Cure Autism Now: Antibiotics for Autism | December 2000

[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]

Antibiotics for Autism

Ivanhoe Broadcast News 
December 2000

Antibiotics for Autism

Antibiotics for Autism
Television News Service/Medical Breakthroughs
Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc. December 2000

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 1 in every 500 people has autism — a developmental disorder that affects language and social skills. For years it’s been largely untreatable, but a new study indicates antibiotics may hold an answer. 

Eight-year-old Andrew Bolte reads at a first-grade level. Sitting with his tutor, he pays close attention. However his mother, Ellen, says it wasn’t always this easy. 

“He couldn’t stand to be touched or held. He hated the feeling of clothing on his body,” she says.

Andrew was diagnosed with autism when he was 2. Wondering why her son also had chronic diarrhea, Ellen did her own research and came up with a theory. 

Ellen explains, “We need to look at the gastrointestinal track. There is a connection between the gut and the brain.” 

She wondered if a harmful bacterium in the intestine could be affecting Andrew’s brain. 

A study by Richard Sandler, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago, showed she could be right. He treated 11 autistic children with the antibiotic vancomycin (Vancoled®, Vancocin®) and 9 out of the 11 improved. 

Dr. Sandler explains, “They got calmer, could start to pay attention, and could start to follow directions.” 

However over time, nearly all of the children had some relapse. 

Dr. Sandler says, “Vancomycin is not a treatment for the kids. It’s just a lead. A very important one, I think, but just a lead.” 

It’s a lead indicating that antibiotics may one day play a role in a cure for Andrew and thousands of others who suffer from autism. 

Ellen says, “Somebody has got to keep pushing this forward, and for some reason, God gave me the strength to keep doing it. So that is what I will keep doing.” 

Dr. Sandler says about 25 percent of children with autism experience chronic diarrhea or constipation. Further research is now underway to determine if, in fact, a bug or toxin is present in autistic patients’ intestinal tracts.

3 responses to “Cure Autism Now: Antibiotics for Autism | December 2000”

  1. Yes, and?

    Many people are barely affected by antibiotics.

    Or they have been made worse.

    [even the E-2 forms and the Intervention List have shown this]

    [and sometimes – very very rarely] it may be a *causative* factor…


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