Saturday, June 20, 2009

IVIG, EEG, Chelation and other things that make you say "Huh?"

Entering the world of Autism is confusing enough without all these strange words and phrases being tossed around. I'm here to lessen the confusion while I learn on my own (I have never tried any of these).


"Intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) is a blood product administered intravenously. It contains the pooled IgG immunoglobulins (antibodies) extracted from the plasma of over one thousand blood donors. IVIG's effects last between 2 weeks and 3 months. It is mainly used as treatment in three major categories:

Immune deficiencies - Immune deficiencies such as X-linked agammaglobulinemia, hypogammaglobulinemia (primary immune deficiencies), and acquired compromised immunity conditions ([secondary immune deficiencies), featuring low antibody levels.
Inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Acute infections."

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How does IVIG helps our kids?

"The rational for use of IVIG in children with autism has been (1) the assumption that bowel colonization with certain viruses (measles and rubella viruses) can result in an autoimmune reaction resulting in symptoms of autism (Wakefield, Gupta), and more recently (2) that PANDAS or PITAND-type pathophysiology can be responsible for the development of certain cases of autism. An additional boost for IVIG use in autism have been recent reports describing the appearance of classic autistic symptoms in patients following Herpes simplex encephalitis. Despite of the initial optimism generated with Gupta's reports, later experiences with IVIG therapy in autism have failed to duplicate his results."

"Even with the reported failures of IVIG treatment in autism, it will continue to play an important supportive role in the future therapeutic approaches to this condition, since IVIG appears to have a protective effect on the brain tissue. Unfortunately, the cost of this treatment is very steep and with uncertainty of the outcome of treatment it should be considered only in well chosen patients. Again, the intensity and the frequency of treatment and the duration of its benefits (if achieved) are not known."

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"An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that measures and records the electrical activity of your brain. Special sensors (electrodes) are attached to your head and hooked by wires to a computer. The computer records your brain's electrical activity on the screen or on paper as wavy lines. Certain conditions, such as seizures, can be seen by the changes in the normal pattern of the brain's electrical activity."

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The EEG/Autism Connection:

"Approximately 20% to 35% of individuals with autism have a seizure disorder. About one in four autistic individuals begin to have seizures during puberty. The exact reason for the onset of seizures is not known, but it is likely that the seizure activity may be due to hormonal changes in the body. Sometimes these seizures are noticeable, (ie. associated with convulsions); but, for many, they are small, subclinical seizures, and are typically not detected by simple observation. Some possible signs of subclinical activity include the following: exhibiting behavior problems, such as aggression, self-injury, and severe tantrums; making little or no academic gains after doing well during childhood and pre-teen years; and/or losing some behavioral and/or cognitive gains. "

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"Chelation therapy is the administration of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body. For the most common forms of heavy metal intoxication—those involving lead, arsenic or mercury—the standard of care in the USA dictates the use of dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA).[citation needed] Other chelating agents, such as 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid (DMPS) and alpha lipoic acid (ALA), are used in conventional and alternative medicine."

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Why do Autistic people try this?

"Our children are exposed to more and more toxic metals and chemicals every day, such as mercury, lead, food additives, pesticides, vaccination toxins, and so on. In some children, especially those on the spectrum, these toxins build up in their systems due to a “metal-metabolism” disorder.In other words, they are genetically unable to detoxify sufficiently. This causes neurological as well as digestive problems. As a result, chelation therapies to remove toxic metals including thimerosal (mercury from vaccinations) from the body are now a cornerstone with DAN (Defeat Autism Now) doctors and other experts treating childhood neurological & behavioral conditions."

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DAN Doctor

"Mainstream medical practitioners tend to believe that autism is probably caused by a combination of genetic and structural differences. As a result, they stress a combination of behavioral therapies and, when warranted, pharmaceutical treatments. There are many doctors and therapists, however, who believe strongly that autism is caused by biomedical factors (toxins, immune deficiencies, inflammation in the "gut," and/or a combination of these and other issues).
The Defeat Autism Now (DAN!) project, created by the Autism Research Institute, created an approach to autism treatment called the "DAN! protocol" based on the biomedical theory of autism. Many parents believe that DAN! doctors are the best choice to treat their children with autism, and there are many testimonials to the effectiveness of the treatments. DAN! doctors, however, do often prescribe treatments and diets that mainstream doctors question or even denounce."

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