CME Program for Medical Professionals




Thursday, May 21, 2015

8 CME credits



Thursday, May 21

08:15 AM - 09:30 AM   Dr. Norman Schwartz

09:45 AM - 11:00 AM   Dr. Shawn K. Centers

11:15 AM - 12:30 PM   Dr. Richard Deth

01:30 PM - 02:15 PM   Dr. Arthur Krigsman

02:15 PM - 02:45 PM   Dr. Stephen Walker

03:00 PM - 05:00 PM   Dr. James Jeffrey Bradstreet

05:00 PM - 06:00 PM   Dr. Marco Ruggiero


This program will provide information for professional medical practitioners concerning the variety of pathophysiological processes frequently encountered in children with autism spectrum disorder. Topics covered will include metabolic, gastrointestinal, immunological, and neurological dysfunction. Subtopics that will be addressed will include intestinal inflammation, methylation, oxidative stress, immune dysregulation, mitochondrial disorder, and detoxification impairment. Information will address comorbid disease states present in autism, and which suggest the benefit of a comprehensive approach to treatment. The program will familiarize practitioners with developing a comprehensive approach in the medical evaluation of ASDs.

The professional will:


Become familiar with the variety of the pathophysiological processes often present in autism spectrum disorder


Understand conditions comorbid with ASD


Be able to more effectively help patients with an ASD with therapies targeting identifiable comorbid pathological processes



Thinking About Autism: Towards a best practices approach
ASD, the fastest growing developmental disorder in the world today, is a complex heterogeneous syndrome with mild to profound impairments, whose etiology remains elusive. Individuals with ASD have diverse dysfunction, affecting multiple systems: brain, nervous, immune, gastrointestinal, oxidation/reduction, inflammation, and mitochondria. It is imperative to understand how the molecular pathology of ASD integrates with systems biology to guide clinical practice. Identifying these along with predictive biomarkers to guide individualized therapy are the keys to moving forward in ameliorating core symptoms.

Learning Objectives:

• Understand increase in autism prevalence
• Review latest research in risk factors for ASD
• Review environment/epigentic interactions
• Understand biochemical and physiological basis for efficacy of biomedical interventions

Norm Schwartz, MD

Dr. Schwartz is an integrative medicine specialist helping individuals and families who are dealing with Trisomy 21, ADHD, autism, and neurodevelopmental disorders. Formerly director of integrative medicine for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in Wisconsin, he is now in private practice with a special interest in the application of ecological principles in creating of a safer, more sustainable world for present and future.


Osteopathy and birth trauma

Dr. Shawn K. Centers will speak to professionals about systems of the body affected in an autism diagnosis, with particular regard to birth trauma, and how osteopathy addresses this.

Learning objectives include the following:

1) The physician will have a general overview of theoretical aspects of the osteopathic medical perspective on autism.

2) The physician will have a basic knowledge of the principles of osteopathic manipulative medicine and how an osteopathic phycician might approach a child who has autism and a history of birth trauma.

3) The physician will have a basic understanding of the osteopathic view of plagiocephaly (ICD 754.0) and somatic dysfunction (739.9) and how an osteopathic physician might relate those to the treatment of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ICD 299.80).

4) The physician will have a basic understanding of clinical research osteopathic physicians' use in support of their treatment of patients on the autism spectrum.

Shawn K. Centers, DO, MH, FACOP

Dr. Shawn K. Centers is the medical director of the Osteopathic Center for Children. He is a fully licensed pediatrician, specializing in integrative medicine and osteopathic pediatrics. Dr. Centers trained in pediatrics and served as a pediatric chief resident at the Children's Hospital of New Jersey, one of the largest children’s hospitals in the nation. He is an internationally known expert in osteopathic pediatrics, nutrition, and herbal medicines as they apply to children. He is a master herbalist and a founding diplomate of the American Board of Holistic and Integrative Medicine (ABHIM).


Redox, Methylation and Epigenetic Regulation in Autism

Numerous studies have reported oxidative stress and low levels of antioxidant in autism. Methylation reactions such as DNA methylation, which is fundamental to epigenetic regulation of gene expression, are highly sensitive to oxidative stress, implying that oxidative stress may be an important causative factor for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. This presentation will review our current understanding of factors which impact methylation and their relationship to autism.

Learning objectives:

1) Attendees will learn the definition and role of methylation and factors that impact methylation in the body, with particular regard to gene expression
2) Attendees will learn the definition and implications of oxidative stress in the body and the possible relationship with various conditions
3) Attendees will learn background of published evidence for oxidative stress and antioxidant perturbations and/or deficiencies in autism


Richard C. Deth, PhD

Dr. Richard Deth is Professor of Pharmacology in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Nova Southeastern University. His research interests are focused on the role of oxidative stress and impaired methylation reactions in neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders, including the important role of epigenetic regulation. His laboratory was first to identify the unique ability of the D4 dopamine receptor to carry out phospholipid methylation.


Autism Associated Enterocolitis: Unique pathologic features of diseased intestinal tissue

This lecture will first present a clinical overview, from Dr. Arthur Krigsman, of autism-associated enterocolitis and then proceed to describe the unique clinical, histologic, immunostaining, architectural, immunologic, and molecular features that distinguish it from other inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. An approach to potential treatments will be discussed.


