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Chelation Therapy Drug Found Safe and Beneficial for Children With Autism

Posted Nov 08 2009 10:01pm


The Autism Research Institute calls for further investigations
into the use of chelation therapy for individuals with autism

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two studies
published by the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in
the October issue of BMC Clinical Pharmacology investigated
the use of oral dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), a prescription
medicine approved by the FDA for treating lead poisoning, and
used off-label in these studies for treating heavy metal
toxicity in children with autism.

In the investigations, DMSA was given to 65 children with
autism (ages 3 -8 years) to determine its effects. The
researchers found that DMSA dramatically increased excretion
of several toxic metals, including a 10-fold increase in
excretion of lead. In terms of safety, the study found that
there was no adverse effect on standard safety tests,
including no effect on kidney or liver function.

Of greatest interest was a surprising finding that DMSA
therapy had a dramatic effect on glutathione levels.
Glutathione is the body's primary defense against toxic metals,
and it was very abnormal in children with autism.
Treatment with DMSA for only 3 days normalized glutathione
levels for at least 1-2 months in almost all children.

DMSA therapy also had promising effects on possibly reducing
some of the symptoms of autism, including improvements in
language, cognition, and sociability. However, a formal
randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study is needed
to confirm those results.

The study was led by Matthew Baral, N.D., Chair of the
Department of Pediatric Medicine and Associate Professor of
Pediatrics at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM)
and James B. Adams, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor in the Division
of Clinical Sciences at SCNM and Science Director for the Autism
Research Institute.

"Toxic metals are a common problem in autism, and I have
personally observed that many of my patients with autism have
greatly benefited from DMSA therapy.
I hope this data answers the question that many physicians have:
whether chelation is safe and effective, and clearly it's both,"
says Dr. Matthew Baral. "This study shows that DMSA therapy is
safe and effective, and should be considered as a possible
treatment for children with autism who have significant body
burden of toxic metals," says Prof. James Adams.

This study was funded, in part, by the Autism Research Institute.
To access the studies go to

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6904/9/16
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6904/9/17



SOURCE Autism Research Institute

James Adams, PhD, +1-480-965-3316, or Steve Edelson, PhD,
+1-619-281-7165

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