Proposed Toxic and Hypoxic Impairment of a Brainstem Locus in Autism
AbstractElectrophysiological 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. View Full-Text
Share & Cite This Article
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.
McGinnis WR, Audhya T, Edelson SM. Proposed Toxic and Hypoxic Impairment of a Brainstem Locus in Autism. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(12):6955-7000.Chicago/Turabian Style
McGinnis, Woody R.; Audhya, Tapan; Edelson, Stephen M. 2013. "Proposed Toxic and Hypoxic Impairment of a Brainstem Locus in Autism." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 12: 6955-7000.