This site is intended for health professionals only

Published on 19 September 2008

Share this story:
Twitter
LinkedIn

Autism treatment study abandoned

teaser

A controversial autism treatment condemned as “an unethical experiment on children” has been dropped from the research schedule of a US government agency.

The treatment uses chelation – a drug that removes heavy metals from the body and is used to treat lead poisoning.

Its use for autism treatment is based on the fringe theory that mercury in vaccines triggers autism – a theory never proved and rejected by mainstream science.

A study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has been on hold after another study linked the drug to brain problems in rats. But many parents of autistic children are believers in the treatment, and NIMH had agreed to test it.

The institute has now abandoned the study saying: “We recognise that for children there is a fine line for the risk-benefit ratio. You have to be pretty certain of the overall safety of the procedure.”

Several scientists praised the decision, including the lead author of the rat study that found lingering problems in animals that did not have elevated lead levels.

“I think they’re making the right decision not to go forward with the study,” said Barbara Strupp, a professor of psychology and nutritional sciences at Cornell University.

Copyright PA Business 2008

National Institute of Mental Health

Your comments:(terms and conditions apply)

“No! EDTA is not the only substance to perform chelation, and
intravenous is not the only way to introduce these compounds.
The article oversimplifies the theories of mercury/vaccines, and
ignores many sources of heavy metal loads to the human body.
Looking for a one cause-effect is a totally ignorant paradigm to use in this modern day. If EDTA/intravenous is found to be too risky, then morph the idea into some other form that can test the idea that heavy metal body burden, contributes significantly to autism.” – Bruce Ritchie, Virginia, USA



Most read




Latest Issue

Be in the know
Subscribe to Hospital Pharmacy Europe newsletter and magazine
Share this story:
Twitter
LinkedIn