Scientific studies using a dietary supplement are giving hope for children with autism. Based on luteolin, a substance contained in chamomile, and kernel oil that helps reduce oxidation and inflammation of the brain, the discovery was made by eminent Greek expatriate Dr. Theocharis Theocharides, Professor of Pharmacology, Integrative Physiology and Pathobiology and director of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunopharmacology and Drug Discovery in the School of Medicine at Tufts University in Boston.
Autism, according to Theocharides, is not a psychiatric disease as originally thought and there is now a body of evidence that autistic children have an inflammation in the brain. “It’s a self-destruction that occurs in the brain during pregnancy or very early after the child is born and this is almost certainly because around 60 pct of children have antibodies against their own brain … ” Theocharides said in an interview to the ANA-MPA, while in Athens as a guest of the Hellenic American Union.
Theocharides said certain herbal substances that are found in abundance in Greece were found to have a possible anti-inflammatory effect. In America, Theocharides has been credited with the idea of using such substances to combat inflammation in the brain. On Thursday night, the professor spoke at a special event entitled “Autism – Immediate need for information and treatment,” organized by the Hellenic American Union in co-operation with ”Brain-Gate” a non-profit company founded to promote the scientific study of diseases associated with the brain.
Autism is fast becoming something of an ”epidemic,” with official statistics from the UK and the US indicating that one in fifty children are autistic, and reported cases rising exponentially. It cannot be treated with medication and it’s not a psychiatric problem, said Theocharides.
It is an autoimmune disease that creates psychiatric problems. The research with luteolin and olive oil returned an improvement of about 60 pct in terms of the sociability of these children, while also boosting their speech.
Theocharides said he had seen children that had been unable to communicate start to talk, adding that even one case is sufficient to give lots of hope “as we don’t yet know the pathogenesis of the disease”.