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Derrick MacFabe, MD

Dr. MacFabe is the Director of the Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group, and Assistant Professor, Depts. of Psychology (Neuroscience) & Psychiatry (Division of Developmental Disabilities), at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada. He is also a Core Member of the iTARGET Autism Initiative, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He is investigating the role of gut-brain interactions on the identification and possible treatments of autism spectrum disorders. Dr. MacFabe’s research examining potential gastrointestinal and infective links in autism has been listed among the “Top 50 Scientific Discoveries in Canada” by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Connect with Dr. MacFabe

www.psychology.uwo.ca/autism

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13 thoughts on “Derrick MacFabe, MD

  1. I have been diagnosed with a condition called transverse myelitis, and I lived on antibiotics daily as a child. I am interested in getting fecal transplants. Do you know of any studies going on that are looking for people with chronic diseases to use for guinea pigs and thereby get fecal transplants? Thanks so much. Patricia Fleischer

  2. Dr MacFabe’s explanation and views on the role of bacterial short chain fatty acids and autism provide much needed and appreciated clarity. And thanks to his mention of other’s research in this scientific community helped me to put a number of featured experts views given throughout this week, and connect their positive contribution together to the research they are all doing together from a wide group. I am very grateful for this work so many are doing, and the chance to learn from it today. My aged nine Autistic sister died in 1967. Of course in that era it was an unknown condition, so you can imagine how the Autism Intensive symposium brings enormous clarity to so many of us. Thank you all.

  3. So impressed with Dr. McCabe with his knowledge and humility. Mike – Thank you very much for putting together this incredible summit. The researchers and physicians you interviewed are an incredible breath of fresh air. They are smart, they care and they listen! Also appreciate your insightful questions and helping to explain the complex science language into a way a non-scientific parent can understand. Much gratitude!

    1. I doubt if Dr Patricia Kane will answer and help you. I followed her protocol 20 years ago and ended up in hospital for two weeks within an hour of passing away, she did not want to know or help – there was no care there at all. My practitioner trained in her protocol, contacted her, as she regularly did, seeking help and she never
      responded! There has to be care and love as a foundation of choosing to help humanity, and as Dr MacFabe shared a working together with colleagues, a brotherhood if we wish to fully understand this dilemma.
      Maybe all our intelligence does not come from our brain as we know it.

    2. Ritu, Children and adults with autism all have impaired lipid metabolism. Our first findings were in the early 1990s in the discovery that they accumulated very long chain fatty acids. This was a crucial finding as it hallmarks the resulting disturbance of the organelle and cellular membranes. Nancy Minshew discovered through brain imaging that the children had degeneration of phospholipids but her beautiful work was largely ignored. My focus is on lipids and phospholipids and along with a developmental pediatrician, Dr. Annette Cartaxo, we developed an targeted intervention for the children based on the child’s red cell fatty acid tests and general metabolic testing. We tried using organic acids at first and used a university laboratory but the findings were far more meaningful with red cell fatty acids from another university laboratory. We have 1000s of physicians utilizing red cell lipids as the characteristic very long chain fatty acids, which form ceramides (lipid rafts) are characteristic in neurological disease. In focusing on phospholipids we found that there can be a viral insult that damages cardiolipin, a phospholipid that resides in the inner membrane of the mitochondria. Dr. Annette Cartaxo, Dr. Richard Deth and I wrote a chapter in a medical book on autism in 2009 describing this phenomenon of gross lipid disturbance in autism and the clinical applications to address it. The other major phospholipid in the inner membrane of the mitochondria is phosphatidylethanolamine.and this too must be supported along with phosphatidylcholine which stabilizes the cell membrane outer leaflet. Physicians test your child’s red cell fatty acids before they make recommendations and each child’s protocol is unique. However, there are base concepts that apply to everyone. First is that you must remove toxic, heated fats and oils from the child’s diet. Often you don’t realize this as our dietary sources have been changed without our knowledge in America. Hybrids of our oils have replaced cold pressed seed oils. Look on the labels at the health store – all the oils say ‘high oleic sunflower, safflower, etc oil’ This means that the seeds polyunsaturates have been lowered and replaced with non-essential oleic acid. The alteration drastically reduced the availability of linoleic acid which is not only an essential fatty acid but supports cardiolipin. The mitochondria is compromised without a source of linoleic acid. Also we want to remove oils that have been exposed to high heat being processed as this have toxic lipids that may end up attached to the cells and mitochondria. Our research group tests epigenetic aspects and find that all the children have DNA adducts – toxins attached to their DNA. We can now see which toxin and how much of the toxin has attached to individual genes. The most common toxin for autism is antimony, not mercury as many have hypothesized. They also often have chemical and fungal adducts. We clear these toxins by using phosphatidylcholine. We call our approach Membrane Medicine. You can find more information on http://www.neurolipid.org

  4. Thank you for this very great interview which is full of wealth of information on the complex science of body.I wish I could understand better why carnitine shouldn’t be given in terms of taking account microbiome ,most importantly carnitine is an ongoing supplement for seizure and mitochondrial issue in my son’Condition, so not clear in my head now.Anyway,once again thank you

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