I would encourage you to email this information to as many friends as
possible. The only way we are going to win this battle is to educate the
public and allow them to review the evidence and make an informed
Folks, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out.
Most children in grade school could examine the facts and rapidly reach
the conclusion that there is something dangerously wrong with the current
Thank God for courageous men like Congress Burton who is showing that one
man can make a difference in this battle!
Warning: New Hepatitis Vaccine Recs
Can Devastate Newborn's Health
The Sanctity of Human Blood
Dr. Mercola's Favorite Vaccine Links Page
Autism & Heavy Metals
The Herald- United Kingdom
July 22, 2002
Scots study on autism poses new question of MMR link
A SCIENTIST in Scotland yesterday revealed new research which could
a link between autism and the MMR vaccine by showing that autistic children
have abnormally high levels of toxins in their bodies.
The study by Gordon Bell, of Stirling University, also raises hopes that
autism may not be genetic and instead be a physical, and therefore
potentially treatable, condition.
Lead, aluminium and antimony (similar to arsenic but more toxic) were found
to be present in children suffering from autism at a significantly higher
level than other children.
All three toxins weaken the immune system and, when present in high levels,
Dr Bell believes they could affect the body's response to the MMR jab. He
suggests the immune system could be too weak to react properly to the
vaccine, triggering the onset of autism.
"These toxins could increase the likelihood of a reaction to viral change
because they are all immune suppressants," he said.
"Autism is all about putting too much of a burden on the body, and high
levels of heavy metals may lead to other catastrophic events in the body
which may then lead to autism.
"All these metals or elements are at toxic levels so the body may not react
appropriately to a immune change such as that caused by the MMR vaccine."
Dr Bell, whose own son developed autism at the age of two after having the
MMR jab, believes children susceptible to autism may have a problem getting
rid of toxins from their bodies. He called for more research, both to test
his results and establish whether it was possible to develop a treatment
"This is just a small-scale study, but it is very relevant. I simply do not
have the resources to do the large-scale studies that are needed," he said.
"I am saying: look at this, it is a real result, and if it is the reality
a majority, or even a significant minority, of people with autism then it
something we should be looking into."
Action Against Autism said the research undermined the traditional model of
the disease as "psychiatric, genetic, lifelong, and incurable". Bill Welsh,
chairman, called for a large-scale study. "Clinical examination of autistic
children should now be a priority. Dr Bell's findings further confirm that
these unfortunate children are just plain sick and probably in distress."
David Potter, head of policy at the National Autistic Society, confirmed
toxins found by Dr Bell had never previously been detected. "The medical
establishment see this as a gen-etic condition, but this type of research
shows there are other factors involved. We would be very keen to see this
type of research furthered."
Dr Bell, a lecturer in marine biology at Stirling, has a PhD in
and became heavily involved in autism research since it affected his own
family six years ago. He is a member of the Scottish Executive's
group on the condition.
With funds provided by the Autism Research Trust, Dr Bell tested 37
for toxic elements, taking hair samples which were then sent to a
in America for analysis.
Levels of antimony in autistic children were five times above the normal
maximum range and levels of lead and aluminium were three times higher.
Antimony can cause fatigue, hypotension, angina, and immune dysfunction.
All 24 children with autism who took part in the study were found to have
antimony present above the recommended maximum values, compared to 50% of
the eight non-autistic children tested, and 40% of the five children with
Lead, an excess of which can lead to severe gastro-intestinal problems,
of appetite, insomnia, and nervousness, was present above the normal
range in 92% of autistic children, compared to only 25% of non-autistic
children, and 20% with Asperger's Syndrome.
High levels of aluminium, which have been implicated in the onset of
dementia, were present in 54% of autistic children, compared to only 12.5%
of the control group, and none in the Asperger's group.
Paper on mercury exposure and autism
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2002 14:17:35 -0700
This new paper
is important for parents with autistic children to see for a few reasons.
It is a published University study that notes several basic factors that
the parents seem to "get";
1) Mercury is excreted at a much slower rate in infants and children who
are on a MILK diet (does not specify breast milk). The removal of milk
helps get the mercury out faster.
2) All ASD (autistic spectrum children) react at a HIGHER RISK RATE to ALL
VACCINES. Once there is any suspicion of a diagnosis - they must stop
vaccinating. I tell them that "Your child IS the risk statistic." If you
have one child in the family with ASD and there is a genetic component -
then ALL of the children are at risk of severe vaccine reactions AT A MUCH
HIGHER RATE than the published studies (which I don't believe anymore,
anyway). Some of the parents are understanding this and have stopped
vaccinating all their children.
This presentation also shows some other very interesting correlations
between vaccinating with mercury preservatives and lead - when more and
more children are testing positive with LEAD. The Oregonian, an incredibly
conservative, support-the-business paper) has published several studies
clearly showing that lead and mercury cause a drop in IQ in children by age
5 - all the way down to retardation.
Subject: Possible Connection of Heavy Metal Toxicity and Autism.html
Possible Connection of Heavy Metal Toxicity and Autism
This is the html version of the file
Possible Connection of Heavy Metal Toxicity and Autism
Prof. James B. Adams, Ph.D.
Chemical and Materials Engineering
Arizona State University
Charles E. Holloway - ASU
Brittany Done, ASU
Michael Margolis, D.D.S.
Frank George, D.O.
Karen Medville, D.Sc.
Woody McGinnis, M.D.
Xianchen Liu, M.D., Ph.D.
Do mercury and other heavy metals contribute to the causes and/or symptoms
of autism in some cases?
