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Since I am having a research day, I thought I would post this article on links between heavy metal toxicity, specifically Mercury, immunization and Autism. It is written by Robert Kennedy Jr. is senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

By Robert Kennedy Jr. | July 1, 2005

MOUNTING EVIDENCE suggests that Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative in children’s vaccines, may be responsible for the exponential growth of autism, attention deficit disorder, speech delays, and other childhood neurological disorders now epidemic in the United States.

Prior to 1989, American infants generally received three vaccinations (polio, measles-mumps-rubella, and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis). In the early 1990s, public health officials dramatically increased the number of Thimerosal-containing vaccinations without considering the cumulative impact of the mercury load on developing brains.

In a 1991 memo, Dr. Maurice Hilleman, one of the fathers of Merck’s vaccination programs, warned his bosses that 6-month-old children administered the shots on schedule would suffer mercury exposures 87 times the government safety standards. He recommended that Thimerosal be discontinued and complained that the US Food and Drug Administration, which has a notoriously close relationship with the pharmaceutical industry, could not be counted on to take appropriate action as its European counterparts had. Merck ignored Hilleman’s warning, and for eight years government officials added seven more shots for children containing Thimerosal.

Mercury is a known brain poison, and autism rates began rising dramatically in children who were administered the new vaccine regimens. A decade ago the American Academy of Pediatrics estimated the autism rate among American children to be 1 in 2,500. Today, the CDC places the rate at 1 in 166, or 1 in 80 boys. Additionally, one in six children is now diagnosed with a related neurological disorder.

In 2000, the CDC met with pharmaceutical companies and the FDA in secret to review its findings linking Thimerosal with the dramatic rise in neurological illnesses. According to transcripts, participants were alarmed about the undeniable links between the Thimerosal and widespread brain damage in children. Dr. Bill Weil told the group, ”You can play with [the results] all you want. They are statistically significant.” Dr. Richard Johnston admitted he feared his grandchild getting a Thimerosal-containing vaccine. But the group was most concerned with keeping the findings secret. ”Consider this embargoed information,” said Dr. Roger Bernier, a senior director at the National Immunization Program, at the meeting’s close. The CDC now says it has ”lost” the data that supported the crucial study and has persistently defied congressional requests and federal law requiring it to open up the federal Vaccine Safety Database to scientists and the public.

Numerous animal, DNA, epidemiological, and other studies point to Thimerosal as a culprit in America’s epidemic of neurological disorders. Autistic children have been shown to have higher mercury loads than nonautistics, and there have been reports of significant improvements in some brain-injured children by removing mercury from their brains. Most of the symptoms of autism are similar to the symptoms of mercury poisoning. Scientists have been able to induce autism-like symptoms in mice by exposing them to Thimerosal. A recent study by an FDA scientist, Dr. Jill James, found that many autistic children are genetically deficient in their capacity to produce glutathione, an antioxidant generated in the brain that helps remove mercury from the body.

Government health agencies who green-lighted Thimerosal have turned a blind eye to the hundreds of studies linking Thimerosal to a wide range of neurological disorders and joined the pharmaceutical industry to gin up a series of flawed European studies to exonerate Thimerosal. Those studies examined children exposed to a tiny fraction of the Thimerosal given to American kids and took advantage of the autism spike that resulted from deceptive data-gathering in Scandinavia to argue that autism rates are unrelated to Thimerosal use.

Drug makers wary of liability reduced Thimerosal in most children’s vaccines in recent years, but the preservative remains in flu shots, tetanus boosters, and over-the-counter drugs. Mercury-laced vaccine stocks were given to American children until the end of 2003.

Government officials who continue to champion Thimerosal should recognize that this is not just a theoretical exercise in bureaucratic face-saving. Their wrong-headed defense of Thimerosal safety in the face of overwhelming science is discouraging testing of promising treatments which may be effective. They are depriving vulnerable populations from being identified to avoid Thimerosal. They also cannot escape responsibility for their failure to warn international health agencies and governments who, based upon American assurances, are now injecting the developing world’s children with this brain-killing chemicals.

This article was reproduced from the Globe Newspaper Company.

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L – C A R N O S I N E

What is Carnosine?

L-carnosine, is a naturally-occurring amino acid found within the human body.The deep frontal part of the brain (entorhinal cortex) is believed to be a site where carnosine tends to accumulate. It may interact with zinc in that area, as well as having effects on GABA, a brain neurotransmitter, which by a complex chemical reaction forms homo-carnosine.

What Studies Have Been Done with Carnosine?

Rat and animal studies have been done with carnosine looking at “neuroprotection.” These investigations aimed to examine protective action since carnosine may be protective of muscle and nerve function, particularly of the heart. There have been no studies that have shown any evidence of toxicity.

