Inflammation in the Brain of Autistics
Research has shown evidence of immune issues in autistic patients. April, 2002, Journal Molecular Psychiatry (v7, #4, page 375-382) studied autistic children who had a form of disease characterized by apparently normal early development followed by regression in the second year of life. Earlier research has shown that in this group of patients, bowel inflammation is often an issue. (The Lancet (1998:351:637-641), American Journal of gastroenterology (2000: 95: 2285-2295) In this study, the researchers found changes in the cells in the intestine of the autistic patients that suggest that the immune system is reacting against the intestinal cells. The comparisons were made to children with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, celiac disease and normal controls, none of whom had these cellular changes.
Autism has signs of inflammation according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. In research published in November 15, 2004 issue of Journal Annals of Neurology, brain tissue was examined in 11 subjects with autism. The subjects were deceased – killed by accident or injuries (as opposed to some disease process) Tissue from three different areas of the brain indicated presence of inflammation.
Evidence was found that inflammation is in the brain and nervous system of autistics. The researchers ran a test for the presence of two chemicals, cytokines, and chemokines which indicate inflammation. They were elevated in the cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord) in six living patients (children between the ages of six and twelve).
These studies indicate that the immune system may be involved in autism. Also, that the immune response and inflammatory response is local, happening in the brain only. It is not the results of a systemic immune response.
Glutathione is one of the most important supplements to use to protect the brain from inflammation.