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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Autism and Alzheimer's Drug - Namenda

Possible Miracle Autism Drug

A West Des Moines psychiatrist claims to use a "miracle drug" that improves symptoms of autism.

Dr. Randall Kavalier prescribes the drug "Namenda," which is designed for and marketed to Alzheimer's patients, to children who have autism or who suffer from brain injuries. Dr. Kavalier claims that Namenda clears up the interference among signals to nerves in the brain. Dr. Kavalier said that while elderly brains have long finished developing, children's brains are still being molded. He said that, in many cases, after children swallow a few pills, "They light up. I mean, they turn on."

Before you read any further, you should know (and Dr. Kavalier acknowledges) that many other child psychiatrists disagree. They think it may be dangerous to prescribe Namenda for something other than what it was intended. Channel 13 News received an email from an anonymous person who claimed to be the parent of an autistic child. They said that their child suffered "months of horrible side effects" as a result of taking Namenda. That being said, Dr. Kavalier insists that "it's like patients start talking... suddenly."

Greg and Stacy Brakefield believe in Namenda. Three years ago, a trip to a water park hotel was out of the question for the couple from New Germany, MN. Their daughter, Mackenzie, suffers from a brain injury. She nearly suffocated as an infant. Stacy said, "We were told she wouldn't walk. She wouldn't see. She wouldn't really be a very normal functioning kid."

One year later, the Brakefield's son, Josh, was born with autism. Greg and Stacy said that they found their miracle in Namenda. "It is a miracle drug," said Stacy. "Am I going to say it's a cure for either one of the things my kids have? I wouldn't say cure. I'd say it's a thing to help the journey be easier. That's what I'd call Namenda."

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