Research Articles

April 13, 2018

Help Find the Causes of Autism through the National Birth Defects Registry

The non-profit Birth Defect Research for Children maintains a registry of thousands of children with birth defects. Through a questionnaire completed by parents, the organization is helping to link pre-conception and pre-natal exposures of parents with disabilities in their children. Autism is one condition they focus on. Parents of a child with autism can help identify pre-birth risk factors for autism by completing a registry questionnaire. Autism parents may not think of autism or a developmental disability as a “birth defect”, and some parents may feel that the cause of their child’s autism happens from exposures after birth, i.e., in early childhood, or is due to genetics. However, the research from this registry is applicable to autism and to cases that might have a genetic or a childhood exposure component.

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.

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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