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Mercury Poisoning: 25 Mercury Myths

http://www.generationrescue.org/mercury_myths.html

Myth #1: Autism is genetic.
There is no evidence to suggest that autism is genetic. No autism
gene has ever been found and the search will be endless - how can
you have a gene for a mythical condition? Autism is mercury
poisoning. What is true is that certain children may have an
impaired ability genetically to detoxify heavy metals from their
systems. These children are more likely to be affected by mercury
exposure. However, all children, and adults, if given too much
mercury will manifest symptoms of mercury toxicity, which we
call "autistic" symptoms. All children born from 1991 forward who
received all recommended vaccines were injected with levels of
mercury that dramatically exceeded safety levels set by the
Environmental Protection Agency for adults. Mercury has become
ubiquitous in our environment: in fish and other foods, water, and
air. Exceedingly high doses of mercury exposure can result in death -
it is that neuro-toxic and damaging to the human body. Two drops of
dimethylmercury spilled onto the gloved hand of a Dartmouth
chemistry professor, a leader in a study investigating mercury's
causal role in cancer, resulting in the progressive loss of her
balance, speech, vision, and hearing, and ultimately lead to her
coma and death within a year of the exposure.

It is impossible to have a "genetic epidemic." Since 1991, there is
a very real and dramatic rise in the incidence of autism and other
neurodevelopmental disorders. In the 1970s, the incidence of autism
was 1 in 10,000 children. In 1986, the rate was 1 in 2,500. Today
the rate is 1 in 150. It has been estimated that one in six children
have some type of learning disability. Epidemics can happen in 10
years, genetic changes to populations require many generations.

Myth #2: Autism is lifelong.
There is a growing body of evidence that children properly treated
for mercury poisoning fully recover normal functioning and are
indiscernible from their neurotypical peers. Any toxicologist will
tell you that mercury poisoning represents a temporary, treatable
state. Thorough removal of mercury will resolve most or all of the
symptoms. Autism is only life long if mercury poisoning is never
treated.

Myth #3: Autistic children are not affectionate and do not like to
be held or touched.
This is an unfortunate myth. Many autistic children are extremely
affectionate and love to be held and hugged. Mercury kills neurons
in the brain and damages the central nervous system resulting in
disturbances in all of the senses - vision, hearing, oral, smell,
proprieceptive (touch), and vestibular (motion). Some children
develop ultra sensitivities in these systems (e.g., difficulties
tolerating loud noise, bright lights, car rides, or certain kinds of
clothing on their skin); others develop extreme undersensitivies
(e.g., numbness, abnormally high pain tolerances, lack of fear or
physical caution). Children who appear to not like being held or
touched likely do not because it feels painful to them. Touch is
literally either too painful or overwhelming to the senses to
tolerate. Many autistic children are extremely affectionate and love
to be held and hugged. Some may even crave or seek the pressure from
that touch to penetrate their dulled senses. Underneath the
distortions of mercury toxicity, all of these children wish to be
held and loved.

Myth #4: Autistic children are in their own world and are not
interested in other people.
Mercury poisoning overloads the senses and can make sights, sounds,
touch, and smells intolerable. This sensory overload causes some
autistic children to withdraw inward as a means of survival - it is
their body's way of coping with the massive sensory overload.
Parents often remark, as the mercury is removed from their
children's bodies, that they experience their child "in our world"
for the first time: focusing on people's faces, attending to sounds,
and having a light or aliveness in their eyes again. The removal of
mercury reduces the sensory distortion and overload, making the
world a safer, more readily understood, and more tolerable place
again. By using our own frame of reference, we mistake an autistic
child's retreat inward as an "aloofness" or "indifference" to those
around them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Myth #5: If you have autism, you are mentally handicapped.
Some autistic children are given IQ tests, which were created for
people not suffering from mercury poisoning. Because of the
limitations caused by sensory overload and damage to the brain and
central nervous system, some autistic children perform poorly on the
IQ test and are labeled "mentally handicapped." Many recovered
autistic children are performing at or above their peer group in a
variety of topics in school. There is even some evidence to suggest
that intelligence and the impaired ability to detoxify may be
related through DNA and that, in fact, those most susceptible to
mercury poisoning are among our most intelligent. Most parents of an
autistic child know that their child is very bright and many
clinicians treating autistic children assert that their patients are
among the most intelligent children they have ever seen.

Myth #6: There is no autism epidemic, it's just better diagnosis.
This myth persists despite being refuted by a wide range of
scientists, policy makers, and health care organizations. All the
available data points to an epidemic. Between 1992-2002, the
Department of Education estimates that there has been a 714%
increase in the number of autistic children. In the 1970s, autism
was estimated to occur in 1 in 25,000 children. Between 1970 and
1990, that number increased to about 1 in 2,500. Today, the CDC
acknowledges the number is about 1 in 166, even Eli Lilly, the maker
of Thimerosal, says it's 1 in 150. Many believe it is closer to 1 in
125. The anecdotal evidence that we are experiencing an epidemic is
overwhelming. If there is no epidemic, then where are all the
autistic adults? Ask any doctor, teacher, or day care worker who has
been around children for 20 or more years, and they will tell you
that the epidemic is unprecedented. What parent, either now or 20
years ago, does not notice that their child who spoke at one year is
no longer speaking, or that their child does not respond to their
name or look them in the eyes, or is displaying odd, repetitive
behaviors like hand-flapping, spinning, and rocking that no other
child is doing? Did those parents 20 years ago not notice these
things?

Here are 3 studies that help address the truth, that autism is an
epidemic:

1. The Autism Epidemic Is Real
Autism Research Institute
Dr. Bernard Rimland, President, Autism Research Institute
July 14, 2003

2. What's Going On? The Question of Time Trends in Autism.
Public Health Reports, Volume 119
Mark F. Blaxill, MBA
November-December 2004

3. The Changing Prevalence of Autism In California
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Volume 33, Number 2
Mark Blaxill, et.al.
April 2003



Myth #7: The reason that boys represent 80% - 90% of the epidemic
is that autism is an extreme form of the more rigid and scientific
male mind.
Testosterone is a synergistic toxin with mercury which means that
it enhances the toxicity of mercury in the body while estrogen
appears to protect neurons and neuronal fibers from mercury's
toxicity. This synergistic toxicity is the reason for the high ratio
of males in the epidemic. Arguably the leading scientist on the
toxicity of mercury, Boyd Haley, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the
Chemistry Department, University of Kentucky discusses the issue of
testosterone and mercury:

"One of the conundrums of autism is the 4:1 ratio of boys to girls
that get the disease. We therefore decided to test the effects of
both female and male hormones on the neurotoxicity of thimerosal.
The results were eye-opening. For example, 50 nanomolar thimerosal
causes less than 5% neuron death within the first three hours
incubation and 1 micromolar testosterone causes no significant death
within this time frame. However, mix these two together and 100%
neuron death was observed at the earliest time point checked. This
represents a severe enhancement of thimerosal toxicity."


Myth #8: Autism is a complex, multi-factorial epidemic. There are
many different causes that all work together. Mercury may be one of
the factors in creating autism, but saying it is only mercury is way
too simplistic.

The symptoms of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders are
identical to the symptoms of mercury poisoning. The rapid rise in
the number of these disorders corresponds to the dramatic increase
in the amount of Thimerosal (49.6% ethylmercury by weight) given in
recommended vaccines to children under two years of age. With the
addition of two new vaccines in the early 1990s, the amount of
ethylmercury increased 246% with most of this increase being given
within the first six months of life when an infant's neural,
detoxification, and immune systems are all undergoing rapid
development. Equally damaging, the vaccines were given much earlier
in a child's life, when the capacity to detoxify is still
developing. Numerous studies demonstrate again and again the causal
link between neurodevelopmental disorders and mercury, regardless of
the source of exposure. Finally and most definitively of all is that
when mercury is removed from these children via chelation or other
means of detoxification, their symptoms resolve.

What has made mercury difficult to identify as the culprit is that
mercury toxicity is cumulative and progressive with a delayed onset.
Symptoms can take months to appear, long after exposure, making it
difficult to see the clear link. It is also exceedingly difficult to
test for mercury toxicity in affected children. Mercury poisoning
also manifests itself in an astonishing array of symptoms in
different people. Differences in manifestations are due to
individual biochemistry and genetic susceptibilities, gender, amount
of mercury received, age of exposure, form of mercury, and the
presence of other synergistic toxins during exposure, to name a few.

Mercury alone is not the cause of all of these symptoms, but it is
the spark that sets off a cascade of damage in the body. Mercury
progressively kills neurons in the brain and damages the central
nervous system leading to a wide range of neurological, cognitive,
and sensory dysfunctions. Mercury displaces specific, essential
vitamins and minerals, the loss of which go on to create their own
damage in the brain, immune, hormonal, and virtually every other
system in the body. Mercury impairs the detoxification system
allowing all other toxins, which are ubiquitous in our environment,
to accumulate and do damage in the body. Mercury damages the gastro-
intestinal track creating dysbiosis (imbalance of good and bad
bacteria) and yeast overgrowth. Yeast, itself, is a neuro-toxin and
allowed to proliferate, can create tiny holes in the lining of the
gastro-intestinal track leading to a condition called Leaky Gut.
Molecules of digested food, larger than typical, are able to pass
through these holes into the bloodstream where the body recognizes
them as foreign invaders and mounts an immune response, triggering
food allergies, eczema, and other auto-immune reactions. Untreated
food allergies and a damaged gut can lead to chronic ear and other
infections. Treating these with antibiotics, as is a typical history
with many autistic children, only makes matters worse. Antibiotics
exacerbate gut dysbiosis and, like testosterone, are synergistically
toxic with mercury. Damage to the gastro-intestinal track, which is
the body's first line of immune defense, lowers the immune system.

The symptoms of mercury poisoning are varied and complex. But, the
cause is simple and always will be: mercury toxicity. Remove the
spark and the body has a chance to balance and heal.


