UA-45667900-1
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Summertime Autism Raging and Dumber in the Summer


By far the most read post in this blog is one about histamine and allergies, which means many people are searching on Google for “histamine, allergy and autism”.

Our reader Kei recently commented that his daughter, without allergy, was again showing signs of summertime raging and that his neurologist confirmed that summertime raging does indeed happen and nobody knows why.

I did figure out how to deal with our version of “summertime raging” and the post-bumetanide “dumber in the summer” phenomena.  There were several posts on this subject.  The lasting solution was to treat the raging as if it was caused by inflammation driven by pollen allergy and to note that inflammation will further worsen the KCC2/NKCC1 imbalance in Bumetanide-responsive autism, making those people appear “dumber in the summer”.  This also accounts for the “Bumetanide has stopped working” phenomenon, reported by some parents.  You need to minimize inflammation from allergy and increase Bumetanide (or add Azosemide).  My discovery was that Verapamil was actually more effective than anti-histamines and actual mast cell stabilizers. Mast cells degranulate via a process dependent of the L-type calcium channels that Verapamil blocks. Mast cells release histamine and inflammatory cytokines like IL-6.

This spring when Monty’s brother asked why Monty was acting dumber, it was time to implement the “dumber in the summer” therapies.  Add a morning tablet of cetirizine (Zyrtec) and a nasal spray of Dymista (Azelastine + Fluticasone).

Dymista is inexpensive and OTC where we live, but I see in the US it is quite an expensive prescription drug.  It is a favourite of Monty’s pediatrician and his ENT doctor. 



Summertime Regression in the Research Literature

I recently came across two very relevant papers on this subject by a proactive American immunologist called Dr Marvin Boris.  If you live in New York, he looks like a useful person to know.

In his first study he investigated whether the onset of the allergy season caused a deterioration in behavior of children with autism or ADHD; in more than half of the trial subjects, it did.

In his second study he went on to make a double‐blind crossover study with nasal inhalation of a pollen extract or placebo on alternate weeks during the winter.  This was his way to recreate the pollen season during winter.

Sixteen of 29 (55%) children with ASD and 12 of 18 (67%) children with ADHD or a total of 28 of 47 (60%) children regressed significantly from their baseline. Nasal pollen challenge produced significant neurobehavioral regression in these children. This regression occurred in both allergic and non‐allergic children and was not associated with respiratory symptoms.

In other words, half of children with autism regress when exposed to pollen, even though they may not show any symptoms of allergy, or test positive for allergy.  This should be of interest to Kei and his neurologist.



Purpose: To determine whether children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) exhibit neurobehavioral regressive changes during pollen seasons.
Design: A behavioral questionnaire‐based survey, with results matched to pollen counts; an uncontrolled, open non‐intervention study.
Materials and Methods: Twenty‐nine children identified with ASD and 18 children with ADHD comprised the study population. The parents of the study children completed the Allergic Symptom Screen for 2 weeks during the winter prior to the pollen allergy season under investigation. The parents of the ASD children also completed the Aberrant Behavior Checklist and the parents of the ADHD children completed Conners' Revised Parent Short Form for the same periods. The parents completed the respective forms weekly from 1 March to 31 October 2002. Pollen counts from the geographical area of study were recorded on a daily basis during this period.
Results: During natural pollen exposure, 15 of 29 (52%) children with ASD and 10 of 18 (56%) children with ADHD demonstrated neurobehavioral regression. There was no correlation with the child's allergic status (IgE, skin tests and RAST) or allergy symptoms.
Conclusions: Pollen exposure can produce neurobehavioral regression in the majority of children with ASD or ADHD on a non‐IgE‐mediated mechanism. Psychological dysfunction can be potentiated by environmental exposures. 


Pollen Exposure as a Cause for the Deterioration of Neurobehavioral Function in Children with Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder: Nasal Pollen Challenge 

Purpose: In a previous study it was established that children with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) had regressed during pollen seasons. The purpose of this study was to determine if these children regressed on direct nasal pollen challenge. 

Design: A double‐blind crossover placebo‐controlled nasal challenge study. Materials and Methods: Twenty‐nine children with ASD and 18 with ADHD comprised the population. The study was a double‐blind crossover with nasal instillation of a pollen extract or placebo on alternate weeks during the winter. The pollens used were oak tree, timothy grass and ragweed. The dose insufflated into each nostril was 25 mg (±15%) of each pollen. 

Results: Sixteen of 29 (55%) children with ASD and 12 of 18 (67%) children with ADHD or a total of 28 of 47 (60%) children regressed significantly from their baseline. 

Nasal pollen challenge produced significant neurobehavioral regression in these children. This regression occurred in both allergic and non‐allergic children and was not associated with respiratory symptoms. There was no correlation to the child's IgE level, positive RAST pollen tests, or skin tests.


Conclusion

When I was figuring out Monty’s summertime raging and cognitive decline, several years ago, there were no significant signs of allergy present.  Nowadays there are far more visible signs of allergy.

Dr Boris does not suggest any therapy for summertime raging, but he did show that it can be driven by pollen in half of those with autism, even children who have no signs of having any allergy.

His studies were published more than a decade ago and seem to have been forgotten.  This seems a pity, but it says a lot.

