Autism is complex neuro-developmental disorder which has a symptomatic diagnosis in patients characterized by disorders in language/communication, behavior, and social interactions. The exact causes for autism are largely unknown, but is has been speculated that immune and inflammatory responses, particularly those of Th2 type, may be involved. Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are agonists of the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), a nuclear hormone receptor which modulates insulin sensitivity, and have been shown to induce apoptosis in activated T-lymphocytes and exert anti-inflammatory effects in glial cells. The TZD pioglitazone (Actos) is an FDA-approved PPARγ agonist used to treat type 2 diabetes, with a good safety profile, currently being tested in clinical trials of other neurological diseases including AD and MS. We therefore tested the safety and therapeutic potential of oral pioglitazone in a small cohort of children with diagnosed autism.

Case description

The rationale and risks of taking pioglitazone were explained to the parents, consent was obtained, and treatment was initiated at either 30 or 60 mg per day p.o. A total of 25 children (average age 7.9 ± 0.7 year old) were enrolled. Safety was assessed by measurements of metabolic profiles and blood pressure; effects on behavioral symptoms were assessed by the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC), which measures hyperactivity, inappropriate speech, irritability, lethargy, and stereotypy, done at baseline and after 3–4 months of treatment.

Discussion and evaluation

In a small cohort of autistic children, daily treatment with 30 or 60 mg p.o. pioglitazone for 3–4 months induced apparent clinical improvement without adverse events. There were no adverse effects noted and behavioral measurements revealed a significant decrease in 4 out of 5 subcategories (irritability, lethargy, stereotypy, and hyperactivity). Improved behaviors were inversely correlated with patient age, indicating stronger effects on the younger patients.

Conclusion

Pioglitazone should be considered for further testing of therapeutic potential in autistic patients.

The importance of folate
Folic acid (vitamin B9, also known as folate) is a water-soluble B vitamin that is essential for numerous physiological systems of the body. Folate derives its name from the Latin word folium, which means leaf, to signify that the main natural source of this vitamin is from leafy vegetables. However, in the modern western diet, the main source of folate is from folate-fortified foods. Folic acid is the inactive, oxidized form of the folate compounds. The main active form of folate in the body is 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). Folic acid is converted to dihydrofolate and then to tetrahydrofolate (THF) by the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase. This reaction, which requires niacin (vitamin B3), can be inhibited by certain medications. 5-MTHF is also converted to THF by the enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). 5-MTHF is then converted back to THF through a cobalamin (vitamin B12) dependent enzyme called methionine synthase, a process that recycles methionine from homocysteine. Folate is important for the de novo synthesis of purine and pyrimidine nucleic acids that are the molecules from which DNA and RNA are produced. DNA stores the genetic code and needs to be duplicated when a cell divides and replicates. Thus, folate is extremely important during cell replication, especially prior to birth during the development of the embryo and fetus. It is also essential during early life when cells are growing quickly.
The folate cycle interacts with the methionine cycle as well as the tetrahydrobiopterin production and salvage pathways. Deficiencies in folates can lead to abnormalities in these pathways. The methionine cycle is essential for the methylation of DNA, a process that is important in controlling gene expression. Tetrahydrobiopterin is essential for the production of nitric oxide, a substance critical for the regulation of blood flow and for the production of the monoamine neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Production of these neurotransmitters and nitric oxide converts tetrahydrobiopterin to dihydropterin. The conversion of tetrahydrobiopterin back to dihydropterin again requires conversion of 5-MTHF to THF. In addition, tetrahydrobiopterin is produced de novo using the precursor purine guanosine triphosphate, a substance that requires THF to be produced. Several disorders have been linked to folate deficiency. For example, since blood cells need to be constantly replenished, a lack of folate commonly leads to anemia, an insufficiency of red blood cells. Folate deficiency during pregnancy leads to fetal neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
In 2002, my older son, Isaiah, was diagnosed with autism. At the time I had been practicing as a family physician for about five years. Prior to his diagnosis, Isaiah loved to get down on the floor and spin objects, and I thought it was cool, so I helped him. He also used to shake his hands back and forth in the air for hours. When I tried to shake my hands like him, I tired out in a couple of minutes. I couldn’t figure out how he could do it for hours! He had a significant speech delay and walked very late. However, despite all of these problems, I did not have a CLUE that he had autism. I remember when my wife and I went to his psychological evaluation to determine what was wrong with him. He was evaluated by a pediatric neurologist and several psychologists, and we spent the morning with him during the testing. We were then told to go to lunch while the team met to determine a diagnosis. I remember as we sat in McDonalds eating French fries and cheeseburgers that my wife and I discussed that maybe the team would say he had “autistic tendencies.” It was quite a shock to us when Isaiah was actually diagnosed with autism! For the first year after his diagnosis, my wife started looking into biomedical treatments, which I considered “quackery.”

OUR STORY:

Alarm bells didn’t really sound for me until Nicholas was around two years old. Before then he seemed to be progressing ok; a little delayed in a few areas but nothing to be really concerned about. Around the age of two Nicholas’s doctor expressed concern with his development. He mentioned the word autism, but explained that he was too young for any diagnosis. Nicholas’s dad and I had no knowledge of autism and went straight home and Googled it. With shock we read the symptoms of autism and Nicholas had most of them.

• Nicholas had delayed language development (only used a few single words at the age of two)

• Of the few words he did have, he had lost most of them (e.g. he could no longer say “bin”)

• His eye contact was very poor

• He rarely pointed to anything

• He sometimes walked on his toes and flapped his hands (especially when excited)

• He often appeared deaf and would not respond to us calling his name

• He would never respond to questions

• He had a dazed/drunk look in his eyes like he was drugged

• He would often be constipated (alternating with diarrhoea)

• He verbally stimmed (would repeat a single word over and over and over)

• He would not sit still. We could rarely sit and read him a story. He just wanted to run around.

• Nicholas had no imaginary play (actually Nicholas did not “play” at all)

• He was obsessed with light switches and power cords… He’d sit for hours with a power cord if we let him

• Overall he just seemed to be in his own world

For a few days our world felt like it was torn apart. But then denial kicked in. We convinced ourselves that Nicholas was fine (children develop at different rates) and continued with our lives as normal.

A few months later Nicholas began two year old kinder (early learners) at the local Montessori. One day I was early to pick him up and sat and watched him through the window. All the children sat in a circle quietly listening to the teacher read a story. Nicholas however was making an unusual sound “ahh, ahh” and just kept repeating it over and over again while rocking back and forth. My heart sank. I made an appointment and spoke with his two teachers. Both teachers expressed concern with his behaviour and when I mentioned the word autism they both nodded their heads and expressed that he was showing autistic characteristics.

I went home and cried. There was no ignoring it any longer.

Nicholas was also attending an early intervention school (for his delayed speech), so I called and met with his two teachers and the manager of the program. All three stated that they believed there was more to Nicholas than just speech delay and acknowledged that he had autistic characteristics.

Nicholas’s dad and I went from sheer fear to denial back to sheer fear. We didn’t know what do to. What did this mean? Will Nicholas go to a normal school? Will he grow up and have friends, get married, have kids?

The lowest point for me was during a time when Nicholas’s dad was in denial. He refused to believe there was anything wrong with our beautiful son. I remember a day when I was trying to discipline Nicholas for throwing the remote control across the room. I gave him a warning (if you throw that again you will go in the naughty spot). Of course he kept throwing it so in the naughty spot he went. This didn’t work (I put him in and out for the naughty spot countless times). He just wasn’t getting it. I know kids misbehave but this was different. He just wasn’t present. I wanted to show his dad that there was something not quite right so I asked him to observe what I did next. I went over to Nicholas (after he had yet again thrown the remote control); I picked him up, took him to the naughty spot, held him firmly by the arms and yelled squarely and loudly (and aggressively) in his face “no”. I was crying and very distraught. Nicholas looked right past me and just giggled. I knew right then that Nicholas needed help. Any “normal” child would get scared if a parent yelled like that. Nicholas just wasn’t present.

A few days later we saw a naturopath. She looked into Nicholas’s eyes and told us he had a ‘leaky gut’ and we should remove gluten and casein (wheat and dairy) from his diet immediately. Yeah sure, we thought and left without another consideration.

A week later a friend introduced us to a lady having huge success treating her ASD daughter with diet and supplements. Her first question to us was “Is Nicholas constipated?” This question threw us. Yes he was constipated most of the time, but we never thought much of it. She explained how it was all connected and recommended removing gluten and casein from his diet immediately. The next morning we began Nicholas on a strict gluten and casein free diet (GF/CF).

Our lives changed within 24 hours.

Within 24 hours of removing gluten and casein, Nicholas pointed to a toy behind the TV, looked at me and said “get”. This was his only new word in many months and the best eye contact we had seen to date. I burst into tears. Every day he seemed clearer / less foggy / less “spaced out”. Nearly every day he said a new word or two or three (I kept a journal of his new words which I now read with amazement).

