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Medicine Science

Rare Form of Autism Could Be Curable With Protein Supplements 163

ananyo writes "A rare, hereditary form of autism has been found — and it may be treatable with protein supplements. Genome sequencing of six children with autism has revealed mutations in a gene that stops several essential amino acids being depleted. Mice lacking this gene developed neurological problems related to autism that were reversed by dietary changes (abstract). According to Joseph Gleeson, a child neurologist at the University of California, San Diego, who led the study, 'This might represent the first treatable form of autism.' It is possible that some other forms of autism may also be linked to uncommon metabolic disorders — and so treatable through dietary changes, according to the scientists quoted in the piece."
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Rare Form of Autism Could Be Curable With Protein Supplements

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  • Sources of BCAA (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 06, 2012 @10:11PM (#41256167)

    Red meat is highest in BCAAs. Dairy products also are good protein sources and contain high amounts of BCAAs. Some healthy choices in dairy include low-fat or nonfat milk, low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat yogurt, frozen yogurt, sour cream and low-fat cheeses. recommends reducing the amount of saturated fats in your diet.
    Additional dairy options include butter, cheese, cream, crème fraiche, eggnog, ghee and half-and-half. Some dairy products, such as ice cream, contain whey protein, which is loaded with BCAAs

    Read more:

  • by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @10:24PM (#41256245)

    We already knew about some forms of autism where a genetic disposition causes the lack of dipeptyl-peptidase IV, the enzyme responsible for breaking proline bonds during digestion. Proline needs a very special enzyme because the amine is tertiary, while it is secondary on other amino acids.

    Gluten and casein contain sequences with a lot of proline, and this class of autists never digest them completely. They are left with short proline-rich peptides known as gliadomorphine and caseomorphine. As the name suggests, theses peptides are able to bind morphine receptors in the brain. And for this class of autism, symptoms disapear with a diet without casein and gluten.

    And now we have autists with another genetic disposition related to protein digestion, this time with valine, leucine and isoleucine not being digested, and missing in the brain because they are essential amino acids. I wonder if we are going to discover more autism forms as being protein digestion issues

  • Re:Cure who? (Score:5, Informative)

    by greensoap ( 566467 ) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @10:47PM (#41256369)
    If you RTFA, you'll see that all of the children they identified had those characteristics because it made them easier to identify. It doesn't say only children of middle eastern descent whose parents are 1st cousins can be treated with supplementation. It says the children identified by those traits had a form of autism that is also linked with the inability to transport those amino acids. Because their bodies are not able to process those amino acids it is theorized that supplementation may assist treatment. But more than anything, if you were a parent or caregiver of an autistic child then why wouldn't you try protein/BCAA supplements? These supplements are widely studied and concerned safe as far as I have ever read. They are readily available, just go to your local GNC. Or any supplement website.
  • by Suddenly_Dead ( 656421 ) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @11:42PM (#41256605)

    BTW, eating more veggies can help with the some of the disease you mentioned: []

    The only study (one study) quoted from that Timecubey article of yours is in

    BMC Complement Altern Med 2001

    I don't have access to the study (unless I brain farted and couldn't find the free access link) and the hell if I'm paying money to get a paper from a third-rate journal, but I can tell you what I can find from the abstract.

    The study was conducted on 32 people; 15 were switched to a vegan diet, and 18 were kept on their preexisting omnivorous diet. The groups differed from one-another at the beginning of the study in terms of pain and urine sodium, which is a significant red flag considering that many of they tout are directly related to one or the other. There is no comparison to other diets. There is no comparison to healthier omnivorous diets. The abstract states that many of the patients in the study were overweight, implying that the preexisting diets in many cases may have been unhealthy in general and that generally improving the quality of the diets may have been more important than the fact the new diet was vegan.

    And hell, that's just what I got from the abstract. At best this is one of those "more research is required" papers, it's certainly not enough to suggest that such a radical dietary switch is a reasonable treatment plan. Moreover, it's so oddly specific in switching from an omnivorous over to a raw vegan diet, and being published in an alt-med journal, that it sounds like it was intended to be (as the article you quoted did) treated as more than it is. And the alt-med crowd (pretends to) wonder why people call them pseudoscientists.

  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @11:45PM (#41256623) Homepage

    Quack. Quack. Quack. Quack.

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, acts like a duck....

    "Fibromyalgia patients routinely get well, and they get well quickly."

    OK, Dr. Fuhrman, care to do some even observational studies? Case controls? Publish said studies in some sort of reputable journal?

    (BTW, I certainly would not advocate a diet high in acrylamides, that's why all lab personnel are told never to eat their sequencing gels when they're finished with the experiment.)

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!