Autistic boy dies of unproven treatment

An autistic boy died in a doctor's office after receiving an unproven treatment that some people believe may cure the neurological and developmental disorder, officials said.

Abubakar Tariq Nadama, 5, had received his third treatment of chelation therapy Tuesday before going into cardiac arrest, said Deputy Coroner Larry Barr. He said more tests would be needed to determine the cause of death.

Barr said the staff at Dr. Roy E. Kerry's office performed CPR on the boy. He died in a hospital.

State police also were investigating.

A message left for the doctor at the Advanced Integrative Medicine Center in Portersville was not immediately returned Thursday morning.

Chelation therapy involves an intravenous injection of a synthetic amino acid ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid that latches onto heavy metals and leaves the body through urine. The Food and Drug Administration has approved the treatment only for acute heavy-metal poisoning, confirmed by blood tests.

Some people believe chelation therapy can help autistic children, and more parents have been seeking the treatment. Critics call the treatment risky and say there isn't enough evidence to link autism to mercury or lead toxicity, reports the AP

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