Context: A child with symptoms placing him within the autism spectrum and with urine biochemical markers consistent with fungal (Aspergillus) colonization of the gastrointestinal tract was first treated with the antifungal probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii. A dramatic Herxheimer reaction provided strong clinical indications that mold colonization might be a factor in causing autism in this child.
Objective: The child's physician (Baker) wished to try a more potent antifungal therapy, itraconazole, in an attempt to reverse the child's autism since itraconazole is an especially effective agent against Aspergillus species.
Setting: The child was treated as an outpatient by the physician who had first diagnosed the child with an autism spectrum disorder.
Participant: A child with an autism spectrum disorder.
Intervention: The major intervention was increasing doses of the antifungal drug itraconazole. However, the Sporanox® brand of itraconazole gave the best results. The child was monitored twice weekly with liver function tests which remained normal throughout the therapy.
Results: The child had a complete recovery from all the symptoms of autism and in addition developed excellent academic, athletic, and musical skills. The recovery coincided with a marked reduction of urine markers of Aspergillus colonization.
Conclusions: Escalation of the dose of itraconazole resulted in a complete loss of all symptoms of autism over the course of three months. This rapid complete reversal of autism is consistent with several articles proposing mold in general and Aspergillus specifically as a potential major cause of autism.
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