View Full Version : Symptoms improved by fever


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12-19-07, 04:15 AM
From http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/news/20071203/report-fever-improves-autism-symptoms
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<TABLE class=contentpaneopen><TBODY><TR><TD class=contentheading width="100%">Autism symptoms improved by fever </TD><TD class=buttonheading align=right width="100%">http://www.ei-resource.org/images/M_images/printButton.png (http://www.ei-resource.org/index2.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1412&pop=1&page=0&Itemid=16) </TD><TD class=buttonheading align=right width="100%">http://www.ei-resource.org/images/M_images/emailButton.png (http://www.ei-resource.org/index2.php?option=com_content&task=emailform&id=1412&itemid=16) </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE class=contentpaneopen><TBODY><TR><TD>News (http://www.ei-resource.org/news/) - Autism News (http://www.ei-resource.org/news/autism-news/) </TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=left width="70%" colSpan=2>Written by Matthew Hogg (http://www.ei-resource.org/index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=63&Itemid=16) </TD></TR><TR><TD class=createdate vAlign=top colSpan=2>Friday, 07 December 2007 </TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top colSpan=2>
New research comes to the surprising conclusion that children with autism improve when they have a fever.

Although it may have grabbed fewer headlines compared to mercury and vaccines, many parents of autistic children have noticed that when their child has a fever, the severity of their autstic traits seems to diminish. Many will have dismissed te observation as a strange quirk but now scientists say there is something to it.

The research, involving 30 children with autism spectrum disorders, is published in the December issue of the journal Pediatrics. Parents were required to observe changes in symptoms during and immediately after their child experienced a fever of 100.4<SUP>o</SUP>F or greater, and for seven days once the fever had cleared up.

The parents were then asked to complete standardized questionnaires designed to capture data about the childrens behaviour as the fever progressed and once they had recovered. Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders who did not experience fever were also asked to complete the same questionnaires at three set time points to act as controls in the study.

When lead researcher Dr. Andrew Zimmerman and his team analysed the data they found that over 80% of the children who experienced a fever showed some improvement in behaviour during temperature elevations. Children showed less hyperactivity, improved communication, and less irritability during a fever.

Further analysis of the results showed that the level of improvement in behaviour did not depend on the degree of the fever. If a child's temperature was over 100.4<SUP>o</SUP>F they often showed improvement in autistic traits but this improvement was no greater if the temperature was higher.

While it is to be expected that a child with a fever would be calmer and less hyperactive, the improvements in communication, both in terms of language and social interaction, cannot be explained purely by the child's reaction to having a fever.

When discussing the study's findings Dr. Zimmerman said: "The improvement in symptoms may mean the underlying wiring of the brain (of an autistic child) develops more normally than we have thought."

The findings seem to agree with other recent research that suggests the problem lies in how the communication systems within the brain are functioning, or rather not function, instead of with the structure of the brain itself.

Dr. Zimmerman and colleagues are at this stage unsure why a fever would improve communication within the brain and lead to improvements in functioning but they do have a theory.

During a fever the immune-system ramps up production of certain signalling chemicals known as cytokines. These chemicals direct the various components of the immune-system so that a coherent response to an invading organism is produced. Cytokines are also known to interact with the brain and nervous system so could therefore be behind the behavioural improvements seen in the children.

Dr. Zimmerman said: "We'd like to interview more families to better understand this, and at the chemical level, we'd like to have blood samples from children while they have fever to analyze what is going on."

He went on to explain that if the theory about cytokines proves to be correct then this could be a potential target for treatment since it may be possible to regulate production of specific cytokines with medications.

Source: Curran LK (2007) Pediatrics 120:1386-1392.
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This phenomenon is also noted by parents of ADD children.

Check out Page 2 of this : - http://www.wrongplanet.net/postxf50066-0-15.html

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It's not just Auties/Aspies who are affected.
Parents of kids with ADD/ADHD report the same thing.

Personally, I'm an ADDer and have been trying to get the world to wake up to this since I was 20 .... 26 years ago.

So it was with some exuberance that I read this report, last week.

It is for me, complete (but tragically, very temporary) remission from my grinding ADD.

A personal take : -

I recently just got over a cold - and the most noticable difference in the
day (with a cold) is when you wake up, your head is FULL of thought.
But when the cold has gone, you're aware on waking up, that your head is
pretty much DEVOID of thought.
It's like someone turned off the power button - and I'd LOVE to see the
brain scans of an Aut/ADDer during and after a fever.

