Research Articles

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.

June 08, 2015

Duke University Study Finds Helminths are Beneficial to the Gut Biome Promoting More Good Bacteria and Less Bad

Acting on this discovery could have a profound affect on human health. The idea that from the ecosystem of the human body is leading to inflammation and disease is gaining widespread acceptance. This loss of diversity, known as “biome depletion”, is caused by a variety of factors in modern society and has an effect on every aspect of our body’s development and function, including our brain’s development and function. Most attention among scientists and the media alike has focused on the microbiome, the microorganisms or germs in our biome. However, a substantial body of experimental evidence points toward the presence or absence of larger organisms, helminths or worms, as having a generally more global effect on the body’s function, including alteration in the microbiome.

May 24, 2015

Study Finds Autism-Mercury Link Through Elevated Antibodies to Critical Brain Proteins

A study published in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology found indicators of autoimmunity to critical brain proteins associated with mercury exposure in children with autism. The authors, Gehan Ahmed Mostafa and Laila Yousef AL-Ayadhi at the Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University,  in Cairo, Egypt and the Autism Research and Treatment Center in the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, respectively, hypothesize that mercury might play a causative role in some cases of autism through increased levels of antibodies to myelin basic protein, or MBP.

April 08, 2015

SafeMinds Funded Research Discovers that Increased Biome Diversity Produces Healthier, Smarter Immune System Responses

Allergy and Autoimmunity Decreases, Without Compromising Immune Response: Conventional wisdom in modern medicine has assumed that a necessary consequence of blocking allergies and autoimmune reactions is immune system suppression, which in turn causes patients to be more vulnerable to other infections and cancers. A new study published today in PLOS ONE by Duke University researchers, and funded in part by the Coalition of SafeMinds, found that increasing biodiversity in the body via biome enrichment, known to decrease allergies and autoimmune reactions, is not immune suppressive. This discovery holds great promise to treat autoimmune diseases successfully without compromising appropriate immune responses.

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