The important issues of Nagalase activity in ASD

source: FriendsofAutism.org

source: FriendsofAutism.org

Recent research has shown a strong correlation between Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and immune dysfunction. Nagalase, an immune system regulator, has been known to be overly active in many people with ASD. This association has already become a promising avenue of investigation.

The importance of immunological control
In order to manage a broad range of defensive tasks, the immune system requires multi-leveled and complex control mechanisms. If these regulatory mechanisms go awry for any reason, a multitude of disease states can develop. Allergies, Multiple Sclerosis and some types of diabetes are a few of the many disorders known to arise due to imbalanced immune regulation.

Nagalase (alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase) is an enzyme that functions as one factor in immune regulation and has been noted to be overly abundant in certain states of immune system malfunction and ASD. The normal role of nagalase is to inactivate a protein found in the blood that is responsible for activating macrophages. These important cells of the immune system are insufficiently activated when nagalase activity is excessive.

The potential for GcMAF therapy
Macrophage activating factor (GcMAF), another naturally occurring blood protein, also works to stimulate macrophages. Administered therapeutically, GcMAF has been shown in numerous human studies to be effective at enhancing immune functioning and decreasing nagalase activity.

New research providing ASD patients with GcMAF therapy has shown similar immunological improvements with little to no side effects. Most importantly, cognitive, social and language skills all showed substantial improvement during the therapy. These ground-breaking results make GcMAF an important and promising potential treatment for ASD.

Using Oxytocin to Treat Autism

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What is Oxytocin?

Oxytocin is a potent hormone that is generated within the nerve tissues of cells. It has many important functions within the body such as helping it to relax, reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and induces breastfeeding and childbirth. In the brain it is functions as a neurotransmitter that is responsible for making us have feelings of intimacy and safety with others. The hormone stimulates us to give or be receptive to affection that varies from casual to romantic feelings or parent and child bonding. It has been dubbed the “love hormone” because it creates tunnel vision by considerably heightening our focus on people we are interested in while drowning unrelated background noises or outside stimulus.

How Oxytocin Influences Autism

Scientists long suspected that people with autism-spectrum disorders experience difficulty processing social interactions because they have a compromised level of the oxytocin hormone. Until recently, the link has never been discovered as to why that is. New research reveals oxytocin as a crucial component for stimulating serotonin in the area of the brain that processes feelings of happiness with social interactions. Scientists believe that oxytocin therapy may be able to reduce feelings of social awkwardness and even boost positive social awareness for people with autism.

Far-Infrared Sauna Therapy and Autism

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Parents of children with Autism are always on the lookout for the most recent medical advances. Anyway that they can help their children become more connected with the outside world is a plus. Unfortunately, modern medical has not found many treatment options. There are no pills or surgeries that can appropriately treat Autism, but there is one less conventional treatment option that can help.

Most people wouldn’t perceive saunas as a treatment for a medical condition, but research shows children with Autism respond positively to Far-Infrared Sauna Therapy. This treatment method consists of using a sauna to heat up the body. Many responses in the body are stimulated by this therapy. One of them is the removal of heavy metals through sweating. Saunas raise the internal body temperature causing sweating which removes toxins. It is believed many children with Autism have high levels of metals and mercury in the bloodstream.

Another way that Far-Infrared Sauna Therapy benefits children with Autism is through triggering a fever response. Fevers are beneficial at fighting illness and are known to be very cleansing. Parents of children with Autism have often noted that after having a low grade fever their children have demonstrated better cognitive function and maintained eye contact. Using Far-Infrared Sauna Therapy can also increase the immune system function and blood flow. Parents who have children suffering from Autism should consider Far-Infrared Sauna Therapy as a treatment option.

The 10 Biggest Advances in Autism Understanding in 2012

In 2012, the general understanding of what autism is became more apparent with the general public. Along with a larger public awareness, the actual costs that autism cost to the American public was outlined at $137 billion per year.

The overall effect of this was to increase the amount of research funding devoted to understanding what autism is, what causes it and how to treat it.

Below are the ten most important advances in understanding autism that were made in 2012. Each is listed in the grouping of causes, then treatments. Parents with children diagnosed with autism or those who suspect that they may be at risk for a child with the condition should pay very careful attention to this list.

