Food allergies may be linked to autism
Jeremy Laurance is a writer on health issues. He is former health editor of The Independent and the i and has covered the specialism for more than 20 years. He thinks the harm medicine does is under-appreciated, the harm it prevents over-rated, and that cycling works better than most drugs. He was named Specialist Journalist of the Year in the 2011 British Press Awards.
Friday 19 November 1999
Dr Michael Tettenborn, consultant paediatrician at Frimley Children's Centre and Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey, said that of 58 autistic children he had treated in the past two years, 28 had shown "definite and sustained" improvement and 15 had deteriorated again when treatment was stopped.
The children, aged from 2 to 15, were given diets free of wheat, milk or both and treated with anti-fungal remedies where necessary for skin infections such as athlete's foot.
Dr Tettenborn, presenting his findings to an Allergy Research Foundation conference in London yesterday, said: "Autism is not an end-stage diagnosis in children. Many can be helped and some returned to mainstream schooling."
His findings will fuel speculation about the causes of autism, a devastating personality disorder. Research by a team from the Royal Free Hospital, London, published two years ago, suggested that it was linked with the measles virus and could be triggered by the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination (MMR).
More recently, it has been claimed that autism was linked with the hormone secretin. But subsequent trials have failed to confirm either theory.
Dr Tettenborn conceded his findings were based on clinical observation and were not the result of a controlled trial. But he said clinical experience could be valid "if observations are made in a way that tries to reduce the effect of bias".
Simon Baron-Cohen, lecturer in psychology at Cambridge University with a special interest in autism, said experience with secretin illustrated the danger of jumping to conclusions on the basis of clinical observation alone. He said: "This is an interesting clinical observation but it needs to be treated with caution and more research is needed."
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Bali Nine executions in Indonesia: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Bridgend based software de...
£21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A specialist retail and brand c...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...