I only stumbled upon his papers because I was reading another of his decade old papers.  That paper is based on his early use of Pioglitazone in autism, which resulted in several hundred children being successfully prescribed this drug.  Pioglitazone selectively stimulates the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ) and to a lesser extent PPAR-α.

There was a bladder cancer scare, lots of hungry lawyers and I suppose people stopped prescribing Pioglitazone for autism a decade ago.  The numerous subsequent safety studies and meta-analysis show either a small increased risk, or no increased risk, very much dependent on who financed the research.  Pioglitazone is given to people with type 2 diabetes, and they are already at an increased risk of bladder cancer.  In those people, that risk increases between 0 and about 20%, depending on the study.  We are talking about 0.07% to 0.1% of people with T2 diabetes taking Pioglitazone later developing bladder cancer.

A decade later and Pioglitazone is again back in fashion with trials in humans with autism and studies in mouse models of autism. The current autism research does not see cancer risk as reason not to use Pioglitazone.  I agree with them. 

It looks like a minority of people taking Pioglitazone are more likely to suffer upper respiratory tract infections.  That is the risk that I consider relevant.  I also note that in trials even the placebo can appear to cause upper respiratory tract infections.

Pioglitazone was covered in earlier posts, 


but there will soon be a new post.  For most people I think histamine, allergy and summertime raging will continue to be of more interest.






Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Minimizing Summertime Autism Flare-ups in 2015




When I first connected histamine to autism, I did not realize that this might be a common problem.  The most frequently viewed post on this blog is one on histamine and autism; so at least 10,000 people out there have googled “autism and histamine”.

Two years later, the therapy is still evolving and it should be said that, what works best for one person may not help in another person.  The main point is that in some people with autism, they face a summertime regression due to the effect of allergy.  So bad behaviours and aggression increase and good behaviours and indeed cognitive function decrease.  This appears to be the result of histamine and a pro-inflammatory cytokine called IL-6.

For the 2015 pollen season, which started early where we live, this is what we are using:-


Azelastine nasal spray, this is an H1 antihistamine that is also inhibits mast cells from “degranulating” and emptying their load of pro-inflammatory substances.  Once a day.

Quercetin is a cheap flavonoid that has numerous actions including on histamine H1 receptors, mast cells, and inflammation. 125mg two or three times a day.

Verapamil is an L-type calcium channel blocker and also a mast cell stabilizer. 40mg three times a day

Fluticasone propionate 50 µg (micrograms) – see below.  It is a steroid that has recently been shown to have some unexpected effects on mast cells.  


I have found that oral antihistamines were effective for only a couple of hours, but their effect varies widely from person to person.

In theory, Rupatadine should be the most effective anti-histamine, since it is also a potent mast cell stabilizer.  The old first generation antihistamines (that make you drowsy) could in theory be better than the new ones like Claritin, Zyrtec, since they can also cross the blood brain barrier (BBB).

Ketotifen and cromolyn sodium should also be useful, but if the allergy is pollen related, you really need the nasal spray (nasalcrom etc) to get the most effect.  In some countries they sell eye drops and not the nasal spray.  Usually the eye drops are more diluted than the nasal spray.  For example, the Azelastine eye drops contain 50% less Azelastine than the nasal spray, but are otherwise the same.  Where we live they have run out of the nasal spray but not the eye drops, so you could refill the spray with eye drops and double the number of sprays to get the same dose.

Drugs like Claritin and Zyrtec are H1 antihistamines and also partial mast cell stabilizers; they have a positive behavioral effect in some people with ASD, who are apparently allergy free.



New for 2015

I expect that two recent anti-inflammatory therapies, the Tangeretin flavonoid and the Miyairi 588 bacteria/probiotic may have a beneficial, indirect, effect on our usual summertime regression.

A more convention approach is to add fluticasone propionate to reduce the inflammation caused by allergy.  This drug is a steroid and widely used either as an inhaler to control asthma and COPD, or as a nasal spray to treat allergies.

As Flixotide inhaler, Monty, aged 11 with ASD and asthma, has already been taking fluticasone propionate for a few years.  We now use a tiny dose (50 µg), since his autism therapies have greatly reduced any asthma tendencies.

Fluticasone propionate nasal spray (Flixonase, Flonase etc) is widely sold as a treatment for hay fever and rhinitis and was recently combined with Azelastine (see above) as a treatment for moderate to severe allergies in a product call Dymista.

The combination of H1 antihistamine, mast cell stabilizer and anti-inflammatory all in one spray does seem a good idea.  The steroid dose using Dymista is actually lower than the usual dose of steroid when using Fluticasone propionate nasal spray alone.  You want to minimize the amount of steroid absorbed in the blood. When used as a spray/inhaler the amount is tiny, but still should be considered.

Dymista (Azelastine + Fluticasone propionate) does indeed work better than Azelastine alone.  There is no sign of allergy at all (no red eyes, sneezing, itchy nose), with Azelastine you still have an itchy nose.

In our case, the allergy symptoms, even minors ones, do correlate with the change in behaviour and cognitive function; so the target is no allergy symptoms at all.


If anyone has other therapies for summertime flare ups, feel free to share them.