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Immune Globulins and Autism Ranking: Mildly Hazardous Limited negative evidence

SyringeImmunoglobulins are proteins derived from human blood plasma.

The plasma, processed from donated human blood, contains antibodies that protect the body against diseases.

Immunoglobulins are used to treat patients with a range of conditions including some immune deficiency disorders.

Some people think that some of the core features of autism and some of the associated conditions, such as gastrointestinal problems, are caused by or made worse by defective immune systems.

They also think that immunoglobulin therapy can be used to repair those defective immune systems in some people on the autism spectrum.

Our Opinion

There is some scientific evidence of a link between immune deficiency disorders and some people on the autism spectrum but the nature of that link is unclear.

There is no high quality research evidence to suggest that immunoglobulin therapy has any effect on the core symptoms of autism.

There is a limited amount of high quality research evidence (a single, large, multi-site randomised controlled trial) to suggest that immunoglobulin therapy has no effect on bowel disorders in individuals on the autism spectrum.

Immunoglobulins are expensive, inconvenient to use, and potentially harmful. In the UK, their use is restricted to patients who meet the priorities set out in the document, “Clinical guidelines for immunoglobulin use”, published by the Department of Health in 2011. This document makes no mention of autism.

We therefore strongly recommend that immunoglobulin therapy is not used as a treatment for people on the autism spectrum because of the potential risks and the lack of proven benefit.

Disclaimer

Please read our Disclaimer on Autism Interventions


Updated
05 Jun 2018
Last Review
31 May 2018
Next Review
31 May 2021