IS HOMEOPATHY A “BACK TO THE FUTURE” TREATMENT FOR AUTISM AND OTHER DISEASES? Many parents and healthcare professionals are turning to homeopathic remedies to help treat the symptoms associated with autism. Some parents are even creating websites and blogs to share their success stories with homeopathy. Most homeopathic treatments target a specific symptom, but some newer ones like Respen-A appear to have a more global effect on symptoms. Could it be that “back to the future” treatments hold great promise for effective relief of symptoms of autism? Homeopathy dates back to the 1700’s and is based on the law of similars in which a substance at a higher concentration produces the symptoms that at a lower concentration it resolves. Homeopathy involves serial dilutions of an active ingredient or drug, shaking vigorously each dilution before diluting it again. For example, 1C dilution would be 1 mg of an active ingredient or drug dissolved in 100 ml of water or alcohol and shaken vigorously. Then 1 ml of that solution is diluted in another 100 ml of water or alcohol and shaken vigorously again and this solution would be a 2C dilution and so on. Many homeopathy remedies have undergone so many serial dilutions that no molecules of the active ingredient remain in the mixture. It is believed that only the molecular frequency of the active ingredient is present and it is this frequency that has the beneficial effect on the symptoms being treated. Over the years homeopathy has been regarded as quackery by many healthcare professionals because of the lack of scientific evidence that such a frequency could exist and would indeed have an effect on symptoms. Any improvement in symptoms was discredited as simply being a placebo effect—that was until recently. Scientists at the Department of Morphological and Biomedical Science, University of Verona, in Verona, Italy have demonstrated that these frequencies do in fact exist and that they exert varying effects on cells depending on the number of dilutions. The study was conducted using an immune cell called a basophil that has been shown to be inhibited by high doses of histamine. The study showed that even very low doses (high dilutions) of histamine diluted in pure water 2C, 12C, 14C, 15C and 16C in which there are no molecules of histamine present in the water, still had a significant inhibitory effect on the basophil cells. Yet no inhibitory effect was shown with basophils exposed to just pure water that did not contain dilutions of histamine. Thus, it has now been scientifically proven that homeopathic dilutions can indeed have a physiological effect on the cells in the body. So perhaps one of the earliest methods of medicine—homeopathy—may become the future of medicine.