Cholesterol is an essential fat extremely important for brain functioning. It is required to produce steroid hormones and bile salts, to insulate the nerves of the peripheral nervous system of the myelin sheath, to assist in the functioning of the cell membrane, to help modulate Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), to maintain serotonin in the brain, and also an important component in activating sonic hedgehog, a necessary developmental protein. Sonic hedge hog is instrumental in the development of T-cells in the thymus which regulates the immune system. The normal range of cholesterol should be between 160 mg/dL and 200 mg/dL. Many ASD children have been found to be below 160 mg/dL which may possibly indicate a genetic disease relating to cholesterol metabolism and also associated with autism, called Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS). Low levels of cholesterols are, however, an issue for ASD children and improvements have been documented in areas of aggressive and self-injurious behaviors, sleepless nights, physical walking difficulties, socialization, speech, decreased infections and skin rashes, improved muscle tone, weight gain, increase growth spurts, decreased tactile sensitivities and overall decreased autistic behaviors.
Low Cholesterol Levels Connected to Childhood Disorders
Description: This site provides information about how low cholesterol levels are connected to childhood disorders. In addition, there are references to Pub Med articles on low cholesterol.
Cholesterol Balance – A Major Factor in Many Chronic Disorders
Description: William Shaw, PhD, of the Great Plains Lab, discusses the risks of low and high cholesterol and the testing that the GPL offers.
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Forum/Blog Name: Autism Jabberwocky
Description: Studying Low Cholesterol in Autism.
Forum/Blog Name: Cholesterol: When Less is Not Better
Description: This blog discusses information pertaining to the effects of low cholesterol and autism and a study with 900 children with autism at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development investigating the link between cholesterol and autism.
Forum/Blog Name: When Less is Not Better
Description: This blog discusses the many issues associated with low cholesterol and how low cholesterol affects behaviors and many important brain functions in a child.
Forum/Blog Name: Life on the Roller Coaster
Description: What to do when cholesterol levels, autism and brain functioning become too low – Sonic Cholesterol.