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Showing posts from September, 2017

Making Sense of Abnormal EEGs in Autism

There is no medical consensus about what to do with people who have subclinical epileptiform discharges (SEDs) on their EEG. That is people who do not have seizures but have an abnormal EEG. There is evidence to support the use of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) in such people. About 5% of the general population have SEDs, but a far higher number of people with autism have SEDs. You are more likely to detect epileptiform activity depending on which test you use. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) detects the most abnormalities, followed by a sleep EEG and then an EEG with a subject wide awake. It had been thought that epileptiform activity (SEDs) was more common in regressive autism, but that is no longer thought to be the case. It even briefly had a name, Autistic Epileptiform Regression (AER). Subsequent studies indicate that regression is not relevant to subclinical epileptiform discharges (SEDs). Estimates of prevalence still vary dramatically from Dr Chez at 60% to others believing it is 20-30…

Hypoperfusion in Autism Revisited

One old post from this blog has been going viral recently (3,000 views in one day, via Facebook) and it is quite relevant to a debate that has been going on in the comments about the potential merits and mechanisms of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). Two commenters are big fans of HBOT. Hypoperfusion is reduced blood flow, which is found in some people with autism and also in people with some types of dementia Having reread my old post I would recommend it to those who are looking into the treatment of brain damage caused by ischemia.
Brain Hypoperfusion in Autism & Cocoa
While much in neuroscience is extremely complicated, there are some pretty basic things to consider that are not. Adequate blood supply is one of the basic issues and is something that can be improved. You can increase blood flow by reducing vascular resistance, which means reducing the work the heart has to do to circulate blood around the body. As you reduce this resistance, blood pressure will fall, but that does…

Identifying your sub-type of Autism

Today�s post is very much a work in progress, so do not expect all the answers. It has occurred to me and also some readers of this blog that you could produce a diagnostic decision tree that would narrow down each person�s sub-type of autism. This really does lend itself to a relatively simple computer model, meaning you could have a simple on-line diagnostic program/app. You do wonder why a tiny part of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on autism research is not allocated in this direction.
A blank screen awaiting more case studies
A company called Verily, formerly Google Life Sciences, would be an appropriate partner for such a project.Google is currently backing the approach that genetic testing will reveal all about autism, which looks unlikely. The decision tree computing part of such a project could be done in an afternoon, what would like more time is creating the logical diagnostic steps. One clever part, where Verily could help, would be the use of software to �read� the…

Verapamil still working after 3+ years, for SIB in Autism

There are numerous ideas about how to treat self injurious behavior (SIB) associated with autism. ARI (the former home of Defeat Autism Now) have just had their take on the subject published. In this blog we have seen that Tyler has developed a BCAA (branch chained amino acid) therapy, based on the idea of Acute Tryptophan Depletion, to control his son�s type of self injury. The silver bullet for my son�s summer time raging and self-injury continues to be the L-type calcium channel blocker Verapamil. I think many people will be skeptical of both BCAAs and Verapamil, which is entirely understandable. Unlike other aspects of autism, which are hard to measure, self-injury is really easy to measure and so you know when you have cracked the problem; what other people think tends not to matter. Now that Monty, aged 14 with ASD, has moved to secondary/high school the routine has changed a little and his assistant forgets to give him his midday dose of verapamil. On…

Autism Drugs and Supplements A to Z

Today�s post is a draft list of about 130 drugs and supplements that are used by some people with autism. It is not a list of recommendations, just a list of what gets mentioned either in this blog, or is widely known to be used elsewhere.I did not include bleach, but I did include potent drugs used by some psychiatrists, that may also be ill-advised.

If any item is interesting, you can use Google to find out about its use in autism. With more obscure ideas, Google will direct you back to this blog. 
To add items I have omitted, just send me a comment.

Click on the link below and the list should open in a spreadsheet:-

Autism MRI

Source: Brain MR Imaging Findings and Associated Outcomes in Carriers of the Reciprocal Copy Number Variation at 16p11.2

In the early days of this blog, one medical reader told me that in cases of autism an MRI scan of the brain should appear normal. This also fits with the idea that once you have a biological diagnosis, you no longer have a case of �autism�. It is only Autism, when it is of unknown origin. People who have a single gene type of autism actually can have significant variations in brain structure that appear clearly on an MRI.  This was the subject of a recent study and the source of the MRI in this post.

MRI reveals striking brain differences in people with genetic autism
Brain MR Imaging Findings and Associated Outcomes in Carriers of the Reciprocal Copy Number Variation at 16p11.2
Many people with autism have abnormalities at a specific site on the 16th chromosome known as 16p11.2. Deletion or duplication of a small piece of chromosome at this site is one of the most commo…