Bronze-level articleLupron therapy

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Lupron therapy is a discredited treatment for autism, based on the false premise that autism is related to vaccination, mercury, hormones, and gut integrity.


[edit] Origins


This idea seems to have originated ex culo or from the "minds" of Mark and David Geier, a father-son team who peddle chelation and Lupron therapy to families with autistic children. Lupron (known as leuprorelin or leuprolide acetate) is a potent anti-androgen. It is used as a form of "chemical castration" for men with prostate cancer, for women with uterine fibroid tumors, and in a few other rare medical situations. The "theory" behind the Geiers' idea is that thimerosal in vaccines cause autism, that chelation therapy can remove it, but that testosterone binds with mercury in a way that prevents it from being chelated, so Lupron is needed to reduce testosterone levels so that chelation can work.[1]

[edit] Quackery

[edit] Invalid starting hypothesis

As discussed elsewhere, the thimerosal-autism hypothesis has been disproved, as has chelation therapy for autism.

[edit] Shady methods

The Geiers publish in less-than-respectable journals that avoid peer review. They appear to have set up a sham "institute" in order to form an IRB (institutional review board) consisting of friends and supporters, in order to conduct research on human subjects without the usual oversight.[2]

[edit] Lack of scientific support

The scientific community has not embraced the Geiers' cause. A Medline search of "autism and leuprolide (Lupron)" returns only four hits, two of which are from the Geiers.[3]

[edit] Summary

Treatment of autism with Lupron is not only scientifically bankrupt, it is also irresponsible and dangerous. It is based on false premises and is unsupported by scientific evidence.

  1. Thimerosal and mercury are not proven to cause autism.
  2. Androgens are not proven to potentiate this unproven association.
  3. Chemical castration of children has not been shown to help with autism.

It is reasonable to posit that androgen deprivation in children, especially, but not exclusively males, may have profound biological and behavioral effects. Creating eunuchs may be good for business, but it is bad medicine.

[edit] External links

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes

  1. Geier MR, Geier DA.The potential importance of steroids in the treatment of autistic spectrum disorders and other disorders involving mercury toxicity. Medical hypotheses. 2005; 64(5):946-54.
  2. Geier DA. Geier MR. A clinical trial of combined anti-androgen and anti-heavy metal therapy in autistic disorders. [Clinical Trial. Journal Article. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't] Neuroendocrinology Letters. 27(6):833-8, 2006 Dec.
  3. autism and leuprolide (Lupron) - PubMed - NCBI

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