Advances in Autism Research
compiled by Teresa Binstock for ARI
Table of Contents
Prelude: This Table of Contents links to other pages with citations describing progress in autism research. During the past several years, voluminous new data have been published in peer-reviewed journals. This set of web pages is a guide to noteworthy aspects of recent findings. Each section is linked to topic-oriented web pages, and each section may point a diligent reader towards treatments that may be relevant or towards topics that merit further research.
Autism and Metabolic pathways: Clinical Significance: This section presents one of the most exciting advances in autism research in the last decade. Jill James, Richard Deth, Janet Kern, and others have been documenting hypomethylation and associated markers in the methionine synthase pathway. Clinical ramifications are already being explored. The methionine synthase pathway is not easy at first glance but - for physicians, researchers, and parents - this topic is worth the time needed to learn its basics.
Mitochondria and autism: That the US HHS conceded vaccine-induced autism symptoms (Hannah Poling, 2007) renewed and widened interest in mitochondrial issues in autism - despite years of ongoing research. Researchers have documented differences between (i) classically genetic mitochrondrial disorders, and (ii) mitochondrial dysfunction (MtD), which is far less rare. Various pollutants and suboptimal nutrition can impair mitochondria function.
Martha R. Herbert, M.D., Ph.D., is a neurologist whose grasp of autism's new directions is profound. Her writings are as significant as the findings of the James and Deth groups. Among her published papers are Autism: A Brain disorder or a disorder that affects the brain? and, with two co-authors, Bridging from Cells to Cognition in Autism Pathophysiology...
Pollutants and autism: In recent years, a number of studies have found associations between various pollutants and autism-spectrum disorders. These findings are redirecting the focus of genetic studies and are calling attention to the various pathways that affect in individual's ability to detoxify environmental pollutants.
Oxidative stress and autism: In recent years, a goodly number of studies have described elevated markers of oxidative stress in autistic children.
Pollutants and oxidative stress: Pollutants are associated with autism. Oxidative stress is associated with autism. Pollutants are associated with oxidative stress.
Air particulates, Diesel exhaust, Human brain: Oxidative stress
Pollutants in Placenta, Cord Blood, and Breast Milk of Humans: Many of the pollutants found in the placenta, cord blood, and breast milk of humans are associated with autism . Other pollutants will contribute to a reduction in the levels of nutrients needed for detoxification.
Pesticides in Metabolic Syndrome, Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, & Autism
Metabolic Syndrome, Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, and Oxidative Stress
Asthma and Oxidative Stress
Parent Ratings of Treatments: "Since 1967 the Autism Research Institute has been collecting parent ratings of the usefulness of the many interventions tried on their autistic children." The ratings include pharmaceutical, supplement, and dietary interventions. No treatment causes improvement in all autistic children. Much can be learned from comparing the better/worse ratio of each treatment. Credit Bernie Rimland, Ph.D., founder of Autism Research Institute for launching and now Steve Edelson, Ph.D., for continuing this important data base of how various treatments work or don't work for individual autistic children.
Several books by physicians and researchers affilitated with Autism Research Institute present clear-English essays about metabolic pathways affected in autism and treatments helpful for many autistic children.
Hormones in autism: Elevated testosterone in pregnant women, fetuses, infants, and children is described for various subgroups in autism-spectrum disorders. Ramifications include altered brain development and how heavy metals are processed. Furthermore, some parents describe their son's hypospadias or their daughters early puberty, thus inducing concern for endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
Autism, Pollution, and Nutrients: a Unifying Relationship: Commentary by Teresa Binstock
Additional topics will be added from time to time
Contact Teresa Binstock by email