On the uselessness of chelation therapy for autism
As dubious as intravenous chelation therapy is for autism, though, there is a newer form of "chelation therapy" that is even more dubious. That is the so-called "transdermal" chelation therapy championed by Dr. Rashid Buttar (what an utterly appropriate name, given that it's been called the "Buttar treatment," and the cream could be said to look a bit like butter). Dr. Buttar claims that TD-DPMS can do wonders for autism. Unfortunately, he presents no data. He can't even present pharmacokinetic data to show that the active chelating agent is actually absorbed through the skin in sufficient quantities to chelate anything. Yet he treats children with it.
Fortunately, Kevin Leitch is on the case, writing this fantastically sarcastic letter to Dr. Rashid Buttar. Money quote:
Such an important scientist as yourself must surely have peers flocking to review your work. As such an august scientist you are no doubt aware of the most basic scientific precept of subjecting your scientific work for review so that others may critically appraise your work and replicate it. I was surprised therefore to discover that a search of www.pubmed.gov – the site that lists all scientific articles in peer-reviewed scientific literature – and found nothing when searching for ‘Rashid Buttar’. Did you submit your thesis under a pseudonym perhaps? I’m positive this must be an oversight and that the safety and efficacy of a product that you regularly use on children has been regularly tested and re-tested by both yourself and your peers as to do otherwise is tantamount to admitting one is afraid to submit one’s work for peer review – I’m certain that can’t be the case for you!