For the medical charlatan, you almost can’t find an easier target to sell your snake oil to than the parent to an autistic child. They’re quite understandably desperate to find anything that might help their child and there’s still so much the scientists admit they don’t know about autism. So it’s easy to see why so many hundreds of parents could flock to an unproven and even potentially dangerous treatment with amazing promises attached to it such as allowing their child to receive…
. . .multiple high doses of a drug sometimes used to chemically castrate sex offenders.
The therapy is based on a theory, unsupported by mainstream medicine, that autism is caused by a harmful link between mercury and testosterone. Children with autism have too much of the hormone, according to the theory, and a drug called Lupron can fix that.
Given that autism is 4-times more common in males than females, it’s easy to see how the father and son team of Mark and David Geier could distort facts to fit this failed hypothesis. Sure, they had no reputable studies supporting their claims and the entire medical establishment had denounced them, but they had marketing. And let’s face it. These days, with good enough marketing, you can sell binoculars to the blind.
But experts say the idea that Lupron can work miracles for children with autism is not grounded in scientific evidence.
Four of the world’s top pediatric endocrinologists told the Tribune that the Lupron protocol is baseless, supported only by junk science. More than two dozen prominent endocrinologists dismissed the treatment earlier this year in a paper published online by the journal Pediatrics.
Simon Baron-Cohen, a professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge in England and director of the Autism Research Center in Cambridge, said it is irresponsible to treat autistic children with Lupron.
But of course, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And where there’s medical quacks selling dangerous products as autism cures, you know Jenny McCarthy can’t be far behind:
This weekend, Eisenstein, Geier and his son, David, are scheduled to speak at the Autism One conference at the Westin O’Hare in Rosemont. The five-day conference, featuring a keynote speech by actress-turned-activist Jenny McCarthy [NEW LINK ADDED BY SKEPACABRA], steps in where modern medicine has yet to succeed, offering answers for what causes autism and treatments with allegedly dramatic results.
Steve Novella goes into length about the Geiers’ claims here.