New autism research discovery gives hope

OTTAWA, Ontario:  Senators Jim Munson and Wilbert Keon, with Dr. Martha Herbert, Harvard Medical School and Dr. Derrick MacFabe, University of Western Ontario will host a press conference at the Charles Lynch Theatre, Parliament Hill, at 11 a.m. on Thursday, September 27, 2007.
The science community is shifting away from the old model that autism is a genetically determined inborn brain developmental error that is incurable.  Today’s new model is seeing autism as a complex whole body disorder.  This new model effects genes and interacts with the environment and has many treatable features.

“I no longer see autism as a disorder of the brain but as a disorder that affects the brain,” says Pediatric Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Neurology at HarvardMedical School, Dr. Martha Herbert. “We need integrative research to understand what is going on in autism and how the gut-brain axis is involved.”  Dr. Herbert is considered one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of autism research.


Dr. Derrick MacFabe, Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario and Director of the Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group, states “What parents are telling us about the digestive system complaints of their children has a great deal of merit.”


“For years parents have been telling me that they can alter their autistic children’s behaviour – and lessen autistic symptoms – by altering their diets,” said Senator Jim Munson.  Senator Munson was responsible for launching the Senate inquiry into the funding of autism treatment in this country. “Each scientific step in this autism crisis gives us hope and these scientists are taking vital steps in the right direction”continued the Senator from Ottawa-Rideau Canal.


“The federal government needs to take a leadership role in this autism health crisis that is now affecting 1 in 150 children” states, Laurie Mawlam, Executive Director of Autism Canada Foundation. “It is paramount that all the recommendations of the Senate Report “Pay Now or Pay Later” be implemented.”


Dr. Derrick MacFabe and Dr. Martha Herbert along with Dr. Wendy Edwards will be presenting at the University of Ottawa, Saturday September 29th from 9-4. to learn more or register at the door.