Chelation is a process of eliminating specific heavy metals from the blood. Heavy metals like cadmium, mercury and lead have been found in high levels in some children with autism. Hence, chelation is being used as a treatment for children associated with metal toxicity. It is hypothesized that chelation therapy may help these children improve by removing the toxic metals.
Chelation therapy makes use of various chemicals such as Dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), ethylenediaminetetra aacetic acid (EDTA), 2-3-dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonate (DMPS), etc which bind to the heavy metals and remove them from the body via urine.
Few cases have shown improvement in language, cognition and social interaction. However, there is no enough scientific evidence supporting these improvements in autism. It may also have adverse effects like seizures, diarrhea, renal and hepatic toxicity, fatigue, etc on the children.
Therefore, it is still an unproven mode of treatment for autism and needs extensive research before practicing it.