Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Kansas City--Robert

At my first meeting with Ashley, she ran over the basic premise for the series and told me to start researching something called chelation therapy and how it relates to autism. I immediately got to work looking up different chelators and different methods of chelation as well as the cost of chelation and where chelation therapy was offered around Columbia.

Ashley informed me of a place called the McDonagh Medical Center, which had a case in Missouri Supreme Court a few years back. The case was about their use of chelation therapy, so right away I got to work reading the case to find out more. I didn't immediately find out whether McDonagh treated patients with autism or not, but Justin took over in talking to the clinic and I moved to other areas of chelation research.

Justin, however, found out that McDonagh does treat patients with autism and got an interview with Dr. Charles Rudolph, a partner at McDonagh and we went to Kansas City to interview him. When we got to the clinic, we walked into a waiting room where a woman behind the desk asked if we were with KOMU and said she'd take us back to Dr. Rudolph when we were ready, David, the photographer was getting some exterior shots.

After he showed us around his office, we set up for the interview. Dr. Rudolph spoke about chelation and other alternative treatments. It was very beneficial to hear an expert talk about a chelation because so much of what I had read in my research was conflicting. After the interview, we shot some footage of his lab and then headed back to Columbia.

This series is coming together so incredibly, I can't wait for you to see it! I'm honored to be a part of it.


Heraldblog said...

As long as you're researching chelation and autism, look into Dr. Roy Kerry. He's a Pittsburgh area physician who killed a five-year-old autistic boy in the summer of 2005. Kerry soon after applied to DAN! status, and received it after attending the required 8 hours of seminar training.

You're treading on dangerous ground here, KOMU. There is no good science showing chelation is an effective treatment for autism. As long as you keep an evidence-based perspective, you'll be OK.

KOMUAReynolds said...

That's one of the many topics we talked about :-)

KOMUrkessler said...

I think you'll appreciate the way chelation is covered in the series. Dr. Rudolph said that chelation is not right for all children with autism and that it is not a universal treatment, but something he believes has helped many patients with autism.

Heraldblog said...

What is the mechanism by which chelation helps some autistic children? And how does Dr. Rudolph know it helps? These are good questions to ask.

KOMUAReynolds said...

We gotcha covered!

Ms. Clark said...

Ashley and colleagues,

You need to know that chelation is only used by real toxicologists in very limited ways as it is itself toxic and can move heavy metals out of the body and into the brain. Some chelatiors can cause birth defects, some can cause cancer. Chelation has killed people, including one autistic boy. Chelation has destroyed people's kidneys and damaged other people's kidneys.

Except when under the direct of true toxicologists (chelationists who have rows of chairs in their offices to chelate lots of old people are NOT toxicologists) almost all of chelation performed in the US is a scam. A fraud. A hoax. A lie. And dangerous.

If you help these frauds to perpetrate the lies that chelation can help autism or heart disease or cancer... or any one of the many diseases chelationist use it for (wrongly) you will be helping to harm your listeners.

You might start

Chelation isn't a new therapy. It's an old quack therapy and it's dangerous. Only recently these creeps have decided to reach out to vulnerable autistic children, these people are not pediatricians, Ashley. They are not toxicologists, they are not experts in autism. Check out their backgrounds. They don't know how to treat autistic children. There's one in New Jersey who infuses his patients with garlic and vinegar on top of the chelation he does.

Chelation for autism is sick, and you shouldn't be assisting these frauds in harming people.

Matt said...

Are you aware that the NIH study on chelation for autism was put on hold? Did you know that this is because there is a study showing permanent cognitive damage to rats given chelation drugs?

Have you asked or wondered why people started giving this "treatment" before any study on safety was planned. Have you asked why people continue this "treatment" even after a study questioning the safety was published?

The very harsh way to put this is:

The NIH decided it wasn't worth going on because of possible damage to the typical control subjects (children!). Yet, "alternative" doctors continue to perform this "treatment" on autistic kids.

Why aren't autistic kids given the same respect as typical kids?

Matt said...

Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism a report by the Institutes of Medicine in 2004 stated clearly:

The committee heard from some parents of children with ASD who have chosen to rely on chelation therapy as a treatment. The committee saw no scientific evidence, however, that chelation is an effective therapy for ASD or is even indicated in these circumstances. Chelation therapy is currently indicated only for
high-dose, acute mercury poisonings. Because chelation therapy has potentially serious risks, the committee recommends that it be used only in carefully controlled research settings with appropriate oversight by Institutional Review Boards protecting the interests of the children who participate.

Note--they bolded that passage, not me.

Have the chelationists you have spoken with discussed the oversight of their Institutional Review Boards? I sincerely doubt it.

When something has potentially serious risks, responsible reporting does not present it as anything but risky.