Learner’s Edge® and Autism

This is used with permission.

March 21, 2011

I’d like to comment on the extremely positive results we’ve recently experienced with Learner’s Edge.  My son Alex was diagnosed with PDD-NOS when he was 2 1/2.  At that time, we lived in CA and many biomedical resources were available to us.  We immediately started the GFCF diet along with a variety of supplements and began a series of testing to determine what areas in his body were deficient.  This continued for a 1 1/2 years and we then moved to Atlanta.  Atlanta does not offer the same opportunities in the biomedical world, so we quickly became acquainted with Dr. Bradstreet’s practice.  At that time we began a more intense approach to all the problems Alex was experiencing.  We began tackling them one by one.  We did everything from HBOT to IV chelation and most everything in between.  Fortunately for us, Alex seemed to respond well with everything we threw at him, however, we could never pinpoint any one thing that was making a huge difference.  He just seemed to be getting better over weeks, months and years.

Five years after his diagnosis, Alex has overcome most all of his challenges, however, he still has some issues with language, focus and emotions (and in that order).  We started him on Learner’s Edge in December and within two weeks, I started to see some huge gains in all three areas.  This was the first time we were able to see such great gains in such a short period of time.  Alex’s language had taken off.  This had always been the area that just seemed stuck!  Before we knew it, we were having wonderful conversations at the dinner table, and the friendships he had really started to blossom.  I completely attribute this to the Learner’s Edge.  Alex is now 7 years old and considered recovered:)

Suzanne LeBrun

Atlanta, GA

I designed Learner’s Edge® about 5 years ago based on the available literature and my observations about energy production in autism.  While it does not always generate these outstanding results, it is safe, relatively low-cost and worth trying.  Learner’s Edge® is manufactured by Enzymatic Therapy under license from ICDRC and 10% of the proceeds are donated to autism research and treatment. 

http://www.enzymatictherapy.com/Products/Childrens-Health/Focus/295004-Learners-Edge.aspx

Please note the FDA has not reviewed this statement and Learner’s Edge is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.

Don’t Go Nuclear: Protecting Yourself From Radiation Sickness (Lessons from Nature)

The risks currently posed by the Japanese reactor crises are relatively small here in the US.  However in Japan they are serious.  But Japan’s problems will slowly spread to the rest of the World.

For years I have been studying cell defense mechanisms.  Ionizing radiation (the kind emitting from the reactors in Japan) , much like oxidative stress, damages all aspects of cell biochemistry. Scientists have discovered several species that are incredibly resistant to ionizing radiation.  In the old test blasts in the US Southwest desert, huge amounts of radiation had little to no effect on cockroaches. In the laboratory we can zap a funny sounding bacteria, Deinococcus radiodurans (which roughly translates as: I am one tough bug when it comes to radiation), with huge doses of radiation and it survives and repairs all the damage easily (Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2011 Mar;75(1):133-91.). So does another tough bacteria, Kineococcus radiotolerans (which translates as: I can suck up huge doses of radiation – PLoS One. 2010 Aug 26;5(8):e12427.)

Deinococcus radiodurans — the consummate survivor

image

Nature Reviews Microbiology 3, 882-892 (November 2005

So what lessons can we learn from radiation resistant microbes and cockroaches?  First, if we keep playing with radioactive in this way we will likely cede the World to their progeny rather than our own.  But more importantly, the lesson they are teaching us is the same lesson we already have learned – at least in part – from oxidative stress in autism, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.

