Thursday, June 14, 2012

Notes: Histadelia, Sulfur, and Autism

Notes on histadelia, sulfur metabolism, and autism spectrum chemistry
1 Undermethylation. Dr. William J. Walsh (1999) originally found,* in reviewing 20,000 labs taken on hundreds of autistic individuals, that 90% showed brain undermethylation (histadelia). Drs. S Jill James and Richard Deth have since confirmed this. Dr. Amy Yasko's nutrigenomic research, which targets specific enzymes causing methyl metabolism problems, further confirms this chemisty. (Also see Nutrigenomics discussion, here.)

2 Sulfur Metabolism. The research of Dr. Rosemary Waring (2000) first drew attention to sulfur pathway problems in most autism spectum patients, specifically inadequate sulfation and PST activity, probably due to insufficient sulfate, and overzealous excretion. Follow up work suggests high sulfite, CBS overactivity, and other sulfur issues are also prevalent.

3 Metal metabolism. But unlike most other histadelics, autistics also tend to metal metabolism dysfunction, with elevated copper and toxic metals, and zinc and B6 inadequate. This aggravates oxidative stress further, even beyond what you find in other psych patients. (Walsh)

4 Severe oxidative stress. Profound oxidative stress** and metallothionein depletion*** at fetal and infant levels, slows and distorts brain development. Oxidative stress and sulfur pathway issues also impair brain and gut barriers and protein digestion. (Walsh)

5 Triggers. Later insult -- e.g., injection of toxic metals into the blood stream (as in mercury-containing vaccines),  chronic reactivity to gluten and dairy, or ongoing excitotoxic exposures -- can attack the already beleaguered brain all too readily, compounding toxicity and inflammation, and further fueling oxidative stress, thus triggering onset of identifiable symptoms, and a progression of developmental problems.

* Data presented at a DAN think tank in Cherry Hill, NJ, 1999, also showing low zinc and B6, high copper and toxics.
** Walsh reports extreme oxidative stress, with low glutathione,  low cysteine (its precursor), low selenium (its cofactor), and low SOD (a key endogenous antioxidant).
*** Metallothioneins (MTs) are the enzymes critical to transport and removal of  divalent heavy metals (e.g., mercury, cadmium, arsenic), and the regulation of zinc, copper and selenium. Undermethylation may compromise MT production.

Reminder: This information is presented for educational purposes only, and is not intended as diagnosis or treatment recommendations for the individual. Even within the histadelic subgroup, each person's biochemical requirements tend to be unique. So if you need treatment for autism, bipolar, or any other medical condition, please consult a knowledgeable physician.
For info on the role of undermethylation in bipolar disorder, see my book, Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder
                available here.

To contact me, click here.

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