Infogenetica's story really begins when Alma and Deryck were blessed with a pair of fraternal twin sons. They were overjoyed by their arrival, but within the first year of their sons' lives they realized that something was different with one of the boys.
He never made eye contact and was always uneasy. He was overly sensitive to sound, light, scents, and textures. He didn't respond to people talking to him and would get over fixated on specific items. In spite of very early interventions with paediatricians and occupational, behavioural, and speech therapists things kept getting worse as time went by.
He developed very obvious persevering behaviours and ticks, had significant fine and gross motor skills problems, and didn't speak at all. He didn't play appropietly with toys nor was interested in any social interactions. He was still in diapers up to age 5, was very hyperactive, had frequent emotional outbursts, and couldn't control his behaviour. He also showed no reaction to pain, freaked out to the slightest changes in routine, and couldn't sleep through the night without medication.
Alma and Deryck with 5-year-old twins.
By the age of 4, he was officially diagnosed with severe low-functioning autism and mild metopic and saggital craniosynostosis (the premature fusion of the skull sutures.) The prognosis given by the specialists was tragic. They predicted that he would never be able to take care of even his most basic needs by himself, would never talk or have any meaningful social interaction. These were overwhelming news for Alma and Deryck and, at the time, there was almost no additional information or support for families with autistic children beyond the diagnosis.
He also required skull reconstructive surgery to address the craniosynostosis and would need 24/7 supervision and one-to-one care for a year while his skull recovered. At that moment, Deryck made a major professional decision and left his job at BC Cancer to care for his son and focus all his research efforts on autism. Putting it in his own words: what was the point of spending his life working on a cure for cancer if he couldn't help his own son to have a better life with his condition.
The skull surgery was successful and had a significant positive effect on his fine and gross motor skills and his reaction to pain became normal. However, even after a year, all the typical autism symptoms remained the same.
During this time, Deryck started his research on autism and the different biological pathways that seemed to be affected by the autism symptoms. Drawing from some of the research he did on Alzheimer's while working in the pharmaceutical industry, Deryck identified that the lack of sleep, inability to focus, anxiety, lack of speech, hyperactivity, gastric and skin problems, sudden outbursts and lack of energy, impulsive behaviour, etc. all involved pathways that required fatty acids for proper function.
Given his deep knowledge on fatty acids, Deryck knew that he needed to give his son a supplement that comprised a balanced and customized formulation of fatty acids. Also, he needed to avoid artificial preservatives and flavours given that his son was very sensitive to these. In spite of extensive market research, he found out there was only at most Omega 3-6-9, a very small fraction of the complete combination of fatty acids needed. There was no product available in the market that met all his requirements. So he decided to develop himself an optimized fatty acid composition made up of 100% natural ingredients, without GMOs, artificial flavours or preservatives. That was what gave birth to the formulation that, after several years of research and optimization, would lead to NeuroActiv Oil™.
The effects of a daily dosage of NeuroActiv Oil™ in conjunction with a gluten-free, mostly-unprocessed diet and educational programs have been remarkable for Deryck's and Alma's son. Ten years after starting to take the supplement, he is now categorized within the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. He talks, reads, socializes, and cares for his own personal hygiene, homework, and house chores. He is calmer, more focus, and has a lot less obsessive behaviours and phobias. His energy level is more consistent through out the day. He attends the same grade as his twin brother, taking the same subjects in an adapted program. He participates in the school choir and church programs and engages people in social conversation. He even made it in the Honor Roll in grade 10! He sleeps through the night without the need of medication and is a loving and joyful teenager. A number of times Deryck and Alma suspended his use of the supplement for a few weeks, and his school, unaware of this, reported reduced attention, more behaviour issues, loss of energy, and poor academic performance. They also reported renewed improvement when the supplement was given again.
People who noticed this remarkable improvement started inquiring about the supplement and started trying it for themselves. After consistent positive feedback and indication of a sense of general improvement of health from friends and family who have suffered with low energy, poor sleep, high cholesterol, joint problems, poor memory, lack of focus, poor skin and hair quality, etc., Alma and Deryck decided to share it with others. After almost 8 years of research, numerous tests, patenting the formulation, and obtaining authorization for sale by Health Canada for NeuroActiv Oil™, Infogenetica Solutions Ltd. was formed.