General Autism Research
Altern Med Rev. 2002 Dec;7(6):472-99.
Autism, an extreme challenge to integrative
medicine. Part 2: medical management.
Autism and allied autistic spectrum disorders (ASD)
present myriad behavioral, clinical, and biochemical
abnormalities. Parental participation, advanced testing
protocols, and eclectic treatment strategies have
driven progress toward cure. Behavioral modification
and structured education are beneficial but insufficient.
Dietary restrictions, including removal of milk and
other casein dairy products, wheat and other gluten
sources, sugar, chocolate, preservatives, and food
coloring are beneficial and prerequisite to benefit
from other interventions. Individualized IgG or IgE
testing can identify other troublesome foods but
not non-immune mediated food sensitivities. Gastrointestinal
improvement rests on controlling Candida and other
parasites, and using probiotic bacteria and nutrients
to correct dysbiosis and decrease gut permeability.
Detoxification of mercury and other heavy metals
by DMSA/DMPS chelation can have marked benefit. Documented
sulfoxidation-sulfation inadequacies call for sulfur-sulfhydryl
repletion and other liver p450 support. Many nutrient
supplements are beneficial and well tolerated, including
dimethylglycine (DMG) and a combination of pyridoxine
(vitamin B6) and magnesium, both of which benefit
roughly half of ASD cases. Vitamins A, B3, C, and
folic acid; the minerals calcium and zinc; cod liver
oil; and digestive enzymes, all offer benefit. Secretin,
a triggering factor for digestion, is presently under
investigation. Immune therapies (pentoxifyllin, intravenous
immunoglobulin, transfer factor, and colostrum) benefit
selected cases. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids offer
great promise. Current pharmaceuticals fail to benefit
the primary symptoms and can have marked adverse
effects. Individualized, in-depth clinical and laboratory
assessments and integrative parent-physician-scientist
cooperation are the keys to successful ASD management.
J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2005 Aug;15(4):671-81.
Treatment incidence and patterns in children
and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders.
Department of Psychology and Nisonger Center, Ohio
State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1257, USA.
This study examined the treatment rates and patterns
in children and adolescents with autism spectrum
disorders (ASDs). Data were collected on 353 nonreferred
children and adolescents (mean age 9.5 +/- 3.9 years;
range 3-21 years) with ASDs from public schools across
Ohio. Parents provided information on the use of
psychotropic medicines, vitamins, supplements, and
modified diets. They also completed measures of social
competence, problem behavior, and adaptive behavior.
Results indicated that 46.7% of subjects had taken
at least one psychotropic medication in the past
year. In addition, 17.3% of subjects had taken some
type of specially formulated vitamin or supplement,
15.5% were on a modified diet, 11.9% had some combination
of psychotropic medication and an alternative treatment,
and 4.8% had taken an anticonvulsant. Logistic regressions
indicated that greater age, lower adaptive skills
and social competence, and higher levels of problem
behavior were associated with greater medication
use. This was the first study to focus exclusively
on a younger population, to survey patterns of modified
diets, and to obtain standardized ratings of social
competence, problem behaviors, and adaptive behavior
in relation to medication use. The results of this
study highlight the need for more research on psychotropic
medication in children and adolescents with ASDs.
Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2005 Jul-Aug;44(6):515-26.
Teaching children with attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autistic disorder
(AD) how to swallow pills.
Kennedy Krieger Institute and The Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205,
One barrier to medication adherence in pediatric
populations is difficulty swallowing pills. Some
children may not have prerequisite skills for pill
swallowing, while others may have developed conditioned
anxiety from repeated negative experiences. Eight
children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
or autistic disorder participated in behavioral training
to increase cooperation with pill swallowing. A pill-swallowing
protocol was utilized during practice sessions with
placebo "pills" of increasing size to implement
systematic desensitization. Seven of the 8 children
swallowed medication with a therapist. Six of the
8 children maintained treatment gains over time.
Interventions used to succeed with these children
are presented along with methods to reduce conditioned