Dr. Krigsman will be followed by Dr. Stephen Walker presenting highlights from his lecture "Towards the Realization of a Blood-based Biomarker for Gastrointestinal Inflammation in ASD Children." Dr. Walker will explain that chronic gastrointestinal symptoms in ASD children have long been a topic of exceptional interest in the field of pediatric gastroenterology. Although many ASD children present with chronic GI complaints, diagnosis and effective treatment options for this population are still evolving. Dr. Walker will address the question: can we use a simple blood test to diagnose gastrointestinal inflammation in ASD children?


Learning objectives:
1) The attendee will define autism-associated enterocolitis.
2) The attendee will differentiate autism-associated enterocolitis from other conditions based upon uniquie clinical, histologic, immunostaining, architectural, immunologic, and molecular features.
3) The attendee will become familiar with treatment approaches for autism-associated enterocolitis
4) The attendee will explore theories about biomarker-directed diagnosis and treatment.


Arthur Krigsman, MD

Dr. Krigsman is a pediatrician and board certified pediatric gastroenterologist who has evaluated and treated over 1800 children suffering from autism and a variety of gastrointestinal problems. He maintains offices in both New York City and Austin, Texas, is actively involved in clinical research, and has presented his findings in peer-reviewed journals, scientific meetings, and at a congressional hearing dealing with autism and its possible causes. His primary interest is ASD-associated inflammatory bowel disease.

Stephen Walker, PhD

Stephen Walker, PhD, Associate Professor of Genomics and Systems Biology, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Walker is a molecular/developmental biologist working in the area of biomarker discovery. In partnership with Dr. Arthur Krigsman, one primary research focus has been the identification of the molecular basis for gastrointestinal inflammation in ASD children. Together they have begun to describe the molecular signature for ASD-associated GI inflammation and are working to develop a minimally invasive diagnostic tool.


Advances in Understanding the Gut-Immune-Brain Link in Autism

This course will explore the latest research on the microbiota regulation of the endocannabinoid and immune systems. The attendee will become familiar with the components of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and understand what fatty acids act as natural ligands for the various receptors. They will understand the difference between type 1 and 2 receptors as well as the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 ion channel and the unique G-couple receptors and their function. The process whereby dietary fats and carbohydrates act upon by the microbiome to create changes in ECS regulation and the implications for the brain’s intrinsic immune system will be presented. The course describes the critical role of Vitamin D, its receptors and transporter proteins, and their interactions with the ECS. Finally, the novel fatty acid: palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is an endogenous fatty acid amide, belonging to the class of nuclear factor agonists. Has no binding to CB1 or 2, but attaches to peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-α) and cannabinoid-like G-coupled receptors GPR55 and GPR119. PEA is a powerful regulator of mast cells and in both human and animal studies has anti-inflammatory properties, which have implications for ASD immune and gastrointestinal dysfunction.


Learning objectives:
1) The attendee will become familiar with the components of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
2) The attendee will understand what fatty acids act as natural ligands for the various receptors.
3) The attendee will understand the difference between type 1 and 2 receptors as well as the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 ion channel and the unique G-couple receptors and their function.
4) The attendee will understand the critical role of Vitamin D, its receptors and transporter proteins, and their interactions with the ECS.
5) The attendee will learn how the novel fatty acid palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) has have implications for ASD immune and gastrointestinal dysfunction.

James Jeffrey Bradstreet, MD

Dr. Bradstreet received undergrad and medical degrees from University of South Florida. His residency training was at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, with training at Brooks School of Aerospace Medicine and Randolph AFB. He is an adjunct professor and faculty for Autism Collaboration & Education at Western U in CA and a visiting professor at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. He is extensively published on biomedical issues of autism and was PI of two landmark studies: 1) involving a new methodology to view the brain with ultrasound, and 2) a double-blind study of the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation using a method known as MRT, for the treatment of autism -- both registered with Phase one of the ultrasound study was recently published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, and the MRT study completed in June of 2014. He is director of the Brain Treatment Center of Atlanta and is licensed in Georgia, Florida, California and Arizona.


The Swiss Protocol™: An integrated protocol for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders

The Swiss Protocol™ is based on four tenets summarized by the acronym “NU-NIH”. “NU” stands for “neurological ultrasonography” and describes the use of ultrasonography in the diagnosis and treatment of autism. “N” stands for “nutrition”. “I” stands for “immune system” and describes the role of immune-stimulating molecules such as GcMAF (Gc protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor). “H” stands for “healthy human microbiome” and describes the reconstitution of this vital organ that is always affected in autism.

Learning objectives:

Attendees will learn of the innovation of transcranial ultrasonography and how it can be utilized in a clinical setting
Attendees will learn the vital role of targeted nutrition for repair and restoration
Attendees will learn of innovative immune-stimulating agents

Marco Ruggiero, MD, PhD

Marco Ruggiero holds a PhD in molecular biology, is a medical doctor specialized in clinical radiology, and has been professor of molecular biology at the Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences of the University of Firenze, Italy, for more than 20 years (1992-2014). Since 2013, he has been director of science at Immuno Biotech Ltd., Guernsey, Channel Islands, Great Britain. He published more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers in the fields of neurosciences and cancer, including one paper in PNAS sponsored by Nobel Laureate Sir John Vane.