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.

Language Delays Found in Siblings of Autistic Children

autism-language-1New research is showing language delays or speech problems in the siblings of autistic children. These results suggest that the same genes that cause autism may also cause language and speech problems. The study also found that girls were more likely to show these types of delays. Boys are normally diagnosed with autism far more often than girls, but these results raise the possibility that if such difficulties were included along spectrum of autism diagnosis, the number of diagnosed girls would rise significantly.

Of 3,000 children from 1,200 families throughout the United States, 20 percent of siblings showed speech or language problems. Half of those problems were similar to those found in autistic children such as invented words.

Researchers feel that the study could offer some insight into the genetic patterns of autism within families and may help predict patterns in the transmission of autism as well as how environmental and other factors could play into how autism manifests. The results also provide further evidence of a genetic basis for autism.

The study was done by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. and published in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

Autism and Mindreading?

There are still many misconceptions floating around about autism, including Asperger’s syndrome, despite the fact that so much research has been performed in the last decade. There is still much to learn about autistic behavior.

Some have theorized that people with autism may lack certain skills that some might call mindreading. Most individuals may seem extremely intuitive when it comes to their interactions with other people. These traits become significant in the way we communicate with others from the time we are very young. For autistic individuals, this may not necessarily be the case. According to this theory, autistic people may lack this specific intuition.

Part of this theory comes from studies performed on autistic individuals and other parts come from study of autistic people and social interactions. For instance, many autistic individuals avoid eye contact, which is a significant part of picking up on subtle social cues. Some of these nuances appear to go unnoticed, though the autistic individual may still pick up on more overt communication. Researchers are beginning to take note of these developments in an effort to improve the way teachers facilitate autistic individuals in the classroom. These findings may also help educators teach communication skills.

Puberty and Autism

The onset of puberty can be a difficult time for autistic children.  Many experience more frequent and severe behavioral problems. Nearly 20% of those afflicted begin to experience seizures during puberty. This is believed to be the result of hormonal changes.

What to Expect:

  • Unexpected rage or outbursts over small incidents.
  • Disturbed sleep schedule.
  • New food likes/aversions and odd cravings.
  • Decreased appetite followed by a ferocious appetite.
  • Overly affectionate.
  • Desires to control family members and pets.
  • Poor hygiene.
  • Return of old behaviors.

Puberty can be really scary for autistic children and parents have a difficult time knowing how to explain their body changes to them.

Here are some tips:

  • Start explaining to your preteen what bodily changes to expect before puberty hits.
  • Explain what will happen to BOTH boys and girls during puberty, so they’re not surprised when they see their friends changing too.
  • Show pictures of trusted, loved adults of both sexes – mom, dad, aunt, uncle – as babies, then children, then teens, then as adults. This allows them to see how the transformation has happened to everyone, and that it is a positive thing to go through.
  • Explain bodily functions inherent to being a boy (hardening of the penis, ejaculation) and being a girl (menstrual cycle). If you have a daughter on the spectrum, it may be a good idea to have her wear a pad before she begins her period, so that she gets used to the sensory aspect of wearing the sanitary pad.

Body changes are scary for those who don’t like change. By telling them and showing them the changes that will happen, you can make it much easier for them.

SonRise Program – Part Two

Loved ones bridge the communication gap into the world of autism by accepting the child in their world instead of fighting to change behavior. Parents, families and friends open the door for communication by demonstrating unconditional acceptance of the child, which gains the child’s trust. Rather than squelching repetitive or inappropriate behavior, SonRise methods teach parents that by using mirroring techniques, parents quickly gain the child’s attention. In time, autistic children willingly begin interaction by making eye contact and using verbal expression. Once connection occurs, families open the door for motivating the child to begin the process of learning language and interpersonal communication.

The task of retrieving a child from autism may seem daunting. The Autism Treatment Center offers continual education, training and support. The organization additionally equips families with the ability of finding and training a support team who assist parents with the task of building the connection bridge. The program enlightens families in how to deal with behavioral obstacles, recognizing learning opportunities and preventing burn out.

The staff employed at the Autism Treatment Center of America work with parents in determining individual programs that offer the most effective results. The versatility of the SonRise program allows each parent the ability of designing a regimen that meets their child’s needs. Parents might combine the program techniques with complimentary therapies that include biomedical interventions, dietary changes or sensory integration therapy.

The techniques offered by the SonRise program provide families with a ray of hope for children aged 18 months and up. Children helped by the program include those receiving a diagnosis of autism, autism spectrum disorders and pervasive developmental disorder.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions that Parents of Autistic Children Have

1. What Is Autism?Autism is one disorder in a group of developmental disorders known as Autism Spectrum Disorders, or ASD’s. Other ASD’s include Asperger’s and Rett Syndrome.

2. What Are the Signs of Autism?

There are many behaviors that are associated with Autism. The three main signs of Autism are impaired social interactions, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors.

3. How Is Autism Diagnosed?

Diagnosis relies on parental interview, as well as the presence of observable Autistic behaviors while the child is in the office. ASD’s are complex disorders that require a multi-professional approach to diagnose. An evaluation will include a child psychologist, a speech therapist, and a developmental therapist looking for markers of Autism.

4. What Causes Autism?

Doctors are not sure what causes Autism at this time, but suspect that both genetics and environmental factors play a role.

5. What Treatments Are Available?

There is no cure for Autism, but there are several treatments. Treatments for Autism include educational and behavioral interventions, including play therapy and speech therapy. Medications are also available for the treatment of Autism. Doctors often prescribe antidepressants to manage the symptoms of Autism, but an increasing number of doctors are prescribing or recommending natural treatments for Autism. One such treatment is the use of an Omega-3 supplement.

6. How Can Omega-3s Help Autism?

Children with ASD’s are often lacking in Omega-3s, and Omega-3 therapy may ease the symptoms of Autism. Omega-3 supplementation has also been proven to improve sociability and reduce irritability.

Why is Methylation Critical in Autism?

Methylation is so important because it produces glutathione. Glutathione is important for maintaining and restoring health, both physical and mental. Children with autism tend to have lower levels of glutathione when compared to non-autistic children.  Genetically, families with autism tend to have lower amounts of glutathione and also may have a tendency towards problems with schizophrenia, alcoholism, bi-polar disease, depression, and attention deficit disorder. Glutathione is an antioxidant that is essential for protecting cells in the body from toxins.

There are ways that we can help to increase our body’s ability to produce glutathione. By increasing key ingredients in our bodies, we can improve the process of methylation. The following are some of the key ingredients to focus on:

  • Vitamin B12 in its methyl form.
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folic acid
  • Dimethylglycine also known as DMG.
  • Trimethylglycine also known as TMG.
  • Methionine
  • N-acetyl cysteine also known as NAC.
  • Glutathione given as an IV infusion, inhaled with a nebulizer, rubbed in as a cream, and orally.

Improving glutathione production can have a positive impact on focus, concentration, and language.