to at least do the IGM, the IGA antibody and better than that, add a stool H. Pylori antigen test as well.

Helicobacter Pylori

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Autism Treatment – Helicobacter Pylori and Autism

Posted on 13 November 2011 by admin

Let’s talk about something called Helicobacter pylori and Autism or H Pylori. H. Pylori is a bacteria that has been responsible for the development of stomach ulcers. We know that kids on the Autism spectrum seem to have a lot of gut problems, including bacterial imbalances, yeast problems, and digestive problems in general. So, they seem to have a greater susceptibility of these types of infections, as well as susceptibility of behavioral problems associated with these infections whether it’s self stimulatory behavior that is driven by yeast, or aggressive behavior that is exacerbated by the presence of clostridia bacteria.

Helicobacter Pylori found in children on the Autism Spectrum typically tends to aggravate the stomach and alters stomach acid production which can affect digestive enzyme function in the small intestine. It leads to poor digestion, malabsorption, and can trigger food allergies or food sensitivities. It can also lead to stomach pain, acid reflux, gastritis and overall discomfort in the upper intestinal area, particularly after eating.

A lot of kids will actually avoid meat because it’s just hard to digest, and that can be an indicator that Helicobacter Pylori may be a problem. So I want you to think about Helicobacter Pylori as another type of infection that may be affecting your child’s digestive system and affecting the way they digest food.

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Autism Treatment–Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)

Posted on 17 October 2011 by admin

Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Some children, particularly those with inflammatory bowel conditions, very weak immune systems, or the inability to eradicate opportunistic bacteria and yeast from their digestive system, often times will receive benefit from a more detailed autism treatment dietary program than just the gluten and casein-free diet. One such autism treatment program is called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) as promoted by the late Elaine Gottschall, author of a groundbreaking book titled “Breaking the Vicious Cycle.” This diet is an extension of the gluten/casein-free diet (and soy-free diet) and has been a big boost health wise for many children on the autismspectrum.

I have seen the Specific Carbohydrate Diet work miracles with patients with digestive conditions such as Ulcerative Colitis or Chron’s Disease. Many children on the autism spectrum are suffering with a similar condition called Autistic Entereocolitis as described by Andrew Wakefield, M.D. Many more kids are suffering with undiagnosed bowel disorders that benefit from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) is not just a low carbohydrate diet, but instead is focused on removing certain grains such as wheat, barley, rye (same as the GF/CF diet), as well as rice, corn and other offending foods. The theory is that certain digestive enzymes that breakdown disaccharides (complex sugars) are missing (or are being blocked from reaching the food in the digestive system by excessive layers of intestinal mucus) in the child’s digestive system, making it difficult to digest these additional food sources. The lack of digestive function leads to chronic inflammation in the digestive system leading to gut wall deterioration. With the breakdown of the gut wall, food absorption is compromised leading to mineral, amino acid and vitamin imbalances, as well as immune dysfunction and the overgrowth of opportunistic infections such as yeast and bacteria.

The digestive system is the largest immune organ in the body and acts as the first line ofimmune defense against pathogens such as parasites, yeast, bacteria and intestinal exposed viruses. The loss of this immune response and the eventually breakdown of the gut wall can lead to systemic immune dysfunction and leaky gut. “Leaky gut” is analogous to a screen door on a submarine – “everything and anything can get through.” This means you lose the ability to keep the bad stuff from entering your blood stream. Increased toxins filtering into your child’s blood stream can activate systemic immune responses leading to local and systemic inflammation – including the brain. Celiac disease (which is a genetic disorder evidenced by the inability to digest gluten – specifically gliadin – containing grains) is an example of this where gluten proteins from food can adversely affect the brain.

To learn more about this autism treatment approach – the Specific Carbohydrate Diet -and the benefits it may have for your child visit – www.breakingtheviciouscycle.com

Specific Carbohydrate Diet

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Autism Treatment – Dietary Treatment Options for Autism Treatment

Posted on 16 October 2011 by admin

Autism Treatment

There are a number of dietary interventions that are helpful for individuals on the autism-spectrum. These include the gluten and casein-free diet (GF/CF), the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), Low Oxalate Diet (LOD), Feingold, GAPS, and anti-candida. Deciding on which Autism Treatment diet is right for your child can be confusing. How do you know where to start? Which Autism Treatment protocol do I do? Which one is best? All of these are common questions, but sometimes difficult to answer. In my experience there, is no one diet that is right for every person – certainly not every autism-spectrum child. One size does not fit all. It is true that in the context of eating, the elimination of toxic foods such as processed grains, high fructose corn syrup, and trans fats is critical, and in doing so will go a long way in improving the health of your child. Let’s take a glance at one diet – The Body Ecology – as an Autism Treatment option.