Soon after removing gluten and casein we had Nicholas’s blood, urine and faeces tested by a paediatrician who was also a DAN! Practitioner (“Defeat Autism Now” Practitioner). These tests, sure enough, showed that Nicholas had a “leaky gut”. In non-medical terms this means that Nicholas has holes in his stomach and when he eats gluten and casein it enters the bloodstream undigested and goes straight to his brain. In the brain it acts like an opiate, like a drug and impairs his ability to think and learn. This is why he often looks “spaced-out”. The test results also told us what food groups he was intolerant to and what nutrients he was lacking. This enabled us to begin supplementing Nicholas with vitamins and minerals specific to his needs and within a couple of weeks of treatment we had a very different little boy. Most notable was his increase in vocabulary, eye contact and clarity. He seemed a lot more “with us”.

I remember one day (my journal tells me it was 10 days after starting on GF/CF diet and supplements) Nicholas’s dad showed Nicholas a top he had just bought him and asked him to try it on. Nicholas looked at his dad and said “No I don’t like it!” – A FIVE WORD SENTENCE!!! which not only demonstrated language, but an opinion and an attitude!

That was three years ago. Since that time we have been treating Nicholas biomedically (diet/supplements/natural therapies) with the help a of a great DAN practitioner in Melbourne. It’s a daily undertaking of vitamins and watching his diet. He has taught himself what he can and can’t eat and most of the time it’s easy. With this on-going treatment Nicholas is a vibrant, alert, “normal” five year old boy who has lots of friends, speaks lots, is very affectionate and expressive and who is excited to be starting primary school next year.

His little body is healing and we expect that over time we will be able to wean him off all treatments and he will be able to eat whatever he wants.

I feel so blessed to have been exposed to the right people and information to get us on the biomedical path. I have no doubt in my heart that without this treatment we would have a very different boy and life would not be looking as bright.

Please keep reading to find out how you can help your child.

The biomedical path may seem daunting to begin with. I’ve had lots of parents say to me: “it sounds like hard work! I don’t think I can do it.” All I can say to this is: “having an autistic child is harder!!”

I wish everyone the very best of success.

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STATEMENT FROM JAN BRENTON – Moderator Biomedical Autism Group – http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/biomedicalautismgroup – This group is free to join and use.

In a very high percentage of cases autism is indeed treatable, and very favourably so. It begins with parents accepting the possibility they can actually help their child to a better quality of life. We have everything available in this country with which to assist our children and wonderful medical and natural practitioners dedicated to helping them reach their best potential. For family reasons, I needed to learn about autism very quickly, and during my research was overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge available, and the amazing results parents were seeing. I determined to let other parents share the ‘good news’ and commenced an email forum specifically to guide parents along the autism path. There are now 600 families whose children are progressing “a little – a lot – a very great deal”. It starts very simply with eliminating certain groups of foods (just as you would if your child had diabetes) and providing nourishing supplements appropriate to your child’s needs. It is so simple it seems too easy, and is often brushed aside, but the correct diet and supporting vitamins and minerals are the basic foundations … and they work! Children whose parents made a commitment to leave no stone unturned in an effort to bring their child back from a catatonic state are now sending those same children to school, able to read, write, and spell ahead of their peers. It has happened within my own family, and as progress has been made in one area, another protocol has been introduced to advance further healing. Children diagnosed in the last couple of years have the best chance of traversing the recovery path than ever before. Each year more and more becomes available, enabling badly compromised immune systems to renew, gastrointestinal conditions to heal, behavioural problems to disappear and cognition to flourish As a parent and grandmother with a nursing background and moderator of this amazing group of young parents from every walk of life, let me encourage everyone of you to give your child the benefit of dietary supplementation. It costs virtually nothing, and every family can accommodate these simple changes without drama. There is nothing to lose, and your autistic child has everything to gain. Help is just an email away: http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/biomedicalautismgroup

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MEDIA RELEASE – Leslie Embersits, Mindd Foundation

– Autism is treatable and reversible through biomedicine

Contact: Leslie Embersits, Mindd Foundation

(02) 9337 3600, 0418 251 161

www.mindd.org. – This group is free to join and use.

Autism is treatable and reversible through biomedicine

In the US actress Jenny McCarthy is making daily headlines with news that can save thousands of children from a lifelong diagnosis of Autism. Through Oprah and Larry King, Jenny McCarthy has been helping to get a message out loud and clear; Autism is treatable and reversible! Ms McCarthy, comedian Jim Carrey’s partner, is passionate about educating people that Autism is a medical condition with neurological symptoms that when treated can help children regain speech, eye contact and the desire to interact with people. With the help of a biomedical doctor trained by Defeat Autism Now!, Ms. McCarthy has seen her 4 year old son Evan regain language and social skills. Dr. Antony Underwood, a Sydney-based Paediatrician specialising in biomedicine explains “There is emerging research which indicates oxidative stress from toxicity, infections and allergies is damaging the brains in Autistic children. We can dramatically reduce oxidative stress by eliminating allergens in foods, supplementing with nutrients to support detox pathways and treating chronic infections from bacteria, yeast, parasites and virus.”Dr. Woody McGinnis, a world expert in Autism now based in Auckland, believes oxidative stress is a key factor in Autism. “Our Harvard and Case Western University projects were the first to demonstrate increased markers for oxidation of the brain… Inflammatory and functional gut problems in autism are well documented, and may be primarily a manifestation of oxidative stress. We know certainly that gut and brain are two parts of the body which are particularly sensitive to oxidative stress. Word on biomedical intervention has been slow to get out due to lack of research funding. “There is a large gap between clinical evidence and evidence-based science” says Leslie Embersits, Founder & Director of Mindd Foundation. “As a foundation we are trying to bridge this gap by training doctors, educating families and lobbying government in effective biomedical treatments. It takes years for treatments to be researched, published and practiced. These children do not have a lot of time. Early intervention is critical. ”Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) a US-based, non-profit group of doctors, scientists and parents has been researching, developing and promoting biomedical treatments for 14 years. Their biannual conferences attract thousands of parents and physicians from around the world. DAN!’s founder, Dr. Bernard Rimland, pioneered biomedical treatment in treating his own son. He also single-handedly disproved the pervasive medical theory in the 1960’s that Autism was a result of poor-mothering, what psychiatrists and physicians termed “refrigerator moms”. Worldwide there is a growing recognition that neuro-developmental disorders are rising at alarming levels. The US center for disease control states that 1 in 165 children have autism and the Department of Health in the UK sites similar rates of 1 in 150. In Australia an independent survey found 1 in 120 children are diagnosed with Autism. In Australia parents are spreading the word on biomedicine. “After 3 days without casein, gluten, soy and corn my little boy regained his speech” says Karen Wheelright a nurse who reversed her son’s autism diagnosis through diet and nutritional medicine. Jan Brenton, a nurse and grandmother, runs a biomedical internet group that supports over 600 Australian families. As with DAN! her group finds the most effective treatment to be detoxing heavy metals, especially mercury, lead and aluminum. Mindd Foundation is working closely with Defeat Autism Now! to train practitioners and educate families in Australasia. “Similar biomedical treatments are helping children with ADHD, allergies, asthma. Its time for Australia to do the research and invest in effective treatments for the sake of an entire generation of children.” says Ms. Embersits. For more information visit www.mindd.org or phone Mindd Foundation at (02) 9337 3600

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HOW JIM CARREY AND JENNY McCARTHY’S SON RECOVERED FROM AUTISM

Opinion/editorial piece – – CNN – April 3, 2008

In this CNN op-ed piece, actors Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy reflect on their son’s recovery from autism in light of the recent federal court decision which conceded that vaccines could have contributed to another child’s autistic condition. Carrey and McCarthy’s son, Evan, has been healed thanks to breakthroughs that may not be scientifically proven, but have definitely helped, such as a gluten-free, casein-free diet, vitamin supplementation, detox of metals, and anti-fungals for the yeast overgrowths that plagued his intestines. Once his neurological function was recovered through these medical treatments, speech therapy and applied behavior analysis helped him learn the skills he could not learn while he was frozen in autism. When Evan was re-evaluated after these treatments, state workers were amazed by his improvement. But although Evan is now 5, not a single member of the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, or any other health authority has asked to evaluate and understand how Evan recovered from autism. Instead, they simply posit that he was misdiagnosed and never had autism to begin with. Carrey and McCarthy believe that autism is an environmental illness, and that while vaccines are not the only environmental trigger, they do play a major role. Even if the CDC is not convinced of a link between vaccines and autism, changing the vaccine schedule should be seriously considered as a precautionary measure.

