Archive for March, 2010
In this blog, we have discussed a lot of the science and theory around chelation therapy, but we have often glossed over some of the specifics of the actual process. If and when you undergo chelation therapy, each session will last somewhere between two and four hours. The solution that is typically used is EDTA, or ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid.
Each treatment usually costs somewhere between $50 and $100, and when a patient first begins therapy, they usually go five to 30 times in the first month. After this initial period, most patients will have a treatment roughly once a month for preventative measures. Insurance companies don’t cover chelation therapy, so patients will have to pay for the procedure out of pocket.
Part of the reason there is no universal autism therapy that all doctors subscribe to is the fact that there are still many questions as to what actually causes autism. A recent study, however, has identified two genes that appear to be directly linked to autism. LRRN3 and LRRTM3, genes found in two brain proteins, had variations in people who were more susceptible to autism.
The study was conducted by an international team of researchers and is one of the most comprehensive investigations of genes and autism to date. Both of the proteins that were identified play a critical role in brain development, which is often the culprit in autism. One of the proteins is believed to help in the structuring of the nervous system, while the other seems to work with synaptic connections.
Despite ongoing research, scientists and doctors have been unable to come to a consensus about how autism develops and what are the best ways to treat it. This doesn’t mean that there is a shortage articles on autism however. It seems like everyday there is a new study or paper released that sheds some more light on the anomaly that is autism.
There are many myths and rumors circulating in regard to autism, and it is important to go to reliable sources to get your information. Several autism websites provide links to peer-reviewed articles that have been published in reputable medical journals. These well-researched articles will be the most reliable sources of information on the latest developments and scientific findings related to the disease.
Before we knew the hazards of mercury, the element was found in a wide range of products that people used on a daily basis. Although it has been largely eradicated from our day-to-day lives, we are still inevitably exposed to mercury. The most common source of mercury for many people is seafood.
Even though our exposure to mercury pales in comparison to peak levels, mercury poisoning is still a concern. There is a litany of mercury poisoning symptoms, and if you experience them, it is advisable to seek out a qualified physician. Some of the most common include depression, anxiety, speech problems and cognitive impairments.
A study conducted at Cornell University has proven that chelation therapy can help solve learning and behavioral problems that result in rats from heavy metal exposure. While these findings are promising, it’s not all roses. There are implications and potential side effects to the procedure.
The researchers at Cornell also found that when chelation therapy was used on rats that weren’t exposed to heavy metals, the chelating agents had a detrimental effect on learning and behavior. These chelating agents are already being used widely on children with autism despite little research into the possible adverse consequences. As of yet, there is also minimal quantitative evidence that shows chelation therapy can reduce the symptoms of autism.
With all that is now known about genetics and heredity, we not only have to consider our own health, but also that of our offspring and future descendants. While abstaining from smoking cigarettes and fatty foods can prevent passing along certain traits, there are several genes, conditions and diseases that we bestow that are largely out of our control. To that end, there are several birth defects mercury poisoning can be the cause of.
Severe cases of mercury poisoning can lead to a disease known as Minamata. While people with the disease are more likely to pass on certain defects to their children, it is also possible that mercury poisoning can cause birth defects even when there are no signs in the parent. There are several documented cases where children were born with severe birth defects that are believed to be linked to mercury poisoning, despite the parents showing no symptoms themselves.
With the release of a new Alice in Wonderland movie and Johnny Depp cast as the iconic Mad Hatter, the characters from Lewis Carroll’s classic novel are once again at the forefront of popular culture. Over the years, there has been much debate as to the nature of the Mad Hatter, but an article I read recently shed some light on the topic. Before its adverse effects were known, hatters used to use mercury when curing materials for their products.
This exposure to mercury, it is expected, led many hatters to actually go insane and is probably the origin of the term “as mad as a hatter.” Some of the effects of mercury poisoning include mood swings, schizoid tendencies, irrational fears and poor concentration. Many people hypothesize that Carroll’s personal hatter may have suffered from the effects of mercury poisoning and spawned the character.
There is a plethora of theories about what actually causes autism, but the truth of the matter is that nobody knows for sure. Doctors and researchers have formulated several hypotheses concerning the root causes of the disorder, and many believe that there is no single origin to the disease. Finding a cause is further complicated by the fact that autism is actually a wide spectrum of disorders, which is additional evidence that there are probably multiple factors contributing to its development.
Due to the speculation and uncertainty about the causes of autism, parents and doctors often try several means to combat the disease’s symptoms. One of the more popular treatments is probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that work to remove toxins from the body, such as heavy metals, which many believe to be a main contributor to the disorder
According to a recent study, one in four parents in the United States believes that vaccination causes autism. The irony in this is that some of the parents who have fears about the vaccine still say that they will get their children vaccinated. This contradiction in beliefs and actions underscores the ambiguity of the debate.
Research has failed to prove any causation, and even worried parents tend to follow the advice of their doctor and get the vaccines. While 25 percent believe that vaccines cause autism, 90 percent say that vaccination is a good way to prevent disease. In the wake of Dr. Wakefield’s dubious study, outbreaks of measles and other diseases have occurred due to lack of vaccination.