Fragile-X Study on Mechanism for Autism Symptoms

genetics2This study, “Pharmacogenetic inhibition of elF4E-dependent Mmp9 mRNA translation reverses fragile X syndrome-like phenotypes,” (seen here… ) illustrates two major points:

  1. Those with Fragile-X autism-like symptoms show elevated eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (elF4E) resulting in increased expression of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) which changes brain synapses (the connections between brain cells) and that by reducing the elF4E there were less autism-like symptoms.
  2. The authors point out that Fragile-X is the most common genetic cause of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).


I would add that if autism now affects 1 in every 50 to 1 in every 88 children in the US, and Fragile-X is found in 1 in every 4000 boys and 1 in every 6000 girls, that autism and ASD are clearly not primarily genetic conditions. This study is suggesting we may be able to use a cancer drug to inhibit elF4E, and if it turns out this experience with mice translates to humans, then it may be a consideration for those few with Fragile-X.

What is more important for most of us to realize is that; autism, ASD, and most diseases of civilization that are chronic and increasing in prevalence, are environmentally triggered.  We don’t go from autism rates of 1 in every 10,000 50 years ago to 1 in every 50 from genetics! Sure we all have hundreds of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that make us more vulnerable to certain toxins but the good news is that we can improve our odds significantly for our children (unborn and those with us now) by waking up to the toxic soup we are living in and DO SOMETHING! 


  1. Drink filtered water (most municipal water is loaded with pesticides, herbicides, drugs, etc).
  2. Eat organic (GMO-free) (politics aside, we need to know our food is safe and if it’s not labeled you just don’t know).
  3. Avoid aspartame (diet drinks, gum, diet foods, etc.).
  4. Avoid plastics and flame retardants.
  5. Get your micronutrients and vitamins (best from whole foods, 99% of us need to take extra vitamin D).




To your health.


Dr. Paul



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