Those with Autism see Options and Hope in the Victor Valley

August 4, 2008 by Not Autism  
Filed under Autism News, General

BROOKE EDWARDS Staff Writer

August 1, 2008 - 3:38PM

APPLE VALLEY — People with autism are often antisocial, avoiding eye contact or physical contact altogether.
But at an upcoming Apple Valley business, several autistic children recently sat together having a makeshift picnic in one corner and holding hands, and spinning in circles in another. Shelby smiled and played, while David and Brandon “helped” by pushing a broom around the floor.
These children are part of a growing community of families in the Victor Valley, united by a woman and a cause.
Cathy Long started Shelby’s World, Inc. after she says western medicine failed to help her severely autistic daughter Shelby. She now helps connect locals with alternative doctors and homeopathic treatments, including natural supplements, massage therapy, all-natural diets and detoxification.
“I’m not a doctor,” Long repeats, correcting her older daughter Amber when she calls those they help “patients.” “They’re clients.”
But in reality, the group is more like an extended family.
Long and those she works with all have their own stories of a time when they reached their breaking points and grew desperate enough to go against recommendations of their doctors, pursuing other options for treating their children.
However, despite working hard at blue-collar jobs, the amount of money it takes to pursue natural treatments — with insurance refusing to pitch in — is a drain on bank accounts.
The Long family business is construction, and finances are down with the economy. Cathy Long said they’re struggling to keep Shelby on her treatments, let alone continue to offset costs for other families.
This includes paying for supplements for Tatianna Bell, diagnosed with a mild form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome.
“She was miserable,” said Tatianna’s mother, Shannon Bell, of her daughter’s condition before Long intervened. Tatianna was constantly getting in trouble at school, couldn’t focus on anything and never smiled.
Now, Shannon Bell said, “She likes who she is again.” Tatianna smiles often, offering me a warm hug shortly after we met.
For Peach Ellison and her daughter Krystine, battling the effects of lead poisoning, their combined treatments can be several hundred dollars each month. With the recent passing of Ellison’s husband, things are getting even harder.
That’s where Long’s latest project comes in. Another Man’s Treasure is an “indoor yard sale” the families are putting together. The store, at 13534 Navajo Road, will allow needy families to rent a space for $25 per day and keep proceeds to pay for their supplements. The rental fee and proceeds from donated items will go toward treatments for the neediest of families.
Long is also developing partnerships with local businesses, such as Kids Cuts next-door to Another Man’s Treasure. Kids Cuts donates a portions of their proceeds to the cause and also cuts hair for autistic kids, which can be no easy task for the most severe cases.
It’s a struggle taking these children out in public, the mothers said, particularly at large stores where the embarrassment of a meltdown constantly looms. The children get overstimulated by the crowds and the fluorescent lighting, which flickers and makes noise thought to be experienced intensely by those with autism.
One time, three people in line behind Long at Wal-Mart helped her carry Shelby to the car after a meltdown. But more often, Long said people just give her dirty looks or call security. Others have told her she needs parenting skills and that her daughter should be caged for acting like an animal.
“They act the way they do because they’re in pain, and they can’t express it,” Long said.
Educating the public about how to deal with the illness is one of Long’s many goals for the future, though these dreams compete in Long’s own ADHD-ravaged brain. She’s working on a license to get supplements at wholesale, on building a Web site and on getting Shelby’s World designated as a nonprofit corporation so she can seek grants and more funding. Ultimately she hopes to develop a local treatment center, offering sessions with alternative doctors, educational courses and daycare to give families a break.
But no matter what comes of these plans, the support system Long has built — with Shelby as inspiration — has been a lifesaver for these Victor Valley families.
“I didn’t know a little community like this existed,” said Peach Ellison. “Now we’ve got our lives back.”

Gathered inside what will become the thrift store Another Man’s Treasure was a line of people, waiting to tell how their lives have been changed through natural medicine:

Peach Ellison has been sick her whole life, with chronic kidney stones and more. Four years ago, testing finally connected her condition to an incident she had nearly forgotten, when she swallowed a lead plug at 7 years old. Ellison was diagnosed with extreme lead poisoning.
“Everything started making sense,” Ellison said, including conditions that had been passed on to her daughter Krystine.
Krystine, 18, was born with a brain tumor.  She has had severe, uncontrollable seizures her whole life, in spite of being on heavy medication.

She’s always been extremely lethargic, hardly talked and has had extremely weak muscles.
Ellison said they’d tried every combination of drugs and they only made Krystine more sedated.
“Once your kid gets to a certain point, western medicine doesn’t help,” Ellison said. “You just don’t know what to do, and as a parent, you’re willing to try anything to help them.”
One month ago, after prompting by Cathy Long, both Ellison and Krystine began a series of natural treatments and supplements.
Today, Ellison’s health has improved drastically. Krystine said she’s sleeping much better, her seizures are less frequent and less harsh, and her body is much stronger.
“I can’t drive, because of my seizures, so my legs are my transportation,” Krystine said. “Now I can use them, and I have the strength to walk places.”

Ed Cauble has had Parkinson’s for more than eight years. His doctor put him on heavy doses of medication to control his shaking, but Cauble worried about what the drugs were doing to his body.
He heard about an enzyme called CoQ10 through Long, thought by some to combat the effects of Parkinson’s.
When Cauble asked his doctor of two years about other remedies, he said her face turned red and she stormed out of the room. He later got a letter from her office saying he was no longer her patient.
“The government will give me all the medicine I want at $200 per bottle,” Cauble said. “But they won’t give anything for natural remedies, even if they’ve been proven to work.”
Cauble has been off Parkinson’s medication and on the supplement for more than two years, and said he rarely shakes at all.

Janice Bearden’s twin boys David and Brandon were born five weeks early, but were quickly released from the hospital with a clean bill of health.
At two months old, shortly after their first vaccinations, Bearden said the boys began having seizures. The episodes grew gradually worse, until the boys were having up to 200 episodes in a 24-hour period.
Doctors started the boys on liquid barbital to control their grand mal seizures. Bearden named off a dozen drugs the twins have been prescribed and various hospitals she has visited, but tests still showed their brains were seizing 90 percent of the time. The boys didn’t smile, had no strength and were given sedatives to sleep through their episodes.
Against recommendations from her doctors, Bearden began pursuing alternative medicine. She visited clinics in Arizona and in Encinitas, giving the boys detox treatments and supplements through Long.
At 10 years old, David and Brandon still don’t talk and aren’t potty-trained. But they run around like any other kids, stopping to offer warm smiles and hugs at every opportunity.
“My ultimate dream is to walk into the doctor’s office and have my kids say ‘hi’ to the doctor,” Bearden said. “And when he asks me how this happened, I will tell him that we did it without drugs, by looking at our own kids and listening to our instincts as parents.”

