HitAutism.com » Posts for tag 'Dr. Nelson Mane'

Dolphin Tale II (behind the scenes tales)

The sequel, Dolphin Tale 2 is set for release this September 2014.  There is great anticipation about it’s latest star, a sweet little Dolphin named Hope.  Her name is very appropriate as it is at the core of many heartwarming real life experiences that surround the Tampa Bay Area, Winter the Dolphin, and Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Dr. Nelson Mane’ of the Mane’ Center worked with CMA’s David Yates and Winter the Dolphin herself to assist his little patient, Levi Larochelle who has Aspergers, with Social/Emotional development.  This interaction between Levi and Dr. Mane’ with Winter, along with Hemispheric Integration therapy of 8 sessions at Clearwater Marine Aquarium yielded amazing results!

Check out just three real life connections between Winter and children that go behind the scenes and renew the “hope” within your heart!



Spectrum Magazine Article “Total Load Phenomenom” by Elizabeth McBreen

A recent article on Spectrum Magazine regarding a study that finds older moms having a higher risk of having autistic children. For more information regarding this study and Dr. Nelson Mane’s perspective on the subject click on the link below:

Restaurant Review of a Gluten Free Night Out

If you can’t eat out due to the gluten free diet, here is a restaurant review of a nice meal. Hopefully you live near one of these restaurants. http://glutenfreeislife.wordpress.com/

SCD Granola Recipe

I liked this one myself. Here’s the site. http://heal-balance-live.blogspot.com/2009/08/scd-granola-revised.html

I am Always Looking for Gluten Free Casein Free Recipes for You

This  one is gluten free, casein free, soy free. Enjoy!


Hypnosis for Attention Deficit Disorder?

Here is something I had not thought about. It is not something I do, but something someone out there might be interested in pursuing. This is an interview with a psychologist who uses hypnosis. It is very brief but for some maybe a good place to start. This seems like it might be targeted more toward adult ADDers. Here is the link http://adderworld.com/blog1/

Politics, Autism and Health Care Reform

This is not my area but here is a link to those that follow this closely. This condition touches all aspects of our lives; parenting, politics, diets, lobbying, marriages, treatment, social, economics. It is pervasive, no pun intended. http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/08/the-really-big-lie-about-autism-thomas-insel-testifies.html

Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Leaky Brain?

Many in the autism community, especially those interested in biomedical solutions are familiar with the concept of leaky gut or intestinal hyper permeability. Many however, are not familiar with the concept of a leaky brain. I was asked the other day by the mom of a child with ADHD if she should give her child GABA, gama amino butyric acid, to help. The thought being if we could get him to calm down then we could get more out of the hemispheric integration therapy sessions he was participating in. In order to get the most benefit from hemispheric integration therapy the patient must be able to participate in the treatment program. That is, the more he can do, the more we can do for him and the better it works. In this particular case, the child’s attention span is so short that it is difficult to get him to perform a particular therapeutic exercise long enough for it to be of benefit to him. This led me to discuss GABA, the GABA challenge and a leaky brain.

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Inhibitory meaning that it encourages nerve cells not to fire, as opposed to excitatory which encourages neurons to fire. Thus, GABA supplements have the reputation of acting as a calming agent. This was the rationale behind the mom’s suggestion to give him GABA before his treatments in order to calm him down and thus we could get more work done during the time of his treatment sessions.

The problem with this theory is that our brains are considered very precious and therefore have a special barrier to protect them from substances circulating in the blood and the rest of the body. This is called the blood brain barrier. The blood brain barrier is semipermeable meaning that it allows some substances to get through while prevents other substances from crossing over to the environment of the brain. Therefore, the blood brain functions to protect the brain from foreign substances circulating in the blood that could be harmful to the brain. This semipermeable function is similar to the way the intestinal barrier that acts as a screening portal of entry from the outside world to the body. For example, the blood brain barrier is very effective in protecting the brain from bacterial agents in the blood and body. These bacterial agents are screened out by the blood brain barrier and not allowed to cross into the environment of the brain making infections of the brain very rare.There is an issue when the semi-perm permeable blood brain barrier becomes too permeable and allows substances that should not pass through to the brain, into the brain and its environment. This is obviously of significant importance when dealing with patients on the autism spectrum.

In the case of testing for a leaky gut barrier we give the patient two sugars in a solution to drink. One sugar should be absorbed and one sugar should not.We then collect the patient’s urine. If the sugar that should not have been absorbed appears in the urine then the gut barrier was not doing its job and is leaky. To test for a leaky brain or hyper permeable blood brain barrier we use a similar concept. This is called the GABA challenge. GABA taken orally should not be able to cross the blood brain barrier assuming that the barrier is intact. That is, when the doorman of the brain(the barrier) is at the door deciding who gets to go in and who should be kept out, GABA should be kept out. A healthy blood brain barrier should not allow GABA to cross into the environment of the brain. It is impractical to measure cerebral spinal fluid before and after administering GABA to see if there has been a significant change. However we do know the effects of GABA and we can observe for those. That is to say, if GABA did cross the blood brain barrier we would expect to see a calming effect on the individual who took the GABA. This is the basis for the GABA challenge. A GABA supplement is given to the patient and if within a two-hour period the patient becomes more relaxed, then we make the assumption that the GABA crossed the blood brain barrier and had its inhibitory/calming effect. This suggests a leaky blood brain barrier.

So the leaky brain  may answer the question as to why some people take GABA and it has a calming effect, while the same GABA does not have any effect on others. Therefore, in this case, if mom gives her son some GABA in order to calm him down so that we may have more effective hemispheric integration therapy sessions with the child and this is effective, then we have unearthed another problem. Although this may help us have more effective sessions, we will have discovered the issue of a leaky blood brain barrier. A leaky brain is a serious problem which needs to be dealt with particularly in relation to autism spectrum disorders. We do not want a weak blood brain barrier leaving the brain susceptible potential bacteria, toxins and inflammatory reactions.

As always, these illustrations are simplified examples with many other factors that need to be taken into consideration and performing tests such as a GABA challenge should only be done with appropriate physician supervision.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Support Group

Last night we had our monthly support group meeting here in Tampa at Casa Mexicana in Tampa. As usual, I got to enjoy myself and learn more about the community. We have a group of parents that know so much about things such as I.E.P.s, home schooling and parking permits. One of our most experienced parents with an adult child who has been all over the country and has tried various treatments told me that even she picked up a few tips. A Few good pediatricians and therapist will be added to our resource list as some new names were recommended by new members of the group. I answered a few questions , mostly regarding Hemispheric Integration therapy. The best part is always the sharing and fellowship. Its nice to see the look on some faces who usually do not get a night out and if so not with others that understand their situation. If you are in Tampa  remember that next week we are having a family outing at planet bounce for support group members. This is a special time reserved for our group for just families with children on the spectrum. Another outing for the parents and some much needed social time for the kids. For more information about our support group go to www.hitautism.net

Gluten Free Dieters: Check This Out

There is a new social networking web site for gluten free dieters that functions like face book. Share recipes, stories and frustration. The web site seems to be geared toward celiac disease but gluten free is gluten free. It has blogs and forums. It has events listed in different cities around the country. The emphasis doesn’t appear to be on the Autism Spectrum but I am sure you can find ideas here to make your life easier.It really looks like a good place to get some gluten free info. Here it is  http://www.glutenfreefaces.com/