Scientific Link Between Inflammation & Autism
You may be thinking, this sounds interesting, but is there actually any proof of a connection between brain inflammation and autism? There is actually an increasing amount of evidence linking both immune dysregulation and inflammation to autism.
Postmortem studies have analyzed the brains of both kids and adults with autism and compared it to a control group. Tissue samples revealed elevated cytokine levels and increased microglial activation in the brains of ASD.
Another study looked at the cerebrospinal fluid of living children on the spectrum. Researchers here also found significantly higher levels of cytokines.
Blood and urine samples have also revealed higher inflammatory markers than control groups in various other studies as well.
This is just a sample of the research that links neuroinflammation and autism. However, there are many more studies that also connect immune dysregulation, inflammation and autism.
If youre still not convinced or you want to take a deeper dive, see the various articles & studies in the references at the end of this article.
With all this research establishing a clear link between inflammation and autism, why hasnt the scientific community established it as being the cause of autism?
Current research shows a link between inflammation and autism, but researchers do not know if the inflammation is causal. Did inflammation come first, was it responding to other stimuli, or was the neuroinflammation there to protect the brain?
What Is Brain Inflammation
Brain inflammation is the swelling of brain tissue and blood vessels in the brain and upper spinal cord. This condition causes irritation to the affected area and will direct the brains microglial cells to the site of inflammation.
When people hear brain inflammation, they may think of conditions caused by acute brain inflammation, such as encephalitis, brain swelling , or even meningitis. While these are serious conditions, theyre not typically present in PCS were talking about a different kind of brain inflammation.
Chronic Inflammatory Conditions And Disorders
Today, there is a high rate of conditions and disorders affecting children due to the toxic environment of heavy metals, bacteria, viruses, endocrine disruptors, processed foods and so on. Many of these conditions and disorders have reached epidemic proportions such as:
- Anal itching
Therefore, reducing inflammation is paramount to healing the immune system in order to recover children from their condition or disorder.
Don’t Miss: The Good Doctor Autism Representation
Artificial Colors & Flavors
Artificial ingredients have long been associated with problem behaviors & hyperactivity in children. However, these ingredients may drive even bigger health effects and inflammation. Artificial colors and flavors have also been linked to cancer, birth defects, organ damage, hypersensitivity or allergy-like reactions , and are generally toxic to everyone.
Vegetable & Industrial Seed Oils
Old thinking was that these types of oils offered a heart healthy fat, but research today is clearly showing a link between inflammation and vegetable and industrial seed oils .
These oils are unstable, oxidized and harmful solvents like hexane are used to extract the oils from the plant/seeds. Because the oils are oxidized and unstable, manufactures have to add preservatives, like the ones mentioned above, to stabilize them and extend their shelf life.
The most obvious reason not to give these oils to your family is the high amount of omega 6 fatty acids.
We all know that the omega 3 fats are anti inflammatory and great for the brain. Omega 6s block the bodys ability to use the healthier omega 3s, and they are highly inflammatory.
Fat is critical to a childs rapidly developing brain and body. They even need some omega 6s, but from stable unoxidized sources like soaked or sprouted nuts and seeds.
For more on how industrial oils are driving inflammation, I refer you to an in-depth article written by Chris Kresser.
You May Like: What Is The Symbol For Autism
Autism Linked To Brain Inflammation
Findings Could Lead to New Autism Treatment
Nov. 15, 2004 — Brain inflammation may play an important role in the development of autism, according to a new report published in the Annals of Neurology.
Carlos A. Pardo, MD, of Johns Hopkins University said in a press release that the findings reinforce the theory that inflammation in the brain is involved in autism, although it is not yet clear whether it is destructive or beneficial or both. Inflammation occurs when the immune system is activated, causing cells to rush into the area and produce swelling.
Despite all the marvels of modern medicine, the autistic brain is still highly uncharted territory. Doctors have struggled to determine the cause of autism since Leo Kanner, MD, first defined it in the 1940s, but the exact reasoning has remained elusive.