Brooke Edwards may be reached at 955-5358 or at bedwards@vvdailypress.com.

Autism Recovery Formula: 5 Autistic Children Saved - A Mother’s Words

July 16, 2008 by Not Autism  
Filed under Autism News, General

Summary of Recovery Knowledge

Due to the many requests for information I have been getting, I put this together. Know that your requests actually make me happy. I am happy to know that you care and are seeking to help these children who are totally dependent upon us to help them. When I tell people I recovered my children, and they don’t make requests, I must admit, it bothers me because I feel so passionate about recovery I guess, and wish everyone else did as well. But we each have the right to make our own choices, and I understand that there are other reasons. Love and success to all of you!

My children are recovered, but currently still dependent upon supplements. It took a year for them to be able to do regular school with no modifications. I have 5 (one was adopted). They all had different symptoms/diagnoses. Some were the same. I did it by researching my butt off. This is my current view on autism causes and treatment. Know that these are my beliefs, I am not stating them as fact because I don’t want to be sued, and I may change my mind in the future because this is a learn-as-you-go thing.

I believe that Autism is caused by a starving brain from a damaged GI tract from a damaged immune system from pathogens and toxins.

Getting nutrition into my children was foremost in relieving symptoms, and ridding the pathogens and toxins is where I am concentrating as well. There are so many different ways, products, practitioners, and choices. I believe its best to get them nutrition right away (digestive enzymes, cod liver oil, vitamins, colloidal minerals, organic foods, remove MSG, remove preservatives, remove artificial junk, remove dairy and wheat or casein and gluten, remove sugar substitutes, remove GMO foods, give probiotics to absorb the nutrients, etc.). I then worked on getting the GI tract in working order with mild detoxers, anti-inflammatories (can be gentle herbs like Turmeric), bile-stimulating supplements, probiotics, yeast and bad bacteria inhibitors (can be from mild herbs or various supplements, or alkalizing supplements), and now I am in the process of going after toxins and pathogens. I believe in treating for ALL pathogens (yeast, worms, protozoa, viruses, bad bacteria), in that order.

I believe that most people are lyme carriers. I don’t know the exacts on how its transmitted, but have read that it may be transmitted from any biting insect or animal, including mosquitoes. I also read that it can be transmitted via sex and in pregnancy. I have surmised from what I read that Lyme damages the immune system, allowing pathogens and toxins to stock-pile. I further surmise from what I have read that vaccines, electrosmog, toxins, and other things further this damage, allowing the lyme to flourish. I have read that Lyme is very difficult to test positive for because it lives inside of cells and destroys your body’s ability to make antibodies to it. I further read that these same antibodies are also not killing the other pathogens the person is coming into contact with. I believe from what I read that mercury, vaccines, and other things add to this same damage in the same area of the immune system. This could explain why parents are reporting that they believe the vaccines bring out the autism. I have also read that bad bacteria and viruses may be able to live inside of the worms and protozoa, that’s why I read its recommended to treat the worms and protozoa first.

I used the DAN methods. www.autismresearchinstitute.com and www.lymeinducedautism.com are my favorite websites for knowledge and references. Go to “you tube” as well, and type in subjects like lyme, autism, etc. Please don’t ask me what diagnoses, how severe my kids were, how old they were, etc. because I believe that all things are possible — in that all kids can benefit no matter what. All my children have different symptoms. They all responded to all treatments I implemented. Sometimes the same symptoms would go away with the same treatment, and sometimes different symptoms would go away with the same treatments. One of my children was 14 when I startred treatment.

I did not use ABA. I did use a DAN for one child for a brief moment in time. I feel he was helpful, but not necessary to recover my children.

I know many talk about using a certain supplement to rid a certain symptom, and many just want to do one thing at a time. I like looking at the whole picture. I found that the gluten-free/casein-free diet did not work if they drank a soda or were exposed to gmo and/or processed food. Thus, I feel too many do it incorrectly. Also note that sometimes it takes months to see an improvement for a treatment.

I feel digestive enzymes are the most basic key to getting nutrients in. Know that also, all these supplements and diet making my children live as normals do not work if they are around environmental toxins.

My kids return to symptoms around carpeting, magic-marker smells used at school (when the whole class uses them at the same time), fluorescent lighting, etc. Thus, I also have no carpeting, and use organic/natural hygiene/cleaners in my home. There are so many variables. I think people fail when they don’t understand that die-off reactions come often when something is going to work, and that something like eating chocolate can sabotage gf-cf diet improvements.

Thus, know its not just a matter of doing something, its a matter of doing it correctly. I believe you can only do it correctly if you research it, and understand how it works. I would even research foods and how they correlate with children with autism. Such as eggs are heralded as very beneficial, whereas dioxin used on NON-organic apples, is heralded as very toxic to children with autism.

There is much to learn. I know everyone wants the easy, fast way, and that it is very time-consuming and expensive. I never did any expensive things other than some blood and stool tests. I do admit that giving 5 children supplements everyday is expensive. I also take every thing that my children take. Everything. And I do it for a few days or weeks before I give it to my children, and then I keep taking it as long as my children are. My health also went from very bad to very good. I know some are looking for the one thing to do or matching symptoms to products, but its not about that to me, its about getting the body working well, and ridding pathogens and toxins.

Here is what I am doing:

  • diet (as I previously mentioned)
  • digestive enzymes, Multi-enzyme by www.kirkmanlabs.com
  • cod liver oil by Nordic Naturals
  • Vitamin B1 Thiamine
  • methyl B12 powder by kirkman’s
  • niacin (flush-type only)
  • buffered C by Thorne Research
  • Turmeric by Rexall
  • Ginger Root (only some of my children) by Rexall
  • milk thistle by Source Naturals
  • multivitamin, Everyday by Kirkman’s
  • chewable folic acid by Kirkman’s
  • lithium orotate by Ortho Molecular
  • magnesium malate
  • colloidal minerals
  • Mellatonin, sublingual (chewable) by Kirkman
  • Pectasol Chelation complex by EcoNugenics
  • probiotics by Mindlinx or Culturelle (sometimes)
  • Resveratrol by Paradise Herbs
  • Burbur by Nutramedix
  • Cat’s Claw Raintree or Samento by Nurtramedix

I have used other supplements here and there.

Know that a couple of these aforementioned products are sold only to practioners on some websites, yet on other websites, the same products are sold to anyone. So don’t give up if you get a website that sells only to practioners.

I am now in the process of starting to use herbs to kill lyme. Know that many of the treatments that are being given to children with autism, also kill lyme.

We did have lyme testing. We tested positive for lyme coinfections and have low CD-57 white blood cell count, which is reportedly indicative of lyme disease. Know that I only believed in the lyme theory after several docs started reporting that nearly all of their children with autism were testing positive for it. For further information, see www.lymeinducedautism.com and the Yahoo Group “BorreliaMultipleInfectionsAndAutism”.

