Chelation Study Cancelled

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While reading the daily news this morning, I came across this article by Reuters regarding a clinical study in chelation as an autism treatment.  The treatment was deemed too risky in relation to the potential benefits, and therefore considered an overall hazard.What is chelation?  It is a therapy given to those with a heavy metal poisoning, such as mercury poisoning.  A man-made amino acid, EDTA, is added to the blood to purge out the heavy metals causing sickness.  The treatment is based on the belief that the rising cause of autism in children is due to the increased levels of mercury that come from childhood vaccines, such as the Flu vaccine.  As such, the patient is treated for mercury poisoning.  The controversy behind this is that many physicians have dismissed this theory, believing rather that there are genetic causes for the condition.  Of course this wouldn't necessarily account for the rising number of diagnoses, but then psychologists are more sensitive to autism now, and the entire autistic spectrum.  My older brother has all the signs of Asperger's, but was never diagnosed.  Why?  They didn't diagnose that condition in the 70's, and there was another condition that he had that was used as an excuse.  But if the study was to be the final proof to debunk the theory behind mercury poisoning, why would they cancel it?  That was the question I had.  How was it dangerous?  What did this amino acid do if it didn't find significantly high levels of heavy metals to purge?  I checked the old reliable:  Google Scholar.  I found an article outlining the death of one child because of a medication error, causing a calcium deficiency.  The potential for permanent damage to the child was so high, and the perceived benefit of the study so low, that the risk was just not worth it.  So where do parents go from here? Well, in the case of my own child, I work with the condition.  I know that my child is special, with special needs.  I know that he is also very brilliant, able to work out mechanics very quickly and has a gift with music.  All I need to do is help him train his brain to work within the accepted "norms" of society so that he can share his gifts and talents.  Now, I don't claim that this will work for every child with autism.  I'm blessed with a child that is very high functioning.  Some children with autism are not high functioning.  It's scary, it's frustrating, and no parent wants to believe that their genes caused this condition.  All I can say is the levels of grief will be travelled, and at the moment all you can do is make it through another day.  The good news is that geneticists are working on the theory that Autism Spectrum Disorders are linked to a multi-gene condition, as opposed to a single gene condition.  Perhaps there will be a gene therapy that will come from these studies, perhaps not.  At any rate, the more they work to understand the cause of autism, the less parents will feel like there has to be blame associated with it, whether on themselves or on an "industry" that is "heartless and greedy".  Remember, every company out there has real people working for them, and I bet some of them have children with autism as well.