Autism: It’s Not Just in the Head
The devastating derangements of autism also show up in the gut and in the immune system. That unexpected discovery is sparking new treatments that target the body in addition to the brain.
by Jill Neimark
From the April 2007 issue; published online March 22, 2007
“Herbert believes that the clues linking the obvious behavioral symptoms to more basic, but less obvious, biological dysfunction were missed early on. “What I believe is happening is that genes and environment interact, either in a fetus or young child, changing cellular function all over the body, which then affects tissue and metabolism in many vulnerable organs. And it’s the interaction of this collection of troubles that leads to altered sensory processing and impaired coordination in the brain. A brain with these kinds of problems produces the abnormal behaviors that we call autism.”
How far have we travelled down the inflammation highway ?