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FDA Warns Against Alternative Autism Therapy

The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers that a therapy often marketed for treating autism, cerebral palsy and other conditions is unproven and may “endanger their health.”

Federal regulators said Thursday that contrary to many claims on the Internet, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not clinically proven to cure or effectively treat the developmental disorders and many other conditions.

“Patients may incorrectly believe that these devices have been proven safe and effective for uses not cleared by the FDA, which may cause them to delay or forgo proven medical therapies,” said Nayan Patel, a biomedical engineer at the FDA’s anesthesiology devices branch. “In doing so, they may experience a lack of improvement and/or worsening of their existing conditions.”

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