Autism Action Read Autism Adulthood: Strategies and Insights for a Fulfilling LifeBy Susan Senator from Skyhorse Publishing
Spot the Astroturf

The Microbiome: The Hopeful Path to Health

HopeBy Teresa Conrick

The research on the Microbiome continues to be amazing.  The newest realization is that the myelin in the brain is affected by the gut microbiota:

UCC scientists uncover a potential role of the microbiome in regulating myelination in the brain.  

Over the past decade it is becoming increasing clear that the microbes that reside within and around us play a clear role is our health and well being. Perhaps most surprising of all is the realisation that gut bacteria can even influence brain function and behaviour. Now scientists in the APC Microbiome Institute and Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, University College Cork Ireland have shown, at least in animal models, that major disturbance in communication between the gut microbiota and brain has resulted in changes in myelination patterns in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region that is key to higher cognitive functions and in the expression of anxiety and social behaviours.....introducing a normal microbiome had the ability to reverse some of the parameters used to measure the changes in myelination.

“It is likely that key signals from the gut to the brain provide a brake on myelination processes” says Prof Cryan. Furthermore, he says that “understanding these may open innovative gut microbiome-based strategies for tackling myelin-related disorders”. Moreover, this data presented by the APC Microbiome team continues to broaden the concept that the microbiome has a remarkable influence over fundamental brain processes and may be harnessed in the future for a wide range of brain disorders.

What disorders or diseases:

    Multiple sclerosis --- (MS) is the most common demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. In this disorder, your immune system attacks the myelin sheath or the cells that produce and maintain it.

    Optic neuritis — inflammation of the optic nerve in one or both eyes

    Neuromyelitis optica (Devic’s disease) — inflammation and demyelination of the central nervous system, especially of the optic nerve and spinal cord

    Transverse myelitis — inflammation of the spinal cord

    Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis — inflammation of the brain and spinal cord

    Adrenoleukodystrophy and adrenomyeloneuropathy — rare, inherited metabolic disorders

    ...people who got the 2009 H1N1 vaccine may have had a higher risk of getting Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS).  GBS affects the myelin sheath which covers the nerve, damaging it in a process known as demyelination. 

Then there's -- Autism:

Autism may involve disordered white matter in the brain  

    December 5, 2011
    Children's Hospital Boston
    It's still unclear what's different in the brains of people with autism spectrum disorders, but evidence from genetic and cell studies points to abnormalities in how brain cells, connect to each other. A new study now provides visual evidence associating autism with a disorganized structure of brain connections, as well as defects in myelin -- the fatty, insulating coating that helps nerve fibers conduct signals and that makes up the brain's white matter.

What that means is that the Microbiome is turning out to be a huge and hopeful path to health.  More and more research shows that the Microbiome is very damaged in Autism.


Gary Ogden

Benedetta: I've been meaning a further follow-up on posture, but life, taxes, harvesting and fermenting, housework, and interminable commenting on other forums has stolen all my time until now. The beauty of the posture techniques I've learned is that it is something you can practice in daily living; walking around, sitting, even lying in bed. It doesn't require a professional, or even a teacher (although that can be handy to start). The book "8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back" is all you need. I practice all day, every day. The spinal decompression technique I learned elsewhere (maybe Dr. Mercola). Stand with your back and heels to a wall, raise up on your toes, plant your head on the wall, and, while keeping your head planted, slowly return your heels to the floor, holding for 20-30 seconds. This also opens up the chest, which improves breathing, and feels wonderful! I now have zero back pain (and I do a lot of bending in the garden), except a little when I get up in the morning, but this resolves once I'm warmed up.

Grace Green

Thank you for this very interesting article, and also to everyone else for the discussion. If you remember that the USA has substituted the name chronic fatigue syndrome for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis then presumably that condition should be included in the list.

