Central City Champions Autism Research with Red Racer IPA
Raises funds for SFU’s Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy research for children with autism
Surrey, B.C. – April is Autism Awareness Month and Central City Brewers + Distillers has launched their annual IPA for Autism fundraising initiative for Simon Fraser University’s Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG) research for children with autism.
Central City will donate $2 from every 6-pack of 355ml cans and $0.25 from every 473ml cans of specially marked Red Racer IPAs to autism research. In addition, $0.25 from every pint of IPA sold at participating BC restaurants and pubs will also be donated. Red Racer IPA is Central City’s best selling craft beer and is available in most Canadian provinces. Since 2012, Central City has raised a total of $175,000 for autism research.
Autism now affects 1 in 68 children: 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls, a 30 per cent increase over the last survey released in 2012 when it was 1 in 88 children. While currently there is no cure for autism, research has shown that early intervention treatments can improve a child’s development. Early and encouraging results suggest that one treatment in particular, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), can improve communication and behavior in children with autism. Further research, however, is needed to conclusively establish if HBOT is an effective treatment for autism.
Darryll Frost, president and founder of Central City, is the father of five-year-old Callum, who was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder, a type of autism, when he was only three years old. Darryll and his wife Lee invested in a variety of treatments for Callum and found that by combining the GAPS diet with HBOT, Callum’s development has drastically improved.
“The change in my son was night and day. He was completely non-verbal and low functioning, throwing tantrums, beating and hurting himself, displaying aggressive behavior and non-communicative. But with treatment, he is now a happy five-year-old, who is able to communicate, laugh, perform everyday things like dressing and feeding himself and is even going to kindergarten with the help of an aid”.
We realized there was much more to HBOT than what’s currently known and we were convinced it helped Callum and believe it could also help other children with autism. Which is why we’ve teamed up with Simon Fraser University to run the HBOT-MEG study to look into the science behind how HBOT works for children with autism,” says Frost.
The autism HBOT-MEG study at SFU is the first in Canada that specifically studies the effectiveness of using hyperbaric oxygen therapy on children with autism. Included in the research is the use of MEG neuroimaging to evaluate whether HBOT can positively impact brain activity underlying cognition and behaviour in children with autism.
The team of SFU researchers includes Dr. Ryan D’Arcy, one of the world’s foremost neuroscientists, and Sherri Ferguson, Director of SFU’s Environmental Medicine and Physiology Unit (EMPU), home to Canada’s only civilian research hyper/hypobaric chamber.
This year, SFU has recruited Dr. Sam Doesburg as the holder of the Callum Frost Professorship in Translational Research in Autism. Dr. Doesburg will implement a translational research program in autism that will leverage recent breakthroughs in network neuroimaging and computational neuroscience to make meaningful improvements in the lives of people with autism and other neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. Additionally, Dr. Doesburg uses these quantitative measures to monitor neurological changes that will be used to evaluate the efficacy of novel treatments for autism, such as HBOT and the GAPS diet.
Dr. Peter Ruben, Associate Dean of Research and Advancement in the Faculty of Science is delighted that SFU is able to bring this caliber of research to SFU. “We are excited to embark on this novel research path testing whether HBOT produces changes that can be measured with MEG. The hiring of Sam is the first of many steps that will lead to long-term, dedicated research of ASD at SFU.”
Central City also plans to organize an autism fundraising auction later this year. For more information on Central City’s IPA for Autism fundraising initiative, please visit www.centralcitybrewing.com.