Myth #9: Saying that vaccines cause autism will create a return to
unvaccinated children dying from many childhood diseases we have
nearly eradicated.
Thimerosal contains ethylmercury, a potent neurotoxin. Thimerosal,
administered through vaccines, is the primary source of mercury
exposure and the root cause of the autism epidemic. Thimerosal is an
untested, unnecessary vaccine preservative. Today, most vaccines are
available with reduced or no amounts of Thimerosal (with the
exception of the flu vaccine with 25 micrograms per shot) and are
still effective. Many health organizations, physicians, and
scientists agree that there is no safe level of mercury. Being anti-
mercury is distinct from being anti-vaccine.

Using a potent neurotoxin in the vaccines given to infants and
children has seriously eroded the public's trust in the vaccine
program. The unwillingness of most public authorities to acknowledge
the true cause of the current epidemic will only further erode this
trust. To try to turn the argument back around and accuse advocates
of the mercury-autism connection as being "anti-vaccine" is nothing
more than an attempt to muddy the debate for reasons of self-
interest and self-protection.

Myth #10: You say mercury from Thimerosal causes autism. Others say
the MMR vaccine causes autism. But, the MMR vaccine has never
contained Thimerosal. How can both be true?
The MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine does not contain
Thimerosal. Unlike most vaccines, the MMR is a live-virus vaccine
and therefore does not need Thimerosal as a preservative. However,
the fact that the MMR is a triple live-virus vaccine is part of the
problem. The goal of a live virus is to trigger a mild immune
response and build immunity. This may work in a healthy child.
However, many children who develop autism are already burdened with
mercury poisoning by the time they receive the MMR at 12-18 months.
Mercury impairs the immune system, and the live virus, rather than
triggering a mild response, can overwhelm an impaired immune system.
A virus' goal is to find a host and recreate. There is scientific
proof that many autistic children have their intestinal walls lined
with the measles virus received from the MMR vaccine. The virus is
able to host and replicate due to the impaired immune system of the
child. Some doctors believe the live MMR virus traps heavy metals
within the cells of the body and further impairs the body's ability
to excrete metals. The reason some parents report immediate
regression in their child's behavior after an MMR vaccine is that,
for some children, it may be the proverbial straw that breaks the
camel's back.

Myth #11: The mercury used in vaccines is the safe kind of mercury
that the body disposes of quickly.
Methylmercury, the kind of mercury found in fish, is more widely
understood and studied than ethlymercury, the kind of mercury found
in Thimerosal. This has led to the false assertion that ethylmercury
is the "safe" form of mercury. The assertion that certain forms of
mercury are quickly and easily excreted by the body violates basic
principles of chemistry and physics. There is no such thing as a
safe form of the second-most toxic substance on earth. Dozens of
studies have demonstrated the extreme toxicity of ethlymercury and
the fact that most autistic children retain meaningful quantities of
mercury in their major organs after receiving vaccines containing
Thimerosal. Parents who chelate their children have fecal, urine,
and hair toxic metals tests showing mercury being excreted at levels
10-50x normal.

Here is Dr. David Baskin, testifying before Congress, on the
differences between methyl and ethyl mercury:

"There is more data, more and more data on ethlymercury. The cells
that I showed you dying in cell culture are dying from ethlymercury.
Those are human frontal brain cells. You know, there has been a
debate about...ethyl versus methyl. But from a chemical point of
view most chemical compounds that are ethyl penetrate into cells
better than methyl...When I began to work with some of the Ph.D.s in
my laboratory and discuss this everyone said, 'oh gosh, you know,
we've got to adjust for ethyl because it's going to be worse; the
levels are going to be much higher in the cells.'"


Here are a few of the many studies that discuss the toxicity of
Thimerosal and it's primary ingredient, ethylmercury, and its
devastating consequences on developing brains and nervous systems:

1. Thimerosal Induces DNA Breaks, Caspase-3 Activation, Membrane
Damage, and Cell Death in Cultured Human Neurons and Fibroblasts
Toxicological Sciences
David S. Baskin, Hop Ngo, and Vladimir V. Didenko
April 2003

2. Molecular Aspects of Thimerosal Induced Autism
Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness,
Committee on Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives
Richard Deth, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology, Northeastern
University
September 8, 2004

3. Thimerosal Neurotoxicity is Associated With Glutathione
Depletion: Protection with Glutathione Precursors
Neurotoxicology 26
Dr. Jill James et.al.
January 2005

4. The Comparative Toxicology of ethyl- and methylmercury
Toxicology
L. Magos et.al.
Spring 1985


Myth #12: The mercury received in a vaccine is no greater than in a
can of tuna. Eating a can of tuna has certainly never caused autism.
This myth has received a lot of publicity because it offers an
analogy anyone can understand and makes the mercury-autism
connection appear trivial.

We can start by comparing a 200-pound male adult consuming tuna
with the infant who receives a single vaccine on their first day of
birth (since day-old infants don't eat tuna). On the first day of
birth an infant receives the Hep B vaccine with about 25 micrograms
of ethlymercury - this does approximate the 30 micrograms of
methlymercury in an average can of tuna. Since the average infant
weighs about 7 pounds, the weight equivalent number of cans of tuna
for an adult would be 28 cans. (The adult male weighs 28x more than
the infant.)

If you take those 28 cans of tuna and distill it down to mercury
content, you would have 840 micrograms of mercury (30 micrograms per
can). Keep in mind that the stomach successfully absorbs and
excretes about 90% of any mercury ingested through food, leaving
only about 10% of the mercury to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Since the mercury in vaccines is injected directly into the
bloodstream where 100% of it can be absorbed by the organs, you
would need an additional 252 cans of tuna to get the equivalent
amount of mercury into the bloodstream for a total of 280 cans of
tuna and 8,400 micrograms of methlymercury.

Also, remember that a developing brain is far more sensitive to
toxins than an adult brain. Current estimates say mercury is 5-10x
more toxic for a developing brain. We'll use the low end of that
range, so multiply the 280 cans of tuna by 5 and you get 1,400 cans
of tuna.

So, receiving the Hep B vaccine with Thimerosal on the first day of
birth is the equivalent of a 200-pound adult male consuming 1,400
cans of tuna in a single day. One final adjustment: the adult male
in the analogy needs to have no capacity to excrete mercury. As Boyd
Haley, Ph.D. notes, "it is very well known that infants do not
produce significant levels of bile or have adult renal capacity for
several months after birth. Bilary transport is the major
biochemical route by which mercury is removed from the body, and
infants cannot do this very well."

So, a 200-pound male who consumes 1,400 cans of tuna in a single
day and has their ability to excrete mercury severely diminished is
the same as a day-old infant receiving the Hep B vaccine. Now the
analogy is fair.


Myth #13: The mercury received through a vaccine has always been at
trace levels, but not ever enough to cause harm.
The World Health Organization has stated that there is no safe
level of mercury. 246 micrograms of mercury, the amount received by
children born between 1990 and 2002 before the age of two as part of
the recommended vaccine schedule, has created an epidemic of
neurodevelopmental issues.

Even Dr. Pierre Lavigne, a spokesman for Aventis Pasteur, a
manufacturer of vaccines, states, "The important thing to note is
that thimerosal is an issue really only for pediatric vaccines for
small children. The developing nervous system is very sensitive, so
if they're exposed to mercury it's more likely to cause damage."

Neal Halsey M.D., the Former Chairman of the American Academy of
Pediatrics committee on infectious diseases (who makes
recommendation on vaccinations) states, "In most vaccine containers,
thimerosal is listed as a mercury derivative, a hundredth of a
percent. And what I believed, and what everybody else believed, was
that it was truly a trace, a biologically insignificant amount. My
honest belief is that if the labels had had the mercury content in
micrograms, this would have been uncovered years ago. But the fact
is, no one did the calculation."

Myth #14: There have been many autistic children who showed no sign
of mercury after testing. Therefore, the idea that autism is nothing
more than mercury poisoning is implausible.
It is very true that some autistic children, tested for mercury
poisoning via a chelation challenge or provocation test, showed no
signs of mercury excretion. However, these results are not because
these children are not mercury poisoned, but because they are the
most mercury poisoned and are known as "non-excretors."

A non-excretor of mercury is someone who, even after the
administration of a chelating agent (which is how a mercury toxicity
test has typically been performed), is unable to excrete any
mercury. A majority of autistic children are non-excretors. Autistic
children typically have some genetic impairments in their
detoxification pathways. These impairments are worsened with each
additional exposure to mercury as accumulated mercury effectively
shuts down the body's detoxification system, thereby exacerbating
their mercury poisoning. The non-excretor phenomenon has only been
recently understood and studied. Unfortunately, many autistic
children were given a single chelation challenge test, showed no
mercury excretion, and were falsely told that, "mercury is not an
issue here." These are often the children most overloaded with
mercury! It may require a few months of chelation before a non-
excretor will show any mercury coming out of their body, at which
point it typically starts to pour out of the body. As Dr. Rashid
Buttar noted in a recent study he did of chelating autistic
children:

"Virtually all patients reviewed in the study did NOT show any
appreciable amount of mercury level on baseline tests. Results
however clearly showed that as treatment continued, an increase in
the level of mercury being excreted was increased."


