Friday, January 06, 2006

Two Autism Spectrum Disorder studies looking for answers

Autism Answers Sought
Studies aimed at unlocking mysteries
Autism includes a spectrum of disorders that are complex and lifelong. Unlocking its mysteries has been a challenge but two new studies are in progress that could shed some light.
Samuel crook is six-year-old, energetic little boy who is helping researchers with their quest to cure autism. He's just not aware of that.
His mother, Kimberly Crook says, "I think every parent with a child that has autism is looking for the cure, the magic bullet."
Sam's mother enrolled him in a new study at Arizona State University to test the effects of a special combination of vitamins and minerals on autistic children.
Dr. Jim Adams, Ph.D., is an expert on autism therapies and is overseeing the study.
The professor and researcher says, "We hope that by giving these supplements, the kids with autism will improve in a lot of their medical symptoms and improve even perhaps in their behavioral language or ability to think."
The 50 participants don't know whether they received the vitamins or a placebo. Kimberly believes they have the vitamins because she's seeing results.
She says, "I've seen some biological improvements in him as well as, you know, a slight behavioral improvement."
Professor Adams is also heading a study for the Southwest Naturopathic College of Medicine to prove or disprove that autistic children have higher levels of metals in their systems. It's called chelation therapy.
Dr. Adams says, "The problem, we think, is that kids with autism cannot excrete easily, the toxic metals that they're exposed to."
The chelation study is just beginning but Professor Adams hopes both studies will shed light on the mystery surrounding autism. Results are expected later this year.