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Therapies to improve biochemical functions hold promise as treatments for autism
Date:6/2/2011

Two promising new treatments to aid people with autism have shown effectiveness in pilot studies conducted by an Arizona State University professor and private researchers.

Several studies indicate that children with autism often have abnormalities in critical biochemical functions that help maintain health specifically methylation, glutathione, and mitochondrial functions.

Methylation turns proteins in the body on and off including DNA and RNA a function that controls gene activity.

Glutathione, a primary antioxidant, provides a defense against toxic metals in the body. Mitochondria are essentially the "factories" inside body cells that produce energy.

The research team has been developing therapies aimed at restoring or improving these functions in people with autism experiencing abnormalities.

The complete study is published in the medical journal Autism Insights, and is available online at http://la-press.com/article.php?article_id=2665

The team includes:

  • James Adams, a professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, one of ASU's Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
  • Stuart Freedenfeld, physician and medical director with Stockton Family Practice, in Stockton, N.J.
  • Tapan Audhya, a biochemist with the Health Diagnostics and Research Institute, in South Amboy, N.J.
  • Kim Hamada, a registered nurse with Stockton Family Practice.

A common feature of the abnormalities the researchers are studying is that they are affected directly or indirectly by levels of specific substances produced by the body ribose and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NADH.

Use of ribose and NADH supplements have been reported to boost levels of adenosine-5'-triphosphate, or ATP a primary fuel source for the body and the brain. The supplements have also been shown to be helpful in t
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Contact: Joe Kullman
joe.kullman@asu.edu
480-965-8122
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert

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