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.)