New blood test can detect autism in children

Scientists have developed a blood and urine test that can detect autism in children.

Researchers at the University of Warwick said the test, believed to be the first of its kind, could lead to earlier diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children who could then be given appropriate treatment much earlier in their lives.

ASDs mainly affect a person’s social interaction and communication, with symptoms that can include speech disturbances, repetitive and/or compulsive behaviour, hyperactivity, anxiety, and difficulty adapting to new environments.

As there is a wide range of ASD symptoms, diagnosis can be difficult and uncertain, particularly at the early stages of development.

It is estimated that around one in every 100 people in the UK has ASD, with more boys diagnosed with the condition than girls.

Scientists said their research found a link between ASD and damage to proteins in blood plasma.

They found the most reliable of the tests they developed was examining protein in blood plasma, which found children with ASD had higher levels of the oxidation marker dityrosine (DT) and certain sugar-modified compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

Genetic causes are thought to be responsible for around a third of cases of ASD, while the rest are believed to be caused by a combination of environmental factors, mutations, and rare genetic variants.

But researchers believe their new tests could reveal yet to be identified causes of ASD.

They also confirmed the previously held belief that mutations of amino acid transporters are a genetic variant associated with ASD.

The Warwick team worked with collaborators at the University of Bologna in Italy, who recruited 38 children who were diagnosed with ASD along with a control group of 31 other children between the ages of five and 12. Blood and urine samples were taken from the children for analysis.

The team discovered there were chemical differences between the two groups. Working with a further collaborator at the University of Birmingham, the changes in multiple compounds were combined together using artificial intelligence algorithm techniques to develop a mathematical equation to distinguish between ASD and healthy controls. The outcome was a diagnostic test better than any method currently available.

They said the next steps are to repeat the study with further groups of children to confirm the good diagnostic performance and to assess if the test can identify ASD at very early stages, indicate how the ASD is likely to develop further to more severe disease and assess if treatments are working.

The research was led by Dr Naila Rabbani, reader of experimental systems biology at the University of Warwick, who said: “Our discovery could lead to earlier diagnosis and intervention.

“We hope the tests will also reveal new causative factors.

“With further testing we may reveal specific plasma and urinary profiles or ‘fingerprints’ of compounds with damaging modifications. This may help us improve the diagnosis of ASD and point the way to new causes of ASD.”

The research has been published in the journal Molecular Autism

Press Association

Source Article from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/autism-children-blood-test-urine-warwick-university-science-health-news-latest-a8216511.html

Internal CDC Documents Reveal They Manipulated Data To Conceal A Link Between Autism & Vaccines



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A Foolish Faith In Authority Is The Worst Enemy Of The Truth”– Albert Einstein

By Vera Sharav

Note from the World Mercury Project Team:  Following is Part Six in Vera Sharav’s seven-part exposé of the complex and widespread corruption that exists in the vaccination program, the deceptive practices by officials of “authoritative” international public health institutions and further evidence of the callous disregard for the plight of thousands of children and young adults who suffer irreversible harm. Sharav’s research is a must-read by those in our community.

You can read the previous parts here

This recourse to authority is an attitude reminiscent of the American eugenics movement, when public health officials and academics at elite universities, embraced the pseudo-scientific tenets of eugenics, which were the basis for abhorrent discriminatory policies, including forced sterilization policies that were launched in the USA.[60]

The internal CDC documents reveal that in addition to major methodological flaws and inconsistencies, CDC scientists and Danish scientists collaborated in outright fraud. Thorsen and his co-authors manipulated the results by excluding the largest outpatient clinic in Copenhagen – comprising 20% of autism cases in Denmark – from the pre-1992 cohort – thereby artificially inflating the autism incidence in Denmark after 1992 when thimerosal had been eliminated from children’s vaccines.

Furthermore, the authors of the Pediatrics (2003) article falsified their findings by omitting the 2001 data from their published report. The published report claims an astoundingly high (implausible) increase in the autism prevalence rate in Denmark after the phase-out and removal of thimerosal between 1990 and 1999.

This case reveals much about the corrupted vaccine literature. Indeed, the research community has not only failed to examine Thorsen / CDC research fraud, journal editors are knowingly facilitating fraudulent research articles to influence vaccination policies that put thousands of children at risk, depriving them of living normal lives.

The publicly accessible, internal CDC correspondence[1] allows anyone to trace the underhanded route that led to the publication of the Madsen/Thorsen/ et al report in the journal Pediatrics – after it was rejected by the Lancet and by JAMA. A written communication between Dr. Thorsen and high ranking CDC official, Coleen Boyle (2003) reveals that when the paper was first submitted to Pediatrics with the 2001 data included; it was criticized by one peer-reviewer:

“The drop of incidence shown for the most recent years is perhaps the most dramatic feature of the figure, and is seen in the oldest age group as well as the youngest.” The reviewer questions the authors’ failure to discuss “the possibility that this decrease might have come about through elimination of [T]himerosal.”

The internal CDC documents further show that CDC brought pressure to bear on journal editors to publish the Danish studies. Dr. Cordero, Assistant Surgeon General, National Center on Birth Defects & Developmental Disabilities used his influence to persuade Dr. Lucey to publish the Madsen / Thorsen study, “Thimerosal and the Occurrence of Autism”

“I am writing in support of an expedited review and consideration of the enclosed manuscript… Specific aspects of vaccinations have been subject to inquiry includ[ing] the MMR vaccine and thimerosal…For thimerosal there are limited data…The Danish study is a powerful epidemiologic study …a key strength of the study is the ability to examine rates of autism prior to and after the discontinuation of vaccines containing thimerosal in Denmark in 1992. Contrary to what would be expected if thimerosal was linked to autism, the authors did not observe a decline in the rate of autism with the removal of thimerosal…

Its findings provide one strong piece of evidence that thimerosal is not causally linked to autism.” [Exhibit V: Cordero letter to Lucey]

How is it that even as thousands of journal papers are retracted from the scientific record – Retraction Watch counted more than 14,000 retractions– some are retracted for spurious reasons, others provide no  explanation – yet, deliberately manipulated, fraudulent reports that were crafted to conceal vaccine safety hazards, have never been removed from the scientific literature. In fact, they continue to influence public health policy inasmuch as they were published in “authoritative”  “high impact” journals.

  • In the case of Pediatrics, a fraudulent study was published despite the fact that its editors knew that the 2001 data was omitted from the final version.
  •  US public health officials not only failed to disavow the fugitive’s research, federal officials have continued to collaborate and to co-author papers with him.
  • Dr. Thorsen continues to collaborate with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network.
  • Federal dollars continued to flow to studies in which he was or is involved.
  • Thorsen is the named author of at least 19 reports following his fugitive status – “after his “disappearance”. The journals include: Pediatric Neurology (2016), PLoS One (2015), Pediatric Research (2014), Journal of Autism Development (2013), PLoS One (2013) (NCBI search)
  • Both the HHS and DOJ continue to use his research as grounds to reject vaccine injury claims in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation.
  • No retraction of the articles he was associated with during and subsequent to his 2004 to 2010 alleged criminal activities has occurred.
  • The entire US public health machine acts as if the indictment never occurred.

