autism

According to a revolutionary new study, a drug discovered more than a century ago may hold the key to combating the symptoms of autism. After just one dose, parents of the children in the study watched their kids make incredible improvements, with some speaking for the first time.

The study’s lead researcher, Dr. Robert Naviaux of the San Diego School of Medicine is an internationally known expert in human genetics, inborn errors of metabolism, metabolomics, and mitochondrial medicine. He is the discoverer of the cause of Alpers syndrome — the oldest Mendelian form of mitochondrial disease — and the developer of the first DNA test to diagnose it. Naviaux is, by far, one of the most qualified people in the world to conduct this study.

During his research, Naviaux noted the transformative results of the drug suramin which was first developed in 1916 and used as an anti-parasitic drug for treating African sleeping sickness and river blindness. After giving a single dose of suramin to boys with autism, between the ages of five and 14, Naviaux recorded something incredible — their symptoms were significantly alleviated.

“After the single dose, it was almost like a roadblock had been released,” he said. “If the future studies show that there’s continued health benefits, this could be a game-changer for families with autism.”

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The study was published in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. During the study, five children were given suramin, while the remainder were given placebos. Included in the group were four non-verbal children, two 6-year-olds, and two 14-year-olds.

“The six-year-old and the 14-year-old who received suramin said the first sentences of their lives about one week after the single suramin infusion,” Naviaux told the UC San Diego Health website. “This did not happen in any of the children given the placebo.”

One parent, who noted that her son had not spoken a full sentence in more than a decade, said, “Within an hour after the infusion, he started to make more eye contact with the doctor and nurses in the room. There was a new calmness at times, but also more emotion at other times.”

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“He started to show an interest in playing hide-and-seek with his 16-year-old brother. He started practicing making new sounds around the house. He started seeking out his dad more.”

Naviaux’s expertise led him to the theory that there is a fundamental metabolic problem in all people with ASD — namely, that cells in affected people experience abnormal levels of something that Naviaux has termed the “cell danger response” (CDR), according to Seeker.

“Suramin produced the most dramatic improvement in autism symptoms that we have ever seen with anything we have tried,” one parent of a child in the study wrote.

“Nothing has come close to all the changes in language and social interaction and new interests that we saw after suramin,” said another.

Naturally, the sample size of this study leaves room for speculation and even the study’s supporters are quick to note this.

“We would have loved to have done a much larger trial,” said John Rodakis, the founder and president of N of One: Autism Research Foundation, which supported the trial. “We just didn’t have the funding for it.”

Naviaux’s study was entirely funded by grassroots efforts and from autism parents and advocates. They received no federal funding.

It is important to note that while this study is highly encouraging, there is also grounds for caution — which is also grounds for more funding and a larger study.

The first drawback to the study is that the effects of suramin — the remarkable positive cognitive and emotional improvements — are only temporary. Another worrisome aspect of the study is that all the children who received suramin experienced a rash.

Despite these issues, the incredible response by those who were administered the drug definitely warrants further research, and the parents of the children who received it agree.

For now, the next challenge is funding. “This work is new and this type of clinical trial is expensive,” Naviaux said. “We did not have enough funding to do a larger study. And even with the funding, we were able to raise, we had to go $500,000 in debt to complete the trial.”

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Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Facebook.
  • Damiana

    For obvious reasons, I find myself wary of new “miracle drugs” that almost magically cure conditions previously thought incurable. I’m not calling bullshit on this story or anything – I’m just going to go ahead and wait a few years before I run out and get my daughter a dose of it.

    If it really is as effective as the story claims, then this is exciting news! I expect even the overwhelming power of Big Pharma won’t be able to cover it up. My guess is that they try to swoop in with some kind of bullshit loophole and claim a patent on this stuff, so they can charge $11K per dose.