Background - Lead Toxicity
Lead- most widespread case of heavy metal poisoning
1991-1994: 4.4% of US children ages 1-5 “affected” (blood levels >10
loss of 4-7 IQ points per 10 ug
even levels below 10 ug may affect children
can affect every organ
correlates with lower class rank, absenteeism, slower reaction times, worse
effects often life-long
exposure of parents can affect their child 30 years later (greater risk of
Children more susceptible than Adults
more exposure (crawling, playing in dirt, licking hands)
less excretion (adults retain only 1%, children retain 33%)
brain still developing
lead crosses placenta, no blood/brain barrier in fetuses
low calcium in mothers results in lead stored in bone being released
Major Sources of Lead
major source of lead, permanently contaminating soil near roads
introduction of unleaded gasoline in 1980’s has greatly reduced
emissions (95 million kg in 1979 to only 2 million kg in 1989); average
blood lead levels now much lower than 20 years ago
up to 1955, most household paint 50% lead
1955-1971: voluntary limit of 1% lead
1971: 1% lead required
1977: “lead-free” paint limited to 0.06% lead
note that remodeling an old home (especially sanding) is very hazardous
still used in many homes
replaced with copper, but used lead solder until 1991
brass faucets contain up to 8% lead
most filters useless; only reverse osmosis removes lead
Prevention and Treatment for Lead Poisoning
Most states require check of blood lead level in school-age children (but
often too late)
Reduce children’s exposure lead (remediation of environment by removing
paint chips, dust, dirt)
increasing calcium intake (to reduce lead intake)
chelation if high blood lead level (> 40 ug/dL);
for blood lead level of 20-40 ug/dL, large study of 780 children found that
chelation with DMSA for 1 month did temporarily lower blood lead levels,
but rapidly returned and no long-term benefit (however, could longer-term
The only truly effective current treatment is prevention
Mercury Exposure: Sources
Coal-burning Power Plants: emit 52 tons of Hg/year into air (unregulated);
most ends up in water, and then in fish
Seafood: larger fish have most mercury, due to eating smaller fish
Water: limited to 2 ppb (regulated)
Fungicides/Pesticides: some contain mercury (decreasing)
Vaccines: many childhood vaccines used to contain 12.5-25 ug of
thimerosal, so that a fully-vaccinated child could receive up to 237.5 ug
of thimerosal injected into them
Dental amalgams: usually emit 1-10 ug/day; amount of mercury in brain
strongly correlated with number of dental fillings; could release much more
when first placed or removed
Previous studies of thimerosal had two major limitations:
only tested thimerosal in adult animals
only followed animals for 14-45 days, even though lethal doses in humans
may not produce any symptoms for 3 months
Thus, actual lethal dose may be much lower than believed.
Comparison of thimerosal toxicity
Humans: immediately lethal at 10,000-30,000 mcg/kg
Lower doses lethal after several months 3000 mcg/kg?
Infants more vulnerable 1000 mcg/kg?
Vulnerable population (1 in 250) 100 mcg/kg?
Neurological damage instead of death 10 mcg/kg?
Oral antibiotics prevent excretion 1 mcg/kg?
exposure to other heavy metals 0.1 mcg/kg?
Note: the EPA safe limit for mercury exposure is 0.1 mcg/kg
Thimerosal in vaccines: up to 237 mcg total; in 2-month children, about 60
mcg/5 kg, or 12 mcg/kg in one day
Conclusion: amount of thimerosal in vaccines could have harmed children,
especially those on oral antibiotics or genetically vulnerable
Thimerosal molecule is far denser than other molecules in vaccine, due to
heavy mercury atom
So, thimerosal may settle to bottom of 10-dose vial, so that some unlucky
children could have received up to 10x the dose of thimerosal
Rather than replacing thimerosal with other preservatives, single-dose
vials would be safer at modest cost
Mercury in Seafood - highest level
SPECIES MEAN (PPM) RANGE (PPM) NO. OF SAMPLES
Tilefish 1.45 0.65-3.73 60
*Swordfish 1.00 0.10-3.22 598
*Shark 0.96 0.05-4.54 324
King Mackerel 0.73 0.30-1.67 213
Grouper (Mycteroperca) 0.43 0.05-1.35 64
* commonly consumed
data from US-Food and Drug Administration, 2001
Mercury in Seafood - Lower Levels
SPECIES MEAN (PPM) RANGE (PPM) NO. OF SAMPLES
Tuna (fresh or frozen) 0.32 ND-1.30 191
*Lobster Northern (American) 0.31 0.05-1.31 88
*Halibut 0.23 0.02-0.63 29
*Sablefish 0.22 ND-0.70 102
*Pollock 0.20 ND-0.78 107
*Tuna (canned) 0.17 ND-0.75 248
*Crab Blue 0.17 0.02-0.50 94
*Crab Dungeness 0.18 0.02-0.48 50
*Scallop 0.05 ND-0.22 66
*Catfish 0.07 ND-0.31 22
*Salmon ND ND-0.18 52
*Oysters ND ND-0.25 33
*Shrimp ND ND 22
FDA Recommendations - 2001
Avoid fish from the highest category
limit consumption to 12 ounces/week (2-3 servings) of other fish
Example: 12 ounces (340 g) of canned tuna would contain 58 ug of mercury,
roughly the amount excreted by a mouthful of old amalgams over a week, or
the amount in 2-4 vaccines
Note: nearly 100% of mercury from seafood is absorbed into body
Prevalence of Mercury Toxicity
National Academy of Sciences estimates 60,000 children/yr in US suffer
neurological damage due to mercury poisoning.
Who are they? Mostly not diagnosed, since mercury only briefly stays in
blood, and limited physician knowledge/experience for diagnosing
Are some children with mercury/heavy metal toxicity diagnosed with a
behavioral label of autism, Asperger’s, ADD/ADHD, or learning
According to the ATSDR Toxicity Profile on mercury:
“Mercury is considered to be a developmental toxicant. … The symptoms
observed in offspring of exposed mothers are primarily neurological in
origin and have ranged from delays in motor and verbal development to
severe brain damage.”
“The infant may be born apparently normal, but later show effects that
may range from the infant being slower to reach developmental milestones,
such as the age of first walking and talking, to more severe effects
including brain damage with mental retardation, incoordination, and
inability to move.”
“Other severe effects observed in children whose mothers were exposed
to very toxic levels of mercury during pregnancy include eventual
blindness, involuntary muscle contractions and seizures, muscle weakness,
and inability to speak.”
“It is important to remember, however, that the severity of these effects
depends upon the level of mercury exposure and the time of dose.”
