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  US Autism & Asperger Association June 13 , 2007date

Welcome to USAAA Weekly News, an email newsletter that addresses a range of topics on Autism Spectrum Disorders and Asperger's Syndrome.


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Attention parents, caregivers, health care practitioners, teachers, therapists, school administrators, social workers, counselors, and others touched by autism & Asperger Syndrome

DATE: August 8-11
USAAA 2007 International Autism and Asperger Conference

REGISTER NOW

US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. (USAAA) holds its annual International Autism and Asperger Conference in Denver, Colorado, August 8-11, 2007. Thirty-three of the world’s most renowned leading autism experts will present new interventions and new research in both education and medicine. The conference is co-hosted by Autism Society of Boulder County (ASBC) and will be held at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center.

Click here for more information.
Click here to register

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 Feature Articles
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Exclusive Report - A Possible Central Mechanism in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Interaction of Activated Microglia, Excitotoxicity, Reactive Oxygen and Nitrogen Species, Lipid Peroxidation Products and the Role of Elevated Androgen Levels in Autism Spectrum Disorders

June 13, 2007
by Russell L. Blaylock, MD
374 research studies cited

Abstract

The autism spectrum disorders are a group of related neurodevelopmental disorders, which have been increasing in incidence since the 1980s. While a large mass of information and data has been forthcoming, still a central unifying mechanism has not been offered. A review of the studies on autism spectrum disorders disclose a number of findings that are interconnected.
Most important appears to be disruption of brain cell calcium homeostasis by a number of events, such as excitotoxicity, androgen excess and elevations in inflammatory cytokines. Free radical generation and lipid peroxidation is a common event in examined cases of autism spectrum disorder. Recently, researchers have discovered high levels of androgens in a group of autistic children and that pharmaceutical lowering of androgen levels can produce rapid and dramatic improvement in a number of cases. Several studies have shown worsening of neurological injuries under conditions of high androgen levels. In addition, high androgen levels have been shown to trigger calcium accumulation in neurons through a special membrane receptor.

"Most important appears to be disruption of brain cell calcium homeostasis by a number of events, such as excitotoxicity, androgen excess and elevations in inflammatory cytokines."

Likewise, a number of researchers have found rapid improvement in symptoms following anti-inflammatory treatments or dietary changes. What all these events have in common is that they magnify the excitotoxic process, a major mechanism for CNS injury due to a number of insults, including hypoxia/ischemia, heavy metal poisoning, trauma, infections, seizures and hypoglycemia. Many have noted an association between an increase in the number of vaccines added to the immunization schedule coincident with the rise in autism cases. An abundance of research has shown that systemic immune activation can trigger brain microglial activation, the resident immune cell type for the central nervous system (CNS). It has also been shown, that when these microglia are primed by prior stimulation, the intensity of the immune reaction is greatly magnified. Subsequent immune stimulation turns this into a chronic state of activation.

"Mercury is a powerful activator of microglia, even in very minute dose."

Others have noted the connection to high mercury burdens in the autistic child secondary to mercury containing vaccines (thimerosal) and from other sources. Mercury is a powerful activator of microglia, even in very minute doses. In addition, mercury inhibits a number of energy-generating enzymes systems, triggers free radical generation and lipid peroxidation, inhibits a number of antioxidant systems and inhibits the glutamate transport proteins, also at very low concentrations.

"There is compelling evidence that excessive immune stimulation during critical stages of brain development can cause disruption of neurodevelopment by affecting neuronal and glial cell migration, dendritic outgrowth, synaptic development and consolidation and by triggering neurodegeneration.."

Because the majority of the vaccinations are given during the period of most rapid brain growth, such hyperimmune brain activation risk disrupting neurodevelopment, especially for higher cortical functions. This has been repeatedly shown in experimental animals. Intimately connected with CNS microglial activation is the release of powerful excitotoxins, glutamate and quniolinic acid. This is especially so since glutamate plays a critical role in brain cell migration, differentiation, synaptic stabilization and pruning. The level of glutamate, which fluctuate throughout neurodevelopment, is critical. Here I show that altering these levels by way of immune alterations and other mechanisms, plays havoc on the developing nervous system.

Dr. Blaylock is a board certified neurosurgeon, author and lecturer. He attended the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans and completed his general surgical internship and neurosurgical residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. During his residency he ran the neurology program for one year and did a fellowship in neurosurgery after his residency. For the past 25 years he has practiced neurosurgery in addition to having a nutritional practice. He recently retired from both practices to devote full time to nutritional studies and research.

Dr. Blaylock serves on the editorial staff of the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association and is the associate editor of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, official journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.. He was recently awarded the Integrity in Science award by the Westin Price Foundation. Click here for a complete bio of Dr. Blaylock.

Copyright 2007. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the permission of the author.

Click here for entire report.


