Tag Archives: Yasko protocol

Why does autism seem to coincide with mitochondrial problems?

cropped-PW_leaf1.jpgThere’s a lot of discussion among researchers these days about why so many people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have mitochondrial issues.

What are mitochondria? They are energy-producing organs inside each cell of our body. They take inputs from the blood stream and from previous mitochondrial processes and create outputs that keep the body going in a number of ways. Most importantly, the Yasko protocol that has so helped my Asperger’s son addresses malfunctions in these mitochondrial processes using a variety of supplements.

Anyway, Dr. Amy Yasko, the researcher whose protocol many autistics have benefited from, has authored a paper with an MD, Nancy Mullan, looking at why these mitochondrial processes are disrupted in so many people with ASD, those with genetic markers for this, and those without.

In brief, what could be causing the autism epidemic? Take a look.


A simpler Yasko protocol: eat veggies?

The Yasko protocol for treating people with autism isn’t easy to do. What if there were a way to simply eat the right foods and do the same job?

With the Yasko protocol, you have to get a whole long list of supplements, many of them obscure, and then you have to somehow figure out which ones are helpful.  The whole point is to provide support for processes that go on in the mitochondria, or energy factories, in every cell of the body. Something has caused those processes to go awry, probably exposure to too many toxins, more than the individual’s body can get rid of naturally. (We live in a sea of toxins. If you think the government is protecting us from chemicals, you are wrong.)

There’s an MD who’s successfully treating not autism but multiple sclerosis in herself by eating the right foods. So, how is that relevant? Here’s how: through her diet she is supporting the mitochondrial processes, same thing Yasko’s protocol does.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but alongside the autism epidemic there seems to be a marked increase in a variety of other conditions: allergies, athsma, multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons, ALS, and so on. It’s very evident to someone who has lived 60 years, as I have. The world used to be different. What if supporting the mitochondrial processes though food or supplements worked to help people fight all these diseases of the immune system and neurological system?

So, what does that have to do with you, my readers? Well, if you are wishing the Yasko protocol was easier and cheaper to implement, you could try the diet of Terry Wahls, MD.  Through simply eating a prescribed set of mostly organic vegetables, she has delivered herself from crippling multiple sclerosis. Now she can walk, run, and ride a bicycle. Before, she couldn’t even sit up in her wheelchair. She’s eating at least three cups of certain organic fruits and vegetables at each meal, plus selected protein sources. Grains are minimized or eliminated. It’s a variation of the “paleo diet,” eaten by healthy hunter gatherers.


Does Mike have to take all those supplements all his life?

pills1Does Mike have to take all those Yasko protocol supplements all his life?  This is a question I wondered about when we first embarked in 2007 on treating his Asperger’s with the Yasko protocol, based on genetic testing.

I figured the answer was yes. We’d have to give him tons of supplements all his life. The theory seemed to demand it.

Now it turns out that the answer is no, or at least not so many!  I took him to the chiropractor in July for his annual testing. She uses “muscle testing” to evaluate whether each of his supplements is of value to his body.  In particular, several of his supplements addressed a set of mutations that cause the body to make too much ammonia, causing behavior problems.This is not an uncommon set of mutations that Yasko sees, and it’s hard to treat.

Well, this July, after 2.5 years on the protocol with the chiropractor, Mike didn’t need any more the ones that “mop up” or otherwise neutralize ammonia. In fact, his ammonia metabolism was perfectly normal!!! This really floored me.  Something has changed in a big way.  I can speculate as to what, but I don’t actually know.

He’s on 10 supplements now, down from 15 the chiropractor first identified. Nearly all the dropped ones have to do with the ammonia system.

In case you are wondering why I am talking about supplements, here is the theory behind the Yasko protocol. The body has a lot of little chemical factories, in the mitochondria of each cell. These factories have inputs and outputs, and the individual processes are run by enzymes. If the enzymes are genetically messed up, creating too much or not enough of an input, that skews the system. You can’t change the enzyme imbalance. But you can supply the missing input with supplements in order to make the little factory work at full tilt like it is supposed to.  And you can supply something to “mop up” too much output, in our case ammonia. For us that was yucca and quercetin, given at each meal. Don’t ask me how these work, I don’t know! But they did.

At first I could see the effect if Mike forgot to take his pills. His behavior was atrocious.  The excess ammonia was apparently driving him nuts.  Gradually that changed though; if he forgot his pills, it wasn’t so bad. Now it doesn’t seem to matter much at all if he forgets for a particular meal.

He seems more and more normal in so many ways. Could it be that my “Curing Autism Blog” is aptly named?  I am daring to hope.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rselph/

Taking stock on Yasko protocol: how far we’ve come!

I was filing some papers yesterday and came across some comments from “Mike’s” teachers in the middle of ninth grade. That was a bit more than two years ago.  At the time, he was on supplements from the Yasko protocol, but we had not figured out which ones were helping and which were hindering. His diagnosis was Asperger’s.

His grades were dismal: two F’s, two D’s, two C’s.  His biology teacher wrote, “(Mike) is often distracted and often disrupts class.”

His English teacher: “He told me today that when he hears Sesame Street songs he feels so bad that he cannot control his reaction (he grabbed his head and started rocking back and forth because a girl in his group was singing a Sesame Street song under her breath).”

The same teacher, different day: “Today, (Mike) would not work for over half of the hour. He said he had something on his mind. He was antagonizing a student who sits near him by making grunting noises and tapping on his desk.”

As you know, the story is different now. Mike is making straight As. He’s not totally recovered from Asperger’s, mind you, but he has come a LONG way. It’s been a bit over two years since a chiropractor used “muscle testing” to weed out the supplements that weren’t helping.

“Mike” mentioned meeting another teen a few days ago who wanted to talk on and on about videogames. “I know I used to be like that,” he told me. “So I was patient with him.”