There are many hypotheses of what causes autism. Many. Among those is that autism is caused by Lyme disease. Lyme disease is caused by infections of bacteria spread by ticks. A quick internet search brings up numerous sites discussing a supposed link between autism and lyme disease, with organizations, conventions and books devoted to the idea. For example, one book is titled The Lyme-Autism Connection: Unveiling the Shocking Link Between Lyme Disease and Childhood Developmental Disorders. Nine studies in pubmed come up on a search with terms autism and lyme.
A group calling itself “Lyme Induced Autism” claims that a large fraction of autistic children have active Lyme infection:
A subset a children on the autism spectrum also have active Borreliosis, we don’t know how large of a subset this is, we do know from informal studies that it is AT LEAST 20-30% which would be over 200,000 children in the United States alone.
Emphasis in the original.
So, one would expect that testing a large number of autistic children for antibodies against the bacteria would bring up AT LEAST 20-30% postives. But that isn’t the case. A recent study from the U.S. National Institutes of Health found that in a sample of 104 autistic children, none of them had antibodies. None. Not 20%. Not 2%. None.
The abstract is brief and to the point:
It has been proposed that Borrelia burgdorferi infection is associated with ∼25% of children with autism spectrum disorders. Here antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi were assessed in autistic (n=104), developmentally delayed (n=24) and healthy control (n=55) children. No seropositivity against Borrelia burgdorferi was detected in the children with and without autism. There was no evidence of an association between Lyme disease and autism.
Repeat for emphasis: There was no evidence of an association between Lyme disease and autism
Lyme disease is usually treated with antibiotics. Some groups have taken to long-term antibiotic use to treat autism (just as other groups have taken to long-term antiviral use or long-term chelation to treat other purported causes of autism). The long-term antibiotic movement got support a few years ago when Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier claimed that autism is caused by bacterial infections. His methods and conclusions were far from the quality one would expect from a standard researcher, much less a Nobel Laureate.
Not everyone promotes long term antibiotics, though. The “Lyme Induced Autism” organization does include a page on antibiotics, they promote the following methods of treating autism:
– Antimicrobials – either herbal, homeopathic, energetic or as a last resort pharmaceuticals
– Nutrition – A diet free of genetically modified organisms, organic whole fruits, vegetables, gluten free grains, organic grass fed beef, organic hormone free – free range chicken, organic juicing, etc. Building a good healthy diet as a base to strengthen the body and gastrointestinal system feeding the body to strengthen the cells.
– Gentle chelation when appropriate and with adequate binders available to assist in detoxification.
– Opening of detoxification pathways to assist with moving dead microbes and metals out of the body, preventing reabsorption and heavy detox symptoms. This can be done with herbs, energetic medicine, laser, homeopathy and/or homotoxicology.
– Regenerating the brain by using neurofeedback, biofeedback, herbs, energy medicine, light and sound devices, sensory input, etc.
– Emotional healing using recall healing, cognitive therapy, addressing family issues and emotional blockages preventing true healing the family.
-Customizing treatments by utilizing individual testing with lab work, energetic testing, ART testing, etc.
-Avoidance of chemicals, pesticides, EMF/EMR, GMO’s, preservatives, food colorings, synthetic supplements.
Why chelation (or pretty much any of the above)? Seriously, why chelation to treat a persistent bacterial infection while avoiding “pharmaceuticals” (i.e. antibiotics)?
The evidence for Lyme disease as the cause of autism for a large fraction of the population has always been shaky. Given that, I doubt this evidence will stop the groups who promote the idea.
By Matt Carey