Bernard et. al. “Autism: A Novel Type of Mercury Poisoning”
Medical Hypothesis 56(4) 462-471 (2001)
They discuss the many similarities between autism and mercury toxicity,
Psychiatric Disturbances: social withdrawal; repetitive behaviors;
anxiety; irritability; poor eye contact
Speech/Language Deficits: loss of speech or delayed speech; speech
Sensory Abnormalities: oral, touch, light and sound sensitivities
Motor Disorders: flapping motions; poor coordination; abnormal gait
Cognitive Impairments: low intelligence; poor memory; difficulty with
Unusual Behaviors: self-injurious; sleep difficulties; ADHD
Physical Disturbances: gastrointestinal disorders
Biochemistry: reduced glutathione; decreased detoxification ability of
liver; disrupted purine metabolism;
Immune System: increased likelihood of auto-immune response, allergies,
CNS Structure: mercury accumulates in amygdala, hippocampus, basal
ganglia, and cerebral cortex, which are damaged in autism; mercury also
damages Purkinje and granule cells (seen in autism); disruption of neuronal
Neurochemistry: decreased serotonin synthesis; elevated norepinephrine
and epinephrine; demyelination
Neurophysiology: abnormal EEGs; abnormal vestibular nystagmus response
Gender bias: higher sensitivity/occurrence in males vs. females
Combined Toxicity of Lead and Mercury
Since lead, mercury, and other heavy metals are excreted by the same
mechanism, then a combined dose is more dangerous
A study of rats found that the LD1 of lead and the LD1 of mercury resulted
in LD100 (all the rats died). Schubert et al, J. Toxicology and Env. Health
V4, 763-776, 1978.
Note that humans are usually exposed to many toxic metals simultaneously,
but most toxicology tests done on individual metals
55 children with ASD ages 3-24 years (mostly 3-10), chosen from Phoenix ASA
50 typical children chosen from their friends/neighbors (unrelated), same
age and sex
heavy metal exposure questionnaire
psychological testing (Gilliam Autism Rating Scale)
urine test of sulfate (results pending)
Preliminary Results of Heavy Metal Questionnaire
Caveat: mostly based on mother’s memory
Seafood: 60% of ASD mothers consumed more than 2 servings/month during
pregnancy/breastfeeding, compared to 30% of controls;
yields a 3.4x relative risk of ASD (p<0.02);
presumably mercury in the seafood is the major problem
Preliminary Results of Heavy Metal Questionnaire (cont.)
Ear Infections: during first three years of life:
ASD: 10x controls: 2x
yields an 8x relative risk of ASD if > 8 infections; p<0.001
Symptom or cause?
1) could be an indication of weakened immune system
2) In a study of rats given high doses of oral antibiotics (Rowland,
Archives of Environmental Health 1984: 39(6); 401-408), half-life for
excretion of mercury increased from 10 days to >100 days; if also on milk
diet, >300 days
(possibly due to yeast/bacterial overgrowth, which can last for years
in children with autism)
Preliminary Results of Heavy Metal Questionnaire (cont.)
Chronic GI Severity: ASD: 1.8 controls: 0.1 (scale of 0-3)
consistent with a major gut dysbiosis
Pica: 30% of ASD vs 0% of the controls
a major source of heavy metals
symptom and/or cause?
Pesticides: 2x higher use of pesticides in autism homes (p<0.02)
note that Edelson found elevated levels of a wide variety of toxic
chemicals in blood of children with autism
could indicate a general problem with detoxification
Preliminary Results of Heavy Metal Questionnaire (cont.)
Negative immediate reaction to vaccines:
None. Mild Moderate Severe
ASD 53% 27% 12% 18%
Controls 72% 21% 7% 0%
p=0.01 - highly significant;
Since mercury has a latency period of several months, this is probably
due to other components of the vaccine.
Still analyzing vaccination records for long-term effects of vaccines.
Preliminary Hair Data
Children: ASD cntrl p value
lead 0.40 0.54 0.10
mercury 0.14 0.17 0.67
mercury 0.39 0.17 0.34
There is a trend that children with autism excrete slightly less lead and
mercury than typical children. Surprising, since 30% exhibit pica (those
children excrete more than controls).
Mothers of autistic children seem to excrete roughly 2x mercury than
typical mothers, presumably due to higher seafood consumption.
Need more data to be conclusive (still collecting)
Mothers of children with autism had an average of 9.9 dental amalgam
surfaces, vs 8.2 for mothers of typical children: not statistically
However, our recent study found that a new dental amalgam releases
approximately 450 mcg/day (about 500x what an old amalgam emits), so new
amalgams should be avoided in women who are planning to conceive, pregnant,
Future epidemiological studies should focus on placement of amalgams during
pregnancy/nursing, not the total number of amalgams
Preliminary DMSA results
Much higher levels of Al, Hg, Sn, and U in autistics vs. controls
Somewhat higher levels of Sb, As, Pb, W in autistics vs controls
Need more numbers for differences to be statistically significant
DMSA results (continued)
Child 16: excess Sn (60x normal)
Child 50: excess Al (700x), Sb(13x), Bi(5x), Cd(6x), Pb(5x), Ni(5x), W
(5x), U(200x) - most severe case
Child 53: excess Sb (8x)
Child 2: excess Sb (7x), As(10x), Hg(150x)
Child 51: nothing unusual
Child 35: excess Hg (6x)
Child 36: excess Al(35x), U(60x)
Bradstreet used a 3-day, 30 mg/kg-day DMSA treatment in roughly 200
children with autism and 19 controls. He found that children with ASD
excreted 5x as much mercury as the controls.
