Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Dual Diagnosis  

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I encourage all visitors to read this information as it is relevant to much more than families of children with the "dual-diagnosis"

A "Must Read" For Parents Of Children With DS,  DS-ASD, or Autism: Redefining The Role Of Insulin:  Could It Play A Major Role In Metal Detoxification?

Research was starting to indicate that children with Down Syndrome appeared to be much more likely than the general population to be diagnosed with autism.   Indeed, research was indicating that perhaps as many as 6-10% of children with DS are also diagnosed with autism... that would appear to indicate that children with DS are potentially at least 10 times more likely to get autism than the general population.  

Diagnosis of Autism in Children With Down Syndrome by Glenn Vatter was an article with many interesting points regarding this issue.   This article was found  on many, many websites... the following was but one of these:   http://members.tripod.com/trainland/glenn.htm

And I had also found this by Glenn Vatter:


Glenn Vatter also appears to have written a book on this issue of the "dual diagnosis".   Those interested in that should go to:  http://www.autism-resources.com/nonfictionauthors/GlennVatter.html

I urged all parent of children with DS to read book 3 posted in full on my website... I think you will find it enlightening in many, many areas when it comes to understanding your child.... in areas I know are not covered in Glenn Vatter's book.   As a parent of a child with the "dual diagnosis", his perspective will surely be invaluable for parents facing these issues.   The issues I address are not those covered in Glenn Vatter's book... they are "other issues" that all very much play into all this... and as such, again, I encourage all parents to read "Book 3" - provided in full on this website - for free.

In my opinion, the Down Syndrome child... so often... the discarded child given so many were aborted... was now an invaluable child in understanding many, many disorders.  

The key, in my opinion, was the fact that iron and insulin modulated one another... and DS was very much associated with iron issues.   Children with Down Syndrome were also more likely to get diabetes (insulin problem) and leukemia (cancer of the blood).  Note that cancer was associated with high iron levels. 

Note:   Children with DS would have been excluded from the CDC thimerosal (mercury in vaccines) study due to the "congenital disorder" clause.   For more on this, see The Incredible White-Washing Of The CDC Thimerosal Study population sample!

Some appear to think that trisomy 21 may lower the threshhold for autism... that makes no sense to me... children with autism do not all have trisomy 21... in fact, most do not... and thus, I very much believe the answer lies somewhere else... and in my opinion, that is in the fact that iron and insulin modulate each other... if you read "Book 3", you will see the huge implications of this!   And, let us not forget that "genetic" does not mean "hereditary" and as such, what caused the mutation between the genes of the parent and those of the child with DS given in less than 1% of cases is DS considered "hereditary"... "genetic"... yes... but  not hereditary.    Keep in mind that mutations can absolutely be caused by "environmental factors" - such as metal toxicity - and prenatal vitamins are LOADED with iron... the body has no good way to flush iron... and so, it finds its way from the mother to the unborn child!  For more on all these issues, again, read "Book 3" or the link on my site on "Genetic Vs Hereditary... The Critical Difference Too Often So Misunderstood!".

The following are links providing an overview of DS:



The following was another article I found on the "dual diagnosis" by George Capone entitled:  Down Syndrome Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Look At What We Know, posted at


Note a very interesting quote in this particular overview of Down Syndrome as it relates to matters of "heredity" and "genes"...  I quote from the section entitled "Appendix 2": 

"Standard trisomy 21.

The majority of individuals with Down syndrome (about 94%) have standard trisomy 21.  This type of Down syndrome occurs when either the egg from the mother (in about 77% of cases) or the sperm from the father (in about 23% of
cases) carries an extra copy of chromosome 21.  Occasionally it occurs because of a faulty distribution of chromosomes during the first division of a fertilised egg.  In both cases, every cell in the body of the affected individual has an extra copy of chromosome 21.  The parents have normal chromosomes, therefore this type of Down syndrome is not inherited and the chance of recurrence in a second child is low - about 1 in 100". [end of quote, emphasis added, What Is Down Syndrome?  Understanding Down Syndrome, DSAV, 14/06/01), http://www.dsav.asn.au/downsyndrome/dsp_whatis.cfm ].