Gary Ogden

Angus Files: It's always a pleasure to read what you have to say (and hear you speak!). I'm convinced that our microbiome is in full charge of the animal that houses them. These (mainly bacteria) have a far more ancient lineage than plants or any of the higher animals, they live entirely in colonies of like and unlike, are in continuous communication with each other, and freely swap genetic material with their own and other species of bacteria. They change in composition and relative abundance of species throughout the day. They appear to direct brain function. The little critters are the bosses of we mere humans. There is a new book about microbes called "The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health," which I intend to purchase next month (this month we have to pay our taxes to fund the CDC's vast PR operation). In which case I should be able to make better-informed comments about this fascinating subject. I must add that I almost find it comical when antibiotic-resistant bacteria are described by the media as "super-bugs," when they are simply following the biological imperative to evolve under threat of annihilation (like B. pertussis has clearly done), and are perfectly happy to have survived to reproduce, surely not thinking for one moment that they are in any way super.


Is Bravo as sour as Keifer?

Angus Files

Gary and Pandas Mom thanks for the comments. We have Keifer and use it also with Kambucha .My own thoughts are that , what first the chicken or the egg..the mercury or the viruses ?what do you treat first? Many of us dream and live this all day every day and it sits in our heads like a piece of junk making us feel like a pile of junk.. Do you treat them together probably not.. or is it the mercury that’s causing the problem ,or is it the viruses that are causing the problems known as AUTISM. Where do we start? I guess there is no right answer, as all the kids are different-and- they are all diffrent. I know and my experiences are that Gc Maf and the MAF cream are awesome products which allow the body to overcome the out of control nagalase injected into them from the vaccines,and the Bravo below will help adjust the gut microbiome to be more healthy and assist the up take of vit D and in turn check back the nagalase and bring back the body to a more even keel..(Bradstreet stopped testing for Nagalase in autistic kids as they all had out of control counts) ..
Gc Maf is banned in the UK and so is nagalase testing (go to Amsterdam)but the MAF cream and the Bravo Yog you can get legally,saying that you can get Gc Maf in any other country but the dull doomed and damned UK.

The Gcmaf book chapter 9 Nagalase: Friend and Foe?good reading..

following on from the Bravo site as below .On the Bravo site various publications are available associated with Bravo. Associated with Bravo is a Mr Noakes he is the man in Guernsey, Channel Islands ,who has made all of this possible, various You tube videos of his are well worth looking up ..not forgetting Dr Bradstreet who had a few other tricks up his sleeve when using GcMAF which he hints about in his last videos..

BRAVO – Immune system and human healthy core microbiome reconstitution.

BRAVO is a proprietary array of live microbes that, during the fermentation of mammal milk and colostrum, naturally produce, as occurrs in milk fermented product, a number of peptides and proteins that are known from scientific literature to stimulate the immune system, to show anti-cancer and neuro-protective properties, and to improve cardiac recovery.

In addition, the live microbes contained in BRAVO reconstitute the human healthy core microbiome.

As far as definitions are concerned, some use “microbiome” to mean all the microbes in a community. We and others use it to mean the full collection of genes of all the microbes in a community. The human microbiome (all of our microbes’ genes) can be considered a counterpart to the human genome (all of our genes). The genes in our microbiome outnumber the genes in our genome by about 100 to 1.

As researchers learn more about the microbes that keep us healthy, we are coming to understand how subtle imbalances in our microbial populations can also cause disease—and how restoring the balance may lead to cures. Our new understanding may lead to more focused and effective treatments. Unlike modern antibiotics, which kill good microbes along with the bad, new natural nutritional approaches may counteract only harmful bacteria while leaving the friendly ones alone. Other approaches, such as fermented milk products, nurture friendly bacteria, helping them outcompete the harmful ones.

According to the University of Utah (, following are just some of the health conditions that involve our microbes and for which special fermented milk products as BRAVO may prove useful.


Antibiotic-associated diarrhea






thank you for your thoughts, always give me advice - Oh please! Keprra won't hurt him, so I have been told. I think -- it is metabolized through the kidneys, but it does make him irritable, NOT over the top irritable though. eve. He is a good person most of the time. I think I agree with you; and more importantly - he too wants to stay on it.


Gary Ogden:
Posture - Yeah; what you said is true because when my son began to have trouble with his back we took him to the physical therapist. They did all kinds of things for him with a big two foot rubber band, and taught him the techniques to do himself at home. Best of all They also fitted him with a really good pair of arch supports.

