Desperate to help their autistic children, hundreds of parents nationwide are turning to an unproven and potentially damaging treatment: multiple high doses of a drug sometimes used to chemically castrate sex offenders. Believe it or not.
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that these parents are turning to unscrupulous practitioners who are dispensing multiple high doses of Lupron (leuprolide).
“Lupron therapy” is based on a theory, unsupported by mainstream medicine, that autism is caused by a harmful link between mercury and testosterone that the promoter of this therapy believe can be fixed by Lupron.
Geneticist Mark Geier, MD, of Maryland and his son, who has a bachelor’s degree in biology, “developed the ‘Lupron protocol’ for autism,” and are now “marketing it across the country, opening clinics in states from Washington to New Jersey.”
Noting that Dr. Geier is not “board-certified in any specialty relevant to autism,” the Chicago Tribune points out that “four of the world’s top pediatric endocrinologists” called “the Lupron protocol . . . baseless, supported only by junk science.”
The effects of children taking Lupron in high doses indefinitely are unknown, but endocrinologists said the drug would deprive takers of puberty’s beneficial effects.
“In women, you are talking about (negative effects on) bone density, and in both sexes, (negative effects on heart) health in addition to sexuality and reproduction,” said Dr. Peter Lee, a pediatric endocrinologist at Penn State College of Medicine.
Parents with autistic children often trying numerous treatments on their children.
Unfortunately, the improvements they sometimes see are not due to the treatment by are seen with the natural development of the child.
However, the parent will often credit whatever therapy they are using at the time.
“You are really susceptible,” said Singer of the Autism Science Foundation. “We all want our children to get better. We love our kids so much, and you want to believe the interventions are making a difference.”
For now, until this is some sort of proof of effectiveness and safety, I’d recommending avoiding this one.