The lack of endogenous thought means that (normally/without
immune-provocation/fever) one is almost dependent on external factors to
stimulate thought and conversation.
These factors (external to the thinking mind) include 'internal', physical
sensations, both from outside and internal sources (hunger, etc).
And because the mind is focused outwardly (rather than on endogenous
thoughts), these stimuli figure much larger in the mind.
To wit, there is a test wherein one is asked to lick sticky tape from a
reel - as far as you can until you're out of saliva.
You then suck on a lemon and repeat the test.
Introverts (for which, read ADDers/Aspies ... and yes - despite all
contention to the contrary, they are (and define) introverts) are found to
lick MUCH more tape after sucking the lemon than extroverts, for whom the
physical stimulus has little effect.

The same goes for all other external stimuli.
This (IMNSHO) is down to two things : -
1) - the afore-mentioned lack of endogenous thought to occupy the mind
2) - the general fear/apprehension-levels wrought by an underactive
executive control centre (ie - social or mind "blindness")

But ADD and Autistic SD's are not "disease" states.
They are central to the requirement of all social species for hierarchy.
There need to be chiefs and there need to be Indians.

Evolution favoured those in whom the ability to sort the group into
hierarchy is achieved at lowest cost.
The highest cost scenario is battling it out every time competed-for
resources are up for grabs.
The lowest cost scenario is the group falling into a naturally-mediated
hierarchy - best achieved at the hardware level, with those at the bottom,
innately regarding themselves as inferior to those higher up.

We call this introversion, at the social level.
And ADD/ASD at the biological level.

So there's not much point in Science looking at ADD/ASD from a disease
perspective - trying to find external, pathogenic causes ... because it's
hard-wired in all of us.
It need look no further than the brain scanner.

So during a fever/immune-provoked episode, it can be said that Aspies/ADDers
rise up the social hierarchy (as I am personally able to attest), courtesy
of the increased social competency/extraversion conferred by an active
(prefontal cortex) executive and behavioural control centre.

During these times, they can think and feel - and be happy, and free from
fear and frustration.
Thoughts fill the mind - it is no longer blind/blank.
The full mind drives sociable and appropriate behaviour - the individual
becomes extraverted, sociable and company-seeking.
One finds one's self entertained by one's thoughts, as do other people - one
in short, develops a personality for the duration of the fever/immune-prov.
The full mind creates a endogenously-driven individual, in contrast to the
normally mind-blank/blind introvert floundering confused and apprehensive in
the darkness.
One is immersed in one's thoughts/personality.
One is in the world, rather than a spectator upon it.
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Some links to ADD Usenet postings : -

http://groups.google.com/group/bionet.neuroscience/browse_thread/thread/518df37beac76e9d/2454c9d646017cd9?hl=en#2454c9d646017cd9 (http://groups.google.com/group/bionet.neuroscience/browse_thread/thread/518df37beac76e9d/2454c9d646017cd9?hl=en#2454c9d646017cd9)

Some copied postings (no longer available on Google Groups) : -

All messages from thread "ADHD and Fever"

Message 1 in thread
From: wteam (wteam@hem1.passagen.se)
Subject: ADHD and Fever


View this article only

Newsgroups: alt.support.attn-deficit
Date: 1997/11/11
Why is my child less hyperactive and why does he get better attention when
he have fever ?
I have ask this once before on this newsgroup.

wteam/Sweden
Message 2 in thread
From: John Palmer (jpalmer1@ix.netcom.com)
Subject: Re: ADHD and Fever


View this article only

Newsgroups: alt.support.attn-deficit
Date: 1997/11/12
On 11 Nov 97 23:27:34 GMT, "wteam" <WTEAM@HEM1.PASSAGEN.SE>wrote:

>Why is my child less hyperactive and why does he get better attention when
>he have fever ?
>I have ask this once before on this newsgroup.

I haven't seen your question before, but I've seen the point
raised by other people. It DOES seem that some ADD children have
fewer symptoms when sick. No one (that I know of ) knows why.

--
"Everything I needed to know in life, I learned in
kidnergarten. Like: morality must exist beyond the
purview of a deity if morality is to have a meaning
beyond tyranny.
Message 3 in thread
From: tiger@aracnet.net (tiger@aracnet.net) (tiger@aracnet.net)
Subject: Re: ADHD and Fever


View this article only

Newsgroups: alt.support.attn-deficit
Date: 1997/11/14
In article <34691198.1664768@nntp.ix.netcom.com>,
jpalmer1@ix.netcom.com (jpalmer1@ix.netcom.com) (John Palmer) wrote:
>
> On 11 Nov 97 23:27:34 GMT, "wteam" <WTEAM@HEM1.PASSAGEN.SE>wrote:
>
> >Why is my child less hyperactive and why does he get better attention when
> >he have fever ?
> >I have ask this once before on this newsgroup.
>
> I haven't seen your question before, but I've seen the point
> raised by other people. It DOES seem that some ADD children have
> fewer symptoms when sick. No one (that I know of ) knows why.
>
> --
> "Everything I needed to know in life, I learned in
> kidnergarten. Like: morality must exist beyond the
> purview of a deity if morality is to have a meaning
> beyond tyranny.

