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A Study of ONE Autism Patient

Researchers can hardly agree upon the conclusions of studies in which data is collected from 50,000 or more subjects, so what value can a study of just one subject hold for the scientific community?

The answer is often complex and revealing.

When a therapy works on just one, it is often repeated on another and another and another until word gets around in the medical community and such novel therapies become commonplace standard operating procedures.

In today's Notmilk column, we present only the abstract from a paper published in an Asian journal. The subject is Autism.

JOURNAL: Chang Gung Med J.
CITATION: 2009 Jul-Aug;32(4) :459-65
TITLE: The effects of a gluten and casein-free diet in children with autism: a case report.

AUTHORS: Hsu CL, Lin CY, Chen CL, Wang CM, Wong MK.
AFFILIATION: Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Taoyuan, Taiwan.


"A boy with autism, growth and developmental retardation was brought to our clinic. He was diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome. Subsequently, various therapies were introduced when he was 5 months old yet the developmental delays persisted.

"Gastrointestinal problems such as frequent post-prandial vomiting and severe constipation were noted as well. At the age of 42 months, the boy was subjected to a gluten and casein-free diet. Soybean milk and rice were substituted for cow's milk, bread and noodles.

"After 2.5 months, interpersonal relations including eye to eye contact and verbal communication improved.

"At 5.5 months the boy was capable of playing and sharing toys with his sibling and other children, behavior noted to be closer to that of an unaffected child. In addition, the decreased frequency of postprandial vomiting led to a significant increment in body weight, body height (from below the third percentile to the tenth percentile) and vitality after 11 months on the diet.

"In view of the lack of consensus on the benefits of dietary intervention in patients with autism, we are suggesting an adjuvant therapy that is simple, safe and economical. In addition, the therapy may be more feasible in Taiwan as opposed to western countries because of cultural factors such as dietary preference and product availability."

No comment is necessary on the Notmilkman's part other than a suggestion that you share this with friends, family, and pediatricians just in case such future challenges present themselves closer to your own home.

Robert Cohen
http://www.notmilk. com

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