Scientific study of homeopatic treatment

 

Homeopathy vs. Ayurveda.vs Allopathyx

 

[Peter Fraser]

Science and Homoeopathy

Alternative medicine is often criticised by conventional scientists as completely unscientific. Homoeopathy, since the time of Hahnemann, has been based on the clear, scientific collection of evidence, and the best homoeopathy continues to be so. In the case of AIDS a further proving was conducted with a remedy that came from the blood of a different person. As the results from this proving were very similar, it is clear that the picture is of the AIDS nosode and not that of the person from whom the blood was taken. In homoeopathy the evidence is given greater weight than is the prejudice of a certain mind set or scientific paradigm.

One of the major arguments against homoeopathy used by conventional critics is that the dilutions involved in homoeopathic remedies are so great that they could not possibly have any effect. This is true; nevertheless, they do have very powerful effects. During one of the AIDS provings one of the provers worked in a laboratory and agreed to have daily blood tests during the proving. The accompanying photographs show his blood as seen through a microscope before taking the remedy and two days after. In the first picture the erythrocytes (red blood cells) are normal in shape, size and distribution; in the second one the phenomena of anisocytosis (distortion in the size of erythrocytes), poikilocytosis (distortions in the shape of erythrocytes) and stacking are dramatically obvious. This prover received the remedy in a potency of 200c. In other words the original substance had been diluted to one part in one with four hundred noughts after it. If you took a single atom and diluted it in all the atoms that there are in our Galaxy, the Milky Way, you would have a dilution of one part in one with just seventy noughts after it. Yet in spite of this unimaginable dilution the remedy appears to have had an undeniable physical effect on the prover. In fact, provings clearly show that the effect of remedies can be felt by people who have not taken the remedy but who are in touch with its energy. Members of an established group who do not take the remedy often experience exactly the same symptoms as those members who do.

 

Treatment for hyperactive children: homeopathy and methylphenidate compared in a family

[H. Frei (Kinderarzt Laupen Schweiz) and A. Thurneysen]

British Homeopathic Journal (2001) 90, 183–188.

The sharp increase of the prescription of methylphenidate (MPD) in hyperactive children in recent years is a matter of increasing uneasiness among professionals, parents and politicians.

There is little awareness of treatment alternatives. The purpose of this prospective trial was to assess the efficacy of homeopathy in hyperactive patients and to compare it to MPD.

The study was performed in a paediatric practice with conventional and homeopathic backgrounds.

Children aged 3 – 17 y, conforming to the DSM-IV criteria for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with a Conners Global Index (CGI/siehe unten) of 14 or higher were eligible for the study. All of them received an individual homeopathic treatment. When clinical improvement reached 50%, the parents were asked to reevaluate the symptoms. Those who did not improve sufficiently on homeopathy were changed to MPD, and again evaluated after 3 months.

115 children (92 boys/23 girls) with a average age of 8.3 years at diagnosis were included in the study. Prior to treatment the mean CGI was 20.63 (14 - 30), the average index of the homeopathy group 20.52 and of the MPD-group 20.94. After an average treatment time of 3.5 months 86 children (75%) had responded to homeopathy, reaching a clinical improvement rating of 73% and amelioration of the CGI of 55%. 25 children (22%) needed MPD; the average duration of homeopathic (pre-)treatment in this group was 22 months.

Clinical improvement under MPD reached 65%, the lowering of the CGI 48%. Three children did not respond to homeopathy nor to MPD, and one left the study.

In cases where treatment of a hyperactive child is not urgent, homeopathy is a valuable alternative to MPD. The reported results of homeopathic treatment appear to be similar to the effects of MPD. Only children who did not reach the high level of sensory integration for school had to be changed to MPD. In preschoolers, homeopathy appears in particularl useful as treatment for ADHD.

 

Keywords: hyperactive children; ADHD (ADHS.); homeopathy; methylphendidate

Introduction

The trends in the prevalence of attention defizit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the prescription of methylphenidate (MPD) in children and adolescents in North America have shown a marked increase during the past decade.

1,2 Reported prescription rates range from 1.1% in Michigan (children 0 ± 19 y), 3.4% in Ontario (students grades 7, 9, 11, 13) to 8 ± 10% in south-eastern Virginia (students grades 2 ± 5, with a maximum of 18 ± 20% of

grade 5 white boys). The increase does not seem to be limited to the US and Canada:

In Switzerland, as in many other Western countries, the frequency of the diagnosis of ADHD and prescription of MPD have also risen remarkably during the past few years.

Along with this rise comes a concern for more accurate diagnosis of ADHD, and reports of abuse of MPD which has similarities with cocaine in terms of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics.

Other problems include noncompliance with frequent dosing and wear-off or rebound effects.

