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Not Enough Enzyme - The Gut and Autism

Posted Mar 30 2010 1:46pm
Changes added to end on April 1, 2010.  I missed out the wooness factor.

Over at Age of Autism, they are trumpeting a clinical trial. Along the way, they manage to praise Wakefield. But somehow or another they manage to avoid specifying what the drug is and the conditions other than autism it might help and that it has nothing to do with vaccines.

Let us remedy their omissions. Here is the blurb from PennState University Hershey Children's Hospital,  one of the sites where the phase III study is being carried out.
LUMINENZ-AT™ is a lipid-encapsulated pancreatic enzyme concentrate (PEC) designed to release chymotrypsin and other proteases in the small intestine without extreme degradation. Research conducted by Curemark has indicated that digestive enzyme therapy with LUMINENZ-AT™ may lead to increased neurological function and a concomitant reduction in autistic and gastrointestinal symptoms. This study will further quantify the changes in the target population as measured by standardized behavioral and quality of life tests, physiological measures, as well as characterize the efficacy and safety of the product. The data from this study will help determine safety and efficacy of LUMINENZ-AT™ in pediatric patients with autism.   Source
Do you see the word vaccine in the description?  No. This is a drug developed by Curemark that allows concentrated pancreatic enzymes, used for many years, to get through the stomach and then be absorbed by the gut, which results in a higher level of the enzyme that can then break down more proteins in autistic kids. Autism is not the only condition which the drug might help.  Select disease target from here .

What causes the low level of this enzyme?  
" A variant of the MET gene involved in brain development and gut repair has been implicated in autism, giving further weight to Curemark’s theory, in Fallon’s [CEO of Curemark] view."
What should this mean as far as Wakefield and the Vaccine Causes Autism cabal?  A paper  that sees differences in the guts of autistic kids where Wakefield is the lead author is cited as a reference for the study at   Other than that, it has nothing to do with Wakefield or vaccines.

Perhaps autism is a condition completed before birth which results in lower levels of some pancratic enyzmes. That still gives it a clean bill of health as far as vaccines are concerned.
Finally, here is the Age of Autism article, complete with ignorant comments on vaccines and Wakefield, which the censoring machinery at AofA somehow let through.

Changes added April 1, 2010.

Kwombles at Countering Age of Autism has a very different take on the drug trial.

She noticed and tracked the wooness factor of the Curemark CEO, Dr. Fallon, which I missed except for that awful feeling I had when I saw a Wakefield paper being referenced at  clinical Publish Post   

What gives the trial credibility is that it is being carried out at university connected hospitals. 

There are some additional problems with the study.  The inclusion criteria is ages 3-8. That seems awfully wide.  More importantly, there is no mention of the digestive system in the criteria. Apparently, children can be included who have normal bowels, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease.  How will this be handled?  
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