January 14, 2021
Vol. 13 No. 6
New National Children's Study Seeks Environmental Causes of Autism,
Key Developmental Mechanisms of The Amygdale Uncovered
Police Check Possible Threats to UC Davis Researchers
Autism-Mitochondrial Study: Participants Needed
Olmsted on Autism: Autism Explosion Followed Big Change in MMR Shot
SSI Recipients Counts For 2002 – 2006
Long-Running MMR Case Resumed Monday
Confidential MMR Vaccine Files Should Be Opened In The Public Interest
Chiropractor forms American Chiropractic Autism Board
Caretaker Accused of Sexually Abusing Autistic Child
Start the New Year with New Knowledge
Autism Awareness March: “Open Your Eyes To Autism"
NY Times Discovers 'Love Drug' Oxytocin
To The Wall St. Journal
New National Children's
Study Seeks Environmental Causes of Autism,
From US News and World Report. tiny.pl/vm4n
Starting this week, pregnant women in
Duplin County, N.C., and Queens, N.Y., will be getting letters and
phone calls asking them to be part of the National Children's Study.
This first-ever effort, 10 years in the making, will follow thousands
of children from the womb to age 20, with the goal of finding the
causes of major health problems like asthma, autism, attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder, low birth weight, birth defects, and premature
birth. In the months and years to come, 103 more areas of the country
will be included in this first large-scale, long-term study to
investigate environmental factors like pollution and pesticides as
"We'll be able to amass information on
the environmental causes of these diseases within three to five years,"
says Philip Landrigan, a principal investigator for the study, based at
the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He pioneered research
on the health effects of air pollution on children, proving in the
1970s that children could suffer IQ loss and other serious damage from
exposure to low levels of lead previously thought safe.
Environmental factors clearly play a
role in asthma and are suspected in autism. This month, researchers at
the University of California-Davis reported in Epidemiology that autism
rates in California have increased from 6.2 of every 10,000 children
born in 1990 to 42.5 in 2001, an increase that couldn't be explained by
better diagnosis or by migration. In the past few years, scientists
have focused largely on finding genetic causes of autism, but genes
don't change that much in 11 years. The National Children's Study could
finally shed some light on the environmental causes of autism.
+ Read more: tiny.pl/vm4n
more on the controversy over autism
and vaccine exposure, you can check out Dr. Bernadine Healy's recent
column on autism and vaccine research tinyurl.com/6pkgdv and
Deborah Kotz's report on vaccine safety tinyurl.com/6aj9ob.
Mechanisms of The Amygdale Uncovered
By Children's National scientists
Findings could have implications for brain alterations associated with
For the first time, scientists at
Children's National Medical Center have successfully identified a key
developmental program for the amygdala—the part of the limbic system
that impacts how the brain creates emotional memories and responses.
This knowledge could help scientists to
better understand autism and similar disorders in which altered
function of this region is known to occur.
The findings, published in the February
edition of Nature Neuroscience, identify a group (otherwise known as a
pool) of precursor cells of neurons that are earmarked specifically for
the amygdala and comprise part of a unique system of growth and
development for this portion of the brain.
"Despite its central role in normal
brain function and behavior, little has been known about how neuronal
cell diversity is generated during development of the amygdala," said
senior author Joshua Corbin, PhD, of the Center for Neuroscience
Research at Children's National. "It was thought that development of
this region occurred similarly to other brain structures like the
cerebral cortex, but our findings indicate that a specific precursor
pool exists that is pre-assigned exclusively to the limbic system. It
is a breakthrough to our understanding of this little studied region of
Using studies of embryonic mice, Corbin
and his team located two specific pools of precursor cells marked by
the transcription factor Dbx1 that migrate from both the ventral
pallium and the preoptic area—a previously undiscovered pool of
migratory cells—to create the requisite mix of excitatory and
inhibitory neurons that ultimately comprise the amygdala. Remarkably,
the preoptic area precursor cells are exclusive contributors to the
development of the limbic system, and no other portion of the brain.
"Altered function of the amygdala is a
hallmark characteristic of disorders such as autism," said Dr. Corbin.
"A more clear understanding of the normal development of this important
brain structure provides a roadmap to understand the consequences of
altered brain development in neurodevelopmental disorders."
• • •
Police Check Possible
to UC Davis Researchers
By Niesha Lofing for the sacbee.com tiny.pl/vx2r
Police are investigating claims that two
UC Davis researchers this weekend were targets of threats from a
California-based animal-rights group.
