By Teresa Conrick
Dr. Mercola recently had an article about Round Up
and its many effects on the body, specifically gut bacteria:
" Your gut bacteria are a key component of glyphosate’s mechanism of harm, as microbes have the pathway used by glyphosate to kill weeds
• Glyphosate causes extreme disruption of microbes’ functions and lifecycles. What’s worse, glyphosate preferentially affects beneficial bacteria, allowing pathogens to overgrow."
Pathogens to overgrow. For many of the children with an autism diagnosis, pathogens and infections are a constant battle. In recent years, children are also receiving diagnoses of PANDAS or PANS, both with and without autism. Connections? Causation? A new lab has opened
to actually test for these microbes:
" This perplexing neurologic condition is believed to be associated with an autoimmune response triggered by commonly occurring infections which result in a patient’s antibodies targeting neurologic receptors in the body.."
Interesting and makes sense based on much of what is being learned about infections and how they can cause neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. But is that the entire equation? Quite possibly not: June 5, 2013 -- "Gut Bacteria Play Key Role In Vaccination"
"The bacteria that live in the human gut may play an important role in immune response to vaccines and infection by wild-type enteric organisms, according to two recent studies resulting from a collaborative effort between the University of Maryland School of Medicine Institute for Genome Sciences and the Center for Vaccine Development.....This research provides a window into how vaccines and resistance to enteric pathogens work. It also helps scientists understand more about how the "good" bacteria in the body affect human health, a growing area of research known as the human microbiome.....The scientists found that more diversity in the gut microbiota may enable more robust immune responses to the vaccine....."These studies were performed to evaluate the hypothesis that the gut microbiota composition may impact the response to vaccination or exposure to enteric pathogens in humans and non-human primates."
It appears that this research is looking at "robust vaccine responses" and the gut, but also "vaccines and resistance to enteric pathogens." It all seems very related.
What about these hypotheses:
-- Can pesticide exposure cause the gut microbiota to become pathogenic, primed to disease?
-- Can vaccination during well baby visits, with a fragile microbiota, one with numerous antibiotics and not enough probiotics, cause reression into autism?
-- Can live viruses, especially MMR or other multi viral vaccines, disrupt the gut microbiota and cause severe GI issues, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Enterocolitis, Crohn's, and regression into autism?
-- Can vaccines with thimerosal, the vaccine mercury, cause the immune system to fail, thus allowing pathogen infiltration producing a dysfunctional microbiota and regression into autism?
-- Can a dysfunctional gut microbiota eventually cause autoimmune disease?
-- Can PANDAS and PANS also be affected by a pathogenic microbiota?
I think those are accurate questions and show how upstream insults can cause downstream immune dysfunction and disease.
Now some of you may be skeptical and say how can the issues of the gut effect the brain and cause the behaviors that are seen with some of these diagnoses like autism or possibly PANDAS/PANS?
This is a good excerpt from the article, "Getting To The Guts Of Autism
", which describes this connection well:
"A new arm of autism research has begun to explore the possibility that problems in the gut microbiome—an entire ecosystem of bacteria residing within the digestive tract that is responsible for extracting energy from food—could actually play a role in exacerbating or even causing behaviors and symptoms associated with autism.
...In recent years, scientists have theorized that the influence of gut flora extends far beyond simple digestion. Gut bacteria have been suspected as accomplices in the hardening of arteries leading to heart disease, in the establishment of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and in the development of insulin resistance in the onset of diabetes.
“One of the things [gut bugs] do is produce proteins or enzymes that break things down. If you are missing some of these microbes, then you are missing some of the breakdown capacity,” Dhurjati said.
...The effects of incomplete digestion can not only inhibit the body’s ability to absorb vital nutrients, but potentially result in the build up of toxins that could later travel through the bloodstream to the brain, he said. This is just one of a number of potential pathways outlined by his theory.
...“We need to be able to absorb our nutrients in order to run our cells and to run our brain cells. Without certain basic nutrients, you don’t make enough neurotransmitters and you don’t produce enough energy to really run your brain properly,” said Martha Herbert, a pediatric neuroscientist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, an assistant professor of neurology at the Harvard Medical School, and author of the 2012 book The Autism Revolution.
The buzz around this potential connection has spurred her to start collecting diapers from infants at high risk for autism in order to begin her own investigation.....
,,,His theory supposes that incomplete digestion could lead to impaired removal of toxic heavy metals and could change the dynamic of gut bug populations. Surges in particular bacteria could cause gut inflammation, which could lead to tears in the barrier separating the intestine from the bloodstream. Once that barrier has been breached, toxins could hitch a ride directly to the brain. His paper goes on to reveal a complex web of chain reactions like these that could function as pathways from the gut to the brain."
This merging of Neurology and Gastroenterology is wonderful but let's not stop there. Immunology must be included!
Teresa Conrick is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.