GUT HEALTH, BRAIN DYSFUNCTIONS, AUTISM, AND CHRONIC INFECTIONS / DYSBIOSIS
For a number of years I've been using my site not only to talk about the link between GUT HEALTH as it relates to brain function and disease (just take a look at MY POST SHOWING THIS RELATIONSHIP IN ALL DISEASES), but as it specifically relates to autism (HERE). Just days ago, Neuroscience News published an article called Blocking Gut Bacteria Strains May Reduce Autism Risk Linked to Maternal Infections. Infections eh? When we think of infections we think of things like colds or flu or staph or an infected cut. The problem is, there are many experts who believe that chronic, hidden (occult) infections may be responsible for as much as 80% of all CHRONIC DEGENERATIVE ILLNESS and AUTOIMMUNITY. HERE is an example of this phenomenon in action.
This thought process was once again confirmed when a husband and wife team made up of Harvard Medical Professor, Dr. Huh Jun-ryeo, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Dr. Gloria Choi, worked together on a pair of similar studies showing how autism is related to Gut Bacteria (MICROBIOME). While this is certainly not news (see link in previous paragraph), what is news is the fact that they actually discovered the exact part of the brain that these bacteria are affecting --- S1DZ. Here is what Dr. Choi's team of 15 researchers concluded concerning S1DZ from their cherry-picked abstract in last month's issue of Nature.
Viral infection during pregnancy is correlated with increased frequency of neurodevelopmental disorders, and this is studied in mice prenatally subjected to maternal immune activation (MIA). We previously showed that maternal T helper 17 cells promote the development of cortical and behavioural abnormalities in MIA-affected offspring. Here we show that cortical abnormalities are preferentially localized to a region encompassing the dysgranular zone of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1DZ). Moreover, activation of pyramidal neurons in this cortical region was sufficient to induce MIA-associated behavioural phenotypes in wild-type animals, whereas reduction in neural activity rescued the behavioural abnormalities in MIA-affected offspring. Sociability and repetitive behavioural phenotypes could be selectively modulated according to the efferent targets of S1DZ.
What does this mean in English? Follow along. Mom gets some kind of virus while she's pregnant. Truth is, she might never even realize she was infected since it's likely as not she didn't exhibit severe symptoms. Regardless, said infections have the potential to activate her immune system in the form of something known as T-17 CELLS (this system causes pre-programmed cellular death -- HERE), which in turn stimulates a very specific part of the brain --- the somatosensory cortex. Overactivate or overstimulate this area and you'll end up with aberrant behaviors --- behaviors that these authors describe as being repetitive and affecting social interaction. If you've ever been around autistics, you know that these are the behaviors that seem to characterize them most.
What does the somatosensory cortex (S1DZ) of the mouse brain do? According to a study published in a 2004 issue of The Journal of Neurophysiology (Two Distinct Regions of Secondary Somatosensory Cortex in the Rat: Topographical Organization and Multisensory Responses), this part of the brain is responsible for, "the integration of somatosensory information with information from other sensory modalities. In this study, we used auditory, somatosensory, or combined auditory/somatosensory stimuli." Again; what are the very things that autistic children have issues with? Neurologically coordinating sensory input (sight, smell, touch, sound, taste, etc). Because these brain systems are not working properly in autistics, it's easy to send them into overload.
The paper by Dr. Huh (Maternal Gut Bacteria Promote Neurodevelopmental Abnormalities in Mouse Offspring) showed similar findings (much of the technical stuff is the same, or at least similar, so I am leaving it out. "In humans, epidemiological studies suggest that exposure of fetuses to maternal inflammation increases the likelihood of developing autism spectrum disorder. Pregnant mice that had been colonized with human bacteria that induce intestinal TH17 cells were more likely to produce offspring with MIA-associated abnormalities. Overall, our data suggest that defined gut commensal bacteria with a propensity to induce TH17 cells may increase the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in the offspring of pregnant mothers undergoing immune system activation owing to infections or autoinflammatory syndromes." And not only this, but when his team stimulated areas of the brain that receive input from S1DZ, they were able to ''reverse the sociability deficits [and] halt the repetitive behaviors". Super cool, but we can't stop now.
