Understanding Autism

Christine L. Foutch Naturopathic Physician Rock Island, Illinois

Dr. Christine Foutch is a holistic physician practicing in Rock Island, IL. The practice of holistic medicine integrates conventional and alternative therapies to prevent disease, treat disease, and most importantly promote optimal health.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a collection of neurodevelopmental disturbances that are characterized by the identified shortage of social interactions; the verbal and nonverbal communications during the initial 3 years of life. I will repeat that for some additional clarity.

A collection of disturbances within the Neurons ~ the excitable Brain-Cells and their developmental processes that are taking place within the initial 3 years of life. Going forth causing the shortage of Social Interactions ~ the verbal and non-verbal social interactions.

 These unique social behaviors will include the avoidance of 

  1. Eye-Contact. 
  2. Emotional Control Disturbances. 
  3. Difficulty understanding the Emotions of Others.
  4. Multiple Restrictions within their range of activity and interests. 

The Terminology of Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder has progressively increased over the past couple of decades. Paul Eugen Bleuler, the Swiss Psychiatrist was the first to use the term “Autism” defining the symptoms of Schizophrenia during the year 1912. This term was derived from the Greek-Word αὐτὀς for the descriptive meaning of “Self”. 

Hans Asperger embraced Paul Eugen Bleuler's specification of "Autistic" in the more modern sense, describing child Psychology during 1938. Soon thereafter, he summarized reporting about 4-boys who did not mingle well with their peers, nor they did not understand the meaning of “Respect” or “Politeness” while also having no regard for the Authority Figure. 

These boys also presented very specific unnatural movements and habits. Hans Asperger described this pattern here of behaviors as the "Autistic Psychopathy", which is now called Asperger's Syndrome. 

Leo Kanner, in 1943 came forth reporting the said 8 boys with 3 girls who had the innate or possibly stated better as the natural inability to form the biologically produced affective ~ which is relating to Moods, Attitudes, and Feelings; the normal forms of contact or connections with other personalities. introducing the labeled “Early Infantile Autism.”

The Development of the Brain

The development of our Brain is complicated; while controlled by numerous Environmental Conditions from which act upon our Genetics. Yes. The development of our Brain is controlled by our individual Genetics\Genes… However, the Environment from which we all are Exposed to acts upon our Genetics; which creates the necessary cellular adaptations ~ creating the proteins and cellular changes for the better functional handling thereof this environment from which we are exposed to. 

Genetic investigations on the Autism Spectrum Disorder have come out with the recognized mutations that go forward interfering with the normal Neuron developmental processes taking place through early childhood. The Gene-Mutations identified are involved with the Synaptic Genesis and Axon Motility Mechanisms. 

For clarity here on the terms, within the Nervous System, the Synapse is the structural component that goes on to allow the excitable Neuron ~ the Nerve cell to communicate, or preferably send on the Chemical-Messenger, the Neurotransmitter to the neighboring Nerve-Cell; this is how the Nerve Cells communicate and coordinate their individual functions that are taking place therewithin the Nervous System. 

The Axon Motility ~ is referring to the transporting structural processes that are taking formation along the Axon; which is essential for the Neuron to function properly. The Neuron ~ the excitable Nervous system cell sends the action potential ~ an electrical impulse in the form of a Sodium Ion, down its Axonal structural process from which is ending at the Synapse; the communicating terminal of the Neuron ~ which is connecting the Presynaptic Neuron to the Postsynaptic Neuron; so they can talk, communicating their current individual functions.

The Gene mutations identified are involved within the formations of Axon-transport structural machinery development and the Genesis ~ the development of that Synaptic-Terminal ~ the communication site, where the Neurons connect and talk about their functions through their sent Neurotransmitters. These resulting structural abnormalities that begin to emerge during the early infantile Brain development, launch and shape the patterns thereof the dysfunctional Neural-Networks ~ those collections of the local neighboring neurons that communicate their individual functions coordinating the processes.   

It Starts at Birth

At birth, our Infants Brain contains 100-billion Neurons; while the Synaptic terminal connections in the regions of the Brain that control our basic survival are already well developed. With all the necessary Myelination along the Axon structure in those regions basically intact and complete. However, after birth, the Newborn begins a period of rapid Brain growth ~ the Synaptogenesis I referred to earlier within the article.

This rapid Brain Growth continues within the Neurons and their structural processes throughout all areas of the Brain ~ making trillions of additional connections for their communicating and coordinating functions. Autism is not a single disorder. It is a multifactorial disorder resulting from genetic and non-genetic environmental factors and their interactions. 

Thimerosal which is known as Thiomersal the trade-name for an organomercurial compound ~ that is containing at least One Carbon Atom bonded to a Mercury Atom. Having a total weight thereof that is approximately 49.55%, Mercury. That will rapidly breakdown within a watery-solution to Ethyl-Mercury(Hg) hydroxide and Ethyl-Mercury(Hg) chloride. Thimerosal was developed back around the year of 1927 and from then forward till our present day is being used as a preservative within some of our Cosmetics, Topical-Pharmaceuticals, and our Biological Drug products ~ including Vaccines.

