Autism is a developmental disorder usually diagnosed in early childhood that can manifest in a diverse set of symptoms that range from social and language communication problems, including chronic isolation and lack of verbal response, to mood and behavior disorders that result in aggression, irritability and self-injury.
Autism is more prevalent than previously thought. A recent editorial in the Journal of Pediatrics reported that the condition "appears to be undergoing an almost epidemic increase." Formerly conceived as a "rare condition" that affected only 4 out of every 10,000 children, in recent times the rate has been estimated at nearly 100-fold greater, approaching 1 in100 children or even higher. 1
Although the precise cause of autism not known, many theories now link the condition to early neurocognitive damage in the brain. Immune dysfunction, toxic exposure, gastrointestinal abnormalities, dietary habits and other factors could interact with various environmental and genetic influences to play a role in autism pathogenesis. Yet because there are many types of autism, ranging widely in their characteristic patterns, each specific case may have a unique set of biochemical factors contributing to the onset and severity of symptoms.
The following functional assessments can provide important clues for developing effective customized treatment strategies for each individual.
Mineral and Toxic Metal Analysis (hair, urine, blood): Exposure to heavy metal toxins, especially when combined with nutrient mineral deficiencies, poses a threat to the healthy neurological development of children. 1-3. Mineral deficit may induce absorption of toxic metals into the bloodstream. Hair sample will reflect chronic toxic exposure and long-term nutritional deficiencies, while blood and urine assessment will estimate the effects of more recent imbalances. Possible treatments for element imbalances include chelation therapy, nutrient supplements, vitamins, water purifying systems, dietary changes, and other natural approaches.
Amino Acid Test: These basic building blocks of proteins form neurotransmitters in the brain that regulate mood and behavior.. Therefore the right balance of amino acids is essential for heathy emotional and cognitive development in children.
Comprehensive Stool Analysis: Autistic children often exhibit chronic digestive problems that are linked to changes in mood and behavior. Chronic inflammation of digestive tract is common. Due to bacterial imbalances, candida dominance, clostridia and other pathogenic microorganisms as well as enzyme deficiencies children with autism very often experience diarrhea, constipations and excess gas. These problems can cause sudden behavioral changes and even disturbed sleep. The Comprehensive Stool Analysis provides a noninvasive assessment of microbial balance (including yeast and bacterial growth), digestive function (including enzyme adequacy), and absorption. This test can be used to develop individualized treatment strategies to improve digestive function and eliminate or reduce gastrointestinal symptoms
Gut Permeability Test: Many autistic children have "leaky gut," a condition which may increase their body's toxic burden and make them more prone to antibody responses to various environmental antigens. The concept of increased intestinal permeability is key to many theories of autism. The integrity of the intestine's mucosal lining plays a critical role in helping the body to adequately absorb nutrients and to block toxins, bacteria, allergens, and other potentially harmful molecules from penetrating into the systemic circulation. Impaired intestinal permeability could serve as a common link to explain findings that associate autism with autoimmune dysfunction, food allergies, gastrointestinal imbalances, bacterial and fungal overgrowth, as well as nutritional deficiencies of key nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, and tryptophan 4-7.
Essential Fatty Acids Test: Significant imbalances of fatty acids in red blood cell membranes have been reported in patients with autism and other similar neuropsychiatric disorders. Human body has no ability to synthesize essential fatty acids. Therefore intake of these is strongly dependant through the diet. Clinical testing has an important role in determining exact needs of essential fatty acids for therapeutic application.
Test of Organic Acid Metabolites: By measuring different metabolites in the urine we are looking at the important metabolic pathways: fatty acid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, energy metabolism (Kreb’s cycle), vitamin B complex markers, methylation markers, neurotransmitter markers, antioxidant markers, toxicity and de-tox markers, gastrointestinal bacteria and yeast markers.
Food Sensitivity Test IgG: Many caregivers of autistic children report a worsening in symptoms after the children eat certain foods. One possible mechanism for this relationship may involve an immune hypersensitivity to certain food components. Defects in the metabolism of certain substances can trigger immune reactions and impair the healthy functioning of the central nervous system in sensitized individuals. Wheat (and other gluten-containing substances) and milk have been cited as common problem-causing foods for autistic children that may trigger neurological symptoms.
Ortho MediCare offers functional testing in collaboration with World leading laboratories from USA and Belgium. After the result we propose test result interpretation and nutritional therapy support.
1 Emory E, Pattillo D, Archibald E, Bayroh M, Sung F. Neurobehavioral effects of low-level lead exposure in human neonates. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1999;181:S2-S11.
2 Lanphear BP, Dietrich K, Auinger P, Cox C. Subclinical lead toxicity in U.S. children and adolescents [abstract #894]. APS/SPR Joint Meeting; 2000 May 12-16; Boston MA.
3 Wilson MA, Johnston MV, Goldstein GW, Blue ME. Neonatal lead exposure impairs development of rodent barrel field cortex. PNAS 2000;97(10):5540-5545.
4 Horvath K, Papdimitriou CJ, Rabsztyn A, Drachenberg C, Tildon JT. Gastrointestinal abnormalities in children with autistic disorder. J Pediatr 1999;135:559-63.
5 Wecker L, Miller SB, Cochran SR, Dugger DL, Johnson WD. Trace element concentrations in hair from autistic children. J Ment Defic Res 1985;29:15-22.
6 Lucarelli S, Frediani T, Zingoni AM, Ferruzi F, Giardinni O, Quinteiri F, Barbato M, DÕEufemia P, Cardi E. Food allergy and infantile autism. Panminerva Med 1995;37(3):137-41.
7 Crooneneberghs J, Delmeire L, Verkerk R, Lin AHJ, Meskal A, Neels H, Van der Planken M, Scharpe S, Deboutte D, Pison G, Maes M. Peripheral markers of serotonergic and noradrenergic function in post-pubertal, causcasian males with autistic disorder. Neuropsychopharamcol 2000;22(3):275-83.