For parents of hyperactive children the fact that their child is receiving long-term treatment with a substance that falls under the legislation for narcotics (Switzerland) is often a cause of major concern. Many of them refuse such a treatment unless the school exerts extreme pressure. One of the main social causes for the rise in the prescription of MPD may be found in the lowering of public education budgets in recent years, leading to larger school classes in which hyperactive behaviour is less tolerable. It is not surprising therefore, that professionals seek options in pharmacotherapy and parents look for alternative treatments, despite the lack of controlled research on their efficacy and safety.13 ± 15

The purpose of this trial was to assess the efficacy of homeopathic treatment16 ± 18 in ADHD, answering the following questions:

What percentage of children can be sufficiently treated with homeopathy and need no other medication?

How many need MPD? And how many do not respond to these treatments at all?

What is the effect of homeopathic treatment and MPD as rated by the CGI?19 ± 21

How do parents rate clinical improvement, including feedback from school?

Time horizons: how long is needed to reach an adequate treatment effect in homeopathy? What was the duration of homeopathic treatment in patients who finally received MPD?

Methods

Children between 3 - 17 y conforming to the DSMIV diagnostic criteria for ADHD were eligible for the study. The diagnostic procedures included meticulous history taking, a general and neurological examination and an assessment of the hyperactivity and attention deficit symptoms according to the Conners 10 item rating scale. Patients with a CGI of 14 or higher were included in the study. If there was any doubt concerning the diagnosis of ADHD, patients were referred to a child and adolescent psychiatrist or psychologist or a paediatric neurologist for further testing (36 children = 31%).

Each child was first treated with homeopathy. To be effective, the homeopathic medicament has to match the individual symptoms of the patient, ie the symptoms that are not commonly present in most hyperactive children and therefore distinguish him from the others. This process of individual adaptation of the treatment may require some time, and include trials of possible medicaments, until the optimal effect is reached.

The matching of patient-symptoms and homeopathic remedies was performed following the procedures of Hahnemann, assisted by a computer-program (Amokoor24) based on the works of Boenninghausen. The prescribing technique has been described by the author in earlier publications.

In this trial homeopathic preparations of the following medicaments were used successfully (number of patients in parenthesis):

Lyc. (12), Calc. (7), Sulph. (7), Bell. (6), Caust. (6), Phos. (6), Ign. (5), Nux-v. (5), Arg-n. (4), Sep. (4), Lach. (3), Merc. (3), Puls. (3), Sil. (3), Ars. (2), Staph. (2), Agar. (1), Bar-c. (1), Bry. (1), Chin. (1), Hep. (1), Hyos. (1), Nat-m. (1) and Stram. (1).

All patients received liquid LM-potencies18 (LM 3 to LM 30) every day or every 2nd day, depending on the severity of their symptoms. Each potency (eg LM 3) was used for 4 weeks, moving on to the next higher level (eg LM 6) after a treatmentfree interval of several days to one week. If the child's reaction to the medication was insufficient (wrong choices usually do not change the hyperactivity symptoms), the next most similar remedy was prescribed.

Once an adequate response had been reached, the children received the next higher potency of the same medicine.

For clinical assessment of treatment the parents had to report the changes observed in every symptom they initially reported, ie hyperactivity `considerably improved', `slightly improved', `unchanged' or `worse'. After reporting the changes of every individual symptom they were asked to summarize the overall clinical improvement as a percentage. When the overall amelioration reached 50% or more, the treatment was reassessed by the CGI rating scale. The timing of this reassessment thus was individual, depending on the time required to find the correct homeopathic medicine. Patients who did not reach sufficient clinical improvement, or whose behaviour remained unacceptable despite a certain response to homeopathy were changed to MPD after reevaluation.

The point at which a patient was deemed a treatment *DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for ADHD:

(1) presence of either six symptoms of inattention or six symptoms of hyperactivity – impulsivity, which have persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with development level;

(2) presence of some symptoms that caused impairment before age 7 y;

(3) presence of some impairment from symptoms in two or more settings (eg school or work and at home);

(4) clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning;

(5) the symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of a pervasive developmental disorder, schizophrenia, or other psychotic disorder and are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (eg mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, or a personality  disorder).

Hyperactive children: homeopathy vs methylphenidate

Failure thus was individual, dependent on environmental tolerance for his behaviour. Many children had a long-term homeopathic treatment, before a crisis (usually school pressure) made MPD necessary.

Two weeks after the initiation of MPD-treatment, the CGI was determined to distinguish responders from non-responders. The final evaluation of this treatment by CGI followed 3 months after the optimal adjustment of MPD-dosage.

Patients

One hundred and fifteen children (92 boys, 23 girls) conformed to the eligibility criteria. Their average age at diagnosis was 8.3 y. In the homeopathy group 76% of the patients were boys, 24% girls, with a average age of 7.9 y at diagnosis. In the MPD group 92% were boys, 8% girls, with a average age of 9.6 y.

Non-responders and drop-outs were all boys with a average age of 9.0 y.

Results

Treatment modalities in ADHD patients

86 patients (75%) responded sufficiently to homeopathy, and 25 (22%) needed MPD. Only three patients (3%) did not respond neither to homeopathy nor to MPD.

One child left the study.

