Research Articles

April 12, 2018

Long Term Functional Improvement from an Achievable Diet and Nutrition Protocol

A new study by researchers at multiple universities has found that a comprehensive dietary and nutritional regimen is effective at reducing symptoms of autism, increasing functioning level and reducing associated gastrointestinal (GI) problems. The regimen is safe, uses readily available products, and can be implemented by the average family. Lead investigator James Adams of Arizona State University and colleagues tested a combination of supplementation with vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, sulfate through epsom salt baths, carnitine, and digestive enzymes, as well as a “healthy” diet. The creation of the treatment protocol was based on prior research showing effectiveness of each of the components individually. This study was the first to test them as a combined treatment over a period of one year. The goal was to determine if the components together would have an even greater positive effect than that reported for each individually. Another goal was to measure the effects of the diet and nutrition protocol over a longer period of time, as these types of interventions may take longer to show an effect than a standard drug.

April 05, 2018

Canada Announces Autism Prevalence Study Results – On Time and Going Up

While America’s attention has been focused on its southern border, our northern neighbors have announced the results of a Canadian autism prevalence study. The study received little attention in the U.S., despite its relevance to our situation here. The study found the prevalence of an autism spectrum disorder among Canadian children to be 1 in 66, or 15.2 per 1000 children. The study results were announced by the Public Health Agency of Canada and survey data was collected in 2015 and covered 40% of the Canadian school-aged population ages 5-17. Seven of the 13 provinces/territories in Canada participated in the survey.

March 29, 2018

Autism’s Co-Occurring Conditions: Time to Act

The evidence is piling up on the severe burden of health problems that accompany autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These problems are often unrecognized and not addressed. According to a new study from scientists with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), “the high prevalence and diversity of co-occurring conditions/symptoms in ASD suggest the need for a comprehensive system of care for these children.”

March 29, 2018

Cannabis for Autism: Biological Clue to Effectiveness

Many parents are reporting success using cannabis for their child with autism. A new study by researchers at Stanford University gives a clue to why cannabis might be effective for the person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study, “Plasma anandamide concentrations are lower in children with autism spectrum disorder,” found reduced amounts of a neuromodulator, anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine or AEA), in the blood of 60 children with ASD compared to 56 neurotypical control children. The children were ages 3-12 years. The ASD group had a confirmed autism diagnosis. The typical controls had no history of neurodevelopmental or mental health problems.

March 31, 2017

More Data Points to Acetaminophen Exposure for Children Potentially Inducing Autism

In 2015, SafeMinds published a short article I wrote about the potential dangers of acetaminophen to children, specifically addressing its potential role in the development of autism. In the discussion that followed that posting, I noted that exposure during childhood, NOT during pregnancy, appears to be the most dangerous time to expose the developing brain to acetaminophen. I pointed out that exposure during pregnancy poses a significant risk, increasing the chance of having a child with autism by slightly more than 10 percent, but that the major concern is that exposure of babies and children to acetaminophen is actually driving the epidemic, resulting in a 10-fold or greater increase in the incidence of autism. I also elucidated that many parents are unaware that their male infant was exposed to acetaminophen at the time of circumcision, and that vaccination was, at one time, a major cause for using acetaminophen.

September 11, 2015

Acetaminophen as a cause of the autism pandemic? It makes absolutely no sense … at first.

My research looks at what causes harmful inflammation in people in Western societies. The triggers of inflammation are recent developments in human history, appearing after the agricultural revolution only 10,000 years ago. Most did not appear until just a few decades ago, as we entered the post-industrial age. 1 My favorite example is the loss of biodiversity from the human body. Humans have always been bathed inside and out with bacteria, viruses, fungi, worms, and other organisms, but in recent decades our bodies’ ecosystems have become much less diverse, to our detriment.

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