The main cause of Asperger’s

Something few people seem to realize is that for all practical purposes, we have probably already discovered the main cause of Asperger’s. Bear with me:

Reports from the Faroe Islands are intriguing in this regard. There is an incidence of 1 in 300 for homozygous SLC22A5 deficiency in this population isolate with many individuals being asymptomatic or presenting as adults with cardiomyopathy or cardiac arrhythmia [46]. This would imply a carrier frequency of about 1 in 35. Interestingly, autism is relatively frequent in the Faroe Islands with a reported rate 0.56% in 2002 and 0.94% in 2009 [49]. The Faroese diet is rich in lamb (very high carnitine content) and fish. Remarkably 21 of 43 (49%) autism cases in 2002 and 16 of 24 (67%) in 2009 were said to have Asperger syndrome, which we interpret to mean that many or most of these patients were milder and would meet criteria for NoMeND autism. There is no precedent for such a high proportion of Asperger diagnosis in a general series of autism patients. We speculate that NoMeND autism caused by brain carnitine deficiency is especially common in the Faroe Islands, and that heterozygous or homozygous deficiency for SLC22A5 might be a risk factor for NoMeND autism.

I’ll try to translate this into simple English. About half of cases of autism on the Faroe islands, are cases of children who have Asperger’s. That’s unheard of. Normally, you would expect about one in five to fit an Asperger’s diagnosis. What’s going on in the Faroe islands is that they have a high prevalence of a mutation that prevents Carnitine from entering the cell. This mutation seems to lead to a lot of cases of Asperger’s among children.

Carnitine is important for your brain, as it functions as a mitochondrial antioxidant. The reason that mutation could spread in the Faroe islands, is probably because of their diet that’s very high in meat. If their body is constantly flushed with carnitine from the diet, a mutation that makes it more difficult to pull carnitine into a cell won’t be removed from the gene pool the way it would be in India or Africa.

This theory explains an important observation: The high funtioning/Asperger’s forms of autism tend to have extreme male overrepresentation, far stronger than the more severe forms of autism. The gene that produces carnitine in the human body (not the one that transports it) is located on the X chromosome. If one copy is damaged, the other copy will typically bail a woman out. Men on the other hand, have just one copy.

If this theory has any substance, then you would also expect that carnitine supplementation of some sort might help people with autism. And that’s exactly what we find. The most effective form is probably acetyl l-carnitine, because unlike regular l-carnitine, it can effectively cross the blood-brain barrier. It’s thought that a lot of mild cases of autism can be prevented, by supplementing with carnitine during critical developmental periods.

Another thing interesting to note, is that blood values of acetyl l-carnitine are found to be lower in people with depression and supplementation seems to reduce symptoms. About seventy percent of young adults with Asperger’s have suffered depression.

There’s something you’re not going to understand if you don’t have Asperger’s or have seen how people with Asperger’s think. Greta Thunberg is perhaps the most famous case of a girl with Asperger’s. She is said to have become depressed due to climate change. The thing is, people with Asperger’s tend to be drawn to very negative information, that most normies filter out of their brains. It’s probably not so much that climate change made her depressed, but rather, depression made her obsess about climate change. There’s a kind of veil that normal people carry, that protects them against existential anxiety. With Asperger’s, that veil seems to fall off.

For quite some time now, I have suspected that I probably have Asperger’s. I seem to meet most of the symptoms, including the robotic voice that doesn’t really strongly reflect emotions. Ten years ago, a counselor at school thought I might have some form of autism, to which my mother responded by withdrawing me from counseling.

There’s an ongoing debate on whether autism should be “cured” or not. If you asked me, the answer would be, without the slightest hesitation, yes. I think the depression and suicide statistics speak for themselves. People with Asperger’s tend to have huge interests and rich inner worlds, but that could be compared to a tree that grows in one direction because the other direction is blocked off: You develop deep interests, because normal social interaction is so difficult.

I think the most obvious and glaring example of the problem I mean is an amusing anecdote I have from a time in Amsterdam when I walked back to the train station from a party. A cute Arab looking girl walked up to me and asked if I could guide her back to the train station. She seemed to like me and we started chatting.

Eventually I got on a tangent about how the global oil supply seems to be running out and how most Middle Eastern nations seem to have inflated their oil reserves to be able to pump up more and how it could cause a sudden crash of civilization. I think you can guess how well that went over on a friday night. I can rationally reflect on that and understand what would have been far more succesful ways to keep a conversation going, but I have to constantly filter how I communicate with people, because my intuitive manner of communication would inevitably alienate most people.

I can handle having completely asocial niche interests. What I find unfortunate however, is this situation where I find it extremely difficult to have meaningful relationships with more than a handful of people. It feels as if there is always some sort of wall between me and others, that somehow puts my brain in a world completely separate from everyone else. The most peculiar thing I’ve experienced is when I took MDMA. It felt as if this barrier was suddenly gone.

You could say that Asperger’s is a gift. Greta without Asperger’s would have been a nobody. John Michael Greer can write fascinating essays about renaissance occultism that hardly anyone else could come close to. The thing is, Bipolar disorder is a gift too. It makes you ridiculously creative. And yet, smart women with Bipolar disorder generally don’t want children. When you try to drown yourself after a boyfriend breaks up with you, an intelligent woman will ask herself if it’s morally justifiable to put a child through the same misery she suffers.

With Asperger’s it’s the same thing. Who wants a gift that makes you incapable of normal interaction? Here’s how Jonathan Mitchell describes it: “It’s prevented me from making a living or ever having a girlfriend. It’s given me bad fine motor coordination problems where I can hardly write. I have an impaired ability to relate to people. I can’t concentrate or get things done.”

I run into the same sort of problems. I would get bad grades in school, simply because teachers couldn’t read my handwriting. I’m clumsy, always bumping into things, dropping things and blocking people’s path. I can live by myself and hold onto a job, but I don’t have a driver’s license and don’t know if that would even be possible for me to accomplish. I think all of those problems pale in comparison to the problem of relating to other people however. I wouldn’t wish any of those problems on future generations of children, if some carnitine supplements during pregnancy can prevent those problems, why would you oppose such a thing?

For me personally, the answer is pretty straightforward. Since a week or so, I have started taking Acetyl L-Carnitine. I get the impression that I’m already starting to feel somewhat better. I seem to have more energy and tend to make a less bleak assesment of my situation. There are a thousand different things I could discuss here, but I felt that this is probably the most useful information I could share for now.

3 Comments

  1. Your situation isn’t bleak, you are brainy, have a good job, can make money investing, and your days of worrying about oil depletion etc are over. You have said as much. So what’s the problem?

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