I fully believe that when toxins and pathogens are rid and the GI tract is restored that my children will then be able to live as normals without special diets, and having to avoid toxins, or be dependent upon supplements. I have read many stories on this, and this is why I believe. So far, this faith has done very well for me. Know that I also pray for guidance from Jesus.

Its important to study everything you give your child. Such as I read often that buffered C should not be given at the same time as many other supplements. Know also that brand can make a big difference. Thus, study the brand, make sure they don’t use gmo products. Know also that things like Mellatonin can be made from very different sources, some better than others. Also, know that getting the right dose can make all the difference. Thus, take the time to study to know all about everything you do, and of course, ask on forums as well.

I recently added all this up, and it came to about $120.00 per person, including the adults. Thus, that’s not bad. But, for my house of 8, that’s not good, but were managing.

Know that also I have heard reports that many can just use Samento and get good results.

Heidi

Autism Causes: Only 4 Autism Cases in Amish County of 22,000

July 13, 2008 by Not Autism  
Filed under Autism News, General

LEBANON, Pa., May 10 (UPI) — Frank Noonan is a family doctor in Lancaster County. When I met him for lunch last Saturday, he was still in golfing togs from his weekly game — “Saturdays are my ‘I can breathe’ day,” he says. Even so, he stayed after our meal to meet a cancer patient who phoned him at the restaurant.He’s energetic, friendly, straightforward — the kind of doctor people want.

People such as the Amish. As a family practitioner, Noonan sees patients of all ages. He combines traditional and alternative medicine in an “integrative” blend to suit the individual. The Amish like that approach — they prefer to see just one doctor for all their care, and their first resort is herbs and supplements, not prescriptions and pills. For one thing, most don’t have insurance.

Based on movies like “Witness” and the image of the Amish in horse-and-buggies, many people — myself included — assume they have virtually no contact with such outside influences as modern medicine.

Not so.

Noonan has been a doctor in Lancaster County nearly 25 years and about a third of his patients are Amish, making his Amish practice one of the area’s largest. He has seen “thousands and thousands” of the county’s 22,000 Amish residents and others who live nearby.

I found him through an Amish-Mennonite mother of an autistic child adopted from China. She told me she has seen almost no autism among the Amish, but that I should talk to Noonan because he has treated so many Amish for so long.

Based on my reporting so far, there is evidence of only three or possibly four Amish with autism in Lancaster County, where there should be dozens at the 1-in-166 prevalence in society at large. One of them is the adopted Chinese child. Another was described as having “a clear vaccine reaction” at 15 months, after which she became autistic. I have not met that child and can’t vouch for that description.

When I called Noonan three weeks ago, he seemed surprised by my question about Amish autism but agreed to think about it, check around and tell me what he found. At lunch, Noonan said he hesitated to offer an opinion when I first called because it had never occurred to him.

But now, he said, he realized something.

“I have not seen autism with the Amish,” Noonan told me. “And I say that having seen a ton of Amish patients. I may be able to think in all those years of maybe one case of (Amish) autism I’ve had.”

“I’ve checked with some of my colleagues,” he added, “and they all tell me it’s very, very sporadic that we’ll see a case of autism among the Amish.”

From 2000 to 2003, Noonan also saw patients at the Wellness Center, which is operated by the Amish and Mennonites. About 90 percent of those patients are Amish, Noonan said, and he saw thousands of them. But still he saw no autism.

“Absolutely none, in the almost three years I was there. We would have seen it. It’s not something they would hide. They’re not like that.”

Noonan said he sees “a fair amount of mental retardation among the Amish.” A significant percentage of people with autism have mental retardation as well as severe speech and hearing problems. Wouldn’t they show up on the radar of those who track and treat such issues?

And wouldn’t autistic Amish see Noonan for the same inevitable illnesses and injuries that bring the rest of their family to him?

I tried various ways to find gaps in Noonan’s account. Perhaps autistic Amish children were seeing pediatricians or specialists as opposed to family doctors …

“The Amish don’t go to specialists like we do,” he responded. “The Amish go to family docs for all their pediatric care. So at least in Lancaster County, where I practice, almost all pediatrics among the Amish is done by family docs.”

“You’ll find all the other stuff, but we don’t find the autism,” Noonan said. “We’re right in the heart of Amish country and seeing none. And that’s just the way it is.”

In my last column, I said this interview was a tipping point between absence-of-evidence (not finding many autistic Amish) and evidence-of-absence (finding there might not be many).

The case is still open, but does anyone disagree that Dr. Noonan makes a compelling witness?

(Researcher Kyle Pearson contributed to this story.)

This series on the roots and rise of autism aims to be interactive with readers and will take note of comments, criticism and suggestions. e-mail: dolmsted@upi.com

The Fragile X Factor and Autism - TIME / CNN

July 2, 2008 by Not Autism  
Filed under General

They called him “the singing baby.” As a newborn, Maxwell Wheeler would lie in his crib, whistling shrilly as he breathed in and out. For Cari and Andrew Wheeler of Madera Ranchos, Calif., it was one of the first signs that all was not right with their second child–an infant who didn’t like to be touched, refused to nurse and struggled to keep down formula. At 10 months, when Max was still spitting up more than sitting up, the Wheelers consulted an occupational therapist, who noticed an extra fold above his eyelids, prominent ears and other features she called “dysmorphic.”

“I said, ‘What do you mean dysmorphic?’” Cari recalls. “‘I think he’s cute!’” But she and Andy agreed to have their baby tested for genetic disorders. And so began a medical odyssey that would engulf three generations of the family.

I met the Wheelers at the MIND (for Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) Institute at the University of California at Davis, where they arrived with Max, now 7, his brother Brockton, 10, and Cari’s parents Mary and Gary Boyer. It was one of many visits for the Wheeler-Boyer clan. Max raced around a visitors’ room, occasionally hugging his mom and trying to pull his beloved granddad up from his chair. Mildly autistic and mildly retarded, Max doesn’t speak much, and he didn’t respond to my overtures. In addition, Max suffers from hyperactivity, low muscle tone, gastrointestinal problems and a tendency to spike scorchingly high fevers. Though he’s doing fine in kindergarten–with an aide–he only recently managed to pass potty-training.

Max wasn’t the only one in the room struggling with a worrisome condition. His grandfather Gary, 70, sat stiffly in his chair, tuning in to and out of the conversation. An architect with a Ph.D. in urban engineering, he has developed a tremor in his left hand, and he’s so unsteady on his feet that he’s taken several falls. “My legs are gone,” he says. “I’m very numb from the knees down.” Perhaps more alarming are the changes in his personality. The first sign was hoarding household items. “Then I started noticing that he became antisocial,” says his wife Mary. “He didn’t want to go out. And he didn’t want to talk when people came over. He would sit on the patio and smoke.”

