We have been testing immune/inflammatory response, oxidative stress and growth factor markers in ASD children from central Europe. Most showed high levels of related cytokines and chemokines.
From our initial testing and published results, we have developed a custom Quantibody Array to test ASD children. The markers in this array are: BDNF, HSP-70, Leptin, RAGE and TGF-beta1.
Figure: Serum Levels of Key Markers in Tested ASD Children
Here's more on each marker:
- BDNF is a protein involved in making healthy new neurons. This protein is dis-regulated in autism. It is shown to be decreased in some studies and increased in others. These variations could be a function of age. During brain development, BDNF regulates the birth and differentiation of brain cells, or neurons. Some of BDNF’s target cells, such as cortical interneurons, which transmit information between different layers of the brain cortex, have been implicated in autism. BDNF is also a regulator of brain growth, and children with the disorder tend to have abnormally large brains during early development. Vigorous exercise, for example, increases BDNF levels in blood and studies have linked this increase to growth of new healthy neurons in the hippocampus region of the brain. We found all ASD children tested showed low levels of BDNF. All had moderate to high levels of heavy metals and viral/bacterial pathogens. Most also had evidence of leaky blood brain barriers. Could this low level be due to consumption of BDNF demanded by the chronic need for neuro-repair or is genetic in origin or perhaps both?
- HSP70 is strongly upregulated by heat stress and toxic chemicals, particularly heavy metals such as: aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, copper, mercury, etc. This upregulation in ASD could be linked to difficulty is in clearing toxins. Children with highest tested HSP70 levels also had the highest concentration of heavy metals. The 3 children with healthy levels have been undergoing ongoing treatment to clear metals.
- Leptin modulates appetite and energy tough elevated levels of leptin present in cases of autism might be an important sign of immune processes, particularly those related to inflammation. It is also suggested leptin may be a link between autism and epilepsy that provides an avenue for novel or better management of autistic children with epilepsy. All were in the range of published healthy controls (mean=2065 pg/ml).
- RAGE is hypothesised to have a causative effect in a range of inflammatory diseases such as diabetic complications, Alzheimer's Disease and even some tumors. In ASD, it is thought to be a master switch for chronic inflammation. Including in the brain. RAGE is a receptor for S100B so it is also elevated in ASD and is reflective of neurological damage. All showed elevated serum levels of rage.
- TGF-beta1 is a protein that controls proliferation, cellular differentiation, and other functions in most cells. This control includes tissue repair in the nervous system. Decreased transforming growth factor beta1 in autism is a potential link between immune dysregulation and impairment in clinical behavioral outcomes. 6 of 8 of the children had low TGF-beta1 levels. Though the correlation between symptoms and behaviors is not conclusive.
We plan to significantly increase the samples of ASD children tested using this custom Quantibody Array. .
Our ultimate goal is to use this array as a tool to determine the efficacy of therapies we are developing. Our goals is to develop natural products based therapies that are proven to activate stem cells. These cells could catalyze immune response modulation and tissue repair. The process is to first clear metals and pathogens, then treat with stem cell activators and test and fine tune treatments and test again.
I will be posting results on an ongoing basis. I also welcome any and all comments. I am available for direct contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-801-1007.