Neurotransmitter in the brain linked with autism

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Edenthiel
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19 Dec 2015, 5:12 pm

HisMom wrote:
Varelse wrote:
I regret that this is your battle, and I hope in some small way to be of support, or at least to avoid making things more difficult.

Research is needed and wanted to protect future populations against increased risk, it is desired in order to better understand the contributing factors, but we need to remember to be cautious, empathetic and compassionate toward all who have had to make their critical life choices before the knowledge was confirmed and widely accepted. We definitely should avoid jumping to conclusions about the meaning of results from one or two studies, especially those conducted on nonhuman animal models.


Than you, Varelse.

Neurochemistry is very very complex. I think these preliminary studies are the setting the stages for more advanced studies to happen over the next several decades.

While I get the argument that non-human animal models may not accurately reflect human neurochemistry, the fact remains that many non-human animal studies have been precursors to studies on human subjects, and results from non-human animal studies are more likely (than not) to be valid and reproducible when applied to human models.


Edenthiel wrote:
And as far as brain development goes, well, it's been an Aspie special interest of mine for about eight years now. And it seems that all the easy discoveries - the ones where a researcher can make a simple, 1:1 correlation of cause and effect - are long picked over, by decades in fact. The state of the science now is in recognizing that minute quantities of various hormones and 'transmitters during really limited windows of time are what determine much of neuro-development.


Then, I hope, for my son's sake, that the science is wrong. If this were true, it fills me with dread for my son's prognosis as I've stubbornly held on to the belief / hope that there is no such thing as a "magical window of opportunity during which brain development must happen or else....."

Edenthiel wrote:
I'm not looking for causes or blames. But having experienced a reduction in the disabling severity of some of the worst symptoms after working with an endocrinologist, I recognize how much potential such research can have.


Edenthiel, are you referring to the symptoms of autism ? If so, then I'd be interested in learning more and very grateful to you for any help you can give me in this matter -- I don't know how to help my son and your feedback would help a lot. Thanks in advance !


That's the frustrating part for me - the study that started this thread talked about autism, but the paper itself read more like it was specifically referring to being oversensitive to stimulus (or processing of the same). They have a very high overlap, but it is not necessary for them to be the same. So many of the symptoms or checklist items for a diagnosis of autism involve sensory input and processing that I guess the distinction really doesn't matter.

Basically, sensory regulation seems to always have some tie to serotonin*, and all these other hormones and neurotransmitters that are implicated in studies either co-regulate with serotonin or are the last mile (the actual dampening of individual connection signals) of regulating sensory processing. And mixed in it all is an intriguing implication that because of all this there are timing issues; the signals eventually make it through but via an atypical path and so a different "conclusion" is formed.

Serotonin is our first developed, most basic neurotransmitter. It regulates hunger, thirst, digestion, mood, immune & autoimmune responses, sleep, sensory processing, etc., so this isn't an implication that serotonin is *the* cause & in fact SSRI's are an exceedingly blunt way to try to get a system of interlocked, co-regulated body chemicals back into a good range. But sometimes it works...


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HisMom
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19 Dec 2015, 5:21 pm

Edenthiel wrote:
That's the frustrating part for me - the study that started this thread talked about autism, but the paper itself read more like it was specifically referring to being oversensitive to stimulus (or processing of the same). They have a very high overlap, but it is not necessary for them to be the same. So many of the symptoms or checklist items for a diagnosis of autism involve sensory input and processing that I guess the distinction really doesn't matter.

Basically, sensory regulation seems to always have some tie to serotonin*, and all these other hormones and neurotransmitters that are implicated in studies either co-regulate with serotonin or are the last mile (the actual dampening of individual connection signals) of regulating sensory processing. And mixed in it all is an intriguing implication that because of all this there are timing issues; the signals eventually make it through but via an atypical path and so a different "conclusion" is formed.

Serotonin is our first developed, most basic neurotransmitter. It regulates hunger, thirst, digestion, mood, immune & autoimmune responses, sleep, sensory processing, etc., so this isn't an implication that serotonin is *the* cause & in fact SSRI's are an exceedingly blunt way to try to get a system of interlocked, co-regulated body chemicals back into a good range. But sometimes it works...


Interesting, Edenthiel. Sensory processing disorder *is* among my son's alphabet soup of diagnoses. While I doubt that I would be able to procure SSRIs for my 6-yr-old to help him overcome his SPD, it shouldn't be difficult to procure 5-HTP. What is your opinion of 5-HTP ? Would it "work" ?

I am getting desperate now. I am also afraid to do anything to / with him, without first doing the research and talking to his neurologist, but your feedback would help ! Thanks !