Sources: CNN April 3, 2008

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CASE STUDIES

Here are twenty examples of children with autism successfully treated through diet and supplements

Child number ONE (1):

Child’s diagnosis: ASD

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: language delay; no waving/pointing; no eye contact; no recognition of us as any different to a stranger; no desire to play with other children; echolalic – could repeat lines from movies but could not tell you his name; fine & gross motor delays; constant diarrhea; always seemed unhappy – never smiling or laughing unless on his own playing with his trains; screamed & threw violent tantrums whenever he had to leave his trains; barely slept; dark circles under eyes, asthma, eczema, chronic ear infections; could not cope with any changes in routines or go to places with large crowds; tactile problems – would not touch anything and would pick everything up with his wrists; would only eat and drink from certain bowls/cups.

Diagnosed at what age: 2.5 years

Biomedical Treatments (past and present): gluten & casein free diet; food allergy testing and avoidance of foods that tested positive; testing of stool/urine/blood for pathogens, heavy metals, mineral deficiencies; supplementation of minerals as indicated by deficiencies; probiotics; cod liver oil; footsies – natural detox pads worn on the feet to detox the body from toxins/metals.

Period of treatment: 3.5 years

Improvements/Changes: incredible !! We have a different boy. Almost immediately we implemented the diet, he began to sleep through the night. He is bright, funny, very affectionate. He now has normal bowel movements, no more diarrhoea. He is alert and has the “life” back in his eyes. He is in mainstream school in an extension class, reading well above his year level. He is inquisitive, has age-appropriate interests and has an incredible vocabulary. He has a sense of humour and he is happy. He eats a fantastic range of foods – every fruit and veggie under the sun. He is fabulously healthy – no more eczema/asthma/ear infections. He is calm and focused. We are a “normal” family again, we can go on holidays, go to the shops and it isn’t a drama.

Other info: My little boy was sick, very sick. Biomedical treatment has allowed us to find out what was making him so sick and to correct it with the use of natural & sensible supplements and diet. It breaks my heart to know how sick his body was and that so many people dismiss biomed treatments as a “quack”. These kids have compromised immune systems and overloads of toxins. Biomedical treats them from the insides out, and we have brighter, healthier children as a result. Biomed brought my son back to me.

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Child number TWO (2):

Child’s diagnosis: Severe Autism

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: Nonverbal, no communication or playskills when diagnosed. severe stims, spinning, lining up things, rolling eyes, handflapping, toewalking, tantrums>45 mins, squealing, avoidance of touch. the list goes on.

Diagnosed at what age:22months

Biomedical Treatments (past and present): ABA 3.5 years with steady but slow improvement. GFCF diet gave a lot of improvement initially and helped ABA.

Period of treatment: Still treating

Improvements/ Changes: He is recovered to normal IQ and is almost indistinguishable from peers…still a little different, but has full speech and no autistic type behaviours.

Other info: I have video evidence of his normal babyhood, then him being autistic and now him normal again.

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Child number THREE (3):

Child’s diagnosis: Autism Spectrum disorder

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: Delayed language Development. No eye contact. Toe walking, stimming (clapping in front of his face with his eyes crossed is his favorite). Low muscle tone. Sound sensitivity. Social awkwardness. No pretend play. Intense fascination with cars (when he was diagnosed at 3; it stopped within a year) and baseball (since about 15 months and still ongoing). Emotional dysregulation. Hyperactivity. Poor focus.

Diagnosed at what age: 3

Biomedical Treatments (past and present): 1) GFCF diet, 2) blood and urine tests, 3) supplements specific to his deficiencies

Period of treatment: We started when he was almost 4 so it’s been 2 years.

Improvements/Changes: His speech has improved dramatically! Within a day of TMG and MB12 shots, there was a dramatic improvement. It was unbelievable. GFCF has helped with his hyperactivity and focus, although we still have some issues.

Other info: Most people have no idea he is Autistic until he starts stimming or he gets dysregulated (he still can’t figure out how to calm himself down). when he was re-evaluated last year, the psychologist first asked the evaluator if she was sure he was Autistic. Because of a few of the behaviors they saw, they didn’t want to say he was totally recovered, but did not use the word “Autism” in their evaluation. We are still tweaking his supplements and therapies

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Child number FOUR (4):

Child’s diagnosis: High functioning autism

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: Severe speech delay, social delay, adaptation issues, transitional issues, head banging

Diagnosed at what age: 2

Biomedical Treatments (past and present): GFCF, TMG, MB12, Probiotics

Period of treatment: 4 months

Improvements/Changes: Speech! Her changes in speech have been dramatic. Her hearing has improved (she had hearing issues caused by fluid which is suspected to have been caused by a gluten & casein allergy. No more head banging

Other info: People are amazed at the changes, even after just one day

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Child number FIVE (5):

Child’s diagnosis: Autism/Suspected Aspergers

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: No Speech by 2 1/2 no communication of any kind, no eye contact, no social interaction, didn’t respond to name, endless spinning of wheels, running off, didn’t like being held, would not potty train. There were several more but I can’t remember them right now.

Diagnosed at what age: 2 1/2

Biomedical Treatments (past and present): Gluten and Casein free

Period of treatment: 2 years

Improvements/ Changes: speech process speed up, able to be calm and focus is more aware of the world around him. Will initiate communications and social interactions with others, will stay with parent at the store, and we can leave the gate to the yard open and he will stay inside (not running off). Has potty trained. He even recently tried they ploy of asking his dad if he could play the nintendo after I’d told him no. No way would he have done that two years ago at five-six years old. A typical child develops this social knowledge at a much earlier age. Before the diet he was stagnating now while his growth is behind, slow and a struggle it is growth!!!

Other info: Family, friends and even neighbors have noticed a dramatic change in him. He also had some gastroenterological issues that cleared up once on the diet. I know that the diet is the cause because when he gets something he shouldn’t he backslides. Although the longer he is on the diet the less he backslides with each infraction.

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Child number SIX (6):

Child’s diagnosis: ADHD inattentive type. I actually thought he was more symptomatic of Asperger’s

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: As a young child he had poor social skills, tended to socialise better with children much younger than him, fascination with spinning wheels, computers, short attention span, easily frustrated and high IQ. Later in his teens he was chosen to attend a Selective High School in Sydney but then showed inability to focus in classroom and started failing his classes. Health issues were pediatric eczema, asthma and chronic constipation.

Diagnosed at what age: He was diagnosed at age 14 years.

Biomedical Treatments (past and present): Gluten, Casein, Corn, Soy, Preservatives, Artificial colours, flavours and additives free diet. Probiotics, zinc, and Eye Q.

Period of treatment: 20 months

Improvements/ Changes: Was able to finish year 12 and achieve his HSC in Sydney. Chronic constipation has disappeared and is able to concentrate better and for longer periods of time. Has improved social skills, has a more appropriate sense of humour for his age group, no longer easily frustrated!!

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Child number SEVEN (7):

Child’s diagnosis: Atypical Autism, severe language disorder

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: Severe language delay, lining up toys and other obsessive and ritualistic behaviours, very poor eye contact, no social skills. Health issues were pediatric asthma, eczema, gut problems ie constipation and diarrhoea, dark circles under eyes and allergies to food and environment

Diagnosed at what age: He was diagnosed at age 4 years.

Biomedical Treatments (past and present): Gluten, Casein, Corn, Soy, Preservatives, Artificial colours, flavours and additives free diet. Testing of blood, urine, hair and faeces to look for deficiencies and bacteria and heavy metal toxicity. Vitamin and mineral supplements to treat deficiencies.

Period of treatment: 20 months

Improvements/ Changes: Was in an autism satellite class in Sydney now is in a mainstream class. Prior to biomed took three years to get to level 9 in reading within less than a year progressed to level 18 . Has improved social skills, has a more appropriate sense of humour for his age group, his language has improved significantly so much so that he actually teases his sister and makes jokes.

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Child number EIGHT (8):

Child’s diagnosis: Severe language disorder, low IQ

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: Severe language delay, still babbling at 2yrs few words, health issues were eczema, psoriasis, urinary tract infections.

Diagnosed at what age: She was diagnosed at 4yrs

Biomedical Treatments (past and present):Gluten, Casein, Corn, Soy, Preservatives, Artificial colours, flavours and additives free diet. Testing of blood, faeces, urine and hair to determine deficiencies and bacteria overgrowths and heavy metal toxicity. Vitamin and mineral supplementation to address deficiencies.

Period of treatment: 20 months

Improvements/ Changes: Has improved language, social skills to the extent that she no longer has any noticeable delay, she is in a mainstream class and is of average achievement within the class. She no longer gets urinary tract infections or eczema still working on Psoriasis.

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Child number NINE (9):

Child’s diagnosis: Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Severe Global Developmental Delay.

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: Almost non verbal, side glancing, toe walking, stimming, hand flapping, rocking, high pitch squealing, no sense of danger, unresponsive to name, no pointing, very poor eye contact, grinding teeth and waking every night and playing in her bed for hours before going back to sleep and not toilet trained. Health issues, severe pediatric eczema, chronic constipation, severe leaky gut

She was diagnosed at age: 2.5 yrs

Biomedical Treatments (past and present): Gluten, Casein, Corn, Soy, Preservatives, Artificial colours, flavours and additives free diet. Testing of blood, hair, faeces and urine for deficiencies, bacteria overgrowth, heavy metal toxicity.

