Scientists discovered recently a new enzyme in our bodies called: COX-2. COX-2 is one of the keys of the immune system and plays a crucial anti inflammatory role. (See references below)
As they studied COX-2 function and role, researchers made a remarkable discovery: enrichment of the environment enhances the immune system function and decreases brain inflamation.
Children with autism often have moderate to severe brain inflammations and a weak immune system. A deficiency usually leads to regular infections, often ear and throat.
In march of 2012 a team from Duke University found that sensory enrichment exercises improves the immune system.
Sensory Enrichment activities involve the sense of touch, smell, vision and audition.
This new discovery on the benefits of sensory enrichment activities is crucial for children with autism who can become more resistant to infections, while the brain mends as well its multiple sensory dysfunctions.
- Arranz L, De Castro NM, Baeza I, Maté I, Viveros MP, De la Fuente M. “Environmental Enrichment Improves Age-Related Immune System Impairment: Long-Term Exposure Since Adulthood Increases Life Span in Mice.” Rejuvenation Research 13, no. 4 (2010): 415-28.
- Arranz L, De Castro NM, Baeza I, Giménez-Llort L, De la Fuente M. “Effect of Environmental Enrichment on the Immunoendocrine Aging of Male and Female Triple-Transgenic 3xtg-Ad Mice for Alzheimer’s Disease.” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 25, no. 4 (2011): 727-37.
- Williamson LL, Chao A, Bilbo SD. “Environmental Enrichment Alters Glial Antigen Expression and Neuroimmune Function in the Adult Rat Hippocampus.” Brain, Behavior, Immunity 26, no. 3 (2012): 500-10.
- Patterson, Paul H. “Immune Involvement in Schizophrenia and Autism: Etiology, Pathology and Animal Models.” Behavioural Brain Research 204, no. 2 (2009): 313-21.
- Seibert K, Masferrer JL. “Role of Inducible Cyclooxygenase (Cox-2) in Inflammation.” Receptor 4, no. 1 (1994): 17-23.
- Müller N, Schwarz MJ. “Cox-2 Inhibition in Schizophrenia and Major Depression.” Current Pharmaceutical Design 14, no. 14 (2008): 1452-65.
- El-Ansary A, Al-Ayadhi L. “Neuroinflammation in Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Journal of Neuroinflammation 9, no. 1 (2012): 265.