The case for autism being biochemically similar to schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease

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Aconitase activity was significantly decreased in cerebellums of individuals who had autism. Glutathione levels were decreased in individuals with autism. Glutathione peroxidase activity is decreased in individuals with autism. Homocysteine levels are increased in children with autism. Vitamin D levels are decreased in individuals with autism. Individuals with autism have reduced bone mineral density. Taurine levels are low in a subset of individuals with autism. There are low levels of biotin in patients with autism. Iron deficiency is very common in autism.

See my papers Treatment-resistant schizophrenia: focus on the transsulfuration pathway. and A disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s disease: focus on the trans-sulfuration pathway as to how similar biochemical abnormalities are also present in schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Other posts on this blog are also relevant to biochemical abnormalities found in schizophrenia.

Autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease are epigenetic illnesses. Despite various biochemical commonalities between autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease there are epigenenetic differences with these epigenetic differences channeling the illnesses in divergent directions. However, with autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease being fundamentally similar treatments for autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease could be very similar. As there are now no biological treatments for autism treatments currently used in autism and which are partially effective can not now be clearly hooked up to a treatment for schizophrenia.

Social skills interventions is individuals with autism aged 6-21 have shown limited and equivocal effectiveness. Biological treatments for autism are needed.

Deficiencies in vitamin D in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease

Low levels of vitamin D are associated with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. Bile acids are required for fat absorption. Taurocholic acid is a bile acid that is a conjugate of cholic acid with taurine. Taurochenodeoxycholic acid is a bile acid formed in the liver by conjugation of chenodeoxycholic acid with taurine. Taurine increases absorption of vitamin D.

There are low levels of vitamin D in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease due to dysregulation of taurine synthesis in these illnesses attendant on dysregulation of the transsulfuration pathway which synthesizes L-cysteine from which taurine is synthesized.

Supplementation with vitamin D in these illnesses heretofore has not helped much as difficulties in fat absorption have not been addressed. Taurine, which regulates calcium homeostasis besides aiding in fat absorption, taurine would be taken with vitamin D, vitamin K and calcium carbonate to address low levels of vitamin D where there are chronic illnesses. Vitamin K is also a fat soluble vitamin whose abosoprtion could be impaired by low levels of taurine.

Huge controversies over vitamin D

Over the last few decades there have been huge controversies about whether there are widespread vitamin D deficiencies and whether vitamin D supplementation could prevent many chronic illnesses. Dr. Michael Holick holds there is a vitamin D deficiency pandemic. Dr. Holick points to association of vitamin D deficiency with a myriad of acute and chronic illnesses including preeclampsia, childhood dental caries, periodontitis, autoimmune disorders, infectious diseases, cardiovascular disease, deadly cancers, type 2 diabetes and neurological disorders.

However, a umbrella study that addressed meta-analyses that addressed studies where vitamin D supplements were given did not show much effectiveness in terms of outcomes when vitamin D was supplemented.

The views of Dr. Holick on vitamin D are a lot more correct than incorrect. Taurine, however. is required for calcium homeostasis. See also this paper. See also this paper. With eficiencies in taurine calcium homeostasis is upset. With taurine deficiencies individuals can develop severe bone absormalities even where vitamin D levels are normal.

The umbrella study as to the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation alone is also correct. Supplementation with vitamin D alone is not enough to treat ts dysregulations of calcium homeostasis due to deficiencies in taurine. To treat dysregularities in calcium homeostasis due to deficiencies in taurine, L-taurine must be supplemented with vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 MK-7. Calcium citrate is avoided.

Opioids or taurine, calcium carbonate, vitamin D, and vitamin K for back pain?

Opioids are very frequently prescribed for back pain. Opioid addictions are a horrendous problem in the US and around the World. If a lot of back pain is due to a hidden osteomalicia then there could be a switch away from opioids to treat back pain to taurine, calcium cabonate, vitamin D and vitamin K. Thousands and thousands of lives could be saved by switching to taurine, calcium carbonate, vitamin D3 and vitamin K. Mexico could be brought back from the abyss that drug cartels have brought Mexico to.