Flat feet - hypotonic muscle tone - loose and all muscle tone, that causes him standing on concrete all day is much worse than for most other people.

No, I did not ferment the berries at all. Keifer and the berries I raise - with the stevia that I raise - green and some other sweetener to handle the bitterness of the stevia makes it taste great.

We thought we (my son and I) had iron cast stomachs too, cause we seldom ever throw up --unlike my daughter who throws up, out of the blue, with little warning.

There is more to this GI than the upper GI. Ours were always the lower gut. Since we have been this way - always; we thought it was just normal.

Our guts don't hurt as much anymore.

We are now starting to do better eating more of the keifer and other fermented veggies

Betty Bona

One thing to remember is that humans are never germ free, so research on germ free mice is great for teasing apart potential areas to research, but can only be applied with many caveats to humans. (Possibly humans are germ free in utero, but I'll bet that turns out to be about as false as the lack of lymph system in the brain theory was.) The microbiome is also so complex that the difference between no microbiome and a non-diverse, unhealthy microbiome is so huge that the permutations and combinations of varying microbiomes is unfathomable. For me this research shows that we should be researching the microbiome and myelin basic proteins in humans. It is also interesting that the area of the brain where the myelin basic protein is most affected is an area with deficits in autism. It's very exciting. Seems like Pharma has not been able to totally control the microbiome research yet. I guess it's just hard to tell in advance where it's going.

Betty Bona

How about this for an hypothesis. Kids that receive the MMR when their brain microbiome is unhealthy (both in keeping things out and in removing the harmful matter that gets in) sometimes make autoantibodies to myelin basic protein because the viral particles bear some resemblance to Myelin basic protein. As long as the viral particles are inside the brain, the autoantibody making machinery is ramped up. Once the viral particles are removed, the antibody making machinery slows down because it needs a reminder of the stronger antibody producing antigen - the viral particle - to keep producing the antibody. Maybe it's not so much about communication as it is about crowding out the bad communicators. I can't imagine why this is only evident in certain portions of the brain unless that particular portion of the brain is most attractive to the viral particles, or maybe most vulnerable to disregulated microbiome. I'm just trying to find a way that this new research fits with the old MMR/myelin basic protein antibody research.

Gary Ogden

Teresa: A big thank you for your continuing focus on the microbiome. Certainty is generally a bad thing, except for death and taxes, but I'm as close to certain as possible that a healthy microbiome is absolutely key to healing most of what ails us, along with avoiding injected, ingested and inhaled toxins. Thus we can expect reduced government research funding for this vital organ (just joking-they'll patent those little critters and sell them to us for a princely sum).

Gary Ogden

Benedetta: I wonder if it was the combination of berries and kefir that gave your GI tract fits. I ferment them separately, and have never had a problem. though I've always had a cast-iron stomach. The source of the milk is crucial, too. I know my farmer, and have seen the pasture and the cows, and I trust.


Not giving you advice! But, I would ask the doc if there is a down side to continuing the med a while longer. I too would be worried about stopping the med that has worked so well. I wish the best for your son and you. I know you will make the best decision.

Betty Bona

Remember when Gupta and Singh were researching autistic kids with anti-myelin basic protein antibody and one or both of the researchers associated it with the measles vaccine? I don't remember the details, but I do remember that my son had relatively high levels of the antibodies. I wonder if the ingredients of the measles vaccine (including the viral particles) are part of that brain microbiome change for the worse that researchers now see. Or maybe it's that the brain microbiome was already lacking in diversity and health and was unable to keep the viral particles out or ship them out through healthy brain macrophages and the lymph system. Once the viral particles take up long term residence in the brain, it's no wonder you get inflammation, auto-antibodies, and chronic disregulation.

Betty Bona

Thanks Gary Ogden. I'll get over my hesitancy to dive into fermenting. It's past time. But I'm still suffering from PTSD after my gluten free/casein free days of the early 2000s. Hours upon hours of attempting to make a decent gluten free bread with nothing but negative support from friends and relatives. Now they say I was "ahead of my time" with my gluten free "kick". But it sounds like I might be more successful with the fermenting than I was with the gluten free bread. It's not a "kick", it's what needs to be done.


