The extract touched on chelation and the death of Tariq Nadama.
This prompted a bilious response this month from Stephen M Edelson in this months Communication. The level of ignorance in his response is astounding. I have attached the whole response as a Word document to save me getting accused of taking things out of context. BUt for here, I’ll quote selected parts.
Fitzpatrick has been a longtime, outspoken critic of chelation. (Chelation involves a medication, such as DMPS or DMSA, which removes neurotoxic heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, from the body; it is given under the supervision of a doctor.) If an individual tests with very high levels of one or more heavy metals, chelation is the treatment of choice throughout the medical profession.
If test results indicate very high levels in someone on the autism spectrum, isn’t this person entitled to the same medical care as someone without autism?
This is far too simplistic. Of _course_ if someone on the spectrum has test results that indicate high levels of metals they should have the standard treatment. That is a strawman.
The _point_ is rather more complex that that as Mike mentions in his book and I have blogged about numerous times.
The labs that Mr Edelson and his DAN! colleagues recommend test for levels of metals in people on the spectrum very, very often give false results. Take this extract of the testimony of Dr Jeffrey Brent, a sub-specialty board certified medical toxicologist and the former President of the American Academy of clinical Toxicology.
…I have seen a number of patients now come to me because of these ‘doctor’s data’ type of laboratories which are based on urines – chelated urines – and they always have high leads in their chelated urines and I tell them ‘well, lets just do the gold standard test, lets get a blood/lead level and so far, *100% of the time they’ve been normal*.
So when ‘these Doctors Data’ type of labs do the tests they indicate the need for chelation. When _experts_ in the field such as Dr Brent do the gold standard tests ’100% of the time they are normal’.
Dr Edelson needs to realise that _that_ is why chelation is an invalid treatment for autism. The fact that when taken to an expert in Chelation and Toxicology, the results usually indicate that chelation is not warranted.
In his article, Fitzpatrick brings up the accidental death of Tariq Nadama after chelation treatment. What he does not tell the reader is that Tariq was given the entirely wrong drug, one with a similar name and label that was nearby on the office shelf. Regrettably, these drug errors do
happen in hospitals and doctors’ offices and Fitzpatrick has exploited this unfortunate incident several
times in the past without explaining the complete story. (I have already corrected Fitzpatrick in a previous issue of Communication, and I am disappointed that the editor knowingly allowed such half-truths to be disseminated to NAS’ membership once more.)
Once more, Mr Edelson is quite wrong. Tariq Nadama was not given a drug by mistake ‘with a similar label that was nearby on the office shelf’.
When Dr Roy Kerry (who joined Mr Edelsons loose affiliation of practitioners after the death of Tariq Nadama) was prosecuted for the death of Tariq, the following was admitted by him:
70. Respondent admitted that EDTA is very rare to use on children.
71. Respondent admitted to using Disodium EDTA to chelate Tariq.
72. Respondent stated to Investigator Reiser that Disodium EDTA is the only formula of EDTA he stocks in his office.
73. Respondent admitted that CaNa2EDTA is available but that he has never used this agent.
I would recommend that Mr Edelson reads the entire complaint against Dr Kerry.
Edelson continues again:
Over the past 20 years, scientists have clearly documented immune system dysfunction and gastrointestinal problems associated with autism. Many of these problems can be treated successfully using established medical treatments.
Of course, this is twaddle. I challenge Mr Edelson to provide peer reviewed journal published science to back up these statements. As recently documented by Professor Stephen Bustin, the gastrointestnal ‘link’ to autism is not valid and never was.
I wonder why these treatments that so successfully treat autistic peoples autism have never had one single (that I can find) case study published?
Update 28 Nov 2008
An update from Mike who read some of this thread:
It is true that a number of environmental factors have been identified as causing autism in a small number of cases – these include viral infections (rubella, CMV) and drugs (thalidomide, sodium valproate). What is striking is that ‘over the past decade not a single new environmental factor has been identified as playing a significant role in the causation of autism’ (Defeating Autism: A Damaging Delusion, p 81). Indeed, it would be more accurate to say ‘over the past two decades’. By contrast, over this period there have been dramatic advances in the genetics of autism. Meanwhile intensive researches into alleged vaccine-autism links have failed to confirm any causative relationship.
‘The conviction of the biomedical activists that there must be some environmental explanation for the rising prevalence of autism has grown in intensity in inverse proportion to the emergence of scientific evidence in favour of any particular environmental cause.’