Slide 74:

So in approaching a child, what we have to look at is if we start off with a discussion that this is a disease; that your children are not suffering from a developmental disorder or from pre-existing damage, what I have to look at is how can I, as a doctor, use tools that I can get to legally to help your children. What has been a very pleasant surprise is that Zovirax and Valtrex, which are anti-virals, have helped many of your children. Now, I’ll be honest with you, I can check with researchers I work with and ask ‘Are we treating HHV6? Are we treating HHV6A? Are we treating some other herpes-related virus? Are we treating some retro-virus? But the key is, and this is where I’ve been very fortunate, good researchers have said that if a child does better on Zovirax or Valtrex, you are treating some viral process.

In turn, the SSRI’s. Again, based on the NeuroSPECT scan, I never started thinking of using Prozac or any agent like that on a child lightly. As I said, I left medical school and basically pulled away from the field of attention deficit because I did not like the idea of blindly giving a medicine to a child and not knowing what it was doing. Now, as it turns out, many of you attend conferences on autism and many researchers are looking at SSRI’s now. Thankfully, they are probably better choices than some of the things that were being done with your children a number of years ago.

But, the trouble is, many researchers, many good people, are saying ‘OK, we’ll use SSRI’s’, and they’re writing them as anti-depressants. While I might have a child that is on 3, 4, or 5 milligrams of Prozac, or 5 to 10 milligrams of Zoloft, which is an also SSRI, I’ve heard of a pediatric neurologist in southern California starting children on 50 to 70 milligrams of Zoloft.

Now, this is the key difference in how to look at this medically. Again, my bias is as a pediatrician. If I’m giving a child a heavy dosage of an SSRI, I couldn’t say to you what is that going to do long-term. I have to say that I believe the brain is healthier working than not working. But, if you over-control the brain, who knows what you’re doing. But, that’s part of the adjustment I’ve tried to show you with these cases and those I will present further. If you can just help a child’s brain work properly at low dosages, then you are going to help that child evolve. You are going to make it possible for therapists to work better with that child. You are going to make it possible for success.

You’ve all heard me say that in the future I hope to get to immune agents. There are some agents out there that help flow, but so far I have not heard of anything that is really safe. And, let me bring that up. You’ve all heard about some studies with an agent called Trental. This is an agent that was supposed to increase blood flow in adults. For the record, I have not had an adult neurologist tell me that they have any feeling of general success with Trental. But in Japan they’ve published an article showing that some autistic children did better with Trental. So there are now some physicians in this country either starting or going to do a trial on children with Trental.

The problem is this: it goes to the image of your children. If you assume they have autism, a developmental disorder, and have some kind of brain damage, then what do you have to lose if you use an agent that might hurt your child, might hurt their brain, might be dangerous, but it’s better than nothing. But, if you start out assuming that your children are potentially bright and intelligent, potentially started off OK, then a key is that you do not want to use any agent that is likely to hurt the child.

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