Vit B helps improve autistic condition
FOLINIC acid, a drug derived from folic acid (a synthetic form of vitamin B9), could improve autistic children’s ability to communicate, according to a study published in the journal, Molecular Psychiatry.
Folic acid (B9) plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells, the nervous system and the immune system, and wound healing. It is required for the production of new cells, which makes it particularly important during periods of embryonic and foetal development.
Before conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy, B9 helps to protect the child from conditions such as spina bifida, harelip, and heart problems, and it decreases the risk of miscarriage.
One major folate food source is plant leaves. It is also found in brewers’ yeast, green vegetables (spinach, salad leaves), seeds (corn, chickpeas), liver, lentils, and seaweed.
The researchers followed 47 children, with an average age of seven, who had Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or communication difficulties, for 12 weeks. The first group took a high dose of folinic acid (2mg/kg, up to 50mg per day) while the second was given a placebo.
Studying specific blood markers which can predict treatment response in children with autism and verbal communication difficulties, the findings showed that those with folate receptor autoantibodies had a more favourable response to the folinic acid treatment.
Verbal communication was much improved in those who took folinic acid, compared with those who were given the placebo.
These promising preliminary findings have encouraged the researchers to envisage a larger-scale study of the effects of high-dose folinic acid as a treatment for ASD children. – The Independent