As we have noted, we are finding more and more conditions every day that appeared to be amenable to CBD and CBD oil in terms of a solution as a part of a therapy or treatment process. Yet another condition to include on that list is autism.
It would appear as though the endocannabinoid system is intimately wrapped up in the pathogenesis that describes autism spectrum disorder. While very little is understood about the origin of autism as a condition in brain development and behavior, through a trial and error process, therapies, treatments, and tools have been developed over time that show traction to a greater or lesser degree. CBD oil has recently been the focus of much examination in this process as it has begun to show tremendous promise for those suffering from the effects of autism spectrum disorder.
By and large, scientists in the scientific community are split in many ways over autism. But some portion of this community has begun to believe that the endocannabinoid system may actually be a critical piece of the puzzle in understanding how autism spectrum disorder develops in an individual and manifests itself in everyday life.
Autism spectrum disorder refers to a complex soup of dysfunctional ingredients in our understanding of the normal functionality of the central nervous system. The end result is a symptomology predominated by social apathy and various forms of developmental impairment.
Generally speaking, initial emergence of symptomology appears to coincide with various stages of development found within the first three years after birth. According to the CDC, as of 2018, autism has become shockingly common, with more than one in every 60 children born exhibiting signs of autism spectrum disorder. It is also known that boys are four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed, and siblings of those with autism are as much is 10 times more likely to be diagnosed when compared with the general population.
There are enormous variations among those with autism. One of the most common ways of communicating this is through the phrase: if you have met one person with autism, you have met only one person with autism.
There has been an extraordinary increase in the incidence of autism over the past several decades. It is one of the great mysteries of science. No one understands precisely why this has been the case, although there are many theories. To some extent, some of this increase in incidence is no doubt driven by increased awareness of the existence of this disorder and therefore an increase in diagnosis.
But too much focus on this explanation tends to lead to a mistaken notion that it actually isn’t becoming more common, but instead is simply becoming recognized more and more. However, objective research has demonstrated this perspective to fall far short of describing reality. While controlling for this notion of increased diagnosis, several studies have confirmed that we are in fact seeing an increase in genuine incidence of autism.
One theory about the fundamental mechanism that drives symptomology associated with autism spectrum disorder has to do with the stimulation of neurotransmitter levels in the synaptic gaps associated with social interaction. In short, the process of stimulating a dopamine-based reward for socially interacting and identifying with others may be limited, causing less incentive to the individual to gain traction in a chronic cycling of reward-based social interaction driven by internal neural chemistry.
CBD and Autism
This suggests how CBD may be highly important in understanding the treatment and therapy landscape for how we deal with autism spectrum disorder as a society.
Specifically, the most powerful recent genetic discovery that speaks to the autism situation is its association with the notable deficiency for those with autism of a gene known as neuroligin-3. This protein, along with a closely associated relative, has been found to be essential for the formation of synapses in young brains.
This particular protein attaches to the dendrite in the postsynaptic sequence and then binds with its close relative to hold connection together. Low levels of this protein are associated with less stable neuronal connections. While this may not explain autism in general, it may be very important in the narrative of the human discovery of the pathogenesis of this disorder as well as future potential treatments, including the vast applicability potential of CBD.
However, the most important part of this discovery, along with several others, is the implication for the increasing importance of the endocannabinoid system in impacting both the development and the symptomology of autism spectrum disorder.
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