Echolalia Treatment in Autism

Echolalia treatment reduces repetitive language resulting in more functional or spontaneous language.

The repetition or imitation of sounds, certain phrases, songs or words is called echolalia. Echolalia comes from the Greek word for “echo” and “lalia”, which translates “to repeat speech”. It is important to realize that from a biomedical perspective, the underlying cause of echolalia is excess glutamate. Echolalia treatment in autism focuses on reducing excess glutamate.

Glutamate is the most plentiful brain chemical. It is, therefore, incredibly important and helps to make neurons. In other words, glutamate is an “excitable” brain chemical. Too much glutamate leads to both repetitive behaviours and repetitive language like echolalia and scripting. Glutamate is very strictly managed in the brain because too much glutamate leads to problems. A point often overlooked is that research is indicating that many “autistic behaviours” are caused by excess glutamate. Reducing glutamate is the key to echolalia treatment.

Glutathione is the body’s master antioxidant and has many roles in regulating brain function. To put it another way, glutathione “mops” up excess glutamate, resulting in less repetitive behaviour and language. For this reason, reducing excess glutamate is a very important strategy in autism treatment. In a like manner, speech delay in autism is also caused by excess glutamate.

Echolalia Treatment

Causes of excess glutamate:

It is important to remember that the treatment of echolalia in autism needs to focus on identifying the cause of excess glutamate. Methylation impairments and brain inflammation are the two most common contributors to echolalia. A brain overwhelmed by glutamate leads to repetitive language like echolalia are a coping mechanism in addition to a form of communication. Excess glutamate leads to immunoexcitotoxicity, which has be proposed as a central mechanism of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders.

Methylation Impairments:

Methylation impairment lead to echolalia because the methylation cycle makes glutathione. Echolalia treatment depends on improving methylation. Ninety percent of children diagnosed with autism have methylation impairments which leads to glutathione deficiency. Research has shown that up to 80% of glutathione is deficient in autism which contributes to excess glutamate. Treatment of echolalia improves with methyl B12 injections and other methylation supports.

Brain inflammation and echolalia treatment:

Neuroinflammation or brain inflammation is a hallmark of autism. Unfortunately, people with autism suffer with lifelong brain inflammation which leads to excess glutamate. Reducing inflammation in echolalia treatment results in more spontaneous, functional use of language.

The most important treatments, that we term CORE 4, for reducing brain inflammation is the combination of the modified ketogenic diet, essential fatty acid therapy, methyl B12 injections and a high dose multi-vitamin. The CORE 4 biomedical treatments works synergistically to reduce brain inflammation.