Archive for July, 2010
As we’ve said before, autism is a polarizing topic because it seems like new two cases are quite the same. Treatments that help some do nothing for others, and there are always myriad culprits to point out as the origin of the disorder. Because of the massive amount of ambiguity circling around both the causes and treatments of the disease, it’s literally impossible to come to a consensus about anything. But people have a hard time disputing science, and new autism research of the DNA of children with autism may be able to finally give us a bedrock on which to build further discussion.
Last month, an extensive study from a diverse team of international researchers was published in the journal Nature. The scientists found that the patients with autism had more mutations in certain segments of their DNA than unaffected individuals. Although the mutations were different in each patient, they were there in the same segments of DNA. These findings explain why there is a spectrum of disorders with similar yet inconsistent symptoms and offer a new catalyst for treatments.
The vaccine debate is rancorous and polarizing, which means that much of the information we receive is distorted or just plain wrong. No reputable source on either side of the issue will say there is no risk of vaccine damage, as whenever you inject something into your body there is some amount of risk. The question becomes whether those risks outweigh the benefits, which can be particularly tricky when the risks aren’t well known.
Vaccines have been accused of everything from causing the outbreak of autism to being the culprit in some SIDS cases. Opponents of vaccines obviously say these reports are conclusive, while those on the other side of the aisle vehemently deny them. And some people even debate whether or not vaccines are effective at preventing diseases. Advocates of vaccination argue that they have largely eradicated many contagious diseases, which have only resurfaced recently as vaccine usage has waned, while challengers say those who have taken the vaccines are responsible for outbreaks. Both sides are unwilling to concede, but without concrete scientific evidence to support many of the claims, it’s unclear where the line in the sand really is.
PCA-Rx is a probiotic formula designed to reduce the toxicity of your body. According to the makers, PCA-Rx is “a micro-activated, enzymatically-bound concentrated mixture of 125 beneficial microbial ferments carried in a true colloid solution.” Now that certainly doesn’t mean much to me, so let’s delve a little deeper into what exactly PCA-Rx is.
The first part of the aforementioned phrase means that all of the nutrients in the solution wait until they encounter the proper cells before they are activated with an enzyme, which ensures that only the cells which need the nutrients are getting them. The microbial ferments are the probiotic agents—living bacteria, microbes and enzymes—that work to rid the body of contaminants. Colloid solution replicates the body’s natural fluids, so it recognizes the product as a natural nutrient.
Identifying autism early is essential to treating the disorder and providing help and resources to those parenting a child with autism. As such, scientists are always looking for early indicators of autism. The baby babble, which we all find so adorable, could actually be one of these crucial indicators. Researchers have created a program that they believe could help identify autism in toddlers by differentiating the speech of toddlers with autism and those without.
For the study, researchers place a small voice recorder in the pocket of over 200 young children, recording 12 hours of audio per day for six to eight days. Autistic children generally form jumbled syllables for a longer period than other children do, and the software works to identify these anomalies. Preliminary research found the software to be correct in 85 percent of its identifications.
In this blog we often examine how chelation therapy can be utilized to treat a host of diseases and conditions, but we’ve yet to delve into what is taking place at the molecular level. Chelation is when a bond exists or is formed by a multi-bonded ligand and a single atom. The resulting organic compounds are referred to as chelating agents, the compounds utilized in the therapies.
The chelating agents bind with certain metal ions to form soluble, complex molecules. This effectively inactivates the metal ions so they can’t react with other elements. These chelating agents have myriad uses, including food preservation and serving as water softeners in shampoo. Of course, chelation therapy is effective for heavy metal detox, as it essentially inoculates the metal agents in a person’s body.
One of the biggest obstacles in raising autism awareness is the fact that so little is known about the disease. Despite ongoing efforts from doctors and researchers around the globe, the causes and effective treatments for autism have eluded medical professionals. A new breakthrough, however, gives some hope to solving the autism enigma.
New research has led to the first genetic link to autism, indicating that alterations in brain connections could be the cause of up to 15 percent of autism cases. It will take time, of course, for researchers to use these findings to begin developing appropriate treatments, but it is an unequivocal step in the right direction. DNA from more than 12,000 people was used in the studies, which are being published in Molecular Psychiatry and the journal Nature.
When a woman is pregnant, there is a litany of prohibited tasks—from not smoking or drinking, to not taking sleeping on a waterbed or using an electric blanket. Some of these warnings are common sense while others are more obscure. One of these admonitions that always baffled me is that pregnant women are supposed to refrain from eating fish, especially sushi.
It turns out the reason fish can be dangerous is that many species have extremely high levels of mercury, particularly the large bottom feeders typically found in sushi. Several parents and physicians claim that children suffered birth defects mercury poisoning caused due to fish-laden diets. Unborn and infant children are the most susceptible to mercury poisoning, so it’s important to limit your exposure and intake of the heavy metal as much as possible during pregnancy.
Although it is still a relatively new treatment, research into chelation therapy suggests it may be effective in treating a host of diseases. Chelation therapy was first introduced during WWI as a way to combat poison gas and other chemical warfare tactics. As you probably know, several different chelating agents are used depending on what toxin or poison is being rid from the body, and new agents are being discovered all of the time. The next major chelation campaign happened in the wake of WWII.
Many navy personnel were exposed to large amounts of lead while painting the hulls of ships; the chelating agent EDTA was used to eradicate the heavy metal from their bodies. The Soviet Union developed their own chelation drugs for mercury, and in the years since chelation therapy was introduced, a slew of new agents have been created. Although there are several alternative uses for chelation therapy, including the treatment of autism and heart disease, there is little scientific evidence to support its use in these cases.
For parents seeking out autism information online, one thing is for sure: there is a lot of it. And while this can be helpful for those who are unfamiliar with the disease, much of what is reported and prescribed is pure speculation from unqualified sources. The internet is rife with alternative treatments and cure-all claims, but be wary of where your information comes from. I am going to discredit myself a little bit, but the most reliable information will typically come from sites with the .gov or .edu suffix.
Before you try a treatment you discover online, be sure to consult with your physician. That being said, there are some noninvasive measures with little downside that may be worth trying. One of the most popular theories on autism treatment centers on holding the child and creating boundaries around their body. Many claim that this helps develop a bond between the parents and the child while stimulating the child’s brain. Weighted blankets, which utilize the same principles of security, are available as well.