Cell Danger Response in Autism:
The Cell Danger Response (CDR) is an ancient metabolic response to threat, according to Dr. Naviaux who published his 2014 landmark paper “Metabolic features of the cell danger response”. The cell danger response occurs when cells are damaged by “chemical, physical, or biological threats”. Cell danger response focuses on conserving resources to protect the cell from harm.
In the short term, the CDR serves to protect but long term. Once the “threat” is nullified, the CDR turns off and the cells take steps to reverse the effects of the CDR resulting in healing. Chronic CDR has the ability to disrupt the function of every cell in the body. This will have a direct impact on the gut and microbiome, mitochondrial function, neurotransmission and detoxification capacity. These are all key features of the medical aspects of autism.
One key feature of the cell danger response that is particularly impactful in autism is the stiffening of the cell membrane. Membrane fluidity is essential for optimal development. Biomedical treatment improves many of the harmful aspects of long term cell danger response including supporting the health of the phospholipid bilayer.
The treatments used to address membrane rigidity consistently result in improvements in language, social and cognitive function while reducing behaviours. These include diet, fat soluble vitamins, phospholipids, carnitine, essential fatty acids and methylation supports like methyl B12 injections and methyl folate.
This is an incredible video that shows normal cell function. The cell danger response disrupts normal cell function.
Methylation produces the building blocks of the cell membrane. Harmful microbes, like yeast and clostridia, disrupt the absorption of nutrients needed to support methylation and detoxification. The core feature of CDR is that a “threat” triggers it. Threats like heavy metals, chemicals and microbes. Methylation is improved by using methyl B12 injections and dietary intervention which likewise increases glutatihone. Diets such as the modified ketogenic diet that removes grains and dairy improves mitochondrial function.
Harmful microbes like yeast and clostridia alter the health of the microbiome. The food source for these microbes is complex carbohydrates. Decreasing these microbes is achieved by removing their food source which is found in grains. Improving the health of the ecosystem in the gut reduces oxidative stress and inflammation. Eliminating the threat, turns off the CDR as does supporting the repair of cells and tissues with more resources via diet, methyl B12 injections, essential fatty acids and antioxidants like glutathione.
Dr. Naviaux continues to study the cell danger response to learn more about how this mechanism impact human health.