In January 2007, this article's co-author, Dr. Geoffrey Radoff, was invited to a physicians' think tank, sponsored by the Lyme Induced Autism (LIA) Foundation. The purpose of the event was to explore the connection between Lyme and autism and discuss the best approaches to identify and treat autistic children infected with the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Dr. Radoff has been to many medical conferences and has personally contacted physicians extremely knowledgeable about the autistic spectrum. At the think tank conference, he found that everyone was keenly interested in the possibility of Borrelia involvement in the disease and wanted to expand their treatment options. Event organizers and attendees hope that the information put together in San Diego will be helpful to health care providers and that Borrelia will be considered in the diagnosis and treatment plan.
According to Dr. Radoff, those experienced in the autism spectrum know that there are many autisms, not a single autism. There has been no gene identified that causes autism. There are immunologic weaknesses, chronic infections, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and biochemical defects that contribute to the disease. There are environmental toxins contributing to the dysfunction of the immune system and subsequent increases in certain diseases.
Autism is increasing in California, a state that keeps very good statistics. At the University of California at San Diego, David Kirby, author of Evidence of Harm, (1) made this statistic available. An excellent discussion and debate about the widespread implications of mercury and vaccinations on autism is available on the Autism Research Institute (ARI) website (www.autismresearchinstitute.com). Other states are finding increasing numbers of autism diagnoses, including the states on the West and East coasts, all are known to have endemic Lyme Borrelia. In the state of Oregon, it is estimated that one in 98 children are affected, the worst in the country. And, even as this article is going to press, a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control (February 7, 2007) reported that autism is now thought to affect one in 150 American children.
Many characteristics of Lyme disease and autism are shared by the neurological system. These include white matter and gray matter involvement, antibodies to myelin basic protein, hypo perfusion (blood flow restriction in the brain), thyroid antibodies, paralysis of the gut (many presentations, megacolon, encopresis, diarrhea, constipation, pain), hyperacusis (sound sensitivity), light sensitivity, touch sensitivity, sleep problems involving the melatonin cascade, including serotonin uptake, violent behavior outbursts, seizures, rapid mood swings, obsessive compulsive disorder, visual spatial involvement, slow processing and word retrieval, cognition loss, memory impairment, brain fog, dyslexia and word-finding problems, stuttering, bladder dyscontrol, and depression. (2) Other known signs are low muscle tone at birth and higher incidences of birth defects. Included in this category are the known in utero infections
that can cause autism, including syphilis, which is in the Borrelia family. It has also been surmised that seasonal births and autism have connections, which would confirm the infectious agent responsible for autism, encompassing all infections during pregnancy, including a Lyme...