    • JahRastaMan

      A few years…. how loving of you. And obvious reasons? What would those ‘obvious’ reasons be? Western medicine has hidden thousands of years of remedies from you in their best interest. Doesn’t the simple fact that we know pharmaceuticals are not a cure but purely money makers at the expense of you and your children enough to try this remedy? The old paradigm isn’t working and dare I say the actual cause of autism. Why wait for Big Pharma to get their hands on it? The fact of the matter is they cannot trademark a plant, e.g. cannabis so therefore they pay lobbyists to draft legislation prohibiting it. Wake the hell up!

      • James Peters

        Certain types of plants are patentable https://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/patent-basics/types-patent-applications/general-information-about-35-usc-161 and when you prove a drug works in clinical trials it will be approved for that indication.

        • JahRastaMan

          That is interesting. However, that does not change the fact that anyone could grow or source non-patentable plants and achieve great health benefits and remedies. There are studies out there that show diseases being cured and alleviated without the harmful side effects from products with all natural ingredients. Thousands of years of history and use. Other than making it a crime, they could not stop an individual.

          • James Peters

            ”That is interesting. However, that does not change the fact that anyone could grow or source non-patentable plants and achieve great health benefits and remedies.”

            There are a number of reasons why pharmacology abandoned whole plant extracts in favour of isolated actives. The amount of active ingredient in a plant can vary with factors like the variety, geographic location, weather, season, time of harvest, soil, storage conditions and much more. This leaves aside method of preparation to extract it.

            ”There are studies out there that show diseases being cured and alleviated without the harmful side effects from products with all natural ingredients. Thousands of years of history and use. Other than making it a crime, they could not stop an individual.”

            I’m not aware of these studies? Natural molecules will cause adverse events http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1611618#t=abstract As for consenting adults then I couldn’t care less what they do with their own body.

    • Heather James

      No doubt. The feds recently allowed a company to patent a time-released version of the 150 year-old gout drug, colchicine. Then, the feds removed the old version from the market. The new version costs 10 times as much.

      • Peter Moss

        The same thing happened with OTC Guaifenesin which is on the GRAS list. How can something as obvious as time release be patented? And, it was already available TR by prescription. Now it is very difficult to purchase Guaifenesin which is not time release except as syrup.

  • Steve

    Thats a start. Now they just need to unravel what the drug is doing, which they can map with incredible accuracy now, and formulate a new drug that has longer-acting effects.

  • limerick4
  • Jerry Hatfield

    Well, watch the price of suramin go through the roof. It’s $36.00 for 50mg today. Maybe since it’s old enough to be out of patent and several generics are available, we won’t see obscene profit making without some collusion among the manufacturers

    • JaniceOly

      Where are you able to purchase it? It is not FDA approved for use in the USA, probably because it has not been shown effective for anything we have here (it works for river blindness and African sleeping sickness) and is so toxic it has to be given in a hospital, with 24 hours of watching after each dose.
      (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suramin) (https://www.drugs.com/mmx/suramin-sodium.html)

      • Jerry Hatfield

        I checked for prices online. The one I quoted was from a lab in LA if I remember correctly. I really have no use for it. My comment was directed at poking a stick in the eye of the criminal extortion of useful drugs by the drug companies.

  • JaniceOly

    The study is VERY PRELIMINARY and the drug is HIGHLY TOXIC; see below

    The study involved only 10 boys, only 5 of whom were given 1 dose of suramin. The researchers call for caution about these very preliminary results. They tried so many different measures of improvement, it is not surprising there were some measures which showed more improvement in those who received suramin than in those who received the placebo; statistically speaking, that could happen randomly. (http://www.livescience.com/59314-suramin-drug-may-treat-autism-symptoms.html)

    Suramin is not FDA-approved, probably because it has only been shown to be effective for river-blindness and African sleeping sickness (which are not issues in the USA) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suramin) and because it is toxic: “Because suramin is highly toxic, it should be given only under medical supervision. Patients being treated with suramin should receive this medication in the hospital. They should be observed for 24 hours after administration of each dose of the medication.” (https://www.drugs.com/mmx/suramin-sodium.html)