Metallothionein and Autism Update

Metallothionein and Autism Update

Metallothionein and Autism Update

by William Shaw, PhD, Founder, Great Plains Laboratory Healthcare professionals treating children with autism spectrum disorders have shown considerable interest in metallothionein (MT) in the last few years because of pioneering research by William Walsh, PhD of the Walsh Research Institute. I feel that Dr. Walsh is correct that the copper to zinc ratio is abnormally high in individuals with autism. However, I believe that the reason for this abnormal ratio involves the complex interaction among MT, zinc, copper, as well as ceruloplasmin and glutathione. Metallothionein (MT) MT is a family of small proteins containing 61-68 amino acids that play a major role in heavy metal detoxification. MT deficiency could explain why individuals with autism respond unfavorably to heavy metals like mercury. MTs function as intracellular distributors and mediators of copper and zinc. MT also contains an unusually high (30%) concentration of cysteine, which reacts with a number of metals including zinc, mercury, copper and cadmium. However, the most important…

Nutrition and Autism

by Vicki Kobliner MS RD, CD-N Nutrition and autism:  Mention the words “nutrition” and “autism” and many people quickly but exclusively think of gluten and casein free diets (GFCF). While this diet has certainly helped to improve the symptoms of autism for many children, there is far more about nutrition and its relationship to autism that every parent should know before embarking on the complex and often expensive journey into the world of biomedical therapies. Good nutrition is the cornerstone of growth and development for all children, healthy or ill.  When nutritional status is compromised it will directly affect a child’s progress, and for a child with a chronic illness like autism, the lack of critical nutrients can have far reaching effects. Children with autism often exhibit a frustrating mix of picky eating behaviors and limited diets, bowel irregularities, food allergies or sensitivities and physical and behavioral signs of nutrient deficiencies.  A vicious cycle is created which goes something like…