Increased urinary excretion of
3-hydroxypropionic acid (HPHPA),
an abnormal phenylalanine metabolite of
Clostridia spp. in the gastrointestinal tract,
in urine samples from patients with autism
William Shaw, Ph.D.
For the past 10 years, I have evaluated by gaschromatography
abnormalities that appear to be of microbial origin in urine samples of children with autism and other developmental disorders as well as adults with a wide variety of disorders. This discovery was made after certain putative microbial metabolites appeared in higher than normal values in urine samples of two brothers with autism.
These findings were of special interest to me because of a report that autistic children have a greater incidence of ear infections than age-matched peers; that lower functioning autistic children had an earlier onset of ear infections than their higher functioning autistic peers; and that the ears of children with autism were anatomically positioned differently than those of normal children, perhaps leading to greater ear infection susceptibility. Intestinal overgrowth of yeast and anaerobic bacteria are well documented sequelae of the common oral antibiotics used to treat ear infections. Therefore, it is possible that abnormally elevated biochemical products of abnormal micro-organisms in the gastrointestinal tract may play a role in the etiology of autism just as abnormal elevations of phenylalanine and its metabolites cause the disorder phenylketonuria (PKU).
During testing, an unusual compound was detected in high concentrations in samples from children with autism, child psychosis, attention deficit hyperactivity, and in adults with severe depression, seizures, or schizophrenia. Since this compound in urine has not been adequately characterized, I began an intense investigation to identify it and determine its source.
Urine samples were obtained from both in-patients
and out-patients at a pediatric hospital as well as from
physicians submitting samples for my reference
laboratory service. Urine samples (14 from males and
14 from females) were obtained from babies under 2
months old at a well-baby clinic at a local pediatric
hospital. Urine samples from normal control children,
30 of each gender between the ages of 2–13 years, were
obtained from children of local hospital employees.
Normal adult values (n = 19) were obtained from
adult volunteers (11 females and 8 males). Urine
samples were obtained from children with autism
between the ages of 2–13 years (211 males and 51
females). The ratio of male-to-female samples reflects
the approximate male-to-female ratio of autism
incidence in the population. The autistic children were
either out-patients at the hospital or were referred for
testing at the hospital. We requested first morning urine samples but did not verify compliance with this request. Baby urine samples were collected into tape on urine collection bags during the night. Pediatric neurologists, developmental pediatricians, or child psychiatrists, using DSM-IV criteria, had made the diagnosis of autism. Dr Walter Gattaz at the Central Mental Health Institute at Mannheim, Germany collected samples from 12 drug-free patients with schizophrenia (4 males and 8 females). An additional sample from a drug-free patient with first onset of schizophrenia with auditory hallucinations was submitted by the attending physician.
The observation that elevated amounts of Clostridia in urine samples is associated with mental illnesses was made 50 years ago but has been completely ignored until now. Significant decreases in symptoms of schizophrenia, tic disorders, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, and attention deficit hyperactivity have been reported by the attending physicians following antimicrobial treatment of individuals with elevated urinary concentrations of Clostridia, indicating that this compound may be of importance to many other mental diseases in addition to autism but also indicating that these probable Clostridia species are not specific for the etiology of autism or other diseases.
The Great Plains Laboratory's Organic Acids Test can determine levels of Clostidia through a simple urine test. The OAT tests for 73 compounds including 4-Cresol, a marker for bacteria Including selected Clostridia. This test can indicate a possible overgrowth of intestinal bacteria that are specific p-cresol producers including selected Clostridia. 4-Cresol is a phenolic product poorly metabolized in children with autism. High-potency multi-strain probiotics may help rebalance GI flora.
Mark Your Calendar for the 2012 IMMH Conference
The Great Plains Laboratory is pleased to announe the third annual IMMH Conference in Sante Fe, New Mexico on September 21-23. This three day event will be located dowtown at the Sante Fe Convention Center.
Dr. William Shaw, PhD.
James Greenblatt, M.D.
Louis Cady, M.D.
Julie Matthews, CNC
Kurt Woeller, D.O.
Information will be presented on mood and anxiety disorders, mental health and hormones, autism treatment, toxic chemicals, psychiatric disorders and much more.
To request more information and a conference brochure, click here.
Order the IMMH Conference Recordings
The 2011 IMMH conference in Sedona, AZ explored the field of Integrative Medicine as it pertains to the treatment of mental illness and related disorders. The current trial-and-error, poly-pharmacy approach to treating mental illness does not work for everyone. Presented by James Greenblatt, M.D., William Shaw, Ph.D., Kurt Woeller, D.O., and Louis Cady, M.D.
Please note your credit card will not be charged until the DVD-ROM is shipped.
Kurt Woeller, D.O.
William Shaw, Ph.D., and The Great Plains Laboratory, Inc. sponsor "Gastrointestinal Problems and Autism: Constipation, Infections, Inflammation and More – Testing and Treatment Options" presented by Dr. Kurt Woeller on April 11, 2012.
Gastrointestinal issues are a major problem in autism. Along with constipation, yeast overgrowth and poor digestion, many kids are dealing with undetected chronic inflammation. This presentation will explore the various issues seen in autism with respect to bowel problems and reveal the clinical signs that a more insidious condition of inflammatory bowel disease may exist.
Kurt Woeller, D.O., has been an autism biomedical specialist and complementary medicine physician since 1998. He is an author, lecturer, clinical practitioner, and medical director for Sunrise Complementary Medical Center in Temecula, CA. His practice offers specialized testing for individuals with complex medical conditions.
Please Note: This Webinar is a one-time, live event and will NOT be recorded; however, you can purchase a copy of Dr. Woeller’s lecture slides at www.BiomedicineUniversity.com prior to his scheduled LIVE Webinar. There is no charge for registering or attending the webinar through Great Plains Laboratory.
The webinar begins promptly at 6 p.m. PST, 8 p.m. CST, 9 p.m. EST.
Register for this Free Webinar