4 Promising Autism Treatments, From Vitamin B12 to Alzheimer’s Drug Namenda

And 4 "treatments" that are untested and unproven. Plus, how to spot a bogus autism therapy.


But while more treatments are being given rigorous testing, many others remain on the market untested and unproven. They include:

  • High doses of vitamin B6 and magnesium.
  • Intravenous immune globulin therapy.
  • Casein-free and gluten-free diets. There is no rigorous evidence that they improve symptoms, and researchers at the University of
  • Rochester have found that many children on the restricted diets become nutritionally deprived.
  • Chelation therapy, intended to remove toxic metals including mercury from the body. Last fall, the National Institute of Mental Health canceled plans to run a clinical trial of chelation therapy, saying it posed too high a risk to the children who would be involved.
  • Here’s a checklist to help figure out if an autism treatment, or indeed any medical treatment, is probably too good to be true:

    • It treats more than one condition.
    • It provides dramatic, miraculous results.
    • Anecdotes are offered as proof of its effectiveness, rather than scientific results in large, peer-reviewed journals.
    • Specific treatment goals are not identified.The treatment said to have no risks or side effects. (All treatments do.)