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Living with Autism

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March 11, 2014

Calming Autistic Brain with Bacopa?

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Might Bacopa Monnieri Help Autistic Persons Who Suffer from Epilepsy?
According to a 2012 Journal of Biomedical Science report, the answer is yes.
Further research by the Israel Ministry of Science shows by inhibiting excitable neurons, you can stabilize neighboring neurons that would otherwise become part of neuronal excitability often seen in some autistic brains. 
Bacopa Monnieri, an herb native to Australia and India, can reduce neuronal excitability.
Many conventional pharmaceutical drugs for autism do more harm than good. Many drugs used to treat aberrant behaviors in autism are now involved in lawsuits. 

What is Bacopa? Bacopa Monnieri targets GABAa and GABAb receptors.
GABA dysfunction is implicated in autism and epilepsy.
GABA is a principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in the cerebral cortex, which mitigates neuronal excitation.
If neurons are constantly excited, it’s difficult to concentrate and learn. If you can’t learn, you become agitated. This could increase aberrant behaviors commonly seen in autism.
Bacopa Monnieri helps facilitate the acquisition, consolidation and retention of learned tasks. This can help people with autism and epilepsy who have difficulty processing new information. 
An agent that enhances inhibitory neurons may prevent the brain from spinning out of control into a hyper-excited state. Some children and adults with autism have hyper-excited neuronal dysfunction. That doesn't mean they aren't intelligent, it just makes it harder for them to concentrate when the brain is so active. 

Calming the brain with Bacopa Monnieri seems a more logical and reasonable alternative to benzos, antihistamines or dangerous antipsychotics. 


Sources: 
Rejuvenation Res. 2013 Aug; 16(4):313-26.



Bacopa monniera (L.) Wettst ameliorates behavioral alterations and oxidative markers in sodium valproate induced autism in rats.

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