Autism Research Institute
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August 29, 2005
The Safety and Efficacy of Chelation Therapy in Autism Statement by Bernard Rimland, Ph.D., Director, Autism Research Institute regarding death on August 23rd of 5 year-old Tariq Nadama Of Pittsburgh, who was given intravenous EDTA chelation
I have received many media calls regarding the above, very unfortunate matter. This is what I tell reporters:
Chelation is not used to treat autism, but to treat heavy metal overload (lead, mercury, cadmium, etc), which is a major cause of autism and retardation.
Tens of thousands of children and hundreds of thousands of adults have been treated safely with chelation therapy for many decades. Dr. Ralph Miranda says there have been no deaths associated with chelation since the 1950's.
The child's mother, Marwa Nadama, says her son showed such remarkable improvement after the first few chelation treatments that if she had a choice, she would choose chelation again.
The mother also notes that she is unwilling to say chelation caused the death: "Let's wait until we have the results of the autopsy" (It could be the result of an allergy, for, example, to latex exposure in the medical office).
Conventional physicians, who have been critical of chelation, routinely use drugs such as Risperdal and Clonidine in treating autism. Death is a known side-effect of such drugs (read the labels!). Such deaths get no media attention.
The vast majority of autistic children who are chelated are chelated orally or transdermally (by gel, through the skin), as suggested in our Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) document available at our website www.AutismResearchInstitute.com (www.autismwebsite.com/ari/dan/mercurymetaldetox.htm).
Thousands of parents of autistic children, treated safely with chelation, report, like Tariq Nadama's mother, that their children have shown remarkable improvement after chelation was initiated. Formal data collection is just getting underway, but initial data, on several hundred children is very encouraging.
Since 1967 The Autism Research Institute has collected "Parent Ratings of Behavioral Effects of Biomedical Interventions." To date, almost 24,000 parent responses have been collected. Chelation is a recent addition to our list of interventions. So far, of the first 400 parents who reported on the efficacy of chelation, 76% report "good" results, which is by far the highest "good" percentage reported for any of the 88 biomedical interventions (including 53 drugs) the parents have rated. See: www.autismwebsite.com/ari/treatment/form34q.htm.
The death of Tariq Nadama is a sad, very unusual and as yet unexplained anomaly. To advise parents against chelation because of this event is much like saying "Don't take your child to grandma's house — a child was killed in an auto accident en route to his grandmother's house."