Many specialists who work with autism as well as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia — myself included — find that there is a major overlap between the three conditions.
I suspect all three have related underlying processes and, given a specific genetic makeup, the very same processes that trigger CFS and fibromyalgia in adults can trigger autism in children.
Because of this overlap, I've also been involved in research on helping children with autism. Autism is a brain function disorder that results in impaired social interaction, difficulty with communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior.
These symptoms start before a child is three years old and affect four times as many boys as girls. It can be very severe, or in milder forms called Autism Spectrum Disorder (e.g., Asperger Syndrome). Like CFS and fibromyalgia, the prevalence of autism is skyrocketing and is currently present in almost 1 percent of our nation's children!
One study sheds light on the relationship between these disorders by showing that a nutrient called L-carnitine, which regulates energy production and is helpful in treating CFS/FMS (referring to the "acetyl" variety of L-carnitine), can also help treat autism.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Institute of Chronic Illnesses in Silver Spring, Maryland. They treated 30 children with ASD. The children were divided into two groups, with one group being given a daily dose of 50 mg of L-carnitine for every kilogram of body weight (e.g., a 60-pound child would have taken 1,364 mg of L-carnitine a day) while the other group was given a placebo.
After three months, the children taking L-carnitine had "significant improvements" in the severity of ASD, reported the researchers in Medical Science Monitor.
Improvement was measured in several ways and included improved scores on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), which rates children on their ability to relate to people, body use, adaptation to change, listening response, and verbal communication; and on the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist, which evaluates children on speech/language/communication, sociability, sensory/cognitive awareness, and health/physical behavior.
The researchers also linked higher blood levels of carnitine to hand muscle strength, cognitive scores, and CARS scores.
© 2021 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.