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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Controlling Anger In Autism with H1 antagonist, Claritin


Today’s post is about a little experiment I carried out.

If you have been following my blog, you will know that I have been looking into certain related diseases to autism (comorbidities).  One of the subjects that come up in asthma research is the role of a special kind of cell, called the mast cell.  One autism researcher in particular, Dr Theoharides, is also of the opinion that the mast cell plays a key role in autism.

For today, I am not going to give you the full detail on mast cells, just to tell you that play a key role in inflammatory responses and that they can get over-activated and cause problems in various parts of your body.

It is well established that you can calm down your overactive mast cells with histamine antagonists.  There are H1 antagonists like Claritin/Loratadine and H2 antagonists like Tagamet.  H1 antagonists are commonly used to control allergies, and H2 antagonists are commonly used for stomach ulcers and GERD.

Claritin is off patent, cheap and available over the counter in many countries.

I was reading about mast cells and various associated disorders; I came across a site written by a lady whose life had been taken over by over-activation of her mast cells.  It had taken many years to get an accurate diagnosis.  One of her symptoms was an unpleasant tingling sensation in her arms and legs.
 
This began to ring some bells in my mind.  Sometimes, you read of autistic people talking about a horrible sensation like something is crawling up their arms and legs.  This then provokes a big tantrum.

Monty, aged 10 and with ASD, is newly communicative about his feelings.  On occasion, when things are not going swimmingly, he now says “Ï want to be nice”, as he struggles to maintain self-control, and then something like “to hit your leg”  or “I feel angry” and then, if no intervention is made, he might actually hit his leg.  We fortunately no longer have classic autism tantrums, but it is still clear that something is not quite right.

This is a relatively recent development and so I felt the need to address it promptly.  So today when the pattern developed again, I was ready with a spoonful of Claritin.  Sure enough, within half an hour, everything was calm again and has remained so.
 
Monty did have mild signs of allergy, but not enough to have raised any concerns.

The immune system is intimately connected to the HPA-axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis), which controls and releases a whole range of hormones into your body.  So something going astray in your immune system can produce a whole cascade of effects which may appear to have nothing to do with the immune system.


Conclusion

If your child with ASD exhibits anger, tantrums or violence, try a dose of an anti-histamine drug like Claritin.  If everything resolves itself within half an hour, you would be well advised to read up on mast cells.

The self-proclaimed master of the mast cell is a Dr Theoharides, who has published many papers and has developed various supplements.  He has a very thorough website linking to his papers and some videos.









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