Autism Around the World Symposium 2010 May 6-8, 2010 Zayed University Dubai, United Arab Emirates - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – Autism Around the World Symposium 2010 May 6-8, 2010 Zayed University Dubai, United Arab Emirates PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 66b69b-MDVhN


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

Autism Around the World Symposium 2010 May 6-8, 2010 Zayed University Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Biomedical Treatments for Autism 101: An Introduction to Scientifically Based Medical Treatment Options Autism Around the World Symposium 2010 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:118
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 146
Provided by: lund75
Learn more at:


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Autism Around the World Symposium 2010 May 6-8, 2010 Zayed University Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Autism Around the WorldSymposium 2010May 6-8,
2010Zayed University Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Biomedical Treatments for Autism 101 An
Introduction to Scientifically Based Medical
Treatment Options  
  • The information provided today is for educational
    purposes only, and should not be used in place of
    profession medical and/or nutritional
    supervision. If medical advice is needed, this
    service should be given by a licensed medical
  • I do not receive any financial remuneration for
    anything mentioned or referred to in this

My training and employment. . .
  • M.S. in Biology from Tulane University,
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Tulane
    University, New Orleans, LA
  • NIH Training Grant in Vision Research, LSU Eye
    Center, New Orleans, LA
  • Day job Sr. Research Scientist, NASA SSC

Work related to autism . . .
  • Independent Consultant, Developmental Delay
  • Autism One Mentor
  • USAAA Scientific Advisory board
  • IHA Scientific Advisory board

A parent of child recovering from autism
But most importantly, . . .
What is Autistic Spectrum Disorder?
  • A developmental disability resulting from a
    neurological disorder . . .

That affects normal functioning of the brain . . .
affecting children in a spectrum of ways . . .
. . . children with autism behave in a spectrum
of ways . . .
Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Abnormal development of
  • Communication skills
  • Social skills
  • Reasoning

The tough part about autism is that
  • No one will tell you that there is something
    that will definitively work . . .

Autism is treatable!
  • Recent research shows that autism is treatable
  • Early interventions lead to the best outcomes
  • Be aware of symptoms, and begin addressing them
    as soon as possible

There is still not a cure, but there are many
treatments to consider
Educate yourself . . . empower yourself with
  • You know your child best
  • Learn about the disorder
  • Learn about treatments
  • Make intelligent choices about what would work
    best for your childfor it is a spectrum
    disorder, affecting each child differently

Consider pursuing 3 major treatment areas
  • Biomedical/Health
  • Behavior/education social interventions
  • Sensory issues

Interventions go hand-in-hand
  • Therapies or interventions are designed to remedy
    specific symptoms in each individual.
  • The best-studied therapies include
    educational/behavioral, sensory and biomedical

Although these interventions do not cure autism,
they often bring about substantial improvement
My goal as an educator,
  • 1. Biology
  • Anatomy and cell biology
  • 2. Immunology
  • 3. Biochemistry
  • 4. Describe what can goes wrong with these

  • the reasoning behind what can go wrong with these
    systems . . . explain how issues with these
    systems can affect behavior and behavioral

  • . . . To enable you to understand some of the
    biological approaches currently available for the
    treatment of the medical condition described as
  • . . . .so if you choose you can consider
    applying them responsibly

What does biomedical approach mean?
  • The application of the natural, biological and
    physiological sciences to clinical medicine

Why consider biomedical approaches for the
treatment of autism?
  • There is literature in peer review journals and
    other related sources that suggests that there
    are several biomedical interventions that . . .
  • can be helpful for the treatment of the
    symptoms in many autistic spectrum disorder

  • Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of
    Gastrointestinal Disorders in Individuals with
    ASD A Consensus Report
  • Buie et al, 2010, Pediatrics125S1-S18
  • http//

Abstract- Buie et al Pediatrics125S1-S18
  • .The consensus expert opinion of the panel was
    that individuals with ASDs deserve the same
    thoroughness and standard of care in the
    diagnostic workup and treatment of
    gastrointestinal concerns as should occur for
    patients without ASDs. Care providers should be
    aware that problem behavior in patients with ASDs
    may be the primary or sole symptom of the
    underlying medical condition, including some
    gastrointestinal disorders. For these patients,
    integration of behavioral and medical care may be
    most beneficial. Priorities for future research
    are identified to advance our understanding and
    management of gastrointestinal disorders in
    persons with ASDs.

