Join CafeMom Today! Autism Spectrum Disorder: Treatments: October 2012

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Cord blood stem cells, Potential autism treatment

Cord blood stem cells being tested for potential treatment of autism - Huntsville healthy living | Examiner.com

... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the agency had given researchers the go-ahead to launch a small study in children with autism to evaluate whether a child's own umbilical cord bloodmay be an effective treatment. 
Thirty children with the disorder, aged 2 to 7, will receive injections of their own stem cellsfrom umbilical cord blood banked by their parents after their births. 
Scientists at Sutter Neuroscience Institute, in Sacramento, Calif., said the placebo-controlled study will help determine whether the stem cell therapy helps improve language and behavior in the youngsters. 
There is anecdotal evidence that stem cell infusions may have a benefit in other conditions such as cerebral palsy, said lead study investigator Dr. Michael Chez, director of pediatric neurology at the institute. 
More @ http://www.examiner.com/article/cord-blood-stem-cells-being-tested-for-potential-treatment-of-autism


Alzheimer Drug Memantine and Autism: Study

Memantine is the first in a novel class of Alzheimer's disease medications acting on the glutamatergic system by blocking NMDA-type glutamate receptors. It was first synthesized by Eli Lilly and Company in 1968. Memantine is marketed under the brands Axura and Akatinol by MerzNamenda by ForestEbixaand Abixa by Lundbeck and Memox by Unipharm.

International Trial Study is Enrolling Children with Autism


A global clinical trial involving South Florida children is studying a drug that — if proven safe and effective — would deliver a dose of hope to the autism community.
ConnectMe, an international initiative with more than 85 study centers in the United States and 185 worldwide, is investigating the effects of memantine on children with autismAsperger’s and atypical autism(also called pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, or PDD-NOS). The hope is it will help treat the communication and social limitations at the heart of these disorders.
Billed as the largest study of its kind, ConnectMe is now enrolling South Florida children, according to Forest Laboratories Inc., the New York City-based pharmaceutical company leading the study.
If it’s shown to convincingly and safely improve trial participants’ impairments in interacting and communicating with others, researchers would seek the FDA’s nod as the first drug approved for offsetting autism’s core effects, said Dr. Peter Ventre, co-owner and principal investigator for Research Centers of America in Oakland Park, which is leading the study in South Florida.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Autism and the Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) Mystery


"Autism and the Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) Mystery" sounds like a really bad episode of Scooby Doo.  Learn about SNPs at The University of Utah: Genetic Science Learning Center.

Important Breakthrough In Our Understanding Of Autism Risk

The causes of autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are complex, and contain elements of both nature (genes) and the environment. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Molecular Autism shows that common genetic polymorphisms (genetic variation) can add up to an increased risk of ASD.  

The contribution of inheritance and genetic mutation versus environmental factors to the risk of ASD is hotly debated. Most twin studies show the contribution heavily tilted toward inheritance, but the exact amount of involvement of genes in ASD risk is less apparent. This is because, while the impact of rare genetic variations on ASD risk is becoming clear, the role of more common variations, so called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP), remains unresolved. 
The Gist:
Researchers analyzed one million of the common gene variations in each participant's genome and determined that in families with only one affected child, heredity was the root cause of 40%, the other 60% are presumed environmental in nature. Families where more than one child has autism see these numbers flipped.  The chance of heredity being the root issue increases to 60% in these cases.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

IVIG, Seizures, and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Considering doing IVIG (Intravenous immunoglobulin) treatment for my 11 year old daughter with autism. I have mixed feelings about the treatment for a few reasons.

  1. It is a blood product derived from 1000+ donors.  
  2. Reduction in autism related symptoms are temporary at best.
  3. Other potential side effects (headachedermatitisinfection (such as HIV or viral hepatitis) by contaminated blood product, as of yet unknown risk of contracting variant CJD (vCJD), pulmonary edema from fluid overload, due to the high colloid oncotic pressure of IVIG, allergic/anaphylactic reactions; for example, anaphylactic shock), hepatitisacute kidney injuryvenous thrombosisaseptic meningitis)
  4. Multiple treatments to see benefit, if any.

That said, my daughter has autism with a side of intractable seizures, which are one of if not the leading cause of death for people with autism.  While I am dubious about the benefit related to autism symptoms, there does look to be a lot of research showing benefits related to seizures.

Or not ...




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