Latest Research Findings for Autism

There have been many questions whether autism has a genetic or environmental cause. Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP discusses some of the most recent research findings for autism.

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Autistic children have a lot of (digestive) problems that can last into adulthood. Studies have shown that when we manage these problems, their behavior improves dramatically.

Sturgeon Bay, WI (PRWEB) August 29, 2013

A person with the neurodevelopmental disorder autism commonly displays impaired social and communication skills, along with restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped behavioral patterns, interests, and activities. Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Chiropractor and Naturopath, Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP states that the world-wide increase in autism has reached epidemic levels, affecting 1 in 88 children. Meanwhile, doctors and researchers argue about the causes, whether it is genetic, the result of thimerosal or aluminum in vaccines, or antibiotics which wipe out the good bacteria and allow the pathogenic bacteria to take over in the intestines.

The research team led by Dae-Wook Kang at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute in Tempe, Arizona, recently published Reduced Incidence of Prevotella and Other Fermenters in Intestinal Microflora of Autistic Children. The nearly 100 trillion bacteria in the human intestines not only assist digestion and manufacture vitamins, but also help balance the immune system. Many autistic children suffer from digestive problems, and there is a very strong connection between digestive issues and the severity of autistic symptoms. In addition, the breakdown products of poor digestion can have a huge impact on the brain and nervous system, leading to many of the behavioral symptoms seen with autism.

Kang’s research team compared 20 typical non-autistic children without digestive complaints with 20 children diagnosed as autistic. The autistic children were rated for the severity of their autism and digestive symptoms. The types and amounts of bacteria in fecal samples were then analyzed. The carbohydrate-degrading and/or fermenting bacteria Prevotella, Coprococcus, and Veillonellaceae were significantly less abundant in the autistic children. Surprisingly, the lack of these intestinal bacteria was more related to the presence of autistic symptoms rather than to the severity of digestive symptoms. Further research demonstrated that the lack of these bacteria was more highly correlated with the presence of autistic symptoms rather than with the diets of the children.

While there was a definite relationship between the lack of these bacteria and autistic symptoms, this may be an effect of the autism, rather than a cause. Fellow researcher Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown notes, “One of the reasons we started addressing this topic is the fact that autistic children have a lot of (digestive) problems that can last into adulthood. Studies have shown that when we manage these problems, their behavior improves dramatically.” The researchers hope that their study can open up new ways to treat autism-related digestive problems along with the prevention and treatment of autism.

Researchers have concluded that the brains of the autistic are wired differently. Researchers led by Dr. Lucina Q. Uddin at Stanford University School of Medicine recently published Salience Network–Based Classification and Prediction of Symptom Severity in Children with Autism, demonstrating that the autistic brain is more highly interconnected than in typical children. As signals from sensory nerves are relayed to different parts of the brain, they may overwhelm the ability of the brain to process them. Twenty autistic children aged 7 to 12 were matched for age, sex, and IQ with 20 typically developing children. The salience network, which integrates information between outside stimuli and one’s internal state, thereby allowing the brain to prioritize what information to pay attention to, was the most heavily hyperconnected region in the autistic brain. Senior researcher Dr. Vinod Menon explains “We think there might be a relative inability for certain types of external stimuli to engage the brain’s attentional system. As a result, a child with autism may be engrossed in a narrow range of behaviors instead of adaptively responding to external stimuli.” Dr. Uddin adds, “We are optimistic that the brain network metrics we have identified may be used to help in developing strategies for earlier diagnosis, leading to the possibility of earlier interventions.”

Using the latest research findings, Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. uses a comprehensive package of Chiropractic care, decompression traction therapy, active therapeutic movement training, cold laser therapy, and nutrition for the natural treatment of neurological conditions, neck and back pain, and other health conditions such as autism, without drugs or surgery. Additional information about Chiropractic, Naturopathy, and other forms of natural health care has been provided by Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. at http://www.all-about-wellness.com.

About: Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP
Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP attended the University of Wisconsin—Superior where he majored in Physics and Mathematics, with a minor in art photography. While attending the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis, he assisted in research on ribosomal proteins. Completing his Chiropractic studies at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, he graduated Cum Laude (with high honors) in 1983. He started Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1983. In 1996, Dr. Moellendorf was awarded his Doctorate in Naturopathy from Trinity School of Natural Health. In 2001, he received Chiropractic’s most prestigious award, the honorary Legion of Chiropractic Philosophers degree, for his thesis “The Workings of Innate Intelligence in Obsessive/Compulsive and Addictive Behaviors.” This paper was chosen for publishing in the book Philosophic Contemplations vol. 2 in 2002. In June of 2012, Dr. Moellendorf authored his first book titled Healthcare’s Best Kept Secret which can be ordered on Amazon. Dr. Moellendorf can be contacted by phone (920) 493-2126, fax (920) 743-1145, email jgmoellendorf(at)itol(dot)com, his website at http://www.all-about-wellness.com, or send a carrier pigeon to 44.84722N and 87.36416W.


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