The Science
  • The body is made up of specific systems,
    including skeletal, circulatory, immune,
    cardiovascular, nervous, digestive
  • Digestive system
  • Anatomy and function
  • Food allergies/food intolerances
  • Leaky gut/intestinal dysbiosis
  • Immune system function
  • Basic biochemistry

Digestive System
  • Mouth
  • Stomach
  • Small intestine-absorption
  • Duodenum
  • Jejunum
  • Ileum
  • Large intestine/Colon
  • Rectum
  • Liver
  • Pancreas-secretes enzymes and hormones

Digestion-function of the digestive tract
  • Digests food
  • Absorbs nutrients
  • Carries vitamins and
  • nutrients into bloodstream
  • Chemical detoxification
  • Excretion

Small Intestine Cross Section
  • Serosa
  • Connective tissue
  • Muscularis Externa
  • Inner circular and outer longitudinal fibers
    (muscle cells)
  • Submucosa
  • Connective tissue
  • Blood vessels
  • Mucousa
  • Epithelial cells
  • Lamina propria
  • Muscularis mucosa

Intestinal epithelial cell layer histological
How do you get nutrients from foods? Protein
  • Foods are made up of proteins
  • When foods are eaten and properly digested,
    proteins are broken down by enzymes into peptides
  • Peptides are then further broken down into amino
  • Amino acids are the building
  • blocks of life

What is a peptide
  • A little biochemistry . . . .

  • Peptides are made up of amino acids that are
    linked together
  • . . . Peptides are linked together to form

Whats an Amino Acid?
  • Amino acids are the building blocks of life

There are 20 amino acids
  • the amino acid-Cysteine

What can go wrong with the GI?
  • Leaky gut
  • Intestinal dysbiosis
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Enterocolitis
  • Allergy

Leaky Gut
  • Definition an abnormal or unfavorable increase
    in intestinal permeability
  • The intestinal lining is supposed to be
    protective barrier between the gut and the

Tight gap junctions
1. What is leaky-gut?
  • Definition an abnormal or unfavorable increase
    in intestinal permeability
  • Epithelia are either 'tight' or 'leaky'
  • The intestinal lining is supposed to be the
    protective barrier between the gut and the

Leaky Gut/Increased permeability
  • If the intestinal lining becomes damaged-it is
    possible for incompletely digested proteins
    and/or other by-products to leak through the
    intestinal lining
  • They can be recognized as foreign by the immune
    system, and/or leak into bloodstream

How do you treat leaky gut?
  • Cleanse the gut of toxins
  • Avoid the non-food foods sugars, refined
    carbohydrates, fatty foods.
  • Enhance the flow of digestive secretions
  • Provide proper nutrition to the body
  • Supplements diet vitamins, anti-oxidants,,

What is intestinal dysbiosis?
  • Intestinal flora-yeast and bacteria -are part of
    GI track
  • Intestinal dysbiosis occurs when there is an
    overgrowth/imbalance of intestinal flora(s)

2. Dysbiosis
  • Intestinal flora (yeast and bacteria) are a
    normal part of digestive track
  • Intestinal dysbiosis occurs when there is an
    overgrowth/imbalance of intestinal flora(s)
  • Dysbiosis results from
  • Increased use of antibiotics, steroids, etc.
  • Poor diet
  • Diets high in sugar
  • Stress
  • Immune system dysregulation

