Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Mitochondrial Dysfunction

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND William is a 6 year old with a pervasive developmental delay (PDD) diagnosis. He made encouraging initial gains with extensive intervention until his progress hit a plateau. A developmental specialist reassessed him noting that his muscle tone and stamina were unusually low. She recommended a metabolic specialist to rule out mitochondria disorder. What are mitochondria? Each cell contains tiny organelles called mitochondria. The job of the mitochondria is to provide the chemical energy the cell and body needs to operate. The cell cannot use sugar or fats directly. Partially broken down fats and carbohydrates must be converted into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cell’s main source of energy. What is mitochondrial dysfucntion? Children with significant low tone may have mitochondrial dysfunction. Aggressive antibiotic use, heavy metals and pesticides can all injure the mitochondria. The DNA of the mitochondria is separate from and more fragile than the DNA found in the nucleus of the cell. Common environmental…

Improving Cognitive Function Through Supplementation

Improving Cognitive Function Through Supplementation

Improving Cognitive Function Through Supplementation

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND Convincing evidence shows that certain substances can improve specific aspects of thinking. Here are three promising supplements to consider for anyone interested in improving cognitive function. DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol):  DMAE is a relative of the nutrient choline.  But, unlike choline, DMAE readily crosses the brain-blood barrier.  It thus directly increases the generation of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter. Choline (and DMAE?) is (are?) found in eggs, fish and soybeans. Acetylcholine is abundant in both the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum, and is thus involved in cognitive processes controlled by these parts of the brain, such as memory, problem solving, organization, rational thinking, balance and movement.  Children with motor issues and low arousal may benefit from an increase in acetylcholine availability. Indications: Best for children whose prevailing problems are spaciness and poor organizational skills. Precautions: Avoid in children who have high muscle tension, sleep disturbances or agitation rather than distractibility. DMAE can increase muscle tension levels.  As with…

Does Mitochondrial Dysfunction Finally Connect the Diverse Medical Symptoms We Now See in Children With Various Health Problems?

Does Mitochondrial Dysfunction Finally Connect the Diverse Medical Symptoms We Now See in Children With Various Health Problems?

Does Mitochondrial Dysfunction Finally Connect the Diverse Medical Symptoms We Now See in Children With Various Health Problems?

By Alyssa Davi, Parent Advocate What is mitochondrial disease and why may it be important to my child with developmental delay, low tone, GI problems, seizures, feeding problems, failure to gain weight, autism, diabetes or neuro-psychiatric symptoms? Research connecting mitochondrial disease and many diverse medical problems is increasing.  Dr. James Anderson, the Director of Program Coordination at the National Institute of Health (NIH) stated that the NIH currently funds more than half a billion dollars in mitochondrial research. Researchers are linking mitochondrial disease with everything from diabetes, autism, mood disorders, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even some cancers. Why would mitochondrial disease be involved in such a vast array of disorders?  The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation states, Mitochondrial diseases are not one disease, but a group of metabolic diseases.  These diseases result from failures of the mitochondria, specialized organelles present in almost every cell of the body Mitochondria are responsible for providing more than 90% of the energy needed…

Nutrition and Low Muscle Tone

Nutrition and Low Muscle Tone

Nutrition and Low Muscle Tone

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND Low muscle tone, or hypotonia, is one of the physical problems often associated with developmental delays; nutrition and low muscle tone are intimately connected.  Children can have generalized hypotonia or it may affect just specific areas such as the hands or upper body. Hypotonia is clinically significant because in severe cases the muscles are literally too weak to perform important tasks such as holding a pencil or sitting without slumping in a chair. In milder cases, stamina or precision are affected. For example, children with severe hypotonia of the hands are reluctant or sloppy writers whose interest in writing or drawing declines in direct correlation with the severity of the low tone. When the concerns are milder, youngsters may try to overcompensate for difficulties by holding pencils too hard and causing cramps or creating blisters. Causes There are two possible causes of hypotonia.  Occupational therapists contend that the vestibular system imbalances are to blame. The…

road to recovery sign

The “R” Word: Sensory Processing Disorder Recovery

road to recovery sign

You may or may not know my personal recovery story. I have recovered my 2 sons, now ages 5 and 7, from sensory processing disorder (SPD), asthma, allergies, acid reflux and eczema with a biomedical approach, which means correcting nutritional and hormonal deficiencies, removing toxicities and correcting gut dysbiosis. Most people don’t know that sensory processing disorder recovery is possible, but my sons have recovered from it. I’m still working on failure to thrive, mitochondrial dysfunction, hypothyroidism and persistent eczema in my older son. In addition, they both had developmental delays, and my older son had severe hypotonia as a baby. I have recovered from immune dysregulation, in which I had shingles twice, the worst case of poison-ivy ever, bronchitis (which I’d never had before), constant sinus infections and constant colds that would last 3-4 weeks at a time. My older son had immune dysregulation, too, when he was younger: he would go to preschool, get sick and be out…

The "R" Word:  Recovery from Sensory Processing Disorder

The “R” Word: Recovery from Sensory Processing Disorder

The "R" Word:  Recovery from Sensory Processing Disorder

You may or may not know my personal recovery story of how my sons have experienced recovery from Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). I have recovered my 2 sons, now ages 5 and 7, from SPD, asthma, allergies, acid reflux and eczema with a biomedical approach, which means correcting nutritional and hormonal deficiencies, removing toxicities and correcting gut dysbiosis. I’m still working on failure to thrive, mitochondrial dysfunction, hypothyroidism and persistent eczema in my older son. In addition, they both had developmental delays, and my older son had severe hypotonia as a baby. I have recovered from immune dysregulation, in which I had shingles twice, the worst case of poison-ivy ever, bronchitis (which I’d never had before), constant sinus infections and constant colds that would last 3-4 weeks at a time. My older son had immune dysregulation, too, when he was younger: he would go to preschool, get sick and be out for at least a week at a time, then…