Testing Methylation to Diagnose Autism

I know I will hear from a number of my patient’s parents when this leaks out.  I suspect that many will begin with “I knew it all along”.  In this article, researchers describe their process for using 24 different metabolite markers in an algorithm to separate autism from non-autistic children.  These markers primarily focus on methylation and transulfuration.  They were able to produce about 90% accuracy using these markers with oxidized glutathione as the more predictive when it is elevated.  Just don’t try to knock our office door for the test just yet. This is still being researched and I don’t have the exact process / criteria by which they determined the diagnosis.

In the mean-time as we wait for more details and corroborating proof, we at Sanctuary will continue to evaluation both of these critical metabolic cycles for deficiencies and imbalances.  The methylation cycle employs B12 and methyl-folate along with other vitamins and minerals to produce S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe).  This SAMe is then used in a multitude of other processes from hormone metabolism, to neurotransmitter production, to detoxification, and DNA control.  The tran-sulfuration cycle branches off the methylation cycle leading either to the off-loading of extra sulfur or the production of glutathione, our main intracellular antioxidant.

In many of our patients whose parents suspect or have been diagnosed with autism, we evaluate glutathione levels to consider whether supplementation might be beneficial to their systems.  We also advise parents against utilizing Tylenol for fevers or for vaccine administration.  Tylenol depletes glutathione, preventing its use in many detoxification processes or anti-oxidant needs.  By optimizing glutathione and its processing of sulfur, we see patients recover neurologic health in many cases.

We also consider supplementation to optimize the methylation cycle through folinic acid or methyfolate.  We also assess whether other B vitamins and other minerals like magnesium are needed to keep the cycle going.  Adequate methylation leads to adequate phosphatidylcholine for brain health and many other health benefits.

I look forward to learning more how this test of methylation and trans-sulfuration can benefit my patients and their parents.  Hopefully, it will refine our therapies for children with autism even further.  Anything we can use to help children live healthier, more abundant lives is welcome at Sanctuary.  We look forward to caring for your child in the stressful times of autism diagnosis and therapy.  Give us a call to learn how we can help.


Referenced Paper

BioEngineering and Translational Medicine

Multivariate techniques enable a biochemical classification of children with autism spectrum disorder versus typically‐developing peers: A comparison and validation study

Daniel P. Howsmon Troy Vargason Robert A. Rubin Leanna Delhey Marie Tippett Shannon Rose Sirish C. Bennuri John C. Slattery Stepan Melnyk S. Jill James Richard E. Frye Juergen Hahn

First published: 14 May 2018


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