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A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering Autism, Autoimmune, and Other Neurological Disorders

(Formerly, “To Infuse or Not to Infuse” and “A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Autism”)


Willis S. Langford


Copyright November 1999-2011





Mastering Autism.doc [May 28, 2011]


A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering Autism


TABLE OF CONTENTS


Subject Page

Introduction………………...……………………………………………………1

Immune 101 …………………………………………………………52

Leaky Gut 84

Digestion 101…………………. ……………………………………………….87

Serotonin Connection 114

Healing the Leaky Gut 134

GABA 139

Candida 146

A Second Scenario 152

Copperheads 160

pH 164

Dr. Cheney’s Oxygen Treatment 164

Transfer Factor 170

Negative Effects of Secretin 171

Hydrochloric Acid May be a Solution 174

Biochemical Observations 177

Solutions to the Problems 185

Histamine: Solution or Problem? 196

Enzymes: The Fountain of Life 198

Improved Nutrition Relieves Bowel and Infection 199

Care and Feeding of the Bowel 202

Some additional aids to overcome diarrhea: 206

Cod-liver Oil and Vitamin A 208

Bethanechol 212

What? Rickets? 218

Managing Fatty Acids 219

Medium Chain Triglycerides…………..……………………………………..229

Three Metabolic Types. 237

Tums™ Anyone? 237

Detoxification 101 241

Phenol-sulphotransferase (PST) 252

Vitamin A, GAGs, Measles, and PST 256

What Is MHPG? Why Should We Measure It? 272

Sulfation Ratio as a Measure of PST Activity 274

Mercury Poisoned. 279

Get the Lead Out 291

Acetaldehyde and NAD 298

Pyrroluria 300

The Thyroid: Metabolic Regulator 304

Forskolin: Poor Man’s Secretin? 316

Demyelination 318

Fibroblast Growth Factor 328

Summary and Miscellaneous 329


A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering Autism


Willis S. Langford


Warning: Do not scan and read this paper piecemeal. It must be studied to avoid mis-steps.

Use FIND, COPY, and PASTE to extract papagraphs of interest into a new, shorter document for better correlation.

Autism can be mastered! There are several very basic things discussed in this paper that can be done at home with little or no expensive testing. Foremost is the home testing for thyroid function discussed toward the end of this paper, and support of thyroid function. The “unloading of the donkey” is vital to possibly 80% of these troubled children for they are poisoned, drowning in their own toxic wastes. Elimination of bowel disorders is very first on the list of vital action. It is often as simple as supplying a digestive enzyme supplement, or removing milk. A few autistic children can be helped dramatically by medical procedures such as an infusion of the intestinal hormone Secretin, but by and large, we are dealing with a toxic condition requiring biochemical/dietary, not drug-based, intervention.


The need and the beneficial response to Secretin treatment, I think, are dependent upon the amount of damage to the duodenum and small intestine, and on the stomach’s ability to produce adequate hydrochloric acid (HCl) for proper digestion. Additionally, the WGA lectin of wheat (gluten/gliadin) was shown to reduce Secretin production by 57%; however, administration of 500 mg of N-acetylglucosamine twice a day (preferably at beginning of the meal) completely suppressed this effect! Since these factors largely determine proper digestion and assimilation, it is vital that all systems be functioning optimally. Healing of the intestines, including rebalancing of flora, is vital to health and well-being and mental function. Release of Secretin is dependent on adequate HCl in the chyme and upon the binding (neutralization) of Lectins found in grains and legumes, in particular. Secretin is reduced in hypothyroid rats (Robberecht et al, 1981); so, support the thyroid and bind (or remove) the lectins (more later). Without adequate HCl, Secretin infusion can, at best, be only partially effective in restoring digestion and proper physical and mental function. HCl production and thyroid function are also very dependent on adequate zinc levels, usually lacking in these children. This lack of zinc may lead to skin conditions, loss of taste, neuropsychiatric symptoms, sleep problems, and even the suppression of growth. An advanced zinc deficiency is indicated by white specks or spots on fingernails. With support for the thyroid, neutralizing of lectins (N-acetylglucosamine neutralizes the WGA of wheat, and also the potato lectin), adequate zinc and vitamin B6 intake, supplemental betaine hydrochloride (HCl – where needed), DMAE, and/or Bethanechol, Secretin infusion may be totally unnecessary.


The path of autism is different for each child. Some are prone to seizures, some are not; some behave aggressively, others are overly passive. However, children with autism and with ADHD share several factors. “In one study, 66% of patients diagnosed with ADHD were found to be hypothyroid (at least as many with autism are hypothyroid). Supporting their thyroid levels was largely curative. Visual and auditory hallucinations may result from altered perception and have been misdiagnosed as schizophrenia or psychosis (or autism). Other behavioral symptoms have included fear - ranging from mild anxiety to frank paranoia, mood swings, and aggression. Thyroid hormone disorders may induce almost any psychiatric symptom or syndrome, including rage”—Aronson and Dodman, 1997.


