This blog is a way of sharing the information and resources that have helped me to recover my son Roo from an Autism Spectrum Disorder. What I have learned is to view our symptoms as the results of underlying biological cause, which can be identified and healed. I say "our symptoms" because I also have a neuro-immune disorder called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

And, of course, I am not a doctor (although I have been known to impersonate one while doing imaginative play with my son)- this is just our story and information that has been helpful or interesting to us. I hope it is helpful and interesting to you!


Monday, July 27, 2020

Simple Grain and Starch Sides


Garlic Bread

Make a paste of a combo of oil or melted butter and shortening or softened butter, add garlic that has been grated on a fine microplane, and garlic powder (and/or garlic granules) that has been "bloomed" in a small amount of water.  Onion powder and a small amount of cayenne are optional.  Toast bread in foil in a 450 oven. 

Fall Rice Pilaf

Cook 1 cup of a mix of brown and wild rice in broth (turkey or chicken works well).  Saute 1 sliced large leek, several diced ribs of celery, about 1/3 cup of diced parsnip, about a 1/4 cup of dried cranberries, a generous amount of rubbed sage, and chopped chestnuts if you can eat them.  Let cook for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.


Greek Lemon Rice

2 cups rice (basmati or jasmine work well)
4 cups stock
Juice of 1 lemon
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring ingredients to a boil, then simmer 15 to 20 minutes.

Simple Savory Snacks


Crispy Chickpeas

Add 1 T of oil to equivalent of 1 can of chickpeas (that are drained and very dry), then add 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper plus any other spices (curry powder, chipotle, smoked paprika, etc). Bake at 450 on a preheated cookie sheet for 20 to 25 minutes (stirring them around at least once during cooking time).

Olive Tapenade

2 cups pitted green olives
2 cloves of garlic
2 anchovy fillets
1 T capers
Juice of 1 lemon
Fresh Thyme
½ cup olive oil

-Pulse everything in a blender, than slowly add olive oil with blender running.

Friday, July 24, 2020

COVID 19 notes

SARS-CoV-2 May Have Another Door Into Cells | SciShow News

Evidence suggests that the virus SARS Cov 2 can enter cells through the receptor ACE2, which has been known for awhile, but may also be able to enter through another protein called CD 147 (Cluster of Differentiation 147.  It is also called Emmprin, M6, or Basigin).  Many other viruses, including measles, HIV, and the original SARS COv virus can also use this protein to enter and infect cells.  This receptor is involved in cellular communication and coordination so it is found on many kinds of cells in many body systems.  Production of CD147 increases when blood sugar is high which might explain why people with diabetes have a higher risk from COVID.  Research so far shows that CD147 is also more commonly expressed in people with asthma, obesity, COPD, and hypertension.  This may also explain some skin rashes and blood clotting that seem to be symptoms of some COVID infections.  Antibodies, including those for COVID, can stick to red blood cells and make them "sticky" and prone to clotting.  Red blood cells don't have ACE2 receptors but they do have CD147 receptors (this is the same receptor that malaria parasites use to get into them).  Endothelial cells also express CD147 and this might explain how the virus causes high blood pressure.  A medication called Meplazumab binds to CD147 so that viruses can't use it and preliminary research sows that this drug helps reduce the severity of COVID infection.  The antibiotic Azithromycin also seems to block the CD147 receptor and is also used to treat malaria, so maybe it will be an effective option?

How the Coronavirus Hijacks Your Cells

The SARS Cov 2 virus has been found to enter human cells via the ACE2 receptor, which stands for Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2.  This receptor is found primarily throughtout the respiratory tract and the GI tract.  Once inside the cell, the virus releases its RNA which then directs the cell to make proteins for it including ones which keep the immune system at bay and others needed to replicate the virus.  Each cell can produce as many as 600,000 new viral particles.  The SARS Cov2 virus appears to not kill the infected cells as quickly as many other viruses do which could lead to a longer period of being contagious before showing symptoms and realizing that you are sick.  Alcohols and bleach kill the virus by altering the pH or disrupting the cell membrane, making the cell unable to replicate.  Higher temperatures make the virus less stable and not able to survive as long.

Invasive Aspergillosis as an Under-recognized Superinfection in COVID-19 

"Taken together, these early findings suggest that invasive aspergillosis may be an important, yet under-recognized, complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The frequency of post-COVID-19 aspergillosis is likely to differ significantly between hospitals and geographic sites, as has been observed with postinfluenza aspergillosis"

"We are living in an unprecedented era of fungal infections, characterized by the emergence of previously unrecognized human pathogens and well-recognized pathogens causing new manifestations of disease. The spectrum of “at-risk” populations for invasive Aspergillus infections is expanding, with increased appreciation of diseases such as chronic pulmonary infection and postinfluenza aspergillosis. Fungal superinfections are difficult to distinguish from severe COVID-19 based on clinical or imaging findings, and a high index of suspicion is necessary to diagnose aspergillosis. If aspergillosis is a complication of COVID-19 in a significant minority of critically ill hospitalized patients, failure to recognize or diagnose the disease will likely lead to excess mortality. For this reason, it is imperative to establish the incidence, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of COVID-19-associated aspergillosis as quickly as possible."

