Recent Findings in Autism Research

Summing up a few of the recent contributions made to Autism Research:

1. A study published in the July issue of the journal Epidemiology found that taking prenatal vitamins as early as 3 months before conception and during the first month of pregnancy reduces risk for Autism by as much as 40 PERCENT. This suggests that triggers/causation really happens in the earliest period of development. (Patterns: Prenatal Vitamins May Ward Off Autism; Autism and Prenatal Vitamins)

2. Studies testing supplementation with nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) – a significant co-factor for many enzymatic reactions in the body – and Ribose – a special sugar made by the body from glucose – found that “these therapies appear to be safe and effective supportive therapies for restoring methylation, glutathione and ATP to near-normal levels in the body, and are likely to help children with autism who experience problems maintaining normal functions,” says¬†Stuart Freedenfeld, physician and medical director with Stockton Family Practice, in Stockton, N.J. (Therapies to Improve Biochemical Functions Hold Promise as Treatments for People with Autism)

3. UCLA study finds that genes in autistic and healthy brains encode information differently.¬†“We were surprised to see similar gene expression patterns in most of the autistic brains we studied,” said first author Irina Voineagu, a UCLA postdoctoral fellow in neurology. “From a molecular perspective, half of these brains shared a common genetic signature. Given autism’s numerous causes, this was an unexpected and exciting finding.” (Autism Changes Molecular Structure of the Brain: Discovery Points to a common Cause for Multifaceted Disease)

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