Together, our data suggests ASD children have inhibited ability to excrete
Seafood consumption > 2 servings/month yields 3.4x risk
Ear infections > 8x (first 3 years) yields 8x risk ; antibiotics greatly
reduce mercury excretion
Pica is common in ASD (major source of heavy metals)
Home pesticide use is important
Vaccine reactions are more common in ASD
Hair data intriguing but not yet conclusive
DMSA results strongly suggest children with autism cannot excrete heavy
metals; need more data and pre-test data
Overall, mercury and other metals appear to be a major risk factor for ASD
S. Edelson and D. Cantor, Toxicology and Industrial Health (2000) 16 1-9.
Evaluated 39 children with autism
blood test of 20 toxic chemical solvents by Accu-Chem; compared against
labs reference range for “maximum acceptable for adult”
3-methylpentane (n=24, 3.7x adult max)
N-Hexene (n=17, 9.5x adult max)
2-methylpentane (n=13, 9.2x adult max)
toluene (n=13, 6.1x adult max)
tetracholorethylene (n=10, 8.5x adult max)
13 other chemicals: n=1-6, levels = 1.8-21.5x adult max)
89% of children had 1 or more excess levels of toxic chemicals
Consistent with their earlier study of 20 children with autism.
(Toxicology and Indus. Health, 1998, V.14, 799-811)
Edelson/Cantor Studies - continued
Liver Detoxification Test: challenge with caffeine, Tylenol, aspirin
Measure % of abnormal results (n=36) - compared to adults?
phase 1 value 81
plasma cysteine 8
plasma sulfate 25
glutathione conjugation 22
glycine conjugation 31
phase 1/sulfation 42
phase 1/gluconation 81
phase 1/glucuronidation 81
plasma cysteine/sulfate 14
Phase I overactive compared to phase II: 86%
Functional Phase I, but impaired phase II: 14%
100% of children with autism had abnormal liver detoxification (compared to
Liver detoxification problems in autism could lead to impaired ability to
excrete heavy metals and chemical toxins, as well as waste products from
Recommendations for Prevention
Larger, more controlled study is needed to confirm results
However, if the results are correct, then many cases of autism might be
limiting maternal seafood consumption (warning labels on fish)
reduced use of oral antibiotics (especially many repeated uses)
removal of thimerosal from vaccines
Testing and Treatment Recommendations
DMSA challenge test of heavy metals
check levels of toxic chemicals (Accu-Chem labs)
check mercury in baby hair (if available)
Limit exposure to heavy metals (check drinking water and paint; avoid
seafood, especially those with high mercury; limit pica; wash hands)
support liver detoxification
consider DMSA chelation
other? still a lot to learn
Caveat: unclear if damage caused by heavy metals can be reversed,
especially in older children/adults
Case Study: Adult recovery from mercury toxicity
April 1999: Airline pilot (Gulf War Veteran) suffered from abnormal weight
loss (40 pounds), elevated liver enzymes, elevated blood pressure,
esophagitis, gastritis, duodenitis, anxiety, depression, insomnia, muscle
joint pain, and short term memory loss. Voluntarily removed himself from
active flight status
8/1999: Carl Hayden VA Hospital evaluates patient at 66% intellectual
ability. Diagnosis of Severe Depression, Adjustment Disorder and Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder, with variable to poor short-term memory, and
11/1999 - Gulf War veteran found to have high level of mercury in hair
(14.2 ppm, >5 ppm indicative of mercury toxicity)
2/2000 - Chelation challenge with 250 mg DMPS found 74 ug/g-creatinine in
urine, compared with pre-challenge level of 3.3 ug/g-creatinine
11/2000 - after removing dental amalgams and 9 months of chelation therapy,
complete symptom relief; urine level after DMPS reduced from 74 -> 10; hair
level reduced from 14.2 -> 1.2; VA Hospital evaluates intellectual function
at 93%, no diagnosis; returned to active flying status
Current and Future Studies
More DMSA testing
Expanded epidemiological study
baby hair collection (duplicate Holmes’ results)
chelation treatment study?
Funded by Arizona State University, Greater Phoenix Chapter of ASA, and
Pima County Chapter of ASA
for copy of talk and other information
Wednesday, October 02, 2002
HELSINKI, Finland " Mercury and other toxins in the food chain are
threatening humans and wildlife in the Northern Hemisphere, leading to high
blood pressure in newborn babies and causing polar bears to lose cubs at b
irth, scientists said Tuesday. "We were really surprised by the mercury pro
blem. The amount of mercury transported into the area seems to be much high
er than anyone believed before," said Lars-Otto Reiersen, one of the compil
ers of a report on Arctic pollution. Released at a conference of environmen
tal experts in Rovaniemi, 830 kilometers (520 miles) north of the capital H
elsinki, the Arctic Pollution 2002 report says human-made toxins follow air
and water currents from as far away as Asia to the remote and fragile Arct
ic environments of North America, Greenland, and the Svalbard islands north
of Norway. Although still one of the cleanest regions in the world, indige
nous peoples =E2=80" especially the Inuit in Greenland and Canada =E2=80
" are particularly vulnerable because they depend on whale blubber and se
al meat containing high concentrations of toxins. "The energy is in the fat
, the vitamins are in the fat, and now, unfortunately, we see the pollutant
s are in the same place," said Reiersen, who heads the Norway-based Arctic
Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP). The effects of the toxins are fel
t further south too, including in the Faeroe Islands, an archipelago midway
between Iceland and Scotland several hundred kilometers (miles) south of t
he Arctic Circle, the AMAP report said. "Newborn babies in the Faeroe Islan
ds have increased blood pressure, and it stays high for six years," Reierse
n said. "It's the only place we have studied this, but it's bound to occur
in other more northern areas where concentrations of pollutants are equally
high or even greater." Reiersen said that while mercury emissions =E2=80
" from burning coal in power plants and garbage incinerators =E2=80" ha
ve fallen in Europe and North America, they are increasing in China and els
ewhere in Asia. Reiersen said polar bears are giving birth to fewer cubs, a
nd many more are dying at birth because of the toxins. Arctic fox, seals, k
iller whales, harbor porpoises, and birds also suffer high levels of contam
ination by organic pollutants that damage the nervous system, development,
and reproduction, the AMAP report said. But it's not all bad news. Emission
s of some heavy metals such as zinc are down, and lead has been substantial
ly reduced because of a switch from leaded to lead-free gasoline, the repor
t said. Lapland, which stretches across northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, a
nd Russia, provides a livelihood =E2=80" mainly fishing, reindeer husband
ry, and tourism =E2=80" for 40,000 indigenous Sami, or Lapps. "The fish,
reindeer, and plants of Lapland are safe to eat. Numerous tests have proven
this," said Outi Mahonen, a Finnish member of AMAP. In a separate study, f
emale polar bears with both male and female sexual organs were discovered i
n 1997 on Norway's Svalbard Archipelago, some 500 kilometers (300 miles) no
rth of the mainland. Researchers believe the deformity could be due to PCBs
and other toxins. Potentially cancer-causing PCBs, or polychlorinated biph
enyls, are chemical compounds once widely used in plastics and electrical i
nsulation that can take decades to break down. They have been widely banned
in the West. But new pollutants are taking their place. "Now we are seeing
evidence of a new generation of pollutants in the Arctic: brominated produ
cts or flame retardants" used in radios, televisions, and textiles to reduc
e the risk of fire, Reiersen said. "We are near to achieving a ban on them
in Europe, but once again, they are being increasingly used in Asia from wh
ere they will travel here," he added.
