Dr Liz Mumper will be presenting Masterclasses on chronic childhood illness at the MINDD International Forum 2019. Her Masterclass presentations will be based on her extensive clinical experience, and include immune dysregulation, allergic triad conditions, cerebral folate deficiency, and cognitive impairment, and autoimmunity.
Dr Mumper has over 18 years’ experience within her practice working with children on the spectrum, or withchronic childhood illness and other neurodevelopmental problems. Dr Mumper has a developed a deep understanding of the anatomy, pathophysiology, immunology, and biochemistry of autism spectrum disorders, and the treatment of these conditions using an integrative medicine approach.
A Rise of Chronic Disease and Where to Focus to Reduce Disease Progression
There has been a noticeable increase in the rates of Autism and chronic childhood illness. Emerging evidence suggests that the development of autism and the progression of chronic disease can be determined and influenced by a number of environmental insults, genetic predispositions, antibiotic use, and certain medications as well as nutritional status. The work of Liz Mumper has helped to identify some of the possible triggers of the disease and strategies to work with parents to avoid autism progression (Mumper, 2013).
Environmental Toxicants and Lifestyle Practices Impact on Chronic Childhood Illness
The literature supports that autism may be influenced by environmental toxicants, with multiple studies confirming that airborne pollutants are associated with a higher incidence of autism rates. Mechanisms between autism pathophysiology and exposure to pesticides have been reviewed including neuro-excitability, increased oxidative stress and immune dysregulation (D’Cruz et al., 2013).
Reports of data have observed that the absence of breastfeeding was associated with an increased incidence of autism. Mothers who initiated breastfeeding were not as concerned as those who did not breastfeed with their child’s speech development and fine motor skills. (Green, Kern, Braff & Mintz, 2000).
Probiotics and Digestive Function
The gastrointestinal and mucosal molecular profile from intestinal tissue of autistic children is somewhat similar to that of a patient with inflammatory bowel disease. It is believed that there may be an autism-associated inflammatory bowel disease variant rather than a classic inflammatory bowel disease (Green et al., 2011).
Parents have self-reported gastrointestinal problems within their autistic children, alternating between chronic constipation or diarrhea. Research has found that children with autism have altered bowel flora to that of healthy controls (Happé & Frith, 2006).
Methylation Cofactors and Nutritional Therapy
Nutritional intake and status of pregnant women have been shown to influence the health outcome of the child, and certain nutrients in isolation have been associated with a decreased autism risk (Oerlemans et al., 2013).
A nucleotide polymorphism affecting the function of the methyl-tetrahydrofolate reductase enzyme (MTHFR) can influence folate and methyl-cobalamin production which is also associated with increased autism risk (Bowler, Gaigg & Gardiner, 2009).
Prevention Strategies Available
With a better understanding of the science of autism and chronic childhood illnesses, Dr. Mumper has incorporated strategies into her general pediatric practice that are designed to minimize potentially modifiable risks of developing these conditions, including:
- Reducing toxicity with recommended strategies to avoid pesticides and herbicides during pregnancy
- Encouraging breastfeeding for its beneficial effects on the gut and microbiome
- The use of probiotics due to the importance of healthy gut flora in the first few years of life
- Nutritional counseling with a full-time nutritionist to guide mothers and educate them on specific nutritional therapies needed for their needs
- Limited use of antibiotics, using them only when necessary and for bacterial infections only.
- Minimized use of medications, in particular, acetaminophen, as it depletes glutathione levels. Education around the function of a fever as part of the body’s immune response is given to parents, and use of tepid baths to cool rather than medicating is primarily utilized.
Applying Integrative Paediatric Practices
As a pediatrician, Dr. Liz Mumper has seen the prevalence of autism in children and chronic conditions in children increase at an exponential rate, yet her enthusiasm for her work has only increased as she’s witnessed the effectiveness of integrative and naturopathic medicine treatments.
Dr. Mumper’s clinical experience and observations are shared “in hopes that it will spark fruitful discussions between researchers and practicing clinicians and inspire prospective research in clinical settings to see if the hypothesis – that integrative pediatric practices might impact autism prevalence can be confirmed or disproven” (Mumper, 2013).
What Practitioners Will Learn from Dr. Mumper’s Masterclasses to Apply in Their Own Practice:
- Atypical ways that conditions may present in patients and identifying potential triggers that may not have been considered before
- The link between cerebral folate deficiency and cognitive impairment, seizures, dyskinesias and ataxia
- The underlying pathology of alopecia, vitiligo & cutaneous mastocytosis and innovative treatment strategies for each
- Discussion about emerging research regarding healing and how to truly unlock its full potential
- Effective strategies to support childhood neurological disorders and other common childhood conditions such as atopic conditions and migraines
- Develop strategies for decision making about prophylaxis
- Healing underlying immune dysregulation via understanding the adaptive function of the gut
- The multifaceted connections between autoimmunity and overall health
Dr Liz Mumper, Paediatrician
Dr Mumper is President and CEO of the RIMLAND Center, and her general pediatrics practice is Advocates for Children. Dr Mumper has over 18 years’ experience working with children on the spectrum within her practice, Advocates for Children which is devoted to the care of children on the spectrum and other neurodevelopmental problems. Dr Mumper has a developed a deep understanding of the anatomy, pathophysiology, immunology, and biochemistry of autism spectrum disorders and has attended more than 1500 hours of seminars and lectures that feature the emerging evidence on this.
- Mumper, E. (2013). Can awareness of medical pathophysiology in autism lead to primary care autism prevention strategies? North American Journal of Medicine and Science, 6(3).
- D’Cruz, A. M., Ragozzino, M. E., Mosconi, M. W., Shrestha, S., Cook, E. H., & Sweeney, J. A. (2013). Reduced behavioural flexibility in autism spectrum disorders. Neuropsychology, 27(2), 152.
- Green, M. F., Kern, R. S., Braff, D. L., & Mintz, J. (2000). Neurocognitive deficits and functional outcome in schizophrenia: are we measuring the “right stuff”? Schizophrenia Bulletin, 26(1), 119-136.
- Green, M. F., Schooler, N. R., Kern, R. S., Frese, F. J., Granberry, W., Harvey, P. D., … & Sonnenberg, J. (2011). Evaluation of functionally meaningful measures for clinical trials of cognition enhancement in schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 168(4), 400-407.
- Happé, F., & Frith, U. (2006). The weak coherence account: detail-focused cognitive style in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 36(1), 5-25.
- Oerlemans, A. M., Droste, K., van Steijn, D. J., de Sonneville, L. M., Buitelaar, J. K., & Rommelse, N. N. (2013). Co-segregation of social cognition, executive function and local processing style in children with ASD, their siblings and normal controls. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 43(12), 2764-2778.
- Bowler, D. M., Gaigg, S. B., & Gardiner, J. M. (2009). Free recall learning of hierarchically organised lists by adults with Asperger’s syndrome: additional evidence for diminished relational processing. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39(4), 589-595.