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wilburforce
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19 Dec 2015, 7:46 pm

Edenthiel wrote:
Just to point out: GABA & Oxytocin affect each others' action in exceedingly complex ways. And that co-regulation ties in with a number of *other* neurotransmitters. Endocrinologists are just figuring out that just like a dynamic network of neurons, so act our brain's neurotransmitters. So it's exceedingly unlikely that any one neurotransmitter is to "blame"; they are best thought of as a giant soup of co-regulators, each affecting the others and the firing or inhibiting of individual neurons.

And as far as brain development goes, well, it's been an Aspie special interest of mine for about eight years now. And it seems that all the easy discoveries - the ones where a researcher can make a simple, 1:1 correlation of cause and effect - are long picked over, by decades in fact. The state of the science now is in recognizing that minute quantities of various hormones and 'transmitters during really limited windows of time are what determine much of neuro-development.

I'm not looking for causes or blames. But having experienced a reduction in the disabling severity of some of the worst symptoms after working with an endocrinologist, I recognize how much potential such research can have. Not to prevent us from existing, but to allow us to enjoy being ourselves, as unique, productive individuals who happen to live near one end of the human spectrum.


Thank you for this post, and your posting in general. You are obviously well-informed about neurology, and it's a subject I find fascinating so I'm happy for the chance to hear from people well-versed in it. :) I have learned so much from this forum, it's one of the things I like best about WrongPlanet.



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22 Dec 2015, 8:51 pm

Autism notwithstanding, I think it's beautiful that people are taking an interest in their own brains. That said, the Mother Jones Disqus comments thread on this research paper is full of disingenuous waity katies, grammar nazis and believe it or not, a serious minority of people actually getting a word in about their personal experiences of actually having HFA!

Call me crazy but I don't think NTs are prepared to interpret hardly any of this. It's just a school of hard knocks thing on our part that they can't get past not having lived through.


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22 Dec 2015, 8:55 pm

wilburforce wrote:
Edenthiel wrote:
Just to point out: GABA & Oxytocin affect each others' action in exceedingly complex ways. And that co-regulation ties in with a number of *other* neurotransmitters. Endocrinologists are just figuring out that just like a dynamic network of neurons, so act our brain's neurotransmitters. So it's exceedingly unlikely that any one neurotransmitter is to "blame"; they are best thought of as a giant soup of co-regulators, each affecting the others and the firing or inhibiting of individual neurons.

And as far as brain development goes, well, it's been an Aspie special interest of mine for about eight years now. And it seems that all the easy discoveries - the ones where a researcher can make a simple, 1:1 correlation of cause and effect - are long picked over, by decades in fact. The state of the science now is in recognizing that minute quantities of various hormones and 'transmitters during really limited windows of time are what determine much of neuro-development.

I'm not looking for causes or blames. But having experienced a reduction in the disabling severity of some of the worst symptoms after working with an endocrinologist, I recognize how much potential such research can have. Not to prevent us from existing, but to allow us to enjoy being ourselves, as unique, productive individuals who happen to live near one end of the human spectrum.


Thank you for this post, and your posting in general. You are obviously well-informed about neurology, and it's a subject I find fascinating so I'm happy for the chance to hear from people well-versed in it. :) I have learned so much from this forum, it's one of the things I like best about WrongPlanet.


:salut:


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Dennis Prichard
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27 Dec 2015, 8:09 pm

There is so much white noise I have to filter through on a day to day basis.
Understanding the science and the physical nature of my thought process makes life easier to deal with.

I don't get snowed under so easily.


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28 Dec 2015, 1:33 am

I appreciate the findings on GABA since they validate a good number of my own experiences holistically managing my symptoms. What I don't appreciate is how these studies invariably kick off news site flame wars & people publicly avowing that we're all about to be cured. They make Autism Speaks look angelic in contrast. Usually their kids just got diagnosed and they've decided to take their indignation out on anybody else with the condition. There are no lies such people won't propagate if only to allay their paranoia.


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Dennis Prichard
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30 Dec 2015, 8:02 pm

I've made my way through life pretending to be normal with various degrees of success, people gave dismissed me as being "weird" "annoying" "smart-ass". Mostly I've been ignored and left to my own devices.
What kind of discrimination does a person in the spectrum endure? Do people look down at you? Belittle you?


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cathylynn
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31 Dec 2015, 12:32 am

i got called weird and worse names and excluded. it took me past my child-bearing years to find a mate. my profession i worked 23 years to get into and then 9 in expelled me. some people get beat up. if those aren't some negative consequences, i don't know what would be.