Helminthic therapy and children

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Helminthic therapyThe reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic eggs or larvae to reconstitute a depleted biome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. and children with autism

The science

Anecdotal reports by parents of children with autism

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The results have been dramatic. My son’s most extreme behaviors, including self-abuse (head hitting, hand biting), agitation, aggression, anxiety, obsessive/compulsive thoughts and behaviors, impulsivity, perseveration, behavioral inflexibility, extreme sensitivity to external stimuli, and “stimming” were completely eliminated 10 weeks into the therapy, and have not returned for 15 months now. [1], [2]

Three comments by a parent/therapist

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… he and the other children who received hookwormA helminth that lives in the small intestine. Necator americanus (NA) is the only hookworm species used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin. all improved cognitively and in motor skills. Why those 2 things, I don't know. Most of the younger children, the less impaired, also improved, sometimes dramatically, in expressive language… There are many children with TSOthe ova (eggs) of the porcine (pig) whipworm, Trichuris suis now, and the results with that have been remarkable. It seems to have about a 70-75% success rate of causing major global improvement. One child I know was non-verbal and on TSOthe ova (eggs) of the porcine (pig) whipworm, Trichuris suis began to talk. He's now fairly chatty. A lot is repetitive language, but a lot isn't. His teachers couldn't believe it. [3]
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My older son is 16 and autistic. I started with TSOthe ova (eggs) of the porcine (pig) whipworm, Trichuris suis 3 years ago and within 12 weeks or so, began to see positive results in terms of digestive symptoms, mood, and eventually cognition. Because of the staggering cost, I moved him onto first hookwormA helminth that lives in the small intestine. Necator americanus (NA) is the only hookworm species used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin. and then added TTOthe ova (eggs) of the human whipworm, Trichuris trichiura when it became available. I now have many, many clients using some form of helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] with a positive result rate (I estimate) around 75% (at least). Things that improve: cognition, receptive language, eye contact, sociability, awareness (less autistic fog), sometimes expressive language, and absolutely gut symptoms. Things I haven't seen affected so much in the autism population - anxiety and OCD. [4]
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I have been using TSOthe ova (eggs) of the porcine (pig) whipworm, Trichuris suis in my son with autism and many of clients and friends' children have also been on this, so I have a fair bit of experience with it at this point. Almost all children require the full 2500 ova every 2 weeks for maximum efficacy. Most take an average of 10-14 weeks at this full dose to start to show improvement, although that is an average - some take a shorter amount of time, some longer. The first thing to improve tends to be bowel symptoms. Starting around 14 weeks, parents start to see improvements in communicative intent, sociability, receptive language. The younger and less severe the child, the more improvements are seen, although even older and more affected kids like my son have done incredibly well on TSOthe ova (eggs) of the porcine (pig) whipworm, Trichuris suis. [5]

When using helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] in children with autism, they should be introduced VERY gradually to avoid triggering severe side effects.

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Started off 500 (TSOthe ova (eggs) of the porcine (pig) whipworm, Trichuris suis), two weeks later 1000, two weeks later 2500. He is having really bad behaviors… hitting screaming.” (From a parent treating his 17 year old son with autism.) [6]
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My child is autistic and as long as we increased the dose VERY SLOWLY he was fine. When we doubled the dose he went absolutely bonkers... I think with the ASC population you have to be very very careful with these things... [7]

The dose can eventually be increased and, in the case of TSOthe ova (eggs) of the porcine (pig) whipworm, Trichuris suis, 2,500 ova has been found to be best dose size.

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… even the little ones seem to need the maximum. I've only seen 2 or 3 kids ever who did better with lower dose, and even they were on at least 1000. [8]
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I give TSOthe ova (eggs) of the porcine (pig) whipworm, Trichuris suis 2500 to my 16 year old son with autism and it acts like a “happy pill” for him - I think his body feels so much better. He is not particularly verbal, so I can’t ask him about side effects, but I’m sure if there were any negative ones I would definitely be able to tell from his behavior. He takes the salty liquid like a champ, makes a face, and then goes about his business. [9]

The role of the microbiotaThe specific population of microorganisms living in a certain part of the body, such as the gut. "Microbiome" refers to all the microorganisms living in and on the body, or the genome of these microorganisms. These two terms are often used interchangeably. in autism

Worms and bacteria are known to interact in complex and subtle ways to provide an efficient and beneficial ecosystem.

