Doctors Recommend New Ways To Treat Autism – Part 2 of 3
The whipworm analysis involved 10 high-functioning adults with autism who ate whipworm eggs for 12 weeks, ingesting about 2500 eggs every two weeks. They also spent another 12 weeks on an motionless placebo medication. Unlike deadly whipworms in dogs, these whipworms don’t harm humans. “The whipworm doesn’t reproduce in the gut, and it doesn’t penetrate the intestines, so it doesn’t cause disability in humans. The gut clears itself of the worms every two weeks, which is why patients had to be retreated.
Use of the worms relates to the “hygiene hypothesis,” which holds that some autoimmune disorders might be caused by a shortage of microbes or parasites present in the body during earlier, less hygienic times. These bugs might help regulate the immune response in the human body. In this case, it was found that the adults receiving the worm curing became less compulsive and better able to deal with change.
Hollander reported that the main side effect of whipworm therapy, diarrhea, occurred about as often in those taking a placebo, or dummy medication. The bath study involved 15 children with autism who alternated days dripping in a 102-degree hot tub versus a 98-degree hot tub. Researchers found that the kids had improved social behaviors on days when they soaked in the 102-degree tub.
The findings bear witness to earlier reports that about one-third of people with autism show an improvement in symptoms when they suffer a fever, the researchers said in background information. “Parents have said when their child got fevers, they see a evident improvement in autism symptoms. This has been reported for years. This study is just one angle you can take experimentally to get at whether this is a true response”.