Period of treatment: 20 months

Improvements/ Changes: She has 30-50 words, she can sing songs, she doesn’t wake during the night anymore, she is in the process of being toilet trained, she has greater eye contact, she no longer side glances and toe walks, she plays with her siblings, she is affectionate, she still has a way to go but she has improved hugely in the last 20 months.

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Child number TEN (10):

Child’s diagnosis: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Severe Global Developmental Delay.

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: Side glancing, toe walking, hand flapping, stimming, non verbal, waking during the night and playing for hours, no sense of danger. Health issues were chronic urinary tract infections, chronic diarrhoea, and undigested food in stools.

Diagnosed at what age: She was diagnosed at age 2.5 years..

Biomedical Treatments (past and present):Gluten, Casein, Corn, Soy, Preservatives, Artificial colours, flavours and additives free diet. Testing of blood, urine, faeces and hair for vitamin and mineral deficiencies, bacterial overgrowth and heavy metal toxicity. Vitamin and mineral supplementation.

Period of treatment: 20 months

Improvements/ Changes: She has no more urinary tract infections, she has started talking, she sings songs, she no longer wakes during the night, she plays with her siblings, she loves cuddles and kisses, she also has quite a way to go, but she has benefited hugely from the biomedical treatments.

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Child number ELEVEN (11):

Child’s diagnosis: Mild ASD

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: Delayed language development, had some words but lost them. Poor eye contact. Could not connect with him. lived in his own world. Flapped his hands a lot (especially when excited). Seemed to be deaf had selective hearing would not respond to us calling his name. Could not connect with other children at all. Drunk or drugged look in his eyes like acted like he was high on drugs. Could not self feed very fussy eating habits would not chew certain textures. Had limited interests obsessive tendencies.

Diagnosed at what age: 2 years 7 months

Biomedical Treatments (past and present):(1) Removal of gluten, dairy, artificial colours & flavours (2) Tests on blood, urine and faeces to determine biomedical state (3) Supplementation with around 20 vitamins and minerals specific to his deficiencies.

Period of treatment:13 months

Improvements/ Changes: Is much more engaged and connected with the world now, has good eye contact, learnt a lot of new skills like already using the computer and the mouse, can also write a lot of words from memory e.g can spell and type his own name and a lot of other words, has a amazing memory has hyperlexia so can sight read and point to a lot of words, though still not speaking we are hoping that the words he lost will come back soon. Plays with toys more appropriately now, still has a few obsessions with numbers and letters and books mostly. Is in a mainstream pre schools is learning to socialise and doing well there. Eating a more varied diet compared to just gluten and dairy before. Is still shy as he lacks a bit of confidence due to no speech but has improved in all other areas, even gross motor and fine motor skills etc.

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Child number TWELVE (12):

Child’s diagnosis: PDD-NOS

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: visual stims (very mild), speech and social skills delay

Diagnosed at what age: 2.5

Biomedical Treatments (past and present): GFCFSF (Corn Free, Phenoyl Free, Sugar Free, severe carbs

limited)

Period of treatment: a little over 6 months

Improvements/ Changes:

My son was ahead until his 18 mo, then he was ill w/ a rash, fever, horrible diarrhoea for 3 weeks.

We went to the Dr. several times w/ this, saying he had changed, didn’t want to play as much, acting diff, on top of the rash, was told it was nothing.

Sick ALL the time, the amt of time we were in the Dr.’s is pretty shocking. Very thin, he would vomit after he ate, stopped sleeping though the night, would want to be held and then act like he couldn’t handle my touch

He was diagnosed at 2.5 w/ developmental delay and did quite well w/ regaining eye contact and speech w/ early intervention. Then he was put into the public school system. He did not improve any more in regards to his speech or socialization. He stayed this way w/ glimmers of improvement that disappeared for 8 months.

Then he had another regression and this was quick and horrible. He lost 90% of his language. He had more language at 18 mo then he did at 3.5 years. He was actually at about a 1 year old level if we were lucky.

He started toe walking, hand flapping, spinning all the time, would play alone, only wanted to spin the wheels on his trains, or watch them on the track, no more singing, no words just grunts and whines. He would take hours to go to sleep at night. and wake up repeatedly. He would hit his head, on furniture the walls the floor, so much that he had bruises and we considered buying a helmet for him. Tantrums all the time, couldn’t transition to anything, down on the floor kicking, wanted milk ALL the time.

I could be on the floor hysterically crying, and he would run past me back and forth like I did not exist.

We started biomedical intervention on Oct. 2 07. The next day, his speech and eye contact had improved. I started getting “want milk” instead of running in tears t the fridge. His temper tantrums started to clear up.

On October 25th he was diagnosed w/ ASD, moderate/severe.

We were still seeing huge improvements, in speech, eye contact, in playing w/ toys in wanting to play w/ us again and engage in the world.

His bus driver during the 1st week of the diet commented to me on his change “He NEVER spoke to us at all last year or at all during the summer, he has been pointing out things all week long on the way home”.

They had no idea of the change of diet.

In late January, early Feb 08, we brought to Dr. for a more in depth eval. He was diagnosed as PDD-NOS!!!!

this is HUGE, from Mod/sev. ASD in Oct to PDD-NOS in early Feb???? HUGE HUGE HUGE!!

“typical” children w/ autism do NOT recover like this.

In fact, all I hear now is that he is “not your typical asd child”, “he should not be blasting through his ABA programs like this”, he should not be learning all that he has in such a short span of time. Even his DAN! Dr. says “results are not typical”

He is now speaking in sentences, starting to engage in imaginary play w/ us. Plays w/ cars, trucks, animals, mickey mouse, puzzles, superman, batman, stuffed animals, farm, castle, oh, and sometimes he does play w/ trains. Likes to practices his letters and draw animals!!!

He is starting to ask kids at school to sit w/ him at lunch. Trying his damndest to have conversations w/ people (he has a verbal processing disorder, he has a cognitive ability of a 5 to 6 year old, but his mind moves too quick and he cant get the words out.

I get I love you all the time, I get, “I want to go to the park, I want to go for a walk.

He sleeps though the night, he falls asleep in 10 to

15 min. Potty training was a breeze both BM and Pee.

Dresses himself, sings all the time, and loves to snuggle and get hugs.

I could go on and on w/ all the changes in him.

We are getting our son back! And I KNOW that we would not be here if it hadn’t been for the diet and supplements.

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Child number THIRTEEN (13):

Child’s diagnosis: Autism, OCD, ADHD

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: Self stimulation behaviors, scripting, social impairment, speech delay, bedwetting

Diagnosed at what age: 7

Biomedical Treatments (past and present): GFCF diet and vitamin supplementation

Period of treatment: for 3 months now

Improvements/Changes: better speech and eye contact, less stimming, improved social skills and bed wetting stopped

Other info: My son was diagnosed 2 years ago after I fought for years to get a dr to tell me he had autism. He was placed on 2 different medications (Concerta and Zoloft) at separate times and they both made him worse. After seeing his neurologist the last time and all she could recommend were higher doses of the same drugs that did not work the first time and applying for social security income for him, I was frustrated and started researching. I found a DAN! dr close to us and we went and started the GFCF diet and supplements. He improved almost immediately.

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Child number FOURTEEN (14):

Child’s diagnosis: Autism

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: My son seemed to be developing normally, reaching developmental milestones; had good eye contact, had approx 10 words etc. At 12 months he developed a series of ear infections where he was administered antibiotics on several occasions; a severe ear infection saw him hospitalised with a nasal gastric tube due to dehydration; over those months he gradually declined into autism. Symptoms were Ioss of language, not answering to his name, lack of eye contact, limited functional play and odd behaviours (turning bike upside down and spinning the wheels); he seemed to be uninterested in his peers and would often isolate himself from them; no imaginative play, really hard to engage; hand flapping and squealing when really excited; toe walking.

Diagnosed at what age: 2 years & 3 weeks.

Biomedical Treatments (past and present): GF/CF diet; a month after diagnosis and introduction of baseline supplements from our GP; improvement noted immediately, not so “spaced out” and “in his own world”; instead of solitary activities now seeking out joint attention with adults and older children.

With DAN! (“Defeat Autism Now!”) Practitioner; completed various tests which confirmed compacted faeces and leaky gut syndrome amongst various other immune system and toxicity issues; commenced “Specific Carbohydrate Diet” (Gluten free, Casein free, Corn Free, Sugar Free; Preservative Free) huge “yeast/bacterial die off”; My son “emerged” with even more clarity, responding to his name.

Commenced new series of supplementation designed specifically for children on autism spectrum. A month later we commenced supplementation with Methyl B12 and saw some words returning for the first time. Daily Epsom salts bath help detoxify as well.

