Most children with autism and other neurological imbalances can become calmer, happier, have better focus, and retain information far better with the use of natural supplementation to assist their brain. Healing the biology from toxins, inflammation and infections is critical. Please see my free webinar to learn about each of these 4 stages, and how it can be done safely, and naturally. The following are informational examples of options for assisting  brain function with natural supplementation.

First, let’s learn a little bit about neurotransmitters.


Serotonin is a key brain chemical that is been identified in the physiological abnormalities in ASD and AD/HD.  Serotonin is made from tryptophan with the help of vitamin C, folate, iron, calcium and vitamin B6.  Tryptophan is an amino acid, which is a building block of protein.  Children with developmental disorders often show amino acid deficiency including tryptophan.  They also have an inability to effectively convert B6 to its active form P5P.

Serotonin is responsible for regulating:



Sensory Perception

Noise sensitivity





The natural supplement 5HTP builds serotonin.

Gut dysbiosis, as well as heavy metals can also effect levels of serotonin and dopamine.


Dopamine is needed for fundamental brain function.  Dopamine receptors have abnormal form in children with AD/HD.  The methylation cycle provides the primary fuel for dopamine receptors in the brain.  Children with autism and ADHD often have dysregulation in their dopamine system.  Low dopamine levels impair attention and focus.  High dopamine levels cause the mind to race and increase sensory perception which causes an overload on the brain’s ability to process.  Dopamine is produced from the amino acid tyrosine with the help of iron, vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6 and tetrahydrobiopterin.

Dopamine is responsible for regulating:

Sensitivity and processing of information

Perception of change

Relaying information

Fundamental brain function – cognition


Emotional Responses

Attention and Focus

The amino acid L-tyrosine builds dopamine, but be sure there is not a surplus of dopamine in the system. Some people have too much. This is common with PANDAS/strep flare-ups. The antibodies for strep get into the brain and signal the cells to make too much dopamine. It can cause psychotic behaviors, including a sudden onset of OCD, anxiety, rages, fearfulness, and separation anxiety. Gut dysbiosis, as well as heavy metals can also effect levels of serotonin and dopamine.

GABA (gamma amino Butyric acid)

The GABA system is one of the first to develop after conception within the first two months. Specific neurons produce GABA because it is needed by the central nervous system. GABA mediates the activity between nerves. When this system is not working properly and GABA is diminished, the nerves become overexcited and cannot calm down. GABA is greatly affected by chemicals, especially pesticides.

GABA can build up in the body and cause anxiety and hyperactivity if used longer term. Use sparingly and watch for increased symptoms of hyperactivity.

SAMe (S-Adenosyl-Methionine)

S-Adenosyl-Methionine, or SAMe is derived from the amino acid methionine. It helps the brain to function properly helping to synthesize critical neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. It helps the body to regulate hormones, assists protein synthesis, increases glutathione levels by fifty percent, boosts the methylation (detoxification) process, including brain cell methylation, and helps with joint and liver support. Studies have shown SAMe to protect liver tissue from toxic injury. It also increases the neurotransmitters involved with depression such as serotonin. SAMe has been shown to have a high level of safety in clinical trials and is well tolerated.

Natural Supplements That Can Assist Brain Function

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids protect the brain and help to rebuild damaged areas. They contain the omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for the health and functioning of the brain. Deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids can cause issues with moods such as depression, hyperactivity, lethargy, memory loss, cell energy production, and cognitive learning ability.

The neurotransmitters most affected by omega-3 fatty acids are dopamine, affecting motivation and drive, and serotonin, important in sleep, mood, and appetite. This is also why omega-3s are significant when used in treating depression, anxiety, violent and aggressive behavior, and even schizophrenia.

Natural supplementation can take up to three weeks to begin really taking effect. Often, people trying natural supplements stop too soon or take incorrect dosages, leading them to give up on this solution before seeing its full potential.

Remember that autism symptoms can be recovered from because it is a biological disorder, not a mental illness. It is important to remember that diet and other measures that work to heal your child’s biology are crucial components of an overall solution. Natural supplements can help your child in the short run, but will help him even more once his gut is healed and toxicity is reduced in his body. Once this is accomplished, the brain is able to function normally without being hindered by a toxic load.

The additional benefit of natural supplements is that they do not have dangerous side effects like most pharmaceutical drugs. A large percentage of people who are put on prescription medications for neurological imbalances,  such as depression or anxiety, actually become worse. Some even commit suicide. Natural supplementation is a much safer option.

The following are examples and possible natural solutions for individual neurological needs using natural supplementation. Consult your physician before using, especially if your child is on any medications because these work so well.

  • Compulsivity, worrier = increased anterior cingulate and low serotonin

Solution: 5-HTP

  • Impulsive, easily distracted = low PFC and low dopamine

Solution: L-tyrosine

  • Impulsive/compulsive = high anterior cingulate and low PFC, low serotonin and low dopamine

Solution: 5-HTP and L-tyrosine

  • Lacks ability to focus, easily distracted = low dopamine

Solution: L-tyrosine

  • Depressed, low energy, crave carbohydrates = high limbic activity, low PFC, check vitamin D levels and DHEA levels

Solution: SAMe, 5HTP, vitamin D, with possible need for DHEA

  • Anxious = high basal ganglia (altered by PANDAS/strep), low GABA levels

Solution: GABA, vitamin B6, and magnesium

  • Temper, anger, and mood with memory problems, and learning disabilities = problem with temporal lobes

Solution: GABA, vitamin B6, magnesium, ginkgo, and acetyl-L-carnitine

  • Stuck on negative thoughts/grudge holder = anterior cingulate gyrus issue

Solution: 5-HTP to build serotonin, if hyper-focused then may also need L-tyrosine.

CBD or Hemp can be very beneficial for calming, sleep and more.

Further resources

Testing for neurotransmitter levels can be done at,, (neuroscience).

Learn about brain scans with Neuroquant. Find a Neuroquant practitioner near you here.

Please listen to radio show #76, on The Function of Neurotransmitters.

Please listen to radio show #80, on The Brain and Behaviors.

Interview with Dr. Stephanie Seneff, on The Sulfation Pathway in Autism.

Autoimmunity, PANS and Streptococcal Infections in Autism.

Join our Free Autism Recovery WorkshopThe 4 Stages to Naturally Recover from the Symptoms of Autism. Stage 1: Healing the gut, Stage 2: Natural heavy metal detoxification, Stage 3: Clearing the Co-infections, Stage 4: Brain support and repair.  Reserve your online seat here.

Here’s to a happier and healthier life!

Karen Thomas

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