Most researchers initially believed that autism was an entirely genetic condition. Decades of research have proven that to be false. A Stanford study of twins showed that at most, only 38% of the condition was attributable to genetics, and of those genetic mutations, the majority of them were not inherited (de novo mutations). This points to the environment in the search for factors that can mutate genes and overload the body’s physiology.
Several toxins have been linked to an increased risk of autism (air pollution, flame retardants, toxic metals, BPA, glyphosate). It is important to know that most toxins are positively charged and act as “electron stealers.” In that sense, most toxins have a similar collective impact on the body. However, some parents and researchers have noted that most pollution and toxins levels have not been rising and therefore they don’t believe that this can be the full explanation for the rising autism epidemic. A noted exception is the toxic chemical compound glyphosate, an ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp which is used extensively with GMO and non-organic crops.
Wireless and EMF
Toxins are not the only environmental factor. Levels of wireless radiation and EMF (electromagnetic fields) are also rising rapidly and appear to be a key piece of the autism puzzle. Wireless radiation can damage DNA and the majority of studies show damage to sperm. The practice of men carrying their cell phones in their front pockets should be avoided to reduce the risk of sperm DNA damage and the de novo (non-inherited) mutations associated with autism.
Also, the known symptoms of wireless (microwave radiation) and EMF exposure match the known symptoms of autism. The mechanism of action (voltage regulated gateways of the calcium channel) is also now known. Although the biological effects are extensive, both wireless and toxins disrupt calcium and increase inflammation.
Because some healthy children have regressed into autism and some autistic children have recovered, cutting edge researchers are rejecting the concept that autism is a lifelong condition. Newer models consider autism as a state of overload (formally called “allostatic load”) from multiple factors: genetic, environmental and physiological (biological capacity). This state does not have to be permanent; a child can improve and recover as his or her system is unloaded to a level their bodies can manage.
We have already looked at environmental factors that can be reduced, but what are the biological pathways and processes that are being overloaded?
Inflammation may be the key biological measure of overload in autism. Note that many of the currently effective biological treatments for autism already focus on reducing inflammation (gluten free, casein free diet, detox).
It is also important to understand that fight or flight mode (sympathetic nervous system or cell danger mode) is pro-inflammatory and de-prioritizes detoxification. It is not intended to be a long term mode of operation. As the body feels safe and shifts out of danger mode, normal levels of detox, inflammation and growth can be restored. Constant exposure to wireless radiation has been shown to move the body more toward the “fight or flight” response.
When you look at all the major pieces of the autism puzzle, wireless radiation plays a role in all of them. It can increase mutations, especially in sperm. It can induce fight or flight mode and reduce the body’s ability to detox toxins. Finally, it has a direct and constant effect on the fundamental physiology of the body, disrupting the calcium channels, increasing inflammation and causing a wide array of other symptoms. Therefore, decreasing wireless radiation and EMF exposure is key and may prove to be the most effective way to treat autism and end the epidemic.
Simple steps you can take to reduce exposure are listed in this article: Wireless and EMF Reduction for Autism
Links to commentary on research are given in the article above, in context. Links to the primary research sources are given below:
Hallmayer, Joachim, et al. "Genetic heritability and shared environmental factors among twin pairs with autism." Archives of general psychiatry 68.11 (2011): 1095-1102.
Iossifov, Ivan, et al. "The contribution of de novo coding mutations to autism spectrum disorder." Nature 515.7526 (2014): 216-221.
De Rubeis, Silvia, et al. "Synaptic, transcriptional and chromatin genes disrupted in autism." Nature 515.7526 (2014): 209-215.
Raz, Raanan, et al. "Autism Spectrum Disorder and Particulate Matter Air Pollution before, during, and after Pregnancy: A Nested Case–Control Analysis within the Nurses’ Health Study II Cohort." Environ Health Perspect (2014).
Woods, Rima, et al. "Long-lived epigenetic interactions between perinatal PBDE exposure and Mecp2308 mutation." Human molecular genetics 21.11 (2012): 2399-2411.
Rossignol, D. A., S. J. Genuis, and R. E. Frye. "Environmental toxicants and autism spectrum disorders: a systematic review." Translational psychiatry 4.2 (2014): e360.
Stein, T. Peter, et al. "Bisphenol A Exposure in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders." Autism Research (2015).
Samsel, Anthony, and Stephanie Seneff. "Glyphosate’s suppression of cytochrome P450 enzymes and amino acid biosynthesis by the gut microbiome: pathways to modern diseases." Entropy 15.4 (2013): 1416-1463.
Naviaux, Robert K. "Metabolic features of the cell danger response."Mitochondrion 16 (2014): 7-17.
Nevison, Cynthia D. "A comparison of temporal trends in United States autism prevalence to trends in suspected environmental factors." Environmental Health 13.1 (2014): 73.
Moskowitz, Joel M. "Research on the Effects of Cell Phone Radiation on Human Sperm." University of California, Berkeley (2011).
Herbert, Martha R., and Cindy Sage. "Autism and EMF? Plausibility of a pathophysiological link–Part I." Pathophysiology 20.3 (2013): 191-209.
Herbert, Martha R., and Cindy Sage. "Autism and EMF? Plausibility of a pathophysiological link Part II." Pathophysiology 20.3 (2013): 211-234.
Gupta, Simone, et al. "Transcriptome analysis reveals dysregulation of innate immune response genes and neuronal activity-dependent genes in autism."Nature communications 5 (2014).
Havas, Magda. "Radiation from wireless technology affects the blood, the heart, and the autonomic nervous system." Reviews on environmental health 28.2-3 (2013): 75-84.