Thus, about 94% of cases of DS are of this type... but because the parents have normal chromosomes, chances of this happening are only 1 in 100... or 1% of cases!

So... what this appears to be saying is that the chromosomes of the parent are FINE... but those found in the egg/sperm may not be... so... again... what is causing the mutation in the egg/sperm in the first place?  That folks is THE question!    Note that metals are very much known to impact "fertility issues"...

MY THEORY:   It is said that the egg or the sperm of the parent may have the extra chromosome already in it.  This is of course not true in all cases of DS.   But, science has a way of "assuming" that what we are seeing is automatically a "bad thing"... because this is "not normal"... Well... could it not be that the body knew the parent had issues with metal toxicity and that in an effort to help save future children, a change to the egg/sperm was made to attempt to deal with this toxicity... and perhaps even prior to conception.  The human body is amazing indeed... and I now very much suspect that what we may be seeing in Down Syndrome... that extra chromosome... may have somehow played a role in helping that child to survive somehow... clearly, metal toxicity impacts fertility... and many do not survive (i.e., miscarriages... something we also seem to see so much more of today)... Personally, I would be very interested in the role of metals in this disorder (especially the role of iron - something very toxic... found in prenatal vitamins,  modern diets, baby formulas, foods, etc.).  It would certainly not be the first time that what we once saw as "the problem" was now more likely part of "the solution to a deeper underlying issue" (i.e., bilirubin, beta amyloid... both once seen as "a problem" are now being seen in a whole new light -as "positive things" and I suspect the same may one day be true for chromosome 21)!  Is it not odd after all that a child who was DS and had "attention deficit" (also on the autism spectrum) was said to have lost many of her "DS traits" when placed on supplements... now how could that be? (see more on glyconutrients below)  An "environmental" thing helping to resolve "genetic" issues... could it be that the underlying "issues" in DS are truly not "genetic" but rather "environmental"?   Very interesting indeed - especially given one of these glyconutrients ("healing sugars) is GLUCOSE (read my paper on Redefining The Role Of Insulin for a whole lot more on that issue)!

Quick Points For Parents of Children With DS - ASD...  These are some of the highlights I cover in my seminar in regards to DS

1.    Iron and insulin modulate one another - that is absolutely KEY... and unfortunately, many doctors don't realize it yet... fairly recent discovery... see following link/article: Fernandez-Real, et al., Cross-talk between iron metabolism and diabetes - Perspectives in Diabetes, Diabetes, Aug 2002, http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/content/full/51/8/2348 or at http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0922/is_8_51/ai_90389345 - A MUST READ ARTICLE)

2.    Prenatal vitamins are loaded with iron (providing up to 90 mg/day - and that is just from prenatal vitamins - this does not include diet, water, etc., - the intestines can only absorb 1 mg/day... the rest goes to storage and of course, can be passed on to the unborn child).   The body has no good mechanisms for riding itself of excess iron!   We only lose about 1 mg/day via detritus (shedding of cells, skin, etc.), hair/nail growth, feces/urine, etc.

3.    SOD (superoxide dismutase) is one of the "suspect" areas of investigation for things contributing to/causing Down Syndrome

4.    SOD activity is impacted by excess dietary iron (thus, prenatal vitamins could also certainly play a role there given excess iron from mother can be passed to the unborn child)

5.    Iron is very toxic... 1 g will cause severe poisoning in a child under 2 years of age...    3 g is a  lethal dose for a child under 2 years of age!   Thus, certainly, iron could have a very serious impact in the unborn child.

6.    Studies on benefits of iron supplementation in pregnancy are virtually "non-existent" (see book 3 references)

7.    A person can be "anemic" and yet have IRON OVERLOAD... i.e., iron going to storage instead of blood production (see following article: http://www.ironoverload.org/anemia.htm)

8.    High iron levels are tied to cancer... and in the unborn child, blood is produced first in the liver... then the function migrates to the bone marrow... so, if there is excess iron in the liver (the body's main detox organ and one of the first areas for blood production in the unborn child), if cancer cells were forming due to high iron in the liver, once the blood production function migrates to the bone marrow... could this not "take with it" any cancer cells in the process of forming in the liver due to high iron content that may exist in the unborn child.   Note that excess iron in the liver is tied to liver cancer!