The role of gut bacteria in autism is therefore arguably as important as that of helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths], and the two are likely to be complementary in addressing this disorder.

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He then tells a surprising story about a woman whose son had autism. She persuaded a physician to prescribe vancomycin to change the child’s microbiotaThe specific population of microorganisms living in a certain part of the body, such as the gut. "Microbiome" refers to all the microorganisms living in and on the body, or the genome of these microorganisms. These two terms are often used interchangeably., and the autism disappeared. But it returned when he went off the drug. The experiment was resumed, and the autism went away again. And a fecal transfer had a lasting effect so that more than a decade later, the young man works in a microbiology lab. [10]

In view of the articles above, Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) might be worth considering for autism, either alone or in combination with helminthic therapyThe reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic eggs or larvae to reconstitute a depleted biome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy.. For more about this combination, see the following page.

Helminthic therapyThe reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic eggs or larvae to reconstitute a depleted biome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. and children with other conditions

The following posts are about the use of helminthic therapyThe reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic eggs or larvae to reconstitute a depleted biome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. in children with Crohn's diseaseAlso known as regional enteritis, this is an inflammatory disease of the intestines that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus, causing a wide variety of symptoms. It primarily causes abdominal pain, diarrhea (which may be bloody if inflammation is severe), vomiting or weight loss, but may also cause complications outside the gastrointestinal tract such as skin rashes, arthritis, inflammation of the eye, tiredness and lack of concentration., Crohn's/colitis, GIGastroenterology is the branch of medicine concerned with disorders of the digestive system which includes all the organs of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract (alimentary canal) from mouth to anus. Physicians practicing in this field of medicine are called gastroenterologists or GI specialists. ulcers, asthma, eczema, allergies, fragrance sensitivity, eosinophilic esophagitis (EEEosinophilic esophagitis is an allergic inflammatory condition of the esophagus. Symptoms are difficulty swallowing, food impaction and heartburn. The disease was first described in children but also occurs in adults. It is not well understood, but food allergy may play a significant role./EoEEosinophilic esophagitis is an allergic inflammatory condition of the esophagus. Symptoms are difficulty swallowing, food impaction and heartburn. The disease was first described in children but also occurs in adults. It is not well understood, but food allergy may play a significant role.) and PANDAS/OCD:

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I'm treating my 10 year old child who developed very severe allergies to both cat dander and dust mite. When it hit she became so sensitive to dust mite that she could only just handle school (with a couple of days off a week to get away from the dust) with medication. She's improved immensely over the last 6 months of treatment, never needs a day off and is off all her meds. Absolutely, definitely worth the effort and money, imo. And the risk is negligible. She handled the initial discomfort well. The first dose was about 5-7 worms, second dose 25 about 6-8 weeks ago. I'm hoping for full remission, and it is looking likely at this point. [12]
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My daughter has EoEEosinophilic esophagitis is an allergic inflammatory condition of the esophagus. Symptoms are difficulty swallowing, food impaction and heartburn. The disease was first described in children but also occurs in adults. It is not well understood, but food allergy may play a significant role.. We have been extremely conservative with dosing her. I think her first inoculationThe introduction of an infectious agent into an organism. [http://helminthictherapywiki.org/wiki/index.php/Helminth_inoculation Helminth inoculation] was six worms. She had another ten about five months later. We don't inoculate more than once a year at the most. She has been in remission for about four years. [13]
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(Our son) hasn’t had an anaphylactic episode in over two years. He is 8yo and he has had about seven anaphylactic episodes, so two years without one is stunning. He’s healthy, he rarely gets sick, and when he does, he recovers quickly. We are over here living a basically normal life. His progress compared to other children who have his disease (EoEEosinophilic esophagitis is an allergic inflammatory condition of the esophagus. Symptoms are difficulty swallowing, food impaction and heartburn. The disease was first described in children but also occurs in adults. It is not well understood, but food allergy may play a significant role., IgE-mediated allergies, Gastroparesis, OAS and all of the symptoms of MCASMast cell activation syndrome, also referred to as mast cell activation disorder (MCAD). An immunological condition. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mast_cell_activation_syndrome Wikipedia:Mast cell activation syndrome]) is unheard of, and I credit it to the helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths]. He missed more than half of kindergarten and first grade, but only missed five days of school in second grade. [14] Also see this earlier, more detailed report about the same child.
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My daughter is 18 months old. I inoculated her (at 15 months) with 3 NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus for severe eczema and allergies… The back of her neck, arms, and legs were riddled with eczema and she didn't sleep well. Last week her skin became smooth, the redness is greatly reduced. She doesn't need to be moisturized at every diaper change, only twice per day. She started sleeping without our 4 am itch fest, which was our nightly ritual for months… the change in her skin is remarkable progress. I had tried so much before Helminth Therapy. It's the only treatment that has brought my girl relief. I look forward to the weeks to come. [15], [16] (My daughter also has) anaphylaxis from a long list of food/dog allergies. The dog allergy was the first to go 10 months after first dose of 3 NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus. Her food allergies started going away 2 years in, but she still has some of her most severe (soy, dairy). Her pediatrician is very impressed with the results, as she said my daughter had the most severe case of non-infected eczema she had ever seen. [17]

