Monday, January 07, 2013

Biomedical Treatments for ASD?

There aren't any biomedical treatments for autism as such. It is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder, or group of disorders, that reflect unusual growth patterns in the brain and neuroendocrine system.The cause(s) could be prenatal and almost certainly are epigenetic (altered gene expression as a result of mutation or exposures), but once symptoms are present, the best treatment is still behavioral because the changes have already occurred.The brain is programmed and physically altered during early child hood in very dramatic ways by BEHAVIOR. Early behavioral and neural plasticity is much greater during infancy and early childhood that it is during later life. This is the window of opportunity. Treating comorbid illnesses will always make a person feel better and often feeling better improves behavior that previously expressed or was enhanced by discomfort. Don't get sucked into the people who make a living by promising cures with no scientific validity. They are legion. In 50 or a hundred years, the epigenetic processes involved may be directly and efficiently modulated by biomedical treatments, but at this point we do not know enough. Any biomedical treatment should be regarded as completely experimental, if not an utter shot in the dark.

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