The tough microbe, D. radiodurans, has dual backup systems to repair oxidative stress. K. radiotolerans is a bit more unusual and it seems to suck in ionic cooper to act as a sink for free radicals created by radiation. And for all of us we know killing a cockroach is tough, but if you were tempted to nuke them – forget it.  They can endure living at the levels 131x what would immediately kill you. This is of course not new news. D. R. A. Wharton and Martha L. Wharton (1959), published simialr findings in:  (The Effect of Radiation on the Longevity of the Cockroach, Periplaneta americana, as Affected by Dose, Age, Sex and Food Intake. Radiation Research: October 1959, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 600-615).  Debbie Hadley summarizes the cockroach research this way: “Scientists measure radiation exposure in “rems,” an objective measure of the specific damage radiation would cause to human tissue. Humans can withstand 5 rems safely. Exposure to just 800 rems would be deadly for us. If you want to kill an American cockroach with radiation, it will take 67,500 rems to do the job. German cockroaches are even more impervious to radiation, requiring between 90,000 and 105,000 before you’ll see them on their backs.”

Cockroaches (presumably they need this in order to live where they live) can repair oxidative insult from both ionizing and oxidizing exposures extremely rapidly.

I know you can’t get potassium iodide now that your thinking about it – always the case in disasters. What can we do to try to catch up with roaches and bacteria in the nuclear defense race?

1) Antioxidants and HBOT: These are necessary back up and sacrificial scavengers to take the damage from radiation so the DNA can be spared.  HBOT induces (particularily higher HBOT pressures 2.0 ATA or higher) induces temporary oxidative stress rapidly followed by an increase in DNA production of Superoxide Dismutase and Catalase (key enzymes which deal with oxidative damage). This helps to defend your cells.

2) NAC (acetylcysteine): This is the best way to increase glutathione inside cells.  Glutathione is the MAIN cell defense against damage.

3) Probiotics: Probioitcs have been demonstrated to decrease the effects of radiation injury on the hut during cancer treatment.

4) Curcumin: As we know, curcumin is an amazing defender of cells from both inflammation and oxidation. (cell the post on it on an earlier blog). Getting it to the brain is challenging, but higher doses and lipid wrapped curcumin may be helpful.

5) Vitamin C: I have given IV Vitamin C to radiation patients and helped to spare them complications without keeping the cancer from being killed.  Even if that seems paradoxical it has worked will.  Vitamin C will act as a sacrificial antioxidant.

6) Chelation: The US Atomic Energy Commission controls ALL of the special chelators designed to chelate plutonium and uranium (and I doubt they have any intention of sharing it with us).  These chelators are different from the commonly used DMSA and DMPS and CaNa2-EDTA. The reason they need to be different is the plutonium and uranium atoms have different chemical properties from mercury and lead.  Our common chelators  aren’t supposed to work that well on the large radioactive atoms. Having said that, we routinely see significant: uranium, cesium, gadolinium on our IV challenge results.  Cesium in particular is very large in size and yet still seems to chelate with DMPS in particular. Cesium 137 is radioactive and results from nuclear fission. It is commonly detected in my patients from Eastern Europe and Russia after Chernobyl.  However, we are seeing increased amounts of cesium in the US as well and we know part of the Chernobyl fallout made it all the way around the Northern Hemisphere.

image

Nuclear Risks: How Much Danger?

I am going to take a diversion and talk about what you are all talking about – especially those of you on the West Coast – radiation from the fractured Japanese nuclear industry. This is a terrible tragedy and the people of Japan are suffering once again from mankind’s tampering with nuclear energy and power.

5 years ago I gave a lecture to the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness annual meeting in San Diego, CA. While in the US Air Force I had been in charge of environmental medicine and medical disaster preparedness at my base. The message was simple. We are all one disaster away from living in survival mode. This latest event reinforces that message.

clip_image002

At the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant a 1000 ton lead shield was blown off the reactor’s roof. A series of explosions and fires have crippled salvage operations aimed at preventing a full core melt down. Two other reactors locations are also damaged and at risk of melt-downs. It’s as bad as it gets.

Despite the obvious, Japanese officials are only reporting a 4 out of 7 class nuclear accident – really??? Ok, we aren’t buying that one. This is at least as bad as Chernobyl and far worse than Three Mile Island on the US East coast.