The author of the last quote reported again, almost 1 year after starting the treatment, that her daughter's progress was being maintained.

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Her milder food allergies still give her some hives but the swelling has diminished noticeably. We stay away from most of her allergens still, but her (eczema) went from being terrible on her arms and legs and face to being mostly gone. [18]
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I thought I would post an update on my 2 year old son regarding his NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus treatment while breastfeeding. I inoculated him just over a year ago for his severe eczema and multiple food allergies (he could only handle about 10 different foods, and since I was nursing him I had to be on the same limited diet). Breast milk contains lauric acid which is the same compound found in coconut oil that inhibits NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus efficacy. I nursed him until January of this year, and up until then his results from the worms were moderate (his skin had improved a bit and I was able to introduce a couple new foods). But since weaning him it's been completely night and day. His skin has cleared (with only a tiny patch of eczema that shows up every once in a while), and he's eating a much wider range of food now. It's been incredible now that his small but mighty colony can work more efficiently. He's had two doses, and I'm planning for a third soon. This is not an encouragement for moms to stop nursing their babies sooner if they're considering helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] for their little ones. I'm glad I nursed him as long as I did because I believe the benefits of breast milk outweigh the impact on his colony. [19]
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We began giving our son NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus a year and a half ago. He was almost two years old at the time and had suffered from severe (and I mean extremely severe) eczema from one month of age. We had tried everything possible including fecal transplants, and NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus was probably the last thing I could think of that we hadn't tried. 12 weeks into his first dose of 5 NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus, he was able to play naked, without two layers of clothes on for the first time in his life (he couldn't have skin anywhere within itching reach as he wouldn't do anything else other than scratch his skin to the point of bleeding). Since this first dose, we have given him a few others and also included 8 months of TSOthe ova (eggs) of the porcine (pig) whipworm, Trichuris suis treatment. There have been ups and downs with his skin but overall, a year and a half later, he is a completely different kid. Looking at him you would never know he had eczema and I couldn't be more grateful. [20]
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My 14 yo and 12 yo have been inoculating for several years. They now tell me when they need another dose. History of seasonal allergies, asthma, eczema, GIGastroenterology is the branch of medicine concerned with disorders of the digestive system which includes all the organs of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract (alimentary canal) from mouth to anus. Physicians practicing in this field of medicine are called gastroenterologists or GI specialists. ulcers. All symptoms are gone when NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus are in use. [21]

The question of appropriate age

Many parents are particularly concerned about the age at which helminthic therapyThe reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic eggs or larvae to reconstitute a depleted biome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. should be used in children, and, while there is as yet no definitive advice about this, the following articles, reports and opinions are informative.

Early life is critical for future health outcomes

The most significant critical window for healthy human/microbial superorganism formation is pregnancy, birth, and shortly thereafter.

And this period may not extend much further than the first 100 days of life.

Prof Edwin Gale of Bristol University believes that the first three months of life is the time when a child should normally get in contact with pathogens. “It’s also the period wherein its immune system learns to react forcefully, without running amok…”

Extracts of worm or egg completely prevented the onset of type 1 diabetes in mice, but only when treatment was started at 4 weeks of age.