Myth #15: The scientific standard for proof is a double-blind,
placebo-controlled study. If you are so sure mercury causes autism,
where is this study to prove it?
First, there is no double-blind, placebo-controlled study to show
Thimerosal is safe. In order to do an effective double-blind,
placebo-controlled study, you would need to vaccinate a group of
children with Thimerosal-containing vaccines and vaccinate another
group of children with Thimerosal-free vaccines using the current
vaccine schedule, then follow their development over a 2-4 year
period, and see which ones develop neurological issues and which do
not. Obviously, this would be a challenging study to recruit
children for, "Your child will be part of a study where they may
receive a vaccine with a substance in it that many believe causes
autism. Would you like to participate?" Given the impracticality of
such a study, here are some alternative studies that could be done:

1. You could analyze the data the government maintains through
its "Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System" and compare the data
they already have on children who received Thimerosal-containing
vaccines against children who did not receive Thimerosal in their
vaccines. This study has already been done by Mark & David Geier and
showed a high correlation between Thimerosal dosing and neurological
disorders:

Thimerosal in Childhood Vaccines, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and
Heart Disease in the United States
Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons
Mark Geier, M.D., Ph.D., David A. Geier
Spring 2003

2. You could compare the symptoms of mercury poisoning and the
symptoms of autism and see how similar they are. This study has
already been done and demonstrated that the symptoms of autism and
the symptoms of mercury poisoning are exactly the same:

Autism: a Novel Form of Mercury Poisoning
Medical Hypothesis 2001
Sally Bernard, et. al
December 2000

3. You could administer a chelating agent to remove heavy metals,
including mercury, to a group of autistic children and to a group of
neurotypical children and measure the amount of mercury coming out
of the children to see if there are any differences. This study has
already been done by Jeff Bradstreet et.al. and showed that autistic
children excrete significantly more mercury than neurotypical
children:

A Case-Control Study of Mercury Burden in Children with Autistic
Spectrum Disorder
Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Volume 8, Number 3
Jeff Bradstreet, M.D., David Geier, B.A., Jerold Kartzinel, M.D.,
James Adams, Ph.D., Mark Geier, M.D., Ph.D.
Summer 2003



4. You could inject a group of mice with Thimerosal in doses that
proportionally mimic the timing and amount received according to the
recommended vaccination schedule and compare these mice to a control
group for neurological development. This study has already been done
by Mady Hornig et al. and showed that a subset of mice with genetic
detoxification impairments who received Thimerosal injections
developed "autistic symptoms":

Neurotoxic Effects of Postnatal Thimerosal are Mouse Strain
Dependent
Molecular Psychiatry
Dr. Mady Hornig, Columbia University College of Physicians and
Surgeons
May 2004

5. You could compare the first baby haircuts of autistic children
versus neurotypical children to see if there are any differences in
the patterns of heavy metal excretion (hair is one of the ways the
body excretes metals). This study has already been done and showed
that autistic children demonstrated an impaired ability to excrete
metals from birth:

Reduced Levels of Mercury in First Baby Haircuts of Autistic
Children
International Journal of Toxicology
Dr. Amy S. Holmes, Mark F. Blaxill, Boyd E. Haley, Ph.D.br>March 14,
2003

6. You could run a trial of 31 autistic children where you chelated
patients over the course of twelve months and had parents videotape
their children and test urine and fecal samples for toxic metals
every other month. You could then compare the children's progress
and symptoms from the beginning to the end of treatment. This study
was done by Dr. Rashid Buttar and he made the following statement
before Congress:

Autism, the Misdiagnosis of our Future Generations
Testimony, U.S. Congressional Sub-Committee Hearing
Rashid A. Buttar, DO, Vice Chairman, American Board of Clinical
Metal Toxicology
May 6, 2004

"The Autism study consisted of 31 patients with the diagnoses of
autism, autism like spectrum, and pervasive developmental delay.
Inclusion criteria was simple, including an independent diagnosis of
the above mentioned conditions from either a neurologist or
pediatrician, and the desire of the parent to try the treatment
protocol using TD-DMPS. All patients were enrolled sequentially as
they presented to the clinic and only those who did not wish to
participate in the TD-DMPS were not included.

All 31 patients were tested for metal toxicity using four different
tests: urine metal toxicity and essential minerals, hair metal
toxicity and essential minerals, RBC metal toxicity, and fecal metal
toxicity, all obtained from Doctor's Data Laboratory. These tests
were performed at baseline, and repeated at 2 months, 4 months, 6
months, 8 months, 10 months, 12 months, and then every 4 months
there after. All 31 patients showed little or no level of mercury on
the initial baseline test results. Slide #37 shows an example of a
baseline test result of one participant in the study showing very
little mercury.

Compared to the baseline results all 31 patients showed
significantly higher levels of mercury as treatment continued. Slide
#39 shows significantly higher mercury levels in this same study
patient after two months of treatment with the TD-DMPS, with results
showing approximately a 350% increase from previous baseline levels.
The improvements in the patients in the study correlated with
increased yield in measured mercury levels upon subsequent testing.
Essentially, what was noted was that as more mercury was eliminated,
the more noticeable the clinical improvements and the more dramatic
the change in the patient.

The manifestations of this evidence for clinical improvements
included many observations but were specifically quantifiable with
some patients who had no prior history of speech starting to speak
at the age of 6 or 7, sometimes in full sentences. Patients also
exhibited substantially improved behavior, reduction and eventual
cessation of all stemming behavior, return of full eye contact, and
rapid potty training, sometimes in children that were 5 or 6 but had
never been successfully potty trained. Additional findings reported
by parents included improvement and increase in rate of physical
growth increased, as well as the child beginning to follow
instructions, becoming affectionate and social with siblings or
other children, seeking interaction with others, appropriate in
response, and a rapid acceleration of verbal skills. The results in
many of these children has been documented on video and other
physicians involved with this protocol have been successfully able
to reproduce the same results.

Mercury is the "spark" that causes the "fires" of Autism as well as
Alzheimer's. Autism is the result of high mercury exposure early in
life versus Alzheimer's is a chronic accumulation of mercury over a
life time. A doctor can treat ALL the "fires" but until the "spark"
is removed, there is minimal hope of complete recovery with most
improvements being transient at best. However, once the process of
mercury removal has been effectively started, the damage is
curtailed and full recovery becomes possible..."

7. You could remove the mercury from some autistic children and not
remove mercury from other autistic children and see if there was any
difference in cognitive improvement over time. This is what hundreds
of doctors and thousands of parents are doing every day throughout
the country right now and seeing their children recover.


Myth #16: The scientific and medical communities have proven there
is no correlation between Thimerosal in vaccines and autism.
Many in the medical and regulatory communities assert that "there
is no proof" or that "they proved there was no connection" regarding
the link between mercury and autism. This assertion has been widely
reported in the mainstream press to the point that it is now
accepted as fact. It is important for any parent to view these
statements critically and understand what and who are actually
making these assertions.

Generation Rescue believes autism is an issue of toxicology. Yet,
you never hear from a toxicologist saying there is no correlation
between autism and mercury. This is because toxicologists know that
the link is likely. Hearing a psychiatrist comment on mercury
toxicity is like seeking the opinion of a urologist for a new heart
procedure. It doesn't make sense to accept the expertise of people
who have no experience in the field of heavy metal toxicity.

The only science that claims to refute the connection is
epidemiological science. Epidemiological study is statistical
analysis of population data (in this case, analyzing for a
correlation between the amount of Thimerosal received with the
incidence of neurological disorders). The outcomes of
epidemiological studies, however, are highly sensitive to small
changes in the parameters of analysis (e.g., definition of disorder,
amount of dosing, timeframe). In other words, it is easy to massage
the data to reduce the power of statistical correlation. There have
never been any medical studies done to establish "no proof" in the
way many studies have been done in Myth #15 to establish "proof."
There was no safety testing of Thimerosal in children before it was
put into pediatric vaccines. There have been no placebo-controlled
studies following children for five years after receiving vaccines
containing Thimerosal.

The actual epidemiological science that is held up as "proof" of no
connection is both paltry and controversial. The totality of
the "scientific evidence" centers on three clusters of recently
released information from the medical community. These include:

- A CDC study that appeared in Pediatrics in November of 2003 is
the primary study held up as "proof" of no connection between
Thimerosal and autism. This is astonishing in light of the fact that
both the study and the author of the study report that the analysis
was "inconclusive" and more research was required. The study that
forms the basis for the assertion of "proof" admits it did not prove
anything! Also, Pediatrics represented that the author of the study
was an employee of the CDC when in fact he had become an employee of
Glaxo SmithKline, a vaccine manufacturer. (See Myth #17). A separate
study of this same data undertaken by an independent research team
(Geier & Geier) identified significant correlations between
Thimerosal exposure and the rate of neurodevelopmental disorders.

- Four studies from Denmark, where Thimerosal was removed from
vaccines in 1992, appeared in four separate medical journals in 2002-
2003 and assert that Denmark's population data demonstrates no link
between Thimerosal and autism. Not only has the methodology of
the "Denmark Studies" been disputed, but it also was later
established that the authors of all four studies had an economic
interest in and/or are employees of a Danish vaccine manufacturer
who had recently received a big order from the United States for
vaccines. The publishing journals did not mention these associations
in any of the reports. (See Myth #18)

- A study by the Institute of Medicine released in March 2004
claims there is no link between Thimerosal and autism. The IOM did
not do any primary research, they simply reviewed what already had
been done, focusing mostly on the above CDC and Danish studies for
their conclusion. (See Myth #19). This conclusion was a change from
a similar review in 2001 by the IOM that stated the mercury-autism
link was "biologically plausible". While there appear to be no links
between the members of the reviewing panel and vaccine makers, there
were no toxicologists or other scientists versed in mercury toxicity
included in the panel.


Myth #17: The CDC did a study and proved there was no link between
mercury in vaccines and autism.
In the November 2003 a study appeared in the medical journal
Pediatrics titled, "Safety of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines: A Two-
Phased Study of Computerized Health Maintenance Organization
Databases" written by Thomas Verstraeten who had been an employee of
the Centers For Disease Control. By the time the study was
published, he was an employee of Glaxo SmithKline, a vaccine
manufacturer. It is this study, more than any other, which has
formed the basis for the mainstream medical community to claim that
the link between vaccines and autism has been disproven. This study
is also routinely cited in the mainstream press on the
autism/mercury topic as the "proof" of no connection. Here are the
facts:

1. The study itself was inconclusive. Nowhere in the study is it
stated that there is "no link" between Thimerosal and
neurodevelopmental issues. In fact, the study specifically states:

"The biological plausibility of the small doses of ethylmercury
present in vaccines leading to increased risks of neurodevlopmental
disorders is uncertain...For elucidating further whether a causal
association exists between thimerosal exposure and
nuerodevelopmental conditions, additional studies with different
designs will be needed."