Public health officials and the news media are using fear and exaggeration about the risks of infectious disease in the U.S., as well as the risks posed by un-vaccinated children, which is pitting neighbor against neighbor and parent against parent. They use the classic divide and conquer strategy.

Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), responded to Thorsen’s indictment stating:

“even if the allegation against Thorsen is true, it does not mean his science is bad… Let’s assume it is true that he embezzled money, the notion that it casts the science into question is false.For these big epidemiological studies, it is hard to believe that one person could effectively change the data.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, March 2010)

Dr. Offit is considered to be a leading authority, an ardent and outspoken vaccine defender/ promoter. This statement encapsulates the low regard that vaccinologists have for the integrity of vaccine science. Of course, like most vaccine promoters, Dr. Offit’s blatant conflicts of interest have enabled him to “vote himself rich”. [61]He is quoted in Newsweek (2008) stating that the millions he made from the rotavirus vaccine patent: “was like winning the lottery.

I believe that even if the allegations of embezzlement are not true, the evidence is indisputable that the studies produced by Poul Thorsen, and published in premier medical journals, are fatally flawed. By altering the inclusion criteria, excluding data that contradicted the authors’ claimed conclusion relegated the study to the ash heap of fraudulent junk science.

Furthermore, the following two studies “were conducted and results published without legally–required ethics clearances.”

CDC officials knew that the psychiatric registry records were reviewed without required permissions and they covered it up. In what are completely unethical acts by all involved, the team members went into damage control mode and decided that they likely could obtain permission for ongoing and future studies.

They concluded that it would probably be impossible to get permission for research that was already finalized (and published). It is absurd that experienced federal grants management officials even discussed the idea of seeking a human subject safety review retroactively. These are serious ethical violations. [sic] they shed light on the pervasive culture of corruption at the CDC.[62]

In January 2013, a Congressional hearing on autism[63] convened by the Government Oversight Committee.

Dr. Coleen Boyle (had by then been promoted to) Director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, and Dr. Alan Guttmacher, Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institute of the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) defended their agencies but provided no substantive information.

Boyle and Guttmacher evaded pertinent questions. When asked about why the number of children with autism has surged, they testified that autism has no known cause or cure; their focus was statistical tracking and detection tools.

  • When asked if CDC had sought constituent input?
  • Are there studies looking at the very aggressive way that we’re over-vaccinating our children”?
  • Are you looking at the impacts of combinations of vaccines”?
  • Boyle responded, “We know that vaccines save lives.”
  • No response was given to the following questions:
  • What steps were taken to ensure the integrity of the studies in which Thorsen was involved?
  • Why did the FDA and HHS take thimerosal out of all children’s vaccines except just the one or two or three, if there was no problem?
    Both Republicans and Democrats were exasperated by the evasive responses.
  • Dr. Boyle finally acknowledged: “We have not studied vaccinated versus unvaccinated [children]”.

Dr. Guttmacher tried to impress the committee with non-specific claims of accomplishments: the NIH $169 million budget allocation for autism in 2011; he claimed “effective interventions…recent advances in networks” but could not give an example of an effective autism treatment resulting from the last 10 yrs in which the NIH had spent $500 million dollars on autism research, Dr. Guttmacher responded that progress had been “elusive” due to lack of funding. He did not wish to respond to the question, why thimerosal was still used in multi-vial vaccinations?

“I’m just sitting here, and I’m listening to all this. There’s something wrong with this picture. There’s something wrong… When you’ve got this combination of shots, and you go from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 88, it seems to me somebody would say, wait a minute, let’s put the brakes on this, and at least let’s try to figure out whether the multiple-shot situation is causing this —

If I’m giving a baby nine shots in a day whether that—I mean, how much impact that’s having… you said there’s a body of evidence with regard to vaccines…

Mr. Chairman, I don’t know where we go from here… if we’re going to err, let’s err on the side of keeping children safe even if we have to [sic] do a pause and give one shot a day.”

Mark Blaxill, the author of The Age of Autism (2010), which documents that autism did not exist before the introduction of vaccines in the 1930s. Blaxill presented testimony on behalf of Safe Minds:

Autism is a public health crisis of historic proportions. Autism is a public health crisis of historic proportions. Worse than poliomyelitis. It’s devastating a generation of children and their families. We need to face up to the reality Autism is a national emergency. Autism rates didn’t just rise, they multiplied.The old surveys didn’t just miss 99% of children with autism.

It’s horrible but true; reported rates of autism have risen simply because there are more cases of autism. In the midst of this crisis, the federal agencies responsible for the health of our nation’s children have failed in their duty. CDC’s negligence has led the way. Many believe CDC has actively covered up the evidence surrounding autism’s environmental causes.

 NIH has received the lion’s share of Congressional funding, money they have wasted on status quo research and gene studies. It’s absurd to focus on genetic research in this crisis, there’s no such thing as a genetic epidemic. In the financial world, the result of the pressure to manipulate numbers to provide the answers bosses want has a name – securities fraud…what CDC has given us is the medical equivalent of securities fraud. All to avoid the inconvenient reality of the autism epidemic.

In 2006, Congress gave the NIH a mission to “combat autism.” You authorized $850 million for that mission… NIH spent most of that money on the great autism gene hunt while blackballing environmental researchers and defying parent concerns. It’s been a colossal waste of money and time. Not a single case of autism has been prevented. Not a single child received improved treatments. We need to conduct independent research into the great unmentionables, mercury, and vaccines, connections that we’ve documented in the earliest cases.

 We need accountable new leadership. Please root out the failures, the waste, the fraud, the negligence and the abuse of these agencies that aren’t doing their jobs.”  Blaxill’s latest book, co-authored by Dan Olmsted is DENIAL: How Refusing to Face the Facts about Our Autism Epidemic Hurts Children, Families, and Our Future (2017)  

Cong. Bill Posey made an announcement, and submitted new information for the Congressional Record: “I have information that the fugitive doctor had been involved in [sic] 21 of the 24 studies with CDC”.

Another Major Episode of CDC Fraud & Scientific Malfeasance Came to Light

In 2014, Dr. William Thompson, the senior CDC epidemiologist who co-authored the 2004 study published in Pediatrics blew the whistle and revealed that fraud had been committed by CDC authors (himself included) to conceal the higher risk of autism for African American baby boys who were vaccinated prior to 36 months and prior to 24 months of age. Beginning in 2013, in taped conversations with Dr. Brian Hooker, Dr. Thompson revealed how CDC destroyed evidence of the risk for autism. He provided primary documented evidence – a copy of data that had been deleted from the published article in Pediatrics (2004) the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.[64]

“We hypothesized that if we found statistically significant effects at either the 18-month or 36-month threshold, we would conclude that vaccinating children early with the MMR vaccine could lead to autism-like characteristics or features.”

