What is Biomedical treatment?

Biomedical therapies in autism are mostly the complementary and alternative medicines and treatment modalities. These therapies are used to reduce symptoms associated with autism by targeting specific physiological functions. They target specific processes that impact brain function and development. Biomedical treatment consists of a combination of dietary modifications, digestive enzymes, multivitamins and mineral supplements such as B vitamins, antioxidants, vitamin E, co-enzyme Q10, Melatonin, omega-3 fatty acids, and micronutrients, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), etc

How it works in Autism?

One of the most important parts of the biomedical treatment is to heal the digestive system/ gut of the patient. Diet, enzymes, and medications help to heal the gut and vitamins and mineral supplements work to treat nutritional deficiencies and the immune system. A healthy gluten free-casein free diet along with elimination of processed foods, food additives and preservatives is suggested. Biomedical treatments for autism are developed by comparing the physiology of individuals with and without autism to study the differences at the cellular level. This helps determine which metabolic process has been affected in autism. Studies have shown basic physiological processes such as redox metabolism, mitochondrial metabolism are affected in individuals with autism along with abnormal regulation of metabolites such as folate, tetrahydrobiopterin, glutathione, cholesterol, carnitine and branch chain amino acids. They also have intestinal inflammation, digestive enzyme abnormalities, oxidative stress immune dysfunction and impaired detoxification. These pathophysiological processes can arise from environmental and epigenetic factors as well as their combined interactions. Biomedical intervention improves these physiological abnormalities resulting in a beneficial outcome. The goal of biomedical treatment for autism is to improve the quality life of the affected individuals.

What are the benefits of Biomedical treatments?

Medical experts have observed the following improvements in patients after undergoing biomedical intervention:

  • Improved sensory symptoms,
  • Improvement in immune function
  • Improved Gut and Bowel function
  • Better digestion
  • Improved appetite
  • Improved cognitive function
  • Improved attention
  • Improved vocabulary and sentence structure
  • Improved higher order function
  • Improved social interaction, adaptability and social play.

What are the side effects?

Every child is different and thus will react differently to any form of biomedical treatment.

In general, these treatments do not have any serious adverse effects but some patients may not tolerate them well.

Few minor side effects are

  • Nausea and emesis
  • Increased irritability
  • Increased hyperactivity
  • Increased insomnia and
  • Increased gastroesophageal reflux
  • Constipation,
  • Increased appetite,
  • Fatigue,
  • Nervousness,
  • Daytime drowsiness



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  2. Hanson E, et al. Use of complementary and alternative medicine among children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2007; 37(4):628–636.
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  4. Mumper E. A call for action: recognizing and treating medical problems of children with autism. North American Journal of Medicine and Science. 2012; 5(3):180-184.
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  6. Alecson, D.G. (1999). Alternative treatments for children within the autism spectrum: Effective, natural solutions for learning disorders, attention deficits, and autistic behaviors. Los Angeles, CA: Keats Publishing
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  8. Siri, K. & Lyons, T. (2014). Cutting-edge therapies for autism. (4th ed.). New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

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