Genetic Blocks in Detoxification and Energy Pathways

The Human Genome Project was finally completed after 13 years in April 2003 with much excitement in the science and healthcare community. One of the findings includes the fact that humans all share 99.5% of the same DNA and there is only a 3.1% difference between humans and apes. With that, there is still a wealth of information in that 0.5%.

Understanding genetics can give us an upper hand, but we still find that our environmental exposures play a powerful role. Research shows genetic expressions can in fact be modified by our diet, lifestyle and exposures.

We describe genetic testing to our patients as getting the blueprints to a building. Though the blueprints for two buildings could look identical, the aesthetics (lighting, wall color, furniture design) can make the two spaces feel completely different. Genetics are our blueprints, but the way we live can affect the way we experience them.

When we work with autistic children, we often evaluate the genes in tandem with their nutritional status as this gives both the blueprint and expression. The trends we typically see in these kids are alterations in enzymes for both methylation (helps us detox and build brain chemicals) and mitochondrial (helps with energy production) pathways.

These alterations combined with certain environmental factors like increased heavy metals, infections or chemicals can cause stress to the system resulting in symptoms. Our goal is to achieve a better understanding of the blueprint and correct the levels of necessary nutrients to assist in coping with environmental stressors better.

Methylation Cycle and Mitochondrial Impairments in Autism:

Though still controversial, the role of mercury and other heavy metals in causing autism must be viewed in conjunction with genetic susceptibility brought on by impairments in the methylation cycle.

Autism Spectrum Doctor articles

Metabolic Biomarkers of Increased Oxidative Stress and Impaired Methylation Capacity in Children with Autism

Genetic analyses autism

Mitochondrial dysfunction and autism: comprehensive genetic analyses of children with autism and mtDNA deletion

ASD neurological

Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases III: Manganese, neurological diseases, and associated pathologies