Join CafeMom Today! Autism Spectrum Disorder: Treatments: September 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Propranolol and Autism

Drug may aid social function in autistic -

COLUMBIA, Mo., Sept. 29 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say propranolol -- a drug used to treat high blood pressure, control heart rate and reduce test anxiety -- may help people with autism.

David Beversdorf of the University of Missouri found the drug is beneficial for improving language development and social communication in people with autism.

"We can clearly say that propranolol has the potential to benefit language and may help people with autism function appropriately in social situations, including making eye contact with others," Beversdorf said in a statement. "Enhancing both language and social function is significant because those are two of the three main features of autism. Clinical trials will assess the drug's effect on all three features, including repetitive behaviors."

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Autism and Epilepsy

Autism and Epilepsy

Interventions: In the process of working with a neurologist, dietician, and your primary care provider, you ultimately are trying to control seizure breakthroughs in your child. Below are some common interventions I find helpful in my clinic.

Magnesium: can be dosed 10mg/kg or 10mg per 2 pounds of body weight. Any higher doses may need to have periodic blood tests to measure the blood level of magnesium.

Vitamin B6, in the form of P-5-P: we usually start at 50mg daily and depending on the age of the child, I can increase the dose up to 200mg per day.

Omega 3 fatty acids: There is some weak evidence that omega 3 fatty acids also increase the seizure threshold. Though the mechanism is unknown, we do know that omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. There is at least some evidence that anti-inflammation may be important in raising the seizure threshold.

Ibuprofen: this is an anti-inflammatory as well as an anti-pyretic (keeps the fever down). It is especially useful in the beginning and during an illness since increases in body temperature and elevated temperatures in general can lower seizure thresholds in some children.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT): Children with traumatic brain injury or with a condition of the brain that seems to favor low levels of blood flow, demonstrated with a SPECT Scan or PET scan, may benefit from HBOT treatments. The rationale is that brain cells that receive too little oxygen (hypoxic tissue) may be more unstable and thus, may have a lower seizure threshold. By increasing the oxygen delivery to these hypoxic areas, the stabilization of these brain cells may increase the seizure threshold.

IVIG: IVIG could act on epilepsy by its broad immunomodulatory mechanism of action.

L-Carnosine: some studies have suggested that this supplement can have anti-epileptic properties.

Vitamin E: Researchers in Canada, in a very small study, demonstrated that seizures can be decreased with Vitamin E, in the form of d-alpha-tocopherol acetate. 3 year olds and older can easily tolerate 400IU per day.
Rilutek (Riluzole): can be used for anxiety and obsessive/compulsive disease and may be effective in decreasing seizures, especially when combined with some of the seizure medications.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Autistic Mice or Mice with Autism?

Interesting article on autistic mice, or should I say mice with autism?

'Autistic' mice created – and treated - health - 29 September 2011 - New Scientist

A new strain of mice engineered to lack a gene with links to autism displays many of the hallmarks of the condition. It also responds to a drug in the same way as people with autism, which might open the way to new therapies for such people.

It's not the first mouse strain to have symptoms of autism, and previous ones have already been useful models for studying the condition. Daniel Geschwindat the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues tried a fresh approach, however. Rather than simply examining existing strains to identify mice with autistic-like behaviour, they engineered mice to lack a gene calledCntnap2, which had already been implicated in autism. Cntnap2 is the largest gene on the genome, clocking in at 2.5 million bases, and is responsible for regulating brain circuits involved in language and speech.

Geschwind was initially sceptical that the modified mice would display the behaviour typical of autism in humans, because the neural pathways in the two species are thought to be fairly different. "One has to be cautious," he says. "What is an autistic mouse going to look like?"

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cerebral Folate Deficiency, Folinic Acid, and Leucovorin

Surprisingly Common Findings of Cerebral Folate Autoimmunity in Autism© « Dr Jeff Bradstreet, MD, MD(H), FAAFP

We have been evaluating autoimmunity to cerebral folate receptors and related transport mechanisms in children with autism.

Unlike the traditional description of cerebral folate deficiency, these cases of autoimmunity to the folate receptors present with significant variability ranging from profoundly effected to only mild changes.

Treatment consists of using 1-2mg/Kg/day of body weight of folinic acid – usually as the prescription medicine: Leucovorin®. However, this does not always result in improvement by itself, and we speculate that some form of immune treatment may needed as well. In support of this concept, researchers have found a milk-free diet downregulates the autoimmunity (makes it less of a problem). This may partially explain why dairy-free diets are helpful for some children with ASD.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Timothy Syndrome and transgenic mouse model help with understanding Autism

Research offers new clues to molecular understanding of autism - UB Reporter

The first transgenic mouse model of a rare and severe type of autism called Timothy Syndrome is improving the scientific understanding of autism spectrum disorder in general and may help researchers design more targeted interventions and treatments.


“Most genetic mutations linked with autism increase the chances of having autism by a very small factor,” Rasmusson explains. “In contrast, 75-80 percent of people with this Timothy Syndrome mutation have autism spectrum disorder.”

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Could Coffee Help Kids Who Have ADHD? Autism?

This might be worth a try for Autism too.

Could Coffee Help Kids Who Have ADHD? - Special Needs -

Would you give your seven year old a cup of coffee to drink? What if your child had ADHD, and you believed that the coffee was helping alleviate some of your child's symptoms? A momwho writes or The Stir has been giving her son coffee, as medicine, for his ADHD.

A mom named Christie Haskel noticed that her seven year old son, Rowan, appeared to be exhibiting some of the classic symptoms of ADHD. She says that he had problems concentrating when he needed to be focusing on something, that he had trouble keeping his hands to himself, and that he was talking at school at times when he wasn't supposed to be talking.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Two Unique Strains of Autism Discovered?

US Researchers Identify Two Different Strains of Autism | Fox News Latino

One group of children -- all boys -- had enlarged brains and most had regressed into autism after 18 months of age; another group appeared to have immune systems that were not functioning properly.

Yoga for Autism Spectrum Disorder


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