(5) Respiratory insufficiency versus catastrophic disruption of metabolism
Myers (1972) found that prolonged partial hypoxia late in gestation caused damage to
wide areas of the cerebral cortex, which was thought far more important that the
brainstem pattern . Miller and Myers (1970, 1972) found also that adult monkeys
sustained brainstem damage with complete circulatory arrest, and widespread cortical
damage with partial circulatory insufficiency [57, 58].
The inferior colliculus has long been known to be involved in brainstem patterns of
damage caused by alcohol and other toxic substances [59-70]. Toxicity is likely the
result of interference with aerobic metabolism. Pyrithiamine, for example, displaces
thiamine (vitamin B1) at binding sites on aerobic enzymes for which this vitamin is an
essential cofactor . Deficiency of vitamin B1 has long been associated with
brainstem damage in animals as well as humans [71-75]. Figure 14 shows
hemorrhagic damage in the inferior colliculi of a patient maintained on parenteral
feeding to which vitamin B1 had not been added ; this can be compared with
ischemic damage of the inferior colliculi of a monkey subjected to asphyxia at birth
shown in figure 3.
Children with prenatal exposure to alcohol are among those with developmental
language problems [32, 33]. Fetal alcohol syndrome is also one of the many medical
condition associated with childhood autism [76-78], along with prenatal exposure to
valproic acid and other substances [79-81], infections [82-94], phenylketonuria (PKU),
other genetic disorders [95-101], medical conditions like lead poisoning [102-103] and
complications at birth [104-118], all of which could result in compromise of aerobic
metabolism with prenatal or neonatal injury of the inferior colliculi.
References pp 8-21