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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. July 2, 2009

Welcome to USAAA Weekly News, an email newsletter that addresses a range of topics on Autism Spectrum Disorders and Asperger's Syndrome.


Headlines:
Joining Dr. Goldberg...are three fully recovered young adults.
Autism patients' treatment is denied illegally, group says
U.S. Supreme Court Backs Parents on Special Education (Update2)
Gene Expression Profiling of Lymphoblasts from Autistic and Nonaffected Sib Pairs: Altered Pathways in Neuronal Development and Steroid Biosynthesis
Use of vitamin D in clinical practice.
Shop Online and Support USAAA



It all starts one week from today!
Join us Thursday - Sunday, July 9-12
at The Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel
for one amazing conference.

"You have to know what your up against before you can go after it. So when you come to a USAAA conference, you learn what can be going on and all of a sudden you say, aha, now I want to attack it." — Angela Woodward, mother of recovered child
Angela presents, "Pathways To Recovery: An Ongoing Process." Friday, July 10.

"Throughout this conference, it is our hope that you'll find a balance of concepts and pragmatics, from current protocols to research, including biomedical, developmental, and behavioral realms, right down to tools that you can use immediately to begin or add to those needed for your journey."
— Phillip C. DeMio, MD, parent of an affected child
Dr. DeMio presents, "An in Depth Look Into Dietary Interventions and Digestive/Gastrointestinal Problems," Saturday, July 11.

"You cannot have an epidemic of a developmental or genetic disorder. Let’s get this back to medicine. Many kids on the autism spectrum have, in fact, an immune related disease that interferes with their development. This disease process can be “diagnosed” using blood tests and SPECT scans to determine abnormal immune activity, viral activity and decreased blood flow to the brain. The immune system can be modulated and brain function restored. "
— Michael J. Goldberg, MD, presents, "How To Understand and Explain The Connection Between ASD, Seizures/Epilepsy, And Cognitive Dysfunction In Many Children Today," Friday, July 10. Joining Dr. Goldberg are three fully recovered young adults.

Joining Dr. Goldberg, during his presentation at the USAAA conference, are three fully recovered young adults.


 

Autism patients' treatment is denied illegally, group says
Consumer Watchdog asks a judge to order the state Department of Managed Health Care to require insurers to cover prescribed treatments, including a high-cost therapy that insurers have disqualified.

By Lisa Girion
July 1, 2009
LA Times

State regulators are violating mental health and other laws by allowing health insurers to deny effective treatment for children with autism, consumer advocates contend. In a lawsuit, Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica group that monitors insurance practices, is asking a judge to order the Department of Managed Health Care to require insurers to provide autistic members with the services their physicians have ordered.

More than 37,000 children with the most severe cases receive services, such as applied behavior analysis, through the state. Because the state's limited budget for such children is rationed according to the neediest, thousands more suffer debilitating problems but are ineligible for state aid.

Without court action, the suit says, "California's thousands of autistic children and their families will continue to suffer." The department said it was "holding health plans accountable to provide a range of healthcare services for those with autism" and was handling consumer complaints according to the law. Insurers also insist that they are following the law and reimbursing policyholders for most autism care. The dispute centers on certain kinds of expensive therapy and whether a 1999 law requires insurers to pay for them.

"Californians, including those stricken with autism and their parents and caregivers, expect regulators to enforce the law, not to side with insurance companies seeking to boost their profits by denying patients the care they need," said Harvey Rosenfield, founder of the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog and author of the landmark automobile insurance reform initiative Proposition 103.

Click here for entire article.


 

U.S. Supreme Court Backs Parents on Special Education (Update2)

By Greg Stohr
Bloomberg.com

Parents of disabled children can seek government reimbursement for private school tuition, even if the family didn’t first take part in a public special education program, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled.

The justices, voting 6-3, ruled in favor of an Oregon boy whose parents pulled him from his public high school and enrolled him in a private school to address drug abuse, school difficulties, depression and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The ruling lets the parents press ahead with their bid for reimbursement from their local school district.

Lower courts had been divided on the question. The Supreme Court considered a variation of the issue in 2007 and split 4-4, with Kennedy unable to take part for undisclosed reasons.

The Forest Grove School District argued that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act precludes reimbursement when parents unilaterally place their child in a private school without first receiving public services.

The parents of the boy, known in court papers only as T.A., argued that the disabilities law permits tuition reimbursement whenever a school district can’t adequately meet a child’s needs. They faulted the school district for refusing to offer special education services to the boy.

Writing for the court, Justice John Paul Stevens said the purpose of the IDEA, as the law is known, was to meet the “unique needs” of each disabled child.

Click here for more information.