USAAA appoints Woody McGinnis, MD to USAAA Advisory Board; Dr. McGinnis to present at USAAA Conference

Woody McGinnis, MD
US Autism and Asperger Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Woody McGinnis to the USAAA Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. McGinnis was educated at Dartmouth College and the University of Colorado.  After volunteer medical work in rural Peru, he practiced general medicine in Arizona for many years.  In 1995, Dr. McGinnis began studying nutritional influences on behavior in order to help his own son, Ryan.  Nutritional treatment of autism and other behavioral disorders became the primary focus of his practice, and since 1998 he has lectured frequently on the behavioral effects of nutrition, toxins and emotional stress. In 2001, Dr. McGinnis committed to full-time research.

Dr. McGinnis currently coordinates brain studies in autism at three universities: Harvard, Case Western Reserve University, and Berkeley.  An immediate objective is to determine the oxidative signature in brain of autistic subjects and compare it to the oxidative signature in animals exposed to toxins. He coordinates another study at the Groden Center and UMDNJ/Rutgers examining the effect of relaxation therapy on urinary isoprostane levels.

Dr. McGinnis organized the Oxidative Stress in Autism Symposium at the Institute for Basic Research in NY 2005. He is the Special Editorial Adviser to the upcoming 2007 issue of American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology dedicated to autism.

The following are upcoming peer-reviewed articles by Dr. McGinnis:
1.  Lower intracellular selenium levels in autism
2.  Higher nitrotyrosine and mercury levels in autistic brain
3.  Higher carboxyethylpyrrole, levuglandin and hemoxygenase levels in autistic brain, preferentially localized in axons
4.  Mauve Factor review.

Dr. McGinnis will present " Mauve Factor as a practical biomarker for oxidative stress," at the USAAA 2007 International Conference in Denver, Saturday, August 11, from 1:30pm - 2:30pm. Dr. McGinnis will be presenting the results of a 5-year international collaboration, which involved ten other investigators and four laboratories. The results of this research were submitted for peer-reviewed publication January 2007. Click here for a bio of Dr. McGinnis. Click here to preview an abstract of Dr. McGinnis 's presentation for the USAAA 2007 conference.


Altered Vascular Phenotype in Autism; Correlation With Oxidative Stress

Yuemang Yao, BSc; William J. Walsh, PhD; Woody R. McGinnis, MD; Domenico Praticò, MD

Objective: To evaluate the vascular phenotype in children
with autism.

Results: Compared with controls, children with autism had significantly higher urinary levels of isoprostane F2 -VI, 2,3-dinor-thromboxane B2, and 6-ketoprostaglandin F1 . Lipid peroxidation levels directly correlated with both vascular biomarker ratios.

Conclusion: Besides enhanced oxidative stress, platelet and vascular endothelium activation also could contribute to the development and clinical manifestations of autism.

Click here for entire study.


Oxidative Stress in Autism; Direct Evidence of Oxidative Injury in Autism

by Woody R. McGinnis, MD

When oxidants exceed the antioxidant defense, biological systems suffer oxidative stress, with damage to biomolecules and functional impairment.... Bodily lipids, proteins, glycoproteins, and nucleic acids are subject to oxidative injury, and a number of analytical methods exist for measurement of oxidative by-products in urine, blood, breath, and organ tissue samples. Oxidized lipids and their protein adducts are commonly used as oxidative biomarkers. Lipids, which comprise biological membranes, are easily oxidized, particularly if highly unsaturated. Direct markers for lipoxidation are higher in autism.

Click here for entire report.


Sibling shares her story of living with autistic brothers
By Marianne Horton
Examiner Newspaper, Houston, Texas

School is out for less than a week, and already some students are headed to camp. They have days ahead of them filled with sports, the outdoors and other recreational activities. Like many of her peers, Alex Copes is at camp, just not in the traditional role of a 10-year-old. She isn’t making arts and crafts or baking cookies, but she is helping others partake in such activities. The recent graduate of River Oaks Elementary is what some would call mature for her age. Articulate and poised, she has embarked upon a career in philanthropy and activism, assisting at her parents’ camp for autistic children, The Dan Center for Autism Wellness and Recovery, 2010 Bissonnet St. “I’m used to working with autistic kids,” said the petite brunette.

Click here for entire story.
Click here for more information about The Dan Center for Autism Wellness and Recovery.

My Name is Not Autistic
By Alexandria Copes, age 10

My name is not Autistic, My name is Matthew. I just happen to be Autistic.

You call my name.
I don’t respond. I can’t hear what you are saying. It’s all a buzz.
You yell at me.

You call my name.
I don’t look at you. The light hurts my eyes. It’s all too bright.
You say, don’t be rude.

You try to hug me.
I pull away. Your touch is too heavy. It hurts me.
You say, Aw, come here.

You try to make me eat.
I don’t. The texture bothers me, the taste makes me gag.
I know, I know, they’re all healthy for me.
You say, I’m picky.

