Scientific Update: How Do Foods Affect the Brains in Autistic Patients?
Myron Yau, HK BioTek Nutritionist
Autism has long been affecting some children as well as their parents. Scientists around the world are trying hard to look for the causes and the mechanism behind it. Unfortunately, they are still largely unclear in the scientific world. Yet, as with the complex diseases, scientists believe genetic and environmental factors including diet, infections, and xenobiotics play roles in the pathogenesis of autism to certain different extents.
As early as 2002, scientists have already demonstrated the cross-reactivity of a commercial IgA anti-gliadin antibody with cerebellar tissue. However, in 2004, more indicative research results were published in a renowned international journal, Nutrition Neuroscience. First, the study found that children with autism had significantly higher levels of both gluten and cerebellar peptide antibodies in more than 80% of the cases. With different testing methods, the researchers showed that antibodies against gliadin peptides reacted with cerebellar peptides, and antibodies prepared against cerebellar peptides reacted with crude gliadin and gliadin peptides. Surprisingly, this trial also revealed that anti-egg and anti-milk antibodies reacted with cerebellar proteins at 68% and 55.7% respectively, which indicated a significant antigenic cross-reactivity between egg and milk with cerebellar peptides. Moreover, the positions of the cerebellar peptides and gliadin responsible for the cross-reactivity antibody production were identified. These findings leaded to a conclusion that a subgroup of patients with autism produce antibodies against Purkinje cells and gliadin peptides, which may be responsible for some of the neurological symptoms in autism.
This pioneer study lights up the hope of thousands of autistic children and their parents to finally find the ultimate treatment.