 

Gene Expression Profiling of Lymphoblasts from Autistic and Nonaffected Sib Pairs: Altered Pathways in Neuronal Development and Steroid Biosynthesis

Thanks to Dr. Mark Geier and David Geier for submitting this article

Abstract
Despite the identification of numerous autism susceptibility genes, the pathobiology of autism remains unknown. The present ‘‘case-control’’ study takes a global approach to understanding the molecular basis of autism spectrum disorders based upon large-scale gene expression profiling. DNA microarray analyses were conducted on lymphoblastoid cell lines from over 20 sib pairs in which one sibling had a diagnosis of autism and the other was not affected in order to identify biochemical and signaling pathways which are differentially regulated in cells from autistic and nonautistic siblings. Bioinformatics and gene ontological analyses of the data implicate genes which are involved in nervous system development, inflammation, and cytoskeletal organization, in addition to genes which may be relevant to gastrointestinal or other physiological symptoms often associated with autism.

the data further suggests that these processes may be modulated by cholesterol/steroid metabolism, especially at the level of androgenic hormones. Elevation of male hormones, in turn, has been suggested as a possible factor influencing susceptibility to autism, which affects ,4 times as many males as females.

Moreover, the data further suggests that these processes may be modulated by cholesterol/steroid metabolism, especially at the level of androgenic hormones. Elevation of male hormones, in turn, has been suggested as a possible factor influencing susceptibility to autism, which affects ,4 times as many males as females. Preliminary metabolic profiling of steroid hormones in lymphoblastoid cell lines from several pairs of siblings reveals higher levels of testosterone in the autistic sibling, which is consistent with the increased expression of two genes involved in the steroidogenesis pathway. Global gene expression profiling of cultured cells from ASD probands thus serves as a window to underlying metabolic and signaling deficits that may be relevant to the pathobiology of autism.

Click here to learn more.

Dr. Geier and David Geier will present, "New Insights into the Treatment of Autism," Friday, July 10 at the USAAA 2009 international conference in Los Angeles.



Use of vitamin D in clinical practice.

Pub Med
Altern Med Rev. 2008 Mar;13(1):6-20.

The recent discovery--from a meta-analysis of 18 randomized controlled trials--that supplemental cholecalciferol (vitamin D) significantly reduces all-cause mortality emphasizes the medical, ethical, and legal implications of promptly diagnosing and adequately treating vitamin D deficiency. Not only are such deficiencies common, and probably the rule, vitamin D deficiency is implicated in most of the diseases of civilization. Vitamin D's final metabolic product is a potent, pleiotropic, repair and maintenance, seco-steroid hormone that targets more than 200 human genes in a wide variety of tissues, meaning it has as many mechanisms of action as genes it targets. One of the most important genes vitamin D up-regulates is for cathelicidin, a naturally occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Treatment of vitamin D deficiency in otherwise healthy patients with 2,000-7,000 IU vitamin D per day should be sufficient to maintain year-round 25(OH)D levels between 40-70 ng per mL.

Natural vitamin D levels, those found in humans living in a sun-rich environment, are between 40-70 ng per ml, levels obtained by few modern humans. Assessing serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25(OH)D) is the only way to make the diagnosis and to assure treatment is adequate and safe. Three treatment modalities exist for vitamin D deficiency: sunlight, artificial ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, and vitamin D3 supplementation. Treatment of vitamin D deficiency in otherwise healthy patients with 2,000-7,000 IU vitamin D per day should be sufficient to maintain year-round 25(OH)D levels between 40-70 ng per mL. In those with serious illnesses associated with vitamin D deficiency, such as cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, autism, and a host of other illnesses, doses should be sufficient to maintain year-round 25(OH)D levels between 55 -70 ng per mL.

Vitamin D-deficient patients with serious illness should not only be supplemented more aggressively than the well, they should have more frequent monitoring of serum 25(OH)D and serum calcium.

Vitamin D-deficient patients with serious illness should not only be supplemented more aggressively than the well, they should have more frequent monitoring of serum 25(OH)D and serum calcium. Vitamin D should always be adjuvant treatment in patients with serious illnesses and never replace standard treatment. Theoretically, pharmacological doses of vitamin D (2,000 IU per kg per day for three days) may produce enough of the naturally occurring antibiotic cathelicidin to cure common viral respiratory infections, such as influenza and the common cold, but such a theory awaits further science.

Click here to read article.



GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!Shop Online and Support USAAA

What if USAAA earned a penny every time you searched the Internet? Or how about if a percentage of every purchase you made online went to support our USAAA? Well, now it can!

GoodSearch.com is a new Yahoo-powered search engine that donates half its advertising revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. Use it just as you would any search engine, get quality search results from Yahoo, and watch the donations add up!

GoodShop.com is a new online shopping mall which donates up to 37 percent of each purchase to USAAA! Hundreds of great stores including Amazon, Target, Gap, Best Buy, ebay, Macy's and Barnes & Noble have teamed up with GoodShop and every time you place an order, you’ll be supporting USAAA.

Just go to www.goodsearch.com and be sure to enter US Autism and Asperger Association as the charity you want to support. And, be sure to spread the word!


Online registration ends this Tuesday at 4pm PST.

Onsite registration begins Thursday, July 9 at 4pm at the Westin LAX Airport Hotel in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, CA
July 9-12
Annual Conference


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