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30 Aug

I’ve signed up for a new service which is a bit like a multi-media linkblog. If you’re interested it has an RSS feed of my entries. Bear in mind though it may get pretty random on occassions.

7 Responses to “Kev Tumblr”

  1. brook trout August 31, 2007 at 15:31 #

    May I ask an off-topic question? I hope this is ok, I’m kind of new to blogging and thus blog etiquette.

    I’m curious about vitamin B-12. I have a tutor who works with my daughters a couple of nights a week. She’s a teacher at a private school for autistic kids during the day, and has worked 1:1 with dozens of ASD kiddos. She’s pretty firmly anti-biomed – her assertion is that the kids who get the whole biomed regime seem to fare the worse overall than the kids who’s parents do not subject them to these treatments – she claims that the latter children are often ‘in and out’ of the program, while the heavily into biomed parents seem to say in much longer and show much less progress. Anyway, that’s her anti-biomed bona-fides.

    Anyway, she does say that the ONE biomed therapy that actually does seem to help some kids is the B-12 shots. She has a student who actually requests the shots. She claims that the kids are markedly improved after the shots – showing more focus, more verbalization, etc.

    I asked her if these changes were permanent of temporary and she said they were temporary. I asked her if the children actually talked ‘better’ or just more – she said that they talk more (not better). I asked her if the response was immediate or if it occurred over an extended length of time, and she said that the response was nearly immediate.

    Ok, so, learning that, I started wondering, is this what B-12 is [i]supposed[/i] to do? I thought it had something to do with oxidative stress and clearning the body of toxins or something, and as such, wouldn’t it work a little more gradually and wouldn’t the changes be more developmental rather than a simple ‘perking up’?

    What I’m wondering is, is it possible that B-12 is acting like a stimulant? Is it possible that the effects that parents (and teachers, in this case) are observing is similar to the effect that I observe in myself after downing 2 cops of coffee in the morning?

    Just curious – this is the 2nd somewhat objective person that has sort of hedged on the B-12 shots, so I can’t help but wonder if there’s something to it. However, if this is just a glorified pick-me-up sort of treatment, then I’ll pass.

    Any opininions?

  2. Joseph August 31, 2007 at 18:31 #

    Not Mercury wrote a post on a short term MB-12 double-blind study:

    Children who do biomed may or may not have worse outcome that children who do not. If they did, It would be hard not to say “I told you so”, but to be honest, an anecdotal claim like that is no better than assertions that unproven biomed does work.

  3. Prometheus August 31, 2007 at 18:41 #

    There have not been any studies showing that vitamin B-12 – in any of its guises – has any effect on autism whatsoever. That said, the sad fact is that vitamin B-12, like most autism therapies, hasn’t been studied at all.

    One study – out of Romania – of 12 autistic and 9 “normal” children found that the autistic children had “suboptimal” vitamin B-12 levels compared to the controls. SInce they didn’t give B-12 (or, at least, they didn’t report it), there is no way to know if it would have had any effect.

    A study of B-12 in “normal” subjects (Mayer, Kroger, Meier-Ewert, 2006) found the following effects:

    [1] Increased alertness
    [2] Decreased sleep time
    [3] Improved sleep quality and “feeling refreshed”

    These effects were also noted to be greater with methycobalamin (methyl-B-12) than with cyanocobalamin (“regular” B-12)

    It sounds as though you might just be seeing the stimulatory effects of a B-12 shot, without any specific effect on autism.


  4. brook trout August 31, 2007 at 19:45 #

    right, prometheus, that’s what I was getting at (concision is not my middle name) – that what my tutor’s observed, and possibly what parents have observed (if anything beyond placebo), is a stimulatory effect, as you mention.

    Now, what I’m wondering whether those who “invented” this treatment intentionally chose B-12 because parents would likely notice things like:

    1] Increased alertness
    [2] Decreased sleep time
    [3] Improved sleep quality and “feeling refreshed”

    …and assume that these things meant that the autism was being successfully treated (or is it the oxidative stress that may cause autism?) and thus should continue.

    I’m probably just being paranoid – no one would do that, right?

  5. brook trout August 31, 2007 at 19:48 #

    joseph, my answer to my tutor’s comment about outcome was simply that parents of children who are more severely affected are probably more inclined to seek treatment than parents of children who are not so severely affected, so the groups are sort of self selecting that way – not that the bio treatments were actually negatively affecting development. She seemed to agree with that observation.

  6. original cali biomed xprt August 31, 2007 at 21:54 #

    I used to get B-12 shots. They did help my immediate energy level, but that was always followed by a rapid crash.

  7. Kev September 1, 2007 at 06:18 #

    Brook – I think the issue you’re getting at is; are these docs knowingly suggesting a treatment that _appears_ to work in the short term?

    Maybe but I think they probably just lack the critical skills necessary to see it for what it is and hence thay also believe it does make a difference.

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