Autism - 'a treatable condition' say researchers

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World Community Autism Program is a Not-for-Profit organisation based in South Africa dedicated to have autism redefined as a treatable condition, and support that new definition through research. The founders and directors, Max and Sandra Desorgher have been researching autism as an immunogenetic condition caused by an immune system choice during fetal development since 1994.

Research into the biological basis of autism has made major strides in the last ten years. Once considered a rare psychological condition, the explosion in the number of children being diagnosed with autism has made researchers think again about the cause of this puzzling condition.

World Community Autism Program is a Not-For-Profit organisation based in South Africa dedicated to have autism redefined as a treatable condition, and support that new definition through research.

The founders and directors, Max and Sandra Desorgher, have been researching autism as an immunogenetic condition caused by an immune system choice during fetal development since 1994.

They have identified lutein, a dietary pigment found in many foods, as a pathogenic substance in the autistic population. The immune response leads to a cascade of metabolic changes including alterations in enzyme and neurotransmitter activity, and changes in areas of the brain responsible for speech and emotional development (the amygdala) and movement (the cerebellum). As lutein is a chemical too small to produce an antibody response, they describe it as a 'hapten', causing an immune reaction that is hard to detect by usual means. In their new paper (available free at the WCAP website http://www.saras-autism-diet.freeservers.com/), they explain how vaccination practice over the last 100 years could have led to an immune system 'evolution' that would target a plant substance as a 'non-self' pathogen.

Here is an extract from 'Autism - the vaccine connection' by Sandra and Max Desorgher, directors, World Community Autism Program:

'Autism is most easily understood as an immune system adaptation to the genetics of the individual and a response to the environment. It is the strength of the adaptability of the organism which results in it's capacity for survival. We are at the threshold of great changes taking place in our human development. Some of these changes are a direct result of man's creative ingenuity and the fight for survival. At the scientific level this has included vaccination.

The evolutionary changes of modern man are seen first and are most evident in the ethno-culturally diverse populations. The areas of our chemical design are most vulnerable when two different types of people come together and this vulnerability can be additionally impacted by a dramatic change in location for which either or neither individual is biologically prepared resulting in offspring who exhibit the wide range of variation some of which is seen in modern day disease etiology.

Molecular biologists, using some of the most advanced tools of modern man, are finding some of the patterns and changes which are taking place in our human population. Some of the most recently studied areas are the 'hypervariable regions' in our DNA and in particular the 'Human Leukocyte Antigens' (HLA), histocompatibility antigens governed by genes of the HLA complex and the human major histocompatibility complex (MHC), a region on the short arm of chromosome 6 with regions A, B, C and D, the region of our DNA which interacts with our immune system. Immunogenetic (IoGc) research is telling us that how we develop in the womb is not governed solely by our DNA and the environmental insults (impacts) that the fetus is susceptible to, but is also due to the response of our own developing immune system. The immune system develops to protect the host and the impact of the immune system during fetal development includes changes which alter our genetic make-up. Some of the terms used to describe these processes are so far called transduction and frameshifting.'

Using a comprehensive nutritional program that begins with removal of dietary lutein, reduction in intake of gluten and casein containing foods, and balancing the diet with adequate intake of essential nutrients, the Desorghers have seen many children reach recovery and many have been declassified. A research project now underway in Malaysia seeks to verify the effectiveness of this approach, and support the theory of an immune response to lutein as the cause of this complex condition. Their book, 'The Power of Exile - Autism, a journey to recovery' was published in 2002.

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