Although Autistic Disorder is associated with several congenital conditions, the cause for most cases is unknown. The present study was undertaken to determine whether breastfeeding or the use of infant formula supplemented with docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid is associated with Autistic Disorder. The hypothesis is that breastfeeding and use of infant formula supplemented with docosahexaenoic acid/arachidonic acid are protective for Autistic Disorder.Methods
This is a case-control study using data from the Autism Internet Research Survey, an online parental survey conducted from February to April 2005 with results for 861 children with Autistic Disorder and 123 control children. The analyses were performed using logistic regression.Results
Absence of breastfeeding when compared to breastfeeding for more than six months was significantly associated with an increase in the odds of having autistic disorder when all cases were considered (OR 2.48, 95% CI 1.42, 4.35) and after limiting cases to children with regression in development (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.01, 3.78). Use of infant formula without docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid supplementation versus exclusive breastfeeding was associated with a significant increase in the odds of autistic disorder when all cases were considered (OR 4.41, 95% CI 1.24, 15.7) and after limiting cases to children with regression in development (OR 12.96, 95% CI 1.27, 132).Conclusion
The results of this preliminary study indicate that children who were not breastfed or were fed infant formula without docosahexaenoic acid/arachidonic acid supplementation were significantly more likely to have autistic disorder.
Lipid Res. 2007 Mar;48(3):513-7. Epub 2006 Dec 21.
Docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid are fundamental supplements for the induction of neuronal differentiation.
Kan I, Melamed E, Offen D, Green P.
SourceLaboratory of Neurosciences, Felsenstein Medical Research Center, Beilinson Campus, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Petah Tiqwa 49100, Israel.
Cell replacement therapy is being investigated for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. Adult autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been induced to differentiate into neuron-like cells harboring a variety of neuronal markers and transcription factors. Neural tissue characteristically contains high proportions of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA). In this study, evaluation of the fatty acid profile of differentiated neuron-like cells revealed a very low level of DHA, similar to that in MSCs but different from typical neurons. Supplementation of the medium with DHA alone resulted in increased levels of DHA but concomitant low levels of AA. However, supplementation with both DHA and AA yielded a fatty acid profile resembling that of neural tissue. It also resulted in enhanced outgrowth of neurite-like processes, hallmarks of neuronal differentiation. These findings demonstrate the essentiality of DHA and AA supplementation in the process of induced neuronal differentiation and have important implications for the development of cell replacement strategies of neural repair.
PMID:17185746[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Some mothers feel their children's autism did not fully express itself until after they quit breast feeding
I wouldn't be here today, with these outlandish thoughts, but for a woman who is doing quite an interesting series on autism and evolutionary psychiatry in a Psychology Today blog. Her name is Dr. Emily Deans. This is her blog.