Comparison of response to homeopathy and MPD

The mean value of the CGI ratings of all patients prior to treatment was 20.63, the homeopathy group 20.52, and the MPD group 20.94. During homeopathic treatment

the mean CGI rating fell to 9.27 corresponding to an amelioration of 55%, and with MPD to 10.96, corresponding to an amelioration of 48%.

The CGI prior to change to MPD was determined only in a small group of patients. It reached an average value of 13.0 which corresponds to an amelioration of 37%.

Clinical improvement ratings

Clinical improvement ratings by parents in homeopathy treated children were 73%, and with MPD 65%. Most of the patients who had eventually received MPD had a treatment effect from homeopathy, but the mean clinical improvement was 43%, considerably lower than in children who responded well to homeopathy.

Time horizons

The average time needed to reach an optimal homeopathic treatment effect was 3.5 months (range 1 ± 16 months, Figure 4), the mean duration of homeopathic

treatment in those patients who finally needed MPD was 22 months (range 4 ± 62 months, Figure 5).

Discussion

In an earlier placebo-controlled study, Lamont showed, that homeopathy is an effective treatment in hyperactive children. Instead of long discussions whether or not homeopathy is placebo, its effects should be assessed by the same scales that are applied in mainstream medicine. In a situation where alternative treatments are frequently used, it is essential to know what can be expected

of them. It is surprising that 75% of the studied children reached a satisfactory amelioration with homeopathy in a family setting. Conversely most children who needed MPD, did so because of school pressure and not the situation at home.

The observed parent ratings of clinical improvement and the lowering of the CGI under homeopathy were slightly better than under MPD. This finding may be due to the short duration of action of MPD (4 h in the normal and 8 h in the retard form32), which often leads to difficult times at noon and in the evening (observation of the authors). Therefore it is mainly the school-situation that profits from MPD.

The difference between clinical amelioration and CGI ratings can be explained by the fact that every amelioration in a hyperactive child is an enormous relief for family and school.

The higher clinical improvement ratings reflect this relief, while the detailed 10-item ratings with the CGI show a more realistic picture of what has really been achieved.

It may be argued that all children who received MPD also had a homeopathic pre-treatment, and that they may therefore react better to MPD than children without homeopathic pre-treatment. The authors do not think that.

Hyperactive children: homeopathy vs methylphenidate

this is the case, because in the treatment-free intervals between the homeopathic medicines, most children show a reappearance of the hyperactivity symptoms.

This finding favours the impression, that homeopathy is, like MPD, a palliative treatment. Long-term follow-up studies over several years would be necessary

to settle the question as to, whether or not a curative effect can be expected.

A problem in homeopathy is the delay until the optimal amelioration is reached. Since it is necessary to make an individualized prescription, it is difficult to treat in a situation where an improvement has to be immediate. The choice of the correct medication is dependent on the individuality of the symptoms, if a patient only has the `standard symptoms' of ADHD and nothing peculiar, the homeopathic physician may have to make `therapeutic trials' to find the correct medicine. The administration of a wrong remedy usually does not change anything, while giving the right one leads to a clear, substantial improvement within 4 weeks. If a child has not responded by then,

it is unlikely that it will, and MPD treatment may be considered at this time.

Major advantages of homeopathy over MPD are the easy administration (once every day or once every second day), a continuous treatment effect over 24 h, no side effects except for a possible short initial aggravation, and no abuse potential. For many parents this last point is the most important concern. At preschool-age, when MPD has many side effects, homeopathy may be the first choice, as well as for students, who do not need to have an immediate relief.

Finally, there is an extremely low number of nonresponders if both methods are available (3%).

 

Conners Global Index
 

Bewerten Sie die Eigenschaften Ihres Kindes anhand des unten
stehenden Fragebogens von 1 - 4

0 = gar nicht,   1 = ein wenig,   2 = ziemlich stark,   3 = sehr stark

Unruhig oder übermäßig aktiv

Stört andere Kinder

Erregbar, impulsiv

Bringt angefangene Dinge nicht zu einem Ende,
kurze Aufmerksamkeitsspanne

Ständig zappelig

Unaufmerksam, leicht abgelenkt

Erwartungen müssen umgehend erfüllt werden,
leicht frustriert

Weint leicht und häufig

Schneller und ausgeprägter Stimmungswechsel

Wutausbrüche, explosives, unvorhersagbares Verhalten

 

 

[Fritz Johann Madel]

http://ir.dut.ac.za/handle/10321/1835

There is, however, evidence that Homoepathic, remedies can also effect cells in vitro (Chatteerjee et al, (1992:279)

demonstrated the effects of a nosode on a cell culture (in vitro) when they administered Leucocidine (potentised Staphylococcus aureus) to healthy human leucocytes in a test tube.

It was noticed that the leucocytes had degranulated more significantly compared to the control group.

Similar research carried out by  Belon (1992:339) showed that the administration of  potentised histamine to human basophils, had a significant effect in inhibiting Basophil degranulation.

 

 

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