Wow!!! That's the most interesting new information I've heard since they discovered an entire lymph system in the head that they didn't know was there a year or 2 back. Thank-you for sharing this critical information!

I feel so sorry for the wives and children of doctors, sometimes. As if their work doesn't keep them busy enough to prevent them from finding out such pertinent information on a regular basis, I'm sure the pharma reps are put there to offer all possible social and informational distractions that take up any remaining time to prevent them from finding out the really important other information that's out there.
Medical practitioners have done themselves a huge disservice by allowing their professional organizations to form partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and lobby "on their behalf." They better get with the program and fast, unless they want to further relegate themselves into COMPLETE irrelevance. They need to start looking that gift horse straight in the mouth.


Thank You all for the information on Bravo yogurt. I have not heard of it before.

Colostrum yogurt, Keifer, I work with too. I love the keifer drink, with my berries, but it can tear up your GI track, and that developed after we drank it for a couple of months. It is a good way though to reduce the carbohydrates in the milk, to cook with.


Jeannette Bishop:

Thank You for your kindness.


Citizen Scientist Xileen I went to your link. I listened to the sum off all studies video.

One study says epilepsy decreases as they age.
Another study says epilepsy increases over time

One study says you are not out of the woods on your kid with autism getting epilepsy until they are past their - late 20s.

One study says that an overnight EEG will only pick up seizure activity 20 percent of the time (God almighty -- geesh)

That longer EEGs than overnight will pick up 60 percent of the seizures.

So, we don't know. They could just not have picked up the seizure activity. It may not be there it might be there, but he was taking seizure medicine while he was taking the EEG.

I am not eager to return to the days of pre medication.
His first two years of highschool he was in special ed up in Michigan. Horrible time. On the medicine, his junior and senior years were wonderful.

He has his new job to start - if the neurologist gives us a choice - I think he will - we are just going to sit tight on this, and keep taking the medicine - Not Depokote but keppra.



Hera: Thank you so much for your links to on G. B. Cavazzuti, and food allergen. I am still going through them.


Teresa Conrick: Thank You for the link. It did not work on my computer, but the suggestion of looking up Dr. Frye lead me to an article that he and Dr. Poling had written.
Pretty well covered it all.

Citizen Scientist Xileen

To HELP the person looking for information on Epilepsy- I attended the 2014 Research Symposium - Autism Consortium where they had a lecture on Epilepsy. I hope this helps.

Please click on the picture of Autism and Epilepsy: What is the connection? Sarah Spence, MD, PhD - Neurology, Boston Children's Hospital

The annual symposium was held on Tuesday, October 21, 2014, at Harvard ... about new innovations and collaborations in autism research and clinical care.

Gary Ogden

Betty Bona: I find that making kefir is way easier than yogurt because the "kefir grains" (actually a SCOBY-symbiotic combination of bacteria and yeasts) is not nearly so temperature-sensitive as the yogurt lactobacilli. They're happy right on the counter, in my chilly kitchen in winter, and warm kitchen in summer. And it requires minimal equipment and time. I use two jars (pint canning jars), and a medium strainer and bowl. I do the straining during dish-washing time each day. I got the kefir grains from our local raw-milk dairy (wouldn't use pasteurized milk for this), and learned the technique from an on line tutorial. The kefir grains grow fairly rapidly, doubling in size within a week or so, so you have some to share, eat, or compost. What I'm not certain about is how this compares as a probiotic to the ones you and Angus Files have mentioned, but it sure makes me feel mighty good (haven't been sick in eleven years).

Citizen Scientist Xileen

OpenBiome, the only stool bank in Massachusetts is looking for the "Olympic athletes of poop" to help cure disease including Obesity, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's Disease, Liver Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Autism. Right now they are located in Medford, Mass. outside of Boston but intend to expand in the future.

For more information:

 Teresa Conrick

Also Benedetta,

Here's ASU and Dr Frye et al discussing seizure types with a bit of the focus on the microbiome. I think you are on the right track.