(No Transcript)
How do your treat intestinal dysbiosis?
  • Try laboratory testing to determine pathogen
  • Yeast, clostridia, or unfavorable bacteria
  • Discuss Rx or OTC treatments with your physician

a. Constipation/ b. Diarrhea
  • Constipation-having a bowel movement fewer than
    three times per week
  • Stools are usually hard, dry, small in size, and
    difficult to eliminate.
  • Can be painful to have a bowel movement and
  • often experience straining, bloating, and the
    sensation of a full bowel
  • Diarrhea-frequent loose or liquid bowel movements
    (often associated with infection, allergy and
    food intolerances)

c. Enterocolitis
  • Inflammation itis(due to infection or
    irritation) that affects part or all of the
    intestines (the small enteroand/or large col
  • Hyperplasia-general term for an increase in the
    number of the cells of an organ or tissue causing
    it to increase in size
  • Endoscopy-looking inside, the human body for
    medical reasons, by inserting a small scope in
    the body

Ileonodular Hyperplasia
Normal Terminal Ileum
Consequences of intestinal dysbiosis or leaky
gut-if left untreated
  • Nutrients and vitamins arent absorbed
    properly---vitamin deficiencies
  • Intestinal distress
  • Food allergies are created
  • Detoxification is compromised
  • Bacteria and yeast can be mobilized
  • Formation of antibodies you might not
    want---because of immune dysregulation

(No Transcript)
3. Allergy
  • A large part of the immune system is located in
    or near the intestinal tract-to helps prevent
    microorganisms in the intestine from entering
    into the rest of the body
  • 1st line of defense against pathogens 
  • Defects in the immune system can lead to
    gastrointestinal problems
  • Therefore, the most obvious place for an allergic
    reaction to food to take place is in the GI track
  • Reactions can range from acute to chronic
  • Food allergies vs. food sensitivies

Food allergies
  • An immune system response . . . to foods
  • Body mistakes a protein in food as harmful, and
    creates a defense against it (antibody)
  • Allergy symptoms appear within minutes to an hour
    or so after eating the suspected food-body is
    battling invading food
  • Symptoms include eczema, an itchy red rash most
    common in the elbow creases or behind the knees
    hives, nausea, swelling, difficulty breathing
    and/or anaphylactic shock

Food sensitivities/food intolerances
  • Digestive system response to foods
  • Not an immune system response
  • Something in food irritates digestive system or
    person is unable to breakdown/digest food
  • Can include metabolic food disorders such as
    lactose intolerance (missing enzyme)
  • Symptoms include crapping, gas, nausea, and
    stomach pain

Immune system function
  • The immune response is how your body recognizes
    and defends itself against bacteria, viruses, and
    substances that appear foreign and harmful to the
  • Normal immune system function, depends upon
    proper immune system responses
  • Protects and defends against foreign cells
  • Memory-gets smarter
  • Responds appropriately
  • Do no harm

Normally, there is a balance between infection
and immunity
Acquired Immunity
  • White blood cells associated with acquired immune
    system are called lymphocytes
  • T Cells
  • B Cells

T cells--Two kinds of t cells
Helper T Cells- Recognize antigens and help
other cells do their job
Killer T cells- kills infected cell
. . . Th1 response
B cells
  • Produces antibodies
  • An antibody is specific to an antigen--something
    the body recognizes as nonself

. . . Th2 response
Cellular Communication
And, the balance can be altered
With immune system dysregulation, there is a
shift or skewing
  • One possibility . . . when you are attacking,
    the attack is to produce antibodies
  • . . .to foods, yeast, bacteria, etc.

Things can go wrong with the immune system . . .
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Autoimmunity
  • Inflammation
  • Immune system dysregulation

Immune system dysregulation
  • Immune system dysregulation causes an abnormal
    immune response
  • There is a shift or skewing lack of balance
  • The immune system looses the ability to respond
    appropriately. . . and when this happens, it is
    possible that the body develops abnormal
    responses to things it might not normally react
    to . . .
  • like foods

What happens if the immune system is compromised
  • Immune dysregulation
  • Abnormal balance and communication between immune
  • Chronic Inflammation
  • An abnormal, persistent activation of immune
    cells in the tissues
  • Autoimmune reactions
  • Antibodies targeting and causing injury to normal
    body tissues
  • The immune system is closely connected to
    virtually every other system of the body . . .
  • Disorders in the immune system can cause disease

The Livers Mighty Detoxification Powers
--designed to remove toxic matter from the blood
(No Transcript)
Liver Functions
  • Produces bile
  • Stores glucose in the form of glycogen
  • Metabolizes protein and fats
  • Stores vitamins and energy
  • Detoxifies, and breaks down xenobiotics
  • Removes toxic matter

What happens if liver function is compromised?
  • If detoxification systems are overloaded, this
    can lead to destruction of nutrients required for
    detoxification pathways
  • if detoxification pathways become overloaded,
    there will be build of toxins
  • if transulfuration is disrupted, there is less
    ant-oxidant protection, and
  • oxidative stress can result. . .