Historically, babies would often become infested with the helminthAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths], Enterobius vermicularis ('pinwormRefers to Enterobius vermicularis in the US, and to Strongyloides stercoralis in the UK.' in the US, 'threadwormRefers to Strongyloides stercoralis in the US, and to Enterobius vermicularis in the UK.' in the UK), at, or very soon after, birth, either by direct contact with the eggs on the mother’s skin or from infected bedding or breathing in eggs floating in the air. Today, helminthic therapyThe reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic eggs or larvae to reconstitute a depleted biome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy.-aware parents are beginning to expose their children to small numbers of therapeutic helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] in the early months of life.

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My baby started to get dermatographia hives from touch at 6 months when I introduced solids. At 8 months he got 3 hookwormA helminth that lives in the small intestine. Necator americanus (NA) is the only hookworm species used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin. and the hives have stayed away. (Reported to a closed group, Oct 2014)
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There are a few babies who started helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] before 12 months, one in particular I remember had very severe IBDInflammatory bowel disease is a group of conditions affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, particularly the colon and small intestine. The major types of IBD are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). and did amazing. (Reported by a Clinical Scientist to an online group, Apr 2014)
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We once used a protocol starting with just 50 eggs (Trichuris suisThe porcine (pig) whipworm used in helminthic therapy and taken as microscopic eggs (TSO) in a drink every two weeks. ova - TSOthe ova (eggs) of the porcine (pig) whipworm, Trichuris suis) and then escalating up to 500 within 10 dosings in a 15 month old. Worked absolutely great. [22]
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I gave my daughter her first dose of HWhookworm, usually referring to the human hookworm, Necator americanus at 16 months. The benefits far outweighed the side effects in our case. [23]
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My daughter was 3 years old and was permanently suffering on every kind of infections on her eyes, nose, ear etc. My son was having various allergies all the time. I've put both on TSOthe ova (eggs) of the porcine (pig) whipworm, Trichuris suis for 10 doses escalating from TSO500 up to TSOthe ova (eggs) of the porcine (pig) whipworm, Trichuris suis 2500. Their symptoms disappeared completely. I repeated the 10 doses treatment once every year since. They are now 13 and 17 and still doing very well. [24]

The following protocol was suggested in response to a question about using helminthic therapyThe reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic eggs or larvae to reconstitute a depleted biome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. in a 19 month old baby.

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In children that young, treatment should start with an adaptation phase using very small doses, which can be increased gradually and slowly, e.g. initial treatment with 1/5th of the TSO500 dosage, then 2/5, 3/5, 4/5, 6 x 5/5. [25]

While the very early introduction of helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] may have a long-term effect on the immune system, it is unlikely that introducing a one-off helminth infection later in childhood will confer life-long protection, as some parents have hoped. If helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] are introduced later in childhood, helminthic therapyThe reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic eggs or larvae to reconstitute a depleted biome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. will almost certainly need to be maintained throughout life, either in the form of a viable colony of human helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths], e.g., the hookwormA helminth that lives in the small intestine. Necator americanus (NA) is the only hookworm species used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin., Necator americanusThe species of human hookworm used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin. (NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus) or regular dosing with a non-human helminth such as the pig whipwormA helminth with a tapering whiplike body that lives in the colon. In helminthic therapy, the microscopic eggs of either the human Trichuris trichiura (TTO) or pig Trichuris suis (TSO) are taken in a drink., Trichuris suisThe porcine (pig) whipworm used in helminthic therapy and taken as microscopic eggs (TSO) in a drink every two weeks. (TSOthe ova (eggs) of the porcine (pig) whipworm, Trichuris suis) or the rat tapewormA helminth with a flat, ribbon-like, segmented body. Only the murine (rat) tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta, is used in helminthic therapy and this generally does not reach adulthood in humans so requires regular dosing of HDC., Hymenolepis diminjuta (HDCHymenolepis diminuta cysticercoids (Hi-men-o-lep'is dim-a-nu-ta sis-ti-sur-koid) - the larval cysts of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta). [26]

See also

SimpleHTLogo(18x18).gif Helminthic Therapy Wiki: documenting the science, management, experience and results of helminth replacement therapy.