2. The study's author, Thomas Verstraeten, confirmed that the study
was inconclusive. In a letter to Pediatrics five months after the
publication of the study, he writes:

"I am the first author of a recent article on a study undertaken
by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to screen
for a potential link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and
neurodevelopmental delays. The article has been subject to heavy
criticism from antivaccine lobbyists...Because I was responsible for
nearly all aspects of this study, including study design, data
gathering, data analysis, and writing of the article, I wish to give
my opinion on these claims...Surprisingly, however, the study is
being interpreted now as negative [where 'negative' implies no
association was shown between Thimerosal and autism] by many,
including the antivaccine lobbyists. The article does not state that
we found evidence against an association, as a negative study would.
It does state, on the contrary, that additional study is
recommended, which is the conclusion to which a neutral study must
come. Does a neutral outcome reduce the value of a study? It may
make it less attractive to publishers and certainly to the press,
but it in no way diminishes its scientific and public health merit.
A neutral study carries a very distinct message: the investigators
could neither confirm nor exclude an association, and therefore more
study is required."

3. There is compelling evidence that initial analyses by the CDC
found a pronounced, positive correlation between exposure to
Thimerosal and a wide range of neurodevelopmental issues but that
data was manipulated out of the study over time to produce a
neutral, inconclusive result. Here is Dr. Mark Geier discussing the
study:

"...this very study was the topic of secret-closed meetings
between members of the CDC and other government organizations, as
well as members of the vaccine manufacturers held at Simpsonwood,
Georgia from 7-8 June 2000. The transcript of this meeting has been
obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. This transcript
reveals that the study initially found statistically significant
dose-response effects between increasing doses of mercury from
thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines and various types of
neurodevelopmental disorders. The transcript documents that the data
was real and statistically significant for many types of
neurodevelopmental disorders, but that the meeting participants
expressed that the data had to be 'handled.' Despite discussion
about how to 'handle' the data, some participants expressed concern
that the work that had already been done would be obtained by others
through the Freedom of Information Act. In this event, even if
professional bodies expressed the opinion that there was no
association between thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders, it
was already too late to do anything. In addition, other participants
expressed that the vaccine manufacturers were in a horrible position
to be able to defend any lawsuits alleging a relationship between
thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders, since no one would say
with the available data that there was no relationship between
thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders."

The transcript of Simpsonwood meeting, if read in its entirety, is
surprising in its clarity on the Thimerosal-autism link and in the
explicit planning by the participants over how to "handle" the
information with the outside world. One of the expert panelists,
William Weil, MD, commented during Simpsonwood:

"The number of dose related relationships [thimerosal to
neurological issues] are linear and statistically significant. You
can play with this all you want. They are linear. They are
statistically significant."

After the Simpsonwood meeting, the study's author, Thomas
Vertraeten, stated to his superiors:

"I do not wish to be the advocate of the anti-vaccine lobby and
sound like being convinced that thimerosal is or was harmful, but at
least I feel we should use our sound scientific argumentation and
not let our standards be dictated by our desire to disprove an
unpleasant theory."

Below are some reports documenting the initial findings of the CDC
analysis, criticisms of their subsequent methodologies, and
transcripts from the Simpsonwood meeting.

1. Analysis and Critique of the CDC's Handling of the Thimerosal
Exposure Assessment Based on the Vaccine Safety Datalink Information
Safe Minds (Sensible Action For Ending Mercury-Induced Neurological
Disorders)
October 2003

This 46-page presentation describes how the CDC performed four
separate rounds of analysis, with the first one showing a
significant positive correlation between Thimerosal exposure and
incidence of neurodevelopmental delays. It charts how the
methodology of each subsequent analysis was changed, eventually
resulting in a neutral, non-significant correlation.

2. Misses Link Between Thimerosal and Neurodevlopmental Disorders
Letter to the Editor of Pediatrics
Dr. Mark Geier
February 23, 2004

Dr. Geier's letter to Pediatrics outlines flaws in the CDC's
methodology and approach.

3. The Truth Behind the Vaccine Cover-up
www.russellblaylockmd.com
Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.
September 4, 2004

This extensive review of the Simpsonwood transcript is
interspersed with Dr. Balylock's own commentary. It is shocking,
disheartening, and ultimately incriminating. Excerpt from Dr.
Verstraeten discussing some of the positive correlations found
between exposure to Thimerosal and the incidence of later
neurodevelopmental delays:

"...we have found statistically significant relationships between
the exposures and outcomes for these different exposures and
outcomes. First, for [exposure to Thimerosal at] 2 months of age, an
unspecified developmental delay, which has its own ICD9 code.
Exposure at 3 months of age, Tics. Exposure at 6 months of age,
Attention Deficit Disorder. Exposure at 1, 3, and 6 months of age,
language and speech delays which are two separate ICD9 codes.
Exposure of 1, 3, and 6 months of age, the entire category of
neurodevelopmental delays which include all of these plus a number
of other disorders."



4. Immunization Safety Review
Letter to the Institute of Medicine written by Safe Minds
2004

This letter to the Institute of Medicine written by Safe Minds
also highlights some of the incriminating discussion from the
Simpsonwood meeting. Excerpt from Dr. Bernier, near the closing of
the Simpsonwood meeting:

"We have asked you to keep this information confidential. We do
have a plan for discussing these data at the upcoming meeting of the
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on June 21 and June 22.
At that time CDC plans to make public release of this information,
so I think it would serve all of our interests best if we could
continue to consider these data. The ACIP work group will be
considering also. If we could consider these data in a certain
protected environment. So we are asking people who have a great job
protecting this information up until now, to continue to do that
until the timing of the ACIP meeting. So too basically consider this
embargoed information. That would help all of us to use the
machinery that we have in place for considering these data and for
arriving at policy recommendations."

5. Internal Email From Thomas Verstraeten of the CDC Noting the
Thimerosal/Autism Link in the Data "Won't Go Away"
Internal Email Correspondence at the CDC
December 17, 1999

Thomas Verstareten's email, prior to the Simpsonwood meeting,
laments that in his analysis the relationship between Thimerosal and
a wide range of neurodevelopmental issues just "won't go away."

6. Scientific Review Of Vaccine Safety Datalink Information
Simpsonwood Retreat Center
June 7-8 2000

This is the actual "Simpsonwood Transcript" that SafeMinds
obtained with a Freedom Of Information Act lawsuit. At 286 pages, it
takes some time to get through. Russell Blaylock's (#3 above) or
Safe Mind's (#4 above) reports are an easier way to capture the
highlights of this transcript.

Myth #18: Denmark, which removed Thimerosal from vaccines in the
early 1990s, did a study proving there was no link between mercury
in vaccines and autism.
This myth implies that the government of Denmark was responsible
for a study of Thimerosal and autism, which is not accurate. In
rapid succession, four studies from Denmark were released in four
separate medical journals, all purporting to disprove the thimerosal-
vaccine-autism connection. Specifically, The New England Journal of
Medicine published in 2002, "A Population-based study of measles,
mumps, and rubella vaccination and autism"; The American Journal of
Preventative Medicine published in 2003, "Autism and thimerosal:
lack of consistent evidence for an association"; Pediatrics
published in 2003, "Thimerosal and the occurrence of autism:
negative ecological evidence from Danish population-based data";
and, The Journal of the American Medical Association published in
2003, "Association between thimerosal-containing vaccine and
autism."

Soon after the studies were published, Safe Minds revealed that
most of the Danish researchers behind all four studies were
employees of a Danish manufacturer of vaccines, Statens Serum
Institut. None of the reports noted this conflict of interest.
Mothering magazine reported on Safe Mind's response to one of the
Danish studies (from the Journal of the American Medical
Association):

"Safe Minds released an analysis of the autism registry data from
Denmark that showed the rate of autism dropped sharply after removal
of thimerosal from infant vaccines in that country in 1992. Their
findings showed the rate of autism declined from an incidence of 1
in 500 prior to 1992 to 1 in 1,500 today. The analysis also
uncovered a flaw in the methodology of Danish investigators
publishing in the October issue of JAMA (Hviid et al), who utilized
the same Danish registry data and concluded that autism rates in
Denmark rose after thimerosal removal from vaccines. "In our review
of the Danish data we identified a flaw which resulted in a
substantial loss of autism case records from the registry which
essentially renders the findings from the JAMA study by Hviid and
colleagues invalid", said Sallie Bernard, executive director of Safe
Minds. "The registry allows 10-25% of diagnosed autism cases to be
lost from its records each year. The effect [cumulative] of this
loss is such that the records will disappear from older age groups
to a much greater degree than from younger age groups in any given
registry year."

The Hviid findings are based on finding fewer older children
diagnosed with autism than younger ones in the 2000 medical
registry. Since the older children received Thimerosal vaccines and
the younger ones did not, Hviid falsely concluded that Thimerosal
must not be a factor in autism. The Safe Minds analysis shows
instead that the "higher" incidence of autism in younger children is
likely due to the loss of records of older children, rather than a
true "increase" in autism rates in the younger group.

Safe Minds reanalyzed the Denmark registry data and used an
alternative method to avoid the record removal bias. The analysis
looked at same-age children - 5-9 year olds - but from different
registry years: 1992, when all of the children received Thimerosal-
containing vaccines, and 2002, when none of the children received
vaccines with Thimerosal. The analysis found a 2.3x higher incidence
of autism cases among the 1992 Thimerosal-exposed group relative to
the 2002 non-exposed group.

