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Rose

Theory regarding Autistic Spectrum Disorders

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efgh,

 

The last thing that I want to do is come off sounding like I'm some kind of expert on this, because I absolutely am not. When I read your question, I will say, without a doubt, that I had no idea what-so-ever about what the connection would be.

 

But, I slept on it and have been scouring the web, and I've found a few intersting items of note. Firstly, I think that the thread going on here about photosensitivity and tics says a lot about the problem and what can be done about it. Some of the most interesting tidbits I uncovered that I would like to add about photosensitive epilepsy are that 25% of patients only have partial seizures, and sometimes headache (migraine) is the only symptom of epileptic photosensitivity. The closest thing that I could come up with to fit this into my theory is a finding that in extremely photosensitive animals, GABA and taurine (inhibitory neurotransmitters) levels are low, and aspartate (an excitatory neurotransmitter) is high. Interstingly enough though, it has been found that increasing GABA does not immediately cause the expected inhibitory effect on the brain.)

 

GABA and calcium both play critical parts in helping the nerves to work properly.

 

That's about it for what I discovered. At this point, I am curious as to whether or not TV viewing can cause a reduction of GABA in our brains. I have found one bit of info that indicates that GABA levels can be reduced through witnessing unpleasant events. If TV flicker is irritating to the brain, could this reduce GABA levels as well? Hmmmn.

 

Rose

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Rose,

 

Photosensitive epilepsy only occurs in 1 in 4000 people, or .025% of the population, whereas 8% of the non-epileptic population has an abnormal reaction to 'flicker'. I believe that this 8% of the non-epileptic population merits further investigation of continued exposure to larger TVs and up-close computer work, which was not something that was a factor for past generations.

 

The value of the photosensitivity research for us is in better understanding the trigger and ways around it. Certainly both affect the nervous system. But really photosensitive epileptics are not the defining group here, they are just a very small subset of them (ony 3% of those with a reaction to flicker have photosensititive epilepsy, based on the ratio of .025% to 8%). For whatever reason, their photo. epilep. drastic response has gotten a lot of research. And computer game companies love to quote that 'only 1 in 4000' number, since it makes it sound like 3999 of 4000 have nothing to worry about, which is clearly not the case.

 

My frustration here is not directed at you at all Rose, but at the way that that 8% who have some reaction are completely ignored and have continued excessive exposure--I honestly believe that many children suffer chronic tics and maybe ADHD from this glaring oversight. If PC's were a drug, we would have done much more testing before allowing children with developing brains be exposed to them for so long. Just look at the new research on TV and ADHD for very young kids. I have to believe that it is in part because of the larger screens.

 

Food triggers may be independent from the screen triggers, we just don't know yet. I would suspect that for individuals who are sensitive to both, they have a cumulative effect and may hit the same 'vulnerability' in the nervous system. But no evidence on this -- I am just focused on my son and understanding the screen issue aspect, since that is his only trigger. What I don't know is the chicken and egg for all these events, with the mercury and the screen sensitivity--e.g. for my son did mercury create the sensitivity to screens? Then did screen viewing further train his nervous system to react improperly? Or are they independent, in that early screen viewing (not TV, but computer) stimulate his developing nervous system in a way never intended? And because these screen sensitivites cumulate over time, vs having an instant reaction when exposed at say age 4, then no one is the wiser.

 

Similarly with yeast and strep, they feed on eachother. We have so many differences in this last couple of generations...

 

My gut says that the developing nervous systems are being stimulated in a way never intended (possible made more sensitive in cases by higher mercury levels). And that this is the root cause of tics and some neurological issues for a subset of the children. Then other immune system issues are the root cause for tics others, with overlap.

 

And then there are those with TS genetically, for whom one can just try to minimize the issue, sometimes dramatically as Chemar has done so well. My great fear though is that new cases of tic syndromes with no TS family history will be falsely labelled TS, when really either mercury, yeast (from antibiotic use), or premature up close screen viewing (with flicker and other rapid action triggers) are really the culprit. The kids get a TS dx, and so doctors and parents assume that drugs or acceptance are the only solutions.

 

Claire

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My great fear though is that new cases of tic syndromes with no TS family history will be falsely labelled TS, when really either mercury, yeast (from antibiotic use), or premature up close screen viewing (with flicker and other rapid action triggers) are really the culprit. The kids get a TS dx, and so doctors and parents assume that drugs or acceptance are the only solutions.

 

Claire

 

You are spot on there, Claire!

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Rose

As you invited critique ..........

 

I asked someone on BrainTalk who has qualifications and personal experience too in this area to read this thread and comment on your theory, and this was their reply

 

The theory you cite could apply to some, but certainly not to all TSers.

 

One must remember that tics occur in muscles, not in nerves. Nerves, starting in different brain regions, send signals via a serious of neurons to the muscle tissue. Then there is a chemical reaction in the muscle tissue which causes the muscles to move, usually in a highly controlled manner, according to the plan laid out by the neuronal pathway. There are probably 1000 proteins and nutrients (used as protein helpers) which are involved in this cascade of events, either in the production of the proteins or in sending and receiving the signals. Any one of these steps, if awry, could cause tics - ie an unregulated movement of muscle tissue. Physicians essentially override the entire cascade by giving medications which affect the start of the signalling cascade. This is why some medications work. Unfortunately, the same medications can cause side-effects, one of them being tics (and vitamin deficiencies) and so TSers need other options.

