A study just published in The Journal of the American Medical Association by researchers from the University of California, Davis called "Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Autism" (i) discovered a profound and serious biological underpinning of autism -- an acquired loss of the ability to produce energy in the cells, damage to mitochondria (the energy factories in your cells), and an increase in oxidative stress (the same chemical reaction that causes iron to rust, fruit to turn brown, and skin to wrinkle). These disturbances in energy metabolism were not due to genetic mutations, which is often seen in mitochondrial problems, but a condition the children studied acquired in utero or after birth.
"Bottom line, if brain cells cannot produce enough energy, and there is too much oxidative stress, then neurons don't fire, connections aren't made and the lights don't go on for these children. In fact, this problem of energy loss is found in most chronic disease and aging -- from diabetes to heart disease to dementia. Brain function and neurodevelopment in particular are highly dependent on energy." -Mark Hyman M.D.
The big debate (iii) that ranges in autism circles is about whether or not autism is a fixed, irreversible brain-based genetic disorder, or a systemic, reversible body-based biological condition that has identifiable causes, measurable abnormalities, and treatable dysfunctions. In other words is autism a life sentence or a reversible condition?
More info at the following link: Autism Research Breakthrough Discovery of Causation / Mark Hyman MD