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, Ill 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 Ive 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 SSRIs. 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 SSRIs 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, well use SSRIs, and theyre 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, Ive 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 Im giving a child a heavy dosage of an SSRI,
I couldnt 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 youre doing. But, thats part of the adjustment Ive
tried to show you with these cases and those I will present further. If you can just help
a childs 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.
Youve 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. Youve 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 theyve 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
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 its 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