By Matti Huuhtanen, Associated Press
Copyright 2002, Associated Press
All Rights Reserved
Measles virus is found in boy's brain after MMR
By Lorraine Fraser, Medical Correspondent
A child who developed severe epilepsy after receiving the MMR jab has been found to have
measles virus from the vaccine in his brain.
The results of tests conducted recently have been revealed by the 13-year-old boy's mother. She
says that she has decided to go public in order to push the Government to take the plight of children
allegedly damaged by the three-in-one measles, mumps and rubella vaccination more seriously.
Scientists say that the implications of the discovery are difficult to assess without further research.
However, it raises new questions about the triple inoculation, which has been dogged by
controversy since Andrew Wakefield, a former consultant at the Royal Free Hospital in London,
linked it with a new syndrome of bowel disease and autism in children.
The boy's mother, who has asked to remain anonymous, told The Telegraph yesterday that her son
had developed an allergic rash eight days after he received the MMR vaccination when he was 15
months old. He then progressed to have 10 to 12 seizures every month.
In the summer of 1998, however, he descended into "status epilepticus" - continuous convulsions -
and surgeons at a London hospital decided that he needed emergency brain surgery to save his life.
It was at this point that a brain biopsy was taken.
The woman, who is suing the manufacturers of the MMR vaccine on behalf of her son, declined to
say where the biopsy had been tested for the measles virus but indicated that this had been done in a
She had been shocked to receive the test results indicating that vaccine-strain measles virus had
been found, she said. She had also learnt that samples from her son's bowel, taken in 1997 because
he had digestive problems, had tested positive for vaccine-strain virus.
After the operation when he was nine, her son had had to relearn "virtually everything", she said. His
personality changed and he was no longer able to attend mainstream school, although he had very
recently been free of seizures.
"Now with this new information I am very concerned," the boy's mother said. "Is it over for him or
not? No one knows and this is why all these children - not just my son - need to be acknowledged
rather than have the continuous stream of blanket denials that have been issued by the Department
British specialists investigating MMR were reluctant to comment publicly on the case last night. One
cautioned that it was theoretically possible that the boy had developed a vaccine-related condition
that was more commonly caused by a natural measles virus infection.
If this was the case, he said, then MMR would actually help to protect the wider population from
similar infections. However, he added: "We do not know what this result means."
The Department of Health has told parents they have no need to be concerned about MMR - a
position supported by leading medical bodies.
This article is from Jock Doubleday's NWNM issue one.
Girl gets $4.7M for Vaccine Injuries
Friday, August 16, 2002
By LINDY WASHBURN
North Jersey News
A New Jersey girl whose mental development stopped at 2 months old after a
routine immunization has received a $4.7 million settlement from a national
More than $3 million of the award will go to an annuity that will pay for
child's care as long as she lives. Its payout could exceed $61 million if
lives to 71, said Mindy Michaels Roth, the Glen Rock attorney who brought
case in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
The payment to the girl, now 9 years old but with the mental ability of a
2-month-old, comes from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program,
funded by a 75-cent tax on each vaccination. Congress created the fund in
1986, at a time when a growing number of lawsuits against vaccine
manufacturers was driving them out of the marketplace, and more parents
choosing not to immunize their children because they feared harmful side
[Thus, instead of vaccine manufacturers paying for vaccine-related
American citizens pay for them out of their own pockets. --JD]
"It removes a tremendous weight as to how we'll care for [our daughter]
financially,'' said the girl's father, who lives in Central Jersey and
that the family not be identified. "As finite human beings, we die. Who's
going to care for her? This eliminates that burden'' because her eventual
care in a nursing home is provided for, he said.
Congress established the program to stabilize the supply of vaccines and
money for research on safer alternatives. The program also created a less
expensive method to resolve claims outside the normal court system.
[The above is the spin put on the creation of the NVIC program by vaccine
manufacturers and their government cohorts. --JD]
Since its inception, the fund has settled more than 5,500 claims, and
nearly $1.4 billion. Awards range up to $9.1 million. This year's average
The fund provides compensation for injuries from all vaccines mandated by
federal government: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP); measles,
and rubella (MMR); polio, hepatitis B, chickenpox, and H. influenza Type B.
This month, the pneumococcal vaccine was added to the list, and it became
easier for parents whose babies suffered a bowel blockage following the
rotavirus vaccine to secure compensation. Injuries from smallpox and
vaccines are not covered by the fund.
Legislation is also pending, Roth said, to consider autism as a possible
Some people believe the rising incidence of autism is partly attributable
the growing number of vaccines administered before a child's immune system
mature. In particular, they cite the mercury used as a component in some
vaccines as a possible toxin.
However, a recent Institute of Medicine report concluded there was
insufficient evidence to accept or reject a link between thimerosal, a
mercury component in some vaccines, and autism and other developmental and
[For the establishment of a clear connection between autism and
see http://www.autism.com/ari/mercury.html --JD]
Of the 4 million children each year who receive multiple vaccines, about
10,000 adverse reactions are reported to the federal Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
Most of those reactions are minor, but about 15 percent report incidents of
hospitalization, disability, life-threatening illnesses, or death. Those
reports do not prove the vaccine caused the problem, however.