The analysis then determined an autism incidence rate for the non-
Thimerosal group of 1 in 1,500, while the Thimerosal-exposed group
had an incidence of 1 in 500, a 3-fold increase. The higher figure
is comparable to the 1 in 500 incidence level for autism in England
and the 1 in 150 incidence level in the US. The Thimerosal exposure
level and timing in pre-1992 Denmark was comparable to that in
England, while that for the US was somewhat more aggressive. As Lyn
Redwood, president of Safe Minds comments:

"In the Hviid study in JAMA we can clearly see how the data was
misinterpreted so a conclusion could be drawn to clear thimerosal
from any role in autism. This misinterpretation is not surprising
given the authors' employment with the manufacturer and promoter of
vaccines in Denmark, Statens Serum Institut. This conflict of
interest should have been stated by JAMA...Safe Minds is calling for
a complete analysis of the Denmark autism registry data set by
independent, unbiased epidemiologists who have no involvement in
vaccine development, production, promotion, or administration."


Some documents that refute the Denmark studies include:

1. Something is Rotten In Denmark
Safe Minds
October 2003

This overview traces the association between all the Danish
researchers to a single Danish vaccine company, Statens Serum
Institut.

2. Analysis of the Danish Autism Registry Data Base in Response to
the Hviid et al Paper on Thimerosal in JAMA (October, 2003)
Safe Minds
Sallie Bernard
October 2003

This paper details the above findings by Safe Minds and refutes the
methodology of Danish study published in the Journal of the American
Medical Association.

3. Danish Thimerosal-Autism study in Pediatrics: Misleading and
Uninformative on Autism-Mercury Link
Safe Minds
Mark Blaxill
September 2, 2003

This paper critiques the Danish study published in Pediatrics.

4. MMR and Autism In Perspective: The Denmark Story
Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Volume 9, Number 3
Carol Stott, Ph.D., Mark Blaxill, Dr. Andrew Wakefield
Fall 2004

This peer-reviewed analysis demonstrates that the rate of autism in
Denmark rose after the introduction of the MMR vaccine.




Myth #19: The IOM did a study and proved there was no link between
mercury in vaccines and autism.

In May 2004, the Institute of Medicine released a 216-page report
titled Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism and concluded
that there did not appear to be a causal link between Thimerosal and
the autism epidemic. This study was paid for by the CDC, a conflict
in of itself, and there is growing evidence that the conclusion was
pre-ordained before any research was done. Regarding the potential
link between mercury and autism, Dr. Marie McCormick, Committee
Chair of the IOM study, in a recently released transcript, stated
(before any research had been done), "We are not ever going to come
down that it is a true side effect." Much of the IOM's conclusion
was based on the aforementioned CDC and Danish studies - there was
no primary research done. This lack of new, primary research is a
critical point: the IOM's conclusion was largely based on the
studies discussed in Myths 17 & 18 above that are controversial
flawed.

Soon after the report's release, Congressmen Burton and Weldon and
Congresswoman Watson held a joint press conference. An excerpt from
Mothering magazine on the press conference:

"Unfortunately, I believe the findings announced in the May 18th
IOM report are heavily biased, and unrepresentative of all the
available scientific and medical research," stated Chairman
Burton. "I think it is highly irresponsible for the IOM Immunization
Safety Review Committee to purport definitive findings to the
American public, which are based on selective scientific studies
that are greatly flawed to begin with."


The recently released IOM report is the eighth and final in a
series designed to examine the safety of vaccines that contain the
mercury-based preservative, Thimerosal. In their latest report, the
IOM Committee concludes, "The body of epidemiological evidence
favors the rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-
containing vaccines and autism." This statement represents a
significant change from the Committee's finding in their 2001
report, which called such a causal relationship, "biologically
plausible." The Committee based its final conclusions on their
review of approximately 10 previously conducted epidemiological
studies. Of those roughly 10 studies, 5 reported probable links
between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism, yet those 5 were
summarily dismissed because the Committee determined the manner in
which they were conducted was flawed."

For an excellent article on the IOM conflict:

A Dragon By the Tail
byronchild Magazine
By Lisa Reagan
March 7, 2005





Myth #20: Our health authorities would never let this happen - it's
impossible that so many responsible for the welfare of our kids
would allow an entire generation of children to be poisoned with
mercury.

It is very hard to believe that so many doctors and health
authorities, most of whom truly have the welfare of our children in
their hearts, would allow this to happen. Some of the reasons,
unfortunately, that this is a myth include:

- Doctors are not trained in toxicology in medical school.
Therefore, very few people who monitor the vaccine program and
monitor neurological developmental issues in children know what the
signs of mercury poisoning look like, how to test for it, or what to
do about it.

- Mercury has a slow onset that can take years to fully manifest.
Therefore, the decision in 1991/92 to change the vaccine schedule
did not start to show up in the autism figures until 1995/1996,
creating confusion and uncertainty.

- By the time the epidemic was in full stride, those in positions
of power seem to have suffered from denial, self-protection, and
self-interest. Unfortunately, these traits have been exhibited
throughout American history. Think asbestos, lead, alar, and Vioxx,
to name only a few.

From our own Congressional Subcommittee on Human Rights and
Wellness:

"Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is likely related
to the autism epidemic. This epidemic in all probability may have
been prevented or curtailed had the FDA not been asleep at the
switch regarding injected thimerosal and the sharp rise of infant
exposure to this known neurotoxin. Our public health agencies'
failure to act is indicative of institutional malfeasance for self-
protection and misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical
industry."


And, a study on Conflicts of Interest in Vaccine Policy-Making:

Conflicts Of Interest In Vaccine Policy Making
Committee On Government Reform - U.S. House of Representatives
August 21, 2000

Myth #21: The best treatment for Autism, and the only proven
treatment, is behavioral therapy - specifically ABA or Applied
Behavior Analysis.
There appears to be clinical evidence that ABA therapy improves
autistic symptoms in some autistic children. In general, the use of
many forms of behavioral therapy for autism leads to improvement.
However, to represent that ABA is the only form of treatment for
autism is untrue. There are hundreds of children who have recovered
from autism through biomedical treatment and that number is growing
everyday.
Myth #22: Autism is a psychological disorder and a psychologist
should provide treatment.
Autism is an issue of toxicology. A physician who understands toxic
metals in terms of testing, symptoms, and removal is critical to
treating autism effectively.

Myth #23: Chelation therapy is unsafe, unproven medicine. It is
something only desperate parents would consider doing, and has more
risks than benefits.
Chelation therapy is a safe, effective way to remove toxic metals
from the body. It has been used for decades to treat acute metals
poisoning and more recently, to treat degenerative diseases such as
chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's, cancer, and
heart disease. When monitored by a physician, potential side affects
such as mineral depletion and impacted liver function can be
monitored and remedied. On the other hand, the risks of maintaining
acute mercury toxicity in the body - progressive neuro and other
degenerative disease - as well as poor quality of life for the
severely toxic are significant. Below is the coverage position on
chelation therapy from CIGNA, one of the country's largest insurance
companies:

"CIGNA Healthcare considers chelation therapy medically necessary
in the following conditions: arsenic, mercury, iron, copper or gold
poisoning when long-term exposure to and toxicity has been confirmed
through lab results (i.e., blood, plasma, and/or urine results) or
clinical findings (i.e., symptoms consistent with metal toxicity)."

Myth #24: Mercury may be one of the causes of autism. It doesn't
really matter what the cause - once you have autism, you have autism
for life.
We often say a child "has autism" implying it is something
someone "acquires" or "catches" or "is born with". Autism is not a
disease. Autism is simply a label for a range of observed behaviors.
There is no medical test for autism. These behaviors are typically
assessed by a psychologist using the DSM-IV criteria which
identifies 12 groups of abnormal behaviors. A child exhibiting any 6
of these behaviors results in a diagnosis of autism. This diagnostic
process means that two children exhibiting the opposite six criteria
could both be considered autistic. It is also entirely plausible
that a single child diagnosed separately by five psychologists could
receive five separate diagnoses like autism, Asperger's, ADHD, PDD-
NOS, and a developmental delay. In sum, it is an imperfect and
subjective process that rests on a description of symptoms, not
cause.

That many autistic children seem to share physiological
manifestations like food allergies, gastrointestinal distress,
suppressed immune systems, recurrent ear infections, yeast
overgrowth or candida, gross and fine motor delays, sensory
processing distortions, sleep disturbances, and impaired
detoxification pathways has not been publicized or considered by the
majority of professionals involved with diagnosing autism. You
almost never read about these common physical symptoms when
researching autism. Autism and mercury poisoning have identical
symptom profiles, both physical and behavioral. They are one in the
same thing.

The current paradigm for thinking about these mercury-poisoned
children is broken and unhelpful. "Autism" will always be a mystery
without a cure. When you begin to think of autism as a misdiagnosis
for a mercury-poisoned state, things start to make more sense. All
of the physical symptoms and behaviors are explained by the presence
of mercury. When you know the cause, you can focus on cure. Curing
autism is a miracle; curing mercury poisoning is a medical
procedure.

Myth #25: Autism, Asperger's, ADHD, and ADD
All of these behavioral diagnoses are mythical: they simply do not
exist. Each one simply places a child somewhere along the "spectrum"
of mercury poisoning.
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What about ppl who have autism and have never been vaxed??? I'm sorry, this is highly controversial... I didn't read that all, but you simply cannot say that mercury in vaccines causes all cases of autism. I think there are many factors that cause autism and yes, perhaps mercury in vaccines is one, but I also think there is a genetic component as well as who knows how many other factors.

Ok, I'll stop now. I'm getting upset...
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Anyone who asserts that autism is NOT genetic has not met my parents or my in-laws. I never believed that behavior could be genetic either, until my newborn son re-enacted all of the bizarre behavior that my husband exhibited at the same age...before he was ever vaccinated. The behavior, the intensely focused interests are most certainly genetic in our family.

