Autism - An Allergic Disease

A packed conference which included presentations by Drs Brostoff & Tettenborn, Professors Stephen Challacombe, Stephan Strobel and Glen Gibson, Drs John Richer, Rosemary Waring and Andrew Wakefield, and Paul Shattock, Director of the Autism Research Unit.

Dr Tettenborn described his successes in using anti fungal treatment alone and in conjunction with casein/wheat free diets with autistic children.

Professor Strobel (Prof. Pediatric Immunology) suggested that 8 foods (milk, what, soy, fish, eggs, peanuts, treenuts, shellfish) cause 80% intolerance; that there could be a genetic susceptibility to intolerance and that early (infant) exposure to a food stuff, before the gut was ready could cause sensitisation whereas later exposure may lead to tolerance.

Prof. Stephen Challacombe suggested that the reason we were not all intolerant of food was because most of us have developed a specific immunological unresponsiveness induced by feeding us antigens.

Dr John Richer (Clinical Psychologist in Pediatrics) stressed that even when foods are implicated it is important give autistic children attachment security through holding them while redirecting aggression by switching attention from tasks and people to simple activities.

Dr Andrew Wakefield, Reader in Experimental Gastroenterology at the Royal Free Medical School described the major damage suffered by over 50% of autistic children in colon and ileum and questioned how it could have occurred.

Professor Glen Gibson discussed the use of pre- and probiotics to combat yeast overgrowth and parasitic infections in autistic children.

Dr Rosemary Waring, Reader in Human Toxicology discussed the importance of the very low levels of sulphation (due to low sulfur transferase enzyme levels) in autistic children. This effects the neurotransmitter and therefore brain function. Foods can inhibit these enzymes.

Paul Shattock described the raised level of opoid peptides found in the urine of autistic children and suggested that these might be being transferred through the blood brain barriers.

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First published in 1999

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