On May 27, 2014, 4:40 pm

It has become clear that genes alone do not create autism, and we also see that many people benefit markedly from biomedical approaches. But some people also get stuck. Weakness in our understanding of what we are doing for the brain, what is in the way of the brain's full flowering, and what the brain needs to heal and function optimally -- these all may all be parts of the problem. There is still a lot of vagueness about what happens to the BRAIN from the pile-up of problems that lead it to generate the behaviors we label as "autistic." To invoke environment, metabolism, inflammation and epigenetics does not explain anything in particular about the BRAIN. Those things in themselves may create conditions that drive the brain to produce "autism" but they still in themselves don't explain how the brain actually acts in that state. One reason for this is that the electrical activities of the brain operate at a different level (or scale) and by different dynamics than the underlying biology of the cells and tissues that biomedical interventions target. The biomed community has not deeply thought through how metabolic and immune dysfunction challenges brain signaling or how treatment may improve brain activity. Biomed people often fall back upon anatomic explanations that do not really have fidelity to what we observe clinically because they are static and don't capture autism's changeability. Although the research community has not worked out all the details either, emerging science points to information that may prove useful in understanding the mechanisms by which bottom-up biomedical approaches produce brain functional improvement, and possibly also discern previously unappreciated opportunities for improvement of brain function.

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