When CDC scientists did find a statistically significant causal relationship between MMR and autism in African American boys, according to Dr. Thompson’s eyewitness account, CDC removed 260 black baby boys from the dataset and destroyed the data. The analysis in the published report in Pediatrics misrepresents the risk of having eliminated data from the dataset. That constitutes fraud.

Dr. Thompson stated that he wrote a letter alerting Dr. Julie Gerberding to the findings and suggested that the Institute of Medicine safety review committee should be informed of the risk, prior to its consequential February 2004 meeting. Dr. Thompson was reprimanded for contacting Dr. Gerberding and was put on administrative leave. He was threatened with being fired.  In his taped conversation with Dr. Hooker – which was central in the film Vaxxed – he expressed shock by his own action:[65]

“Oh my God. I cannot believe we did what we did. But we did.” “It’s the lowest point of my career, when I went along with that paper. I went along with this, and we didn’t report significant findings.”

“I am completely ashamed of what I did. I have great shame now. I was complicit, and I went along with that paper. I have great shame now, when I meet families with kids with autism, because I have been part of the problem.”

Dr. Hooker re-analyzed the complete CDC dataset in 2014, including the data that had been omitted from the published study in Pediatrics (2004). It showed statistically significant adverse effects at both 24 months and 36 months (RR 3.36, 95% CI 1.50-7.51, p = 0.0019).  The higher relative risk of autism for African American infant boys, vaccinated with MMR prior to 36 months, was (330%) compared to other babies. His re-analysis was published online by Translational Neurodegeneration on August 8, 2014:[65]

“The present study provides new epidemiologic evidence showing that African American males receiving the MMR vaccine prior to 24 months of age or 36 months of age are more likely to receive an autism diagnosis.

The results show a strong relationship between child age at the administration of the first MMR and autism incidence exclusively for African American boys which could indicate a role of the vaccine in the etiology of autism within this population group. The particular analysis was not completed in the original Destefano et al (CDC) study… the CDC study limited the total African American cohort to include only those individuals who possessed a valid State of Georgia birth certificate which decreased the statistical power of their analysis.”

However, Dr. Hooker’s article came under attack; pressure from the shadowy cyber enforcement squads,[66] that act as a police force to suppress every independent vaccine study that challenges the mantra: “there is no link to autism… vaccines are safe and effective”.

On August 27, the journal removed Hooker’s article with the statement: “This article has been removed from the public domain because of serious concerns about the validity of its conclusions. The journal and publisher believe that its continued availability may not be in the public interest”. There was no specific fault or mistake cited.[68]

On the same day that Dr. Hooker’s article was removed from the journal’s website, Dr. Thompson acknowledged the following in a statement issued by his lawyer (August 27, 2014):

“I regret that my co-authors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.”

“My concern has been the decision to omit relevant findings in a particular study for a particular subgroup for a particular vaccine. There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe itis the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with receipt of those vaccines.

I have had many discussions with Dr. Brian Hooker over the last 10 months regarding studies the CDC has carried out regarding vaccines and neurodevelopmental outcomes, including autism spectrum disorders. I share his belief that CDC decision-making and analyses should be transparent.”

Dr. Thompson then forwarded the documents to a U.S. Congressman William Posey who has repeatedly requested a congressional investigation.[69]

“Mr. Speaker, I believe it is our duty to insure that the documents that Dr. Thompson are not ignored. Therefore I will provide them to members of Congress and the House Committees upon request. Considering the nature of the whistleblower’s documents as well as the involvement of the CDC, a hearing and a thorough investigation is warranted.“So I ask, Mr. Speaker, I beg, I implore my colleagues on the appropriations committees to please, please take such action.”

On August 26, 2014, Sharyl Attkisson, an investigative journalist who earned numerous awards as CBS science correspondent (1993-2014), conducted taped telephone interviews with Dr. Frank DeStefano,[70] Director of CDC Immunization Safety, who co-authored the Pediatrics (2004) study.

He confirmed the verity of the confessions of CDC whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson about the omission from the published Pediatrics report, of children in the dataset, for whom there were no birth certificates here.

In a telephone interview, DeStefano defended the study and reiterated the commonly accepted position that there’s no “causal” link between vaccines and autism. But he acknowledged the prospect that vaccines might rarely trigger autism.

“Wouldn’t say it’s a myth, I’d say[sic] all the evidence, thus far, points to that there’s not a causal association between vaccines and autism…It’s a theoretical possibility…It’s hard to predict who those children might be, but certainly, individual cases can be studied to look at those possibilities.”

Attkisson writes, “They’re not even trying. A CDC spokesman told me that:

“the agency is not currently investigating the relation between vaccines and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Further, CDC does not have any planned research addressing vaccines and autism. CDC believes that this topic has been thoroughly studied and no causal links have been found. Current CDC ASD related research focuses on determining how many people have ASD and understanding [other, not vaccine-related] risk factors and causes for ASD”.[71]

When Dr. Thompson attempted to leave, CDC gave him a $24,000 bonus – a retention fee. Apparently, CDC continues to employ Dr. Thompson, because they feel more secure with him as an agency employee, enabling them to scrutinize his activities.  Clearly, they feared his being outside the agency, which would risk that he might disclose additional CDC secrets.

CDC Continues to Conceal the Authentic 1999 Verstraeten VSD Study Findings.

When a request was filed with CDC to provide Dr. Verstraeten’s original dataset for independent analysis, CDC officials claimed the data were “lost.”  Even after approval was granted, Dr. Mark Geier was blocked from gaining access to CDC’s Vaccine Safety Dataset which is the data CDC relied upon its study published Pediatrics.  CDC continues to disseminate false reassurances in its “Science Summary Fact Sheet” claiming: “The evidence is clear: thimerosal is not a toxin in vaccines… there is no relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism in children.” As its “evidence,” CDC cites the Danish studies.

In January 2017, the President and Executive Vice President of the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a press release in opposition to a federal vaccine commission on immunizations.

Fernando Stein, MD, FAAP and Karen Remkey, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP stated: since we already know that: “vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines save lives.” AAP declared that there is no need for further examination pf vaccine safety:

  • Vaccines prevent forms of cancer.
  • Claims that vaccines are linked to autism have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature.
  • Claims that vaccines are unsafe when administered according to the [CDC’s] recommended schedule have likewise been disproven by a robust body of medical literature”.