Before I get flamed, I want to add that I firmly believe that vaxing made my DS's autism much more severe, and I think it is unsafe to vax infants before their immune systems mature or to vax anyone with a family history of autoimmune diseases. No one in our family has been vaxed since DS was diagnosed with autism over 3 years ago.

"Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?" - Andy Warhol
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I actually did post the genetic markers on a different discussion for autism and the locations for them.

I think the myth that its just thimerosol needs to be put to rest obviously there is almost the same amount of mercury a child can be potentially subjected to if the mother has filings, eats the wrong fish, hey even my contact lens solution up until a few years ago had thimerosol.

Quote:
Myth #1: Autism is genetic.
There is no evidence to suggest that autism is genetic. No autism
gene has ever been found and the search will be endless - how can
you have a gene for a mythical condition? Autism is mercury
poisoning.
I will agree that you could induce autism by poisoning part of the brain that would be damaged by autistics that were not exposed to mercury. Austim was around far before vaccinations. Austims is a set of symptoms and underlying brain dysfunction there could be many different causes for different children, some birth defects, some poisioning, some brain damage through trauma etc.

Quote:
However, all children, and adults, if given too much
mercury will manifest symptoms of mercury toxicity, which we
call "autistic" symptoms.
So are you saying there is a disease called autism but most of the children are misdx and actually have heavy metal poisioning not classical autism and that if the heavy metals were addressed they would be able to regrow the parts of the brain that atrophied?

Quote:
Two drops of
dimethylmercury spilled onto the gloved hand of a Dartmouth
chemistry professor, a leader in a study investigating mercury's
causal role in cancer, resulting in the progressive loss of her
balance, speech, vision, and hearing, and ultimately lead to her
coma and death within a year of the exposure.
I hope thats not the same mercury they use in thermometers cause if so my sister and I should surely be dead....it looked fun to play with when it broke....

Quote:
It is impossible to have a "genetic epidemic." Since 1991, there is
a very real and dramatic rise in the incidence of autism and other
neurodevelopmental disorders. In the 1970s, the incidence of autism
was 1 in 10,000 children.
Having been to school in that era I'd suggest there were many kids who simply fell through the cracks, we had a kid that was not sociable he was labled as comming from a stressful home, many kids I went to school with were put in refrigerator boxes (dh) to control their behavior, fidgity, dislexia? forget it none of my family was ever dx in school....and that's not a hard one to pick out..

Quote:
It has been estimated that one in six children
have some type of learning disability.
But since when did it become if you learn differently, are a C student its got to be a disability?

But should we not seperate out classic non mercury autism as it does exist from children/adults that are heavy metal poisioned?

Quote:
The symptoms of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders are
identical to the symptoms of mercury poisoning.
But doesn't that make mercury poisioning NOT autism? just mimicing it and since it can be cured ..... do you have any brain scans of children showing classic neurological damage then after showing the regrowth of the brain matter?

I also think that all sources have to be looked at including maternal mercury fillings. As well check out the numbers on fetal exposure from that one. What is the type of mercury used in filings?

Quote:
this does approximate the 30 micrograms of
methlymercury in an average can of tuna.
so a mom with filings, getting a flu shot and eating a can of tuna could subject her fetus to 3x that amount than from one post birth shot...wow..

Quote:
Myth #20: Our health authorities would never let this happen - it's
impossible that so many responsible for the welfare of our kids
would allow an entire generation of children to be poisoned with
mercury.
I think its more telling that they have removed it from many vaccinations.

Quote:
- Doctors are not trained in toxicology in medical school.
Therefore, very few people who monitor the vaccine program and
monitor neurological developmental issues in children know what the
signs of mercury poisoning look like, how to test for it, or what to
do about it.
well not as a speciality but I called my friend and he said they were.

Quote:
Myth #25: Autism, Asperger's, ADHD, and ADD
All of these behavioral diagnoses are mythical: they simply do not
exist. Each one simply places a child somewhere along the "spectrum"
of mercury poisoning.
I see that people do connect adhd and add with autism although we have had hyperactivity before the autism epidemic, but the poisioning theory would work for many diseases, if you overload the body with toxins from chemicals, lead, mercury from vaccinations, fillings, fish, hype it up on a bad diet, sugar...the results are pretty predictable.

Quote:
Amalgam Fillings Largest Source of Mercury By Far
Based on a number of studies in Sweden, the World Health Organization review of inorganic mercury in 1991 determined that mercury absorption is estimated to be approximately four times higher from amalgam fillings than from fish consumption. Recent studies have confirmed this estimate. The amount absorbed can vary considerably from person to person.
Quote:
Mercury Build Up in Brain, Organs and Breast Milk of Fetuses of Mothers With Amalgam Fillings
Mercury from fillings in pregnant women has been shown to cause mercury accumulation in brain, kidneys and liver of human fetuses (all of the areas tested). Studies have shown that mercury can be passed to infants from breast milk.
http://www.holisticmed.com/dental/amalgam/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/e...re/4023425.stm

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Before the FDA ban, mercury had been added to eye drops, contact lens preparations, nasal sprays, contraceptive creams, hemmhoroid creams, lubricating gels, allergy injections, and antiseptics such as Mercurochrome® and merthiolate.

There are many other common sources for mercury exposure. Here's a short list:
Dental amalgams
Released into the air by coal burning plants
Fish and shellfish, especially tuna, salmon and swordfish
Some paints
Thermometers and blood pressure gauges (especially if mercury from broken instruments was spilled on carpet)
Fluorescent light bulbs (??)

It is important to note that mercury present in a mother's body is passed to her baby through the placenta, and later, through breast milk. See:"Mercury from maternal "silver" tooth fillings in sheep and human breast milk. A source of neonatal exposure." By Vimy, Hooper and King: http://hera.algonet.se/~leif/yrvim97a.html
http://www.tacanow.com/mercury.htm

Personally I just see too much focus on vaccination mercury and not on environmental sources, maternal fillings. Here we get pregnant no fish for you but....to me it seems they should be trying to get women to have their fillings removed before getting pregnant or if god forbid you have high levels of mercury should you ff?a

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Austim was around far before vaccinations.
Actually the first case of autism was found in 1938 (it didn't have a name until the doctor published a paper in 1943 after he had 10 more patients with the same symptoms. The pertussis vaccine was used in the United States starting in the 1930's. (It was only for wealthy families who could afford it, so there was a limited number of kids who got it back then).
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Anyone who asserts that autism is NOT genetic has not met my parents or my in-laws. I never believed that behavior could be genetic either, until my newborn son re-enacted all of the bizarre behavior that my husband exhibited at the same age...before he was ever vaccinated. The behavior, the intensely focused interests are most certainly genetic in our family.

Before I get flamed, I want to add that I firmly believe that vaxing made my DS's autism much more severe, and I think it is unsafe to vax infants before their immune systems mature or to vax anyone with a family history of autoimmune diseases. No one in our family has been vaxed since DS was diagnosed with autism over 3 years ago.
My feelings exactly!!! Anyone who asserts that autism/Asperger's is not genetic has not met my DS, DH, and FIL. There is most certainly a genetic component at work somewhere here.
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Originally Posted by janellesmommy
Actually the first case of autism was found in 1938 (it didn't have a name until the doctor published a paper in 1943 after he had 10 more patients with the same symptoms. The pertussis vaccine was used in the United States starting in the 1930's. (It was only for wealthy families who could afford it, so there was a limited number of kids who got it back then).
What?!? Maybe the first *diagnosed* case. Sheesh. Have you read anything about historic ppl suspected of having autism??

Thomas Edison 1847-1931
Carl Jung 1875-1961
Emily Dickenson 1830-1886

Google "famous autism" and see what you get. You are saying all these ppl were vaccinated and subsequently poisoned by mercury?!? Give me a break.

And there are no early humans who had disorders like this???? We were perfectly functioning ppl till vaccines came into the picture??? ARGH!

Why am I getting to bothered by this??? Clearly this is meant to get ppl going
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#8 of 76 Old 03-17-2006, 04:14 AM
 
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Here's more:

Jane Austen 1775-1817
Ludwig van Beethoven 1770-1827
Henry Thoreau 1817-1862
Vincent Van Gogh 1853-1890

Yes, surely these ppl who lived centuries before us were poisoned by vaccines. Yes, surely.
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#9 of 76 Old 03-17-2006, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Julie,

I agree -- the statement that ALL ASD is a form of mercury poisoning is reaching. I also agree that this list of "myths" is written in a rather inflammatory manner, not 100% objective, which is a big turn-off for most.

However I think the info is valid for the most part, looking over some of the blanket statements...!

meg
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Originally Posted by pb_and_j
Here's more:

Jane Austen 1775-1817
Ludwig van Beethoven 1770-1827
Henry Thoreau 1817-1862
Vincent Van Gogh 1853-1890

Yes, surely these ppl who lived centuries before us were poisoned by vaccines. Yes, surely.
But they could have been "poisoned" by mercury. You know the phrase, "Mad as a Hatter"? Hatters used mercury in the hat making process and it drove many "mad". Also mercury was used in many of the remedies and medicines used for hundreds of year. It was also used in make up. It was is in many, many things. Also, there was not such thing as "Austism" until the 1930, coincidently when thimerosal was first used in vaccines, although there certainly was mercury poisoning. So the "condition" of these people is pure speculation and not a single one was diagnosed as being on the spectrum.

Thimerosal IS mercury.

Have you read the thread over on the Vaccine board entitled "What causes Autism?". http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=367180. I recommend reading it. You are correct there are autistics that haven't been vaccinated, but the interesting thing is their mothers are more likely to have been given a mercury laden Rogram shot in pregnancy, then there is antibiotics, BC pills, amalgam fillings, enviromental mercury exposure and genral mineral depletion, trashed guts..... Add to this vaccines and these children are put over the edge.