Autism is a complex neurological and development disorder that affects about 1 in 500 children. The disorder has become increasingly more common in recent years, although many researchers feel that improvements in diagnosis may account for this increase. It is estimated that as many as 1.5 million American children and adults have autism.
People with autism may repeat words or phrases continuously, have difficulty expressing their thoughts and feelings, are resistant to change, and may display aggressive or even self-injurious behavior.
Annals of Neurology
Drink Green Tea And Red Wine
All true teas are anti-inflammatory, but green tea is a standout because its highest in epigallocatechin gallate , a unique anti-inflammatory compound.
Additionally, EGCG readily passes through the blood-brain barrier to protect brain cells from damage and stimulate the formation of new brain cells.
Red wine consumed in moderation is an important part of the Mediterranean diet.
Red wine is protective against chronic inflammation, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Its health benefits are largely attributed to resveratrol, a polyphenol that shows promise for promoting heart health, brain health, and longevity.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Life Expectancy Of People With Autism
Use Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
HBOT is oxygen under pressure, which can have many beneficial effects, such as:
- Healing wounds
- Calming down the nervous system
- Reducing yeast overgrowth, parasites, and microbial infestations, due to the effectiveness of oxygen pressure getting into the tissue to destroy pathogens
- Revitalizing the idling neurons in the brain to increase cognitive abilities
- Improving speech
- Reducing long chain fatty acids that contributes to inflammation
Only with the hard chamber can an ATA of 1.5 and above be achieved, which is more effective for healing. At least 40 to 60 sessions are necessary to obtain the significant benefits.
Neuroinflammation In Autism: Plausible Role Of Maternal Inflammation Dietary Omega 3 And Microbiota
1Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, Department of Neurology, Brigham and Womens Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
2Nutrition et Neurobiologie Intégrée, UMR 1286, INRA, 33000 Bordeaux, France
3Nutrition et Neurobiologie Intégrée, UMR 1286, Bordeaux University, 33000 Bordeaux, France
4Inserm, U1141, Hôpital Robert Debré, Paris, France
5Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France
6Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
7Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Montreal, QC, Canada
8Département de Biologie, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Université de Lyon, UCB Lyon 1, Lyon, France
9OptiNutriBrain International Associated Laboratory , Bordeaux, France
2. Evidence of Neuroinflammatory Processes in Autism
3. Risk Factors for Neuroinflammation and Autism
3.1. Maternal Infection during Pregnancy and Autism Epidemiological Studies
3.1.1. Animal Models
The clinical evidence highlighting MIA as a risk factor for ASD has motivated the development of several animal models. In particular, infection of pregnant rodents with pathogens relevant to human and activation of maternal immune system with viral or bacterial endotoxins in the absence of pathogen have been widely used . Interestingly, despite the fact that different molecular pathways are activated in these models, considerable overlaps have been found in behavioral impairment consistent with ASD symptoms.
Also Check: Is Freddie Highmore Really Autistic
Autism And Brain Inflammation: A Study By Theoharis Theoharides Used And Abused By Antivaxers
Prof. Theoharis Theoharides of Tufts University published a study claiming to have found neuroinflammation in autistic brains, and antivaxers go wild. Surprise! Surprise! The study is less impressive than you would think.
- Post author
With antivaxers, its always, first and foremost, all about the vaccines, which in their belief system cause autism, developmental delay, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome , and all manner of other health issues and diseases. In supporting this belief, antivaxers are like the proverbial drunk walking down the street at night, using the lamppost of science not for illumination, but rather for support of his beliefs. Yes, antivaxers are experts at cherry picking and misinterpreting scientific studies. Theyre also very good at co-opting any scientific finding that they can spin to give their beliefs even the patina of plausibility. Towards the end of last week, I witnessed that very thing based on the publication of a recent study of autistic brains published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . This led Kate Raines over at The Vaccine Reaction to comment, as well as a fair number of Twitter antivaxers, for example, to start waxing all science-y about a couple of cytokines, IL-18 and IL-37 and a study by Theoharis Theoharides and Susan Leeman at Tufts University and Irene Tsilioni, their collaborator at the University of Chieti in Pescara, Italy:
Findings Relating Immunological Dysfunction In Asd And Potential Therapies
The inclusion of articles in this review was based on the classification criteria of the original articles which considered anti-inflammatory or immunomodulatory mechanisms of action in ASD therapies: clinical research whose authors classified drugs with primary anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory actions: sulforaphane, celecoxib, lenalidomide, pentoxifylline , spironolactone, flavonoid luteolin, corticosteroids, oral immunoglobulin, intravenous immunoglobulin , cell therapy, dialyzable lymphocyte extracts, minocycline, and pioglitazone and other therapies for ASD already used or currently under study whose initial characteristics were neither anti-inflammatory nor immunomodulatory, but displayed a potential immunomodulation capacity throughout the treatment: risperidone, vitamin D, omega-3, Ginkgo biloba, L-carnosine, N-acetylcysteine , and microbiome restoration.