Many opinions have been voiced regarding this use of Thimerosal as a preservative ~ although it is quite effective at its job of killing bacteria and preventing any bacterial contamination ~ to the point of forbidding, the use thereof within several countries. Yet, within the United States it is continued to be added to some of our vaccines along with many of the Vaccines within the developing world. These concerns have been voiced regarding the toxicity potential towards our human cells. Thimerosal is a recognized Developmental Toxicant. That has the potential to negatively affect a developing Baby. 

The History of Mercury

Mercury compounds have been used as disinfectants since the beginning of the study thereof bacteria. The thoughts were for a long time ~ that these compounds such as the Mercury Chloride(HgCl2) were very useful in killing bacteria and other Microorganisms. Regardless of the fact that as early as the year 1943 study conclusions reported that a plasma preserved with the Thimerosal still was tainted with various microorganisms; concluding that this Thimerosal is Not all that superior as a preservative.

Moreover, the investigating scientist came forward describing that Thimerosal was 35-times more toxic to Embryonic and the newborn undeveloped tissues, then it was to the bacteria it was put forth to inhibit the growth thereof; not to mention the toxic load brought towards the Immune System Leukocytes ~ the White blood cells compared to the toxicity towards the bacteria. Despite the above-mentioned concerns with the added in fact that there are other approved as well as effective preservatives available; Thimerosal proceeds to be used as the preservative in several vaccines to date. Which is considered to be a source of Mercury(Hg) exposure for our children.

In fact, it is believed to approximately 50% of our infants Mercury exposure is coming from this recurring doses after dose of the Thimerosal and Thimerosal-containing vaccines that are served up in the first 2 years of life. The Combined dose of this Mercury exposure is said to be as high as 187.5 micrograms in the first 6-months of life. There is significant notable scientific and medical evidence confirming the role of Mercury exposure causing harmful consequences. 

To investigate our Brain development adequately, it is crucial to study the changes in the structure of the Brain as well as in the functioning Brain. Our sophisticated Brain-imaging techniques, now allow for the investigations of the White Matter Tracts ~ those Axon Neuronal functioning structural processes that reach out ending in the synapses that connect and communicate with the local Neurons within the Brain.

The degree of this maturing White Matter within the developing Cerebral Cortex reveals the increase within the necessary myelination of those Axons ~ Myelination allows for a more efficient speed of the Neuronal signals, as they communicate with each other, therefore this fast-talk allows for faster information processing abilities… developing and maturing into the Adult Brain. This increasing of connectivity within all regions of the Brain adds more and more of the Axonal processes ~ more of the White Matter Tracts between the Neurons ~ the excitable transmitting cells of the Nervous system. 

At birth, the myelination begins in the base of the Brain with the pons and the cerebellar peduncles, progressing to the posterior optic radiation and the splenium of the corpus callosum during the said 1–3 months...  with the advancing growth to the anterior limb of the internal capsule and the genu of the corpus callosum at approximately 6 months-of-age… Between 8 and 12 months-of-age the frontal, parietal and occipital lobes begin the myelinating process. 

With the progression of the Myelination over the separate brain regions, one can suggest that infants whose brain development is more advanced in the Myelination than others, achieve certain cognitive skills earlier. In reality, a number of developmental dysfunctions exhibit a slower progression of this myelination to the Axons. However, the specific variations in the degree of myelination and collective cognitive ability have not yet been investigated.

Mercury is a heavy metal that is widespread and persistent in the environment, and infants are exposed to significant levels of environmental Mercury through the air, water, and breast milk…Maternal Exposure, the mother’s Body burden, Dietary intakes, Mercury-containing Pharmaceuticals administered to the mother while the child is developing in the uterus and injected organic-mercury from Thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines ~ remain a significant source of mercury exposure for many infants during the first six months of life.

Why was Mercury incorporated into the Vaccines? It goes back to the before the Antibiotic period. When physicians applied a variety of compounds known as “Germicides” to battle bacteria. Possibly the most well known is the Carbolic-Acid that originated in the 1860s for the surgical antiseptics; that found following use as a Germicide and Preservative. A variety of Mercury-Compounds were used for the same purpose ~ although there was a tendency to cause tissue irritations, which put limits on the use thereof. 

Advancing to the 20th century now, researchers manufactured a new class of compounds they declared to be more effective...the introduction of the organomercurials. Brilliant colored, with some extensive usage. Thimerosal was found to be the most encouraging of these new Organomercurial-compounds ~ approximately 50% Mercury by weight in the form of Ethylmercury bound to thiosalicylate you could say excited the Pharmaceutical industry after World-War-1.

The emerging giant Eli Lilly and Company gave grant assistance for the production thereof at the University of Chicago in the year 1928 became patented under the name Merthiolate. The effectiveness was discussed throughout the initial 50 years following its construction, but seldom the safety of it. 

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