Next Article in Journal
Maternal Exposure to Bisphenol-A and Fetal Growth Restriction: A Case-Referent Study
Previous Article in Journal
Challenges to Achieving Sustainable Sanitation in Informal Settlements of Kigali, Rwanda
Previous Article in Special Issue
Assessment of Infantile Mineral Imbalances in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessConcept Paper
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6955-7000; doi:10.3390/ijerph10126955

Proposed Toxic and Hypoxic Impairment of a Brainstem Locus in Autism

1
Autism Research Institute, 4182 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116, USA
2
Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, New York University Medical School, New York, NY 10016, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 September 2013 / Revised: 7 November 2013 / Accepted: 11 November 2013 / Published: 11 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environment Risk of Autism)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [721 KB, 19 June 2014; original version 19 June 2014]   |  

Abstract

Electrophysiological findings implicate site-specific impairment of the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) in autism. This invites hypothetical consideration of a large role for this small brainstem structure as the basis for seemingly disjointed behavioral and somatic features of autism. The NTS is the brain’s point of entry for visceral afference, its relay for vagal reflexes, and its integration center for autonomic control of circulatory, immunological, gastrointestinal, and laryngeal function. The NTS facilitates normal cerebrovascular perfusion, and is the seminal point for an ascending noradrenergic system that modulates many complex behaviors. Microvascular configuration predisposes the NTS to focal hypoxia. A subregion—the “pNTS”—permits exposure to all blood-borne neurotoxins, including those that do not readily transit the blood-brain barrier. Impairment of acetylcholinesterase (mercury and cadmium cations, nitrates/nitrites, organophosphates, monosodium glutamate), competition for hemoglobin (carbon monoxide, nitrates/nitrites), and higher blood viscosity (net systemic oxidative stress) are suggested to potentiate microcirculatory insufficiency of the NTS, and thus autism.
Keywords: autism; nucleus tractus solitarius; blood-brain barrier; autonomic; baroreflex; toxins; hypoxia; perfusion; adrenergic; A2 neurons autism; nucleus tractus solitarius; blood-brain barrier; autonomic; baroreflex; toxins; hypoxia; perfusion; adrenergic; A2 neurons
Figures

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

McGinnis, W.R.; Audhya, T.; Edelson, S.M. Proposed Toxic and Hypoxic Impairment of a Brainstem Locus in Autism. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 6955-7000.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top