From the Journals: Metal-Binding Agent Ineffective as Autism Treatment Metal-binding agents rubbed into the skin, prescribed by some alternative practitioners for the treatment of autism, are not absorbed and therefore are unlikely to be effective at helping the body excrete excess mercury, a new study finds.  ... From the Journals
From the Journals  |   January 01, 2013
From the Journals: Metal-Binding Agent Ineffective as Autism Treatment
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Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / From the Journals
From the Journals   |   January 01, 2013
From the Journals: Metal-Binding Agent Ineffective as Autism Treatment
The ASHA Leader, January 2013, Vol. 18, 32-33. doi:10.1044/leader.FTJ6.18012013.32
The ASHA Leader, January 2013, Vol. 18, 32-33. doi:10.1044/leader.FTJ6.18012013.32
Metal-binding agents rubbed into the skin, prescribed by some alternative practitioners for the treatment of autism, are not absorbed and therefore are unlikely to be effective at helping the body excrete excess mercury, a new study finds. 
The study, published online in Springer's Journal of Medical Toxicology (December 2012), provides evidence against the use of these treatments in children with autism.
In the study, eight healthy adult volunteers and one control subject ingested oral DMPS (2,3-Dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonate), which is proven to increase mercury excretion. DMPS is approved in Europe for the treatment of heavy metal toxicity, but is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States.
For the first time, researchers looked at whether topically applied DMPS is absorbed into the body by measuring levels in the blood 30, 60, 90, 120, and 240 minutes after application. They also measured whether DMPS applied to the skin leads to increased excretion of mercury in the urine 12 and 24 hours after application. 
None of the urine samples collected from healthy subjects contained detectable DMPS. DMPS also was not detected in 40 of 41 blood samples, with a single sample found to have a small amount of DMPS, considered by the authors to be contamination of the sample. The control subject given oral DMPS had increased levels of DMPS in the blood and also detectable DMPS in the urine. In addition, topical application of DMPS did not lead to increased mercury excretion, whereas oral intake led to a six-fold increase. Search doi: 10.1007/s13181-012-0272-9.
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January 2013
Volume 18, Issue 1