Samuel Hahnemann

He created the basic principles of homeopathy. The word homeopathy comes from the Greek hómoios- ὅμοιος- "like-" + páthos πάθος "suffering".

Hippocrates of Kos

Hippocrates (Kos 460 BC - Larissa 377 BC) was an ancient Greek physician and is referred to as the father of Western medicine in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field as the founder of the Hippocratic School of Medicine. Hippocrates is credited with being the first person to believe that diseases were caused naturally, not because of superstition and gods. He separated the discipline of medicine from religion, believing and arguing that disease was not a punishment inflicted by the gods but rather the product of environmental factors, diet, and living habits.

 
 

 

Hippocrates of Kos

Hippocrates is not only the father of Western medicine, but also a philosopher and a humanist.

Samuel Hahnemann

Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (10 April 1755 – 2 July 1843) was a German physician, best known for creating the system of alternative medicine called homeopathy.
His research led him to the principle of homeopathy, similia similibus curentur ("like cures like"), according to which a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure that disease in sick people.
He first published an article about the homeopathic approach in a German-language medical journal in 1796.

 
 

The Autism files

A neuroimmunological disorder that poses serious scientific questions - and the contribution of Homeopathic Medicine

 

The first time that a doctor interacts with an autistic child is always shocking. Despite the significant, in fact exponential, increase of children with autism-related developmental disorders who resort to homeopathic doctors, the first visit of the child and his family still leaves the doctor with a blend of feelings: awe and embarrassment, sympathy, sadness, frustration and – last but not least - a sense of challenge. The attempt to gather information about the child's medical history is always accompanied by a big question mark on the scientific reasons why the child has manifested this disorder. In most recent years, the mass turnout of autistic children in specialised state centres that diagnose and treat learning disabilities, in Pediatric Neurology and Pediatric Psychiatry centres, but also in homeopathic medical practices, inevitably leads to another question: why this alarming increase in autism rates?

Autism is a complex biological disorder. The symptoms of autism first appear in early childhood, most commonly between the first and third year of age. Since 1943, when Leo Kanner described autism as a neurodevelopmental disorder with social complications, stereotypical movements, verbal and extraverbal behavioural disturbances, very little progress has been made in understanding the causes of the disease. The existence of a familial predisposition, the role of infectious agents, the presence of a predisposition to autoimmunity and the implication of cytokines have all been suggested as possible causes; however, a clear understanding of the etiology remains elusive. In recent years, the observation by many parents that symptoms first appeared after a vaccination has mobilised a number of research studies; however, because of how they were designed, these studies have failed to confirm or conclusively exclude such a correlation. These studies were designed to find an all-inclusive explanation and to ignore the multifactoriality behind complex diseases such as autism. However, recorded reports have estimated that a significant percentage – up to 40% - of parents insist that the onset of their child's autism was preceded by the administration of a vaccine. Unfortunately, the medical bibliography has so far been unable to support such a correlation, so these useful remarks are neither recorded nor taken in account to spark off further research.

From a homeopathic point of view, another observation comes to support the theory that there is an immune basis to autism: as we know, the homeopathic doctor probes into the whole medical history of the child and pays extra attention to the medical events that preceded the onset of the disease. What has been observed and recorded is that the severity of the child's autistic symptoms is inversely proportionate to the child's ability to develop acute infections accompanied by high fever. On the contrary, severely autistic children rarely ever raise high fevers; however, when they do, their autistic symptoms are temporarily relieved. This observation is in perfect agreement with the Theory of Levels of Health proposed by the great Teacher of Homeopathy, Professor George Vithoulkas. Although this observation has been recorded in a small number of medical articles, it has not been put to good scientific use. This is currently being done by medical homeopathic researchers.

Another remarkable observation is that, when the autistic child's immunity is strengthened by means of the correct homeopathic treatment, if the child develops again a past infection from his own medical history (e.g. an acute ear infection) then his autistic symptoms are significantly, and permanently, relieved. It is as if the homeopathic treatment has enabled the child's immune system to reawaken and turn in the right direction, that of fighting exogenous pathogens instead of doing battle with the child's own organism. Given the large amount of information recorded during the homeopathic case-taking, one can make the following important observation: in the case of the overwhelming majority of children suffering from an autistic disorder, who are brought to the homeopathic practice, parents mention that symptoms appeared over a very short period of time, if not abruptly. Most parents, as well as the pediatricians treating the children, report that all the mental developmental parameters of the child were normal, until, suddenly, autistic symptoms appeared and established themselves over a very short period of time. From a homeopathic point of view, we note that such children did indeed used to develop acute infections accompanied by high fevers, but these came to a halt ever since the onset of autism.

It is imperative for all doctors and researchers working on autism to listen with attention to the observations made by the parents of autistic children, even if they seem to go contrary to conventional knowledge; otherwise, medical thinking becomes stifled and does not allow the progress of research. This has been the case with autism in recent years. The rapid increase in new cases in Greece almost resembles an epidemic and cannot be attributed to the improvement and increased availability of diagnostic tools; it reflects a real exponential increase and ought to mobilise all of us, doctors and parents alike. The State also ought to take active interest in the future of these children, who in a few years' time will be adults with nobody to take care of them.

