Posts Tagged ‘toxins’

Searching for the causes of autism

Monday, July 26, 2010

Photo of statue at Carmen B. Pingree Center for Children with Autism, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA:  http://www.carmenbpingree.com/

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I am very grateful to Dr. Ruth Buczynski, the president and co-founder of NICABM, for our guest article today. NICABM is the acronym for National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine.

From Genetics to Environmental Toxins: Searching for the Causes of Autism

By Ruth Buczynski, PhD, July 24th, 2010

Autism – just the word causes panic in parents everywhere.

When I was growing up, polio had a similar effect.  But the vaccine for polio has been found, while work on the prevention and treatment autism is still continuing feverously.

To the horror of families with an autistic child, the scientific community can offer little in the way of reassurances.

The main reason for this stems from the lack of agreement over the causes of the disorder.  And without knowing the causes, it’s pretty difficult to design treatments.

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Without knowing the causes, it’s pretty difficult to design treatments

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We can not even agree on figures for autism.  With the change in classification of autistic symptoms, has the number of autism cases increased or held the same?

The scientific world is rife with theories, many of which were presented in the latest issue of Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis out of Warsaw, Poland.

This journal has never before been on my radar, but they decided to dedicate a whole issue of the journal to the autism debate and so caught my attention.

And what are the theories that are currently being brandished around?

Well, genetics and immune deficiency problems are at the top of many experts’ causal list.

New research represented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) by Ning Lei, PhD from Princeton University linked the newly discovered mutation of four genes with autism.

One of the new genes identified was neural cell adhesion molecule 2 (NCAM2). NCAM2 is expressed in the hippocampus of the human brain — a region previously associated with autism.

One of the interesting things about this study is that Dr. Lei found that NCABM2 mutations were also common in the family members of autistic children, though these family members had no autism themselves.

The idea then is that other possible factors, including environmental toxins, have to come into play in order to for autism to develop.

The role of environmental toxins in the etiology of autism is as hotly debated as any of the other theoretical causes.

For many in the health field, the pervasiveness of environmental toxins in other disorders does make one question its role in autism.

Environmental toxins are disturbing for one reason because they have the ability to mask the detection of other conditions, such as hypothyroidism.

According to Mark Starr, MD, these toxins can disguise the levels of thyroid hormone in the body, making it nearly impossible to diagnose.

Because the thyroid is necessary for maintaining health, it is critical for it to function properly.

To learn more about how environmental toxins are masking thyroid malfunction, and how thyroid malfunction can be treated, tune in this coming Wednesday to NICABM’s free teleseminar series: Clinical Applications of Mind-Body Medicine: New Thinking about Stress and the Remarkable Power of Psychoneuroimmunology.

It’s free, you just have to sign up.

In the meantime, I welcome your thoughts on the causes of autism.

Do you know of someone who has been diagnosed with autism and whose story would be helpful to the larger debate about the causes and treatments of the disorder?

Please share your thoughts and opinions below [click on the little blue word “comments”] ……………………………………………………………………………….

Thank you, Dr. Ruth!

Blessings, Doc Meek, Monday, July 26, 2010, at South Jordan, Utah, USA

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J. Collins Meek, Ph.D. (Doc Meek)
“What if you are smarter than you think?”
Learning Specialist https://docmeek.com

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Ph (801) 971-1812 (Jeannette); Fax [801] 282-6026

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Toxic exposure disguised as autism

Photo of statue at Carmen B. Pingree Center for Children with Autism: http://www.carmenbpingree.com/

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Toxic Exposure Disguised as Autism

Many people believe that autism is a “genetic” malady that is permanent and incurable.

This may not be so for all autistic children.

I am familiar with cases where the child labeled autistic was given, not a thorough psychological assessment, rather a thorough physical, biological and chemical screening utilizing non-routine highly specialized testing. The result of such testing revealed the presence of toxic chemicals dangerous to brain health. These chemicals were not detectable by normal blood and urine testing and so were missed in the ordinary course of events.

The reason for this is that some toxic materials are sequestered in tissues, fats, bones, organs and muscles throughout the body and are not circulating in the bloodstream (unless there has been immediately recent exposure). Since they are not detectable by the regular blood and urine tests, everyone is fooled into thinking there are no toxins that would hurt the child’s brain.

Instead of immediately “detoxifying” the child, which can hurt the child even worse as the toxic materials come out of sequestration and into the bloodstream again, there needs to be a very careful pathway to healing followed.

Careful steps that can lead to better brain health

First the child needs to be drenched with nutrients and micro-nutrients that are essential for body and brain health. This provides the ammunition necessary for the coming battle of detoxification.

Simultaneously, if there are current toxic exposures that were originally being allowed out of lack of knowledge, these must be rigorously identified, and further exposures stopped or minimized as much as is humanly possible.

Finally, with the above two vital steps accomplished, can begin very careful and very slow and safe detoxification. Safe means finding a means to remove the toxins without using methods that further damage the child, and further impair brain health. It is not always easy to find such safe methods, as this is a relatively new field and great care must be exercised.

As the above steps are brought into play, the body’s incredible intrinsic power to heal begins to engage, slowly at first. Then with increasing strength, the miracle of returning health is slowly brought into play.

We are not talking about just mitigation here. We are talking about the body’s ability to return to normality when conditions are right for it to do so. Having a child return from the seeming prison of autism is amazing and astounding. Any mother who has witnessed this would say that “miraculous” is not too strong a word.

Even though the mother and the professionals involved know that the best of the best science has been the tool for the miracle, it still seems miraculous for a child to return from a world of disconnection to the world of here and now.

Autism can be a multi-factor problem

I am not saying that every child labeled autistic will return to normal if that child is given vital micro-nutrients, is screened in specialized ways for toxins, is detoxified safely, and is kept from future toxic exposures as much as is humanly possible.

I am saying that all children, autistic or otherwise, must be afforded this window of tremendous opportunity, and must not be denied this great gift simply because of  parental or professional disbelief, lack of knowledge or prejudice.

I am saying that all children, autistic or not, greatly benefit when they are given needed nutrients and micro-nutrients, are allowed to have brain-damaging toxins safely removed, and are protected from future toxic exposures.

Even if the child does not return to perfect normality, the child is much better off when given needed nutrients, and is not burdened with the toxic residues of our chemicalized world.

There are other supportive therapies, adjunctive to the above, that also help restore children to better functionality. Of which, more later.

To the greater health of our children!

Doc Meek, May 7, 2010; at Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

P.S. One relatively recent study of “healthy” newborns revealed that more than 200 industrial toxins were resident in them at birth. This is shocking to say the least. And this was counting only the chemicals being tested. There were doubtless more chemicals for which there was no testing done.

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