Approximately 1 in 68 children In Davie and Plantation, FL, will be diagnosed with spectrum disorders. Spectrum disorders include ADD and ADHD. Also, many children are having difficulty learning. There is one important risk factor for spectrum disorders and it is called mitochondrial dysfunction.
Children with spectrum disorders are 500 times more likely to have mitochondrial dysfunction.
What is mitochondria?
Mitochondria are in every cell inside your body. The Function of Mitochondria is to produce energy for the cell. They are known as the powerhouse of the cell. In its process of creating energy, all cells produce free radicals and other substances. If the cell is not able to clear them out, they can cause cell death. In a stomach or skin cell this is not so critical, however in a brain cell, this is much more critical, as the lifespan of a brain cell is much longer than that of an average cell, and we don’t often make new brain cells. Proper function of mitochondria is very crucial in both brain and gut function.
Neurons (brain Cells) are different from other cells, as they require a lot more energy. If the mitochondria are not functioning properly, the nerve cells in the brain cannot form new connections. If the nerves can’t form new connections, then the result is difficulty in learning. Mitochondria dysfunction also causes calcium imbalances that keep nerves in a hyper excited state, causing the hyperactivity. This is a mechanism that can feed on itself if it is not corrected. This means that once it begins, the road to spectrum disorder can be very swift.
There is an example of a normal brain cell in a rat above. The slide below is an image of a rat’s brain cell with mitochondria dysfunction.
Mitochondrial dysfunction can also cause a lot of Gastrointestinal symptoms ranging from bowel obstruction to constipation, diarrhea and or food sensitivities.
Other factors that may increase damage to the central nervous system, include infections, environmental toxins, dysbiosis, and decreased glutathione. These conditions lead to programed cell death.
Signs that this is happening may appear on a normal blood test as increased ammonia or decreased levels of carnitine. We recommend a urine test which measures the levels of organic acids in the urine. Levels of organic acids tell if there is dysfunction of the mitochondria and gives us a map as to how to fix it, inhibiting the progression of this disease.
For more information on Organic Acids testing, call our office in Plantation (954)745-8380.