Much to my surprise, allergies play a key role in inflaming classic autism. The allergy that my son has is just a summertime pollen allergy. The effect is to gradually worsen behavior from late spring / early summer until reverting to “normal” as winter approaches. The pollen causes so-called “mast cells” in the body to “de-granulate”, this releases histamine and various pro-inflammatory agents (including the cytokine IL-6) into the blood. This histamine then causes yet further IL-6 to be released downstream. In a person with autism the IL-6 (and perhaps the histamine) causes an inflammatory reaction in the brain, making every day a bad autism day.
There is a very effective treatment.
The most effective mast cell stabilizer, surprisingly, turns out to be a calcium channel blocker called Verapamil. 40 mg of Verapamil at breakfast should completely reverse the autism flare up (including self-injury or violence taking place); more may be needed by early afternoon. Another highly effective mast cell stabilizer is the natural flavonoid Quercetin; if you give half a 500mg capsule twice a day combined with the Verapamil you have a potent mast cell stabilizing therapy. You can also add nasal spray/eye drops from the list below, if needed. I use Azelastine.
If you want to find out more go to the site index and look up the posts on histamine, verapamil and IL-6.
Other effective mast cell stabilizers are:-
- Azelastine (nasal spray and eye drops)
- Ketotifen (nasal spray, eye drops and oral)
- Rupatadine (oral)
- Cromalyn Sodium (oral)
- PEA Palmitoylethanolamide (oral)
Verapamil is a prescription drug, but is by far the most effective therapy for treating autism flare-ups, caused by allergy. It is also very cheap.
Regular anti-histamines like Claritin, Xyzal, Ceterizine etc, do help, but only partially. They cost much more than Verapamil, which is 100 times more effective.