The Central Jersey girl, the youngest of four children, was a bright,
2-month-old when she visited a pediatrician in September 1993, her mother
said. While there, she was given a vaccination for diphtheria, tetanus, and
Eleven hours later, her mother noticed odd eye movements as she changed the
baby's diaper. She put the baby to bed and went to sleep, she said. When
awoke the next morning, she realized her daughter hadn't cried for her 3
She found the baby "red in the face, foamy at the mouth, and having
difficulty breathing,'' the mother said. The baby didn't have a fever,
however, and the pediatrician advised her to keep an eye on the situation.
The baby was very lethargic, her parents said. Later, as her father held
in his arms, she started to shake--the first of many seizures. As the
seizures increased, she was hospitalized.
"It was very frightening,'' the girl's mother said.
At first, neither the family nor the doctors connected her problems with
vaccination. "It's a highly emotional state,'' the father said. "It takes
time to wrestle with this.''
A child injured by a vaccine must file a claim within three years after the
first symptoms appear. The family of a child who dies must file within two
years of the death.
No lawsuits concerning vaccine injuries can be filed in a civil court, the
law says, until after a claim has been filed with the vaccine compensation
program and the litigant has decided to reject its award. As a result, the
number of lawsuits filed against vaccine manufacturers has plunged since
fund's inception: four suits against DTP makers in 1997, compared with 255
In New Jersey, four attorneys are listed by the Court of Federal Claims for
filing vaccine-related claims with the program. Roth and her partner, Drew
Britcher of Britcher, Leone & Roth, are two of them.
"People need to know to get to the fund,'' Roth said. "They have this
They have huge medical bills. They'll be capped-out on their insurance.
There is a place to go. If you don't go there, you aren't going to go
anywhere. You will be dismissed from state court, and have no recourse.''
The program, which operates with a special master, pays attorney fees
regardless of whether the claim succeeds or fails. The fees are based on an
hourly rate of $175, plus expenses--not a percentage of the settlement, as
malpractice cases. Awards for pain and suffering are capped at $250,000.
The child is the sole beneficiary of the award, not the family. If the
dies, the annuity established as part of the award reverts to the
Lindy Washburn's e-mail address is email@example.com
Thimerosal: A Missing Link in Denmark MMR-Autism Study
Date: Thu, 07 Nov 2002
Thimerosal: A Missing Link in Denmark MMR-Autism Study
Today, the New England Journal of Medicine has published an article which
refutes a link between MMR and autism using epidemiology. This study was
released last week to the major media by the CDC, its major funder along
with NAAR. Since then, the CDC PR machine has been working very hard to
the conclusions their own way. Obviously, they want to put an end to any
more discussions and research on vaccines and autism.
However, while the study methodology appears to be good, and there is much
to learn from the informative findings, there are some significant
shortcomings in the conclusions drawn and the study results raise more
questions than they answer and underscore the importance for more research.
For example, one of the most concerning omissions of the study was their
failure to consider the absence of Thimerosal in the other infant vaccines
the children of the Danish study received prior to getting their MMR
Although she did not include it in her article, the reporter from the
Morning News who interviewed me (article below) was able to confirm that
mercury based preservative under so much legal fire for triggering autism
was removed from vaccines on the market in Denmark prior to the birthdates
of the children studied. American children on the other hand, have
potential cumulative mercury exposures at sometimes neurotoxic levels from
prenatal exposures including maternal vaccination and immune globulin
preparations, environmental pollution and infant vaccinations which create
significantly different set of circumstances when the MMR vaccine, which
does not contain mercury, is administered.
We feel very strongly that it is erroneous for the study's authors to
conclude that since the children in the Danish study did not show an
increased incidence of autism after MMR vaccine that the same would hold
true for all children. They have not satisfied the question of the MMR
vaccine's potential role as a trigger amidst other environmental factors
including previously administered mercury containing vaccines that have
given to children outside of their population. It is entirely possible, but
not yet studied by the CDC, that a child's immune response, inhibited by
elevated mercury levels from thimerosal-containing vaccinations, has less
ability to respond to the measles virus in the MMR vaccine. This might be
an explanation for the presence of measles virus cultured from the brains
and guts of 80 percent of autistic children. However, we are grateful for
their epidemiological research and hopeful that it will spur the absent and
yet much needed biological mechanism research here in the United States.
Sallie Bernard from Safe Minds (www.safeminds.org) has prepared an
exceptional press release and comprehensive point by point assessment of
positives and the negatives of this study. We support and agree with the
position of Safe Minds on this study.
Additionally, you may want to pick up the November/December issue of
Mothering Magazine (www.mothering.com) - it has a sizeable section devoted
to investigating Thimerosal and neurodevelomental delays. It includes
articles by some of the other brains behind Safe Minds - Lyn Redwood and
Birt, articles by mercury expert Dr. Boyd Haley and Autism expert Dr.
Jeffrey Bradstreet , and an interview with Dr. Stephanie Cave.
Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education (PROVE)
Denmark Study on Autism and MMR Vaccine Shows Need for Biological Research
Courtesy of Sallie Bernard, Safe Minds (www.safeminds.org)
(Cranford, NJ, November 6) The newly released study on autism and the
measles-mumps-rubella vaccine ("A Population Based Study of Measles, Mumps
and Rubella Vaccination and Autism." New England Journal of Medicine, Vol
347, No 19; Nov 7, 2002: 1477-1483, by Kreesten Meldgaard,et al) is a
welcome addition to autism epidemiology. Unfortunately, the study
conclusions appear overreaching, claiming that this analysis is the final
word on autism and vaccines and implying that more research on the topic is
unnecessary. Safe Minds asserts that other vaccines besides MMR may be
involved in autism, and that only biological research, not epidemiology,
answer the question of whether the MMR vaccine plays a role in autism.
"It is important to note that the study only focused on the MMR vaccine,
not vaccines also implicated in autism which contain the mercury
preservative thimerosal," explains Sallie Bernard, executive director of
Safe Minds. "The study also failed to investigate whether the MMR vaccine
might be interacting with the thimerosal from other vaccines to increase
severity of symptoms in children who already have autism. Finally, the
did not differentiate between regressive autism, which is the type being
linked to MMR vaccine, and the more prevalent early onset autism, which is
the type being linked to thimerosal."
