A recent review shows that publication bias has likely exaggerated the effectiveness of an anti-depressant class of drugs, called serotonin receptor inhibitors, for the treatment of autism. A set of studies initially showed a small but significant improvement in autism symptoms with these anti-depressants, but a closer examination brings even this small benefit into question. “So what appears to be the truth may not be the truth at all.” Says Dr. Erick Turner, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Oregon Health and Science University.
Of course, publication bias is nothing new. Pharmaceutical companies are highly motivated to expand the uses for their drugs. And of course, we as physicians and scientists are desperate for treatments for this disorder which is rising in prevalence at an alarming rate. But while we continue to look for drugs to improve autism, we are ignoring a huge body of evidence and clinical experience that shows the effectiveness of nutritional changes and detoxification therapies that are resulting in major improvements in autism compared to the small, questionable improvements that many medications yield. Check out the website www.autism.com to find natural and effective solutions for autism.
Carrasco, M, Volkmar, F, and Bloch, M Pharmacologic Treatment of Repetitive Behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Evidence of Publication Bias, Pediatrics, online publication; April 23rd 2012
Pearson, C. Autism Treatments Called into Question. Huffpost Healthy News, 4/24/12 <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/23/autism-treatments_n_1441591.html?ref=mostpopular>