However, when asked to provide citations to any peer-reviewed study that supports AAP’s claim that “vaccines prevent forms of cancer” or to cite the “robust body of medical literature” that supports its claims, the AAP declined, with a “no comment” response. (Immunization News, 2017)

WMP NOTE:  This concludes Part Six. The final segment of this series will be entitled:  Multiple Industry-Saturated Collaborating Partners Set the Agenda for Vaccination Policies.

Previously published articles: Sharav’s Introduction to the full article,  L’affaire Wakefield: Shades of Dreyfus & BMJ’s Descent into Tabloid Science, outlines her well-researched and documented belief that, “Public health officials and the medical profession have abrogated their professional, public, and human responsibility, by failing to honestly examine the iatrogenic harm caused by expansive, indiscriminate, and increasingly aggressive vaccination policies.” Part One focuses on how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the vaccine industry control vaccine safety assessments, control the science of vaccines and control the scientific and mass channels of information about vaccines. In Part Two Ms. Sharav interprets the complex web of internal CDC documents, revealing how key CDC studies and CDC-commissioned studies were shaped by use of illegitimate methods. Part Three takes a closer look at the Brighton Collaboration and the extraordinary influence these stakeholders have in the business of vaccines and their power to control the science and research and manipulate reports to further their own interests. Focusing on the HPV vaccine, in Part FourMs. Sharav explores how a global network of government/academic and industry stakeholders can suppress information about genuine scientific findings and, when needed, engage in corrupt practices to thwart the airing of information about vaccine safety issues. CDC’s childhood vaccination policy rests on the denial of safety hazards posed by vaccines and CDC officials are intent on shielding the policy and vaccination schedule at any cost. Part Fiveexamines documentation and internal correspondence that reveals how CDC used its influence and subsequently rejected scientific studies that contradicted the sacrosanct vaccine safety mantra.

More about the author: Vera Sharav is a Holocaust survivor and a fierce critic of the medical establishment. This article was originally published at www.ahrp.org. Stat news recently published an article about her and her work. 

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Chemicals from everyday items may cause cancer, diabetes, autism, ADHD, reproductive problems – how to identify and avoid them


Image: Chemicals from everyday items may cause cancer, diabetes, autism, ADHD, reproductive problems – how to identify and avoid them

(Natural News)
You probably understand the importance of organic food by now, but dangerous chemicals could still be making their way into your system through some everyday products you might not have even realized you need to worry about. Here is a look at a few of the items you might be using that could be wreaking havoc on your hormones.

Receipts

According a recently published study, nine out of ten receipts contain BPA and BPS. These “gender-bending” chemicals have been associated with early puberty, type 2 diabetes, autism, premature birth, and ADHD. They’re found in the shiny coating on the receipt, and your skin absorbs them quite readily. That’s why France has been pushing for an EU-wide ban on these substances in receipts. In the meantime, you can try to avoid taking receipts with you when you leave the store and keeping your contact with them to a minimum when you do need them.

Tampons and sanitary pads

Tampons and sanitary pads contain synthetic estrogens known as xenoestrogens. They are linked not only to infertility but also immunity problems and endometriosis. Look for sanitary products that are unbleached and uncoated, or consider using a menstrual cup.

Scented candles and perfumes

Many of those candles that keep your home smelling pleasant could be slowly eating away at your good health. Phthalates are considered a top contributor to people’s inability to lose weight. Also found in commercial perfumes, deodorants, body washes, and shampoos, these chemicals are known to cause birth defects in boys, poor egg quality, and early menopause, and they’ve also been linked to type 2 diabetes and breast cancer. Look for products that don’t contain phthalates, and consider ditching scented candles entirely in favor of high-quality essential oils in a diffuser.

Dental fillings

Even dental fillings without mercury could still be pretty dangerous to your health thanks to the BPA found in many composite fillings. According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics in 2012, children who have fillings made with BPA have more behavioral problems than their peers. Ask your dentist for BPA-free composite fillings or opt for porcelain instead. Gold is also a safe bet for fillings in locations that won’t be visible.

Water bottles

The CDC found that 93 percent of Americans have measureable amounts of BPA in their systems, and plastic water bottles are largely to blame for this. This chemical can also be found in the linings of canned foods. These hormone disruptors are believed to be behind the dropping sperm counts seen in recent years, not to mention the aforementioned links to breast cancer and weight gain. Making matters worse is the fact that these xenoestrogens build up in your body over time.

Keep in mind that leaving plastic water bottles in the sun or otherwise heating plastics releases these chemicals, so avoid microwaving food with plastic wrap over it or in plastic containers. Replace plastic water bottles with stainless steel ones, and switch to glass or ceramic food storage vessels.

Tap water and produce

Glyphosate is another xenoestrogen that has been linked to problems like obesity and breast cancer along with several other types of cancer, and it’s all too common in our food supply and tap water thanks to its widespread use as a pesticide. Consider a reverse osmosis filter to remove chemicals from your water, and opt for organic produce wherever possible to limit your exposure.

The best thing you can do for your health is to avoid these products entirely, but what about the exposure you’ve already gotten? There are a few ways you can help limit its impact. For example, flax seeds can help ease hormonal imbalances, while cruciferous vegetables like broccoli can detoxify this fake estrogen from your liver. Balancing your gut’s microflora with a probiotic can also help you eliminate toxins from your body more quickly.

Stay informed about chemical toxins by reading Toxins.news.

Sources include:

DailyMail.co.uk

Healthista.com

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Sodium Valproate Causing Physical Abnormalities, Autism, Low IQ and Learning Disabilities Across Generations






Sodium Valproate Causing Physical Abnormalities, Autism, Low IQ and Learning Disabilities Across Generations


January 22nd, 2018

Via: BBC:

An MP has said the harm caused to children after their mothers were given the epilepsy drug sodium valproate is an “extraordinary scandal”.

It is thought about 20,000 children in the UK have been left with disabilities caused by valproate since the 1970s.

Norman Lamb MP said it was also “extraordinarily distressing” new research suggested medical problems could be passed through generations.

Affected families have called for a public inquiry and compensation.

Sodium valproate, also known as Epilim, can be prescribed by doctors as a treatment for epilepsy and bipolar disorder.

It carries a risk of causing physical abnormalities, autism, low IQ and learning disabilities if babies are exposed to the drug while in the womb.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the drug is “kept under constant review”, while the Department of Health said it expects the MHRA to take further action if a review finds more can be done to highlight the risks associated with it.

Many parents have claimed they were not made aware of the risks from taking the treatment while pregnant, even after new safety warnings were introduced in 2016.

Research Credit: Jb















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More research confirms: There is definitely a link between autism and mercury

Image: More research confirms: There is definitely a link between autism and mercury

(Natural News)
As some people continue to deny that there is a link between autism spectrum disorder and mercury, a pair of new studies have now been added to the growing pile of evidence illustrating just how wrong they are.

