|Carlsbad, CA 1997|
Sulforaphane is believed to prompt a cellular stress response in the body much like a fever does when a person is ill. Researchers said they were inspired to try the treatment after hearing anecdotally from families that fevers seemed to trigger improvements in autism symptoms.“We believe that this may be preliminary evidence for the first treatment for autism that improves symptoms by apparently correcting some of the underlying cellular problems,” said Paul Talalay of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a co-author of the study.
That quote is lifted out of an article that I read today with the title Autism Symptoms Eased By Broccoli Extract, Study Finds. Despite reading it on my Disability Scoop digest, I almost thought it to be a joke, but I clicked anyway and was blown away, especially by the sentences I've highlighted about high fevers. I have probably written about it here before, but in case I haven't, Sophie has always had a near-complete cessation of seizures during periods of high fever. In the days leading up to illness, she might have increased seizure activity, but once the fever begins, they nearly always have stopped. She doesn't really get sick like that anymore, though, so I'd forgotten about it. I do remember that we'd joke about instigating a treatment of provoked fever as an anti-epileptic. She is markedly calmer and more relaxed then, too, and while we've always attributed that to fatigue or a symptom of the fever/illness itself, the cessation of seizures (as opposed to exacerbation, like most people with epilepsy) is remarkable. No one has ever responded to that observation, though -- at least not her doctors.
I have also heard of the improvement in behaviors that some people with severe autism experience during fever, and I know that while Sophie has never been technically diagnosed with autism, the two diseases share many characteristics and many people with autism will also experience seizures at some point in their life. Anyway, this article is fascinating, and I'm thinking about finding some broccoli extract and adding that to The Regime.
Here's the link.