Showing posts with label Curfew. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Curfew. Show all posts

Thursday 16 April 2020

Life with Autism under Lockdown

I thought there should be at least one post about how life has changed during Covid-19.  Where we live, Monty’s life goes on pretty much as before, now we are back to home schooling - but that is nothing new for us.

School starts at 9am, there are 3 or 4 classes a day online from school and then activities and exercises till 3.30pm. 

We have PE, art and music like at school.  Piano practice continues most days.

Monty’s latest addition to his routine is reading 30 pages a day of a novel in the evening.  Now that he has started, he insists on doing it every day.  Having finished the (boring) books from school, he is going to start reading his brother’s collection of Biggles novels. They are about a fictional fighter pilot, the series starts in 1916 and continues for 50 years (the author got old, but Biggles did not).  We are going to set the scene with one of the old epic films about fighter aces from 1914-18.

The parks are closed and we have a curfew starting at 5pm weekdays and now across the entire weekend.  If you live in a small apartment, as many people do in the areas with the most strict lockdowns, life clearly will be difficult for people who do not understand why their movements have suddenly been restricted.

In many countries parents have asked for special treatment for those with autism, so that they can go outside more often. This has just been implemented where we live.

Parents are now going outside to walk their child with autism during the curfew and then neighbours are calling the police to report them.  In some countries you can get a special paper confirming your right as a disabled person to be taken outside, when everyone else has to stay at home.

In our case, Monty accepts that schools, parks, restaurant and cafes are all closed, but he expects that come September life will return to normal and his brother will go back to University.  Monty is lucky to live in a house with a garden, so he has plenty of space and lots of things to do.

Life with autism under control is not so demanding, even under lockdown.

When Monty was eight years old, we had nine months of autism out of control, which then results in a self-imposed lockdown.  That period ended just before Monty started his Polypill therapy in 2012.

I would not want to be in lockdown with an adult-sized person with untreated severe autism.

The Big Issue

Recently I was asked for some advice by Monty’s assistant; her friend works publishing a magazine homeless/disadvantaged people sell on the street.  One of their best “sellers” is a young man with mild autism.  He actually lives with his parents – he is not homeless.  He is struggling under the lockdown, because the magazine is not being published; he still turns up at the office to collect his copies to sell, even though there are none.

The young man became very anxious and so his parents gave him something to calm his nerves (which turned out to be Valium).

I was told that he had been given some pills, but in spite of these pills he got worse and started being aggressive, which is totally out of character.  This was all (falsely) attributed to the Corona virus changes to life.

As usual you do have to double check the facts.  Where we live a man with “mild autism” does not mean a person with Asperger’s, it means a person with Autistic Disorder (i.e. severe autism), but not such a bad case, so the young man can walk to work by himself and has some speech. 

I was asked what pills the parents could ask for, to calm him down. I explained that for anxiety people with autism often get prescribed benzodiazepines, but for aggression and self-injury they might get antipsychotics.  Neither are a good choice in most cases.

“And … there should not be any side effects.
The pills he currently takes are just something very mild”

So, what pills had he been given? It was a local brand name I did not know, so I looked it up and it was Valium/Diazepam, the benzodiazepine.

Adult with autism going crazy after Valium? that sounds familiar.

You don’t want Valium, you want 2mg of Bumetanide.

People who show a negative reaction to benzodiazepine drugs, usually prescribed to calm you down, are very likely to be bumetanide responders.

Benzodiazepine drugs increase the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA. In most people GABA is inhibitory, so increasing its effect will calm you down and ultimately sedate you.

In people with GABA working in reverse, it acts as excitatory.  This will reduce cognitive function and affect mood and behavior.  If you “turn up the volume” of GABA by taking a Benzodiazepine drug like Valium, you will make such people go crazy, with aggression and self-injury.

Hopefully the parents of the young man will get my message and stop giving Valium.  It would be nice to think they will also start to give Bumetanide, but that is their choice and I assume they most likely will not.  A diuretic for autism? How crazy is that.

How crazy is an anti-malarial for Covid-19?

How are the French doing with an antimalarial and an antibiotic for Covid-19, that I referred to in an earlier post? Say farewell to Covid-19 in just five days, it appeared.

By now the French have treated thousands of people with their new off-label therapy.  Also being developed in Marseille is Bumetanide as an off-label autism therapy by Neurochlore.  It looks like free thinking is flourishing on the Cote d'Azur.   

The data below is from the Marseille University Hospital Institute for Infectious Diseases (IHU Méditerranée Infection) and the wider hospital group in Marseille called APHM, which means Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille.

The public hospitals in Marseille have treated 4,337 Covid-19 patients and 78 died (1.8%).

Within that group 2,671 were treated at the specialist IHU hospital with the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine (and some with azithromycin in addition) and of those that received at least 3 days of treatment 11 died (0.4%).

I think we can infer that 1,666 patients did not have hydroxychloroquine and 67 died (4%).

So if taken sick with Covid-19 in Marseille, tell the ambulance:

         "IHU Méditerranée Infection et vite !!"

If needed you can add:

        "Appuyez sur le champignon!"

As I suggested in my post on Covid-19, hydroxychloroquine looks a very good bet.  The supposedly fact-based media (CNN, BBC etc) continues to say there is no hard evidence to support the use of hydroxychloroquine.  How much evidence do you need?

To measure the success of hydroxychloroquine, you just count the bodies.

If this is such a struggle, what hope is there to ever prove a drug can work for such an ill-defined condition as autism?

Until you have been vaccinated against Covid-19, it appears that what you need is hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin and some potassium, to treat the hypokalemia caused by Covid-19. Ideally you would also have a home test for Covid-19, which are getting much cheaper, so you do not take the drugs unnecessarily.

Fortunately where we live hospitals are routinely giving hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin, but ideally you would start the antiviral therapy before getting ill enough to go to hospital.

Tom Hank’s wife was complaining recently in the media about the side effects (nausea, vertigo etc) of the chloroquine she was given in hospital in Australia for Covid-19.  I think that is a little ungrateful. Untreated Covid-19 can have a pretty terminal side effect.