  • The pre-symptom marker of autism was discovered.
  • The CDC changes the estimated rate of autism’s prevalence to 1 in 88.
  • Early intervention in children affected with autism allows their brain activity to be altered to resemble normal children.
  • Trials suggest that the criteria used to diagnose autism needs to be changed in order to be reliable.
  • The link between pollution and autism is better understood.
  • Hundreds of seemingly small mutations can all be traced to autism.
  • Further insight is provided into the link between immune system changes and autism.
  • Peer support Is found to be more effective than traditional autism treatment approaches.
  • Arbaclofen is hinted at being able to treat some of the very core symptoms associated with autism.
  • Evidence shows that children transitioning into adulthood nee more support.

These advances do more than just help the public become aware of how prevalent autism really is. Some advances have helped to understand what causes autism in children, which means that treatments can then be planned.

The biggest news, however, is that this means parents can find some peace knowing that autism can be treated more successfully. That means there is hope with the proper treatment for a normal life.

Is There a Connection Between Autism Electromagnetic Radiation?

Research has established a potential link between autism and fetal/neonatal exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation. Based on epidemiological data, there has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Recent evidence indicates the incidence of ASD to be roughly 1 per 110 children.

Some data suggest a possible correlation between autism incidence an environmental toxin known as radiofrequency (RF) radiation. This is a biologically active substance. It is known that human exposure to RF radiation has increased during the past 20 years. It is suggested that fetal or neo-natal exposures to RF radiation may be associated with an increased incidence of autism.

Dr. George Louis Carlo PhD studied risks associated with cell phones funded by a government grant. The results he obtained initially indicated no correlations, however, by 1999, Dr. Carlo had obtained significantly more evidence pointing to a risk to DNA, eye cancers, and brain tumors.

At this time he developed a theory that low frequency cell phone signals are harmful to the functioning of cells. What can result of this impaired functioning is that cells which normally move wastes and toxins out of the body started to protect themselves and this cellular movement stopped. Without the ability to move wastes outside cells results in a buildup of toxins. Dr. Carlo’s hypothesis suggests that autistic children are less able to process heavy metals, so these remain in their bodies and cause neurological damage, including autism.

Further research conducted by Dr. Carlo along with Tamara Mariea and published in the Journal of the Australian College of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine in November 2007, demonstrated the positive effects that autistic children could experience in an Electromagnetic-free (EM-free) clinic. This was a trial with 20 autistic children, involving spending at least four hours, 2-3 times a week, in the EM-free clinic. In three months, analyses showed that heavy metals were beginning to be excreted by the children.

Food for Thought:

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets standards for the amount of radio frequency that can be emitted by a cell phone based on the size and structure of a man’s head.
  • Radio-frequency signals can reach deeper into children’s head because their skulls are thinner and their brains contain more fluid.
  • In 2004, standards relaxed and roughly doubled the amount of radio frequency that could reach an adult brain and quadrupled that reaching a child’s.
  • A child’s brain doubles in size during the first two years of life and keeps on developing until their early 20s.

Although it is impossible to pinpoint one single cause of autism or one single barrier to an autistic child’s successful recovery, we are continuing to take steps forwards in identifying contributing factors. It is definitely reasonable to agree with researchers who believe that the increase in exposure to EMR from all of the wireless devices in our lives in combination with environmental and genetic factors is creating the perfect storm to increase the incidence of autism.

 

Music Therapy and Autism: Not Just the Same Old Song and Dance

Music has often been referred to as the universal language. It is, in an essence, the most common form of communication, transgressing all boundaries of culture, religion and even language to express emotion. This is precisely why Dr. Robert Melillo has implemented music therapy into his Brain Balance Program.

Music therapy can be used to improve communication and social skills, since it provides children with an outlet and keeps them engaged. A music therapist may play music for patients to sing or dance to, or children may express themselves through playing music themselves. Some may even choose to learn to play a musical instrument themselves, helping them acquire an interest in learning a particular skill. After learning to make music and how to move to music, children gain emotional outlets as well as a sense of fulfillment that they were lacking before the therapy.

Music therapy works because children do not perceive the introduction of music as a threat. Discussion-based therapies are often too intrusive to the child, whereas therapists who engage patients through the introduction of a musical instrument are much more likely to see positive results. For example, children who are otherwise incapable of social interaction might enjoy a game that is set to music versus one that is not. A certified music therapist can help create a plan for the child, keeping his or her specific needs in mind and implementing strategies that will offer the best results for the individual.

Feeding the Autistic Brain


Nutritional supplementation can provide big changes for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Many reasons exist for treating ASD with supplementation. Many children with autism are deficient in things like digestive enzymes – resulting in poor digestion and poor absorption of nutrients.