Yeast is a major problem in autism. The biotoxins from yeast contribute to cognitive, behavioral and language difficulties. Working to reduce or eliminate yeast toxins is an important consideration for any person on the autism-spectrum. Autism Treatment programs such as the Body Ecology Diet help in attacking chronic yeast problems. Here is an overview of the Body Ecology Diet:

* Anti-candida diet by eliminating all fruits other than lemons, limes, dried cranberries, and black currant seed juice.
* Cultured vegetables which aide in proper digestion, normalizing intestinal beneficial bacteria levels and acid-alkaline balance.
* Using various kefir products which are a good source of protein.
* Using a wide variety of protein meats, vegetables, and certain non-gluten (gliadin) grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet and buckwheat).
* Vegetable juices for increased nutrient bioavailability.
* Proper food combining to reduce digestive problems such as bloating, gas, and yeast overgrowth, etc.

The benefits derived from the Body Ecology program are a reduction in yeast overgrowth (and other opportunistic intestinal “gut bugs” such as bacteria and parasites), reduced exposure to harmful sugars, proper digestion, stronger immune function and less food allergies.

The Body Ecology Diet is a good example of how a more whole food diet (with the incorporation of fresh fruits and vegetables, organic meats, and healthy grains), and the elimination of fast foods can have wide-sweeping positive effects on your child’s health by reducing many of the artificial food ingredients, sugars and toxic fats that plague so much of the typical American diet.

Autism Treatment

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Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) and Autism

Posted on 06 September 2011 by admin

There is a condition recognized in the biomedical field for autism and related disorders called PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections). This particular condition is caused by an immune reaction triggered by a toxin produced from a Group A Beta-Hemolytic Streptococcal infection. There are various strep bacteria that produce toxins as part of their infectious nature. Our immune system responds to them in an attempt to neutralize and eradicate these toxins. Unfortunately, in some individuals, this immune-toxin (aka. antibody-antigen complex) reaction creates immune complexes which are deposited in various tissues of the body. If these immune complexes land in the kidneys there is an immune reaction called post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, in the heart it is called rheumatic fever, and in the brain PANDAS can ensue. This autoimmune reaction (self-directed immune reaction to body tissue) in PANDAS is directed to the Basal Ganglia area in the brain. The Basal Ganglia region of the brain when altered or damaged is associated with disorders such as obsessive-compulsiveness (OCD), strange body posturing/movements called chorea, and the typical TIC movements (quick jerking or vocal tics) associated with Tourette’s Syndrome. With obsessive-compulsive behavior anxiety is usually a major problem.

Some individuals on the autism-spectrum suffer with extreme anxiety, but without obsessive-compulsive behavior, while in others the OCD is severe. Even though PANDAS remains a controversial topic in medicine it is reported that PANDAS can cause or exacerbate Tics, Tourettes, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Approximately, 25% of individuals who have one or more of these conditions have what appears to be PANDAS.

Treatment options are limited, although certain biomedical autism treatments such as low dose naltrexone, dietary intervention such as the gluten and casein-free diet, and various supplements that support normal immune function such as Transfer Factor can be helpful in reducing the overall reactivity of the immune system, PANDAS remains a difficult condition to treat.

Antibiotic therapy has worked for some. I have seen clinically where a short course of antibiotics, such as 10 to 14 days of Keflex, Penicillin or Zithromax definitely helps, particularly with the OCD behaviors. Often times a prolonged course of weekly oral Zithromax has been helpful as suppressing the symptoms of PANDAS. In other situations more advanced biomedical therapies such as intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) are needed to short-circuit the autoimmune response. Plasmapheresis, which is a blood cleansing process performed to help diminish the immune-toxin reactions, has shown benefit for some individuals as well. Unfortunately, no treatment is 100% effective for everyone, and some people remain symptomatic even after medical intervention. Great Plains Laboratory – www.greatplainslaboratory.com carries a Streptococcal Panel which highlights immune reactions to strep. If positive this can then be correlated with behavioral and physical manifestations related to PANDAS to see if a treatment trial is indicated.

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