Cellular and Molecular Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders


by

Anna Strunecka

DOI: 10.2174/97816080519601100101
eISBN: 978-1-60805-196-0, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-60805-396-4



Recommend this eBook to your Library

Indexed in: Chemical Abstracts, Scopus

Over the past several decades the incidence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has increased dramatically. The etiology of ASD remains...[view complete introduction]

Table of Contents

Foreword

- Pp. i

Stephen M. Edelson

Download Free

Preface

- Pp. ii- (1)

Anna Strunecka and Russell L. Blaylock

Download Free

List of Contributors

- Pp. iii

Anna Strunecka, Russell L. Blaylock, Mark A. Hyman and Ivo Paclt

Download Free

Autism Spectrum Disorders: Clinical Aspects

- Pp. 1-16 (16)

Ivo Paclt and Anna Strunecka

View Abstract Purchase Chapter

The Cerebellum in Autism Spectrum Disorders

- Pp. 17-31 (15)

Russell L. Blaylock

View Abstract Purchase Chapter

Dysregulation of Glutamatergic Neurotransmission in Autism Spectrum Disorders

- Pp. 32-46 (15)

Anna Strunecka

View Abstract Purchase Chapter

Immunoexcitotoxicity as a Central Mechanism of Autism Spectrum Disorders

- Pp. 47-72 (26)

Russell L. Blaylock

View Abstract Purchase Chapter

Immune Dysfunction in Autism Spectrum Disorders

- Pp. 73-81 (9)

Russell L. Blaylock

View Abstract Purchase Chapter

Gastrointestinal Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Causal Link or a Secondary Consequence?

- Pp. 82-99 (18)

Anna Strunecka

View Abstract Purchase Chapter

Biochemical Changes in ASD

- Pp. 100-120 (21)

Anna Strunecka

View Abstract Purchase Chapter

Searching the Role of Mercury in Autism Spectrum Disorders

- Pp. 121-147 (27)

Anna Strunecka and Russell L. Blaylock

View Abstract Purchase Chapter

Fluoride and Aluminum: Possible Risk Factors in Etiopathogenesis of Autism Spectrum Disorders

- Pp. 148-161 (14)

Anna Strunecka and Russell L. Blaylock

View Abstract Purchase Chapter

The Role of Melatonin in Etiopathogenesis and Therapy of Autism Spectrum Disorders

- Pp. 162-172 (11)

Anna Strunecka, Russell L. Blaylock, Mark A. Hyman and Ivo Paclt

View Abstract Purchase Chapter

The Search for Plausible Role of Oxytocin in Etiology and Therapy of Autism Spectrum Disorders

- Pp. 173-185 (13)

Anna Strunecka, Russell L. Blaylock, Mark A. Hyman and Ivo Paclt

View Abstract Purchase Chapter

Regulation of Cortisol Levels in Autistic Individuals and their Mothers

- Pp. 186-198 (13)

Anna Strunecka, Russell L. Blaylock, Mark A. Hyman and Ivo Paclt

View Abstract Purchase Chapter

Reproductive Hormones and Autism Spectrum Disorders

- Pp. 199-205 (7)

Russell L. Blaylock

View Abstract Purchase Chapter

Addendum. Autism: Is It All in the Head?

- Pp. 206-216 (11)

Mark A. Hyman

View Abstract Purchase Chapter

Index

- Pp. 217-223 (7)

Anna Strunecka, Russell L. Blaylock, Mark A. Hyman and Ivo Paclt

Download Free

Foreword

The history of the biomedical movement in autism treatment began in the 1960’s when Dr. Bernard Rimland, founder of the Autism Research Institute (ARI), took a monumental step forward by declaring that autism was due to a physiological abnormality rather than a result of poor nurturing by uncaring parents. Soon after his 1964 book, Infantile Autism, was published, he was besieged with letters and telephone calls from parents worldwide who praised his writings and shared their own personal journeys with autism.

Shortly after the publication of this seminal book, Dr. Rimland was astonished at the number of parents who reported observing significant improvements in their children soon after giving them a nutritional supplement. He conducted several formal and informal studies, and concluded that vitamin B6 with magnesium might help up to 50% of the autism population. To date, there are 11 placebo-controlled studies supporting the efficacy of vitamin B6 and magnesium as a treatment for autism. Another biomedical-related intervention, reported by Dr. Rimland in the 1970s, was the importance of restricted--and healthy diets.

Over the years, parents as well as clinicians continued to write to Dr. Rimland about their experiences; in turn, ARI would share this information with research scientists and clinicians around the world.

The year 1995 was a turning point in the biomedical field; Dr. Rimland, along with two of his close colleagues, Drs. Sidney Baker and Jon Pangborn, convened the first international think tank on autism. Over 30 researchers and clinicians were invited to meet for two-and-a-half days. Toward the end of the meeting, they agreed on the importance of investigating gastrointestinal (GI) and immune system problems more deeply, to better understand and treat individuals on the autism spectrum.

2010 has also been an important one for the biomedical field. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ journal, Pediatrics, published a consensus report on the state-of-the-art research on GI problems associated with autism. A few months later, a large-scale multi-center survey involving 1,185 children and teenagers on the autism spectrum showed that nearly half (45%) had one or more forms of GI problem.

