Beneficial effects of the parasite on Autism
After studying the hygiene hypothesis
while researching confusing links between autism and immunity, the father of an
autistic patient, Stewart Johnson came with the idea of treating Autism patient
with parasitic worms (ncbi, 2010).
Stewart treated his teenage son with eggs
from the helminth Trichuris suis under Dr. Hollander’s
supervision, Trichuris suis infects and is harmful to pigs
but it is not pathogenic in humans. With continued treatment, purposeless
behaviours, resistance to change, and irritability all decreased in Stewart’s
son, said Hollander (Sabrina Richards, 2012).
Although no defined standard approach
exists , currently ASD treatments can be divide into nutritional, medical and behavioural
& Antonucci, 2013a). To treat behavioral problems, such as
anger, impaired verbal, self-injurious behaviour, that keep the person with an
autism from functioning more efficiently in community, medications are often
Institute of Mental Health, 2016). Nowadays helminthic therapy shows
potential and can be use as anti-inflammatory agents, it used by the inoculation of the patient with specific parasitic
intestinal nematodes (helminths). There is many studies on a
number of such organisms are currently being investigated for their use as
treatment including Trichuris suis ova (ovamed, 2013) ,(Fleming
et al., 2011). commonly
known as pig whipworm eggs, Necator americanus ( Nottingham, 2017) commonly known as hookworms; Trichuris trichiura ova commonly referred to as human
whipworm eggs . Several human diseases can be treated with helminths. Trichuris
suis ova show strong immunomodulatory properties. TSO could be a modern
therapeutic option for ASD treatment. Some studies hypothesize that TSO could
be useful in addressing ASD immune dysregulations. (Siniscalco
& Antonucci, 2013b).
The harmful effect of the parasite on autism
Although data suggesting increased
susceptibility to helminth infection in pregnant women are incompatible, helminth
infections, in general, affect both mother and fetus, data have shown that
severe anemia, malnutrition, and recurrent infectious processes increase the
risk for maternal and infant morbidity and mortality (Woodburn
et al., 2009)(Friedman,
Mital, Kanzaria, Olds, & Kurtis, 2007).
Anemia in these highly
endemic regions is common among pregnant women. Anemia in these pregnancy has
been associated with stillbirth, prematurity, and low birth weight (Larocque, Casapia, Gotuzzo, & Gyorkos, 2005)(Elliott et al., 2011). Helminth infections have been shown to directly
contribute to severe anemia in patients through blood loss and micronutrient
deficiencies some of these helminth infections include hookworm, trichuriasis,
and schistosomiasis (Mpairwe, Tweyongyere, & Elliott, 2014)( Steketee RW, 2003) Hookworm is the
leading cause of pathologic blood loss in endemic areas.
In Western society, Study of diseases
caused by helminths show that they have recently discovered that some children
with autism are infected with a large number of intestinal worms, called
helminths (Parker, W. and J. Ollerton, 2013). Parents detect that removal of
some of these helminths can improve some of the symptoms of autism in some
cases, at least temporarily (Raison, C.L., C.A. Lowry, and G.W. Rook, 2010).
This has led some parents to conclude that helminths are a causative agent in
the pathogenesis of autism and that strict measures should be taken to remove
them (Parker, W. and J. Ollerton, 2013)( Raison, C.L., C.A. Lowry, and G.W.