Chemist claims she reversed daughter’s autism symptoms

A Bay Area biochemist thinks she’s found a sort of autism smoking gun:  monosodium glutamate, or MSG.

It’s a chemical compound almost exclusively connoted with Chinese food, but Katherine Reid points out that it’s found in all but 5
percent of processed food, largely unbeknownst to us: It appears on the food label only about 1 percent of the time.

 

US researchers identify gene network linked to autism

U.S. scientists have identified a molecular network of genes known to contribute to autism spectrum disorders, and they say their finding may help uncover new genes linked to these conditions.

“The study of autism disorders is extremely challenging due to the large number of clinical mutations that occur in hundreds of different human genes associated with autism,” study author Michael Snyder, genetics and personalized medicine professor at Stanford University, said in a news release. “We therefore wanted to see to what extent shared molecular pathways are perturbed by the diverse set of mutations linked to autism in the hope of distilling tractable information that would benefit future studies.”

 

Scientists cure disorders in mice by resetting their brains

A team of scientists has cured a brain disorder in adult mice by rebooting the rodents’ brains and allowing them to rewire themselves.

The research demonstrates that certain features of young brains can be recreated in mature brains, even in parts of older brains that scientists believed were impervious to change.

It could also pave the way for treating a variety of developmental disorders that begin relatively early in life.

 

Air pollution ‘can cause changes in the brain seen in autism and schizophrenia’

Comment:    Once again, environmental influences can trigger severe cognitive disorders.

 
Early exposure to air pollution causes harmful changes in the brain seen in autism and schizophrenia, research has shown.

The findings in mice follow previous research linking traffic pollution and higher rates of autism in children.

As in humans, it was mostly male mice that were affected.

Besides suffering physical damage to their brains, they performed  poorly in tests of short-term memory, learning ability and impulsivity.

 

Autism disorders greatly linked with environmental factors

While the underlying causes of autism are still not fully understood, many health experts believe that genetics, environmental factors or a combination of the two are to blame.

Now, a new meta-analysis has revealed that toxins in the environment may play a much more significant role in the formation of this neurodevelopmental disorder than previously thought.

 

Environment as important as genes in autism

Editorial:  Health conscious already knew environment played a major role.

Environmental factors are more important than previously thought in leading to autism, as big a factor as genes, according to the largest analysis to date to look at how the brain disorder runs in families.

Sven Sandin, who worked on the study at King’s College London and Sweden’s Karolinska institute, said it was prompted “by a very basic question which parents often ask: ‘If I have a child with autism, what is the risk my next child will too?'”

The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), suggest heritability is only half the story, with the other 50 percent explained by environmental factors such as birth complications, socio-economic status, or parental health and lifestyle.

 

Early exposure to air pollution causes harmful changes in the brain

Editorial:    Once again, environmental influences can trigger severe cognitive disorders.

The findings in mice follow previous research linking traffic pollution and higher rates of autism in children.  As in humans, it was mostly male mice that were affected.  Besides suffering physical damage to their brains, they performed poorly in tests of short-term memory, learning ability and impulsivity.  Exposure to air pollution causes harmful changes in the brain seen in autism and schizophrenia.

 

Running programs can help autistic children

Editorial:  Article suggests autism is improved through exercise and an anti-inflammatory diet; though distance running is advocated as a possible benefit, and it likely would be—short term, recent research  warns of the long-term liabilities of strenuous exercise (requiring mouth/ chest over nose/ diaphragmatic breathing) to the vascular system, heart, etc.

“We have this running program, and we’ve been seeing amazing effects on kids with autism when they run – incredible physical changes, improvements in behavior and focus, improvements in so many indicators of autism that they suffer from,” Megan Wynne Lombardo, director of the Achilles Kids Running Program, told FoxNews.com. “We’d like to study this and point to the effect running has on these kids.”