The combination of Vitamin B6 and Magnesium has proven to be of significant benefit to autistic children. B6 is necessary for brain function and there have been numerous studies on B6 use in autism. Research proved supplementation with B6 and Magnesium led to increased eye contact, less self-stimulatory behavior (“stimming”) fewer tantrums, improved speech, a calming effect, and more normal behavior.

  • Vitamin D is helpful in increasing glutathione levels (which assists in detoxification of the body).
  • Vitamins A, C, E, Zinc and Selenium promote a healthy immune system.
  • Vitamins C and E fight free radicals and protect brain cells from oxidative stress.
  • Essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 are essential for normal brain development and help behavior and learning by supporting proper levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.

It can be beneficial to add one supplement at a time in order to keep track of your child’s progress.  Take note of any behavioral changes that occur with the associated supplementation – this will provide feedback on the progress that your child is making. Also, do your homework to make sure you are choosing high quality supplements.

SonRise Program – Part One

The SonRise program began after Barry and Samahria Kaufman received the devastating diagnosis that their young son Raun was severely mentally handicapped and incurably autistic. Medical professionals recommended institutionalization for the child. The Kaufman’s did not accept the bleak verdict of the medical community or the possibility that the boy was beyond hope. Barry and Samahria determined to find a means of building a bridge connecting them with the mysterious world that entrapped their young son. Through perseverance and dedication, the SonRise Program developed.

The Kaufmans, along with family and friends, worked feverishly and successfully built that bridge. Raun progressed and exhibiting no symptoms of his former condition, attended and graduated from college. Raun, his parents and other trained instructors now teach other families the means of connecting with their children using the SonRise program taught at the Autism Treatment Center of America.

Some of the principles of the SonRise program include learning what autism is and is not, understanding the child’s potential and learning methods that motivate an autistic child into having a loving, interactive relationship with the people around them. The SonRise program involves encouraging communication and interaction using one on one play, which provides moment-by-moment opportunities for breaking down the barriers of autism. Some of the treatment methodologies used in the SonRise program includes creating a special place for the autistic child filled with their favorite activities and playthings. Developing this space prevents routine distractions for parents and minimizes the sensory irritations experienced by the autistic child.

Omega-3 May Help Alleviate the Symptoms of Autism

Some theories on the causes of autism focus on the levels of omega-3 that a person has and the idea that autistic patients have either an omega-3 deficiency or have too much omega-6 in relation to omega-3. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is 1:1, but American diets are estimated to have between 20:1 and 50:1. This problem is thought to possibly cause or exacerbate autism symptoms. It is sometimes recommended to try omega-3 supplements, such as fish oil, to combat some of the symptoms of autism.

After six weeks of use, researchers have found improved sleep, cognition, social interaction, and eye contact in autistic patients given omega-3 supplements. It is also thought that omega-3 might help reduce cardiac issues in autistic patients on antipsychotic drugs. Omega-3 is essential for proper cellular function and enhances brain cell membranes and promotes the growth of neurons in the brain. While it is a safe supplement to take, there are possible side effects such as nausea, nose bleeds, and a fishy-smelling burp. A 3g dose is considered to be safe for adults, but doctors should be consulted on the proper dosage for children.

One of the most well-known natural food sources of omega-3 is fish, particularly salmon, cod, and sardines. Buy wild fish because farm-raised fish usually have high levels of omega-6. Other food sources include flaxseed, walnuts, and some dark, leafy vegetables.

Benefits of Exercise for Individuals with Autism

While exercise is obviously an important aspect of anyone’s physical well-being, it has been shown that exercise is particularly vital for individuals with autism. While obesity is a cause for concern for the average population, individuals suffering from a disorder on the autism spectrum are at a markedly higher risk of becoming overweight due to lack of physical activity. While the health benefits are obvious, decades of studies have shown that an exercise regimen offers significant reduction in self-stimulating behaviors, aggression, and difficulties with attention span.

Initiating an exercise regimen is the most troublesome hurdle to encounter, as changing the habits of someone with autism can be very difficult. This is obviously a very individual-specific process, but it is generally best to be sure to begin discussing the idea several days before attempting any form of exercise. The best exercise to introduce at first is light cardio in the form of taking a walk outside or on a treadmill. This helps to gradually attain a basic level of fitness. Eventually, vigorous cardio lasting 15 minutes or more, such as running or fast-paced sports, will yield the strongest benefits in terms of reducing negative behaviors according to studies. This amount of time is thankfully not too significant, and will allow simple implementation of exercise therapy into any other program of standard behavioral therapy.