Researchers at Cornell University have completed research that looks at the long term effects of chelation therapy on those suffering from lead poisoning.  They also investigated the effects of the drug on test subjects, rats, whose blood did not contain high lead levels. Their goal was to expand the current body of research on chelation therapy which, in the past, has been lacking. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The findings are of use to doctors and parents as they work to treat either high lead levels or autism.  The conclusions are as follows:

  • Rats with no lead in their systems who were treated with the lead-removing chemical showed declines in their learning and behavior. These learning and behavior problems were similar to those seen in lead exposed rats before therapy.
  • Chelation therapy can reduce behavioral and learning problems due to lead exposure.
  • Chelation therapy can have lasting detrimental effects when given in the absence of elevated heavy metals.

The primary researcher, Barbara Strupp, saw the study as an important step toward better understanding the effects of chelation therapy on those who have been exposed to lead and those who have not.  She is aware that many parents and others have looked to chelation drugs as a way to treat autistic children.  The findings that chelation drugs may disrupt the levels of essential minerals such as zinc and iron and thereby negatively affect those given the drug for autism concern the senior researcher.

"These findings raise concerns about the use of chelating agents in treating autistic children," Strupp said.

Recently, the FDA has issued warnings to parents over the use of an ever-increasing number of available chelation drugs.  As pharmaceutical class action attorneys we have seen too many people negatively affected by a prescription or  over the counter drug.  Though we too hope that more light can be shed on the treatment of autism we are concerned that drug companies are taking advantage of parents desperate for answers and a "cure".  If you believe that a drug maker has marketed and sold a drug that harmed your child please contact an experienced Wisconsin class action attorney at Hupy & Abraham today for your free consultation.  Though one voice may not be heard, together we are strong.