Alzheimer’s and Autism are now considered episodic with a ten-fold increase over the past 20 years in the numbers of individuals diagnosed. Autism Spectrum Disease (ASD) is a cluster of conditions commonly known as autism, with no two children displaying identical symptoms other than delayed language development. Alzheimer’s is quite similar except that it impacts an older population, robbing many of them of their words and memories.

It has become the focus of researchers, advocacy groups and the government to find and implement interventions that can improve the lives of families. Budget cuts, however, are leaving families with heavy emotional, psychological and financial stress that cannot be met by limited public programs.

Since many neurological disorders present in a variety of ways, it is not surprising that the treatments are just as varied and often considered unproven or experimental. Medications have provided mostly unsatisfactory results. A greater emphasis is being placed on the management of secondary conditions common to these disorders, which include problems with sleep, memory, speech, focus, and immunity, gastrointestinal maladies, food allergies and detoxification problems. Even allergies and sensitivities can result in symptoms of hyperactivity, stimming, temper tantrums, rashes, pain, bowel changes and mood swings.

For any intervention to be effective it is important to first correct the diet and restore gastrointestinal balance. This must include the use of supplements that can help the body eliminate microbes, reduce infections and promote proper functioning of the GI tract. It is essential to restore good ecology, repair the mucus membranes and protect the brush border but also become educated about this system so it doesn’t become repeatedly damaged. While many interventions are useful, diet is absolutely essential and should be implemented as soon as foods are introduced. Far too many children are growing up on diets that simply cannot meet their nutritional needs, and becoming addicted to foods that contribute to the problems.

Many people who suddenly develop neurological disorders may be “pathological detoxifiers” which means they accumulate more toxic debris than their bodies can eliminate. As cellular waste builds up, there is a “tipping point” at which the body can no longer cope. I like to think of this as individual capacity. Some have a bucket, some have a dumpster, but when the receptacle is full, someone has to manually dump that trash! As a researcher, I believe this can happen to any of us at any age, but in people predisposed genetically, it can be the underlying cause of their disease because toxins have the ability to trigger genetic expression.

Everybody has systems in place that facilitate detoxification, but no one really knows how well these systems work or at what point they will go awry. What we are realizing is that some people, especially the young and old, may not detoxify as well as our pollution levels require. Each toxin is like a straw, benign and insignificant, unless it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Sherry Rodgers, MD wrote a great book called Detoxify Or Die. She implores us to become conscious, to recognize the long term effects of polluting our inner and outer body. I like to think of the two extremes of population—babies and the aged, as the canaries in the coalmines. Their health problems are telling us we’ve polluted our planet, our food, our air and our water. It’s not safe for human consumption. Please become informed, become proactive and clean up the inner as well as the outer environment. Do your part, but above all, feed your children organic fruits and vegetables and whole grains from the time you first introduce food at six months. Get them off to a healthy start. Prevention is our only hope.

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Author, Freelance writer