Majid Ali, M.D.
Unborn Brain Course
In 1958, when I joined King Edward Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan, I never imagined that a time will come when I will coin the terms “Toxic Womb States,” “Pre-Birth PTSD,” “Toxic Pregnancy,” “Pre-birth Autism,” “Pre-Birth Toxic Genetic” “Unborn Brain Epigenetics,” and then offer “Dr. Ali’s Unborn Brain Course.” Marshaling scientific evidence for my assertion that these conditions are rooted in the toxic womb states and writing about them has been heart-rending writing.
Epidemics of attention deficit disorder, Tourette’s ticks, autism and its related disorders, and other forms of altered neuro-development are womb toxicity problems, not psychological or psychiatric diseases. I have marshaled evidence for my biologic view of these states in a series of articles, tracing their origin to toxic womb states. Here I cite two recent reports. First, the journal Nature reported in November 2013 clear evidence for my toxic womb hypothesis of autism. Specifically, two to six-month old babies who looked less at people’s eyes than other babies developed autism at age 3 more often. Second, on December 16, 2013, The New York Times reported that one Somali child in 32 and one white child in 36 in Minneapolis were on the autism spectrum. Only seven years ago, the CDC reported that one in about 500 U.S. children was on the autism spectrum.
With this introduction, I begin a series of articles on impaired neuro-development under the series title of “Pre-birth Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders” (Pre-birth PTSD) with greater ambivalence than when I coined the term toxic womb states. I recognize some of what I say on the surface would be deeply troubling to mothers of children on the autism spectrum disorder, less so their fathers. For some it might seem outright cruel to blame mothers for the plight of their children. I ask them to look beneath the surface. It takes a village to raise a child, as recognized by early Africans. What I dare to assert is the other heart-rending side of the African insight: it takes a toxic country to so traumatize its unborn children to produce Congenital Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders.
What I see in the spreading pandemic of Pre-birth (congenital) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders—is massive assault of toxicities of foods, environment, and thought on the developing brain of unborn children at a time when it is most vulnerable: the first three months of life in the womb. Two primary mechanisms of insults and injury to the unborn brain, in my view, are fermentation in the maternal bowels and brain ferment of both parents. These mechanisms are triggered by all factors that impair oxygen signaling in the developing brain: (1) the body’s total burden of food and environmental pollutants; (2) toxic metals (mercury, lead, arsenic, and others in maternal blood); (3) alcohol and substance abuse; (4) prescription and illicit drugs; (4) metabolic spikes and troughs (of insulin with hypoglycemia episodes), adrenaline, cortisone, and toxic metabolic wastes; (5) microbial fermentation products; and (6) the products of paternal chemistry of parental mental anguish caused by larger issues of social injustice and societal crimes. I hope the readers will recognize the following merits of my case:
- A clarion call for consideration of toxicities for parents of as yet unborn babies.
- Practical implications of parents of children with babies and children on the spectrum of pre-birth (congenital) post-traumatic stress disorders.
- Clinical imperatives for practitioners caring for children with babies and children on the spectrum of pre-birth post-traumatic stress disorders.
- For researchers who are advancing the understanding of the adverse impact of brain insults listed above.
- None of the research projects investigating the potential benefits of the knowledge of individual genes, enzymes, cell receptors, membrane pumps, or toxins have to-date yielded meaningful benefits for children included in the pre-birth congenital post-traumatic stress disorder states mentioned above, nor, I am afraid, is it likely to happen.
- What is sorely needed is societal courage and commitment to a holistic and integrated approach to saving unborn brains by greater funding of research and clinical projects that address the problems in their entirety. I and others have documented significant benefits obtained with holistic and integrated clinical protocols (discussed in other articles in this series).
The Oxygen Model of Mental Health and Disorders
I proposed my Oxygen Model of Mental Health and Disorder as an extension of my Oxygen Model of Health and Disease. It is a unifying model that explains all aspects of mental health and mental disorders—causes, clinical course, consequences, and control—on the basis of altered oxygen signaling. These abnormalities essentially begin during fetal life and continue through infancy, and childhood. This model is based on a biologist view of the brain development and neurotransmission.
Models in science are proposed to: (1) explain such natural phenomena; (2) offer workable simplicity to reduce complexities of such phenomena; (3) predict natural phenomena hitherto unrecognized. These models are tested, validated, or refuted with ongoing scientific observation. In clinical medicine, I add a fourth criterion for a model’s validity: it must facilitate health and healing.
Cumulative Body Burden of Toxins
How often are expecting mothers aware of gut fermentation caused by sugar and antibiotic abuse? How aware are they of special vulnerability of the unborn brain to commonly used over-the-counter drugs, such as Tylenol PM, Advil PM, and other sleep aids? How often do they recognize that drugs that adversely affect the memory of adults are more toxic to highly vulnerable unborn brains? How aware are expecting mothers of nocturnal hypoglycemia (nighttime low blood sugar) caused by insulin toxicity? How often do they recognize adrenaline toxicity? And the toxicity of unhygenic bedrooms? And mold toxicity in their home and work environments?
Types and Sub-types of Pre-birth (Congenital) PTSD States
I recognize the following three major types of Pre-birth PTSD States, each with many subtypes are mentioned in the articles below:
- Pre-birth (Congenital) PTSD Syndrome- 1: Attention Deficit Disorder Without Depression
- Pre-birth (Congenital) PTSD Syndrome-2: Attention Deficit Disorder With Depression
- Pre-birth (Congenital) PTSD Syndrome-3: Autism Spectrum disorder