Vicious Cycle of Toxic Overload
  • Heavy metal exposure, environmental toxins,
    foreign proteins
  • Detoxification problems
  • GI distress
  • Allergy
  • Immune problems
  • Infections
  • Treat with
  • Antibiotics, steroids,
  • antifungals

Why detoxification?
  • To prevent injury to the cells and ultimately
    cell death
  • In autism, toxins may be a cause of the
    neurological and immune dysfunction
  • If toxins accumulate too rapidly, without being
    safely eliminated, they can cause damaging
    effects upon cells and tissues of the body
  • Detoxification may help the cells to recover and

Cell Damage and Disease
Detoxification-Methylation and Sulfation?
  • two of the healthy bodys natural means of
    ridding itself of toxic substances
  • Methylation
  • Sulfation
  • ASD children often need supplements to provide
    them with the raw materials their bodies need to
    carry out methylation and sulfation.

  • Without methylation, there would be no life as
    we know it
  • -Craig Cooney,
  • author of Methyl Magic

  • Methylation the process transferring a methyl
    group to another molecule
  • Methylation is an important part of
  • Folic acid pathway
  • B6 pathway
  • B12 pathway
  • Needed for neurotransmitter synthesis

Important chemical events in the body are made
possible by methylation
  • Detoxification pathways
  • DNA synthesis
  • RNA synthesis
  • Cellular methylation rxts
  • Neurotransmission
  • Switching genes on and off

(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
Methionine/Glutathione Transsulfuration Pathway
Transsulfuration pathway
Remethylation pathway
Methionine Synthase
Methylene THFolate
Methyl B12
Methyl THF
Glutathione (GSH)
Critical to the bodys ability to remove toxins!
Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
Methionine/Glutathione Transsulfuration pathway
in children with autism
Treatment Options Where do I begin?
  • 1. Diet
  • 2. Supplements
  • 3. Testing
  • (These are not in any particular order)

1. Healthier Diet
(No Transcript)
Read labels . . . .
Are special diets so special and which one do
I choose?
  • Many autistic children suffer from inflammatory
    response/immune system dysregulation
  • Many autistic children dont/cant digest their
    foods efficiently
  • Diet options GF/CF, SCD, BED, LOD,
  • Pick one that works best for you and your family

Regardless of diet choice, it is important to
ensure proper nutrition
Gluten-free/Casein-free diet(GFCF diet)
  • Your can try it on your own
  • There is research that suggests the diet can help
    many children . . .

What is gluten?
  • Gluten and gluten-like proteins are found in
    wheat and other grains, including oats, rye,
    barley, bulgar, durum, kamut and spelt, and foods
    made from those grains. It is also found in food
    starches, semolina, couscous, malt, some
    vinegars, soy sauce, flavorings, artificial
    colors and hydrolyzed vegetable proteins

What is casein?
  • Casein is a protein found in milk and products
    containing milk, found in such as cheese, butter,
    yogurt, ice cream, whey and most brands of
    margarine, and some non-milk products such as soy
    cheese, hot dogs, and tuna fish, in the form of

Diet Gluten-free Casein-free(GFCF) Diet
  • A restrictive diet that removes all food items
    that contain both
  • gluten and casein
  • The are two main theories currently present in
    scientific literature that explain why some
    people with autism and PDD respond positively to
    a GFCF diet
  • improperly broken down dietary peptides
  • immune system dysregulation

Improperly broken down dietary peptides
  • Some people with ASD cannot properly digest
    gluten and casein, which break down into
    substances that act like opiates in their bodies
  • According to this theory, these "drug-like"
    substance alters the person's behavior,
    perceptions, and responses to his environment

Casein/casomorphin and gluten/gliadorphin
  • Casein is a protein found in milk and products
    containing milk
  • Casomorphin (or caseomorhin) is a peptide derived
    from the milk protein casein
  • Gluten and gluten-like proteins are found in
    wheat and other grains
  • Gliadorphin (or gluteomorphin) is a peptide
    derived from the wheat protein gluten

Or immune dysregulation causes an abnormal
immune response
  • The immune system looses the ability to respond
    appropriately . . .