 

In my own theory of tics, I believe researchers should be focussing, not on the start of the cascade, but on the end of the cascade, that is actually where the muscles move. Muscles move when ATP is generated, which in turn activates a muscle protein called myosin. ATP is usually highly regulated. I believe that a certain subset of individuals generate unregulated ATP and this causes the muscles to twitch, even though there is no signal from the nerve system. This unregulated ATP could be generated when ATP is generated unexpectedly from the pyruvate to lactate conversion reaction. (Pyruvate is one of the products of glucose metabolism.) This reaction occurs when pyruvate cannot be converted to an acetyl group because there is a blockage in the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (which is in the pathway to make acetylcholine). The pyruvate dehydrogenase complex is a large set of proteins that require many helpers, such as B1, B5, Mg, and lipoic acid. If there is a deficiency in any of these latter compounds, then pyruvate will be converted to lactate instead of an acetyl group and will generate extra, unregulated ATP in the process. Deficiencies in these helpers could thus cause unregulated muscle movement, ie tics, in white muscle tissue, which is devoid of mitochondria and oxygen. This type of muscle occurs in the eyelids and in the face. In red muscle tissue (arms, legs, tongue, vocal cords), mitochondria and oxygen are present. This means that the the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex is controlled by several other pathways. One of these pathways involves L-carnitine and fatty acids and the other pathway involves protein and B6. If a person is low in L-carnitine (mostly due to oxidative stress which knocks out the L-carnitine precursor, methionine), then the L-carnitine-dependent pathway inhibits the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex and unregulated ATP is generated again because pyruvate is converted to lactate instead of the acetyl group. A similar thing happens with a B6-dependent pathway that controls the regulation of pyruvate dehydrogenase. Thus a person who is deficient in L-carnitine due to oxidative stress or deficient in B6 due to pyroluria would tend to have more vocal tics or eye rolling tics which involve red muscle tissue. The biochemistry of it all seems so obvious to me, but then I am a biochemist by profession.

 

It is my hypothesis that unregulated ATP affects about 80% of TSers, mostly due to deficiencies in the nutrients that control the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. These deficiences arise from oxidative stress, conditions such as pyroluria, allergies (which induce deficiencies), viral, bacterial, parasitic infections, etc.

 

As stated in the second paragraph, there are many other points at which the normal regulatory mechanism could be interfered with. But whatever those points are, the end result has to be that more ATP than normal is generated in the muscle tissue, because that is the only way muscle moves.

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okay, i'm new to this so i have no idea what i'm doing, and my brain is about to explode from all the information ^_^ (but in a good way). man, where do you even start with this condition??? it's so bizarre and complicated!

 

my son is 7 and his tics have never been worse. he's taking bonnie's vitamins and he's on zoloft for his OCD (been diag. with ADHD too - seems to be common with TS kids). i'm reading everywhere that the zoloft can cause the tics to worsen so i'm weaning him from those and have substituted the fish oil pills in bonnie's vitamins for the borax/flaxseed/primrose oils (as per Chemar - thanks!) to see if that will help at all. also made an app't w/allergist to check for food allergies (already know about the environmental ones he has) and am looking for a good pediatric neurologist in new york city to bring him to, although, they'll probably just describe meds for him and i'm not sure if that's the answer now that i'm reading all this... like i said, totally confused. btw, anyone give their kids allergy medication? or do those also tend to worsen the tics?

 

i should also probably bring him to a nutritionist/chiropractor (?) but how do i know what type... most nutritionists where i live just deal with women who want to lose weight! you would think living in new york i'd have the best of everything, right? any recommendations??

 

lastly, and this might sound kooky, but anyone out there ever think that this "genetic" condition might have been aggravated by a head injury? my guy had a pretty major bump between the eyes as a baby and i never felt quite "right" about it, even though it healed quickly and all... just curious...

 

thanks so much.

may you all, every single one of you, be blessed for the time you spend searching for a way to make your babies, or youselves, better. in doing so, you help so many others. God willing someday there will be a cure for this...

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^_^ Hi guligirl!

How very nice to see you here!! I was just thinking about you and popped in here, so what a treat to see your name on the post.

 

If you take a look at the thread that is pinned to the top of the board you will find the links to lists for doctors who specialise in natural treatments....so hopefully will find good referral in your area.

 

I will find the link soon but YES I have recently come accross quite convincing info on head injury and Tourette like symptoms

 

gotta go as i have a busy day :D

 

God Bless and stay in touch!

Cheri

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Cheri/Chemar,

 

Wow! That's a lot to digest! Thanks for that! Very interesting stuff... I'll need to read through it a few more dozen times. ^_^

 

 

Guligirl,

 

When I brought my son to the Naturopath, she said that if you get rid of the food allergies, the environmental allergies will go away on their own.

 

Rose

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