Medford, OR, September 30, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ --
Birthplace: Crawford, Nebraska, USA. 1950
Education: Dartmouth College, Hanover New Hampshire. AB 1973
University of Colorado School of Medicine. MD 1977
Tucson Hospitals Internship. 1978
Licensure: Arizona Board of Medical Examiners. 1977-Present
Work: Peruvian Ministry of Health Rural Volunteer, Arequipa, Peru. 1978
Emergency Department St. Mary's Hospital Tucson. 1979-1980
General Practice, Tucson, Arizona. 1981-1995
Nutritional Treatment of ADHD and Autism, Tucson AZ. 1996-2000
Research: Biochemical and Toxic Effects on Behavior. 2001-Present
Published: Two-Dozen original research articles, reviews, and chapters, in association with Autism Research Institute, San Diego CA
Lectures: 15 Countries
Dr. McGinnis is considered a leading expert in nutrition and detoxification as treatment for children with behavioral disorders. He authored the first comprehensive review of Oxidative Stress in Autism in 2004. He spear-headed the International Oxidative Stress in Autism Symposium at the New York State Institute for Basic Research. His two-part review of The Mauve Factor—a largely unrecognized but treatable biochemical disturbance in many behavioral disorders—followed in 2008.
Also in 2008, the American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology (AJBB) published three groundbreaking investigations designed and coordinated by Dr. McGinnis. These showed, for the first time, oxidative injury to select brain regions in Autism, and definitive evidence of systemic oxidative stress. Readership and citation of these peer-reviewed data have increased over the years in spite of non-Medline listing.
Dr. McGinnis is recognized for his theoretical contribution to the field of Autism. In 2009, he devoted a book chapter to the possible role of brainstem in the pathogenesis of Autism. This was followed in 2013 by publication of a definitive Brainstem Hypothesis, "Proposed Toxic and Hypoxic Impairment of a Brainstem Locus in Autism," available in forty-five pages to all readers without charge on both Medline and PubMed.
The theory inverts usual assumptions about brain development and function in autism. It implicates primary dysfunction of a primitive area of brain, the Nucleus Tractus Solitarius (NTS). This small brainstem structure is preferentially sensitive to low oxygen during labor and delivery, or later in life, to toxins such as mercury, cadmium, monosodium glutamate, and fluoride. Notably, NTS controls brain blood-flow and distant visceral function, both highly abnormal in Autism.
Family is first for Woody McGinnis. His life-partner of forty years, Julia Waters McGinnis, has graced his life both as emotional anchor and work assistant. Julie and Woody reared two baby boys, Collin Reeves McGinnis and Ryan Walter McGinnis, to lead right and responsible lives as adults. Brothers Brent McGinnis of Tucson AZ and Cort McGinnis of Amarillo TX have been close, no matter the distance apart. At times, the distance has been great. In college days, McGinnis studied in Costa Rica, then in medical school, Peru. In 1996 the McGinnis family left Tucson to establish base on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, for the better part of 4 years. Commencing in 2008, the family lived in New Zealand. After five years, they moved to Oregon in order to share life with new granddaughter Abigail Elizabeth McGinnis.
McGinnis likes to use hands as well as mind. He learned how to grow plants and build things by working with his parents. He paused medical practice for a full-year in order to restore a classical 1934 adobe home designed by Josias Joesler. On this project and others he worked alongside and enjoyed deep friendship with two mature craftsmen, mason Lige (LB) Brown, and stucco-man Gilbert Chavez. He often enjoyed the friendship and wisdom of a distinguished old Tucson Boys Scouter, Otis Chidester.
At various times in life, Woody—lately, preferring to go by "Ron"—has enjoyed skiing, scuba-diving, sailing and archeological excavation with the Arizona State Museum. He accomplished a quick ascent of a 19,500 foot peak in the Andes. He loves kites, and in youth kept one aloft all night after tying it to a branch. Perhaps more than kites, he loves Frisbee, and the magic of spinning disc meeting the hand, the running, the jumping, the throwing.
He reads. Favorite authors: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Patrick O'Brian, Don DeLillo, Larry McMurtry, Victor David Hanson. His politics follow the "Ask-not" and "Judge-by-Character-not-Color" precepts of John Kennedy and Martin Luther King. He is insists on free speech and non-violence, and feels great pride in the American contribution to Western Civilization.
McGinnis finds joy in animals. He and Abigail incubate baby quail to keep as pets. Particularly important are canine friends, Little Bear and Robin, and two equines, Gail and Bayberry. In daily contact with horses, there is continuance of his Mother's joy in them in youth. He summons husbandry skills of farmer Dad, as the current McGinnis family hopes looks forward to foals in 2022.
My parents grew up poor. For Mother, it was dirt floors, sod walls, and not nearly enough to eat on an isolated homestead in Wyoming. For Dad, it was a shanty crowded with six fatherless siblings on the wrong-side of the tracks in small-town Nebraska. She taught in a one-room schoolhouse, then nurtured her own brood with sound values, a strong aesthetic, and dashes of Shakespeare. He leveraged athletic prowess to a college degree in physics, officership in WWII, high-school coaching, and a farm where he could be his own boss.
By comparison, I started on a much higher launch pad, neither wealthy nor impoverished. My parents devoted an incredible amount of time to me, and we had an implicit contract: They transferred their skills, knowledge, and values, day-after-day, in exchange for my effort to do my best. I did not grasp fully the love of my parents for me until I myself became a parent.
I see that a fundamental tension passed from them to me along two dimensions:
1) Conformity, and 2) Faith.
Deep within them and me has been the question of going along comfortably with the crowd versus challenge to the prevailing way. I saw how Dad would stand-up to the "upper-crust" to complain at school board meetings, and how Mother would go after an abusive teacher or circulate a petition to block a hazardous waste site. They acted as a matter of principIe, in spite of social disapproval. I felt the first sting of non-conformity when I was denied a high-school valedictory speech because of opposition to Vietnam.
I truly began to enjoy medical science as I entered the realm of nutrition. But the new intellectual tool was double-edged. A doctor who embraces non-prescription remedies for ADHD and Autism is less popular among peers, and especially the medical establishment. I remember a Rubicon-moment as I sat late one night in my study. In the moment, I knew that my Brainstem Hypothesis was ready for exposition, but that publication would risk ridicule, even by some prior allies in the field. Too early. Too radical. Out-of-step.
But I made the leap. And perhaps in twenty years we will know if I was right about Autism.
Faith in God has ebbed and flowed in my life, as in my parents. Mother migrated seriously through different religious denominations, then in old-age withdrew from conventional religion to borderline agnosticism. Dad did not go to church much, but experienced a near-death experience that instilled belief in the Hereafter. I whispered the Lord's Prayer most nights as a child, but at times with a hollow feeling. I was charmed but puzzled by the intellectualization of religion by professors in college, but not fully delivered to the feeling of it.
I bear witness to spiritual evolution. In the last third of life in this corporeal state, I do proclaim a deep feeling of God, and of existence beyond space and time. In this part of me, there is no tension. For this blessing, and many others, I AM THANKFUL.
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