Friday, 8 August 2014

Cognitive Function Restored, with Bumetanide

Regular readers will know that every summer Monty, aged 11 with ASD, has a “flare-up” in his autism.  Behaviour gets very much worse and now we notice that also cognitive function is impaired.

In my last post I repeated how the aggression and SIB (self-injurious behaviour) was very effectively suppressed by Verapamil and I was pondering how to solve the, now visible, cognitive decline.

I suppose some readers may be thinking all this sounds fanciful.  Once a child with autism is verbal and has got as far as basic maths, it is very easy to measure cognitive function.  For years I have asked Monty what he had for lunch at school that day, to check how “switched-on” he was.  Now, I just need to ask him something like “what is five times five”.

Ted, Monty’s older brother, has also noticed these changes and has recently delighted in showing how his brother does not know six times six, or even twelve plus five.  He would ask him questions when we are all in the car, and then I would have to start making excuses for his brother.  Well with Verapamil, at least Ted is not going to get punched by Monty, as they sit in the back of the car.

We know that for most of the year Monty knows the right answer to all these questions, but from July to early October he may get them wrong, or does not answer.  This was all traced back to the effect of a mild pollen allergy.

Rather than look for something new, I decided that as a first step I would just increase the dose of one of his existing Polypill ingredients and “hey presto” the problem was solved.  A nice surprise, indeed.

I increased the Bumetanide dose from 1mg once a day, to 1mg twice a day.

Every time since that I ask Monty five times five, or six times four he gets the right answer, even if he is in the middle of doing something else, like jumping into the swimming pool.  That is proof enough for me.  Even Ted has noticed.

In previous posts I did complain about the effectiveness of autism rating scales and suggested that measuring academic performance (in older kids) might be more reliable.   In the case of Bumetanide this really is the case.

As to the relationship between bumetanide and allergy, there are various possibilities.  I did yesterday highlight this impact to the French researchers currently working to get Bumetanide approved officially as drug for autism, since it could be useful for them to know.


So, the current summertime allergy solution is:-

Aggression and SIB – Verapamil three times a day

Cognitive impairment – Bumetanide one extra daily dose of 1mg

All that is left of the “autism flare-up” is a very occasional rapid mood swing from happy to sad.

Compared to last summer, the difference is profound and now the difference between behaviour in summer and winter is very small.


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