Safe Minds is an advocacy organization which focuses on the role of mercury
in neurodevelopmental disrorders, including autism. It was founded by
parents of autistic children. Thimerosal contains 50% ethylmercury and has
been used in most recommended childhood vaccines, including the
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTP), Haemophilus influenzae type B (HiB),
Hepatitis B (Hep B) vaccines.
Research studies have shown that mercury exposure in utero or during early
postnatal life - the time when thimerosal vaccines are being given - can
cause immune system abnormalities which predispose the child to ongoing
viral infections. It is biologically plausible that this immune disruption
may have allowed the live measles virus component in the MMR vaccine to
persist in susceptible autistic children, making the symptoms of the
disorder worse. This connection would not be detected through an
epidemiology study like the Denmark one. Nor does the Denmark study have
power to detect differences in rates of regressive autism between
and unvaccinated children, since the number of regressive cases - estimated
to be 10%-20% of all autism cases - would be too small.
"The overreaching conclusion of the study should not obscure other
findings from this extensive and well planned analysis from Denmark,"
continued Ms. Bernard. "The authors report an increased prevalence of
autism in that country, and thus it supports other recent studies that are
also showing increases. This rise tells us that an environmental agent is
work worldwide that is driving this trend. We believe that thimerosal and
environmental mercury - which are worldwide pollutants - are behind the
surge. Also, Denmark has had lower and later exposures to thimerosal in
vaccines, and the report shows that their rate of autism is lower than in
the US, which is also consistent with a thimerosal connection."
Safe Minds is encouraged that the Centers for Disease Control sponsored
an extensive study on autism, which shows that this terrible disease is
finally getting the attention of public health officials. Safe Minds looks
forward to increased support for autism research, especially at the
Assessment of the Denmark MMR-Autism Study
"A Population Based Study of Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccination and
Autism." New England Journal of Medicine, Vol 347, No 19; Nov 7, 2002:
Kreesten Meldgaard, M.D., Andders Hviid, M.Sc., Mogens Vestergaard, M.D.,
Diana Schendel, P.H.D., Jan Wohlfahrt, M.Sc., Poul Thorsen, M.D., J=D8rn
Olsen, M.D., and Mads Melbye, M.D.
This study is well done, but due to its design, it cannot be considered the
"definitive" study on autism and the MMR vaccine. Rather, biological
research, not epidemiology, is needed to truly answer the question of a
between the MMR and regressive autism.
POSITIVE ASPECTS ABOUT THIS STUDY
* The CDC and public health authorities are investing dollars
and efforts into autism research. These efforts should be
applauded, and expanded!
* The study reports a steep rise in autism rates from 1980s to
1990s (from <2.0 to >10.0 per 10,000). Increases are also
being reported in other countries, again suggesting
environmental influences at work, as the recent landmark
MIND Institute epidemiology of California study did.
* The results appear to support a thimerosal role in the
increases in autism being reported in the study in Denmark,
and the fact that Danish autism prevalence is less than in the
US and the UK, where the thimerosal vaccines are given in
larger quantities and/or earlier in life. Further clarification is
needed to elucidate this association; specifically, the
prevalence by birth cohort and the Danish vaccine schedule
and formulations for the time period are needed.
* The study authors acknowledge that previous attempts to
refute the MMR-autism hypothesis were too poorly
designed to reach definitive conclusions. (p.1477, 2nd
paragraph on right)
* The study brings attention to a rich database of information
(i.e., Danish registries) on which additional studies of
autism can be based.
CAUTIONS ABOUT THE STUDY'S CONCLUSIONS ON BEING
THE "DEFINITIVE" STATEMENT ON AUSTISM-MMR
* A vaccine-induced autism subset may be present at a
much lower prevalence in Denmark since the prevalence of
autism is lower in Denmark compared with other countries
(see prevalence comparison table at end of document).
This may indicate a co-factor effect (e.g. thimerosal) that
operates to a greater degree elsewhere.
+ The lower prevalence in Denmark is not a function of
variation in diagnosis, since the same diagnostic criteria
developed by CDC was used in Brick, Atlanta, and Denmark.
+ Means other environmental factors, rates of factors, or
combination of factors may be at work in Denmark vs US or
+ It is possible that MMR increases the rate of autism only
when acting in conjunction with another environmental factor,
such as mercury. If that factor's prevalence is not controlled
for among the study groups (vaccinated vs unvaccinated), it
would obscure the role of MMR as a causative factor in the
+ This is entirely biologically plausible since mercury impairs
the antiviral immune response, and mercury-exposed fetus
and infants are more susceptible to persistent viral infections.
+ Only psychiatric records were accessed, not medical records,
so there were no data on gastrointestinal symptoms and no
taking of CSF or GI samples to detect presence or absence
of measles virus. Cannot tell if measles persistence is
impacting a subgroup of children, if any. Measles persistence
may be increasing the severity of autism, even if it is not
causing an increase in the number of cases.
* There was no attempt to differentiate between regressive and
early-onset forms of autism. Since the regressive form
comprises a minority of cases - 10%-20% - the power to
detect whether there was a difference in regressive autism
prevalence between MMR vaccinated and non-vaccinated is
lacking in this study.
+ The assertion that a relative risk of autism of less than one
rules out the possibility that there are important subgroups
* Although overall well designed, there appear to be some
methodological problems with the study, which need further
elucidation from the investigators and raise questions about
its conclusions of being the "definitive" MMR-Autism study.
+ The study covered 8 birth cohorts, but two of these, those
born in 1997 and 1998, were only 1 or 2 years old when the
data records were obtained at the end of 1999. These age
groups are too young in most cases to be diagnosed with
autism or to be immunized with the MMR. This might have
been fine if the impact applied equally to both vaccinated
and unvaccinated groups. However, fully half (50.6%) of
the unvaccinated group fell into these two younger birth
cohorts, vs. just a fourth (27.7%) of the vaccinated group.
Therefore, in these 2 birth cohorts, true autism rates will
be underestimated (since they have yet to be diagnosed)
and unvaccinated status is over-represented.
