Micronutrients versus standard medication management in autism: A naturalistic case-control study – Source: Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, Apr 2010

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[Note: for the group receiving micronutrients in this controlled study, “The clinician selected a broad-based micronutrient supplement that encompassed all known dietary vitamins and a broad spectrum of minerals and trace elements… All 14 of the known vitamins, 16 dietary minerals, 3 amino acids, and 3 antioxidants…” To read the full text of this detailed report free,
click here.
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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often accompanied by self-injurious behavior (SIB), aggression, and tantrums – symptoms that have reportedly improved with micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) treatment.

The current study took advantage of naturally occurring differences in parental preferences for treatment approaches.

The micronutrient group asked for treatment without pharmaceuticals (n = 44, aged 2-28 years at entry [M = 8.39 +/- 5.58]).

Their records were matched with those of 44 similar children whose families requested conventional treatment (medication group).

• Both groups improved on both the Childhood Autism Rating Scale and the Childhood Psychiatric Rating Scale (all p values <0.0001).

• Both groups also exhibited significant decreases in total Aberrant Behavior Checklist scores,

• But the micronutrient group’s improvement was significantly greater (p < 0.0001). [Means probability (p) that the difference resulted by chance is less than 1 in 10,000.]

• Self-injurious behavior Intensity was lower in the micronutrient group at the end of the study (p = 0.005),

• And improvement on the Clinical Global Impressions scale was greater for the micronutrient group (p = 0.0029).

It is difficult to determine whether the observed changes were exerted through improvement in mood disorder or through an independent effect on autistic disorder.

There were some advantages to treatment with micronutrients:

• Lower activity level,

• Less social withdrawal,

• Less anger,

• Better spontaneity with the examiner,

• Less irritability,

• Lower intensity self-injurious behavior,

• Markedly fewer adverse events,

• And less weight gain.

Advantages of medication management were:

• Insurance coverage,

• Fewer pills,

• And less frequent dosing.

Source: Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, Apr 2010. 20(2):95-103. PMID: 20415604, by Mehl-Madrona L, Leung B, Kennedy C, Paul S, Kaplan BJ. Departments of Psychology, Pediatrics, and Community Health Services, Argosy University, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; Department of Community Health Services, University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; School of Nursing, University of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. [Email: Dr. Bonnie J Kaplan Bonnie.kaplan@albertahealthservices.ca]

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