Recent MRI studies by Petroff and colleagues (2001) examining levels of brain chemistry showed a relationship between homo-carnosine and GABA in temporal lobe and generalized myoclonic epilepsies.

These authors described homo-carnosine levels that may correlate with seizure control even when GABA response is defective in human studies. Dr. Chez was intrigued by the results of this study, and thus began a study in June, 2001 that aimed to test if supplementing carnosine orally could enhance seizure protection in childrenwho were already on anticonvulsants and who had recurrent seizures despite being on standard drug therapy. He hypothesized that the addition of carnosine could decrease seizure frequency. He supplemented with powdered carnosine, as well as powdered Vitamin E (25IU) and powdered Zinc (2.5 mg).

The Open-Label Study

A total of 75 children, who had “failed” multipleantiepilepticmedications in an effort to stop their seizures (including steroids and the Ketogenic diet) with histories of partial or generalized epilepsy entered the open-label study. The majority had fronto- temporal lobe seizures, or generalized epilepsy. 25% had EEGs to directly compare before and after starting the carnosine. Many patients had reductions in seizure frequency, but without EEG correlation. Two sisters with hypsarrythmia/Lennox-Gastaut wave patterns or Lennox-Gastaut type patterns, EEG amplitude and spike frequency improved with carnosine in dosages of 800-2,000 mg. per day. Dosage was titrated upward depending upon bodyweight. No side effects were reported. Unexpectedly, parental diaries showed a pattern of comments related to gains in cognitive domains including language, alertness, energy levels, and even gross motor ability. Dr. Chez was motivated by such reports in addition to comments from other professionals that worked simultaneously with the children (e.g., speech therapists) who, unaware that children were on the new supplement, spontaneously stated that individual children were showing incremental gains not previously seen. Expressive language was described as more fluent, eye contact more frequent, and interest in the environment was more prominent. Dr. Chez thought that this supplement could be of benefit to children with autism or PDD and so began to give it to children with such diagnoses in an open-label trial. Indeed, parents reported benefits in their children after as few as 2 weeks, in the areas of socialization, expressive language, alertness level, energy level, adaptation to change, and curiously, gross motor planning.

The Double-Blind Study

Because of the remarkable cognitive improvements in language, speech production and school performance as well as social alertness, Dr. Chez felt it important to study the effect of the supplement in children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Children were included in this study if they had histories of abnormal EEG, and had previously responded to cognitive-enhancing dementia medications (as part of a controlled study at the office) or to anti-convulsants. A double-blind placebo controlled study with carnosine was begun. Children were randomly placed on either active carnosine or placebo.Expressive and receptive language measures, two autism rating scales, and parent rating analog scales were administered at the start and completion of the study. Results of this study indicated clinically meaningful changes in many aspects of autistic features, and also showed that the carnosine supplement improved children’s expressive and receptive language significantly. This is the only dietary supplement to date studied in a double-blind fashion in autism.

Who Benefits and What are the Side Effects?

The majority of children with either epilepsy or autism treated in open
label studies by Dr. Chez benefited from carnosine supplementation. Dr.
Chez estimates that approximately 10% of children who have been on the carnosine supplement have had reports of no improvement. A very small percentage (less than 5% of children with epilepsy or autistic spectrum disorders) have shown increased physical hyperactivity or verbal hyperactivity, but we are unable to ascertain if these reports are directly related to the carnosine supplement. No sleep disturbances were reported as a result of carnosine therapy even in dosages up to 3,000 mg. a day. No abdominal side effects, skin rashes, or any changes in anticonvulsant blood levels, liver functions or hematological studies. No patients had any urinary changes or bowel habit changes from the carnosine. Many children on the autistic spectrum were reported to increase their range of food choices with an improved range of appetite. Responses have been seen in generalized epilepsies, focal seizure disorders, autism, PDD, and head injury to date. Because of its effect on entorhinal cortex, improvements in Alzheimer’s disease or other frontal lobe encephalopathy may be possible. Any syndrome that involves apraxia or expressive language delay may benefit from this.

Concurrent studies are currently being run or planned in areas of
attention disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, and various learning disability
syndromes of the nonverbal type.

The best way to supplement carnosine is the LifeWave, Carnosine patches. They stimulate the body’s own production of carnosine in a completely safe way. Powdered Carnosine formulas are unpleasant to take and much of it is broken down by digestion. It can be challenging to get a child to cooperate with this.

to find out more about Carnosine patches, go to www.lifewave.com/newwavehealth and look at their Y-Age product which also has glutathione. Both of these in combination have been helping children and adults alike.