Gary Ogden

Benedetta: Also what worked for me: Posture training (the Gokhale method), including easy to practice spinal decompression.

 Teresa Conrick

Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much for your comments. I hope to do one fairly soon on microbiome transplants -- an update!

I do want to say YES about Bravo. Also, you might enjoy this longish video that can update on this topic-

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you, Teresa, for sharing your informative investigations.

Benedetta, I don't have any helpful experience, but too want to wish that this goes well for your son.


Hi Benedetta;

not giving medical advice here, did find a couple of articles you might be interested in

Partial idiopathic epilepsy: recovery after allergen-free diet

Epidemiology of Different Types of Epilepsy in School Age Children of Modena, Italy

G. B. Cavazzuti

Both are peer reviewed journal articles and can be found on google scholar.

They both seem to be describing recovery from at least some types of juvenile epilepsy.
I can imagine though that going without driving for three months would be very inconvenient when holding down a job.
Hope all goes well for you and your son

Betty Bona

Since you are so good at fermenting things, I wonder if you could ferment some colostrum yourself like in the Bravo yogurt just to give it a try. I have thought of fermenting some Kirkman's Colostrum with milk. They say it is much more expensive to do it yourself than to get the product from Bravo, and I don't know if it would have enough similarity to the Bravo yogurt to be a true test, but it could be interesting to try once to see what you get. I, personally, keep saying I'm going to get into fermenting, but I haven't made any moves that way yet. Even the Bravo yogurt is a bit daunting to me, but I'm excited to try it someday soon. I'm always excited to see another microbiome article by Teresa, and I'm sure healing the gut with a better microbiome will help many of our kids.


Great article! Angus - thank you so much for sharing that article on GcMAF and the microbiome! I shared it with my PANDAS/PANS group.


By the way to ANY ONE OUT THERE With any experience I would like to know about juvenile on set myoclonic jerks.

Looking at the literature; It says that prior to the development of myoclonic jerks; there are all kinds of different types of seizures. There are absentees, there is this walking around unaware stuff, grand mal - falling down, foaming at the mouth, and at last the myoclonic jerks appear.

The neurologists and all the literature, I can lay my hands on says that medication works well for these kids, but they never get better, and they will always have to be on medicine - life long.

Does anyone out there know different?

My son has not had a seizure in over 10 years. He went into the hospital last week - for an over night EEG. I kept him up the night before he went in, and of course no one sleeps well in the hospital. HE was still on Keppra seizure medicine at that time, but the doctor said since there were no seizures found (JOY!) HE now wants to wean him off the medicine and see what happens.

My son is 29. He does not want to give up driving for 3 months, he has been just now called back to work for a new company - same job. He has quotas he must fill. He has been off for nine months, and has gone back to the community college to tack on an IT Tech degree on to his other degrees (yes, I am talking about a PDD-NOS person!) I guess I missed the opportunity to do this in January like the doctor wanted. I regret that, but money is more than tight right now with both kids sick and not working; plus he was working on his degree.

So, does the things we did - Atkins diet of low carbs of 15 to 20 for almost two years, coconut oil (MCT oil), slowly turning into a 30 -60 slow release carb diet - and for sure no gluten ever -- did this work? Have we won? Do we dare go off the medicine? And as soon as we found out about this microbiome stuff -- Well I can ferment anything now - I am an expert. He eats lots of yogurt too. Has there been anything in the literature that says juvenile myoclonic epilepsy goes away? Could we have won this battle?



My son reacted to all of his shots immediately or soon after. Esp after the third one, I think he stopped breathing for a bit, but his pupil of his eyes became huge, he went catatonic, I thought he died.

Years later around 12 and 16 years old he had two MIRs, and both showed two white spots on the front part of his brain. One on each side of his brain - same size - twins. These were in the higher brain area.

Several doctors made written comments that I got to see that said it looked like a past injury of ischemia.

But it could be demyelization too. Most certainly demyelization has been pointed to, and found for the past 40 years, and reported by many of a parent.

Maybe it is both? Ischemia lack of oxygen does cause demyelization? I don't know.

