- VITAMINS, HERBS & GOLD SALTS
The use of high doses of vitamin B6 with or without
magnesium is used by some parents of children on the autism spectrum. This is based on a 1960's theory that vitamin deficiencies
may have caused some psychiatric disorders. Vitamin B is necessary
for several neurotransmitters in the brain which led to interest
in its use for Autism.
There appears to be some significant risks associated
with high doses of vitamin B6, including peripheral neuropathy,
headache, depression, vomiting, and photosensitivity and caution
is recommended in the use of large doses of vitamins (Howlin 1997).
Magnesium is usually taken with high doses of
Vitamin B6 to reduce toxic side effects. There have been no studies
in this area that met the criteria to establish Vitamin B as an
treatment (Nye & Brice, 2003) although limited studies have
suggested some improvement in a small number of cases (Sikich 2001).
Some people argue that vitamin B6 only helps children in the following
• Those with nutritional deficiencies (ie. fussy eaters)
• Those with vitamin B6 deficiency (related to seizures).
The Ayurvedic herb bacopa has been used in several
cases of Autism with positive effects according to anecdotal evidence.
Bacopa is used medicinally in India for memory enhancement, epilepsy,
insomnia, and as a mild sedative. This herb commonly grows in marsh
areas throughout India. Some studies indicate that Bacopa has antioxidant
effects specific to the cerebral tissue but there are no rigorous
studies suggesting that it is an effective treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Again, caution is recommended in using herbs
which have not met the criteria for evidence-based
Gold salts have recently come into focus as a
potential treatment for Autism. Boyd Haley, a University of Kentucky
professor and leading proponent of the mercury-autism hypothesis,
has suggested that gold salts may reverse conditions attributed
to mercury administration in the form of thimerosal that was used
as a preservative in some vaccinations until recently. There is
much debate over the thimerosal
controversy with rigorous research unable to establish any link
between thimerosal and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Dan Olmsted reported a 1947 case of a 12-year-old
patient, the first person ever diagnosed with Autism, who was treated
for arthritis using gold salts at the Campbell Clinic in Memphis,
Tennessee. According to the patient’s brother, the “extreme nervousness”
and excitability that had afflicted him cleared up as well as the
arthritis. However, Haley cautions “please note that I am not recommending
using gold salts to treat autistics, but it would certainly be worth
a project if carefully monitored by a physician in a good clinic”.
There has been no research suggesting that gold salts constitute
DMG is similar to vitamin B6 and magnesium and
anecdotal evidence suggests that is can benefit some autistic children
and adults. Proponents claim that it strengthens the immune system
which can be dysfunctional in some individuals with Autism or Asperger's
syndrome. To date, there have been no reported long-term side effects
although anecdotal evidence from some parents claims that there
can be increased hyperactitivity after using DMG.
The recommended daily dose of DMG is between between
two to eight 125mg tablets for adults and one to four 125 mg tablets
for children. Seizures are a comorbid disorder with Autism Spectrum Disorders and there have been two published reports of lowered seizure
activity after using DMG (New England Journal of Medicine,
1982, 307, 1081-1082; Epilepsia, 1989, 30, 90-93).
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syndrome-related articles at http://en.wikipedia.org