The people with hidden immunity against Covid-19

 It has been noticed that many people who have recovered from COVID do not show antibodies to the virus, and that many of those who do have antibodies that last nor more than 3 months.  This implies that long-term immunity to COVID may not be based on antibody titers but other mech-
anisms may be necessary or significant.

"When researchers tested blood samples taken years before the pandemic started, they found T cells which were specifically tailored to detect proteins on the surface of Covid-19".
"T cells are a kind of immune cell, whose main purpose is to identify and kill invading pathogens or infected cells. It does this using proteins on its surface, which can bind to proteins on the surface of these imposters. Each T cell is highly specific – there are trillions of possible versions of these surface proteins, which can each recognize a different target. Because T cells can hang around in the blood for years after an infection, they also contribute to the immune system’s “long-term memory” and allow it to mount a faster and more effective response when it’s exposed to an old foe. "

Some people test negative to the antibodies but positive for t-cells that recognize COVID virus.  This could mean that there is twice as much natural immunity to the virus than previously thought.  About 40 to 60% of unexposed people have these t-cells.  This is causing some researchers to refocus their attention onto t-cell based immunity as a more promising road to meaningful treatment.  To understand the importance of t-cells (also called t-lymphocytes) look at patients in late-stage AIDS- the unusual cancers, the fevers, fatigue, weight-loss. sores, etc.  The Oxford vaccine induces both an antibody and a t-cell response.  However in severely affected patients many of these cells seem to be disappearing out of the blood stream.  It has been suggested that the cells may be moving to affected parts of the body.  However there also appears to be a pattern of necrosis happening at areas such as the spleen where many t-cells are found.  Necrosis of the spleen is generally a sign of t-cell disease, such as AIDS.  If t-cells are being destroyed this could explain why the elderly are so much more effected. 


references:
Neutralizing antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in a COVID-19 recovered patient cohort and their implications Longitudinal evaluation and decline of antibody responses in SARS-CoV-2 infection 

Longitudinal evaluation and decline of antibody responses in SARS-CoV-2 infection 

Monday, July 20, 2020

Sound Healing

The Note from Heaven - a film on Githa Ben-David by Lars Muhl

 Githa Ben-David learned to sing in a spiritual way while studying in India and later developed this practice as a healing modality.  Her method of singing involves overtones and elongated sounds.  This video demonstrates how to pronounce the different sounds for those people who are reading her book and/or studying her method. 


Using sound waves to destroy cancer | Christine Gibbons | TEDxDetroit



A new treatment for cancer is presented here, called Histotripsy, which uses sound energy delivered by ultrasound to destroy cancerous tumors.  Using sound to create heat to kill tumors has been tried, but this is a new approach that actually uses the sound to create mechanical forces.  These mechanical forces are more precise than heat and lead to less pain and faster recovery.  This concept is illustrated at 3:38 




Music Medicine: Sound At A Cellular Level | Dr. Lee Bartel | TEDxCollingwood

Some sounds have a rhythmic structure that allow them to impact cells in the body.  This offers a potential new modality for treating brain disorders.  Many functions of our brains, such as controlling movement and memory, are controlled by circuits in the brain comprised of sections of the rbain that work in coordination.  This coordination is maintained with brain waves that have a specific frequency (in the brain this is generally 40 Hz).  This speaker presents evidence that treatment with 40 Hz is able to improve brain function patients with Alzheimer's.  The speaker mentions a consumer product that seems capable of providing this therapy outside of a treatment center called the Sound Oasis Vibro Acoustic Therapy System (VTS1000)...worth checking into?  He refers to a study done at MIT (at 10:14) that found that exposing a person to lights that flicker at 40 hz for 7 hours can reduce the amount of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain by more than 50%.  Additional related publications are listed at 10:40  He discusses a pilot study done with fibromyalgia patients (12:30 includes citation) as well as more rigorous studies, all showing a lot of promise.  Potential new targets for treatment include Major Depression, Parkinson's, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, bone density, and blood flow (may reduce risks from stroke and heart attack).  

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Recipes for Medicinal Foods


Fermented Garlic Honey

Sage and Honey Cough Syrup 

How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Immune System Support

Elderberry Winter Tonic

Elder-Rosehip Oxywell (from Mountain Rose Herbs)

1/4 c elder berries
1/4 c rose hips
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 c raw honey

Combine ingredients in a jar and let sit for 2-4 weeks, shaking once a day.  Strain and store in fridge or cool, dark place. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Migraines

Migraine headaches are a neurological condition with significant vascular involvement.  They occur as a series of phases, usually four, which are the Premonitory Phase, the Aura Phase, the headache itself, and the Postdrome Phase.

