Br Homeopath J 2001 Apr;90(2):86-91
Barton House, Beaminster, Dorset, UK.
Autism is a condition characterised by impairments of social communication, social interaction and social imagination. The exact aetiology of autism is unknown but some autistic features have been explained by the ‘opioid excess theory’ in which excess brain peptide levels have a morphine-like activity. Reduction of peptide levels by administration of the duodenal enzyme Secretin has been found to improve social and language skills in autistic patients. Homeopathic Secretin has been said to produce similar effects. A pilot study was undertaken to study these effects by administration of Secretin to a group of autistic patients. Weekly assessment for 12 weeks was performed by the patients’ care workers. Statistical analysis of the mean pre-treatment results compared with the mean treatment results suggested a worsening in the autistic symptoms during treatment. Discussion with the care workers revealed changes and some improvements that were not recordable on the scoring system. Further research into Secretin treatment of autism using a more detailed and customized scoring system would be justified. Following this pilot study a randomised controlled trial of Secretin vs placebo would be appropriate.