Angus Files

Thanks Terresa I`ve read on the internet bravo yog`s are a good way of restoring some if not all the microbiome

The Mighty Macrophage

The defensive linebacker of the cellular immune system is the macrophage. These “Pacman” cells not only gobble up invading viruses and bacteria, they generally direct the other elements and various cell types in a synchronized immune defense.

There are two branches of the immune system in which the macrophage functions: the innate (non-specific
immune defense) and the adaptive (specific immune defense mechanisms).

Macrophages are themselves signal-directed. The signal that activates macrophages (and subsequently the whole immune response) is a glycoprotein (a molecule made up of a sugar and a protein) called “Gc protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor.” The abbreviation for this long name is GcMAF.

The important precursor to GcMAF is “Gc”, a big protein with 458 amino acids containing three domains. The first domain of Gc binds vitamin D. For this reason Gc is sometimes called “vitamin D
binding protein”. There’s a small sugar attached on the threonine amino acid at position 420 of Gc. This makes position 420 “glycosylated.”

When injury, inflammation, or any immune challenge is detected in the body, the sugar at position 420 is then “deglycosylated” by enzymes produced by B and T-lymphocytes. The result is the conversion of Gc into GcMAF—one of the most powerful activators of the entire immune system discovered to date.

The Nagalase Nemesis



Transverse myelitis — inflammation of the spinal cord.

I spend a great deal of time being dragged as a care giver to pain clinics.

I have a lot to say or could say about that industry;
But to their credit, they do more than hand out pills at times. The pain clinics always assume that those coming to the pain clinic has inflammation of the disc in the back.
They line up their patients to give steroid shots into that area of the back, left and right!

Remember the fungus that contaminated steroid shots a few years ago? As many as they gave; it was bound to happen.

In the not to distant past; they operated on these types of patients. Can you imagine a person with inflammation and you operate, you think that would calm down an immune system. The medical people now have decided that is not a good idea, because all of these patients do not do well. They operated at least 4 times on my poor Father-in-law. My husband is convinced that it lead to a type of bone marrow cancer, that killed him.
My Father -in - law was sensitive to peanut butter, by the way.

I had concluded some time back that back pain - degenerative disc disease is yet another connection to other problems within the family; like thyroid disease, and autism.

As further evidence; My daughter had trouble with her back 10 years ago. I had it in my 40s for a good long time. My son had it., and my husband had it. It did go away. To get rid of it; it is not exercise like I did; which is bending and lifting, or standing, sitting reclined ; but walking. Walking appears to bring oxygen to the back, as well as strengthen the muscles around that area.

Patience (Eileen Nicole) Simon

At IMFAR in Toronto in 2012 JJ Wolff presented research (on infant siblings) on maturational failure of white matter development beginning at about 6 months of age. This was significant to me because it seemed relevant to what happened to my first two sons. Both suffered trauma and asphyxia during birth.

The article on asphyxia at birth in the October 1969 Scientific American reported damage of the brainstem auditory pathway, which seemed relevant to me as a possible cause of their difficulties learning to speak. The article also pointed out that brain maturation did not proceed normally in monkeys subjected to asphyxia.

Further reading has made it clear to me that maturation of the language areas of the cortex is dependent upon integrity of subcortical structures. Also, much smaller brainstem centers control autonomic functions: Heart rate, breathing, and intestinal peristalsis. Centers of autonomic control are likely even more metabolically active than relay way stations in the auditory pathway.

Alcohol, opiates, mercury, lead, and poisons like the herbicide methyl bromide cause prominent damage in brainstem control centers. Alcohol and opiates are well known for disrupting GI function. I will continue to argue that the primary damage in autism must be looked for in the brain. Have a look at the following references:

[1] Wolff JJ, et al. Differences in white matter fiber tract development present from 6 to 24 months in infants with autism. Am J Psychiatry. 2012 Jun;169(6):589-600.
[2] Faro MD, Windle WF. Transneuronal degeneration in brains of monkeys asphyxiated at birth. Exp Neurol. 1969 May;24(1):38-53.
[3] Moore JK, Linthicum FH Jr. The human auditory system: a timeline of development. Int J Audiol. 2007

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