You try to make me talk.
I grind my teeth. The more I say, the harder I grind.
You say, I wish you would stop grinding your teeth.

You make me happy.
I flap my hands. The more I flap, the more you get upset.
People say, “What’s wrong with him.”
You say, “I wish I knew, the doctor says he’s autistic.”

You take me to school.
I get nervous, I start to gag, I start my tics.
The teachers, the nurses, they all come a-running.
They say, “What’s wrong.”
And almost always, someone says,
“He’s always like that, he’ s autistic!!! ”

His name is not Autistic. His name is Matthew.
He just happens to be Autistic.


Meet Alexandria and her family at the USAAA 2007 International Autism and Asperger Conference in Denver, Colorado, August 8-11. She will participate in the Sibling Panel discussion group, Saturday, August 11th from 12:00pm - 1:00pm.


REGISTER NOW for the USAAA 2007 conference

Register now for the US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. (USAAA) annual International Autism and Asperger Conference in Denver, Colorado, August 8-11, 2007. Thirty-two of the world’s most renowned leading autism experts will present new interventions and new research in both education and medicine. The conference is co-hosted by Autism Society of Boulder County (ASBC) and will be held at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center. The conference is presented in part by International Hyperbarics Association.

Click here for more conference information. To register, click here. For conference partial scholarship information, click here.


 

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In This Issue :
Calendar
USAAA 2007 International Autism and Asperger Conference, Denver, Colorado - August 8-11


Feature Articles
Exclusive Report - A Possible Central Mechanism in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Interaction of Activated Microglia, Excitotoxicity, Reactive Oxygen and Nitrogen Species, Lipid Peroxidation Products and the Role of Elevated Androgen Levels in Autism Spectrum Disorders, by Russell L. Blaylock, MD

Woody McGinnis, MD appointed to USAAA Advisory Board; Dr. McGinnis to present at USAAA Conference

Altered Vascular Phenotype in Autism; Correlation With Oxidative Stress
by Yuemang Yao, BSc; William J. Walsh, PhD; Woody R. McGinnis, MD; Domenico Praticò, MD

Oxidative Stress in Autism; Direct Evidence of Oxidative Injury in Autism
by Woody R. McGinnis, MD

Sibling shares her story of living with autistic brothers

My Name is Not Autistic
By Alexandria Copes, age 10

Autism organizations voice concern of NBC's coverage of the Autism Omnibus proceedings; Group takes issue with comments Dr. Nancy Synderman made during the June 12th Today show.

Federal court examining link of autism to vaccine


Speaker Spotlight
Raun K. Kaufman


REGISTER NOW for the USAAA 2007 conference
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Autism organizations voice concern of NBC's coverage of the Autism Omnibus proceedings; Group takes issue with comments Dr. Nancy Synderman made during the June 12th Today show.

Click here to read correspondence to president of NBC.


Federal court examining link of autism to vaccine
By Richard Nangle TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

Every parent who suspects routine childhood vaccines caused their child’s autism has been waiting for this moment. Not to mention a few large drug companies, some influential politicians and a host of health professionals and school districts.

The case of a 12-year-old autistic girl, whose parents believe was poisoned by the mercury-based preservative thimerosal, began yesterday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. About 4,800 families could end up being compensated in the domino effect of a decision that goes their way.

Click here for the entire story.


Speaker Spotlight
Raun K. Kaufman

Raun K. Kaufman is an international speaker, writer and teacher for The Son-Rise Program® at the Autism Treatment Center of America™. In his work with families, children, and professionals from around the world, Mr. Kaufman brings a distinctive qualification to the realm of Autism treatment—his own personal history. At 18 months, Raun was diagnosed as severely and incurably autistic. Although advised to institutionalize Raun, his parents, authors/teachers Samahria and Barry Neil Kaufman, instead created an innovative home-based, child-centered program in an effort to reach their son. Their work, which developed into a unique methodology now known as The Son-Rise Program®, enabled Raun to recover completely from his Autism, transforming him from a mute, withdrawn child with a tested I.Q. of less than 30 into an outgoing, social boy with a near-genius I.Q. Raun’s story was recounted by his father, Barry Neil Kaufman, in the best-selling book Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues, and was also the subject of an award-winning NBC television movie, Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love. Raun graduated from Brown University with a degree in Biomedical Ethics.

Raun will present "Breakthrough Strategies for Autism Spectrum Disorders" at the USAAA 2007 International Conference in Denver, Thursday, August 9, 3:30pm - 4:30pm. Click here for a bio of Raun Kaufman.

To view the entire conference schedule, click here.


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Diagnosis Autism: Now What? 10 Steps to Improve Treatment Outcomes; A Parent-Physician Team Approach (Softcover)
by Lawrence P. Kaplan, Ph.D., Jay D. Burstein, M.D. (Editor)

Click here to purchase the book and see reviews at Amazon.com


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2007
USAAA International Conference

presented in part by International Hyperbarics Association

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International Hyperbarics Association


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