The research involved meta-analysis of studies investigating the link between mercury and autism spectrum disorder that were carried out over the past 12 years. This type of study is highly advantageous as it allows researchers to consolidate vast piles of research, which can often be complex and even conflicting.

The first meta-analysis, which was carried out by researchers from the Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences in Iran, was focused specifically on mercury. The second one, which was conducted by Tehran University of Medical Sciences researchers, looked at mercury as well as other heavy metals like lead. In both cases, cutting-edge statistical techniques were used to yield unbiased results.

These meta-analyses investigated the mercury levels in various types of specimens, including hair, urine, whole blood, and red blood cells, with the first one also exploring brain tissue. In both studies, a significantly higher concentration of mercury was found in the red blood cells belonging to people with autism spectrum disorder compared to healthy controls. The first one also noted higher levels of mercury in whole blood taken from patients with autism spectrum disorder.

Mercury is a very powerful neurotoxin that can lead to negative effects even in small amounts. Most people are exposed to mercury either via methylmercury in fish or ethylmercury, which can be found in the controversial vaccine preservative thimerosal.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, fetuses and small children are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of mercury, which include mental retardation, blindness, brain damages, seizures, incoordination, and an inability to speak.

This leads one to wonder why public health officials continue to push annual flu shots on the masses. Many of these shots contain mercury-laden thimerosal. In fact, guidelines for the flu vaccine say that all kids aged six months or older need the shot. These vaccines are also routinely pushed on pregnant women and those who might become pregnant – precisely the groups of people who should be going nowhere near anything that contains even the tiniest amount of mercury!

Mercury is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, and it is believed to raise the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders like tics, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and speech delays in addition to autism spectrum disorder.

Link between mercury and autism long established

Scientists have long known about the link between the mercury in childhood vaccines containing thimerosal and autism. A 2004 study, for example, found a close correlation between the prevalence of autism and mercury doses in MMR vaccines from the late 1980s up through the mid-‘90s. The authors of that study, which was published in the peer-reviewed Medical Science Monitor, recommended that all vaccines stop using thimerosal.

It’s interesting to note that studies have also shown a strong correlation between mercury fillings in mothers and their children’s risk of being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. For example, an Egyptian study published in the Metabolic Brain Disease journal found such a connection, in addition to the finding that kids who had autism spectrum disorder also had high biomarkers for mercury and lead compared to their healthy siblings and healthy controls.

Of course, you won’t hear about these studies in the mainstream media. It’s not a coincidence that so many of these studies are taking place outside of the U.S. and UK. Several American studies have made similar findings, but Big Pharma is a formidable opponent doing everything in its power to suppress them.

Sources include:

WorldMercuryProject.org

NaturalNews.com

NaturalNews.com

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Source Article from http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-12-27-more-research-confirms-there-is-a-link-between-autism-and-mercury.html

10 Breakthrough Lessons I Learned Trying To Heal My Kids From Autism, Anxiety & ADHD







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By practice, I’m a psychotherapist who has been working for over a decade in the world of mainstream medicine, a body of experience that has allowed me to develop a strong understanding of both its strengths and weaknesses.

But beyond my work, I’m also a mom who fiercely loves her children, and for their sake, when it comes to their health I’ve always explored all available options — an approach that I’m proud to say has led me to find better solutions than any conventional specialist had ever offered.

My work has allowed me to cross paths with a seemingly endless number of psychiatrists and general practitioners, who for the most part have one thing in common: They all see medication as the optimal form of treatment for the vast majority of what they diagnose. This includes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, sleep issues, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

For a long time, I wondered about the cavalier prescribing of drugs but bit my tongue. Who was I to question physicians with the benefit of many more years of medical training? My viewpoint changed in 2006 after I had my children who suffered similar challenges.

I knew doctors would recommend medication. I also knew I didn’t want my children to go down that road for fear it would severely damage their lively, beautiful spirits.

As my husband, Steve, and I tried to make do with physical and behavioural therapies, I read many medical journal articles about the link between autism, mental health issues and malnutrition, toxicity, food sensitivities and intestinal permeability, immune, metabolic and digestive issues. These discoveries led us to realize that these disorders could be a real medical illness treatable with natural remedies that didn’t involve intrusive, personality-altering medication. While we were skeptical at first, the potential rewards were so high that these methods outside the mainstream seemed well worth trying. And, I am happy we did!

Here’s what I learned:

1. My Doctors Weren’t Reading the Same Medical Journals I Was

I started collecting lots of data, studies, and articles on these subjects from esteemed medical journals. The more research I read, the more I realized how much information was out there. I quickly realized that pediatricians and the mainstream medical community weren’t on board. With all of my studies and articles in my hands and hope in my heart, I asked a pediatric GI specialist about the possibility that my son Evan’s developmental delays, anxiety, and autism features may be due to a gut issue or a food sensitivity. He raised his eyebrows and said, “You must be reading too much.” It became apparent at that moment that this doctor wasn’t reading enough.

2. Big Pharma Writes Our Doctors’ Textbooks

Drug company money is tainting medical education. Big pharma writes medical school textbooks and uses their own money to finance drug studies. Dr. Marcia Angell, former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, stated how corporate dollars corrupt research and education at academic medical centers — including Harvard Medical School. Pharmaceutical companies spend millions of dollars to implement carefully designed plans. According to R. Webster Kehr of the Independent Cancer Research Foundation, “The FDA, NIH, NCI, ACS and medical schools are their puppets.”

3. Our Medical Community Ignores the Power of Plant Medicine and Calls It Pseudoscience

Pharmaceutical companies have set out to discredit holistic treatments — especially in those areas of highest drug profits, such as cancer, heart disease, psychiatric disorders, and allergies, even though they are widely used in other countries and steeped in tradition. Drug companies use the term “scientific evidence” as a political definition to control the FDA and National Institutes of Health. They buy investigative journalists with their advertising. They pay doctors and psychiatrists to speak on their behalf and offer up expensive trips and steep payments. They block financial contributions by using terms like “unproven treatments,” and many “charitable organizations” are entirely controlled along with Congress.

4. The Biggest Corporate Sponsors of the American Academy of Pediatrics Are Pharma Companies

The Academy of Pediatrics was created in 1930 as an “independent” forum for the health and well-being of our children. Today, corporate Friends of Children Fund members include Pfizer, Sanofi Pasteur (The vaccine Sanofi-aventis group,) Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, etc. A conflict of interest? Have our doctors been bought? I believe so.

5. Conventional Doctors Tend to Address Only One Organ at a Time

One of the fundamental flaws of our existing medical paradigm is the tendency to approach health and sickness only through a disease-based or single organ-focused lens. We treat the body as a machine with separate parts, assign a diagnosis label, and match it with a corresponding pharmaceutical. In reality, our body is a complex, interconnected web of biochemistry. Therefore, we need more medical doctors who understand that we must start to treat the “whole body” like holistic and functional doctors do.

