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Top Research Papers

Below is list of papers that anybody who is interested in understanding the latest thinking and research on autism should be familiar with. 


Admittedly some of these articles are technical, but it's worth at least reading the introductions to be familiar with the concepts.


For each paper we've included a short blurb on why we think it's important but in general we picked these papers because they challenged the status quo and paved a new way of thinking about autism


If you find any paper interesting or want to learn more.  Do a search on the lead author and see what else they have published.  Frequently you may find a YouTube video of the author giving a talk about the subject


If you are a parent of an autistic child, your healthcare provider should be familiar with this research - at least the concepts.  If they are not, give it to them.  If they are dismissive of these papers, consider how open-minded your provider is and whether they really are a good fit for you.

1.  Metabolic biomarkers of increased oxidative stress and impaired methylation capacity in children with autism, Jill James et al  2004


why we think this paper is important: 

This 2004 paper by Dr. Jill James, a pioneer in biochemistry of autism, demonstrated that children with autism had differences in certain core metabolic and biochemical processes, a finding not widely accepted at the time.  Importantly, the researchers were able to improve (normalize) the children's biochemistry through the use of supplements, lending credence to the observations of many parents that they are able to make substantial improvements in their children's autism through supplementation.  Subsequent research has built on this concept.


2.  Short-term benefit from oral vancomycin treatment of regressive-onset autism, Sid Finegold, MD et al, 2000 and Supplemental article, 2002. 


why we think this paper is important:

A groundbreaking study, by one of the leading microbiologist of our time, first documenting the unexpected result that antibiotics can lead to temporary improvements in autism for some patients.  This small clinical study provided substantial evidence to a theory that  many have now come to believe - that in many cases many of the abnormalities seen in autism are mediated by bacteria.  What makes this study even more remarkable is that the entire theory was first proposed by a mom with no formal training in biology.  For more on this see the documentary: The Autism Enigma


3.  Microbiota Modulate Behavioral and Physiological Abnormalities Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Dr. Elaine Hsiao et al, 2013 


why we think this paper is important:

Another ground breaking research paper from Paul Patterson's group at Cal Tech.  For years researchers have known that simulating a viral infection in a pregnant mouse, leads the male offspring to exhibit many autistic-like behaviors.  This paper delves deeply into the mechanism of that phenomenon and makes some startling discoveries including the finding that the affected male offspring have different gut bacterial composition vs. controls despite being grown under identical lab conditions (see paper #2 for potential relevance).  The paper goes on to examine some of the detailed biochemistry that may be responsible for the abnormalities.  While the work is in mice, it is important because it establishes the link that an infection (or simulated infection) can lead to behavioral, developmental, biochemical, and gut flora abnormalities in offspring.  At N of One we are eager to sponsor future research that further links or distances this animal model from autism.


Jill James 2004
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