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Children with Autism ARE TREATABLE by Elizabeth Mumper, MD

Children with Autism ARE TREATABLE by Elizabeth Mumper, MD

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Published by: autismone on Nov 28, 2009
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03/04/2013

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The emergence of a new au\ue000sm model
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BRAIN DISORDER?
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AFFECTS THE BRAIN?
Older model
Newer model
Figure 1: Concepts articulated by Martha Herbert, MD, PHD, pediatric neurologist at Harvard.
Children with Au\ue000sm
24
BY ELIZABETH MUMPER, MD
At the Rimland Center, we embrace the
paradigm shift away from considering

autism as a static encephalopathy;
the new paradigm conceptualizes autisms
as systems disorders affecting multiple
biological processes. Such a shift in
clinical direction toward detection of
medical conditions which are amenable to
treatments often leads to improvement
in clinical symptoms, including so-called
autistic symptoms. In our work, we consider
medical problems common in children with
autism, including intestinal pathology and
gastrointestinal symptoms, allergies and
autoimmunity, metabolic abnormalities,
oxidative stress and impaired detoxi\ue000cation.

As Medical Director of the Clinician
Seminars associated with Defeat Autism
Now!, I teach a paradigm of systemic
involvement (Herbert 2005). See Figure
1. Our approach relies on a unique model
of parental collaboration with clinicians
and scientists. Reports from parents about
their children\u2019s symptoms and responses
to treatment are helpful in formulating
hypotheses, designing research projects and
testing treatment strategies. Our underlying
premise is that each autistic child is an
individual with unique biochemical, genomic,
and medical pro\ue000les. This unique approach
resulted from abandoning the belief that
autism is \ue000xed prenatally and unchangeable
after birth in favor of the view that many
subsets of autism arise from insults which
occur either before or after birth and are
potentially treatable.

The classic developmental literature
documents the value of early intervention
(Rogers 1996). Clinical experience in
biomedical treatments for children with
autism suggests an inherent value to
beginning interventions as soon as possible
after diagnosis.

Numerous studies have failed in the

quest to elucidate a speci\ue000c genetic
cause for autism (Rimland 2000; Herbert
2005). Therefore, we suggest considering
an environmental trigger or triggers
combined with a genetic susceptibility
during vulnerable periods of development.
Retrospective, objective reviews of home
videos have con\ue000rmed developmental
regressions as reported by parents (Werner
and Dawson 2005).

Vicious cycles identi\ue000ed in children with
autism include: intestinal in\ue001ammation
(Torrente, 2002), GI symptoms (Valicenti-
McDermott, 2006), metabolic abnormalities
(James, 2004), immune dysregulation with
allergy/autoimmunity (Jyonouchi, 2005)
and detoxi\ue000cation problems (Nataf, 2006).
Successful medical rehabilitation of children

with autism usually requires attention
to all four of these areas in addition to
behavioral and educational strategies.
See Figure 2. At the Rimland Center, we
have a preference for avoiding atypical
antipsychotic medications if possible
and see signi\ue000cant improvements with
nutritional, metabolic, immunomodulatory
and detoxi\ue000cation strategies. We are
heavily in\ue001uenced by research at Hopkins
that documents neuroin\ue001ammation with
microglial activation in children with autism
(Vargas, 2005). In the next issue, I will
review the medical literature which further
documents gastrointestinal, metabolic
(see Figure 3), immune, detoxi\ue000cation and
neuroin\ue001ammatory abnormalities in children
with autism.

Dr. Mumper is the Medical Director of the Autism Research Institute
and founder of the Rimland Center.
arE\ue000TrEaTaBlE\ue000
BIOMEDICal
THE AUTISM FILE| www.autism\ue000le.com| info@autism\ue000le.com
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION \u00a9 THE AUTISM FILE
ISSUE 29 2009

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