Immune System Dysregulation
  • Body develops abnormal responses to things it
    might not normally react to
  • An abnormal immune response can result in
  • Allergy
  • Inflammation
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Autoimmunity

When this happens,
  • it is possible that the body develops abnormal
    responses to things it might not normally react
  • . . . like foods

Consider this . . . .
  • Although at the beginning the diet may seem
    difficult, it maybe infinitely easier to try the
    diet, and end up having a happier healthier
    higher functioning autistic child, than living
    with a bad/poorly functioning one!!!
  • Which would you rather choose?

How to begin a GFCF diet?
  • Keep a daily log/diary
  • Be systematic
  • Try removing dairy first
  • See what happens generally within first few days
    improvements can be observed
  • Try for at least two weeks
  • Try removing gluten
  • Give this at least 3 months, and up to 6

Books for suggested reading for GFCF Diet
  • Special Diets for Special Kids Understanding and
    Implementing Special Diets to Aid in the
    Treatments of Autism and Related Developmental
  • by Lisa Lewis, Ph.D.

Some wonderful resources available for GFCF
  • GFCF DIET web site
  • ANDI, autism network for dietary intervention
  • http//

Where do I get these types of foods?
  • Buy ready-made food items or mixes
  • Your local grocery store
  • Your local health food store

Ordering GFCF foods on-line
  • Miss Robens
  • http//
  • 800-891-0083
  • Kinnikinnick
  • http//
  • 877-503-4466
  • Ener-G
  • http//
  • 800-331-5222

2. Nutritional supplementation
Nutritional Supplements
  • They are relatively safe-if used responsibly
  • You dont need an Rx
  • You can purchase a good encyclopedia of nutrition
    to educate yourself-go to your local bookstore or
  • Why?
  • There is some literature that suggests that some
    supplements can help many ASD kids . .
    Particularly because of impaired detoxification

Disclaimer regarding nutritional supplements
  • The supplements mentioned today represents
    products that I am familiar with there may be
    other supplements, besides these, which are
    acceptable. I do not endorse, nor do I receive
    any financial remuneration, for any of the items
    mentioned. Please note its always wise to verify
    product/safety information check with your
    healthcare provider, before use!

Why nutritional supplementation?
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • involves a lack of one or more nutrients obtained
    from food essential for normal cell and body
  • occur due to
  • Mal-absorption/poor absorption in the small
  • Unhealthy eating, or
  • Self-imposed/imposed dietary restrictions
  • Poor utilization of nutrients because of genetic
    or environmental factors
  • Oxidative Stress

Nutritional deficiencies occur due to
  • Mal-absorption/poor absorption in the small
  • unhealthy eating, or
  • self-imposed/imposed dietary restrictions
  • Poor utilization of nutrients because of genetic
    or environmental factors

Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
There are nutritional deficiencies associated
with disease
  • Rickets-vitamin D deficiency
  • Scurvy-vitamin C deficiency
  • Beriberi-thiamine deficiency
  • Pellagra-niacin deficiency
  • Goiter-iodine deficiency

What nutrients are commonly deficient?
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate or folic acid
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Glutathione

Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
Nutritional supplements Which ones?
  • Some useful information is provided at
  • Discuss options with your physician or
    nutritionist, and help to make the best decisions
    for your child
  • for official government reports

Some basic nutritional support to consider may
  • Vit B6/Mag Probiotics
  • DMG and/or TMG Zinc
  • Folic/Folinic acid Digestive enzymes
  • Glutathione
  • Calcium/Magnesium
  • Antioxidants
  • Vit C
  • Vit E
  • CoQ10