6. Our Genetics Is Not the End of Our Story

Just because ADHD, depression, or even autoimmune issues ­run in the family does not mean that is our fate. We have more control over it than the medical industry wants us to believe. We may start with a genetic vulnerability; however, we need to start recognizing that our lifestyle and environmental factors instruct our genes on how to express themselves. The foods we eat or don’t eat, the nutrients we take or don’t take, our stress levels, sleep habits, and exposure to toxins dynamically determine our gene expression.

7. Most Doctors Know Very Little About Nutrition

Most disease is preventable and related to nutrition, yet doctors today do not know the science of how healthy food heals the body. Nor do they see the impact “fake” food, pesticides, and toxic chemicals have on our health. According to the Journal of Clinician Nutrition, most graduating medical students continue to rate their nutrition preparation as inadequate. According to Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, a physician and internationally recognized professional speaker on some important public health issues, medical students are still getting fewer than 20 hours of nutrition education over four years, and even most of that has limited clinical relevance.

8. Allopathic M.D.s Do Not Heal Autoimmune Disorders

You cannot get health from a pill. When referred to a specialist like a gastroenterologist, endocrinologist, rheumatologist, and alike to treat an autoimmune disorder, they rarely discuss healing foods, detoxification, and other modalities that heal the body. Instead, they prescribe drugs, namely immunosuppressants or steroid therapy to merely mask symptoms — never getting to the root cause of any illness nor healing any disease. And these medications often do more harm than good.

9. Insurance Companies Do Not Cover Important Treatments and Therapies

Health insurers can limit coverage they deem experimental or not medically necessary, and they often do. Many consider “alternative” interventions medically necessary only if adequate evidence of safety and effectiveness in the peer-reviewed published medical literature supports it. I find this funny, considering more than 100,000 people die each year from complications caused by prescription drugs. And thousands more die of drug overdoses after getting hooked on prescription pain medication. Again, money and politics are the reason insurance won’t cover safer alternatives. The more services they exclude from coverage while still selling policies to patients, the better for their bottom lines.

10. Healthcare Today Puts Band-Aids On Splinters Instead of Pulling Them Out

Current pharmaceutical and surgical methods are incredibly useful for treating acute, life-threatening health issues. However, for more nuanced disorders, these approaches do not take into account the complex communication that exists between the various systems of the body and can ultimately lead to a breakdown in communication followed by a loss of function. Often the side effects of these treatments can be as harmful and worse than the original symptom itself. Eastern medicine modalities are ancient systems of healthcare that take into account all of the biological systems of the whole body. Natural Medicine practitioners strive to stimulate the body’s natural capacity to heal itself, leading to healing on a much deeper level.

Calling for a Shift in Our Mental Health Paradigm

Although many parents claim that psychotropic medication has changed their child’s life for the better, we must not forget that giving a six-year-old medicine does nothing to improve the conditions that derail their development in the first place.

Policy makers are so convinced these children have an organic disease that they have all but called off the search for a better understanding of the conditions — even though these medications often cause many short-term and long-term side effects. Therefore, I encourage all parents everywhere to let love guide you to explore all available options, rather than simply settling for what conventional specialists suggest.

It isn’t enough to just be alive. The quality of life is also essential.

We need more due diligence in our healthcare system. We need an “Integrative Medicine” approach, a healing-oriented medicine that takes the whole person (body, mind, and spirit) into account — including all aspects of lifestyle. We need to emphasize the therapeutic relationship and make use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative. We need a medical system that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically.

Good medicine should be based on sound science, be inquiry-driven, and be open to new paradigms. We need to use natural, effective, and less invasive interventions whenever possible. We need a system that promotes prevention of illness as well as the treatment of disease. We simply need to wake up and make a stand for real change. We can no longer put a price tag on our physical and mental health. The amount of pain we are creating for our families and our children is a high price to pay for the way we conduct our business.


To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication sign up HERE. As a bonus, on December 15th, I will be giving away a signed copy of my book Healing Without Hurting to one lucky subscriber!


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How does our sense of smell play a role in autism?

Impaired social interaction serves as one of the main diagnostic criteria for autism. This is often explained by an inability to read the facial signals that serve as an unspoken language between neurotypical people. But there is another secret language: smell.

Scientists reported yesterday in Nature Neuroscience that volunteers on the autistic spectrum react differently to the cues sent by odors. In fact, they react exactly opposite to the “smell of fear” harvested from skydiver sweat as well as to a chemical associated normally with a calming effect.

The team of scientists at the Weizmann Institute started by exposing normal (control) participants and participants on the high end of the autism spectrum (what doctors used to, and many people still do, refer to as Asperger’s) to various smells, and proved that the Asperger’s syndrome volunteers could detect the odors as well as the “normal” volunteers.

Then they moved to testing the volunteers’ reactions when the odor communication signals were sent during a typical interaction situation. The test subjects were smelling either the sweat of a skydiver, or the sweat of the same person taken when they were merely exercising (sweating without fear).

Here is where is gets weird

The scientists measured the physical reactions of the test subjects, for example by measuring skin conductivity. They found the expected response when normal subjects were exposed to the smell of fear: their own fear response increased. But the men with Asperger’s reacted in the opposite manner: fear response increased in the case of the normal sweat odor, and decreased when the odor used was the smell of fear.

They confirmed this reverse reaction in experiments with mannequins. The mannequins gave participants tasks that would indicate the level of trust, which normally goes down when people sense fear in the air. Again, they got the expected response in the normal group, but the behavior in the Asperger’s syndrome group indicated that trust levels increased in the cases where the fear odor was in use.

In a final set of experiments, the researchers exposed subjects to a chemical that is usually calming at the same time they were bombarded with sudden, loud noises. Measuring the blinking response suggested that normal volunteers are calmed by the calming chemical, while the autistic group blinked more in the presence of what should have been a calming signal than they blinked in the absence of the calming chemical.

In summary, the researchers established that volunteers on the autism spectrum react exactly opposite to how neurotypical people perceive both arousing and calming odors and that this difference does not arise from a difference in ability to recognize the presence of the odors.

How is this important?

This research has two potentially significant contributions. First, the physical reaction that can be tested may serve as a useful diagnostic tool in this notoriously difficult-to-pin-down syndrome.

But more importantly, this research can be combined with other studies indicating that there are cells similar to the smell receptors in our noses all over our bodies. This research will lead to studies attempting to learn if confused signals from smell receptor cells could be a factor causing autism. Or conversely, could environmental factors or pollution be affecting smell receptors throughout the developing fetus negatively, and leading to developmental disorders? Better understanding of what causes autism, and what doesn’t, will bring us closer to a cure for autism (a questionable quest for those on the high functioning end of the spectrum, but certainly a goal for improving treatment options in any event.)