A stool test analysis uncovered a severe strep infection in his colon (97% of his gut bacteria); after administering antifungals, probiotics other natural products like manuka honey the strep cleared and we saw further positive gains and a decline in autistic symptoms ie: hand flapping, toe walking, better eye contact, engaging in social play with adults and older children, better understanding of receptive instructions, vocalisations and more words, less self stimulatory behaviour and more functional play. Started to wave and say “bye bye”.

We have also made environmental changes throughout the home to minimise toxic exposures. Using only stainless steel and cast iron cookware; fresh organic food including meat, filtered water, organic pure wool and cotton bedding & linen, natural cleaning products (bi-carb, vinegar & enjo); organic/chemical free laundry liquids, dishwashing liquids, soaps etc. Elimination of “Low Fire Danger” clothing for children which is laden with fire retardant chemicals such as antimony and known carcinogen formaldehyde.

Period of treatment: 15 months

Improvements/ Changes: Language/communication improvements; using single words with some prompting, engaging in play with others, minimal hand flapping/toe walking, improved eye contact; improved receptive language and understanding, increased functional play, predominantly in “our world” now.

….. has made great progress since his diagnosis; we still have a long way to go with his journey but are certain that biomedical interventions have and will continue to play a critical role in my son’s recovery.

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Child number FIFTEEN (15):

Child’s diagnosis: High Functioning Autism

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: significantly delayed speech, no social skill nor interest to interact, repetitive play pattern (lining up objects, scoping sand by hand for hours, gazing at one point / his own hand),obsession with strange rituals, strong / severe reaction to light, sound, touch, taste or texture in mouth and shower. poor gross and fine motor skills, fearful in crowded public place yet no sense of danger, high pain threshold, rigid behaviour and fixature, sudden mood change and unconsolable tantrum with apparently no rational reason, hyperlexia and acute memory in details yet unable to follow a simple command, literal understanding of word and sign, verbal stim, inactiveness

Diagnosed at what age: five and three months

Biomedical Treatments (past and present): Elimination diet (Casein, gluten, soy, corn, sugar, additives), faecal impaction clearance and colon cleansing, nutritional supplements (multi vitamin, cod liver oil, olive leave extract, bovine cartilage, spirulina, digestive enzymes, GABA, Transfer Factor etc,) probiotics, zinc cream, anti-fungal diet and medication, detoxifying program (Epsom salt bath, foot patch, foot bath and diet) Change of eating pattern (meal reversal – protein in breakfast & lunch, light veggie / grain meal for early supper, meal combination and proportion etc)

Period of treatment: 5 months

Improvements/Changes: -notable behaviour change, significant language and social interaction growth, improved dexterousness and general thinking ability, calmness

Other info network of supportive biomed parents helped enormously, biomed doctor’s openness to alternative method and second opinion plus parent’s report expanded the horizon of possibility in terms of treatment method

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Child number SIXTEEN (16):

Child’s diagnosis: Severe Autism, Global Developmental Delay

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: Non verbal, bad eye contact, play by herself, no respond when her name is called, didn’t understand any word I said to her, verbal stimming and other stimming, no imaginary play, she will just kick the toys or throw it around, can’t sit still and do activity more than 10 seconds. Doesn’t want to socialize with other kids. Eat almost everything she could find (incl sand, dead flies (we used to sprayed our house professionally and lots of these insects just lying around dead before I got a chance to clean them up), basically everything big enough to put in her mouth)

Diagnosed at 2 y 9 mths,

Biomedical Treatments :

– GFCF (didn’t seem do anything but at that time DH was still giving her icecream and chocolate)

– SCD (within 24 hour can respond to her name, following one instruction and can put on her own properly) hubby was still giving BK nugget and a few others during the first 5 months, she was improving but kind of backward and forward and so slow after that

– Multivit, CLO, B6, Calc, Magnesium

– Hair mineral analysis, stool & urine test, blood test

– Anti fungal, strep herb

– added lots of other supplements , B12 shot

Improvement/Changes: Stimming is reduced, words related to objects starts coming out although no sentences yet, can point when asked, following a few instructions properly, teacher at kindy said lots of improvement compare with last year, trying to communicate with teacher by using her hand. Sit down and play for way longer time and show more interest in learning. Eye contact is very good now.

Other info: Can follow me around the shopping mall and holding hands, before, she would run anywhere she wanted and couldn’t care less about getting lost. She is still very much autistic but she’s not in her own world anymore and with the improvements so far with the diet and biomed, I do have big hope to reverse this condition sooner or later.

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Child number SEVENTEEN (17):

Child’s diagnosis: Autism

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: Delayed language development. Bad eye contact. Inability to connect with him, he would cry and fall to the floor when greeted. Dazed look in his eyes like he was

drugged. No imaginary play, lined up toys. Difficulty in crowds would stand and stare at walls. Looked out of peripheral vision. Would sometimes not want his feet to touch the floor. Would not swing.

.Diagnosed at what age: 24 months

Biomedical Treatments (past and present): (1) Removal of gluten, dairy, banana, peanuts and soy (2) Tests on blood, urine and stool to determine biomedical state (3) Supplementation with vitamins and minerals specific to Nathan’s deficiencies (4) Methyl-B12 shots every 3 days

Period of treatment: 9 months

Improvements/Changes: Eye contact, increased language, sociability greatly improved. Constipation eliminated. Pretend Play with introduction of yeast protocol.

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Child number EIGHTEEN (18):

Child’s diagnosis: Autism – At age three DD had minimal language, just one-two word phrases, which were mostly phrases he was echoing from us or the TV. Poor eye contact and no interest in other children or any kind of traditional play. He would repeat and obsess over small things, everything he did had a repetitive pattern to it. He struggled with self control and would act out aggressively, often screaming (due to lack of language). Tantrums and meltdowns were a problem. Instead of gaining independence – he seemed to loosing skills – until we began to intervene bio-medically.

Diagnosed at what age: Four

Biomedical Treatment: DS was three years old when we removed dairy and gluten products. After seeing a ‘miracle’ explosion of new language with dietary changes alone, we began to see a DAN! Dr. DS then underwent a series of blood, urine, stool, hair tests to access his overall health. Based on these results he began a rigorous schedule of vitamin and mineral supplementation, digestives enzymes, antifungals and probiotic – to treat the overgrowth and yeast and bacteria in his gut. He also began Methyl B-12 shots and glutathione (to stimulate his own detoxification pathways) We also treated him with Valtrex, to treat viruses, and eventually moved to a more severe diet – the SCD diet – no starches or sugars. This brought a tremendous amount of self control. We remained on the SCD diet for 7 months, and this was very helpful. We also added cultured coconut water (kefir) – from the Body Ecology Diet into DS’s diet (as an regular probiotic). This has been (and is) an important part of his recovery.

Period of Treatment: We have been treating DS for just over two years.

Improvements: DS is now 5 years old. He is now able to attend a regular preschool without an aide (not possible before). And he is playing on a sports team. None of the parents or coaches know anything about his history with autism. He remains on the gf/cf diet and several supplements. He continues with occasional uses of antifungals and always a good probiotic (and coconut kefir). We still have to monitor the yeast overgrowth in his gut. We also continue with Methyl B-12 transdermal creme and glutathione. We also do H-BOT Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy twice a week, to increase oxygen to the brain, and undue any damage, swelling, or oxidative stress.

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Child number NINETEEN (19):

Child’s diagnosis: Autism

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues: DS had normal development, although looking back his eye contact & sociability were not typical. He really went off the rails at about 16mths. I have video of him at 15mths taking his first steps & looking straight into the camera with a big grin – 1 month later he was ‘stimming’ (up on his toes, hand flapping & not interested at all in interacting with anyone). We just thought he was ‘dancing’ & excited to be up & about. He was obsessed with spinning things – wheels, toys with spinning lights etc & he would turn a car over to spin the wheels, never to push it or play with it any other way. By the time he was 2 we knew something was wrong. He wasn’t babbling like his twin sister & sounds he had made before 16 months he had lost – like ‘D’ or ‘P’ – the only thing he ‘said’ now was ‘eeeeeee’. He couldn’t walk down stairs on his own and small rooms, especially play castles or anything with rounded walls upset him & he acted like he couldn’t work out where the ceiling was (I would later find out that visual acuity problems are common in autism). He had many food issues – wouldn’t eat many things but loved pasta, weetbix & yoghurt. He wasn’t a good sleeper & would often wake up screaming for no reason.

Diagnosed at what age: 2yrs 2mths

Biomedical Treatments (past and present): After our initial app’t with Pediatrician he started a GFCF diet & he started taking Cod Liver Oil (CLO) , MT Primer (a special formula of amino acids, vitamins & minerals), Vit C, Calcium, probiotics and Epsom Salt baths. We changed to a mostly organic diet for him & ran some tests to see if he had Pyrrole disorder (a genetic condition that leads to a vitamin B6 & Zinc deficiency – he did). We ran tests on his stool to see if he had any intestinal bacterial or fungal overgrowth, checked his ability to detoxify heavy metals (in two ways – 1) hair analysis test which measures how much is excreted by the body & 2) lab tests for biomarkers in his blood & urine). We currently test every 6 months to make sure that what we are giving him is doing its job & tweak his supplements when we notice anything that needs adjusting. I won’t go into detail about what we give him as each child is highly individual & they all have different supplements in differing amounts. We have purchased a Far Infrared Sauna (which operates at low temperatures without steam) to help him with his detoxification problems.