Moods and behavior are largely influenced by the ratio of five central nervous system chemicals known as amines. These include: norepinephrine (noradrenaline), epinephrine (adrenaline), serotonin (5-HT), dopamine, and phenylethylamine (PEA). The first three excite the CNS (central nervous system) while the last two inhibit or modulate that excitement. The ratio of these amines controls our levels of irritability. Kirov has observed an association between severity of anxiety or depression and low plasma Magnesium (Mg). Pliszka and Rogeness measured serum Mg in 165 boys admitted to a psychiatric hospital and found low Mg levels to be associated with dysphoric mood and sleep disorders. For a detailed study ask for “Managing Vital Neurotransmitters”.


Additionally, there is a deep disturbance in their fatty acid metabolism that impairs their utilization of amino acids, and often there is an imbalance in their electrolytes. These can be symptoms of hypothyroidism! Hsu studied the effects of only one nutrient deficiency, zinc, on the levels of free amino acids in urine, plasma, and skin. When there was a zinc deficiency, there was an inability for the body to metabolize all of the available amino acids that were digested--thus they were excreted into the urine as waste! Mercury in the system (from sources such as dental amalgam “silver” fillings, vaccines, and Chlorox) excretes excessive amounts of zinc, creating a hard to restore deficiency. While I would suggest avoiding picolinate in other mineral chelates, it may be the answer to this difficulty as it enhances zinc uptake by a factor of three. However, an incidental and unexpected result of zinc picolinate supplementation was an increase in plasma copper level from 155 µg./deciliter during ZnSO 4 treatment to 251 µg./deciliter after 10 weeks of treatment with the picolinate. This is probably explainable on the basis that additional free intestinal picolinic acid was available to complex with the copper and thereby enhance its absorption. It is vital not to imbalance the zinc:copper ratio. Zinc controls both the thyroid function and the production of HCl for digestion.


Electrolytes control what’s called membrane traffic—what goes in and out of cells. The delicate balance of electrolytes also controls the electrical activity within the brain and heart. Additionally, it doesn’t make any difference what gets to that cell if it can’t get into the cell. We know that one of the major ways that you can affect cellular circulation is by modulating the kinds of fatty acids that you eat. You increase receptor sensitivity by increasing the fluidity of the cell membrane, which means increasing the omega-3 content of the diet, because most people are very deficient. The cell membranes are going to be a reflection of your dietary fat, and that will determine their fluidity. Thus, providing other nutritional supplements is relatively ineffective until the electrolyte (sodium-potassium-magnesium-calcium) and fatty-acid imbalances are corrected. You can actually make the membranes too fluid. If you eat and incorporate too many omega-3 oils, then the membranes will become highly oxidizable (so you must eat vitamin E and monounsaturates as well). Practitioners suggest the extent of the nutritional problem in these observations:


  1. Zinc deficiency exists in 90% of autistic children predisposing to hypothyroidism, poor digestion, and low immune function

  2. Copper excess exists in 85%, suppressing the thyroid. Avoid zinc picolinate in this case as it will increase copper levels.

  3. Manganese deficiency exists in 20%. Finding these three together indicates a sick child with physical and behavioral problems.

  4. Calcium and magnesium deficiencies are common, with 75% of Americans lacking Mg

  5. Omega 3 fatty acid imbalance exists in nearly 100%

  6. Fiber deficiency exists in nearly 100%

  7. Antioxidant deficiency exists in nearly 100% of Down’s and autistics. “Clear evidence of higher oxidative stress and damage in treatment-naïve autistics than in controls” – Dr. Wm. Walsh, Email 7/24/06. This oxidative stress, particularly from burn injuries, may release excessive histamine. This increases the production of the enzyme xanthine oxidase, which generates hydrogen peroxide and superoxide, two potent free radicals that cause additional tissue damage. The seriousness of this is seen in the report that this lowers nitric oxide in the blood, reducing oxygen to the brain by 62%! This can only be offset by a very high intake of carefully selected antioxidants as recommended herein.

  8. “Massive deficiency of DHEA in the autistics (factor of three)” – ditto.

