Friday, October 30, 2009

Clinic Notes: What Has More Research on Autism Told Us?

A decade or so back, when it became apparent that we were in the midst of an "autism epidemic" the call was repeatedly made for more research into the potential causes of autism and effective treatment options. Now so much autism research is being done I have trouble keeping up with it. Well, I think it is time to ask the question, "What have we learned?" from all of the research. Of course trying to answer this question will generate a lot of arguments--some very volatile, but I have no agenda and will try to answer these questions as I see them.
I think the evidence is compelling that in most cases of autism mercury is not involved. When mercury was taken out of vaccines rates did not drop and in countries where vaccinations are not mandatory the rates of autism are the same in vaccinated and non-vaccinated groups.
Secondly, I don't think in most cases of autism gastrointestinal disorders are a factor. Most of the children with autism who have come to my clinic over the years do not have gastrointestinal problems. A recent study at the Mayo Clinic confirmed this. Gastrointestinal disorders do not occur at a higher rate in children with autism.
Chelation therapy, gluten free diets, and hyperbaric chambers do not cure or even improve the lives of children with autism. All evidence to the contrary is anecdotal and has not been confirmed in double-blind studies. I realize this will not set easy with many people. But I am in the trenches, treating autism daily and I just don't see progress in children who have had these therapies and I think the research is as conclusive as research can be. Research should continue, but it is time to move on to areas of research that have more potential.

4 comments:

Fielding J. Hurst said...

"I think the evidence is compelling that in most cases of autism mercury is not involved." - This is hedging your bets doc. Also may be true, but I think we're one of the non-most.

The vaccine free vaccines still have trace amounts. I don't think that's a problem. The seasonal flu shot and H1N1 are loaded with Mercury.

It's very difficult to do the vaccinated vs unvaccinated study apparently. Neither side will do it. It looks very difficult to find unvaccinated kids too since so many get a vaccine on day 1 of life.

You agree that autism parents are vocal and outspoken on the Internet? Find some examples of not vaccinated kids who have autism. If the rates are the same, there should be a crap load of these kids out there. I would expect to hear about them online from their parents. Find one.

JBB said...

"Secondly, I don't think in most cases of autism gastrointestinal disorders are a factor. Most of the children with autism who have come to my clinic over the years do not have gastrointestinal problems. A recent study at the Mayo Clinic confirmed this. Gastrointestinal disorders do not occur at a higher rate in children with autism."

I've heard you say "a lof of these kids that come in here have" these types of issues. If nothing else, with special diets Caroline is having more firm poops.

J. Bradley Borden said...

You should look at a lot of these studies, not just rely on what other scientist think about them. Often our kids are sorted out for various reasons before testing. A lot of these studies have some serious flaws.

If you are going to live and die by the studies, you probably saw the one that said Celexa does NADA, ZIP, NOTHING for ASD kids, but you said you though that one gave the best results.

Also, I agree that there are a lot of goofy therapies, but there are also some producing real results. Here's a nice master list ... http://treatments4autism.blogspot.com/

After doing the GFCF and SCD diet for quite awhile, I have to say that I do not think the vast majority of people are capable of doing the diet correctly. It is amazing how difficult it is to just inventory the stuff put in one's body. Ingredient lists are often irrelevant. Pesticides used not always disclosed. Hard to trust a lot of food providers.

Cooking from scratch,avoiding all sugars, additives, preservatives, and eating well balanced meals; cannot be a controversial topic. Doing this alone helps everyone, so you really cannot say that special diets do not "improve the lives" of ASD kids.

Caroline now eats like most parents could only dream of their kids eating. Before she was a carb / junk junkie. She has actually gained weight. No more never ending diarrhea.

So, I would just challenge you on a lot of your blanket statements in this article.

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