Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Brain & Nervous System Health Center

Font Size

Boy Dies After Controversial Treatment for Autism

Experts: Chelation Therapy Not Worth the Risk

Parents' Options continued...

But Rubin insists that uncertain benefits are no reason to subject children to known risks. Instead of trying risky treatments, he advises parents that there are many things known to work.

"I say to parents who want to try chelation, 'If I was in your position, I would feel as eager as you to do anything for my child,'" he says. "But what works is active, intensive, occupational therapy. What works is speech therapy, horseback-riding therapy, swimming. Parents, you do more than you realize by being loving and caring. We don't know where your child is going to go developmentally, but we will make sure they get to the best they can go."

A Call for Research

Bernard says the Pennsylvania boy's death underscores the need for more research on chelation treatment.

"If we had research so that we knew, number one, does chelation work or not work, and number two, what is the best way to do it, then any parent could make a better decision based on evidence-based medicine," she says. "Now every parent is left to his or her own resources. Obviously some parents may not know the right way to do this. If we had some science, everybody would be better off."

1|2

Today on WebMD

Depressed
Slideshow
3d scan of fractured skull
Slideshow
 
human brain waves
Article
brain maze
fitQuiz
 
senior man
Article
brain research briefing
Article
 
Syringe
Article
Vaccine and needle
VIDEO
 
mans hands on laptop keyboard
Article
brain illustration stroke
Slideshow
 
most common stroke symptoms
Article
Parkinsons Disease Medications
Article