A point about a hidden osteomalacia is that in a hidden osteomalacia intracellular calcium homeostasis is dysregulated due to dysregulations of taurine synthesis. Taurine is involved in intracellular calcium homeostasis. Along with a hidden osteomalacia there would be a plethora of very negative psychological effects due to dysregulations in intracellular calcium homeostasis. People with back pain due to a hidden osteomalacia would not only be in physical pain but would also be in very serious psychological pain. Indeed back pain would be an indication that opioids should not be prescribed as individuals with back pain would be very prone to addiction to opioids due to the psychological pain that goes hand in hand with back pain.

The psychological pain associated with a hidden osteomalacia could be the driving force for addictions to opioids where there is back pain as opioids are not all that effective for the physical pain attendant on back aches.

If taurine, calcium carbonate, vitamin D3 and vitamin K (MK-7) could treat back pain this would be infinitely preferable to treatment of back pain with opioids.

A secret of the ages

As it turns out lots of backaches are due to a hidden osteomalacia. With low levels of taurine fine control of intracellular calcium homoestasis is lost. Calcium blood levels can be normal or just slightly low and one can still have a severe case of osteomalicia. Osteomalacia refers to a marked softening of the bones, most often caused by severe vitamin D deficiency. Severe vitamin D deficiencies can result in poor absorption of calcium which can lead to softening of the bones.

Taurine is required for calcium homeostasis. See also this paper. See also this paper. With taurine deficiencies fine control of intracellular calcium homesostasis is lost which can lead to a hidden osteomalicia as calcium levels are normal or very near normal.

The treatment for bach ache would be to take taurine, vitamin D, calcium carbonate. and vitamin K (MK-7). Vitamin K is also a fat soluble whose absorption could be impaired by low levels of taurine. Vitamin K in the form of MK-7 is much better absorbed than other forms of vitamin K. Vitamin D, vitamin K (MK-7) and calcium carbonate would be taken with food for better absorption while taurine would be taken on an empty stomach for better absorption. The right supplements could be very helpful in treating back pain.

Epigenetics changes everything

Each cell has the same DNA.  As this is the case there must be ways for cells to differentiate from other cells while all cells have the same DNA. In different cell types different genes are translated which is achieved by genes in different cell types having different epigenetic marks.  Epigenetic marks on genes can increase or decrease transcription of genes. DNA methylation and histone methylation are two ways genes can be epigenetically marked and thereby transcription of genes affected. There are various other ways that genes can be epigenetically marked. Environment can affect what epigenetic marks are on genes.

With genetic diseases there is systematic evidence of  genetic anomalies. Take any cell from the body and genes in that cell will show the genetic anomaly.  For example, blood tests can be used to detect genetic anomalies   With epigenetic diseases, however, there is no genetic evidence of the disease and dysregulations do not have to be systematic whereby bloods tests might not be revealing.

Vitamin D is now suspected to play a part in lots of illnesses and I think this is correct  but with epigenetic anomalies there need not be any genetic anomalies though there is still disease.  The last step in the formation of calcitriol, which is active vitamin D, by CYP27B1 requires an iron-sulfur protein called adrenodoxin. Due to difficulties in forming iron-sulfur clusters there will be low levels of adrenodoxin  whereby there are low levels of calcitriol. Giving calcitriol alone, however, is not sufficient to treat many illnesses where there is evidence of calcitriol deficiencies.  With iron-sulfur proteins dysregulated a lot of processes besides the formation of calcitriol will also be adversely affected.

There not being diseases associated with aberrant epigenetic marks is basically impossible given the large part that epigenetics plays in regulations of cells.   I think schizophrenia is  an illness associated with epigenetic dysgulations, an illness in which there are deficiencies of vitamin D but which is basically non-responsive to calcitriol.