9.    Persons with DS are more likely not only to have autism... but also are more likely to have diabetes (insulin issue) and leukemia (cancer of the blood)... again... note:  iron and insulin modulate each other.   Also, the "gene" making one more susceptible to leukemia is associated with chromosome 21... I can not help but wonder if this is somehow tied to iron metabolism functions that may exist on chromosome 21.   Note that beta amyloid is also tied to chromosome 21.

10.    High iron stores make one more susceptible to diabetes... and diabetes then makes one more susceptible to Alzheimer's.. see article entitled:  Higher Body Iron Stores Predict Future Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes in Women, Harvard School Of Public Health, Press Release, February 10, 2004,  http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/press/releases/press02102004.html,  and article entitled Diabetes May Increase Alzheimer's Risk, by Daniel DeNoon, WebMD Medical News, May 17, 2004, http://my.webmd.com/content/Article/87/99418.htm, or article entitled:  Diabetes linked to increased Alzheimer's risk: STudy bolsters evidence connecting the diseases, Associated Press, May 18, 2004, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4998690/... or the many others now on the Internet in regard to this subject!

11.    By age 35 or so, up to 25% of persons with DS will have a brain that resembles that of a person with Alzheimer's

12.    Amyloid deposits are found in the brain of persons with Alzheimer's and in the pancreas of persons with diabetes.  Note that some research is now indicating that beta amyloid may actually play a PROTECTIVE role against iron oxidative stress (Refer: Glenda Bishop, Stephen R. Robinson, Quan Liu, George Perry, Craig S. Atwood, Mark A. SmithIron: A Pathological Mediator of Alzheimer Disease? Developmental Neuroscience 2002;24:184-187 - abstract posted at:  http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?Aktion=ShowFulltext&ProduktNr=224107&Ausgabe=228659&ArtikelNr=65696 ).  Note also that beta amyloid is considered a metalloprotein (refer to:   http://www.infoaging.org/d-alz-9-r-metals.html) and that metalloprotein dysfunction has certainly been associated with autism ( http://www.curezone.com/forums/mp.asp?f=55&i=481 , refer also to the work of Dr.  Walsh at the Pfieffer Treatment Center).

13.   3-5% of women develop "gestational diabetes"  (note: an insulin issue... again... iron and insulin modulate one another and prenatal vitamins are LOADED with iron)... gestational diabetes then sets you up for type II diabetes later in life... which then sets you up for Alzheimer's!

Note:  My son Zachary... a child with autism... was born "low on glucose" and was given that oh so special little glucose bottle at birth... only masking a problem with insulin... a problem that was there from day 1!   I did not have "gestational diabetes", but certainly, iron from prenatal vitamins could have impacted my son's insulin levels... as could also mercury from vaccines and/or dental fillings (silver amalgams are actually 50% mercury!).

14.     Children with autism and persons with Alzheimer's are known to be low on B vitamins... especially B6 and B12.   B6 is tied to iron excretion functions, production of insulin and production of blood as well as to neural development.

15.    Glyconutrients are found helpful to children with DS.   These are SIMPLE SUGARS... again... note the involvement of sugars here... and hence... insulin issues are at play again... and again... remember that iron and insulin modulate one another... see article on link below for more on DS and glyconutrients...

Word of caution here:   The DS child who appeared to have lost much of her DS traits after taking glyconutrients was also said to have attention deficit... that appears to indicate she had "autism traits" given attention deficit is on the autism spectrum... thus, I can not help but ask if it was due to her "autism traits" that she was on the honor roll... as opposed to due only to glyconutrients.   My question would be: "What other supplements did this child take"?   Was she on B6, B12, etc. ?  One of the companies that makes glyconutrient supplements also has "other products" that it sells along with the glyconutrients... in looking at the label for these products, one clearly had many, many of the supplements I give my own son who has autism... extra B6, B12, folic acid, zinc, etc.... so, again... was it the glyconutrients or something else that helped this child with DS... was it a combination of things... was it the supplements or her autism traits that put her on the honor roll...

Note also that glyconutrients are known to be involved in cell to cell communication and cell MIGRATION issues... certainly, that would be an issue in DS given we have an extra chromosome there... so, yes, I do think glyconutrients can play a role in autism and DS... however, I think they may only be part of the puzzle.

