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Showing posts from March, 2017

The Glutamate Side of Things

Some readers have suggested that since we have discovered so many ways to treat the GABAA dysfunctions common in autism, it is time to look at the glutamate side of things. Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter and has to be in balance with the opposing influence of GABA.

The chart below is really a summary of what has already been covered in this blog.To newcomers it will look complicated, to regular readers it is just bringing together everything we have already covered, even those tauopathies appear. Tau protein tangles appear in Alzheimer�s and some autism. Glutamate excitoxicity is what happens when things go really wrong, for example in a severe autistic regression. I doubt you could be in a permanent state like this.

I am beginning to wonder is my son�s summer time raging, though triggered by allergy, develops to a so-called glutamatergic storm.It fades to nothing by using a Cav1.2 channel blocker, which does indeed stop those allergy mast cells de-granulating, but it…

eIF4E inhibitors for Autism � Why not Ribavirin?

Some people find this blog too complicated and would prefer it to be simplified; it would be great if all the science could be accurately described in very simple terms.

This blog has ended up going into far more detail than I had ever intended, because if you want to get to the bottom of a problem you have to keep digging until you get to what is relevant. The relevant part is not near the surface, as you will see in today�s post, but many potential therapeutic options are sitting there in plain view, obscured onlyby the scientific jargon.

eIF4E, ADNP, Alzheimer�s, Tauopathy and Autism
In today�s post I am drawing together material from autism, Alzheimer�s and other so-called tauopathies.The post ends up with the suggestion that an existing antiviral drug called Ribavirin, which affects a very specific part of mTOR signaling, could be a useful autism therapy and should be the subject of a serious clinical trial.
Tauopathies sound interesting.Tau protein is present in the brains of all hu…

Sensory Gating in Autism, Particularly Asperger's

Sensory gating is an issue in autism, schizophrenia and ADHD.It is the neurological process of filtering out redundant or unnecessary stimuli in the brain; like the child who sits in his classroom and gets bothered by the noise of the clock on the wall.  He is unable to filter out and ignore this sound. He becomes preoccupied by the sound and cannot concentrate on his work. There are also sometimes advantages to not filtering out environmental stimuli, because you would have more situational awareness and notice things that others miss. An example of sensory gating is the fact that young children are not waken by smoke detectors that have high pitched siren, but are waken by a recorded human voice telling them there is a fire and to wake up. There may be times when sensory overload in autism is not a case of too much volume from each of the senses, but rather too many inputs being processed by the brain, instead of some just being ignored.It is more a case of information overload. Note th…

Targeting Angiotensin in Schizophrenia and Some Autism

A home run? Certainly worth further consideration.
Just when you thought we had run out of hormones to connect to autism and schizophrenia, today we have Angiotensin.
Angiotensin is a hormone that causes vasoconstriction and a subsequent increase in blood pressure. It is part of the renin-angiotensin system, which is a major target for drugs (ACE inhibitors) that lower blood pressure. Angiotensin also stimulates the release of aldosterone, a hormone that promotes sodium retention which also drives blood pressure up.
Angiotensin I has no biological activity and exists solely as a precursor to angiotensin II.
Angiotensin I is converted to angiotensin II by the enzyme angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE).  ACE is a target for inactivation by ACE inhibitor drugs, which decrease the rate of Angiotensin II production. 
It turns out that Angiotensin has some other properties very relevant to schizophrenia, some autism and quite likely many other inflammatory conditions.
Blocking angiotensin-convert…