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Detoxification (including chelation)

Some children with autism may suffer from heavy metal toxicity, and may potentially benefit from therapies which support detoxification. Some may also benefit from from chelation (removal of heavy metals). Oral DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid) is approved by the FDA for treating lead poisoning in children as young as one year of age. It has also been demonstrated to be able to bind and remove a wide range of toxic metals, including mercury, arsenic, tin, nickel and antimony. Oral DMSA has been used off-label for this purpose. It is important to monitor kidney and liver function and complete blood counts when using DMSA, and although rare, serious side effects may occur.

Please note: These therapies have not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of autism, and should be used only under the supervision of an experienced and knowledgeable health care professional after parents or guardians have received adequate information and given consent.

References:
www.autism.com/treatable/form34qr.htm (accessed April 2008)
Ann Neurol 2005;57:67-81
J Child Neurol. published on-line 2008 Jan 8
Ann NY Acad Sci. 2007 Jun;1107:92-103
Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2004 Apr;24920:219-41
Neuroendocrinology Letters 2002;23:303-8
Dev Brain Dysfunction 1997; 10:40-43
J Inherit Metab Dis. 1993; 16(4):762-770
Pediatrics 1995;95:255-8
J Nutr Env Med 2000;10:25-32
Children with Starving Brains; 2nd Edition, by Jacquelyn McCandless, M.D.