Also because DS has issues with toxins in his environment, we have purchased organic bedding (quilts, sheets, pillows etc), a chemical free bed & we use only natural cleaning products, including a lot of microfibre cleaning cloths that utilises water only. We have also bought a water filter to get rid of chlorine & other toxins so that he is not exposed to them when he has a bath.

Period of treatment: 18mths & still ongoing

Improvements/Changes: DS has changed from a boy who had poor eye contact & no interest in others to a child with great eye contact & one who now regularly runs to family members to be picked up, or rolls in bed with us for a cuddle in the morning. He still has no speech, but I feel that will come as treatment continues. He is much more alert & aware of people & his surroundings. He was unable to go down stairs on his own, but 4 months on CLO fixed that & also took away his visual problems so he is now able to play in play areas with ease. He is much more animated & shows interest in his peers, but still prefers to play on his own. He has also calmed down a lot – not as much squealing & stimming. DS is not a ‘wow’ story, he is a slow responder and it will take time to recover him as much as we can. However I do know that biomed is an integral part of his recovery & we will continue to follow general biomed & DAN! protocols because DS’s autism has a biological basis & the only way to help him to address this through biomedical treatments such as diet and supplements.

Other info: DS’s sister has benefited from his biomedical treatment. She has gluten intolerance (& is borderline Coeliac) & I know that we wouldn’t have picked it up without the knowledge we have gained from treating DS. She also has Pyrrole disorder, like DS. He has no symptoms but DD did have symptoms – major tantrums for no reason & oppositional behaviour. She went on the MT Primer (a natural formula) that DS also took & it has helped her so much. She now has no issues with her temper – she is now a normal 4 yr old who has a tantrum now & again – but for a good reason, and is nowhere near as ‘painful’ as she was before :)

Kids like my DS are the canaries in the coal mine of the 21st century. Whether through genetic susceptibility or environmental insults or a combination of both, they have developed autism. Our job as parents is to help guide them back to good health & hopefully we can fix what has been derailed. The human body is complex & so this takes time, but I know that the only way my son will get better is if I try to understand where he has deviated off the normal developmental path – he will never get better if I just accept that this is how he is supposed to be. As his mother I see it as my job to help him remove the limitations that autism has placed on his life. I thoroughly research every treatment & I give him nothing that is harmful – his health is now fantastic – in fact in our family he is the last to get a cold & the first to get over it!

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Child Number TWENTY (20):

Child’s diagnosis: High Functioning Autism (ASD) associated with ADHD

Symptoms/Characteristics/Issues:

He no longer had eye contact, lost all language/nonverbal, withdrew into his own little word/appeared deaf, toe walked and hand flapping, lost all social/play skills, would never sleep (day and night), head bang wall and floors, would scream @ loud noises and cover ears, refused to acknowledge or be touched by family members except mother, would bite or hit children in a play setting, run in circles over and over and not be dizzy, could not tolerate wearing clothes with the tag attached (had to be cut off), could not tolerate his hair washed, cut @ hairdressers or wearing a sun/winter hat, obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine only lining up his toys, inappropriate laughing or silly giggle and run away when shopping, hyperactivity and poor focus. Poor muscle tone, tantrums none stop and night sweats.

Diagnosed at what age: Formal diagnosis aged 3.4 years.

Prior to Biomedical Treatment: 2 sets of grommets, Tonsils and Adenoids removed, hospitalised for phenmoina (4 night stay) and dehydration (lost count).

Biomedical Treatments (past and present): (1) Removal of gluten, dairy, soy, casein free, artificial colours & flavours, preservatives and cane sugar (2) Tests on blood, urine and faeces to determine biomedical state (3) Supplementation with vitamins and minerals specific to deficiencies (4) Use of footsies to detoxify

Period of treatment: We have been treating our son biomedically for 18mths now

Biomedical approach: I never really understood how sick my child was or how overburdened of toxins, antibiotic use and food allergies play a part in the symptoms of Autism. Biomedical medicine was the key to solving my son’s damaged immune system, I can remember spending 6 months trying to teach my son the concept of on, in and under religiously everyday…. if a child is so ill or in great pain they will not have the capacity, energy or the will to learn. Fix their little bodies and they thrive, I witnessed the greatest gains of all in the first 12 months using the biomedical approach. It has given my son a chance to fulfill his full potential and live the life he deserves.

Improvements/Changes: He is now recovered, has full language, hyperactivity gone, all autistic behaviours gone, perfect eye contact and able to concentrate for long periods of time.

Other info: As a parent I have traveled the Autism journey for over 4 years, I have recovered my child using Early Intervention, Intensive Speech Therapy, Social Skill and Behaviour Intervention and most importantly Biomedical Treatments like GFCF diet and supplements + lots of love. My son is a very bright, confident boy attending a normal school without an Aid, he has so many friends now – none of whom know of his past history. I am very proud of his achievements/health today and cannot stress to parents enough “Recovery is Possible” when Autism is detected especially at an early age.

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STEPS TO TAKE TO HELP YOUR CHILD

Find an expert to help you: – This website can help you find a functional medicine practitioner that can help guide you through the process and do all the necessary test. The specialist I take my son to suggested it. www.functionalmedicine.org. Click on the top right “Find A Practitioner”

If you want to try it alone, follow the following steps:

Diet: – Remove ALL gluten, dairy (casein) soy from diet plus artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, additives. This is the most important first step in helping your child. The diet needs to be adhered to for at least a month to assess if it works. During The first couple/few weeks the child may regress and get worse. This is not a sign that the diet is not working. It’s a sign that the toxins are trying to leave the body.

Epsom Salt Baths: – Epsom Salts x 2 cups dissolved in warm water 3-4 weekly. Soak for a minimum of 20 minutes – calms child – encourages sleep – gently detoxifies.

Biomedical Autism Group: – Join this group (free to join and use) for up-to-date Australian information on ALL aspects of recovery and “how to do it” – including finding the right DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) practitioner.

http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/biomedicalautismgroup.

Learn: – Visit the mindd foundation website for great info and DVDs/books to buy – www.mindd.org. Also see suggested reading below.

Supplements: – Your practitioner can prescribe supplements appropriate for your child’s needs – necessary to restore badly compromised immune systems and nourish brains/vital organs.

These are some of the test I had done for my son (to be performed by your practitioner):

– IgG93 food Allergy panels through Metametrix or ARL.

– Organic Acids (Metametrix–USA) for yeast

– Urinary Porphyrin test through Laboratoire Philippe Auguste in Paris – www.labbio.net (test for high mercury/toxins) . DAN! will interpret all results.

– Stool test for bugs

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SUPPORT – FIND SUPPORT HERE:

These two websites can put you in touch with like-minded families and give you

information (including how to find a DAN! doctor) so that you too can treat, and

possibly reverse your child’s autism.

Biomedical Autism Group – Biomedical Autism Group is a well informed

Australian email forum which has an interest in biomedical treatments for

children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This group acts as a discussion forum

for parents, doctors and professionals enabling them to share progressive

information ideas and Q&A –

http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/biomedicalautismgroup

MINDD Foundation – MINDD Foundation promotes an integrative approach to

healthcare for the whole family with a focus on biomedicine, nutrition, neurodevelopment

and allied therapies. They help practitioners and patients find

effective treatments for Metabolic, Immunologic, Neurologic, Digestive,

Disorders that often affect the mind.

www.mindd.org

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SUGGESTED READING

Autism: Effective Biomedical Treatments, Have we done everything we can for

this child?

by Jon Pangborn, PhD and Sidney MacDonald Baker, MD

Children with Starving Brains, A Medical Treatment Guide for Autism Spectrum

Disorder

by Jaquelyn McCandless, MD

“can we manage autism – YES, we can: this is what we can do – this is how we can do it”

by Jan Brenton – www.manageautism.weebly.com

What first led to your interest in PANS/PANDAS?

