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  • Writer's pictureDr. Amber Brooks

Autism Research | Neurons Starved by Rare Autism-Linked Mutation

Quick Overview

A new study has found that a mutation in the SLC7A5 gene, which prevents certain amino acids from entering neurons, causes the cells to die early in brain development. This has implications for autism, as the mutation is linked to it. During brain development, neurons metabolize branched-chain amino acids for energy, which are transported by SLC7A5. Without it, neurons starve and die, leading to microcephaly in mice and two children. Treatments for people with the mutation may be difficult, but researchers hope to find metabolic disturbances that can be treated.


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How Functional Medicine may be able to help

As we continue to learn more about the complexities of our biology, functional medicine has become a crucial tool in helping us address the unique needs of our bodies. One area where this approach has shown incredible promise is in understanding and helping genetic mutations, such as the SLC7A5 gene mutation that can have serious implications for brain development.

This particular mutation prevents certain amino acids from entering neurons, leading to starvation and early cell death. This can have significant effects on brain development, potentially leading to conditions like autism. Fortunately, functional medicine offers a range of approaches to help address this issue.

One potential strategy is to focus on nutrition and lifestyle changes. By providing the body with the specific nutrients and resources it needs to support proper brain development, we can help mitigate some of the negative effects of the SLC7A5 mutation. This might include changes like increasing consumption of branched-chain amino acids, or incorporating more whole foods and nutrient-dense meals into the diet.

Another key strategy is to look at supporting the body's natural processes, such as optimizing gut health and addressing inflammation. By working to balance the body's systems and support overall wellness, we can help mitigate the impact of genetic mutations like the SLC7A5 gene mutation.

Of course, every individual is unique, and the approach to functional medicine must be tailored to the individual. By working with a qualified functional medicine practitioner, individuals with the SLC7A5 mutation can develop a personalized plan that takes into account their unique needs and health goals. With the right approach, we can help support brain development and mitigate the impact of genetic mutations, helping to promote better health and wellness for all.


Complimentary Phone Consultations are available with Dr. Amber Brooks at 469-547-1173. Telemedicine appointments are available.



Dr. Amber Brooks- Autism & Special Needs

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC is a pediatric expert bridging alternative and traditional

medicine by providing individualized and comprehensive approaches to pediatric wellness. Her experience is unique, as she is Board Certified in Integrative Pediatrics, Board Certified as a Pediatric Chiropractor, a Family Nurse Practitioner and Craniosacral Therapist.

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP,

Dr. Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC has been extremely successful in assisting her patients in achieving optimal health and wellness by using the best integrative methods to help support their growing bodies. She provides traditional and alternative medicine for maximal health. Dr. Brooks has developed specialized methods to answer today's biggest pediatric health problems including allergies, constipation, chronic ear infections, birth trauma, developmental delays, digestive problems, Autism, ADD/ADHD, MTHFR, nutritional, and behavioral problems.

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC has extensive experience solving complex pediatric and unique perspective of diagnosing the problem rather than treating the symptoms has led to 

remarkable results worldwide. Parents praise her current, yet practical, guidance to what a child is struggling with and tools to help the family improve their child's future health.

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