Immunotec Research Ltd. Initiates U.S. Autism Research Project


Scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas have started a study in which a specially formulated whey protein isolate (Immunocal) will be used to raise glutathione levels in an attempt to lessen symptoms of autism.

Although the causes of autism have not been clearly identified, research has suggested that chronic biochemical imbalance plays a role. Studies have shown that levels of the major intracellular antioxidant "Glutathione" is typically about 50% lower in children with autism. Glutathione, which is produced by every cell in the body, is responsible for a number of functions including removing or neutralizing dangerous substances, including toxic metals. Toxins, pollution, disease, stress, and poor diet can all contribute to loss of glutathione. When glutathione levels reach a critically low degree, we are much more vulnerable to toxins and immune dysfunction.

Principal investigator for this study is Dr. Janet Kern, an adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern, which is internationally recognized for its clinical and research programs.

"Some children with autism are poor detoxifiers relative to normally developing children, and in particular, have trouble excreting toxic metals," said Dr. Janet Kern, an adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern. "Toxic metals that are not eliminated may build up in the brain. Plasma glutathione has been found to be lower in children with autism, particularly, in children with autism who have regressed. We want to clearly establish that raising glutathione levels in these children will improve their ability to detoxify these substances and in that way improve some of their symptoms."

The team will be using a protein supplement manufactured by Immunotec Research Ltd. called "Immunocal". It is identified by the American Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR) as a glutathione precursor.

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