Closer to the Cause, Closer to the Cure - Landmark Scientific Research toward Treatment Coming to AutismOne 2016 Conference in Chicago

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Progressive science and continuing medical education at 14th annual AutismOne conference - early-bird registration available now

Dr. Marco Ruggiero

...we knew that such a paper would have been a milestone in autism research because it solved the most basic question regarding autism: 'What is the cause of autism?'

For 13 years, the AutismOne conference has presented progressive science illuminating ideas on autism causation and intervention. In a landmark paper published December 2015 in Frontiers in Neuroscience,[1] the late Dr. James Jeffrey Bradstreet, Dr. Marco Ruggiero, and Dr. Stefania Pacini explained biological mechanisms in autism, which brings the public closer to information about autism causation and offers a foreseeable path toward effective intervention.

Dr. Bradstreet tragically died just days after this paper was submitted to a scientific journal.

Said Dr. Marco Ruggiero of Italy: “We had observed that the brains of autistic children showed peculiar lesions that could be identified and classified using transcranial ultrasonography. These observations were published in a peer-reviewed journal, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, which can be retrieved in PubMed…. The presence of these lesions has been confirmed, using other methods of imaging such as MRI, by other research groups, and there is almost unanimous consensus that there are anatomical alterations in the brains of autistic children. It is also generally accepted that such anatomical alterations are correlated with the severity of the symptoms.

“The key missing point, however, was the cause of such anatomical alterations and, without knowing such a cause, any type of therapeutic approach was, at best, empirical.

“In the first two weeks of June [2015], we had been able to hypothesize the cause of these brain alterations in autism, and we worked day and night to write a scientific paper reporting the results of our observations. We worked so frantically because we knew that such a paper would have been a milestone in autism research because it solved the most basic question regarding autism: ‘What is the cause of autism?’

“In this paper, we write that infection or inflammation of the deep cervical nodes that drain lymph from the brain and from the mouth and throat may lead to impaired lymph drainage with consequent accumulation of extra-axial fluid in the brain that leads to disruption of the connections between neurons and glial cells.

“Therefore, impaired lymphatic drainage would result in the accumulation of metabolites (toxins) in the brain and in constant inflammation of the brain and the meninges, with consequent alterations of brain development and function….it can be hypothesized that impaired lymphatic drainage would decrease the immunological defenses of the brain and its capability to fight pathogenic microbes that penetrate into the brain, mainly from the intestine.

“In fact, it was recently demonstrated that in the brain there are microbes that are commonly found in soil and water, and the cells of the immune system (macrophages) carry these microbes to the brain….

“We hypothesize that the brain lymphatic system…through which the immune cells travel, is instrumental in carrying the good or the bad microbes to the brain and influence its function…. The interconnections between gut microbes, the immune system and brain development and function were well known….

“We are now confronting a radical paradigm shift: Microbes in the gut DO NOT INFLUENCE the development and the function of the brain: THEY ARE CELLS of the brain just like neurons and glial cells. Microbes are AS IMPORTANT as neurons and glial cells for brain function, and the microbes that you have in the intestine are the microbes that you have in the brain.”

The progression of this paradigm-shifting research and its implications will be presented at the AutismOne 2016 Conference in Chicago in May 2016.

The five-day conference will offer over 130 speakers. Parents and professionals are urged to attend; the current early-bird registration fee is only $49 through December 31, 2015. The conference also offers a continuing medical education program for professionals and special events for both parents and professionals.

The conference will be held at the beautiful Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel. To register, please visit

1. Article link HERE.

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