​When I opened my laboratory at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, I began by working on rheumatic fever because I thought it was actually a good example of autoimmunity caused by infection. I thought it would lead to a better understanding of how the immune system was affected by an infection attacking our bodies and causing disease. My PhD training was in the field of streptococcal immunology and infection.  I was working on a streptococcal vaccine in the 1970s with Dr Edwin Beachey and Dr Gene Stollerman who led a well-known streptococcal research group in Memphis, TN. After joining the faculty at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, I initially decided to study autoimmunity and infection and the group A streptococcal sequelae. This led to the investigation of both heart and brain sequelae of streptococcal infections, which primarily affect children. Rheumatic fever peaks during the ages 5-15 years old which are the peak years of streptococcal infection in children.  When I opened my laboratory in 1980, medical researchers in immunology were looking for reasons for why autoimmune disease occurred and how it could be controlled. I wrote grants on rheumatic heart disease and discovered that cardiac myosin was the link between streptococci and heart disease and the NHLBI funded my laboratory with a career development award to study rheumatic heart disease caused by group A streptococci following a sore throat or pharyngitis. Rheumatic fever and heart disease is rare in children but occasionally children will get rheumatic fever which could lead to rheumatic heart disease. We began seeing patients who had Sydenham Chorea. Sydenham Chorea could be present with rheumatic heart disease. We collected blood from a hospitalized patient with Sydenham Chorea and began to produce monoclonal antibodies to study the disease pathogenesis. I was called by Dr Susan Swedo at the NIMH to study the streptococcal brain sequelae associated with infections. Dr. Swedo knew that I studied streptococcal sequelae and that she had identified a disease that she was interested in studying that was related to Sydenham Chorea.  Dr Swedo was investigating the effect of plasmapheresis on the outcome of Sydenham chorea. The monoclonal antibodies we produced from Sydenham chorea patients in Oklahoma were from B cells making the antibodies that attack the brain in Sydenham chorea. Because B cells produce the antibody in the Sydenham chorea, it actually directed us to the mechanism by which the antibodies work. Dr Swedo also found that plasmapheresis led to improvement of Sydenham chorea. Dr. Swedo wanted us to study her patients with pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococci or PANDAS in addition to children with Sydenham Chorea. That is the story of how our research in PANDAS and PANS began. We published our first paper in Nature Medicine in 2003 on Sydenham Chorea and it was very well accepted because the mechanism had not been known previously which was that the antibodies signal neuronal cells to produce too much dopamine which affects movement and behaviors.

Is Sydenham Chorea a form of autoimmune encephalitis?

Yes.  Now we realize Sydenham chorea is a dopamine receptor and basal ganglia autoimmune encephalitis.  We actually put the human antibody gene derived from Sydenham chorea B cells into mice and the antibody expressed in mouse B cells targeted dopaminergic neurons in the basal ganglia in the brain of the mice.

Is dopamine always too high in kids who have PANS and PANDAS?

I don’t know that because we have not studied the dopamine neurotransmitter elevation in the brain in humans.  We do have an animal model where the antibodies were introduced directly into the brains through a catheter and the dopamine levels were elevated after injection of the antibodies into the brain.

So if Sydenham Chorea is a form of autoimmune encephalitis, then some autoimmune encephalitis can be treated just with antibiotics?

Antibiotics like penicillin kill bacteria in infections but they can have other effects—such as on the microbiome in the colon or the brain beyond the elimination of the infection. We have one animal model where we used antibiotics and the animals improved. Animals were immunized (not infected) with streptococcal antigens and the antibiotics had an effect either on the microbiome or they were anti-inflammatory or affected dopamine output. In that animal model the aberrant behaviors subsided and the dopamine levels went down when the antibiotics were given.  I do not know the mechanisms for this response to antibiotics in the absence of infection.  Sydenham Chorea is the brain manifestation of Rheumatic Fever.  If you were diagnosed with Sydenham Chorea, you would be treated with penicillin or azithromycin or other antibiotics until you were 21.  That is what the guidelines are for treatment of rheumatic fever, and rheumatic fever can be just a single symptom of Sydenham Chorea. It doesn’t have to be the valvular heart disease (heart murmur) or arthritis.

Do we know if Sydenham Chorea is a B cell or T cell mediated disease?

We would say it is B cell mediated disease because it’s the antibodies that get into the brain but it doesn’t mean that T cells don’t help those B cells produce the antibody or that T cells do not get into the brain and affect behaviors. Antibody is produced with T cell help usually. We see lots of IgG in serum with the same specificity of human monoclonal antibodies we produced from the patient.

Is PANDAS autoimmune encephalitis?

Both Sydenham chorea and PANDAS are considered dopamine receptor and /or basal ganglia autoimmune encephalitis which occurs after streptococcal infection. This conclusion is based on data collected on patients, animal models and specifically a transgenic mouse model where the antibodies in SC target the basal ganglia of the brain. The autoantibodies in SC and PANDAS are targeted against the D1 and D2 dopamine receptors. The autoantibodies in SC and PANDAS cause the neuronal cells to release too much dopamine which lead to the symptoms of PANDAS. Studies are in progress examining the mechanism of the autoantibody impact on the D1 dopamine receptor.  Thus, PANDAS would be a type of encephalitis, which means inflammation of the brain. It might not seem as severe as Sydenham Chorea because the chorea is an involuntary movement disorder which can be quite dramatic. In PANDAS, neuropsychiatric symptoms can be overwhelming for children and their families.  OCD and tics, characteristic of PANDAS, may be seen in Sydenham Chorea prior to the movement disorder onset.

Is the same true for PANS and PANDAS?

PANDAS is specifically caused by strep but in PANS, strep could be just one of many triggers. There are people who are resistant to treatment and may not have autoantibodies. Years of relapsing and remitting disease may or may not be associated with autoantibodies after a long time since the infections, and the neuronal circuits may be set in the brain and those may respond better to neuropsychiatric drugs. Dr Tanya Murphy has explained that the drugs should be initiated at very low doses and titrated up based on a child’s response. Regular doses of psychotropic drugs at the beginning of treatment may make the symptoms worse according to Dr Murphy. She has also had several successful antibiotic trials.

How many Cunningham panels have you completed?

Over 7000 at my laboratory and Moleculera Labs combined.  Moleculera Labs has been open about five years and has received more samples over time as the disease and the autoantibody panel have become more recognized.

Is the Cunningham Panel helpful for adults or is it only meant to be used with children?

We only have evidence of its use in children but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be useful for adults. In fact we have many physicians that utilize the panel in adults.  We are in the process of establishing adult controls so all we can do is report what we find compared to pediatric controls. We have studies in progress of adult chorea and PANDAS (children) from a sampling at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and also two studies of Lyme disease samples but those results are yet to be published.

Can you comment on the study funded by Autism Speaks in which you looked for the presence of anti-neuronal antibodies in children with autism?

Yes. First we are so grateful for the funding from Autism Speaks. The research into autism would not have been possible without the Autism Speaks Trailblazer awards twice, and we are in the process of finishing the paper to report what we found in the study. It clearly shows that ASD can be comorbid with PANDAS symptoms. If PANDAS is discovered in an ASD patient, it might potentially be treated the same way you normally treat PANDAS, with IVIG and/or antibiotics.  Clearly there are children with autism and overlapping PANDAS symptoms and the anti-neuronal autoantibodies are evident in certain patients with the PANDAS symptoms.

Can you comment on the Swedish study?

They found that the sensitivity of the Cunningham panel was approximately the same as our sensitivity if used as a panel all together.  The Swedish study identified 100% of their PANDAS/PANS children or adults with symptoms. At my laboratory, we found that the sensitivity was 91%. These sensitivity numbers are very close. However, they focused on the tests singly rather than as the panel, and they also found low specificity due to the control population that they compared with the PANDAS patients they enrolled in their study. Controls in their study were not assayed for streptococcal infections or other infections. My laboratory and Dr. Harvey Singer had already published 4 sets of controls demonstrating that some control sets could be elevated if not screened for pharyngitis or tonsillitis or other infections. Children or adults with pharyngitis or tonsillitis will demonstrate the anti-neuronal autoantibodies and you can cannot use these subjects as a healthy control for comparison. If you don’t screen for that in your control group then your results might display low sensitivity. Also, if adults are in the control group, then the control group may also be high and give a lower specificity. The interesting thing is the autoantibodies in pharyngitis go away quickly in a couple of weeks, but the ones in PANDAS and Sydenham Chorea do not go away and remain elevated. Dr Hilla Ben Pazi at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem and I are ready to publish this analysis in a new article. Our specificity for the test panel is approximately 70%.

A major issue with the Swedish study is that invalid blood collection tubes were unknowingly used for sampling, as was acknowledged in the Corrigendum to their article. We find that collection tubes with clot activators and other additives sporadically interfere within the assay and the results. This would lead to unreliable data and could explain the difference between all our previous work and their results.

Even if the specificity is low, you’re not ever going to treat someone who doesn’t have symptoms. The antibodies are not present in other diseases such as multiple sclerosis and the specificity of the autoantibodies for the ganglioside antigen is a different specificity than seen in the Guillain Barre Syndrome. It is important that you can identify nearly all children with the disease using the autoantibody test panel. So far we do not see false negatives with the autoantibody panel. If you are positive and have symptoms then it is conclusive that you have a diagnosis of PANDAS or Sydenham Chorea, or if you want to call it something else, you could say that it confirms the diagnosis of dopamine receptor or basal ganglia autoimmune encephalitis. In addition, autoantibodies present in OCD and tics are not surprising since inflammation has been reported in Tourette’s syndrome. The antibodies will remain high over time during the symptoms over months and then the titers decrease when the symptoms improve based on our studies of samples collected at Yale University and the NIMH.

