This conference represents a major opportunity for serious professionals who want to learn about state-of-the-art autism diagnosis and treatment. Other pediatric specialists should take note that the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs is a formal, scientific forum for doctors who wish to care for complicated cases.
Day 1 – ADHD Sessions
Dr. Elizabeth Mumper (Rimland Center) reviewed neurotransmitters. Her focus then shifted to the pressure that Big Pharma has (openly and clandestinely) foisted upon parents, patients, and doctors to diagnose ADHD and prescribe medication. Plus, there is a lack of research demonstrating long-term improvement from these pharmaceutical products.
The disorder is better characterized as a network-communication problem, rather than focusing on one or two specific areas of the brain.
Dr. M then reviewed treatable, metabolic causes of behaviors that may be diagnosed as ADHD. Therefore, the signs and symptoms deserve an appropriate workup; not merely a knee-jerk Rx for stimulant medication.
Dr. Dan Rossignol summarized the most recent and pertinent literature about laboratory assessment for ADHD. A reasonable medical workup was presented, so that treatable conditions can be identified.
Dr. Nancy O’Hara followed with her interesting proposals about non-drug interventions, including dietary changes and addressing environmental issues.
Dr. Stuart Freedenfeld spoke about the forces that drive the diagnosis, many of them non-medical and more related to socio-economic status, especially as regards pharmaceutical intervention.
Case presentations and discussions filled out the rest of this first day.
Day 2 – Environmental Medicine Sessions
Dr. O’Hara reviewed detoxification physiology and the factors that might affect normal functioning, including genetic variation and the myriad of toxins in the air, food and water. Poisons have detrimental effects on mitochondrial operation, the CNS, and can lead to thyroid disruption, altering normal physiology. Various helpful interventions were offered.
Dr. David Quig reviewed laboratory assessment of metal exposures and the concept of body burden. Single toxins can be detrimental, but there are many environmental poisons that multiply negative effects, called the Multiple Hit Phenomenon. He discussed the issue of net retention of toxins, and various therapeutic modalities.
Dr. Stephen Genuis expressed his opinion that airborne pollution represents the most important source of toxic load, resulting in chronic illness for the mother, child, and future generations. He also introduced the topic of ‘nano toxicity’, new pollutants of very small molecular size, in bedding, for example. Evidence for direct and indirect effects of the ever-increasing burden of toxins on multiple body systems was reported.
Dr. David Dornfeld added to our knowledge about total body burden of multiple toxins. He also discussed various forms of detoxification, including chelation – the active removal of heavy metals with chemical compounds.
Case presentations and discussions followed.
Day 3 – Plenary Session
Dr. William Parker spoke about “Post-industrial factors underlying immune system destabilization and subsequent inflammatory diseases point toward dramatic changes for medical practice in the near future.” His discussion was about the manner in which modern society has disturbed our microbiology and the effects that has had on the immune system and created a whole host of auto-immune conditions.
Dr. Paul Schreckenberger gave a fascinating talk revealing that, contrary to common scientific belief, urine is NOT sterile. The take home point was that there is whole host of new thoughts about the human microbiome (our micro-organisms and their genetic components). There is a need to identify new species and get a better understanding of good and bad bacteria.
Dr. Michael Cabana presented the evidence about the use of probiotics and the effects of ameliorating auto-immune conditions, especially asthma. Important variables are when the supplement is delivered and the requirement for high potency products.
Dr. Rossignol presented the evidence for HBOT to address gastrointestinal inflammation.
Dr. Bob Sears gave a lecture about thyroid disorders and the ‘workup’ to assess thyroid function.
Finally, Dr. Rossignol presented evidence about the newest therapies for autism.
Coincidentally, this conference commenced even as the CDC announcement that 1/68 children are now affected with ASD. Each year, it seems, the numbers can’t possibly go any higher, but they continue to rise.
The professionals who attend this conference are serious about getting a better understanding about this epidemic and trying to help, and I am proud to be part of that group.