Summary of studies with immunomodulatory therapies in ASD
Recommended Reading: High Functioning Autism Vs Low
How We Treat Inflammatory Issues
At Northoak Chiropractic, we offer individualized treatments, tailored to each patients specific needs and based on thorough neurological, metabolic, and nutritional testing. This approach allows us to develop specific programs of care targeted at the root cause of the condition, whether that is historical inflammatory issue or a problem caused by their concussion.
It is quite common for PCS patients to come to us with digestive issues, often to foods containing gluten, dairy, or soy. In order to minimize the impact of inflammation on our bodies, we recommend eliminating all triggers to inflammation including ones that may have been present before your concussion.
As a result, our team will often recommend dietary changes and nutritional supplementation, including common over the counter anti-inflammatories such as turmeric and fish oil. These supplements are designed to uplift the regulatory systems, making T-cells stronger and better able to fight inflammation, as well as supporting the formation of new neural connections in the brain.
We also recommend avoiding other inflammatory triggers, such as allergens, vaccines, or other immune stimulants, during the course of your treatment. This will help reduce the extent of inflammation at this sensitive time in your recovery.
To learn more about how we treat PCS and brain inflammation, contact the team at Northoak Chiropractic or call 338-5951 today.
Review Of Clinical Studies Targeting Inflammatory Pathways For Individuals With Autism
- 1Department of Psychiatry, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
- 2School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
- 3Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and The Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
- 4Autism Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 5Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital and College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan
You May Like: Nick Eh 30 Net Worth
The Link Between Brain Inflammation And Mental Health
Extensive research has shown that brain inflammation is connected to virtually all types of mental illness. Mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, as well as more serious conditions like autism, dementia, and even schizophrenia, have all been linked to inflammation of the brain.
Inflammation is also a contributing factor in such health issues as cardiovascular disease, asthma, and allergies autoimmune diseases like arthritis and hypothyroidism may be influenced by inflammation as well. Please see Dr. Daves blog on Psycho-Neuro-Immunology for more details.
What do we mean by inflammation, and why does it affect us negatively in so many ways?
Inflammation is an immune system response to environmental irritants, toxins, and infection. When the immune system is activated by one of these intruders, pro-inflammatory hormones signal the white blood cells to rush in and clean up the infected or damaged tissue. Once the invaders have been subdued, anti-inflammatory agents move in to begin the healing process.
In a normal immune system, a natural balance exists between inflammation and the anti-inflammatory agents. But in some cases, the immune system gets stuck in high gear, and symptoms of inflammation do not recede. This is known as chronic inflammation.
If you have had or are currently experiencing more than a few of the following health issues, this may be a sign that you have chronic inflammation:
Inflammation Link For Autism
A neuroimaging study has shown that the brains of young men with autism spectrum disorder have low levels of translocator protein, a substance that appears to play a role in inflammation and metabolism.
This discovery by a team of HMS researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital provides an important insight into the possible origins of autism spectrum disorder.
This developmental disorder, which affects one in fifty-nine children in the United States, emerges in early childhood and is characterized by difficulty communicating and interacting with others. Although the cause is unknown, growing evidence has linked it to neuroinflammation.
One sign of neuroinflammation is elevated levels of translocator protein, which can be measured in the brain using positron-emission tomography and anatomic magnetic resonance imaging.