Viewed from a broader perspective regarding the treatment of autism, one of the problems in the field is a clash with clinicians and researchers who favor other effective forms of treatment, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and sensory interventions. The viewpoint taken by many people in the biomedical field, including those at ARI, is that many, but not all, individuals on the autism spectrum suffer from some type of medical problem, such as GI and/or immune system dysfunction, and these problems can lead to discomfort or pain, cause sensory dysfunction, impede executive functioning, and more. Once the person’s health improves, many of their sensory problems are reduced or are eliminated, and they will be primed to attend, and thus to learn in an educational setting.

Clinicians and researchers worldwide are striving for a global standard of care for individuals on the autism spectrum. We need to recognize their various needs or problems--medical, sensory, and behavioral--but we also need to be cognizant of individual differences in this population. Through networking, communicating, and discouraging politically-oriented science, it will be made possible for individuals on the autism spectrum to reach their true potential, and their quality of life will improve significantly.

Stephen M. Edelson,
Autism Research Institute
USA


Preface

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by abnormalities in social interaction, language function and communication, and abnormalities in the realm of behavior. Over the past several decades the incidence of ASD has increased dramatically, with much of the increase not being explained by improved diagnosis. The etiology of ASD remains an unsolved puzzle to scientists, physicians, pediatricians, psychiatrists, and pharmacologists. Of great concern is that no central mechanism has been proposed to explain the various clinical presentations of the ASD and no evidence-based therapy has been offered. The advantage of this eBook is to discuss the state of knowledge regarding the pathophysiology, cellular and molecular biology of these disorders.

A great number of biochemical and pathological changes have characterized ASD, adding confusion to discovering a common etiology. A recent review of the genetic links to ASD found that the most common genes suspected were operate glutamate receptors (GluRs), either ionic or metabotropic. A considerable amount of evidence suggests a role for a dysfunctional immune system in the ASD. The crosstalk between GluRs and cytokine receptors leads to neurodegeneration, abnormal neuronal migration patterns, seizure generation, and dysfunctional brain connectivity. When combined with the finding of elevated glutamate in a number of autistic children, this indicates a possible hyperactivity of GluRs in those at greatest risk.

Our eBook explains, for the first time, the central role of immunoexcitotoxicity in the etiopathogenesis of the broad spectrum of autistic disorders. Based on our hypothesis of immunoexcitotoxity, we integrate various findings in ASD with this hypothesis. A careful review of known environmental and pathological links to ASD indicates that most, if not all, are connected to the immunoexcitotoxic process. Our eBook also offers treatment proposals that address each of these mechanisms. It explains how previous, often successful treatment methods, may indeed operate through the immunoexcitotoxic mechanism.

The tremendous research of individuals with ASD shows most explicitly that ASD is neither a disease of one gene, neurotransmitter or hormone, nor a disease of a single isolated second messenger disturbance. The enormous increase of autism during last decade inevitably requires an integrative approach, which brings together not only specialized scientific knowledge, but also knowledge about the homeostatic mechanisms of the whole human being. We simultaneously realize that the living system does not behave as a static jigsaw puzzle. The behavior of a whole cannot be predicted by knowing the separated parts. We hope that the integration of specialized knowledge about molecular and cellular mechanisms could lead to understanding why new generations suffer with an epidemic of autism.

Our eBook reviews the studies of scientists from the broad area of neurosciences and neuropharmacology, cognitive and affective developmental neuroscience; researchers from immunology, pathophysiology, and developmental biology; researchers from the developmental psychopathology and applied behavioral analysis; practicing physicians, pediatricians, psychiatrists, and psychologists; but also parents and care-givers, who are in daily contacts with children and adults with autism.

Author’s thanks belong to Hana Kruzikova for her excellent cooperation in preparing diagrams and figures and to PhDr. Ing. Zdenek Hajny, PhD., for providing his picture for the cover.

Anna Strunecka
Charles University in Prague
Czech Republic

Russell L. Blaylock
Institute for Theoretical Neuroscience
USA

List of Contributors

Editor(s):
Anna Strunecka
Charles University in Prague
Czech Republic




Contributor(s):
Russell L. Blaylock
Neurosurgeon. Institute for Theoretical Neuroscience
LLC and Visiting Professor of Biology, Belhaven University
Ridgeland
MS, 39157
USA


Mark Hyman
Chairman, Institute for Functional Medicine. Volunteer, Partners in Health Founder and Medical Director
45 Walker Street
Lenox
MA, 01240
USA


Ivo Paclt
Associated Professor in Psychiatry, Psychiatric Department, 1st Faculty of Medicine
Charles University in Prague
Prague
Czech Republic
/
Ke Karlovu 11, Prague 2, 128 00 Czech Republic. and Subdepartment of Postgradual Training Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute for Postgraduate Medical Education,
Prague
Czech Republic


Anna Strunecka
Professor in Physiology, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Science
Charles University in Prague
Vinicna 7, 128 00
Prague
Czech Republic
/
nstitute of Medical Biochemistry, Laboratory of Neuropharmacology
1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague
Albertov 4, Prague 2, 128 00 Czech Republic
Czech Republic




Advertisement


Related Journals



Related Books



Webmaster Contact: urooj@benthamscience.org Copyright © 2016 Bentham Science