I would also check out the term epigentics. IMO it is much more applicable to Austism than genetics.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1026090636.htm

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#11 of 76 Old 03-17-2006, 03:00 PM
 
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I did not know that ADHD/ADD was also linked to mercury poisoning.

I was diagnosed with ADHD in the 98% range this last summer.

:

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Also, there was not such thing as "Austism" until the 1930, coincidently when thimerosal was first used in vaccines, although there certainly was mercury poisoning. So the "condition" of these people is pure speculation and not a single one was diagnosed as being on the spectrum.
Certainly disorders existed before there was a name for them. There was no such thing as Down's Syndrome either till it had a name, no? Before the "name" these ppl (including autistics) were just "retarded" or "crazy" and I suspect many of them were institutionalized or put to death b/c they were possessed.

Yes, it is speculation that these historic ppl had autism, of course. We can't diagnose them b/c they're dead! But knowing what we know today, if you took the diagnostic criteria and interviewd them and the ppl in their lives, I wonder what 'diagnosis' one would get??

I am having a real problem w/ the original post and I need to step away from this thread. I do not believe autism is a myth. I do not believe it didn't exist before 1930. I do think there are many components to the "cause" of it and I do think that mercury may be one. I also think that not every treatment will work for every person. I just can't accept the things in the OP that basically say that autism is a made up label for heavy metal poisoning. I'm done.
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That's an amazing post. Great job compiling so much information into one settng.

I don't think anyone believes that vaccines are the only cause of autism specturm disorders. Nor that mercury exposure is the only cause. It's profoundly multifactorial, which is one of the main reasons that the epidemiological studies seeking to demonstrate causal association (or lack of) are so fraught with potential error.

There would have to be an extremely robust association between thimerosal and ASD in order for it to show up in these studies, and the truth is, a strong association probably does not exist. Truth is, MOST kids can probably tolerate thimerosal exposure from vaccines with no detectable ill effect.

But what if an association is there, but is subtle (this is far more likely, in fact)? What if the association is so subtle that it's only your child and maybe a handful of others who develop ASD after thimerosal exposure? Is that okay?

Of course not. I'd much rather risk my kid getting the flu than my kid getting autism.
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#14 of 76 Old 03-17-2006, 04:04 PM
 
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WOW! AWEsome info!! I'm so GLAD to have this to read and re-read!!! I'm going to work on memorizing this stuff for convincing and refuting purposes!

Have you cross-posted in the vaxing forum! I think it would be well-appreciated!

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I've noticed some people getting very angry about this thread, and I'm not sure I understand. Why would you be angry about the theory of autism being related to mercury? Do you want it to be from something else? If so, what? If my child had autism I would love the mercury theory, because it would give me something concrete to work on, such as chelation.
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#16 of 76 Old 03-17-2006, 04:11 PM
 
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From what I understand, some studies are starting to show that some people may be genetically at more risk to develop autism or other problems after exposure to thimerosal. The entire text of this study is available somewhere online but I can't find the link right now:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...TL&type=health

For what it's worth I've never believed that my daughter was autistic solely because of vaxes either. I'm sure it's the combination of a number of things including a genetic predisposition toward problems.
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#17 of 76 Old 03-17-2006, 04:34 PM
 
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I have 3 kids with various issues (including spectrum issues), so I belong to quite a few support groups, both real life and online. Generation Rescue has been discussed by most all of them at one time or another. Generation Rescue does have some good information, but their insistance that mercury is the "true cause" of these disorders negatively affects their credibility for many people. After spending 4 years in the autism network, I've come to know many people who have tried many interventions. In my biomedical support group, probably 80% go to DAN! doctors and have done chelation with their children. Most all of the children have been helped to a greater or lesser degree -- but they still have autism. In real life, I don't know of any child who has been "recovered" by any one therapy (chelation, IVIG, secretin, GFCF, etc, etc) -- or combination of therapies. Most children are helped, but not cured. My main objection to groups that veer into advozealotry for any one therapy is that they set up parents for disappointment and act as a slap in the face for those parents who don't get the promised miracle ("then you must have done it wrong" is a common refrain on message boards if a parent has the nerve to say that a treatment *didn't* help her child).

I wish peace for all parents -- something that isn't going to be achieved with the inflammatory language on the Generation Rescue site. What good is the message if it gets lost in the propaganda?

Tara
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenEMT
My feelings exactly!!! Anyone who asserts that autism/Asperger's is not genetic has not met my DS, DH, and FIL. There is most certainly a genetic component at work somewhere here.
I'm an adult who actually HAS autism. Comming from someone who is not a parent, I will say that it's something I had since birth. Honestly, I remember not wanting to be touched before the time I was 3 years old. I would take an interest in things that others wouldn't imagine someone my age to be interested in. While siblings would be out playing, I was congregating with my grandmother next to her old Maytag wringer washing machine! And yes, there was that classic "lining things up instead of playing with 'em", except in my case I would put everything back in its box when I was done with it. This was back around 1963 or so.

My grandparents made it very clear that I was capable of entertaining myself, and didn't need the company of others. Being autistic is, in ways, very similar to having a hearing loss. We don't pick up on non-verbal cues or emotions like others do, so we just don't socially interact as much. And believe me, my parents would say that I've been this way since birth. I know I didn't get this way overnight, like coming down with the flu. I don't know if my mother ate too much bass or rainbow trout before I was born, but I do know that I enjoyed dining on shrimp shortly after I started eating solids. Maybe I got my autism from the shrimp!

I had a habit of liking things for their styling, and the way they worked. I didn't fantasize my Tonka Hydraulic dump truck as being a real truck, it was more an appliance that did interesting things to me. I would press a lever, and it would dump. I would swing a latch, and the back door would release to allow dirt to come out the back, just like a scale model of a dump truck, back when I was 2. Imagination isn't something that a person on the spectrum uses much, and I guess we're not much in the way of artists either. I will tell you that I like machines, though.

Back to the mercury stuff. My amalagram (however you spell it) fillings were installed when I was 19. That's 16 years after the quirky things that were taking place before I was 4. Did the fillings cause me to develop autism? I was diagnosed when I was 39, by the way. But how can one explain all the social workers and counselors I delt with in junior high?

I gotta hand it to the parents who accept their kids at face value, and work with what they have. It's the parents who respect their kids as having a handicap, being no different from someone who needs glasses or has to use a wheel chair, who complain the least about mercury poisoning. They care most about helping their sons or daughters be the best person they can be. Sure enough, the road to success for people with autism is a bit longer, and there are more construction areas. Although there is no cure for the condition, there are ways to work around it and these parents do their best find them. You're one of those parents, KarenEMT!


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#19 of 76 Old 03-18-2006, 04:06 AM
 
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Thanks so much for your perspective, MrCoffee! Anything I can do to understand my family better is a huge help. I realize that the things I do (I am about as "neurotypical" as people come) are just as perplexing to them as sometimes the things they do are perplexing to me

I really enjoy your dump truck explanation. My son played with his toys just like that!
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I'm just going to disagree on the first point. If you don't think Autism is genetic, you haven't met my family. We have among us both vaxer and non vaxers, and we are spread out in three states. There are a few with moderate/severe Autism, 4 of us with Aspergers (and my son is being evaluated for this as well), along with things generally seen with Autism like OCD. This isn't one big coincidence.

I have heard it said that genetics loads the gun, and environment pulls the trigger. This may be true.
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#21 of 76 Old 03-18-2006, 05:45 AM
 
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MrCoffee, do you have Aspergers? I was diagnosed last year, and many of your experiences sound similar to mine.
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#22 of 76 Old 03-18-2006, 06:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by veiledexpressions
MrCoffee, do you have Aspergers? I was diagnosed last year, and many of your experiences sound similar to mine.
Yes, it's Aspergers, veiledexpressions. Only this one's the real McCoy! There are folks who claim they have Asperger's, and say they're on the spectrum, and that their Asperger's gives them enlightenment and immortality. Needless to say, I tend to believe otherwise. Mine wasn't self-diagnosed, and I never claimed I have the condition. However, a couple relatives figured that I fit the criteria. Then, some folks in my church decided the same thing. I ended up in a neuro-psychiatrist's office, undergoing an evaluation. Some folks who are long-time contacts, one of them a 4th grade instructor, agreed. So, whether I wanted it or not I ended up with the diagnosis. I also ended up with a social worker from adult protective services and a case worker when I lived in Minnesota. I don't care what anybody thinks, having the actual diagnosis is no picnic.

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#23 of 76 Old 03-18-2006, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just want to clarify that I got this list of 25 Mercury Myths from a page on generationrescue, I did not personally compile it, nor am I hoping to receive credit where credit is not due! :0)

I have to agree with those of you that feel ASD has a genetic predisposition --it seems, according to research, that this might be the case. HOWEVER... my biologist hubby pointed out that it could also be that certain people are exposed to more pollutants than others. Maybe during pregnancy a mom w/ amalgam fillings delivers more babies w/ mercury poisoning, ASD, etc and it appears that it is indeed "genetic"... or maybe that mom lives in a house full of aespestos and each of her children are born w/ anomolies. Again, appears genetic. Or maybe she craves McD's fries during pregnancy, again, every baby is "affected"... KWIM?

I still agree though that it makes sense that there is a genetic predisposition, that can be exacerbated by environmental assults. Epigenetics speask to this, it's amazing stuff.

Mr Coffee!!! Thanks for chiming in! So interesting to hear life from your angle...

Meg
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#24 of 76 Old 03-19-2006, 04:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesky74
I just want to clarify that I got this list of 25 Mercury Myths from a page on generationrescue, I did not personally compile it, nor am I hoping to receive credit where credit is not due! :0)

I have to agree with those of you that feel ASD has a genetic predisposition --it seems, according to research, that this might be the case. HOWEVER... my biologist hubby pointed out that it could also be that certain people are exposed to more pollutants than others. Maybe during pregnancy a mom w/ amalgam fillings delivers more babies w/ mercury poisoning, ASD, etc and it appears that it is indeed "genetic"... or maybe that mom lives in a house full of aespestos and each of her children are born w/ anomolies. Again, appears genetic. Or maybe she craves McD's fries during pregnancy, again, every baby is "affected"... KWIM?

