Anne Dachel and Teresa Conrick are downright confused over there at AoA. That's okay, as the folks commenting aren't any better off.
They're both busy going a wee-bit off the deep end on this clinical trial by Curemark.
In a press release regarding Curemark, autism, and the revolutionary enzyme that's going to cure autism (get it-- curemark), it is revealed that: "Dr. Fallon’s paper, entitled, “The Role of a Dearth of Amino Acids in the Pathophysiology of Autism” details the groundbreaking discoveries regarding autism and its possible origins. This research is the focus of Curemark’s plans for entering into clinical trials."
Okay, so what are these groundbreaking discoveries? Well, stand back and be prepared to be amazed: "Dr. Joan Fallon, the company's founder and CEO, observed that many autistics show a strong preference for foods high in carbohydrates and low in protein." Okay, my husband is right that this is my new favorite saying, but holy crap on a cracker, folks! It's got all the earmarks of the woo the AoAers love to hear. It's just confusing the hell out of them that there's actually a clinical trial registered with the government. Somehow, they've twisted this to be a federal endorsement, and they can't believe a study by Wakefield is cited as background literature. Guys, the government didn't approve this study, it's a registry, not an endorsement, and it's Curemark's scientist who's provided Wakefield. This should have been your signal that this was one of your woo-posse, but no, you've confused something actually getting studied with being big pharma. Instead it's a start up company, like Boyd Haley's, only Curemark is taking it a step further and actually examining whether it works.
Business Week covers Curemark in an article back in January: "One of the most promising treatments in this category is a drug called CM-AT made by a startup called Curemark. Dr. Joan Fallon, the company's founder and CEO, observed that many autistics show a strong preference for foods high in carbohydrates and low in protein. A diagnostic test revealed that some autistic children lack enzymes that digest protein. As a result, these children produce fewer of the essential amino acids that are the building blocks for brain development and neuroreception. Fallon believes this deficiency is linked to the most severe symptoms of autism, and she says an early observational study of CM-AT, an orally ingested powder that delivers protein-digesting protease, showed "significant improvements." Curemark is enrolling patients in phase III clinical trials at 10 to 12 sites—the largest autism trial to date." Hah, no scientific evidence offered as to why this is a promising treatment and Business Week hardly connotes scientifically valid.
And, in a press release, Curemark announced that it had been granted FDA fast track and then explained : "Fast Track is a process designed to facilitate the development and expedite the review of drugs to treat serious diseases and those that fill an unmet medical need, providing a therapy where none exists or are potentially superior to existing therapy, according to the FDA Web site. Fast Track designation provides for early and frequent communication between the FDA and the drug company to resolve questions and issues quickly, obtaining an expedited review and faster access by patients."
Does this prove that FDA and Big Pharma are in cahoots with each other or that the overwhelming majority of researchers are saying, oops it's the guts? No. It means a "doctor" has decided to branch out into a niche field, like Haley, the Geiers, Wakefield and Krigsman did. And the rich, rich irony is that the AoAers missed it and have decided it's a big pharma gambit and validation of all their conspiracy theories, because of course it's all about the money to be made.
Again, holy crap on a cracker (Big Bang Theory fans will recognize this). Guys, how did you miss Dr Fallon's 2006 publication to the esteemed (sarcasm) journal Medical Hypotheses: "Could one of the most widely prescribed antibiotics amoxicillin/clavulanate "augmentin" be a risk factor for autism?" This is her one and ONLY publication citing with pubmed.
This is yet another case of media covering a story without assessing its legitimacy, and the AoAers picking up on it and running with it without taking the cursory amount of time necessary to assess the legitimacy of the story.
I mean, if they'd done any digging, they'd have found this:
"Dr. Joan Fallon, member of the ICA Pediatrics Council Board of Directors and Immediate Past Council Chair was recognized by the New York State Senate with a citation for her research demonstrating that children with ADD, ADHD and autism have a similar biological defect and that pancreatic enzyme therapy is efficacious in the treatment of these children. Dr. Fallon has been awarded a patent for her enzyme therapy treatment by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The presentation was made by NY State Senator Nicholas Spano. In his proclamation Sen. Spano commended Dr. Fallon for her compassion and care and for sharing with others her knowledge and expertise “as well as her never ending commitment to the quality of health care.” Dr. Fallon’s research as well as her care of children with chiropractic adjustments were also cited in a debate in the Canadian Parliament as something that should be looked at when considering treatment options for children with autism in Canada. Dr. Fallon is a full-time practitioner in New York."
"Dr. Fallon is a Fellow of the International Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics.She is a former Assistant Professor at Yeshiva University in New York City, and the author of numerous professional papers and texts.She is the coordinator of a post-graduate program in pediatrics, and on the faculty of numerous Colleges and Universities.She has lectured extensively around the world on the subject of children with problems, and she has traveled numerous times to Romania to work with the children of the orphanages.She is the director of a multidisciplinary center in Westchester County, New York, that specifically works with children with problems, and prides herself on outreach and networking with other professionals to bring the best possible care to all children."
A little more, you ask? "A 1983 graduate of Palmer College, Dr. Fallon has a B.S. in biology and obtained her diplomate international council of chiropractic pediatrics (DICCP) through the ICA's program at Palmer.
She is an assistant professor in the natural sciences and mathematics department of Yeshiva University in New York, is on the postgraduate faculty at Palmer West, and is vice chair of the ICA Council on Pediatrics." --1996 Dynamic Chiropractor
I'm sorry, could someone please explain how a chiropractor is qualified to deal with pancreatic enzymes, let alone autism?
Yeah, AoA, she's one of yours, so will you be backpeddling and claiming her?
Anne Dachel (the media editor) writes: "Are we to simply accept that the medical/scientific community suddenly recognizes that autism is related to GI disorders, despite having previously denied a link?" Umm, pretty sure the medical and scientific community is going to go with Buie's studies, and not with some chiropractor who has patented an enzyme and is doing a clinical trial with what they hope will be 170 kids. That's not enough for statistical validity, for one, and this won't be a prescription drug, either, but will allow the company to claim it actually does something.
Even better is when Anne writes that Business Week covered it because of all the money to be had: "I'm sure BusinessWeek covered this because of the great profit potential for any drug that could be used to treat hundreds of thousands of American children." I'm sorry, but I really do have to laugh.
Now, tell me, if you actually go take a gander at the comments and the two articles over there at AoA, if this isn't proof that they are so far into their conspiracy theories that they read into stuff what they want to?