Dramatic improvements in children with autism when they have a fever suggest that if the phenomenon can be replicated in other ways, the disorder may be reversible.
Autism currently concerns About 1 in 68 children in the US, but we don’t even have drugs to treat the core symptoms, regardless of the underlying disorder. We can to treat Some symptoms, just not the “core” symptoms of the disorder. If you are aggressive we can give you antipsychotics, and you can get stimulants like Ritalin for attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder, or we can turn you off to help you sleep. But although “social and communicative impairments are The main signs and symptoms of ASD, autism, we have little to offer, and the disorder appears be on the rise. What can we do against it?
A notice of this was published decades ago offered A glimmer of hope: When children with autism develop a fever, “they invariably exhibit dramatically more normal behavior, including greater desire or communication skills.” They can become less withdrawn, more alert, more talkative and more communicative. All hospital staff who worked with children with autism “during an epidemic of viral upper respiratory tract infection” saw marked improvements in behavior, but as soon as the fever stopped the children returned to baseline. If we could figure out what’s going on, could we come up with a treatment? But first, let’s take a step back and see what this could mean.
What makes this idea so groundbreaking – so earth-shaking – is that it is Challenges the whole presumption that autism is some sort of static, irreversible brain disorder in which the brain is inexorably damaged in some way with no hope of recovery. But the feverish glances suggest that it is more of a dynamic brain disorder, where the normal healthy circuitry is somewhere but is actively suppressed, and the fever somehow removes that suppression and alleviates the process of active disorder. In this way, it suggests that if we could figure out what was going on, we could theoretically relieve it not just for days but forever.
Every autism researcher has to think that, right? Incredible “there is Virtually no mention of the high fever / improved behavior phenomenon in all of the autism literature, “although it is evident to almost everyone who is familiar with the disorder – parents and professionals dealing with autism on a daily basis White about that. Indeed, the first (and only) Nobel Prize in Medicine ever given The “father of fever therapy”, Julius Wagner-Jauregg, who injected people with malaria, went to a psychiatrist for brain diseases. Some got better – if they didn’t die of malaria first, that is. What about a fever that can improve brain function? And can we find out without killing people?
First, let’s confirm that the phenomenon is real. “The quick changes in behavior reported during fever “in autism suggest that these neural networks in autism may still be intact and just dysfunctional,” and understanding the reasons for improvement during fever could provide insight into what is going on “. The “fever effect” in autism was based on case reports and anecdotes until researchers conducted “a formal study” of the reported phenomenon, “given the … possible impact on treatment options”. Indeed, children with autism got better when they had a fever and officially documented the phenomenon as real.
After we get the confirmation, let’s find out. Full speed ahead! But who cares how it works? Well, you can’t give people malaria like Dr. Wagner-Jauregg did, but why not simply to take them in a sauna or a jacuzzi? Because it doesn’t really raise your body temperature. When you sit in a sauna or hot tub, your skin gets hotter, but your brain stays pretty much the same temperature. Why? The brain has special cooling mechanisms so that the temperature inside stays about the same regardless of the outside temperature, which is good. This is why we can bite into a snow cone without literally freezing the brain. However, when you develop a fever your internal thermostat is turned up to fight infection and there is actually an increase in brain tissue temperature.
Your brain has to be careful not to boil itself to death Publications “Heat Shock Proteins.” When your brain raises the heat to cause a fever, it releases heat shock proteins “to prevent and repair protein damage”. At higher temperatures, proteins can break down in what is known as protein denaturation. This is what happens when you cook egg whites – which denature proteins – but that’s not what you want on your head. What does this have to do with autism?
One of the causes of autism can be Be Dysregulation of synaptic function, ie dysregulation of the signaling pathways from nerve to nerve in the brain, can occur play “A Key Role” in the Cause of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Guess what these heat shock proteins do: you protect and maintain synaptic function. With that in mind, the next question is whether there is a way to activate the heat shock response without getting an infection with a high fever. As you can imagine, there is now a lot of interest in discover and development of pharmacological agents capable of inducing the heat shock response ”among pharmaceutical companies – but broccoli beat them against it.
As I discuss in my video Fever Benefits For Autism In One Food, sUlforaphan, the active ingredient in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and cabbage vegetables, is activated the heat shock response. (No malaria required!) In theory, giving sulforaphane in the form of broccoli or broccoli sprouts to people with autism could have the same fever-related functional benefits.
At this point, you might expect me to make a bang on Big Broccoli and like such a study would never get funded, and I wouldn’t blame you … but now there are family and charitable foundations out there that just do that want People with autism get better whether or not company stock prices get better. We’ll find out what happened in my video. Fight Autism Encephalitis With Food when broccoli is actually put to the test.
This article is about the first in a series of three videos on autism and food. Check Fight Autism Encephalitis With Food and Best foods for autism.
I also discuss autism in:
Michael Greger, MD
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