I still agree though that it makes sense that there is a genetic predisposition, that can be exacerbated by environmental assults. Epigenetics speask to this, it's amazing stuff.

Mr Coffee!!! Thanks for chiming in! So interesting to hear life from your angle...

Meg
You're welcome, bluesky74. That GenerationRescue seems like a rather interesting outfit. Chelation has its risks, and there has been at least one death related to that particular treatment. I'm not a doctor, yet I still highly recommend against chelation unless actual poisoning from metals took place. For example: When someone accidently swallowed or got injected by something containing a certain concentration of toxic metal. Then, it's done at a poison control center under controlled conditions and heavy monitoring.

I will say the same thing here that I tell people on my web site. Never, NEVER send a child to a treatment or therapy that has not been tried, tested, and proven by the mainstream medical community. An actual MD stands a great deal of risk when making the decision to try an experimental drug or treatment on a patient. That's generally reserved for terminal cases, where all other resources have been exhausted. Autism is not a terminal illness, it's simply a developmental disability and a neurological condition. There are treatment methods, and therapies that actually work for autism. And, more is learned about it every day. I do the best I can to let others know about my condition, and how I function so they can devise methods and treatments that may actually work for their circumstances.

I want to thank you for clearing up on that article, bluesky74. I also appreciate the time you took to read my response. Perhaps others may glean some valid info, and maybe find something here that works for them. This is a good thread.

MrCoffee
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#25 of 76 Old 03-19-2006, 01:23 PM
 
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Actually, I remember reading that the deaths associated with chelation are due to physicians giving the incorrect drug. disodium EDTA vs. Calcium disodium EDTA. One is toxic the other is not.
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06062/664032.stm

And I respectfully must disagree about trying treatments not tested by the mainstream medical community. The mainstream medical community has failed me in every area of life (too much to get into here) and merely would want to put my daughter on antipsychotic drugs, which in study after study have failed to show any benefit for her condition yet would be prescribed anyway.

I took DD to a DAN doctor. She has classic autism and not Aspergers. She was unable to function in settings normal for children her age, could not communicate beyond single words and often appeared to be in pain that she could not communicate. Our ped pooh-poohed the whole leaky gut connection. Through lab tests we have verified that she does indeed have leaky gut syndrome, manifesting itself through multiple food allergies. We have removed the problem foods and are working on changing her diet and she is already doing better. She's combining words. She's enjoying people's company. Her receptive language has made massive improvements. If I had trusted the mainstream doctor, she'd still be hiding in the corner and refusing to acknowledge other people's existence and the food allergies would still be ravaging her gut. Her lab results, which the mainstream doctors did not even feel were needed to test, have showed evidence of multiple coexisting GI conditions that we can now treat.

And she has also tested positive for some elevated metals. I doubt they have anything to do with the few vaxes she received -- I'm sure it's the result of some kind of genetic predisposition to have problems with metals encountered through environmental pollution. She had seriously elevated uranium, of all things, in her hair test. After reading up I am sure she got it from me in utero, because the effects read like a laundry list of my own health problems. I don't know where I would have gotten it. But I am most certainly concerned and I am willing to at least consider chelation of my children and myself to get rid of it if it is impairing our health and quality of life. I hope improving our gut health through the SCD will be enough, but if actual drug therapy is needed we will do it under supervision of a highly experienced MD and only after reviewing considerable evidence that our chosen protocol is safe.

Anyway, I am not saying that everyone who has autism needs these "alternative therapies," but just asking for a caution before judging someone who would go outside the mainstream. Everyone's circumstances are different. For some maybe autism is a neurological condition or developmental disability, but for others it may actually be a medical problem that needs treatment.
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#26 of 76 Old 03-19-2006, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Chelation (certain drugs) is actually "approved" by the FDA (not that that means anything to me anymore!! )

Cigna, (health insurance) covers chelation. And it IS safe when done under the watch of an experienced MD. Our DAN Dr. has been chelating his patients, both children & adults for over 30 yrs. Dring this process metals pour out of ASD kids' bodies in their urine & feces, much more metal than their neuro-typical counterparts.

We are getting our twins ready for chelation with supplements and MB-12 shots. We will begin chelation w/ a liquid that is rubbed into their forearms every 3 hours for 3 days, then take about a week's break, and repeat this cycle for as long as it takes for the mercury to be shed from their brains and other tissues. Kids under the age of 8 usually only need 3 rounds, but there is no set amount of time - every child is different, and responds to different drugs. We will be using DMPS, then eventually adding ALA (gets the mercury out and back across the blood brain barrier).

We are doing all of this under a well-renowned doctor who specializes in toxic kids - thank goodness we found him, so close by and still taking patients - rare!!

Btw, there is a Yahoo group called Mercury-Autism that we joined, it has over 6000 members who are either chelating or have undergone chelation, or are about to. This place is a wealth of info and experience for anyone who's interested...

meg
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#27 of 76 Old 03-21-2006, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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From http://www.mmaonline.net/publication...ure-clancy.htm

"Inheritance clearly plays a key role in the development of autism. Research on identical twins, for example, has found a concordance rate as high as 91%. Among siblings, the recurrence rate is estimated to be 4%. Autism spectrum disorders are four times more common in boys than girls. Yet the fact that all identical twins do not develop autism in tandem suggests that the origins of the disorder are not entirely genetic. “Genetic and environmental factors are involved in the development of autism,” says S. Hossein Fatemi, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota."

Travis Thompson concurs: “Autism is almost never a purely genetic disorder. You have the genetic predisposition, and then something happens to trigger it.” Thompson explains that the evidence suggests there is no single “autism gene” but that some types of autism may result from a combination of an autism-susceptibility gene and another genetic disorder such as obsessive compulsive disorder, exposure to a neurotoxin during pregnancy, or a genetically determined response to an immune trigger. "
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#28 of 76 Old 03-21-2006, 01:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MrCoffee
Yes, it's Aspergers, veiledexpressions. Only this one's the real McCoy! There are folks who claim they have Asperger's, and say they're on the spectrum, and that their Asperger's gives them enlightenment and immortality. Needless to say, I tend to believe otherwise. Mine wasn't self-diagnosed, and I never claimed I have the condition. However, a couple relatives figured that I fit the criteria. Then, some folks in my church decided the same thing. I ended up in a neuro-psychiatrist's office, undergoing an evaluation. Some folks who are long-time contacts, one of them a 4th grade instructor, agreed. So, whether I wanted it or not I ended up with the diagnosis. I also ended up with a social worker from adult protective services and a case worker when I lived in Minnesota. I don't care what anybody thinks, having the actual diagnosis is no picnic.

MrCoffee
I was diagnosed by a neurologist. After struggling for years, it was finally suggested that I be evaluated. I agree, it is no picnic. I have noticed a certain "trend" with people self diagnosising, and acting as if every quirk is indicative of Aspergers. They don't seem to understand what it encompasses. It's not just being socially inept. That's such a common misconception.

I just have one question, how do you deal with focuses. I'm so consumed with one right now that I'm having trouble even functioning with my family. Normally, I can work around it a bit, but this one is more consuming. I usually find ways to bring my focus up in conversations, because it's all I'm interested in,b ut this one is worse. It's all I read, play, watch, or think about.

Ok, I lied, I have two questions Do you drive? I'm 23 and have no license. I tend to monofocus, and can't seem to concentrate to drive. There is too much going on at once. I know all of the written rules, but nothing goes as planned. I'm also easily distracted. If someone talks to me, turns on the radio, or , if I roll down a window, I start going off the road. If you do drive, how do you do it, and how do you get past the focus issues. Thanks
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#29 of 76 Old 03-21-2006, 02:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by veiledexpressions
I just have one question, how do you deal with focuses. I'm so consumed with one right now that I'm having trouble even functioning with my family. Normally, I can work around it a bit, but this one is more consuming. I usually find ways to bring my focus up in conversations, because it's all I'm interested in,b ut this one is worse. It's all I read, play, watch, or think about.
I deal with the same problem (only around here, we call it my "serial fixations.") One way I've dealt with it is to condition my mind to certain triggers, like scent or sound, so that I can switch focus quickly.

Let's say I need to put aside my fixation for a couple of hours and do some serious housecleaning. (It isn't so much an issue when housecleaning itself is my fixation. ) I put on my "housecleaning music" and light my "housecleaning incense." My mind immediately goes into housecleaning mode, and I can easily forget about the fixation long enough to actually accomplish something. Mind you, I've been using this technique for a few years now; it wasn't so easy at first.

For spending time with my family, I have to make it routine. I've found that I benefit from routine just as much as my toddlers do. When a fixation gets really bad, I've been known to set a timer so that I'll spend 30 minutes or an hour in "family mode." It helps, because I know that at a certain time, I can return to whatever it is that I'm obsessed with. (Of course, I'll never tell my kids that I'm doing this. It sounds like a horrible thing to do, but it's the only way I can function sometimes.)
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#30 of 76 Old 03-21-2006, 04:17 PM
 
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I don't understand...where did it say in the article that mercury from vaccines is the cause of all autism? I read every word of it and my understanding is that they're saying thimerosal is the cause of the recent "autism epidemic" and that mercury iteself (not just thimerosal) is the cause of autism. I wouldn't be surprised if autism is mercury poisoning, in fact I wholeheartedly believe that it's a matter of toxicity. There are many things in our environment that expose us to mercury and I'm sure there's tons more that we don't even know about. I think genetics plays a part in causing a predisposition to the inability to effectively release these toxins from the body, but I don't think autism itself is genetic. Autisic twins, families with 2 or more autisic children - well, to me that seems to say that they were most likely all exposed to the same environmental toxins.

Thanks for posting the article, it was an interesting read.
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