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Autism and wormy Moms

Reading this NY Times article about the immune system and the part it plays in children being born with autism, I had a flashback. I was 7 years old and I was very pouty and disgusted. I was having to take pinworm killer pills and they were incredibly nauseating.

In fact, I was throwing up the pills and my Mom was fishing them out, washing them off, and making me take them again. I wondered if this was worse than the year before, when I had to have rabies shots in the abdomen for 2 weeks, and decided it was.

There are lots of critters in the southwest of the United States, but worms that like to live in humans and animals are rampant. Partly because in winter a lot of vegetables come from south Texas, where pinworm eggs are probably more prevalent than dirt, it is easy to have a pinworm egg or two escape and find a happy home in a kid’s intestines.  (Think Chile is better than Texas for worms? think again.)

There are some signs of worm infestation, and crying and scratching at one’s bottom in one’s sleep is only the most obvious. A lesser sign, seeing kids with white spots about the size of a quarter on their cheeks is a telltale of worms.

But I digress. We are talking medical grade whipworms here, trichuris suis, and how the whipworms are being used to de-inflammatory autistic brains.

It seems that when Mom has no parasites she gets immune system deregulation, a fancy term for inflammation, and that is causing nervous system damage in the brain in at least a third of the cases of autism.

Immune system deregulation is being examined carefully and preliminary results are showing that in cultures with lots of parasites, there is not nearly so much inflammation which means little or no autism, asthma, and arthritis. Work is being done to provide evidence based help for those with the immune system deregulation of inflammation.

Here’s the whole article:

Now, I’m going right into the kitchen to eat an unwashed salad.




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