Signs and symptoms associated with nutritional
deficiency . . .
  • Neurological symptoms
  • Memory loss
  • Psychosis
  • Bruising
  • Confusion
  • Impaired learning
  • Growth retardation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Poor immune function

How can a child attend, focus, and learn?
Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
Tricks of trade How do you get kids to take
these things?
  • Swallow capsules-oil/straw trick
  • Syringe approach
  • Trandermal preps-require Rx
  • Hiding in food
  • -Icing
  • -Frozen fruit juices
  • -Jell-O

What are transdermals?
  • Trans - across
  • Dermal - skin
  • Compounding pharmacists formulate vitamins,
    minerals, hormones, and medications into cream
    and gel bases that are, when applied to the skin,
    actively transported through the skin for
    absorption into the bloodstream
  • Transdermals offers almost complete delivery
    without many of the side effects/problems
    associated with oral administration

What about oxidative stress?
  • Caused by an imbalance between the production of
    reactive oxygen (free radicals) and a biological
    system's ability to readily detoxify/repair
  • Can impose upon the cells and affect normal cell
    function, causing oxidative stress
  • Can supplement with antioxidants to counter-act
    effects of oxidative stress upon the cell

Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
(No Transcript)
To combat oxidative stress
  • Vitamin E Calcium
  • Vitamin C Selenium
  • Glutathione Zinc
  • Vitamin B6 or
  • its activated form,
  • pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P)
  • with Magnesium

Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
But no matter which interventions you try, . . .
  • implement them slowly, one at a time, so that you
    can try to identify what exactly has had a
    positive or negative effect.

3. Additional laboratory testing
  • Why consider other testing?
  • Because if you dont look for the problem, you
    might not find it

Some standard laboratory testing to consider
  • Full Immunological work-up
  • IgA, IgM and IgE
  • IgG with subclasses
  • Comprehensive Allergy Profile
  • For food and inhalants (including delayed food
    hypersensitivity IgG for food allergies)
  • Toxic metal screening
  • Hair, urine and blood

Additional advanced laboratory testing
  • Urinary peptide levels
  • Inborn error of metabolism
  • Serum copper
  • Plasma zinc
  • Autoimmune test for
  • Anti-MBP
  • Comprehensive diagnostic stool analysis
  • Urinary organic
  • acid test
  • Sleep EEG
  • MRI /- CAT scan
  • Thyroid profile
  • Fragile X
  • Liver panel

Some advanced biomedical interventions
  • Require medical supervision/Rx
  • Methyl-B12 injections
  • IVIG-intravenous immunoglobulin
  • Oral IG
  • Secretin
  • IV Glutathione
  • HBOT-Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Chelation Therapy
  • Transdermal DMPS
  • Oral DMSA

(No Transcript)
What do we know now?
  • Mercury in a known neurotoxin
  • -Dr. Boyd Haley
  • Thimerosal (50 ethyl mercury) can inhibit
    methionine synthase
  • -Dr. Richard Deth
  • These children have less antioxidant protection
    against oxidative stress
  • -Dr. Jill James

What we do know now
  • In 2001, the Institute of Medicine (IOM)
    determined that such a relationship (between
    thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders) is
    biologically plausible, but that not enough
    evidence exists to support or reject this
  • Thimerosal neurotoxicity is associated with
    glutathione depletion James et al, 2005
  • Recent work by Dr. Mark Geier and David Geier
    have shown strong epidemiological evidence for a
    causal relationship between thimerosal and
    neurodevelopmental disorders in children-Geier
    and Geier, 2007 

