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Living with Autism


September 13, 2012

More Hope for Autistic Persons with Epilepsy

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According to a September 6th, 2012 Fox News report, scientists from the University of California, San Diego and Yale schools of medicine discovered giving massive doses of Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) reduces neurobehavioral symptoms in mice who have the same genetics as SOME autistic individuals with epilepsy.

The strange part about this study is some of the parents in the study are apparently “related to each other.” That’s weird.

One wonders how closely they were related. The article doesn’t say. Well, since my autistic son’s biological father is in no way related to me, I guess we don’t qualify for this study.

Yet, it is of interest that amino acid supplementation of BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine and valine) is a potential treatment for autism and epilepsy.

Interestingly, doctors often prescribe IV amino acids for people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, systemic infections or are under extreme stress from some type of serious injury.

Given my son also suffers from chronic self-injurious behaviors it would therefore make sense to supplement his diet with BCCAs.

There’s one catch.

Research also shows branch chain amino acids compete with amino acid Tryptophan, which is responsible for elevating serotonin levels in the brain. Thus, if the autistic person with epilepsy is serotonin deficient, one might consider also supplementing with 5HTP or L-Tryptophan. Of course you won’t know if the autistic person is deficient in serotonin unless doctors do a pet scan or use other diagnostic tools to test serotonin levels. Good luck getting that order.

Oral supplementation (liquid form best) appears to be most effective way to ingest BCAAs.

What foods are highest in BCAAs?

Research shows soybeans, salami (Yuk), peanuts, egg yolks (Yum), wheat germ and beef are high in LEUCINE.

Eggs, fish, cheese, oats, tofu and raw soy meal are high in ISOLEUCINE.

Lentils, black beans, garbanzo beans, cottage cheese, chicken, cheese, potatoes and broccoli are high in VALINE. 

Kim Oakley


Gina's Mom said...

Autistic mice--who knew?

favorite auntie said...

PET scans are really expensive.
My nephew had one, he had a brain tumor and his doctor had to personally speak with the insurance company to get approval. They will approve for cancer but I would think getting one for autism would be very difficult.

Mike Ryan said...

I work for an insurance company in the prior authorization department.
Brain PETs are generally approved for differentiating between recurrent tumor and radiation necrosis or to differentiate between frontal temporal dementia and Alzheimer's and a whole laundry list of specifics must be met first.

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