Cari has been just as stunned by the changes in her once outgoing father, but lately she has had some odd symptoms of her own. Though only 35, she has begun to experience hot flashes, and her menstrual periods have become brief and irregular.

Ten years ago, no one would have connected Max’s autism and other symptoms with Gary’s neurological decline or Cari’s premature signs of menopause. Now, however, researchers realize that all three are caused by changes in the same gene, one that’s related to a disorder called fragile X syndrome (FXS), perhaps the most complicated genetic condition you’ve never heard of. Max has full-blown FXS. The disorder, as its name implies, is the result of a defective gene on the X chromosome, one of the pair of chromosomes that determines gender. FXS affects roughly 1 in 2,500 boys, causing autism spectrum disorders in about half of them. That makes FXS the most common known cause of autism, responsible for roughly 5% of all cases. It is also the most common inherited cause of mental retardation. Though the FXS defect occurs just as frequently in girls, they tend to be less severely affected.

Fragile X has been known for decades, but an explosion of new research, prodded along by advocacy groups like the National Fragile X Foundation and FRAXA, is yielding insights that have implications for understanding and treating autism–and perhaps a number of other conditions too. “Fragile X is leading the autism field in terms of new treatments,” says pediatrician Randi Hagerman, medical director of the MIND Institute. “We know the gene, we know a lot about the biology, and we know how to fix it. That’s pretty exciting!”

In addition, new research has revealed that relatives who carry the fragile X trait, like Max’s mother and grandfather, may themselves be affected by it. At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a new panel has been charged by Congress to direct research into FXS and related conditions. “We hope to learn lessons that may be applicable to helping people with Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s and myotonic dystrophies too,” says Tiina Urv, who heads the panel. Research on the FXS family of disorders may also yield clues to some forms of infertility.

Most of us move through our days with only a vague awareness of our genetic endowment, fretting perhaps over a familial tendency toward heart disease or beaky noses. But families affected by fragile X can discuss their genome with startling specificity. Their key concern is a small strip of DNA on the long arm of the X chromosome. Normally, humans have five to 55 repetitions of the nucleotides CGG (cytosine, guanine, guanine) in this region. But for unknown reasons, the number of CGG repeats can expand beyond normal as the DNA is copied from mother to child.

Cari, for instance, has one normal X chromosome (with 24 repeats), inherited from her mother, and another with an abnormal 85 repeats, inherited from her father, who has 89 repeats. Cari’s son Max has 363. Any number greater than 200 causes full-blown fragile X syndrome (so named because, under a microscope, the expanded X chromosome may look bent to the point of breaking). The reason boys are more likely than girls to develop major symptoms is that girls carry a pair of X chromosomes, which means that if one is defective, the other can compensate. Boys, however, carry an X and a Y, so the damaged chromosome is on its own.

People like Cari and her father, with 55 to 200 repeats, are considered carriers of a fragile X “premutation.” Carriers are relatively common: about 1 in 250 women and 1 in 800 men have the premutation, though some studies suggest the prevalence is higher. Until recently no one worried too much about those numbers, since carriers were thought to be unaffected.

It was pediatrician Hagerman who first noticed in the late 1990s that mothers of kids with FXS often reported that their father was experiencing neurological symptoms. “I thought, This can’t be a coincidence,” she recalls. At an FXS conference in 2000, Hagerman asked some 100 fragile X family members if an older male relative was having problems with balance, tremors or dementia. About a third of the audience members shot their hands into the air. Within a few years, a newly recognized genetic disorder called FXTAS (fragile X–associated tremor, ataxia syndrome) was part of the literature, though the illness is still often mistaken for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Premature menopausal symptoms like those Cari is experiencing are another recently discovered consequence of the premutation. Known formally as primary ovarian insufficiency, it is believed to affect about 20% of female carriers.

The gene involved in all these disorders codes for a critical brain protein known as the fragile X mental-retardation protein (FMRP). This protein normally acts as a brake on the production of other proteins associated with learning and memory. But when more than 200 CGG repeats are present, the gene for FMRP tends to shut down and production of the other proteins spins out of control. The brain develops too many connections, or synapses, many of them immature and flimsy. The resulting symptoms range from learning disorders to mental retardation and often include autism, epilepsy, anxiety disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). “Fragile X is a disorder of excess,” explains neuroscientist Mark Bear of MIT. Autism in general seems to involve excessive connections in the brain. Bear and others suspect that drugs that could attack this problem in FXS patients could also prove useful in other types of autism.

The exciting news is that such drugs are already being tested. Hagerman and a team at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center have begun trials with a drug called fenobam, originally designed as an antianxiety medication. MIT’s Bear expects to begin trials with two other compounds later this year. The drugs target a receptor on brain cells that the fragile X protein normally helps regulate; the receptor, in turn, regulates proteins involved in learning and memory. “We’re looking at a medication to reverse the retardation,” says the optimistic Hagerman, “and I think we can achieve it.”

Researchers are also working on drugs for FXTAS, which strikes 30% to 50% of all male carriers, usually after age 50. Cindy Mitchell of Huntington Beach, Calif., is haunted by her father’s death from the disease two years ago. “He wasted away to 80 lb. He couldn’t walk, couldn’t keep food down,” she says. I met Mitchell, 37, and her husband Bob, 41, at Hagerman’s clinic, where they had taken their two sons for evaluation. Mason, 6, has FXS, and Noah, 8, is a carrier, like his mom. Among Mitchell’s worries is that she’ll die the way her father did, though fewer than 10% of female carriers seem to develop the disease. “And I’m terrified that Noah will get it,” she says.

Drugs to treat this adult-onset condition would have to work differently from the ones used to treat fragile X syndrome because the biology of the disease is different too. In fragile X, the key gene is silent; in FXTAS patients, it’s too active. “The gene produces up to 10 times more message than normal,” explains molecular biologist Paul Hagerman of the University of California at Davis, who together with wife Randi has received an NIH grant to study the disorder. Over time, messenger RNA–the substance that transcribes genes into proteins–accumulates in the nuclei of brain cells, eventually poisoning them.

While scientists work out the molecular pathways that may someday cure FXS and FXTAS, clinicians at more than a dozen centers around the country are devising ways to improve life for affected families. Children with FXS are referred to programs that offer language services, occupational therapy and special education. Randi Hagerman is a believer in drugs to treat anxiety and hyperactivity. For patients with FXTAS, she prescribes exercise and medications already used to treat Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

As research becomes more advanced, the Hagermans hope that more people with suspicious symptoms will choose to be tested for the fragile X mutation and premutation. Many families with an autistic child resist, not wanting to learn that the cause is genetic, but Paul Hagerman urges them to look at things another way. The day is rapidly approaching, he believes, when autism caused by fragile X will be known as the “treatable type.”

