Autism Support Conference
A fascinating conference run by the Autism Support Group in Salisbury.
Dr John Richer from the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford started the day with a lucid explanation of Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
Conversation - Intersubjectivity
Indicators of ASD
Further information to be found in:
Paul Shattock of the Autism Research Unit in Sunderland looked at the massive increase in the incidence of ASD throughout the Western world.
He acknowledged that there was, obviously, a genetic component to autism but pointed out that 85% of research funding goes into genetic research and only 15% into possible environmental triggers - e.g:
He sees relevant genetic factors as:
The analysis of the urine profiles of the children whose parents blame the MMR vaccine for their regression into autism does show a quite different pattern to that of other ASD children.
He then looked briefly a the protocol they have developed which includes a casein free, followed by a gluten free diet, the assessment of other food intolerances, a programme of supplementation to
For a detailed description of the protocol and of Paul Shattock's
work check out: http://osiris.sunderland.ac.uk/autism
Dr Andrew Wakefield described how he, as a gastro-enterologist specialising in Crohn's disease, became involved with the MMR vaccine. He was asked to see a group of children who had regressed into autism after vaccination and who all shared severe gastro-enterological symptoms and a tendency to infections.
On investigation these children showed no signs of genetic immuno-deficiently but all had severe inflammation and ulceration through out the intestine although this was neither Crohn’s Disease nor Ulcerative Colitis. (Indeed some of their ‘autistic’ rocking etc behaviours may just have been a way of trying to relieve gastric pain.) However, such inflammation could result from a viral infection. It could also cause oxidative stress which would cause significant biochemical changes.
The measles virus in developing countries is known to cause inflammation in the gastro intestinal tract. The measles protein was found in 82% of 91 autistic children but only 7% of 70 normal children. 50 of 51 affected children had had the vaccine; only one out of the 51 harboured the ‘wild’ rather than ‘vaccine’ type measles virus.
Inflammation of the bowels in a blind trial of these children showed that 57% of children who had been vaccinated twice had acute inflammation, but only 13.5% of those who had been vaccinated once. The mercury in the vaccine appeared to be a separate issue, only affecting those children whose immune systems were unable to tolerate it.
Dr Wakefield suggested that there could be many similarities with the AIDS virus which causes similar sulphur and glutathione deficiencies. He also suggested that there was a possible interaction between the mumps/rubella and the measles viruses in the vaccine which could alter the immune response to the latter.
You can find details of the research work on Dr Wakefield's website at www.visceral.org.uk
Click here for more general articles on autism
First Published in 2004