We can critique the lack of forethought that went into building reactors on the beach in a known earthquake – tsunami zone, and we will all agree this is craziness. But before we go pointing fingers, many of us need to be reminded the WORST nuclear disaster in US history took place a few miles from downtown Los Angeles. The Boeing-Rocketdyne (1959) accident at the nuclear testing facility in Simi Valley, California is thought by some to have leaked 240 times more than what leaked into the environment from Three Mile Island. The US government says NO radiation leaked from the meltdown of the plutonium reactor. Color me skeptical.

Some of you reading this may actually live in Simi Valley. Should you be doubly worried? First of all, no radiation is good. But the general readings from that area are not alarming – at least after more than 50 years from the event.

Now a historical perspective: US nuclear detonations over Hiroshima and Nagasaki (1945).

clip_image004

These horrific explosions killed over 200,000 people – although not all at once. Many died from radiation exposure and suffered from cancers and chronic health problems for years after the war. Radiation levels from these explosions had to be many times greater than what the Japanese or US West Coast are presently at risk for. That is not to minimize the risk or the awful crisis for people living anywhere near the reactors, but it helps gain some perspective on everyone’s risks.

Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant (2011).

clip_image006

Obviously this is bad. But it is way less than WWII.

My reasons for the historical reminder: 1) we deceive ourselves when we think we can contain or control radiation under all possible conditions, and 2) the distance the radiation has to travel around the globe will dilute its toxic effect and – at least at this time – there is no cloud of death coming to the Americas. Unfortunately the same is not true for the Japanese archipelago where serious exposure is likely. One bit of good news for Japan – the winds are carrying the radiation away from the population center of Japan.

clip_image007

(Special thanks to WUNDEGROUND for the graphic which shows the winds blowing radiation off the Japanese coast.)

Below is the most recent prediction of the wind track across the Pacific Ocean. It has moved significantly further south – centering on mid-California.

clip_image008

So what should you do? Be alert to changes. You do not need to evacuate the West Coast (that is not just my opinion – it is shared by nuclear experts). Do you need potassium iodide to protect your thyroid? Maybe.  At this time the dose concentrations from the reactors are not expected to be that ACUTELY significant.

However, here is my concern – the radiation is NOT a single dose or even two like the WWII exposures. Instead it will be a chronic low-level exposure. That is very hard to defend against without chelation or specific safeguards – carrying a dosimeter and measuring your cumulative dose.

If you are seriously concerned about exposure I suggest you get informed about personal radiation detection. I suggest, NukAlert — available from http://www.nukalert.com/

If things get more serious I will talk about specific protocols to detoxify radiation. I will be watching this as it evolves and post more as we know more.

Curcumin and TNF-alpha

I found this lovely graphic on the web at this site:  http://www.curcuminresearch.org/neurological.html

The site is run by researchers at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Texas, and it has lots of links to publications talking about the benefits of curcumin (tumeric) in many disorders.  I will have more to say about this shortly, but my interest is on its ability to down-regulate TNF-alpha (see earlier posts on this).  TNF is the main regulator of inflammation.  TNF high in nearly all CNS chronic disorders and unfortunately, like many researchers, they left autism off the list.

image

Elevation of Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha in Cerebrospinal Fluid of Autistic Children

Pediatric Neurology Volume 36, Issue 6, Pages 361-365 (June 2007)

Michael G. Chez, MD, Tim Dowling, BS, Pikul B. Patel, MS, Pavan Khanna, MS, Matt Kominsy

Received 21 November 2006; accepted 29 January 2007.