Because of the controversy surrounding VACCINES as related to AUTISM, the question that must be answered is whether it's possible for the nasty chemicals and metals found in most vaccines (MSG, formaldehyde, ALUMINUM, MERCURY, and an array of others), not to mention things like GLYPHOSATE that we are essentially being bathed in, to cause disruptions of the normal commensal bacteria (Gut Flora)? Although a simple Google search gives us mountains of information on the topic (my site has quite a bit as well), let's look at a 2015 study from the oft-maligned MIT professor, Dr. Stephanie Seneff (the title alone --- Aluminum and Glyphosate Can Synergistically Induce Pineal Gland Pathology: Connection to Gut Dysbiosis and Neurological Disease --- should tell you where this is going). Citing almost 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers in her bib, Dr. Seneff concluded....
Many neurological diseases, including autism, depression, dementia, anxiety disorder and Parkinson’s disease, are associated with abnormal sleep patterns, which are directly linked to pineal gland dysfunction. The pineal gland is highly susceptible to environmental toxicants. Two pervasive substances in modern industrialized nations are aluminum and glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup. In this paper, we show how these two toxicants work synergistically to induce neurological damage. Glyphosate disrupts gut bacteria, leading to an overgrowth of Clostridium difficile. Its toxic product, p-cresol, is linked to autism in both human and mouse models. p-Cresol enhances uptake of aluminum via transferrin. Anemia, a result of both aluminum disruption of heme and impaired heme synthesis by glyphosate, leads to hypoxia, which induces increased pineal gland transferrin synthesis. Premature birth is associated with hypoxic stress and with substantial increased risk to the subsequent development of autism, linking hypoxia to autism. Glyphosate chelates aluminum, allowing ingested aluminum to bypass the gut barrier. This leads to anemia-induced hypoxia, promoting neurotoxicity and damaging the pineal gland. Both glyphosate and aluminum disrupt cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are involved in melatonin metabolism. Furthermore, melatonin is derived from tryptophan, whose synthesis in plants and microbes is blocked by glyphosate. We also demonstrate a plausible role for vitamin D3 dysbiosis in impaired gut function and impaired serotonin synthesis. This paper proposes that impaired sulfate supply to the brain mediates the damage induced by the synergistic action of aluminum and glyphosate on the pineal gland and related midbrain nuclei.
What can I really say about this study that she didn't already say? For starters, there are many studies linking autism to issues with serotonin production (HERE), one going all the way back to 1977 (I was 10 for Pete's sake). Neither is it difficult to find studies linking metals to dysbiosis (HERE are several from a NZ dentist). Dr. Seneff goes on to invoke things like INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY and other LEAKIES, DYSBIOSIS, HYPOXIA, ANEMIA, BIOTRANSFORMATION, C. DIFF (the chief reason doctors prescribe FMT's) and others. And just like the other studies discussed today, all of it drives INFLAMMATION and is driven by inflammation And here's the rub.
I sometimes sound like a broken record, but the word "inflammation" is used so often in our society that that I find most people don't have a clue what it really is. Oh, they think they understand what it is, but I would be willing to guess that in my little town of 3,000 people, you would be hard-pressed to find a handful of people (doctors included) who could adequately explain it. Unfortunately, if you don't know what inflammation is, as well as the reasons it can be both good and bad --- sometimes at the same time --- it's hard to formulate a plan for at least slowing it down and managing it. Fortunately, you won't need to re-invent the wheel. There are simple protocols that can completely "cure" some of you, help many of you, and even if they don't seem to be helping, will not likely cause ugly side-effects seen in so many of today's pharmaceuticals (HERE).
I get it; you might need to visit a SPECIALIST IN FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE. However, once you realize that the vast majority of disease process and even chronic pain share the same common denominators (HERE), a simple-to-understand DIY PROTOCOL like this begins to make more sense. As is always the case, be sure and check in with your doctor first; wouldn't want you doing anything without that big white-jacket 'Thumbs Up' now, would we. And in light of what we learned today; if you happen to be a pregnant mother (or for that matter, a woman who might become pregnant), do you really want that ridiculous flu shot (HERE)?
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).