Autism Research Confined to Drugs - Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND

Autism Research Confined to Drugs

October 16, 2017

During my Fibro/CFS Webinar on Oct 6, 2017, a chat message came from a listener who said that a Research MD, PhD in San Diego, Dr. Robert Naviaux is doing working on a “crucial link to normalizing our mitochondria and thus normalizing our energy production.”

He said that Dr. Naviaux’ research is aimed at treating the root cause of Fibro/CFS and many other chronic neurodegenerative diseases at the mitochondrial level. Mark said that my approach of “re-balancing the immune system and correcting mineral deficiencies is NOT the same as treating the root cause of these problems.” I very strongly beg to differ. Let me explain. But first, I have to lay the groundwork.

My impression of medical research is very jaded because I know it’s going to be about drug testing. This is a learned assumption because medical research is scarily expensive and most of it is funded by drug companies with an eye to patenting a drug that they can sell without competition for 20 years. Even if there is public funding for drugs, there are laws in place that “require that publicly-financed and developed drug products be given to the drug industry free and clear and along with official government assistance in making sure these drugs are a commercial success.” (See the section “Legalized Conflict of Interest” in my book Death by Modern Medicine.

What does Dr. Naviaux’ research entail? At an Autism Research website I found the following: “Starting in 2008, Dr. Naviaux began investigating autism from a metabolic standpoint and soon came to view that the underlying mechanism of autism might be metabolic and regulated by the mitochondria. In 2013 Dr. Naviaux published the first of several papers about his Cell Danger Response theory of autism and experiments in autism mouse models. In 2015 he obtained approval to try (a drug called) suramin in humans.” So there’s my answer. Naviaux is doing drug research.

What is the Cell Danger Response (CDR)? It’s the way the body naturally, normally, and every day responds to threat or stress through inflammation, immunity, and oxidative stress. The purine nucleotide signals the CDR but if it is maintained for too long the CDR leads to prolonged inflammation. Naviaux doesn’t mention that RNA and DNA are also purine nucleotides but says he wants to inhibit the binding of eATP (extracellular adenosine triphosphate) another molecule with purine nucleotides to key purine receptors. Here’s the most interesting part of this whole story. What is the full designation of ATP? It is ATP-Mg. The question is, how will he just kill eATP binding and not affect ATP throughout the body?

Most of you know ATP as the energy molecules of the body produced in mitochondria via the Krebs cycle where 6 of the 8 steps require magnesium. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, that should work, let’s kill ATP! He doesn’t mention what that will do to our RNA and DNA or our energy or anything else that ATP does in the body. He wants to Kill the CDR signal because the theory is that it’s the persistence of the CDR that is the basis of chronic disease. And that’s his root cause!

How does ATP become eATP? “The ATP concentration in cell cytosol is between 2mM and 5mM. Following membrane damage or necrosis, all cells can release ATP into the extracellular environment, which can then act in an autocrine/paracrine manner to influence local purinergic signalling.” Low levels of eATP are normal, but high levels create inflammation. So, here’s my take on this statement – if you damage a cell with too much calcium and not enough magnesium present you cause a release of ATP into the extracellular fluid making it a signal to inflammation. What keeps this from happening? Magnesium. What is the basic treatment for inflammation? Magnesium. What is the most common proinflammatory substance in the body? Calcium. What is one of the major functions of magnesium? Cell Signalling.

So, until someone tells me it’s not, I say the root cause of Fibro and CFS is magnesium deficiency with extra inflammation caused by yeast overgrowth!

Naviaux wanting to shut down the CDR to protect us from chronic disease reminds me of how prednisone was justified in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis starting in 1949 to shut down the inflammatory response that was damaging joints. Unfortunately, the long-term use of that drug was more horrific than the disease. Are we setting ourselves up once again?

The number of children – soon to be adults – with autism and spectrum disorders is going to overwhelm our social services and lead to a permanent vacuum in the labor market. Making this population viable in the work force is hugely important and you will see more efforts to design drugs to treat these disorders. Do not mistake them for cures or treatment of the root cause – see them for the band aids that they are, comparable to Ritalin and Adderral. Also remember that autism and spectrum disorders are created by our toxic, drugged, vaccinated, and nutrient-deficient culture.

Naviaux said that in 2008, he searched the world for any drug that could inhibit eATP signaling and found suramin. “Our work suggests that the CDR is at the heart of autism as well as other chronic conditions and may explain why these conditions have been rising over the past 30 years.” He says that CDR and abnormalities in purine signaling create a metabolic syndrome that is the root cause of ASD, no matter what the particular set of genes or environmental triggers a child has. He later retracts this statement.

In a small study Naviaux gave ten children one IV dose of surinam. Several of them improved for a few weeks. Will this mean that children will have to be injected every 2 weeks? What will the long term side effects be to a constant shut down of eATP?

What is suramin? You can read all about it on wiki or any medical website. It’s a drug used to treat the parasite that causes African sleeping sickness and river blindness. It’s only available by injection or by IV and it causes a lot of very unpleasant side effects. When it was tested on HIV/AIDS patients there were a significant number of fatal occurrences so it was abandoned for this condition. So what makes it all of a sudden “safe” to use in autistic kids or people with CFS?

Naviaux recently put suramin in the back seat and says that his work is really about examining the role of the Cell Danger Response (CDR) in autism and other conditions. Another article said that Naviaux and his colleagues do not believe CDR is the cause of ASD, but rather a fundamental driver that combines with other factors, such as genetics or environmental toxins and suramin, at this stage, is not the ultimate answer.

By 2016, Naviaux turned his attention to CFS with a Metabolomics and Genetics Study. He says that “When the CDR gets stuck, normal healing can’t proceed. If this happens, it could theoretically lead to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).” So, he’s still chasing theories and keeping the grants and funding coming with a new spin and special testing called Metabolomics. Text on the study website says that metabolomics is one of the hottest rising stars in the high tech race to gain a molecular understanding of health and disease. Metabolomics uses a machine called a “mass spectrometer” to measure hundreds of chemicals in our blood. I say it’s just more biohacking without a solution in site. Nowhere in Naviaux’ work do I hear mention of magnesium or its importance as a basic building block of health. It’s as if it doesn’t even exist.

When I’ve had the pleasure of working with spectrum kids, the best results are obtained with a yeast-free diet and magnesium. More recently we are finding the Completement Formulas are helping, especially ReMag Lotion and ReStructure. I can’t say that the damage that has been done in creating this disease can be reversed. However, if we are going to only be able to treat symptoms, we should use the safest protocols we possibly can.


SUMMITS: Join me on Rewire Your Brain to Think Thin launching Oct 16. My talk is on Oct 24th.  Yes, it’s free but if you want to purchase the recordings and transcripts you will have that option as well.


Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Doctor of the Future®

RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to:

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