As is so often the case, this study appears to have focused only on male test subjects. Given the vastly different presentation of autism spectrum disorders in females, a follow-up assessing the opposite sex seems in order as well.

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/health/experiment-suggests-our-sense-smell-plays-role-autism.html

This Doctors Response To A Vaccine-Autism Link Is Something Every Parent Should Hear







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Earlier this year, Dr. Alvin H. Moss, a physician and professor in the Centre for Health Ethics & Law Department at West Virginia University, testified at the West Virginia Senate Education Committee on the topic of childhood vaccinations.

As most of you reading this probably already know, multiple countries and communities around the world are now implementing mandatory vaccination policies, which ensure that if a child has not received the full amount of recommended immunizations, they cannot attend public school. This is primarily due to the belief that if the majority of a population can become “immune” to a disease via vaccination, diseases will either be eradicated or at least kept under control. It’s called “herd immunity,” and refers to a pattern of immunity that should protect a population against invasion of a new infection. It’s the backbone of pro-vaccine arguments, despite the fact that there is no science behind it, which is why it remains a theory. Measles is one example where the theory has shown to be false. Measles vaccine failures have been documented for a quarter of a century around the world, showing that we’re not really looking at a failure to vaccinate, but rather a failing vaccine.

According to Dr. Lucija Tomljenovik, a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Opthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of British Colombia, “The statement that high levels of vaccination prevent disease outbreaks is not as accurate as infectious diseases do in fact occur even in fully vaccinated populations as well as individuals.”

We recently published an article regarding herd immunity, which is a completely separate topic from this article. If interested, you can click on the title below to read the article:

Why Unvaccinated Children Are Not A Threat To Vaccinated Children & Seniors

The recent proposed and accepted bills to implement a mandatory vaccine schedule for children has created even more controversy within an already divisive issue.

The Hearing

During the hearing, Senator Mike Romano asked Dr. Moss, “Are you aware of a reputable peer-reviewed study that links childhood autism with immunizations?” 

Dr. Moss replies  “the answer is yes” and then goes on to state that he could lay his hands on over 100 that directly and indirectly look at this issue.

After that, Moss emphasizes a very important point: “If we really wanted to do justice to that issue, it would take us well over an hour, perhaps several days.”

The Senator then goes on to ask again, “Has there been a statistically valid peer-reviewed study that links autism to childhood immunization?”

Dr. Moss states once more, “I believe the answer is yes.”

The Senator then asks the same question, after trying to understand the difference between published peer-reviewed “medical articles” and studies.

Dr. Moss then drops a bombshell that was, and still is virtually unknown, by a large majority of the population:

I think we need to be fair, we need to talk about the article that is quoted most widely to say there is no relationship between autism and vaccines, that’s an article that was in the 2004 issue of the journal Paediatrics, highly respected journal. The first author was Frank DeStefano, he was from the CDC, and the author in charge of the statistics for that study is William Thompson. You may or may not recall, it did make national news a couple of years ago, William Thompson is a senior at the CDC, he came out and he said “we committed fraud” with the publication of that article.

Senator Romano then deflects the point, which is hard to believe given the bombshell of a point Dr. Moss had just made regarding Dr. Thompson. It goes to show, despite the fact that the current science (much of which is still unknown to medical professionals and the population in general) is strong enough and speaks for itself to show that the science has, in fact, not settled the link between vaccines and autism, that there is a tremendous amount of scientific fraud that surrounds the approval of various “medicines,” which, unfortunately, include vaccines. The ironic part about this is that they’ve been marketed to be life saving, as tools for the eradication of certain diseases. The mainstream media narrative has made people feel inferior or crazy for even questioning the efficacy of vaccines, and that includes most medical professionals, who themselves aren’t really educated on the topic of vaccinations. They are simply given the science the pharmaceutical industry has paid for.

The autism question comes in towards the end of the hearing.

As the current Editor-In-Chief of the New England Medical Journal, Richard Horton, recently shared, because of conflicts of interest and industry ties, “more than half the (medical) literature could be false.”  

This story has been circling around since it emerged a few years ago. For example, below is another clip where Congressman Bill Posey also shares this story. The CDC scientists actually forwarded off their information to a number of people who could do something with it, since it was getting virtually no attention within the mainstream.

Posey read off the letter he received from Thompson:

“The [CDC] co-authors scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to the [MMR vaccine] study. The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room and reviewed and went through all the hard copy documents that we had thought we should discard and put them in a huge garbage can.”

The study he and his co-author published in 2004 was, as mentioned above by Dr. Moss,  the most commonly cited study used by the scientific community to debunk the controversy surrounding the MMR vaccine/autism link.  (Destefano, et al. 2004)

The study concluded that “the evidence is now convincing that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine does not cause autism or any particular subtypes of autism spectrum disorder.”

Dr. Thompson admitted it was “the lowest point” in his career when he “went along with that paper.” He went on to say that he and the other authors “didn’t report significant findings” and that he is “completely ashamed” of what he did, that he was “complicit and went along with this,” and regrets that he has “been a part of the problem.” (source)(source)(source)

Quite remarkable, isn’t it?

You would think this would receive mass media attention, but it didn’t, and the story is still trying to make its way into the mainstream. It just goes to show how much power the elite truly has. If they want to silence a fact, it can be done with ease, regardless of how impactful or important it might be.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to get stories like the ones above out to the public, as Facebook has teamed up with other corporations, like Disney, to decide for us what is “fake news” and what isn’t.

Why don’t they just let us think for ourselves?

I think the answer is obvious.

Related CE Article: The Top 6 Reasons Why Parents Should Never Be Forced To Vaccinate Their Children

Peer-Reviewed Science Losing Credibility As Large Amounts of Research Shown To Be False 

 

 

 

 


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[WATCH] 9-Year-Old Boy With Autism Sobs as He’s Arrested for Fighting With Another Student


The parents of a 9-year-old boy with autism who was taken into custody in August after fighting another student and striking a teacher are sharing their side of the story after the controversial arrest.

Cops were called after fourth grader Devin Shepherd got into a fight with a classmate during recess at Needham Elementary School in Franklin, Ind. When a teacher intervened, the boy hit her. The boy’s father says it was an accident.

The boy’s father was recording as his son was placed in handcuffs while sobbing.

“Just chill out buddy,” the boy’s father, Ronnie Shepherd, tells his son in the video. “You’re leaving with me. I promise you.”

The boy could not stop crying as he was led out of the elementary school. He was taken to a police car and the officer put him in the front seat.

“It was very disturbing,” Shepherd told Inside Edition. “I kept my cool because I was at a school.”

Devin says the fight on the school playground was triggered after a classmate started bullying him.

Devin was charged with battery and criminal mischief. The local police department says that officers displayed proper procedure when they detained the boy.

“Officers involved followed both department and juvenile arrest protocol,” the department said in a statement.

But the boy’s family claimed cops went too far.

