Our study of mental disorders began many years ago when we discovered that one of our patients who suffered from schizophrenia as well as kidney disease improved significantly when we initiated dialysis. We determined that it was the removal of endorphins and dietary exorphins from her blood that was leading to the improvement.
That discovery was the trigger that launched 35 years of investigation into the cause and treatment of this illness and, subsequently, autism.
Much of the information that we have gathered regarding the leakage of proteins from the intestine has been the result of a blood test called a gluten/casein screen. If a foreign substance (antigen) finds its way into the blood, the body produces a specific antibody as part of the immune response. The amount of the antibody in the blood can be measured as an indicator of the amount of the antigen in the blood. In this case, incompletely broken down products of gluten and casein are the antigens. In the hundreds of children with autism that we have worked with, we have found that their specific antibody levels are typically high. This serves as a strong indication that a gluten/casein-free diet would be beneficial.