Find this article at:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1818268,00.html

Vaccine-Autism Link Confirmed By Hidden CDC Data

June 13, 2008 by Not Autism  
Filed under General

Hidden CDC Data Confirms Vaccine-Autism Link

Press Release Contacts: For Immediate Release CoMeD President [Rev. Lisa K. Sykes (Richmond, VA) 804-364-8426]
June 12, 2008 CoMeD Sci. Advisor [Dr. King (Lake Hiawatha, NJ) 973-263-4843]

WASHINGTON, DC – A newly published study in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences,[1][1] the official journal of the World Federation of Neurology,[2][2] links mercury from the Thimerosal in vaccines with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

This study represents six years worth of effort by independent researchers to gain access to hidden US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data in the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD). In 2003, the Government Reform Committee of the US House of Representatives asserted, “(a)ccess by independent researchers to the Vaccine Safety Datalink database is needed for independent replication and validation of CDC studies regarding exposure of infants to mercury-containing vaccines and autism.”

Nonetheless, this new analysis of some of the data in the carefully guarded VSD database, documenting the mercury poisoning of a generation of American children, would never have been possible without the intervention of Congressional leaders, parent autism advocacy groups, and legal experts. Ironically, only a few independent researchers have gained even this limited level of restricted access to the VSD database, despite the fact that the VSD Project is funded by hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

The new study, led by Dr. Heather Young, Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, examined the CDC-supplied medical vaccination records from the VSD of 278,624 children, born from 1990 through 1996.

This study calculated the average mercury exposure children incurred from routine childhood Thimerosal-containi ng vaccines, by year of birth, during their first year of life. After calculating average mercury exposure by year of birth, the study then estimated the prevalence rates of various medical diagnoses for children born in each of the years examined.

The prevalence rate of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders correlated with the average mercury exposure children received: increasing/decreasi ng levels of mercury exposure from routine childhood Thimerosal-containi ng vaccines resulted in corresponding trends in prevalence rates of these diagnoses. By contrast, medical outcomes presumed to be unrelated to mercury exposure did not correlate with the average levels of mercury exposure from routine childhood Thimerosal-containi ng vaccines.

Depending upon the specific neurodevelopmental disorder examined (autism, autism spectrum disorder, tics, emotional disturbance, attention deficit disorder-hyperactiv ity disorder, and developmental/ learning disorder), the observed overall risk of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders was significantly higher (about 2- to 6- fold) following an additional 100 micrograms of mercury exposure. For autism alone, the overall risk was about 2.5-fold higher following an additional 100 micrograms of mercury exposure.

These results demonstrate that the suspicions of those serving on the Government Reform Committee were correct: “…(t)o date, studies conducted or funded by the CDC that purportedly dispute any correlation between autism and vaccine injury have been of poor design, under-powered, and fatally flawed. The CDC’s rush to support and promote such research is reflective of a philosophical conflict in looking fairly at emerging theories and clinical data related to adverse reactions from vaccinations.”

A New Definition for Autism

June 13, 2008 by Not Autism  
Filed under Featured Information, General

Autism as classically defined was and is a devastating disorder. It was a severely incapacitating disability that was relatively rare. It occurred in approximately 1-2 infants per 10,000 births.

In this severe form of “Classic Autism” effective speech was absent. It could include symptoms of repetitive, highly unusual, aggressive and self-injurious behavior. Those afflicted had extremely abnormal ways of relating to people, objects, or events. Parents noticed that something was “not right” generally within the first three to six months of life. These children did not coo or smile. They resisted affection and did not interact normally.

In the last decade, another type of autism has surfaced that is often referred to as “Autistic Syndrome.” Children suffering from this disorder generally appear normal in the first 15-18 months of life. They do not present signs or symptoms pediatricians or neurologists would find atypical. These children create an inconsistency with previous held beliefs that 70-80% of autistic children are mentally retarded. They crawl, sit up, walk, and usually hit normal motor milestones on schedule. Up until the age of onset, they are affectionate and appear to have above average intelligence.

Children with this autistic syndrome may begin to develop some speech but then, without warning, cease to progress, or begin to regress. Suddenly, these children become withdrawn. They are quiet sometimes and hyper at other times. Often self-stimulatory behaviors (i.e. arm flapping, rocking, spinning, or head banging) develop. In time, some manifest symptoms that are both similar and atypical to children previously diagnosed as “classically autistic. “

While training as a pediatrician, I was told if I saw one autistic child in a lifetime of practice it would be one too many. What I am seeing today is not the autism I learned about in medical school twenty years ago. What was once a relatively rare disorder is now twenty times more likely to occur. Before, “autism” was 1-2 per 10,000 births. Now, current statistics suggest a frequency of 20 per 10,000 births (rates of 40 per 10,000 or higher have been suggested).

In the past, autism was considered a “psychiatric” disorder. We now know that autism is a medical condition, not a mental disorder. Perhaps one of the reasons no one has come up with an answer for autism is the way we have thought of it (or rather did not think of it in medicine).

Most “MD” researchers did not look for the answers to autism because they felt this was a disorder that was untreatable medically. Treatment for this affliction was primarily left in the hands of psychologists and a few psychiatrists.

“Autistic syndrome,” though still treated mainly by psychologists and psychiatrists, is also no longer considered a psychiatric disorder. It is a biological disorder that requires medical intervention. Physicians are now just beginning to understand the medical origins as well as the actual and potential treatments for autism.

Even though I believe children with classic autism might be helped medically as our knowledge of the brain’s physiology expands, for now it might be helpful to separate children afflicted with autistic syndrome from those with classic autism. As children with autistic syndrome increasingly become categorized as a “medical” problem, separating them from the many negative connotations and hopelessness associated with “classic” autism could be advantageous to promoting research and funding to help these children. The differences between the two groups may be summarized as follows:

Classic Autism
Generally “abnormal” early (i.e. 3 - 6 months of age)
“Classic” Autistic symptoms / presentation
Presumed “static,” / unchangeable


Autistic Syndrome
An increasing population of children with “Autistic/ PDD” behavioral characteristics
Current estimate 20-40 children / 10,000 (incidence may be as high as 1-5% of Does NOT have “objective” physical signs of neurologic damage / injury Majority (?? All) are immune mediated, appropriately looked upon as a medical dysfunction - open to potential medical therapyGenerally “normal” early (usually until 15 - 18 months of age) Atypical symptoms Asperger’s Landau Kleffner’s ADHD / ADD variants

A potentially progressive disorder (if not treated / corrected) May explain the origin of many cases of “Landau-Kleffner” syndrome.
Autism and the Immune System
I have been in clinical practice for the last twenty years. When my wife developed an “unknown” chronic illness in 1982, I began to explore and research neuro-cognitive dysfunction and immune dysfunction / dysregulation in an effort to help my wife. Eventually she was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, to what is now CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome).

