According to recent research published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, inflammation could be the main driver for autism. In a small study undertaken by Boston Massachusetts’ Tufts University School of Medicine: “the brains of eight children who had autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were analysed to determine the cause. Scientists found that the parts of children’s brains crucial to working memory and attention – the areas of the brain impaired in people with autism – had unusually high levels of a molecule that triggers inflammation.
The symptoms brought on by this syndrome can be shown on a broad scale which ranges from mild to severe. Children in the US, which is a leader in the field, and far more advanced at awareness and diagnosis than other countries, are normally diagnosed after two years of age, a period when children show signs of abnormal functioning. The latter includes: not being able to carry out repetitive movements; not responding when their name is called out; and exhibiting reduced eye contact. Compared to girls, boys are more inclined to have Asperger’s.
So Which Region of the Brain is Affected?
When the brains of dead children who suffered from autism spectrum disorder, were analyzed by the researchers, the results indicated that they had: “increased numbers of a protein known as interleukin-18 (IL-18). This was found in the amygdala, a part of the brain that deals with detecting fear and an area known as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This is involved in cognitive skills including working memory, attention and reward evaluation”.
So What More Can Be Done For Those With Autism?
Helping reduce inflammation is one possibility which has been highlighted by this research. This finding came about when the scientists examined the brains of 16 (3 to 14 year-old), dead caucasian male children. The study authors remarked that: “that there were increased numbers of anti-inflammatory proteins, and believe there is increasing evidence that supports immune dysfunction presence and inflammation in ASD children’s brains”.
While it has be said that the results of this research show that inflammation could potentially be the main cause of ADS; nutritional expert, Robert Redford, notes: “scientists simply suggest that medications are an effective treatment for ASD. What they fail to highlight however are the unwanted side-effects often associated with taking these kinds of medications”. Indeed, the side effects that have been documented in children taking pharmaceuticals for autism, include: an elevated appetite leading to weight gain; hormonal changes, drowsiness, and in occasional instances, involuntary movements.
So What Can be Done?
“Numerous studies on autism and the digestive system suggest that when it is managed correctly, symptoms of autism can improve”.
Research has shown that having a healthy lifestyle, and diet void of sugars and starchy carbs, can be very beneficial for controlling inflammation. For example: “a ketogenic and gluten-free diet has been found to improve symptoms of Autism behaviour”.
Another option for keeping down inflammation is taking the naturally occurring enzyme supplement, Serrapeptase. Limited studies have indicated that Serraeptase can dissolve dead scar tissue and inflammation, and remove it from the body through the liver or the kidneys.