Recent reports implicating elevated cytokines in the central nervous system in a small number of patients studied with autism have reported clinical regression. These studies have not focused on tumor necrosis factor-alpha as a possible marker for inflammatory damage. A series of 10 children with autism had clinical evaluation of their serum and spinal fluid for inflammatory changes and possible metabolic disease as part of their neurological evaluation. Elevation of cerebrospinal fluid levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha was significantly higher (mean = 104.10 pg/mL) than concurrent serum levels (mean = 2.78 pg/mL) in all of the patients studied. The ratio of the cerebrospinal fluid levels to serum levels averaged 53.7:1. This ratio is significantly higher than the elevations reported for other pathological states for which cerebrospinal fluid and serum tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels have been simultaneously measured. This observation may offer a unique insight into central nervous system inflammatory mechanisms that may contribute to the onset of autism and may serve as a potential clinical marker. More controlled study of this potentially important observation may prove valuable.

Dr Bradstreet will be lecturing in South Carolina

I will be presenting the latest research on the likely causes of autism and the various methods we have to help children. I am joined by some very talented therapists.  Together, I am confident we will be making a difference in the lives of these children.  Even families who have been working at this for years will hear creative ideas and concepts to help their children.

Contact Norlina at (864) 576-7188 if you want to attend.  The venue can only hold 100 people so we have to limit attendance.  Please reserve today.

image

Dual Role of Quercitin as Antidepressant and Antioxidant: a Double Edged Sword.

Quercetin is a plant-derived flavonoid found in fruits, vegetables, leaves and grains. It also may be used as an ingredient in supplements. It is also a fairly good antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. However, despite all the good news there may be some cause for caution and concern. Some very interesting information just published by researchers in Japan gives us clues why sometimes quercetin seems to help mood and in others it seems to be a problem.  If you aren’t a neuroscientist the take-home message is clear.  Quercetin weakly inhibits one enzyme responsible for the breakdown of serotonin and other neurotransmitters (catecholamines = stimulating type of transmitters). In that way it may help depression. But if your levels of these neurotransmitters were already high – it may trigger mania and rages.  On balance, I have found this supplement helpful in most patients with chronic inflammation, and only occasionally see negative behavior or mood effects.

Effect of quercetin and glucuronide metabolites on the monoamine oxidase-A reaction in mouse brain mitochondria.

Nutrition. 2011 Mar 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Yoshino S, Hara A, Sakakibara H, Kawabata K, Tokumura A, Ishisaka A, Kawai Y, Terao J.

Department of Food Science, Graduate School of Nutrition and Bioscience, Institute for Health Biosciences, University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Quercetin is a flavonoid found in plant foods and herbal medicines. It possesses antidepressant-like effects in forced swimming test-loaded rodents. We wanted to clarify the mechanism of action of dietary quercetin for exerting antidepressant-like effects. The effect of quercetin and its antioxidative metabolite quercetin 3-glucuronide (Q3GA) on the activity of mouse brain mitochondrial monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A) was evaluated by measuring the deamination product of serotonin, 5-hydroxyindole acetaldehyde (5-HIAL).

METHODS: An ultraviolet high-performance liquid chromatographic analysis was applied to measure the 5-HIAL generated by the reaction of MAO-A with serotonin. The inhibitory effect of quercetin and Q3GA on mitochondrial MAO-A activity was estimated by the content of 5-HIAL and hydrogen peroxide accompanied by the MAO-A reaction.

RESULTS: Quercetin (but not Q3GA) decreased the production of 5-HIAL by MAO-A activity. Q3GA inhibited the generation of hydrogen peroxide from the MAO-A reaction with serotonin. A periodic forced swimming test in mice increased brain mitochondrial MAO-A activity. Brain mitochondrial MAO-A activity was decreased in mice administered quercetin for 7 d, but its effect was much weaker than that of the selective MAO-A inhibitor clorgyline.

CONCLUSION: Quercetin is effective in the modulation of serotonergic activity by attenuating mitochondrial MAO-A activity in the brain. Its antioxidative metabolite Q3GA attenuates oxidative stress by interrupting the generation of hydrogen peroxide accompanying the MAO-A reaction.

