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Autism on the Rise

Prior to the 1980’s, autism was rare, perhaps only 3 cases per 10,000 births. Today the number of children with this terrible disease is 1 in 150! What is causing the rate to sky rocket?

First, what is autism?
Autism is part of a spectrum of disorders that includes ADD, ADHD, and Aspergers syndrome.. It describes a child who suffers from a medical disorder that severely impairs their interactions both verbally and socially. The diagnostic criteria are very specific but common to all autistic children: lack of awareness of others’ feelings; lack of peer interaction; impairment of communication; and the absence of, or abnormal seeking of, comfort at times of distress.

There may be absent facial expression, strange speech patterns or sounds, fixed preoccupations with things, repetitive body movements, and great distress if anything in their routine or environment is changed.

What is the cause of the spectrum of autism and autism-like disorders?
There is a great debate about causes of autism. The medical community at large thinks it is a genetic problem but is unsure. The doctors who use a DAN (Defeat Autism Now) approach feel that it is multi-factorial and know that great improvements can be made in many children. We physicians at The Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine share this view and are DAN providers.

Dr, Richard C. Deth at Northeastern University has discovered a genetic variation at the D4 dopamine receptor on the surface of brain nerve cells.

This variation–“a seven repeat”–causes the developing brain to be vulnerable to infections, toxins, allergens and other insults. When damage occurs, the synchrony of brain function may be affected. Those of us who practice Environmental Medicine believe genetics may load the gun, but it is the environment that pulls the trigger.

This problem with the D4 receptor is related to the general defect in a biochemical process called methylation. This methylation process is a key factor in cell repair and is critical to keeping a child’s brain protected and able to detoxify. If a developing brain can’t detoxify, it becomes damaged. About 20 percent of the population has this defect, but they won’t exhibit problems if their toxic load is low.

In autism, there is also a problem with energy supply to the brain cells, which is related to metabolic defects with methionine and creatine phosphate. There are about six other genetic factors involved in autism, as well.

The environmental insults that can result in these genetic vulnerabilities being triggered are suspected to be:

  1. Heavy Metal Toxicity: many physicians find significant levels of mercury and lead, possibly from mercury (thimersol) in vaccines, especially the measles virus
  2. Immune deficiency/ infection
  3. Candida overgrowth
  4. Intestinal bacterial dysbiosis
  5. Food allergy
  6. Neurotransmitter imbalances
  7. Nutrient deficiency

What are possible solutions?
The Defeat Autism Now organization has at least 1000 documented cases of full recovery from autism spectrum disorders. While full recovery is difficult to obtain, doctors regularly see significant changes in personality, vocabulary, peer interaction, moods and behaviors.

The use of a comprehensive biochemical “DAN” approach allows physicians to identify any potential triggers that have played upon the genetic vulnerability of these children. It also provides avenues for treatment and allows the maximum opportunity for change in this distressing condition. Due to the large number of possible triggers, it is important to perform a comprehensive medical evaluation that includes a full battery of laboratory tests that can more objectively pinpoint each child’s individual problems.

If you are interested in this approach, the physicians at The Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine have nearly thirty years experience with autism.

In our work with autistic children at The Center, we have seen improvements in behavior, eye contact, concentration, co-ordination, and communication, and reductions in night terrors and other intense fears and aversions, abnormal feeding patterns, and abnormal sensory or tactile responses.

Sometimes, even many times, these improvements are so dramatic over a period of several months’ persistent and consistent implementation of our comprehensive programs, that the child is no longer considered as falling anywhere at all within the range of autistic spectrum disorders. At The Center, we also never underestimate the role of parents in implementing our programs—we honor and appreciate their efforts at every step.

These related topics provide more information about our treatment approaches:
Comprehensive Diagnostic Work-up
Yeast Eradication
Heavy Metal Toxicity
Allergy and Immunology
Haddon’s Story: A Mother’s Testimonial
A Grandmother’s Letter

For more information about our programs for children with special needs, please call our Center at (843) 572-1600.

References:
Edelson, Stephen B., MD. Conquering Autism: Reclaiming Your Child Through Natural Therapies. Twin Streams, Kensington Publishing Corp, 2003.

Kennedy, Robert F., Jr. Deadly Immunity. (Investigating the government cover-up of a mercury autism scandal), Rolling Stone Magazine, June 17, 2003.

Pangborn, Jon, Ph.D. and Sidney Baker, MD. Autism: Effective Biomedical Treatments. San Diego, CA: Autism Research Institute, 2005.

Shaw, William, Ph.D. Biological Treatments for Autism and PDD (2nd ed.). Lenexa, KS: The Great Plains Laboratory, 1998.

Treatment options for mercury and metal toxicity in autism and related developmental disabilities: Consensus Position Paper. San Diego, CA: Autism Research Institute, February 2005.

 

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