Chelation is a therapy aimed at removing toxic and neurotoxic metals from the body. It can be done by IV administration of various substances, or by giving the same products orally.
When I started to work with autistic children more than twelve years ago, oral chelation with a substance named DMSA was very common. At the time it was considered a potential cure for many children and, almost all the doctors and nutritionists who treated autistic children recommended it.
Then it became apparent that it could cause intestinal side effects, sometimes attributed to yeast overgrowth, and doctors switched to other forms of chelation, sometimes intravenous, or abandoned this treatment altogether.
I felt all along – and still feel today – that DMSA is very beneficial for children on the autistic spectrum. Side effects were often a result of doses that were excessive and therefore poorly tolerated, and more aggressive forms of chelation with stronger agents administered intravenously failed to show better results.
A new study published in “Maedica, A Journal of Clinical Medicine” Vol. 7, No.3 2012, p. 214-221 found that ongoing chelation therapy with low-dose DMSA produced significant benefits in the 44 children who participated in the study. Areas of greatest improvement included verbal and nonverbal communication; taste, smell and touch; and relating to people. This study confirms something I have been observing all along, that chelation works for these children.
DMSA is available by prescription as a drug (brand name Succimer), but because it is a natural substance, it can also be purchased in this country as a dietary supplement. When sold as a supplement no claims can be made for it and some companies were forced to withdraw their products containing DMSA because they were, indeed, making claims. Other companies still have it available for sale and, if you select your source carefully, it is possible to obtain the same pharmaceutical grade prescription DMSA as a dietary supplement.
I do recommend this product and sell it at my office and through my website, but because of its therapeutic nature and the risk of side effects if used incorrectly, it is available only for my patients.