The research team used these imaging tools to scan the brains of fifteen young adult males with the disorder. The group included both high- and low-functioning participants with varying degrees of intellectual ability. As a control, the team scanned the brains of eighteen non-autistic young men of similar age.
The scans showed that the brains of the young men with the disorder had lower levels of the protein, compared with the brains of non-autistic participants. In fact, those participants with the most severe symptoms of the disorder tended to have the lowest expression of the protein.
Zürcher NR et al., Molecular Psychiatry, February 2020
Also Check: Can Autism Be Passed Down
Root Causes Of Brain Inflammation
According to Harvard researcher Datis Kharrazian, PhD, DHSc, author of Why Isnt My Brain Working?, a compromised blood-brain barrier is one of the greatest risk factors for brain inflammation.
The blood-brain barrier is a finely woven mesh of specialized cells and blood vessels that seek to keep foreign substances out of the brain.
But this barrier can become damaged, making it permeable or leaky.
This allows toxins and pathogens to enter the brain, which in turn activates the microglia to produce inflammation.
This barrier permeability also allows inflammation that originates elsewhere in the body to enter the brain and start the inflammation response there.
According to Dr. Kharrazian, here are some of the risk factors that can activate microglia to produce brain inflammation:
Causes Of Brain Inflammation
Here are 10 common cause of Encephalitis or Brain Inflammation:
Head injury being one of the most severe. Damaging brain tissue from blunt force trauma to the skull can be very detrimental. Many NFL athletes suffer some sort of brain inflammation after retirement.
Autism and leaky gut seem to go hand in hand. Diet is very important to these guys. If at all possible avoid gluten and casein and see after a couple of months if they improve, our son did.
The other possibilities on this list are self-explanatory, except for brain autoimmunity . This is a condition where the immune system gets confused and starts attacking the brain tissue. This is a horrible syndrome which isnt easy to detect. However, testing involves an MRI of the brain, electroencephalogram , and samples of blood and cerebrospinal fluid to analyze for markers of inflammation.
Encephalitis is simply causing ones brain to age at a rapid pace. Also, if you think you may be dealing with AE syndrome consult your doctor immediately.
Read Also: Can A Child With Autism Have Dyslexia
Antineuroinflammatory Therapy: Potential Treatment For Autism Spectrum Disorder By Inhibiting Glial Activation And Restoring Synaptic Function
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 October 2019
- Yong-Jiang Li
- Affiliation:Department of Pharmacy, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, Peoples Republic of China
- Xiaojie Zhang
- Affiliation:Mental Health Institute of The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, The China National Clinical Research Center for Mental Health Disorders, National Technology Institute of Psychiatry, Key Laboratory of Psychiatry and Mental Health of Hunan Province, Changsha, Hunan, Peoples Republic of China
- Ya-Min Li*
- Affiliation:Clinical Nursing Teaching and Research Section, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, Peoples Republic of China
Could An Antibiotic Treat Autism Medication To Reduce Brain Cell Inflammation Could Treat Widespread Disorder
Kate Sheridan Tech & ScienceBrainPsychiatryNeuroscienceDepression
Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, depression and alcoholism may all share some similar genetic origins, according to a new paper Thursday in Science. Understanding these genetic commonalities and differences could lead to new treatmentsand for autism, that day might be right around the corner.
Based on samples taken from 700 human brains, scientists found that some disorders shared some modifications to the genetic codes that control how a person’s DNA is expressed.
Autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder all had certain changes in common different changes were shared by people who had schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. The conditions that were most genetically related were schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, sharing about a 70 percent overlap in the genetic changes. Alcoholism had little genetic relationship to any other illness.
Many of the genes that did show similar changes in their patterns of expression were related to gliathe brain’s support cells. Unlike neuronswhat we usually think of as “brain cells”these cells generally aren’t responsible for sending electrical signals between each other. Some glia, called microglia, act as part of the brain’s immune system. Others, called astrocytes, also help supply neurons with the chemicals they need to do their job.
Recommended Reading: Is Level 2 Autism High Functioning