Why detoxification?
Maybe there is a genetic susceptibility,
environmental factors can affect trigger
effects. . .
Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
The environmental factors issues is gaining
broader acceptance
Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
Health Place. 2006 Jun12(2)203-9.
Findings For every 1000 pounds of mercury that
is emitted from Texas smokestacks there is a 61
increase in Autism rates in that state.
Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
EHP Vol 6, 2006 Online 21 June 2006
Methods Subjects included 284 children with ASD
and 657 controls, born in 1994 in the San
Francisco Bay Area. We assigned exposure level by
census tract of birth residence for 19 chemicals
we identified as potential neurotoxicants,
developmental toxicants, and/or endocrine
disruptors from the 1996 HAPs database. Results
Adjusting for these three groups simultaneously
led to decreased risks for the solvents and
increased risk for metals (AORs for metals
fourth quartile 1.7, 95 CI 1.0-3.0 third
quartile 1.95, 95 CI 1.2-3.1). The individual
compounds that contributed most to these
associations included mercury (highest odds
ratio), cadmium, nickel, trichloroethylene, and
vinyl chloride. Conclusions Our results suggest
a potential association between autism and
estimated metal concentrations, and possibly
solvents, in ambient air around the birth
residence, requiring confirmation and more
refined exposure assessment in future studies.
Why is detoxification important?
  • To prevent injury to the cells and ultimately
    cell death
  • Cell injury and cell death is bad
  • In autism, toxins may be a cause of the
    neurological and immune dysfunction
  • Detoxification may help the cells to recover
    which will enable for healing
  • If toxins accumulate too rapidly, without being
    safely eliminated, they can cause damaging
    effects upon cells and tissues of the body

How does your body detoxify?
  • Designed to remove/eliminate toxic substances
    from the body
  • Primary function of liver and kidney
  • Glutathione
  • Once toxins are bound they are eliminated via
    bile and urine
  • Can also be achieved via artificial (chelation)
    or supplementary (sauna) means through hyperbaric
    oxygen therapy (HBOT)

Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
How do you implement a detoxification program?
  • Should be done under the direction of an
    experience physician or other practitioner
  • Support the bodys own detoxification
    systemnutrients, methylB12, glutathione, etc.
  • Remove accessible toxinschelation, saunas, etc.
  • Monitor closely

Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
Environmental Disease in Humans
  • Hypothesis
  • Most human disease results from the interaction
    of genetic susceptibility and exposure to
    environmental factors
  • Genetic susceptibility generally relates to the
    inability of the liver to detoxify certain
    potentially lethal toxicants

Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
  • The abnormal metabolic profile in children with
    autism is consistent with the abnormal genetic
    profile and strengthens the hypothesis that
    genetic susceptibility to oxidative stress and
    reduced methylation capacity may predispose these
    children to neurological, immunological, and
    gastrointestinal dysfunction that occurs with
    autismDr. Jill James

Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
Paradigm switch
  • autism is not a psychological condition
  • it is a neuro-gastro-immunological disorder
    resulting from an genetic susceptibility and an
    environmental insult

Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
Dont try to do everything all at once!!!!
Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
What you can do now . . .
  • 1st Stabilize intestinal dysbiosis
  • 2nd Maximize metabolism
  • 3rd Healthier diet
  • Consider removing casein from the diet
  • Consider removing gluten from the diet
  • 4th Do some standard laboratory testing
  • 5th Introduce supplements, one at a time
  • 6th Do additional testing
  • 7th Consider advanced biomedical
    intervention, . . .

  • A happier, healthier child is going to be more
    responsive to behavioral, social and sensory

Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
Books recommended for an introduction to
biomedical interventions for autism
  • Children With Starving Brains A Medical
    Treatment Guide for Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • by Jaquelyn McCandless, M.D.

Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
. . .and,
  • Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive
    Developmental Disorder A Mothers Story of
    Research and Recovery
  • by Karyn Seroussi

Lauren W. Underwood, PhD

Understanding Autism for Dummies
  • Provides the simple breakdown of behavioral,
    medical and other intervention
  • Offers practical advice on how to educate
    children, as well as insights on helping people
    with autism maximize their potential

S. Shore, L. Rastelli, T. Grandin
  • More and more autistic children are getting
    better every day, and although there is no
    guarantee . . .
  • today,
  • there are more reasons to be hopeful that your
    child could be part of the extraordinary journey
    towards recovery

A new paradigm in autism
  • Autism is an environmental illness with a genetic
  • It is a complex metabolic disease, not just a
    developmental disability.
  • Autism is treatable, but . . .
  • We must continue fighting for a cure!

Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
Remember, . . .
  • Be patient
  • Be inspired
  • Have strength
  • Never give up hope, and
  • Never give up courage
  • Love your child!

Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
The End