Before I get to a discussion of this new research – some background might be helpful. This is the monoamine neurotransmitter breakdown pathways. The example uses norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter targeted by the SNRI class of medications as well as Tramadol (a pain medication) and Strattera® (an ADHD medication). But both epinephrine and serotonin figure 2) use MAO for breakdown. Failure to breakdown a neurotransmitter leaves it in play at higher concentrations.

FIGURE 1. Metabolism of Norepinephrine

image

The pathway below shows how tryptophan can be metabolized by the body.  Under typical circumstances the body throws 90% of more of oral tryptophan down the kynurenine pathway. One pathway results in the generation of quinolinic acid, a well described brain toxin. Blocking MAO – even mildly – could increase quinolinic acid.

FIGURE 2. The full tryptophan pathway. 5-HT = serotonin.

image

Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 1, 609-620 (August 2002)

Mutations that decrease MAO activity are relatively common human genetic problems. They present as neuropsychiatric disorders and may be associated with oxidative stress and inflammatory issues as well. Lower activity mutation means higher levels of neurotransmitters.  For these it usually means a tendency toward sleep disorders, rage, hyperactivity and anxiety. It would take longer to calm down after excitement with decreased MAO activity.

So, as we get excited about quercetin or isoquercetin as antioxidant or mast cell stabilzer– I have concerns about its use in some patients with existing MAO issues or high quinolinic acid levels (we can easily measure this in the urine). This becomes especially concerning if we add oral supplementation with tryptophan to the mixture.

What’s can farmers and gardeners teach us about stem cell grafting?

Well, I have been thinking a lot about stem cells for several years – waiting for the science to mature to the point where cost-effective treatment plans start to make sense.  Try to think of stem cells the way a farmer or gardener thinks about his seeds.  You may not know a lot about farming, but I’m confident we all understand the concept of planting seeds to grow flowers or vegetables. 

Every experienced gardener or farmer knows what they need to do after buying the seeds. So do you – prepare the soil where he wants to plant his seeds.  As you might expect it is even more complex with autologous (self-donated) MSC (fat derived stem cells).  First of all we get the “seeds” (stem cells) from the very soil (the person’s ecosystem) where we want to replant them.  That ecosystem already created problems. Our goal is to correct those problems – not add to them. With the right plan we can improve our chances of a good harvest from our stem cell seeds.

In that troubled ecosystem the individual brings with their medical problem lies the potential for a bad crop and  harvest gone wrong.  No one would want to try to grow a crop from diseased seeds so how can we make this work? Equally no decent farmer or gardener would plant his seeds in poisoned soil.

I have some suggestions to help this entire process based on years of experience and work with nutrition and toxicology. It makes sense to first go through some important detoxing prior to collecting the MSC seeds. This will mean something a little different for every patient based on their toxic exposure patterns and individual problems.

Then, following our gardening analogy we will need to fertilize, water, provide fresh air and sunlight, and we have to keep the weeds out of our new crop.  What does all this farmer talk mean in real-world terms for repair and regeneration of someone’s health? 

Fertilizing means given all the proper nutrients the MSC seeds requires. Watering means providing good circulation (blood) to the area we need to restore. fresh air means the right amount of oxygen (likely from HBOT delivered at the right time after the implanted MSC seeds are starting to grow. Sunlight applies to the Vitamin D the immune system will need to help guide or seeds in the right direction. Keeping the weeds out naturally means preventing oxidative damage and toxic exposure to our valuable MSC crop.

If we do all of that right we should have clean MSC seeds to plant and an abundant crop of immune managing stem cells working to regulate and restore immune health and balance; while restoring function to the individual.

I hope my analogy helps this these concepts to be easily remembered.  From my observations of the stem cell industry thus far, it seems lot’s of people want to perform stem cell implanting, but few seem to want to tend to their garden. Please keep this vital analogy and concept in mind as you consider stem options for your health or that of your loved ones.