My goody-goody twin brother Dave had a fever a while ago, and wanted to
know it made him feels so rotten. So, like, he did some reading up on
It, and showed me what he found. I saw some stuff that may explain why
his ADHD isnt as bad when he's sick. I call it:

"Tigers Great Theory On Why an ADHDer Can Think Better When He Feels
Like sh**".

Even in Grade One I learned that when I get sick from something I
picked up from someone else, its caused by a virus or bacteria. The
white coat guys call these pathogens, right? When one of these gets
into your bloodstream, a big cell called a macrophage grabs onto it.
Sort of like Mike, our hall monitor at school, when he sees a kid that
may cause some trouble. Then Mike takes this guy to one of the
teachers on hall duty. In your body, this is the helper T cell. The
teacher takes a look at the kid, and if he looks like trouble, calls
the office.

The office calls the cops, known to the white coats as killer T cells.
(Mr.'T', or what?) Then Mr'T' attacks. Goodbye troublemaker. At the
same time, the teachers talk to everyone in the staff room about the
kid they caught, so if he comes back, they'll recognize him, and give
him the boot, real fast. These are the B cells.

Now here's the reason you feel lousy. When Mike, the hall monitor,
calls to the teachers, he can't do it with words. Macrophages can't
speak, and if they could, they probably couldn't be heard with all that
blood rushing around. The only way he can communicate, is chemically.
Sorta like my brother in the lower bunk letting me know at 3:00am that
Read the rest of this message... (42 more lines)
Message 4 in thread
From: David Fox (norvik@bserv.com)
Subject: Re: ADHD and Fever


View this article only

Newsgroups: alt.support.attn-deficit
Date: 1997/11/14
On Fri, 14 Nov 1997 10:11:47 -0600, tiger@aracnet.net (tiger@aracnet.net) wrote:

> The only way he can communicate, is chemically.
>Sorta like my brother in the lower bunk letting me know at 3:00am that
>he had burritos for dinner.

Don't ever sleep on a bunk bed under tiger. He peels back the
mattress and tries to spit in your open mouth.

Nyahh!

Dave

And an interesting summary from Dennis McBride in Oregon : -

http://groups.google.com/group/own.health.herbs/msg/817c7faafb6153f7?q=cold+%22dennis+mcbride%22&hl=en&lr=lang_en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&safe=off&rnum=1 (http://groups.google.com/group/own.health.herbs/msg/817c7faafb6153f7?q=cold+%22dennis+mcbride%22&hl=en&lr=lang_en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&safe=off&rnum=1)

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Janurary 2,1998


My name is Dennis McBride.
I'm fifty four years old.
I've never married and never had children.
I have been treated for depressive cyclothymic mood disorder with ADHD symptoms since 1981 but have lived with this condition as far back as I can remember.
My treatment has been only moderately successful due to a hypersensitive difficulty in tolerating drugs.
My symptoms have been fairly chronic with rather rapid cycling mood patterns
and accompanying symptoms of ADHD, particularly acute restlessness,
distractibility, and frustration impatience.
I am writing to you in regards to the curious relief from symptoms which I experience when I contract the common cold.
With the onset of a cold and the appearance of upper respiratory infection and congestion my previous symptoms rapidly diminish.
There is a sense of calm patience and relaxation coupled with a sense of well being where life finally becomes pleasurable and desirable.
I am able to experience the enjoyment of being alive which is accompanied with sharpened perception and thought processes together with the aforementioned emotional tranquility.
These symptoms last the entirety of the infectious process, and as the cold
diminishes my previous symptoms return and life again becomes an ordeal of
emotional obstacles and internal turbulence.
I've recently become impressed with the fact that, since childhood, every time I've contracted a cold, I have consistently experienced the same type of relief from my symptoms.
I have decided to treat this as a legitimate area of inquiry.
I was unsure of where to start my search with what I realize could be regarded as merely an eccentric mission by someone with a somewhat stigmatized medical history but after receiving sincere support from intelligent friends, interested members of the mental health community, and genuine encouragement from my psychiatrist, Dr. Stu Oken, I have decided to go ahead.
My interest is in finding out if there are any similar reports in the literature and whether any research has been directed in this area.
I'd also like to know where I could go to increase my knowledge of the biochemical processes that occur during the common cold.
I would be very appreciative if you could spend a few minutes of thought on this matter and if you could direct me to anyone whose area of interest might be appropriate for this or whose clinical curiosity might be stimulated.
Thank you for your attention.
Sincerely,

Dennis McBride.
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Fascinating stuff.

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