Are you planning on adding any other anti-neuronal autoantibodies to the Cunningham panel?

Not at this time. Although we are researching additional markers and will be screening the samples we have to see if we can identify additional biomarkers that may assist in the future.  Possibly other ways of testing that might be genetic or related to genetics to determine other risk factors.

What percentage of children with positive Cunningham panels have had an abrupt onset vs. subacute onset and in tracking them over time, do both groups respond to similarly to immunomodulatory treatments?

Those PANDAS children who are positive for the autoantibodies against the dopamine receptor(s) and have a positive CaMKII or other antibody in the panel are likely to have a good response to immunomodulatory treatment. The autoantibodies against the dopamine receptors indicate an autoimmune dopamine receptor encephalitis while autoantibodies against lysoganglioside or tubulin suggest a basal ganglia encephalitis if they are not positive when tested against the dopamine receptors.

Do you have a sense for how many children with PANS might also have mitochondrial disorders?

No, it is probably more in ASD.

It seems IVIG is often failing or provides relief for a time but not lasting relief. Do you know why this is or what the next steps should be?

I do not really know the answer to that question. However, we find that the autoantibody panel may likely be an excellent predictor of a positive response to the IVIG. This is because autoantibodies provide a rational basis for immunotherapy and may suggest that immunotherapies would work. IVIG also protects children with borderline immunodeficiency against infections and is also thought to be anti-inflammatory.


~Thank you to Dr. Cunningham for taking the time to be interviewed by FCND President Anna Conkey.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is associated with a high rate of seizures and epilepsy. Some estimates suggest that up to 45% of individuals with ASD are affected by seizures by the time they reach adulthood, and it is estimated that up to 60% have subclinical electrical dis-charge—many without any obvious clinical seizures. In this article, we review some of the more important basic facts about seizures and epilepsy as well as treatments in order to enhance the understanding of caretakers of individuals with ASD.
Seizures: What are they and Why are they Important?
The brain works by transmitting electrical impulses from nerve cell to nerve cell. When the brain is working correctly the local rhythm of one part of the brain is rather random since many different nerve cells are working with other nerve cells on different thoughts and sensations. There is also an electrical rhythm, known as the background rhythm, which orchestrates all of the overall higher brain’s activity like a conductor. When a seizure occurs, there is an abrupt change in the brain’s electrical rhythm, such that the neurons in the brain become abnormally synchronized. When this happens, the nerve cells become enslaved to this abnormal rhythm preventing them from functioning normally. This disturbance in the electrical rhythm of the brain primarily
affects the evolutionarily newer part of the brain known as the cerebral cortex (higher brain). This abnormal brain activity typically shows up as abnormal rhythmic movements of the arms, legs and / or face, which reflect this synchronous rhythm stimulating nerve cells responsible for controlling the limbs.
Sometimes these movements are associated with a loss of consciousness since the nerve cells in the brain cannot function normally.

A study by researchers into the presence of potentially dangerous chemicals in eight brands of cling wrap, which is used to package food has revealed that one brand had a high concentration, which may result in adverse health effects and cancer risks.

The study was conducted by the University of Pretoria’s (UP) Environmental Chemical Pollution and Health Research Unit, and was led by UP Dean of Health Sciences, Prof Tiaan de Jager and Director of the Unit, Dr Natalie Aneck-Hahn. It had collaborators from Stellenbosch University and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. It selected eight of the most common cling film brands in South Africa, that are used domestically and commercially for food packaging. They investigated the presence, concentration and potential health risks of the EDCs, para-Nonylphenol (p-NP); Bisphenol A (BPA); Di (2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA) and selected phthalates.

The study found that one of the cling film brands had a very high concentration of DEHA, which may result in adverse health effects and carcinogenic risks. Cancer risks resulting from exposure to DEHA equated to about five in 1000 people, which is 50 times higher than the acceptable cancer risk, said Prof de Jager.

Only two of the eight brands were below the detection limit for all target chemicals and also had the CANSA-smart choice seal on them.

High levels of DEHA and di-2-propyl heptyl phthalate (DEHP) were found in the commercial brands tested, posing significant health risks (such as reproductive and developmental effects and liver toxicity), while exposure to the EDC DEHP results in carcinogenic risks that are regarded slightly higher than the acceptable level (1 in 100 000). These risks represent a worst-case scenario and are based on using cling film daily over a 30-year period, said Prof de Jager.

He explained that exposure to EDCs during highly sensitive life stages such as foetal development and early childhood can result in the development of non-communicable diseases, problems with metabolism, as well as immune system dysfunction, problems with neurodevelopment, and reproductive function. ‘It is also possible that there can be an effect in children at an epigenetic level (heritable changes that affect gene expression and activity, but do not involve changes in the DNA sequence) in their adult years, as well as the potential carcinogenic effects to long term exposure,’ said Prof de Jager.

EDCs, which are mostly man-made, have significant effects on the environment, as well as on human and animal health.  They are found in pesticides; metals and electronics; pharmaceuticals and personal care products; as well as in additives in food and food packaging materials.

Cling film contains plasticizers, which are additives that increase the plasticity and flexibility of a material and decreases its viscosity and brittleness. Some plasticizers are EDCs and may be released from the material with time, use and under certain conditions.

Prof de Jager explained that EDCs can leach from the cling film used to package food. This leaching process, whereby chemicals are transferred from the plastic to the food is known as migration. ‘Migration depends on the chemical properties of the packaging and the type of food. Migration of EDCs into foods that are particularly high in fat, such as cheeses, fatty fish and meat are said to be more likely. Migration is also dependent on temperature, exposure to ultraviolet light and the duration that the product is stored.’

Previous studies on the migration of plasticizers (and therefore EDCs) into foods wrapped in PVC film showed substances do occur when packaged foods are defrosted or cooked in the microwave.  Food wrapped in cling film is a source of human exposure to EDCs. Since these studies, plasticizers which contain Phthalate esters DEHP and Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) have been prohibited or regulated in some countries because of their EDC effects.

While levels of BPA and p-NP were detected in cling film samples of this study, Prof de Jager stressed that the levels of these EDCs were lower when compared with a previous South African study in 1997. ‘This means that manufacturers of cling film are using safer alternatives compared to the materials previously used,’ he said.

According to Prof de Jager, as the awareness of EDCs slowly rises among the general public, ‘we should all try take it upon ourselves to become more informed of the materials that contain EDCs and the potential health risks that they can have on us and the environment.’

‘A start would be to make small changes to our daily choices. Perhaps, for example, if we all try to reduce the amount of food packaging – both in what we buy and in our own homes, we will not only be trying to reduce our exposure to EDCs, but we will also be making a bonus effort of reducing the amount of plastic on the planet.’

He cautioned that when purchasing cling film, people should always check for the CANSA-smart choice seal.

– Author Louise de Bruin

This document is intended to provide a simple summary for families and physicians of the major dietary, nutritional, and medical treatments available to help children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. The discussion is limited to those treatments which have scientific research support, with an emphasis on nutritional interventions. This report excludes psychiatric medications for brevity. The dietary, nutritional, and medical treatments discussed here will not help every individual with autism, but they have helped thousands of children and adults improve, usually slowly and steadily over months and years, but sometimes dramatically.

This summary is primarily based on review of the scientific literature, and includes over 150 references to peer-reviewed scientific research studies. It is also based on discussions with many physicians, nutritionists, researchers, and parents. This summary generally follows the philosophy of the Autism Research Institute (ARI), which involves trying to identify and treat the underlying causes of the symptoms of autism, based on medical testing, scientific research, and clinical experience, with an emphasis on nutritional interventions. Many of these treatments have been developed from observations by parents and physicians.

This study involved a randomized, controlled, single-blind 12-month treatment study of a comprehensive nutritional and dietary intervention. Participants were 67 children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) ages 3–58 years from Arizona and 50 non-sibling neurotypical controls of similar age and gender. Treatment began with a special vitamin/mineral supplement, and additional treatments were added sequentially, including essential fatty acids, Epsom salt baths, carnitine, digestive enzymes, and a healthy gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free (HGCSF) diet. There was a significant improvement in nonverbal intellectual ability in the treatment group compared to the non-treatment group (+6.7 +- 11 IQ points vs. +-0.6 11 IQ points, p = 0.009) based on a blinded clinical assessment. Based on semi-blinded assessment, the treatment group, compared to the non-treatment group, had significantly greater improvement in autism symptoms and developmental age. The treatment group had significantly greater increases in EPA, DHA, carnitine, and vitamins A, B2, B5, B6, B12, folic acid, and Coenzyme Q10. The positive results of this study suggest that a comprehensive nutritional and dietary intervention is effective at improving nutritional status, non-verbal IQ, autism symptoms, and other symptoms in most individuals with ASD. Parents reported that the vitamin/mineral supplements, essential fatty acids, and HGCSF diet were the most beneficial.