Devin was held for 20 minutes before being released, and all charges have since been dropped.

The school said in statement that their faculty handled the situation calmly and with compassion.

Source: http://www.insideedition.com/9-year-old-boy-autism-sobs-hes-arrested-fighting-another-student-37674

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Studies Confirm Again Link between Mercury and Autism









 






Mercury is a potent neurotoxin. Even the smallest amounts can cause cumulative adverse effects.

Two of the most widespread forms of mercury exposure comes from the organic compounds methylmercury (found in fish) and ethylmercury, which makes up 50% of the vaccine preservative thimerosal. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) affirms that young children and fetuses are particularly sensitive to harmful mercury-related effects such as “brain damage, mental retardation, incoordination, blindness, seizures and inability to speak.” This calls into question public health authorities’ aggressive peddling of annual flu shots—many of which contain thimerosal. The influenza vaccine guidelines target all children who are at least six months of age, with two closely spaced doses recommended for very young children in their “first season of vaccination.” They also target pregnant women and women who “might” be pregnant.

Organic mercury can cross the blood-brain barrier, and numerous studies have fingered it as a major offender in increasing the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), tic disorders, delayed language and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Shamefully, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) refuses to admit that mercury is an ASD risk factor. Instead, it has been left up to other researchers to continue to focus attention on the compelling relationship between mercury and ASD.

Taking stock across studies

Two 2017 studies perform a valuable service by systematically reviewing the totality of published mercury-ASD evidence that has accumulated over the past dozen or so years, in particular. The two studies both come out of Iran, and both employ a technique called meta-analysis, which is a quantitative systematic review. Meta-analytic studies seek to take a step back and draw rigorous conclusions about comparable studies as a group. A key benefit of this approach is that it can consolidate “a large, and often complex, sometimes apparently conflicting, body of literature.”

The meta-analysis approach is a very appropriate tool for taking stock of published studies that compare mercury levels in ASD individuals and healthy controls without ASD. The first meta-analysis (published in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology by Tina Jafari and other researchers at Iran’s Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences) focuses exclusively on mercury. The second study (published in Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry by Amene Saghazadeh and Nima Rezaei at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences) examines mercury along with other heavy metals such as lead. Both research teams used state-of-the-art statistical techniques to produce unbiased results.
Both studies found significantly higher concentrations of mercury in the red blood cells of ASD patients versus healthy controls, and the first meta-analysis found significantly higher levels in the whole blood of ASD patients.

The two meta-analyses examined mercury levels for each type of specimen or tissue. Both studies found significantly higher concentrations of mercury in the red blood cells of ASD patients versus healthy controls, and the first meta-analysis found significantly higher levels in the whole blood of ASD patients. (The second study also found higher levels of lead in both the red blood cells and blood of individuals with ASD, which is suggestive of possible combined or synergistic effects.)

There were no significant differences in urinary mercury levels in ASD and healthy individuals, but there were interesting findings for mercury levels in hair. In study #1, mercury concentrations were significantly lower in ASD patients compared with healthy subjects—but when the investigators analyzed their results by continent, this result holds only for America but not for Asia, Africa or Europe. Similarly, study #2’s comparison of developed and developing countries found that mercury levels were significantly lower in the hair of ASD patients in developed but not developing countries—and the preponderance of developed-country studies came from the U.S.

Study #1 also affirmed significantly higher mercury levels in ASD brain tissue. However, the number of brain studies identified for the meta-analysis was very small and also somewhat unclear. The authors report pooling the results of three studies, but their reference list and table include just two studies published by Harvard researchers in 2008 and 2014, respectively. (World Mercury Project has asked the authors to clarify this discrepancy.) The 2008 study found a 68.2% increase in cerebellar mercury in autistic brain tissue (from 3.2 to 80.7 pmol g-1) compared with brain tissue of controls (from 0.9 to 35 pmol g-1), but the increase was not statistically significant. On the other hand, there was a statistically significant elevation in a key marker of oxidative stress in the ASD group that was significantly and positively correlated with elevated mercury. The 2014 study detected no difference in mercury levels but again noted elevated oxidative stress in the ASD group.

Interpreting the findings

Researchers note that a properly conducted systematic review or meta-analysis “allows the reader to take into account a whole range of relevant findings from research on a particular topic” and “establish whether the scientific findings are consistent and generalizable across populations [and] settings…and whether findings vary significantly by particular subgroups.” In addition, “mathematically combining data from a series of well-conducted primary studies may provide a more precise estimate of the underlying ‘true effect’ than any individual study.”

In this instance, the two Iranian teams used a variety of techniques to mitigate the potential weaknesses of meta-analyses. These included using multiple databases, search terms and search strategies to identify relevant studies; following established guidelines to assess the quality of each study; investigating sources of and (where appropriate) adjusting for heterogeneity; analyzing subgroup differences (i.e., the distinction between developed and developing countries); and screening for publication bias. The substantial overlap in the individual studies included in each meta-analysis and the comparability of the two teams’ findings offer a further degree of confidence in the results.

To explain the seemingly counterintuitive finding that hair mercury concentrations are lower (rather than higher) in ASD patients versus healthy individuals, Jafari et al. point to the evidence that those with ASD have impaired detoxification pathways and mechanisms. As a result, ASD individuals retain mercury inside the cells rather than being able to effectively excrete it through the hair, stool or urine. The Iranian authors do not delve into the question of why ASD patients in developed (primarily U.S.) versus developing countries are less likely to excrete mercury and more likely to retain a heavy body burden. However, one conspicuous factor that differentiates the U.S. from other developed countries (as well as the rest of the world) may help explain this result: the U.S. promotes a far more burdensome vaccine schedule, laden with heavy metals such as thimerosal and aluminum, and annually insists that moms accept thimerosal-containing flu vaccines for themselves and their young children.

Moreover, some common flu vaccines contain the emulsifier polysorbate 80, which disrupts the blood-brain barrier and helps create an extremely effective delivery system for escorting neurotoxic ethylmercury and other heavy metals straight to the brain.

Research by Burbacher and colleagues compared blood and brain mercury levels in monkeys exposed to methylmercury and ethylmercury. That work showed that ethylmercury, in particular, goes to the brain, gets metabolized into even more toxic inorganic mercury and remains in the brain for years. Moreover, some common flu vaccines contain the emulsifier polysorbate 80, which disrupts the blood-brain barrier and helps create an extremely effective delivery system for escorting neurotoxic ethylmercury and other heavy metals straight to the brain.

Unfortunately, the majority of published studies only measure total mercury, and very few have examined brain tissue. This makes it challenging to zero in on the specific effects and mechanisms associated with exposure to ethylmercury. Given young children’s widespread exposure to ethylmercury in vaccines, there is no excuse for failing to address this research gap—and even less excuse for failing to remove thimerosal from all vaccines.

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