This article represents a first attempt to address the subject of autism. In the future, this serious issue will be addressed again, by citing specific scientific findings that confirm the immunological basis of autism and published studies that have not been given due attention. For example, a study published in the scientific journal Molecular Psychiatry (Nature Publishing Group) in 2002 proves that autistic children have higher antibody titres to Hsp90 (heat shock protein 90) than healthy controls; this makes it more difficult for their organism to raise high temperatures. Recently, the scientific journal Pediatrics published an extensive study undertaken by the Epidemiology Department of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where it is noted that autism symptoms tend to improve during febrile episodes, just as predicted by the theory of Homeopathic Medicine and verified during the course of homeopathic treatment! Another significant paper that all physicians ought to read is that of A. Torres in the British Medical Journal of Pediatrics, entitled “Is fever suppression involved in the etiology of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders?" and which can be easily accessed via the PubMed biomedical search engine.

A comprehensive study of all the existing scientific observations and approaches, including the homeopathic approach, would suffice to confirm autism as a type of autoimmune disorder. In addition to the appropriate treatment and nutritional interventions, that will demand strenuous effort anyway, as their results vary depending on the severity of the disease and the child's Level of Health (see: G. Vithoulkas' Theory of Levels of Health), what is also urgently required is the unification of all the available bibliographic information into one medical unit; and its subsequent utilisation in our everyday clinical practice, so as to finally stem the tide of autism among young children and enable prevention.

Any parent who has seen their child's behaviour and clinical picture "shapeshift" in a very short amount of time, any parent who has been given the distressing diagnosis of "irreversible autism" without being offered any scientific explanation, expects the medical community to do much more than place the blame on some "unknown aetiology". A comprehensive and holistic approach to the mental, emotional and immune health of children, aided by the contribution of Homeopathic Medicine, can provide a much more accurate basis for the prevention and treatment of autism.

 

 

 

References

 

(1) Evers M, Cunningham-Rundles C, Hollander E. Heat shock protein 90 antibodies in autism. Mol. Psychiatry. 2002;7 Suppl 2:S26-8.

 

(2) Mehler MF, Purpura DP. Autism, fever, epigenetics and the locus coeruleus. Brain Res Rev. 2009 Mar;59(2):388-92.

 

(3) Curran LK, Newschaffer CJ, Lee LC, Crawford SO, Johnston MV, Zimmerman AW. Behaviors associated with fever in children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics. 2007 Dec;120(6):e1386-92.

(4) Megremi AS. Is fever a predictive factor in the autism spectrum disorders? Med Hypotheses. 2013 Apr;80(4):391-8.

 

(5) Wei H, Chadman KK, McCloskey DP, Sheikh AM, Malik M, Brown WT, Li X. Brain IL-6 elevation causes neuronal circuitry imbalances and mediates autism-like behaviors. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Jun;1822(6):831-42.

 

(6) Al-Ayadhi LY, Mostafa GA. Elevated serum levels of interleukin-17A in children with autism. J Neuroinflammation. 2012 Jul 2;9:158.

 

(7) Hsiao EY, McBride SW, Chow J, Mazmanian SK, Patterson PH. Modeling an autism risk factor in mice leads to permanent immune dysregulation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jul 31;109(31):12776-81.

 

(8) Goines PE, Ashwood P. Cytokine dysregulation in autism spectrum disorders (ASD): possible role of the environment. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2013 Mar-Apr;36:67-81.

 

(9) Careaga M, Ashwood P. Autism spectrum disorders: from immunity to behavior. Methods Mol Biol. 2012;934:219-40.

 

(10) Abdallah MW, Larsen N, Grove J, Bonefeld-Jørgensen EC, Nørgaard-Pedersen B, Hougaard DM, Mortensen EL. Neonatal chemokine levels and risk of autism spectrum disorders: findings from a Danish historic birth cohort follow-up study. Cytokine. 2013 Feb;61(2):370-6.

 

(11) Pardo CA, Buckley A, Thurm A, Lee LC, Azhagiri A, Neville DM, Swedo SE. A pilot open-label trial of minocycline in patients with autism and regressive features. J Neurodev Disord. 2013 Apr 8;5(1):9.

 

(12) Ricci S, Businaro R, Ippoliti F, Lo Vasco VR, Massoni F, Onofri E, Troili GM, Pontecorvi V, Morelli M, Rapp Ricciardi M, Archer T. Altered cytokine and BDNF levels in autism spectrum disorder. Neurotox Res. 2013 Nov;24(4):491-501.

 

(13) Theoharides TC. Is a subtype of autism an allergy of the brain? Clin Ther. 2013 May;35(5):584-91.

(14) Al-Ayadhi LY, Mostafa GA. Elevated serum levels of macrophage-derived chemokine and thymus and activation-regulated chemokine in autistic children. J Neuroinflammation. 2013 Jun 19;10:72.

 

 

 

 

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