Tuesday evening I printed out a bunch of new articles to read that looked potentially interesting. I’ve so far made it through 2, and one of those did not disappoint.
A brief seque: I’ve probably mentioned this before, but because of my autism longevity (with Alex now being 24 years old), one of the questions I have been asked the most by parents I’ve worked with is “what treatments seemed to work the best for the most kids on the spectrum?” My answer has not changed for the past 12 years or so: nothing has come close to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and helminths – which, in my experience help most kids most of the time – but there are a few other things that work often, just not the majority of the time. Of those, high dose fish oil and anti-fungal medicines rank highest.
Thus, I had high hopes for an article[i] just published this past November looking at the levels of anti-Candida antibodies in the autism population, and as I said, I was not disappointed. By the way, I’ve written about the mycobiome in schizophrenia (which is very closely related to autism (and in fact, is sometimes called “adult onset autism”)) several times. In May, 2017, I discussed research showing high levels of anti-Sacchromyces cerevisiae (a yeast which is also a marker for gut inflammation) antibodies in that population and then, this past September, I wrote about a study testing a probiotic to treat those high yeast levels.
Based on these kinds of studies, and my own experience of seeing anti-fungal medications make a huge difference in many children, I was not surprised by the results presented in the paper, especially as previously published science showed high levels of Candida in individuals with autism based upon cultures and stool studies. In this case, the scientists were looking for blood antibodies which would imply that yeast was making its way out of the leaky gut and into the blood stream, leading to an inflammatory response.
The study included 80 children between the ages of 3 and 13, 52 with autism, and 28 typically developing controls. 36.5% of the children with autism tested positive for Candida antibodies, as opposed to only 14.4% of the controls.
A few points made in the discussion section that are worth sharing with you:
I believe this is going to turn out to be a very important area of research in chronic “mental” illnesses going forward. I will, of course, keep my eye out to bring you the latest.
[i] Hughes, HK, Ashwood, P. Anti-candida albicans IgG antibodies in children with autism spectrum disorders. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2018:9(627).