The premonitory phase includes symptoms such as light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, fatigue, irritability, depression, muscle stiffness, and can begin as much as 3 days before the actual headache starts.  It is believed that the hypothalamus is involved in causing migraines, it is a part of the brain that is responsible for regulating the autonomic nervous system, which is the part of the nervous system that controls body functions involved in survival which are not under conscious awareness or control.  These include things like hormone regulation, temperature control, thirst and hunger, and respiration.  There seem to be many potential environmental triggers which vary from person to person and which can include hormonal changes, weather changes (particularly changes in barometric pressure, so can be triggered by impending rain storms), emotional stress, changes in sleep patterns (although these may also be symptoms of the migraine itself), neck pain, not eating, and things that are common mast cell triggers such as certain smells, foods, alcohol, smoke, exercise, bright lights, and sometimes sex. 

About a third of people who get migraines have an aural phase next.  There are four different kinds of auras associated with migraines- visual, sensory, language, and motor.  Visual auras include things like seeing spots, wavy lines, are a ring around lights.  Sensory aura can include neuralgia, which is tingling and/or numbness.  Language aura refers to problems speaking and finding the right words, and motor aura refers to weakness.  Many of these symptoms such as tingling/numbness and weakness often occur on only one side of the body.  It is believed that the aura phase is caused by something called Cortical Spreading Depression, which means that the neurons on the outside of the cerebrum (the main part of the brain) begin to fire less frequently in a pattern that spreads through the cortex the same way that ripples spread on the surface of water.  People who do not experience aura symptoms may be experiencing this spreading in areas of the brain that they are not consciously aware of. 

The headache phase involves pain (obviously) but also tends to involve additional symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, light and sound sensitivity, balance problems, visual disturbances, sensitivity to certain smells, and a pain symptom called Cutaneous Allodynia which is when even light touch on areas of the skin causes intense pain.  It is currently thought that the Cortical Spreading Depression that occurs earlier in the process activates the Trigeminal Vascular System, which includes activation of the trigeminal nerve.  All sensations on the skin of the face are transferred to the brain via the Trigeminal Nerve.  The Trigeminal Nerve also carries pain signals into the brain from the Dura Mater, which is a thick membrane of connective tissue surrounding the brain and inside the skull.  While the pain signals may be coming from the Dura Mater the pain may be perceived on the face due to referred pain.  Referred pain is when pain signals from different areas of the body activate areas in the brain that are close together and the brain confuses which area is the origin of the signal.
The Postdrome Phase is the final phase in which some of the symptoms, especially the pain, lingers.  This can feel as if your brain is bruised or has been through some sort of accident. 

What Are Migraines?

Simple Breakfast Recipes and Ideas

Bulletproof-style coffee

Using an immersion blender (or regular blender) to blend fats such as butter, ghee, or coconut oil into coffee makes a creamy and filling breakfast.  

Whipped coffee is made with instant coffee and sugar (with a few more ingredients), which amazingly whips up into a light and creamy coffee. 


Hash Browns

Grate potatoes and/or other root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, rutabagas, beets, carrots, celeriac, or even some softer veggies such as zucchini and rinse to remove excess starch.  Season with salt, pepper, paprika, or any other spice you like and fry in hot oil over medium heat until a crispy crust forms to your liking.  Onion powder and garlic powder can be added for flavor without the risk of turning bitter from burning.

Pancakes can be made by baking in the oven on a sheet pan to save the time it takes to cook them on the stovetop. 

Pancake cereal

Use a squeeze bottle, pastry bag, or ziplock type bag with one small corner snipped off to make tiny pancakes.  These can be eaten with any combination of butter, syrup, milk, jam, chocolate sauce or curd.

French toast

Any bread-like item will work including regular bread, quick breads such as zucchini or banana bread, muffins, or even cake.  Soak in a mixture of lightly beaten egg, milk, and vanilla and then cook on both sides until golden brown.  Serve with syrup, honey, jam, whipped cream, or a sprinkle of cinnamon.  These can be cooked ahead of time and reheated in the oven.

Compound butter

Butter (or ghee, shortening, or other fat) can be mixed (using a mixer is easier) with some basic ingredients such as fresh herbs, bacon, grated cheese such as Parmesan or Pecorino Romano, caramelized onions, garlic, other spices (such as paprika, curry powder, mustard, spinach, chili flakes, sriracha sauce, pesto, etc),  Sweet versions can be made with honey or maple syrup, vanilla, fruit such as chopped strawberries, peaches, or rhubarb; spices such as cinnamon, cardamom or ginger;

Omelet





Making an omelet is a great way to use small bits of leftovers (such as sausage or other meats, veggies, fresh herbs, and even small amounts of sauces).
Learn Jacques P├ępin's famous omelet techniques

How to poach, fry, scramble, and make a french omelet from an egg.

Eggs are delicious fried in cream instead of butter or oil.

Tahini can be used as a delicious creamy filling for an omelet instead of cheese. 

Eggs are delicious baked with sauce and cheese or other leftover bits and sauces.

"Fluffy eggs" uses whipped egg whites to make a variation of eggs on toast (tortillas, muffins sliced in half, slices of quick breads, hash browns or potato pancakes, or many other leftovers can be used as the base) for an easy variation on eggs for breakfast.

"Folded eggs" is a method that makes what is essentially an omelet but a bit faster and easier.

Eggs can be baked in hollowed out vegetables such as tomatoes, avocados, or pre-cooked acorn or other squash, or onions.