+ Children who were in fact vaccinated were assigned to
the unvaccinated group if they were diagnosed with
autism efore they received the MMR. The reassigned
cases comprise 10% of the unvaccinated autism cases
(13 out of 130). This commingling blurs the distinction
between vaccinated and unvaccinated. It is not clear
what effect this would have on the results.
+ A number of the measures used to arrive at the
conclusion that autism and autism disorders were not
associated with MMR vaccination are irrelevant. Age of
vaccination with MMR, time interval between receipt of
MMR and diagnosis of autism, and year of MMR
vaccination do not help elucidate the hypothesized
relationship between receipt of MMR and development
of measles-related symptoms and regressive autism.
The age of diagnosis is arbitrary and can vary for many
reasons, among them differences in severity of illness,
access to care, and clinician skill and preference. Thus
these measures cannot be used to refute the presence
of a temporal relationship between MMR and onset of
symptoms of measles-related illness and regressive
* As the authors point out on page 1481, they had no
information on the presence or absence of a family history
of autism, which could explain the study's negative findings
only if families with a history of autism avoided MMR
vaccination. It should be noted that in 1993, there was a
widely reported news story in Denmark about a parent
with autistic twins who asserted that their autism was
caused by the MMR vaccine. It is entirely possible that
parents with either (a) a family history of autism or (b) an
infant or toddler with emerging symptoms of autism,
would avoid vaccination at a higher rate than other
parents. This would inflate the unvaccinated group with
children of families predisposed to autism.
A chart showing comparative Reported Rate of Autism from Recent US, UK, and
Denmark Studies can be found on the Safe Minds web page at
Danish study: Autism not linked to vaccination
By SHERRY JACOBSON / The Dallas Morning News
A major new study of half a million children in Denmark offers further
evidence that there is no connection between a common childhood vaccination
and the subsequent development of autism.
Researchers looked at the incidence of autistic disorders among 440,655
Danish children who had received the standard vaccine to prevent measles,
mumps and rubella. Then they compared how often the same disorders appeared
in a group of 96,648 children who were not vaccinated.
The eight-year study, published Thursday in The New England Journal of
Medicine, found the same risk of autism in both groups, providing what the
authors called "strong evidence" against the hypothesis that the vaccine
could be causing autism.
A number of smaller studies in recent years have likewise established no
"Few studies can be said to be conclusive, but I think this is as close as
we can get," said Dr. Kreesten Meldgaard Madsen, an epidemiologist at the
Danish Epidemiology Science Center in Arhus, Denmark, and the study's lead
Eight years of records
The study was drawn from the meticulous health records kept of every child
born in Denmark from 1991 through 1998.
Each childhood vaccination was recorded, as well as subsequent diagnosis of
mental disorders such as autism.
However, the study is unlikely to satisfy parent groups that have targeted
the MMR vaccine as a possible source of their children's medical problems.
"This is not going to put the question to rest for parents whose perfectly
normal children regressed after they received this vaccination," said Dawn
Richardson, president of Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education, an
Austin-based group that includes about 3,500 families concerned about
Such groups point to several smaller studies that have suggested that some
children experience behavioral problems soon after receiving a measles,
mumps and rubella vaccination at age 18 months. Autism experts have
speculated that behavioral difficulties may become apparent at that age but
be merely coincidental to the timing of vaccination shots.
"Maybe the vaccine is not the cause of autism disorders, but it could be
trigger," Ms. Richardson speculated. "Maybe it's not happening in Denmark,
but we're saying there's something going on here in the U.S. with the
children who are being vaccinated."
Barbara Low Fisher, co-founder and president of another parent group, the
National Vaccine Information Center, said a Danish study might not apply to
"They are a genetically homogeneous people," Ms. Fisher said of the
in the Danish study. "And we are not."
Relevance in U.S.?
Dr. Greg Poland, a measles vaccine expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester,
Minn., agreed that a study in one country might not always relate to people
in another. However, he noted that many Americans are of Scandinavian
While calling the new study "the single best epidemiological population
study done on this issue," Dr. Poland also said that the findings were
unlikely to convince people who have decided that vaccinations were harmful
for their children.
"You can't change emotion or fear-based decisions with scientific data,"
Poland said. "It is exceedingly difficult for people not to assume cause
effect in situations like this." He heads the Mayo Vaccine Research Group
and is a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mayo Medical
The combination measles, mumps and rubella vaccine has been in use since
1988, leading some critics to link it to the growing incidence of autism in
the United States and elsewhere. Studies have estimated there were two
autism cases per 10,000 children ages 5 to 9 in the 1980s and early 1990s.
By 2000, the incidence had grown to 10 cases per 10,000 children in the
However, Dr. Madsen and his colleagues noted in the new study that the
autism increase in the United States and Denmark "occurred well after the
introduction" of the MMR vaccine.
"Also, if there were any association between the MMR vaccination and
we would expect to see a rise in the diagnoses of autism in the time after
vaccination," he said. "We did not see that."
Mercury in hair and blood
Cox C, Clarkson TW, Marsh DO, Amin-Zaki L, Tikriti S, Myers GG.,
"Dose-response analysis of infants prenatally exposed to methyl
mercury: an application of a single compartment model to single-strand
hair analysis", Environ Research 1989 Aug;49(2):318-32
"Previous studies by this laboratory and by others have established
that concentrations of methyl mercury in newly grown hair are directly
proportional to the simultaneous concentrations in whole blood."
"In summary, risk analysis based on the data in Figs 5-7 indicated
that motor retardation should occur in children prenatally exposed to
maternal hair concentrations less than 50 ppm and may be expected in
the range of 10-20 ppm."
"These conclusions are consistent with a recent Canadian study on Cree
Indians prenatally exposed to methyl mercury where developmental
effects were noted in children of mothers who had maximum hair
concentrations between 13 and 24 ppm. Kjellstrom et al. have detected
evidence of developmental delay in children of mothers who had mean
maternal hair concentrations in the range of 6 to 18 ppm,
approximately equivalent to maximum concentrations of 9 to 27 ppm."
Why parents of autistic children are upset: