The Link Between Alzheimers And Autism

Child and Adult Holding Hands Image

Day in and day out, researchers are looking for treatments for the often life-changing condition that affects over 1% of children between 3 and 17. Though a cure for Autism may or may not be around the corner, there are often new advancements, and specialists are trying to find the missing link that will answer the difficult questions. One route that many researchers take, is associating Autism with other similar conditions in which there are successful treatments for. Another way, is to take a look at similarly structured conditions that might not have a cure yet, but have had their own advancements. The possibility of joint-discoveries gives researchers another avenue to explore when searching for cures and treatments for Autism.

One of the conditions that appears to have many of the same characteristics as Autism is one that affects over 26 millions people worldwide. Alzheimer’s traditionally affects the elderly population, but with many of the same symptoms as The one substantial difference is simply the age range of the people that the conditions effect. Autism traditionally affects adolescents while Alzheimer’s tends to attack the elderly population. Setting aside this key difference, Autism and Alzheimer’s have a striking amount of similarities as well.

Autism shares a number of symptoms with Alzheimer’s including those on both physical and psychological level.  Both conditions often leave their sufferers with the tendency to become catatonic at times, have attention transition issues, become easily distracted and/or disoriented and have difficulty with language comprehension. The similarities between the two conditions are in the hundreds – particularly in the similar brain patterns and symptoms.

These likenesses leave you thinking – could Alzheimer’s hold a piece of the puzzle that is finding a cure for Autism? There is currently research being done on a common drug, Namenda which slows the rate of decline in Alzheimer’s patients. Clinicians are studying the possibility that the drug will assist in the treatment of Autism by targeting the same areas in which Alzheimer’s Patients are affected.

Comments

  1. says

    Has been allready tried Nameda in some cases of autism? It will be if it works the salvation for our child. We are so worry for her.

  2. Brian Gibson says

    Hello,
    I would be keen to gain your feedback on stem call therapy and it’s benefits to Autism sufferers.
    Our 4 year old daughter has mild Autism, but nevertheless our concerns are for her future….will she have friends, will she have a relationship or can she live an independant life ???
    We came across a pop up on our PC relating to stem cell therapy from a Doctor Radar who is claiming that his $30,000 treatment may hold the key to defeating our daughters condition. This is an awful lot of money to dish out for something that is still considered illegal in the USA. We live in Western Australia and really need some expert advise before we pursue this avenue further, awaiting your soonest reply, kind regards Brian Gibson

  3. admin says

    Hello Brian, Please do a search on this blog website itself on stem cell therapy. I had blog about this topic twice. Read them and see if you still got any Qs. Cheers! The other day I heard you could use your own stem cell to do the therapy in Germany for Euro 7500.

  4. wendy says

    Brian,
    my duaghter was diagnosed with autism at 3 1/2 it was mild now she is six and would say she is doing great. i was so worried like you. things have gotten better and now i don’t worry so much. i found nutriton is a key role and we tried a program brain balance with simple exersices she can now eat by herself, no running off, very social, she can ride a trycycle on her own. is learning to read and write and do math. these are all things i thought she would never do. she is in a special day class for kinergarden but now we are main streaming her into the regular class. i always say to myself that iam lucky she can talk she can walk and interact with the family she may not be like every one else but she is a blessing to us. it does get better and you as a parent make the biggest difference follow through rely on your on intuiton.

  5. fatima yusuff says

    i ijust want to have a guide on how to identify achild with authim, symthoms other behavours that a perant can easly know when their child develop autim.

  6. says

    Hi i read the article with interest.

    Autism is complex and depending on the person, i suppose, can lead to mis-diagnosis. I’d be grateful if you can provide us with the source of your information (i.e. research paper for Namenda). As a father with a ASD kid, i’m inetrested in learning all avenues of research.

    Cheers

  7. admin says

    Hi Fatima, You could easily peruse or search on my website for your answers on signs/causes/symptoms to look for in an autistic child.

  8. admin says

    Hi Steve, Research is still be done on using Namenda for autism specifically to enhance their motor skills and expressive skill but it is use off-label for now. Just with anything, individuality is the key and proceed with caution.

  9. Ruth Gardner says

    Wendy, what is this program brain balance you spoke of? I am curious and have tried many, many programs with little to no success. Please tell me what it is…

  10. Maguy Atanga says

    have a 6 years old son, diagnosed with autism, non verbal. i live in Cameroon-africa? where autism and treatments are almost unknown . kindly advise some biomedical treatments that can help, and where and how i can get reach of it. thanks

  11. Kerry Hickman says

    Hi there, my son 6 goes through periods of increased echolalia, this involves repeating things to himself over and over again. This could be something that someone said once or a line from a TV or book. It seems to be totally pointless to me and does not fit into the category of developing his own language as he is not learning anything new by doing it. As it can be the same phrase. This is my most despairing time, the rest I can cope with, this drives me nuts. Any suggestions as to why this fluctuates, what might trigger it and any supplements that might help it would be brilliant. Thanks very much.

  12. says

    I have a 14 year old son that was diagnosed with Asperger’s, ADHD, Dyslexia and Disorder of Written Expression when he was 4.

    Within the last couple years my father and my ex-husband’s father (2nd generation – both of his parents had Alzheimer’s) have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. With the family history of Alzheimer’s I am very concerned about my son and his chances for getting Alzheimer’s when he is older.

    I would love to find a clinical trial that is studying children with Asperger’s that have a family history of Alzheimer’s. If he took the Namenda now to help wtih his Asperger’s would it also help lessen his chances of getting Alzheimer’s??? Any information I could get would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Kim

  13. admin says

    Hi Kim, I did a search on PubMed and found no direct studies about asperger children with family history of Alzheimer. The following comments are my opinions only. There is some Alzhemier-like condition diagnosed as Asperger. Many causes for Alzhemier although familial plays a stronger role. Let assume that your Asperger son has the genetic factors but you could do whatever it takes for him to have a healthy, safe, less toxic lifestyle so that he stand a chance in the future of not developing it. Try to decrease the “Total Toxic load” in his environment, i.e., his body. Be very careful as there is no long term studies of using the Namenda even though off-label usage for some Asperger has helped. Namenda is an NMDA receptor antagonist as high level of NMDA can cause abnormal toxic neurological firing. Therefore, it is used as this form of treatment to decrease neuro-excitotoxicity. However, in rats’ studies it has caused brain lesions resulting in unfavorable integration of neurological circuitry. The main concept on how it works is because the drug causes dissociative anesthesia, or what we called paralysed neurological detached system. Your child would appear to look calmer.

  14. admin says

    Hi Kim, “Total Toxic Load” is the accumulation of any heavy metals or environmental toxins over your lifetime that cannot be completely eliminated by your body.

  15. steve J says

    Hi,
    My father had Dimensia. He had been an alcoholic most of his life. My son has Autism. My father lived with my wife and I for about 6 years prior to his passing away.
    I totally see the similarities between my father’s Dimensia and my son’s Autism. It’s very similar. I would like to find a study also. I read the earlier posts and don’t know if you’ve found out any more about the Alzheimers/Autism connection. I live in Philadelphia and do know that the Children’s Hospital of Phila has what they call the Center For Autism Research. Thanks…. For families just getting into this world, BE PATIENT. One Day At A Time.

  16. admin says

    Hi Steve, thanks for being patient but if I may added in a few more words. In addition to be patient for allowing the right treatments to work, you must be persistent and relentless in your search for suitable solutions. It is true that dementia and autism are two ends of the spectrum or sides of the same coin because they both affect the neurological component of the brain especially the frontal lobe.

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