The first suspicion I had that autism might be immune-related occurred in 1985. I was in the middle of exploring various alternative therapies in hopes of helping my wife and others afflicted with CFIDS. About the same time, some autistic children were referred to me for evaluation. These children had never had any blood work-ups because no one thought of their “problem” as a medical one. Much to my surprise, they had similar profiles on amino acid scr ns as the adults I
was seeing with CFIDS. I couldn’t help but wonder “What did Autism have to do with the immune system?”

Michael J. Goldberg M.D., F.A.A.P.
Avalar Medical Group, Inc.
5620 Wilbur Avenue, Suite 318
Tarzana, Claifornia 91356
Telephone (818) 343-1010
Fax (818) 343-6585

Pediatrics & Young Adults
ADHD/ADD-Learning Disabilities,
Immune Dysfunction Autism

The Causes of Autism or Neuro-Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (NIDS)

June 13, 2008 by Not Autism  
Filed under General

With the relatively new thinking that autism has medical origins have come several theories. Some doctors believe autism is a result of a metabolic, enzyme, or genetic defect. Although a few children may suffer a built-in genetic or functional defect present since early gestation, I do not believe this is the case for most children afflicted. In addition, the old theories do not fit or began to explain the large increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism today.

I believe “Autistic Syndrome” probably is a state of dysfunction induced in the brain by a dysregulated immune system. It could be possible that this dysfunction may occur in individuals that have a genetic predisposition. This predisposition is somehow triggered by various stresses placed on their immune systems. It’s severity varies with the individual and age of onset. The triggers may be different (or similar) in each child.

If it is looked at in relation to the causes of blindness, it is easier to understand. There are many people who are blind but the cause of their blindness is very different. This is consistent with the idea of an immune dysfunction / dysregulation. For whatever the reasons (genetic, environmental, a combination of viruses, etc.), I believe what is occurring is an immune mediated, abnormal “shut down” of blood flow in the brain and therefore central nervous system function. In adolescents and adults, this dysfunction manifests itself as CFIDS and various other atypical auto-immune disorders. In older children, it is seen as variants of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) / ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). And in younger children/infants, it appears as autism, autistic syndrome and PDD (Pervasive Development Disorder).

When these children are given a NeuroSPECT (a test to measure blood flow to various parts of the brain) and clinical blood work, this connection becomes more than reasonable, it is logical. The theory that much of autism / PDD is probably an immune-mediated auto-immune disorder is gaining rapid acceptance. It explains the progressive process of the autistic syndrome that occurs sometime between 15-24 months of age. The dysfunction / lack of blood flow eventually leads to injury of nerve cells, which explains the abnormal brain waves, and the large numbers of autistic children suddenly being labeled as “Landau-Kleffner.”

The multiple metabolic, physiologic, and immune markers that are abnormal in these children, “make sense” when you think of the bigger picture and consider the primary cause of autism as immune dysfunction, creating multiple cellular / mitochondrial dysfunctions. A distinction often misunderstood is that dysfunction starts out of the immune system, not out of casein, gluten or other metabolic sensitivities. Children with autism have a lot of metabolic abnormalities, but that is a result of the problems with their immune systems.

If a metabolic dysfunction were the cause of a disorder, correcting it would eliminate the disease. If casein or gluten caused autism, eliminating them from the child’s diet would cure them, but that does not work.

If metabolic dysfunction is a secondary factor of autism, you rarely, if ever, are going to have a patient recover, by treating the “secondary” rather than “primary” problem. Similarly, if it were true that adults with chronic fatigue have a metabolic defect, how come most of them were normal and generally high functioning for years?

In medical school I was taught to, get to the reason, and to get to what’s underneath it. It’s important not to just treat a symptom, or what appears to be on the “surface,” but rather it is necessary to treat what is causing the problem.

Michael J. Goldberg M.D., F.A.A.P.
Avalar Medical Group, Inc.
5620 Wilbur Avenue, Suite 318
Tarzana, Claifornia 91356
Telephone (818) 343-1010
Fax (818) 343-6585

Pediatrics & Young Adults
ADHD/ADD-Learning Disabilities,
Immune Dysfunction Autism

Medical Treatments for Autism and NIDS

June 13, 2008 by Not Autism  
Filed under General

Most of the children I see have healthy bodies with reactive and volatile immune systems. The first step, is to check functioning of various systems in the body. Unless another “medical” problem is found, the immune system is what is creating the misbalance / dysfunction in the brain.

Unfortunately, new, potentially safe immune modulators (steroids, IVGG, are old immune modulators, neither generally safe or effective with this type of immune disorder) are not yet available. Until these immune modulating drugs are scientifically tested in controlled studies, the way to help these children must focus on an overall approach using efforts / steps and medicines available now. By the time a child is referred to my office, their immune systems have not been functioning well for a very long time. This dysfunctional process did not occur overnight and it takes time to “cool” down / help “normalize” the body and the immune system.

The closer you can bring the body towards normal, the better the chance that the body may shut off this reactive and dysfunctional immune system. It is a difficult and complicated process to make the body heal itself especially after years of dysfunction. But if you remove some of the “offenders” that cause the immune system to fire when it shouldn’t, you’re making it easier for the body to normalize.

Michael J. Goldberg M.D., F.A.A.P.
Avalar Medical Group, Inc.
5620 Wilbur Avenue, Suite 318
Tarzana, Claifornia 91356
Telephone (818) 343-1010
Fax (818) 343-6585

Pediatrics & Young Adults
ADHD/ADD-Learning Disabilities,
Immune Dysfunction Autism

Autism Treatments - The Role of Allergens and Diet

June 13, 2008 by Not Autism  
Filed under General

I usually begin by testing the blood to determine allergies that could possibly trigger the immune system to react. Often autistic children come up allergic to a large number of foods, not necessarily because they are actually allergic, but rather because their immune systems are so “revved-up,” they react to everything.

This reaction may or may not occur as a traditional allergic reaction of asthma, a rash or hives. But what does occur is an immune mediated, abnormal “shut down” of blood flow in the brain that affect the language and social skills area of the brain and central nervous system function.

I generally start to improve the immune system by placing the patient on a diet free from dairy products, chocolate, and whole wheat. The reason for this is to help reduce the stress on the immune system. If dairy, chocolate and whole wheat are taken away, 96 - 98% of probable “food” allergies are alleviated. However, I do not believe that you can correct this condition by diet alone. If this were possible, parents (and physicians) by now, would have heard of multiple, “unbelievable” successes over the years. Reputable “institutions” would be conducting clinical trials to investigate the “successes.”

