TACA Reflections: Autism and My Research Heroes

As I started typing this post last night, I was sitting in Los Angeles airport awaiting my very delayed flight home.  I was at the national TACA (Talk About Curing Autism) Conference, which is always a truly wonderful experience.

The Conference boasted a top quality line up of doctors and researchers this year, including a really very touching and funny keynote speech by Erin Brockovich.

The two highlights of the conference for me:

  1. Seeing a talk by Dr. Robert Naviaux on his small-but-remarkable trial using Surinam in autism.  If you have a child on the  spectrum, take the time to read  about this.  In my nearly 22 years in autism, it is one of the most promising lines of research I have ever seen.
  2. I actually got to talk, for quite some time, with Dr. Derrick MacFabe, who my regular readers know is one of my favorite researchers ever. (I managed, just barely, to keep from giggling like a 12 year old meeting Justin Bieber and asking for his autograph.)  MacFabe’s work on microbiome alterations in autism is truly among the most important research done in the last 2 decades.  And it’s not just me who says so, by the way.  Two years ago, the Nobel Forum Symposium, in Sweden, invited him and 9 other researchers to speak at a small meeting on microbiome research.

Coincidentally, or perhaps not now that I think of it…my post of March 30th of this year described a paper by Drs. MacFabe, Frye, Kahler and Slattery that explores the 3 most promising lines of research in autism at the moment:  the work of Dr. Naviaux and the cell danger hypothesis; propionic acid issues, such as Dr. MacFabe has been researching for the last couple of decades; and finally – biome depletion, and the use of helminths to restore the biome.

At one point, I commented to another mother that Dr. Naviaux’s work was the most exciting thing I’ve seen in autism in years.  She corrected me – his work and helminths.

Thanks to people like Dr. MacFabe, Dr. Frye, Dr. Naviaux, and a few others., perhaps finally some meaningful progress is actually being made in autism.



2 Comments on “TACA Reflections: Autism and My Research Heroes

  1. I just found your blog. I joined TACA a few weeks ago. I’m interested in learning more. I just feel defeated from the start because my son only eats a few things.

  2. Hi. Don’t be defeated! Many of us have struggled with getting our children with autism to eat. But with perseverance, it can be done.

    I do nutritional consulting, so if you’d ever like to talk, just let me know! judyhopec@verizon.net

    TACA is a phenomenal organization. There are so many people there who would be happy to help you.

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