Also interesting is the fact that some believe up to 90% of children with autism may have blood type A... that is interesting in terms of glyconutrients because different blood types seem to have different sugars in them... and if a particular sugar is missing...the body can see that as something to "attack"... so, again, certainly an interesting issue there also... refer to "Bradstreet" section on this link: 


The following contains some references for those wanting to research glycobiology and its possible benefits for DS, etc. ... but, again... personally, I would say... consider the whole picture... like the fact that this child had "autism traits" and may have been on "other supplements"... we are not told "what else" she took... if anything...  and I think that would be key.  This is an area I raise because, again, I could see that this would be one part to the autism puzzle... and certainly one that appears to be part of the DS puzzle too!   But, again... key point here... these are SIMPLE SUGARS... and iron and insulin modulate one another... and via prenatal vitamins... women could be getting up to 100 times what their bodies really need each day... and the body has not good mechanism for flushing excess iron (hair and nail growth, shedding of cells (i.e., skin), menstrual cycle (not an option during pregnancy), feces, etc.).  

It is believed the intestines only absorb 1 mg of iron per day... and that is about how much we also shed.   It is also the amount a child receives via breastmilk... yet, again, via prenatal vitamins alone (excluding iron from diet, water, etc.), women may get up to 90 mg/day... perhaps much, much, much more than they need... perhaps another toxic metal added to "health programs" with little or no research... much as appears to have been the case with mercury and/or aluminum (note that in 80 years, not once did the CDC, FDA or pharmaceuticals do a study on the safety of mercury in vaccines... that was revealed in the June 2002 hearings).   I suspect the same may be true for prenatal vitamins and iron content in these pills.   It certainly would seem to explain a whole lot!  Note that viruses, bacteria, parasites and cancers are all known to thrive/grow/multiply on IRON!  

Note that although more children with DS are born to young mothers... only because there are more young women of child bearing age having children than older women, the only consistent correlation for DS appears to be age of the mother... whereby the INCIDENCE of DS increases tremendously with age.   Well.. with age... a woman would have "more iron" in her system given we do not flush iron very well and given our diets are loaded with iron ... as are our supplements, etc.

Note that the article on Michelle... the DS child who took glyconutrients are seemed to get so much better mentions that she struggled with asthma... well... again... insulin is tied to lung development... so, certainly another "sugar link" there also...

This first link provides a before/after picture of Michelle... but, again... consider "the whole picture"... and "what else" may play into this (i.e., autism characteristics, any other supplements, etc.).


Again, for persons wanting to know more about glyconutrients... the following link provides a lot of references/places to start looking for more information.


These are just some of the issues I cover in my seminar... but, I wanted to at least take the time to list some of them here for parents of children with the DS-ASD diagnosis... to help you in putting some of the pieces in place to your "autism puzzle" also!  

Again... I also encourage parents of children with DS-ASD diagnosis to read my third book... posted in full... on this website.   Parents of children with DS and/or ASD have my permission to download my books/teaching tools, etc. for free provided this is for personal use.  :o)

To learn more about Down Syndrome:  http://www.chclibrary.org/micromed/00045710.html (note this states there may be a defect in egg/sperm prior to conception... well, metals are certainly known to impact fertility... and the endocrine system (your hormones), etc.  So "genetic" does not mean "hereditary" and it most certainly does not take away from the fact that the disorder may arise from an environmental factor (i.e., metal toxicity)  that affects genetics while the child is still in the womb... after all... we do know that DS can occur even without a change in the egg/sperm of the parents... and if that is true... then what is really causing Down Syndrome... I absolutely think this is just another shade of "metal toxicity"...   note that metals such as mercury, iron, etc. are preferentially transferred via the placenta and breastmilk to the unborn child...

Myth... There is a myth that DS is rare... it isn't... it is considered the most common genetic disorder that we see today...  and if that is true... then, why are we seeing so much of this "genetic disorder"... could it be due to the fact that we are all so much more "metal toxic" to start with.

For a much better look at so many of these issues, please go to my link on:

Redefining The Role Of Insulin:  Could It Play A Major Role In Metal Detoxification?

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