But we have to do something!
In my experience, those words have been the prelude to innumerable disasters, debacles and misadventures. The problem is that the urge to action is rarely accompanied by any planning or investigation. What we end up with when we rush to "do something!" is the equivalent of "Ready. Fire! Aim."
In other words, we miss the mark. In fact, we're lucky if we don't hurt somebody in the process.
Over the past several years, I have heard a number of parents with autistic children say, "We can't wait for scientific studies, we have to do something for our children!" While I can completely sympathize with them, I continue to urge caution. Doing something is only better than doing nothing if "something" isn't harmful.
Why do I bring this up, you might ask?
In February, a study was published that showed - for the first time - that treatment with DMSA (a chelating agent) can improve the intellectual functioning of lead-poisoned rats. This was a big deal because human studies (on children poisoned by lead-containing paint) had failed to show any improvement in behavioral or neuropsychological development.
Unfortunately, the study also showed that treating rats who were not lead-poisoned decreased their cognitive abilities. Permanently.
Now, people who are treating their children with DMSA for mercury poisoning would be right to be concerned about these findings, especially if they are relying on doubtful laboratory tests to determine that their children are "mercury poisoned". And those folks who are treating their autistic children with DMPS have no reason to smirk. There is currently no known mechanism to explain these cognitive impairments, so DMPS could be just as bad...or worse.
I hadn't planned to 'blog about this study - too many unanswered questions - but then I got an disturbing piece of news. It seems that a proposed autism-chelation study is being held up while the researchers test the DMSA for lead and mercury. I'm still trying to get confirmation of this, but it seems important enough for parents to know right now.
DMSA and DMPS are absolutely wizard at binding to lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and other "heavy metals". It's what they do. As a result, they will grab onto and carry along any lead, mercury, cadmium... that they come in contact with during their synthesis and subsequent handling. Given the ubiquitous nature of lead, mercury and arsenic, it is not improbably that these chelating agents could come in contact with - and grab onto - some in their progress from synthesis to final user.
Might this be the reason that so many parents using chelation report that the mercury is "...pouring out..." of their children? If you're pouring it in, you would hope that it would pour out.
I must emphasize that I have not yet confirmed that the proposed chelation study is being held while they test the DMSA for lead and mercury, but I feel that it is important for people who are doing chelation with DMSA (or DMPS) to get the news.
I'll keep you posted as I know more.