Autism and Mitochondrial Disorders: How Much Do We Really Know?

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The possible relationship between metabolic disorders, elevated lactic acid levels, and features of autism spectrum disorder have been described in the medical literature since the early 90’s.  In fact, much research exploring the correlation between autism or ASD (autism spectrum disorder) and mitochondrial dysfunction has been published throughout the last decade, long before the Hannah Poling case (March 2008) brought the association to the public’s attention.

Since the US Vaccine Compensation Board determined, based on Hannah Poling’s case, that “vaccines significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder causing brain damage with features of autism spectrum disorder”, a whirlwind of confusion amongst parents of affected children has occurred.

Are vaccines safe?

Do children with mitochondrial disease have a potential to develop autism, or do children with autism have an underlying mitochondrial disorder?

Is mitochondrial dysfunction the “cause” of autism or behavior compatible with ASD?

What do we really know and understand about the relationship between autism spectrum disorders and mitochondrial cytopathies?

Join us as Dr. David Holtzman from Massachusetts General Hospital shares his perspective and research on the autism-mitochondrial disease debate.

About the Speaker

Dr. Holtzman is a pediatric neurologist and has experience treating many patients with mitochondrial disease. His current research in mitochondrial physiology has recently revealed a relationship between autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and abnormal mitochondrial function.

Date: 02/25/2009
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