NEMO Therapy - An Overview
Our studies so far have been with teen and preteen children, but the hypothesis we have developed suggests there should be no age barrier on who NEMO Therapy benefits. This could bring the many profoundly autistic adults back towards a level of function at which they can establish a quality of life that they've not likely experienced, and that their caregivers and family have given up on them ever having.
There is no lack of money being poured into intellectual and scientific research on autism, it seems that a new gene is being implicated every day. Perhaps this will bring some kind of "miracle" in the future - but the harsh reality is there are no new interventions emerging from this work that actually help those affected by autism today. We believe the body creates its own miracles when it is functioning normally - and NEMO Therapy is simply the tool facilitating the body's own response. Psychological interventions are currently considered the gold standard of treatment but we believe the underlying pathology naturally limits any progress that can be made until it is corrected to the fullest extent possible.
Diagnosis, Informed Consent, and ATEC Baseline
The qualifications for participation in this pilot study were minimal. They consisted of diagnosis of ASD by a healthcare professional; an age from 6 to 18 years, inclusive; not taking any drug that might reduce oxygen tolerance or interact with oxygen to produce a potentially harmful effect; not taking any psychotropic agent that might mask changes resulting from the therapy. Information for determining subject qualification was obtained during a meeting with the children's parents and/or from a detailed case history, also provided by the parents.
During the first meeting with the parents, we also reviewed an informed consent document which included a release to use data gathered on an anonymous basis. On receipt of the signed informed consent and a physician’s prescription for the therapy gas, a supply of oxygen was arranged with a licensed home respiratory care company.
Before the oxygen and therapy equipment were delivered and set up, parent-rated baseline ATEC assessments were conducted on each subject in order to establish severity level and any trend for change over time.
Equipment Setup At Home
Our vision is that the treatment needs to be available at home and not require a daily visit to a clinic or hospital. Fitting the equipment into the home minimises stress on the subject and maximises convenience for the caregiver. These factors support the ability to deliver regular treatments over an extended period as required to have the most impactful results.
Most of our pilot studies used a living room so that activities such as games or TV could be undertaken during treatment.
In our experience, the autistic children became comfortable with the hood system very quickly and settled into the routine of being treated. Our pilot study mums reported many instances of the child placing their own hoods on or being enthusiastic to get the treatment.
The equipment was set up to allow the child free range of movement within an area defined by the mother (eg: the family room). As the hood readily transmitted sound and provided good visibility, the children could continue with their normal activities while taking treatments.
Treatments were easily incorporated into the families’ homes and daily schedules, and readily adapted to within several days by the children with autism.
ATEC rating scales were completed periodically over the course of treatment and plotted to determine change over time and to compare to the original baseline taken in the months prior to commencing NEMO Therapy. This created graphs like the one shown below. For a complete view of the initial study and the results please review our 2018 Paper published in the Autism Open Access Journal.
The chart below summarises the sequence and key timeline of this pilot study. Treatment for 5 days per week was conducted for 550 days in total (approximately 18 months) during which time the dramatic changes occurred. In the period afterwards ATECs were taken on a regular basis, becoming more spaced from around 2 years in. Thereafter occasional ATECs have been provided giving us long term insight in to how the change is lasting. As can be seen from the data - 8 years later the same low scores (hence improved function) continue to be sustained, and the clock is still running.