  9. Shaw recently reported 17-19% have low cholesterol (GPL- Cholesterol, RMC 12/07/07.



A recent study (Arnold GL, Hyman SL, Mooney RA, Kirby RS. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. August 2003; 33(4): 449-454), found that 58% of children with autism who consumed a regular diet, had at least one essential amino acid deficiency, and this group was most likely to be deficient in valine, leucine, phenylalanine (that produces tyrosine, dopamine, and adrenal hormones), or lysine. Sixty percent of children with autism on a restricted diet had at least one amino acid deficiency, and this group was most likely to be deficient in valine, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, or lysine. These were slightly more likely to be deficient in tryptophan, the amino acid that is a necessary element in the production of serotonin and in prevention of subclinical Pellagra. Isoleucine, leucine, and tyrosine (that produces dopamine and adrenal hormones) were reported as being the most frequently observed deficiencies. Only 1 of 24 children in the control group had an essential amino acid deficiency. In another study, researchers measured plasma, amino-acid levels of 36 ASD children and found that all had multiple deficiencies. This should come as no surprise, but what is troubling is that 10 of the 36 children were on a gluten-free/casein-free (Gf/Cf) diet, and those ten were found to have the most severe deficiencies. This is not surprising, as commercial interests, habit, and self-selection have made Gf/Cf into a high-carbohydrate diet. In time, increasing allergies and self-selection narrow the diet still further. Initial gains are sometimes lost, and the child is literally starving. A child cannot thrive on such a diet! Either the SCD diet or Donna Gates’ Body Ecology diet is likely a better approach.


Protein plays a critical role in every aspect of health. Our skin, hair, and nails are protein. Our immune system functions largely by releasing proteins called immunoglobulins; so, without enough protein, the immune system comes to a halt, systemic inflammation develops, and the body lives (exists) by eating its muscles, which are protein! Brain chemistry itself is dependent on protein and fatty acids, which are used to make neurotransmitters. Without enough protein, the brain can’t make these neurotransmitters and depression, hyperactivity, or behavioral disorders can result. The thousands of enzymes needed for life processes are proteins. There are many physical signs of protein deficiency in children. A very common one is the characteristic protruding abdomen that so many children with autism have. Other signs include low muscle tone, reduced weight gain or growth, and weak or slow-growing nails. You must not allow the diet to be largely carbohydrate. Every meal and major snack must have a balanced amount of protein in ratio to carbohydrates! Seeds and nuts are good sources supplying about ¼ to 1/3 their content as good quality protein. Sunflower seed has 52% protein, and sesame seed provides good quality protein; but nothing can replace animal sources. A vegetarian diet typically lacks protein, zinc, and vitamin B12. A largely carbohydrate diet has too little protein. The liver depends heavily upon adequate amounts of protein, or it can become cirrotic. When animals were protein starved for only two weeks, their livers shrank 40%! A growing child must have at least 100 grams of protein daily. This may be too little for the older, active child. A grown man of 175 pounds needs 125 grams (24% of a 2000 calorie dietary). The Government says you need only half that!


Eggs have from 6 to 12 grams of protein depending upon their size. A serving of about 4 oz of meat, poultry, or fish contain about 16-20 grams of best quality protein, (beef is 15-25% fat, pork is 25-37% fat, chicken is 12% fat, and turkey is 20% fat), a serving of potato provides only 2 grams of protein (and should be eaten only with butter or cream). One cannot go by this table of content, however, for even though a healthy person can digest meats and eggs at 97% efficiency, cereals and fruits supply only 85% of their protein; vegetables, 83%, legumes, 78%, and nuts only 70%. Those who lack hydrochloric acid will not digest protein that well by any means. More frightening, without adequate zinc, the amino acids that are digested are largely excreted in the urine as waste and vitamin A cannot be released into the blood! A lack of zinc contributes to the chronic diarrhea often seen in autistics. A supplement of zinc showed a 15% reduction of diarrhea.


Recent research has shown that the cascade of signals in the proinflammatory immune response tend to cause the amino acid tryptophan to break down into damaging kynurenic acid rather than serotonin, a brain chemical that influences mood. “That’s extremely interesting,” says Fallon, “because serotonin depletion seems to be involved in depression. So, you can see a very clear mechanism whereby people with chronic immune activation can become depressed.” Supplementing vitamin B6, niacin, and various anti-inflammatories may offset this, allowing tryptophan to metabolize to serotonin. Ensure adequate zinc and protein intake.


The brain is the most cholesterol-rich organ of the body. Myelin is largely cholesterol. Pregnant women with low cholesterol readings are twice as likely to have premature births, or to have babies with small heads (brains). Great Plains Laboratory reports dangerously low cholesterol in 17.5% of autistics studied. NIH concluded earlier that people with total serum cholesterol below 160 mg/dl had a death rate 10-20% higher than those with 160-190 mg/dl. Specifically, they died of cancer (lung and bladder cancer, primarily), respiratory and digestive disease, suicide and trauma, and hemorrhagic stroke. They suffered depression, anxiety, bipolar and Parkinson’s disease, and tuberculosis, and men with


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