Since nutritional therapies have not resulted in cures, or even published reports of significantly improved cognitive function, it is illogical, in fact potentially detrimental, to put these children on extreme diets. However, sometimes these children put themselves on extreme diets by only eating a limited number of foods. I don’t think there are a lot of normal children who would be healthy on some of the diets these kids put themselves on.

For most of the children, all that is necessary is to eliminate the “main offenders” in their diets that will cause the immune system to react. It is not necessary to eliminate all wheat. Some doctors and homeopaths recommend the elimination of all gluten and wheat. I think these children show improvement because when they are put on a gluten / wheat free diet, they no longer eat whole wheat. Usually, all that is really needed is to eliminate whole wheat and other whole grains (due to allergenic potential) from the diet.

I do not normally focus on casein beyond eliminating the primary milk products. Because even though they may, in theory, play a slight role in the background, if the allergies overall are lowered, it will decrease the immune system firing off.

It does not matter if “allowed” processed products are used, as long as they do not appear to be a “trigger.” But, avoiding the “main” offenders is extremely important. Eliminating too many products from a child’s diet, increases the risk of disturbing a child’s metabolic balance, rather than helping to normalize it. (Note: Many supplements meant to compensate for the diet extremes, may in themselves have allergenic components, acting as negatives triggers to the immune system and the child overall. They may fail to be properly absorbed or contain dangerous impurities. Children may be at far greater risk from diet and “supplements” than any perceived risk from properly used pharmaceuticals.)

The G.I. tract is loaded with lymphocytes (white blood cells that fight infection and disease).Those lymphocytes communicate with the brain. What has always made sense and is “logical” is if the body is sensitive to milk protein and whole wheat protein, coming into the G.I. tract it could cause the immune system to fire.

As research evolved, it was found that milk and dairy can actually cause a microscopic blood loss in the intestine by a “reactive” inflammation of the bowel. It is interesting to note that most of the world’s populations get violently ill when given cow’s milk. Apparently, it’s not a normal human trait to digest the cow’s milk proteins.

Asian people have much healthier arteries than we do. One of the major assumptions for this is that they eat soy protein instead of dairy protein. Dairy is the number one source of cholesterol. The entire family can be helped indirectly if milk is eliminated from the meals. Parents often worry if their child is getting enough calcium. Soy and rice milk often have calcium and vitamins A and D added. However, if a child (girl or a boy) is eating a normal diet, they will get enough calcium.

In the teenage years, girl’s diets should be supplemented, if you’re not giving them a lot of dairy. But usually, this is not necessary in these first three or four months. As time goes on a calcium supplement may need to be added. Often I will suggest Tums®. Tums® are a very safe source of calcium for a child and they taste good. Inter-related is the fact that many children and adults who are sensitive to milk but still continue to drink milk products, often have iron stores that are low. Their Hgb. / Hct. are chronically on the low side of normal, even if they were not truly “anemic.” This is typically because of a microscopic blood loss occurring through this “inflamed” mucosa. If dairy and milk were eliminated from the diet, and then a biopsy of the intestine was done, the mucosa(the mucous membrane that lines a structure e.g. mouth and lips) would look normal. If milk and dairy were then reintroduced, the mucosa would look raw and inflamed. (Therefore, in approaching the idea of “leaky” gut, helping the body by removing negatives, is more important than “supplements” and nutritional “fixes.”)

As a pediatrician it has been fairly routine for me to see a child do well on formula (even a cow’s milk based one) for 12 months, but when the child is switched to real milk, the child experiences congestion, stuffiness, upset stomach, and a whole realm of symptoms not seen before. Whole protein, unprocessed food is much more allergenic and has a higher incidence of causing the immune system to react.

The truth is, there is not as bad an allergic reaction out of a processed product. When a food is processed, the protein structure is changed. So a child that might go berserk on milk… may not have a reaction to “processed” cheese. When the protein structure is changed, the food will not give as large an allergenic reaction.

Products from the health food stores are not necessarily the best for autistic children because they are less processed and more pure. They have a lot of whole wheat and grains. For these kids, the cheapest white bread (without milk, whole wheat, or whey) is often the best choice.

To illustrate how peculiar the immune system is, when parents seen the results of the food test come back, a routine phone call is, “How come you did not say ‘no eggs’?” You’ll almost always see egg white and egg yolk with very high numbers, and yet I will usually say “ignore it.” The reason being, unless a child has eczema where yolk or egg are triggering off a skin reaction, for some reason the immune pathway fired off by eggs doesn’t seem to play a role in what we are talking about in the brain. I rarely have to worry about taking a child off of eggs, even though you may have this “huge reaction” on the food “screen.” This illustrates how parents need to become aware of what doctors have known and “fought” about for years, there is no “perfect” food test / screen, results must always be interpreted in their clinical context. Too often, parents are being “guided” by interpretation of food and metabolic screens that do not have the capability to do what the parents wish. Many mistakes are potential being made, that may be “metabolically” and physiologically hurting these children.

Although processed food might give a lesser reaction, the importance of avoiding allergens cannot be stressed enough. In the beginning, it is especially important to avoid foods that might trigger the immune system. If the immune system is triggered, the body is affected for a minimum of a week to ten days (or longer). So it’s necessary to be particularly strict at the start of the treatment, when the goal is to cool down the immune system.

If it comes down to choosing a food (cheat) with milk or sugar, choose the sugar. From the sugar the child may get hyper for a few hours, but it wears out of their body relatively quickly. From milk protein or other allergens, the immune system can be affected for up to two - three weeks. However since sugar feeds yeast, it is a good practice to minimize sugars in general.

It is also important to encourage the children to eat more protein. This will help balance out their own amino acids, which in turn will help alleviate some of their problems. All these children need protein. It is also necessary to restrict the starches. Healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners should be served.

Sometimes this process of restoring the immune system to normal can be very deceptive. The child is doing extremely well, and appears almost well or “cured” to a parent, when everything suddenly falls apart.

A child may appear to be well, but unless the body has shut off this process, they still have a reactive, volatile immune system in the background. Even if a child is functioning at a extremely high level, a child should not be regarded as “cured”, unless the immune system has truly returned to normal.

While a few rare children will actually outgrow this process, especially if you have taken steps to help normalize their bodies; realistically, it will probably take the advent and usage of new drugs that are immune modulators, to truly shut-off their dysregulated immune system.

This treatment needs to be thought of on a continuum. The closer the child gets to normal, the better the chance that the body may shut off this process. But unless you’ve gone that last little step, unless this process shuts off, it must be assumed that the immune system is still volatile and potentially reactive.

