At DOAST we believe that we have come to a turning point in the history of autism research where ‘Instead of studying it through a symptom by symptom approach, autistic behavior should be understood better by studying the underlying intermediary biological processes’.
DOAST is working on a broad umbrella of disorders Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD, PDD-NOS and other Learning Disabilities. We believe these are Processing Disorders (or variances from current norms). If we consider the brain as hardware and sensory processing as software, in our view, these disorders are an incompatibility between hardware and software. The hardware and software both have chemical/molecular basis. Our solutions target the root cause – molecular level changes between the biology of inflammatory and oxidative stress markers on the one hand and processing, connectivity and reactivity abnormalities on the other which may conceivably converge on to the autism profile.
This simplification of focus is essential to tackle the diversity of the deficits and the complexity of solutions required for these disorders. In this, we are very different from most approaches. Our goal is to formulate theory and merge practices from multiple systems – in an integrative, omni-disciplinary approach. The sole focus is to generate consistent independent individuals as clinical outcomes.
Formulating a general theoretical foundation and a coherent view on brain function within the framework of other organ systems is a key to understanding ASD and related disorders. Cognitive, emotional and synaptic functions of the brain basically rely on the macromolecular computing system of RNA protein- and protein to protein interactions which appear to be the result of fine grained information, encoded and accumulated over evolutionary time.
With advancements in the imaging techniques and genomics in late 1990s to present (2017), we have a wealth of research which supports the following hypotheses:
• Autism may function under a ‘two hit’ onset mechanism, where ‘permissive genetic landscape’ interacts with a series of environmentally destabilized developmental anomalies. This we believe creates a domino effect that results in the presentations found in these disorders.
• A large body of evidence now links the molecular pathways of cellular stress response to the onset of chronic inflammation associated with chronic diseases. ‘Bodily symptoms could be the manifestations of signaling and metabolic derangements that may have widespread effects integrally related to what we now call autism’.
• Inflammation and decreased connectivity (hardware) could hamper simultaneous and complex coordination between functional areas of the brain that could lead to impaired social and communication skills.
• Thus, treatment targets could be identified in any of the pathways that determine the progress of tissue inflammation.
Indian medical practices and their relevance to the solution
India has many ancient medical systems like Yoga, Siddha and Ayurveda. These systems have practiced toxin elimination and rejuvenation for more than 5 millennia. These traditional medical practitioners have a model for connections between the body, mind and soul, which they believe creates deep and long-persistent cures for diseases. This approach has analogues to the recent approaches tying molecular signaling pathways to onset/development of Autism and related disorders.
However validation of success stories with traditional medicines, have not kept pace with discoveries and cures in more modern medical systems.
DOAST integrated therapy
Based on the understanding of parallels between modern synthesis, and ancient treatments – our approach is arguably unique. We apply techniques that are able to query macromolecular landscapes in detail and with sensitivity to be consonant with the complexity of the human systems being studied.
Basis of DOAST approach
A human cell in resting homeostasis contains precise ‘molecular order’ composed of millions of protein to protein and RNA- protein interactions located in ‘acceptable’ regions of shape and space. When the trigger of stress exceeds the ‘robustness’ limits of cellular networks, ‘molecular disorder’ gradually ensues, disturbing the homeostasis. When this unrest and reparative inflammation process fails to reach its endpoint, molecular damage and disorder begin to accumulate. The wrong macromolecules at the wrong place, at the wrong time generate chronic inflammation, tissue degeneration and chronic disease.
Our claims and sources
• We took cues from the multi centric mainstream research findings and knowledge base of intuition driven – nature based ancient Indian medical science.
• We propose that in genetically susceptible individuals dietary or environmental triggers affecting the gut micro biome produce systemic inflammatory cytokines on a chronic basis. This downstream inflammation could signal upstream molecular unrest, break the blood brain barrier and ultimately affect synaptic connectivity.
• Further we advocate that by effectively treating the downstream inflammatory pathology we could initiate reestablishment of upstream molecular order. Molecular order restored could activate the dormant neuronal pools, improve connectivity and restore neuronal coherence & functional integration.
• To achieve this goal of alleviation of inflammation restoration of molecular order & synaptic connectivity we have worked on the ‘DOAST Integrated Therapy’
Shift in paradigm
• DOAST therapeutic approach applies clinical practices to rectify imbalances to ameliorate complex cognitive and behavioral symptoms
• More than a decade long clinical approach at DOAST incorporates a paradigm-shift in understanding and treating heterogeneous, complex inflammatory disorders, such as autism, which has not been looked at in this light before.
• Replicated clinical alleviation of painful GI symptoms and consistently associated improvement in behavior and cognition are observed outcomes in our DOAST clinical intervention program.
Redefining society’s perception of Autism/ASD
Our prospective clinical experience spanning more than a decade and emerging qualitative changes in clinical status including loss of diagnosis suggest that a more appropriate description for ASD could be a “chronic dynamic reversible encephalopathy” rather than “static encephalopathy” as considered so far. This gives us avenue towards consolidating our experience so far into better and further efficient clinical therapies.