By Teresa Conrick
As we get ready to enter April, with it's surreal blue glow on Autism acceptance, we need to not forget the thousands of children and young adults who are on the side of the Autism Spectrum that seems to be forgotten by too many. They are the majority, who have significant language impairments or NO language; immune and autoimmune diseases; a multitude of health issues (ear infections, chronic viral illnesses, diarrhea, constipation, reflux and more); physical pain; debilitating OCD and/or tics; life-threatening seizures; horrific allergies; and self-injurious behavior from GI disease, too often disregarded as "AUTISM BEHAVIORS." I continue to follow the research on the MICROBIOME. It is the most important discovery not only for Autism but many similar diseases. Here is a recent study that caught my eye as some of the parallels to the Autism Microbiome is evident. More and more research is showing us that the bacterial and viral issues of the gut play a big part in disease. CHEMICALS can negativley impact the MICROBIOME, as I keep reporting. Follow the study below: CHEMICAL EXPOSURE >> MICROBIOME INJURY >> BRAIN INJURY >> DISEASE SYMPTOMS
Altered gut microbiome in a mouse model of Gulf War Illness causes neuroinflammation and intestinal injury via leaky gut and TLR4 activation
Many of the symptoms of Gulf War Illness (GWI) that include neurological abnormalities, neuroinflammation, chronic fatigue and gastrointestinal disturbances have been traced to Gulf War chemical exposure. Though the association and subsequent evidences are strong, the mechanisms that connect exposure to intestinal and neurological abnormalities remain unclear. Using an established rodent model of Gulf War Illness, we show that chemical exposure caused significant dysbiosis in the gut that included increased abundance of phylum Firmicutes and Tenericutes, and decreased abundance of Bacteroidetes. Several gram negative bacterial genera were enriched in the GWI-model that included Allobaculum sp. Altered microbiome caused significant decrease in tight junction protein Occludin with a concomitant increase in Claudin-2, a signature of a leaky gut. Resultant leaching of gut caused portal endotoxemia that led to upregulation of toll like receptor 4 (TLR4) activation in the small intestine and the brain. TLR4 knock out mice and mice that had gut decontamination showed significant decrease in tyrosine nitration and inflammatory mediators IL1β and MCP-1 in both the small intestine and frontal cortex. These events signified that gut dysbiosis with simultaneous leaky gut and systemic endotoxemia-induced TLR4 activation contributes to GW chemical-induced neuroinflammation and gastrointestinal disturbances.
These comments from the full study seem important:
It is likely that in the present study, enriched gram negative bacteria and its components leaked into the systemic circulation and could access different organ systems including the brain....Further, neuroinflammation may be triggered from other systemic inflammatory signals from the intestinal tract . Evidence found in our study showed that toll like receptor 4, a pattern recognition receptor for the gram negative bacterial cell wall is activated in the small intestine, and the olfactory bulb...Chemical exposures through an oral or systemic route have been shown to cause significant inflammation and intestinal oxidative stress.
How does that connect to Autism Spectrum Disorder? -- Here is research that definitely points to the dark side of the AUTISM SPECTRUM. It needs more than blue hues of light but instead a bright light of truth:
-- Environmental factors in the development of autism spectrum disorders (and 116 other studies on Chemicals and Autism).
-- Toll-like receptor 4 signaling is associated with upregulated NADPH oxidase expression in peripheral T cells of children with autism. (and 4 other studies on Toll-like receptor 4 signaling and Autism).
-- Innate immune receptor Toll-like receptor 4 signalling in neuropsychiatric diseases (and 52 other studies on Gram Negative Bacteria and Autism).
-- Toll-like receptors: the swiss army knife of immunity and vaccine development (and 1,491 more studies on Vaccines and Toll-like Receptors).
-- Reduced Incidence of Prevotella and Other Fermenters in Intestinal Microflora of Autistic Children (and 188 more studies on the Microbiome and Autism).
-- The microbiota modulates gut physiology and behavioral abnormalities associated with autism (and 177 more studies on Leaky Gut and Autism).
-- Interactions between the microbiota, immune and nervous systems in health and disease (and 153 more studies on Neuroinflammation and Autism).
-- Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Injury in Chronic Multisymptom Conditions: From Gulf War Illness to Autism Spectrum Disorder (and 49 more studies on Oxidative Stress, Mitochondria, and Autism).
This is yet another study showing us that it is indeed MAN and his chemicals causing this pattern of Microbiome damage. Autism is, of course, the largest group, with so many young children and now, young adults born back in the 1990's. Our hope could be in this line of research, for both prevention and medical treatments, as so many continue to be afflicted --- understanding how individuals respond differently to exposures, what makes one person more susceptible to adverse health outcomes from an exposure than another,” she says. “Genetics only partially explains this.” Birnbaum adds, “We recognize the enormous implications of the growing awareness of interactions between chemical exposures and the microbiome, and we have begun exploring these issues.”
The problem ---- when parents bring up THE CHEMICALS that most often changed their child, that caused regression --- VACCINES --- the entire topic is then ignored and we ---- get------- nowhere. To quote Dr. Bernadine Healy, who was the former head of the National Institutes of Health :
"There is a completely expressed concern that they don't want to pursue a hypothesis because that hypothesis could be damaging to the public health community at large by scaring people. "First of all," Healy said, "I think the public's smarter than that. The public values vaccines. But more importantly, I don't think you should ever turn your back on any scientific hypothesis because you're afraid of what it might show."
I am hopeful that this line of research will keep shedding a big, WHITE light, like a searchlight, on so many ill children. My daughter is one of them.
Teresa Conrick is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.