The only principle I have continued to find logical over the years, is the idea that I’m trying to just help a child “normalize” their body (and brain). Can I help them balance out their body? If I can change the diet, their own body can help balance itself. There continues to be no evidence in these children of any pre-existing, built-in enzyme or metabolic defect. Therefore, by focusing on the overall intake, encouraging more protein, less starch, a child’s body will help balance out and replace needed amino acids ( the building blocks of the body) and other nutrients.

With rare exceptions, I will never say don’t do something if you truly see a child do better and it’s safe, but in most cases I have found that you can get to the right point if you just think of it as cool down the body’s immune system, help “safely” where medically and nutritionally possible, and extremely important, avoid offenders or triggers. If a child is doing better and their allergy test said they were not allergic to apple, but you give them a drink of apple juice and the child is bouncing off the walls, it doesn’t matter what the test said, that child should not have apple juice. And this is the way parents have to work with their own child.

Until new immune modulators are tested and ready for use with patients, I regard each step of treatment as an attempt to help “cool-down” the immune system, and help the body “adjust” itself in a healthier manner. While the principles are becoming very consistent, each child (his/her body and brain) must be “individualized.”

Michael J. Goldberg M.D., F.A.A.P.
Avalar Medical Group, Inc.
5620 Wilbur Avenue, Suite 318
Tarzana, Claifornia 91356
Telephone (818) 343-1010
Fax (818) 343-6585

Pediatrics & Young Adults
ADHD/ADD-Learning Disabilities,
Immune Dysfunction Autism

Autism and NIDS - Controlling Candida and Yeast

June 13, 2008 by Not Autism  
Filed under General

While taking the risk of opening a medical controversy, this author certainly believes there is a logical connection between yeast and a dysfunctional immune system. However, this theory is not yet widely accepted by the medical community, but over the last few years has become easier to talk about and “discuss”. Candida is a yeast-like fungus that is present in all our bodies. Presumably, yeast / Candida is in every normal G.I. tract. That is where the confusion begins.

Normally, a healthy immune system keeps the yeast in check. If the immune system is not working properly, the yeast have a chance to overgrow and become a problem. Yeast is one of the likely pathogens contributing to a metabolic imbalance that is a secondary result of a dysfunctional / dysregulated immune system. It is NOT the primary reason or cause for autism.

There is logic in saying that if an immune system is dysregulated, a secondary problem potentially due to Candida needs to be treated. Some doctors hypothesize that autism is caused by a “leaky gut.” With this theory comes the assumptions that withdrawing allergens and treating a yeast overgrowth, will help the GI tract to return toward normal. The problem with this thinking is that if yeast is not the cause of autism or PDD, then treating Candida is not going to end the autistic or PDD state. I believe it is only one of the many steps needed to help normalize the body.

Many children afflicted with autism have had frequent ear infections as young children and have taken excessive amounts of antibiotics. This has exasperated the yeast problem in these children. Other possible contributors to Candida overgrowth are hormonal treatments (i.e. steroids, BCP pills, ?? secondary exposure), immunosuppresant drug therapy, exposure to herpes, chicken pox, or other “chronic” viruses, or exposure to chemicals that might upset the immune system. There is an increased probability, that a “general” environmental factor affecting our immune systems (i.e. ozone layer depletion, “toxic” chemicals, etc.) may be operative, affecting many children and adults.

Because it is impossible and not practical to expect anyone to stay on a totally yeast-free diet, ongoing medication, anti-fungal supplements, and avoidance of dietary negatives are necessary to control Candida. Even with the use of anti-fungal drugs, it is still important to limit sugar when there is a yeast problem, because yeast grows 200 times faster in the presence of sugar.

If a potent anti-fungal such as Diflucan or Nizoral is used, it can be assumed that within 1 - 2 months most all of the yeast will die off. I do not use Nilstat or Nystatin. For most children Nystatin is ineffective. And yeast, like bacteria with antibiotics, have become resistant to Nilstat (and other antifungals).

Usually, I will use Nizoral or Diflucan for about four to six months while trying to alleviate other stresses on the immune system and “maximize” a child’s function. In 7- 12 days some patients experience “die off.” This is the only time, a “negative” reaction to a medication can be a good sign.

When the yeast is being killed one experiences either a “sensitization” reaction to “products” of the yeast being killed, or there is release of “formaldehyde” like products or other potentially toxic derivatives, that can contribute to negative symptoms in a patient, including bouncing off the walls, miserable, and irritated. I know it is ironic, because it actually is a good sign that the child has a yeast problem that can be corrected with medication.

It is important that the parents check in during “die-off” so I can be sure what is occurring is indeed die-off and not a reaction to the medication. Die-off usually lasts about 7-14 days and after that time the change in the child can be rather dramatic. If the die-off does not end in 14 - 17 days, it is generally a reason to change choice of anti-fungal.

If the treatment is successful, usually eye-contact improves. The children seem more tuned in and less “foggy.” Parents report that after the yeast is under control the frequency of inappropriate noises, teeth grinding, biting, hitting, hyperness, and aggressive behavior decrease. The children no longer act almost drunk by being silly and laughing inappropriately.

While on Nizoral or Diflucan, I have the patient take monthly blood tests to monitor liver function before any damage might occur. I tend to be on the cautious side, “officially” testing is recommended every 2 - 3 months.

I change medication at six months, though in theory one could go longer. The reason I stop at six months is because Nizoral has a very mild effect on the adrenocortical axis. It’s part of the internal steroid mechanism. While this may even be part of how “Nizoral” helps the body, it also limits how long one should be on Nizoral. Generally, I will try to switch to Amphotericin B, which has recently been licensed as an oral liquid in this country, can now be legally compounded by certain pharmacies in the U.S.

If the antifungal therapy is stopped completely, and the body’s immune system has not returned to normal, the yeast will return. Ultimately, the key is the body’s own ability to keep in check an organism that it doesn’t want to have there to start with.

Some doctors mistakenly give medication to control the yeast for only a few weeks or even a month. Then the treatment is stopped because the child is doing better. The problem with this kind of therapy is that if a child is helped for a short time and then the treatment is withdrawn, the yeast is going to come back, perhaps even as a stronger, more resistant strain. Whereas if the treatment took that child to normal, and their immune system became normal, it would be possible to withdraw all treatment and the child would remain healthy.

Michael J. Goldberg M.D., F.A.A.P.
Avalar Medical Group, Inc.
5620 Wilbur Avenue, Suite 318
Tarzana, Claifornia 91356
Telephone (818) 343-1010
Fax (818) 343-6585

Pediatrics & Young Adults
ADHD/ADD-Learning Disabilities,
Immune Dysfunction Autism

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The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It is given in good faith to help people understand more about what our children are dealing with. It is not intended to replace or supersede patient care by a health care provider. If an individual suspects the presence of an illness, that individual should consult a health care provider who is familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of their condition.