Chelation therapy helps excretion of heavy metals and overall symptoms  in children with autism

Two studies published by the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in the October issue of BMC Clinical Pharmacology found that 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, not only dramatically increased the excretion of lead but also increased the childrens’ levels of glutathione.

DMSA was given to 65 children with autism (ages 3-8 years). The researchers found that, while it had no adverse effects, the DMSA dramatically increased excretion of several toxic metals, including a 10-fold increase in excretion of lead and had an equally 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 normalised glutathione levels for at least 1-2 months in almost all children.

DMSA therapy also had promising effects on some of the symptoms of autism, including improvements in language, cognition, and sociability. However, a formal randomised 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.

Autism Research Institute

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First Published November 2009

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