The Revolutionary Cells-Animal
Liberation Brigade claimed in a posting on an activist Web site that it
sent two letter bombs to UC Davis researchers who work with the
California National Primate Research Center, said Andy Fell, a UC Davis
The researchers, whom Fell declined to
identify, both are members of the university faculty. Much of the work
at the center is with rhesus macaques, he said.
Police on Sunday notified the two
professors named in the posting and began investigating the claim.
The threat was quickly pulled from the
Web site but later popped up on other sites, Fell said.
No suspicious packages have been
"We'll always be concerned about any
kind of threat," he said. "Right now, we don't know if it's something
real or a kind of hoax."
The amount of animal-rights activity has
increased in recent years throughout the U.S., Fell said.
"I think the animal research community
is becoming more concerned about (threats) generally," he said.
The California National Primate Research
Center, on the western edge of the UC Davis campus, is one of eight
centers nationwide funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The center houses about 4,700 monkeys
for research and breeding. The majority are rhesus macaques, but the
center also has small populations of cynomolgus monkeys and South
American titi monkeys, according to the center's Web site.
Research at the center, which is
strictly regulated by federal law, includes studies of HIV/AIDS and
other infectious diseases, asthma, autism and Alzheimer's Disease, a
university news release states.
UC Davis and Davis police officers are
investigating the threats and the university has posted information on
its Web site to alert the campus community.
Researchers, faculty and staff are
cautioned to be careful when handling and opening mail and to watch for
suspicious packages, such as unusually shaped or wrapped packages or
ones with excessive postage, the release states.
For more information about mail safety,
go to police.ucdavis.edu/
Anyone who finds a suspicious package should call campus police
immediately at (530) 752-1727.
• • •
Study: Participants Needed
(study inclusion criteria has changed to allow previous chelation
ASD Centers, LLC has started a clinical
study in the Dallas, Texas area. This study is designed to
examine mitochondrial dysfunction and how L-carnitine supplementation
affects behavior, cognition, muscle strength, and health/physical
traits in those with a diagnosed autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
L-carnitine is a naturally occurring
amino acid required in energy metabolism. Carnitine is essential
for the utilization of fatty acids to produce the energy needed to
sustain cell function. Carnitine deficiency is commonly found in
children who have a diagnosis in the autism spectrum.
Mitochondrial dysfunction is also often
found in those diagnosed with autism. And carnitine has been used to
treat mitochondrial dysfunction.
Design of This Study
Participants: Thirty children 3-10 years
of age, who have a diagnosis of autism, PDD-NOS, or other ASD or
pervasive developmental disorder. They cannot have had
carnitine-based therapy, or methionine or lysine supplementation.
Study: Two-thirds of the children that
participate in the study will receive treatment and one-third will
receive a placebo. The study period is 3 months. Blood work and
muscle strength testing will be done before and after treatment. The
product is citrus flavored and taken orally.
There will be no costs to the
For more information or if you would
like to participate, please contact Dr. Janet Kern at: 214-592-6600 or
firstname.lastname@example.org, Janet Kern, PhD, RN, Genetic Consultants of Dallas:
408 N. Allen Dr., Allen, Texas 75013-2500.
The Autism Research Institute (ARI) and
CoMeD are supporting this study.*
• • •
Olmsted on Autism: Autism
Explosion Followed Big Change in MMR Shot
By Dan Olmsted on AgeOfAutism. tiny.pl/vm1x
In 1990, Merck & Co., manufacturer
of the mumps-measles-rubella vaccine known as the MMR, made a
significant but little-noticed change: It quadrupled the amount of
mumps virus in the combination shot, from 5,000 to 20,000 units. Then
in 2007 it reversed course, reducing the amount to 12,500 units.
Neither the measles nor the rubella (German measles) component of the
MMR was changed at all -- each remained at 1,000 units throughout.
Merck also makes the single-component
mumps shot, and in 1990 it also increased the potency of that shot by
the same amount, from 5,000 to 20,000 units. But unlike the MMR shot,
the standalone mumps shot’s potency was not scaled back in 2007. It
remains at 20,000 units.
These changes were mentioned in passing
recently during an informal conversation with a Merck scientist. I
started looking for an explanation for the sequence of events, but
Merck did not respond to a detailed written request for comment.
Absent such an explanation, simple logic
dictates the reduction had something to do with the MMR in particular
rather than the mumps vaccine in isolation. But what? And what about
the timing -- the increase in 1990 and the decrease in 2007?
+ Read more: tiny.pl/vm1x
• • •
SSI Recipients, Counts For
Adults And Children Receiving Benefits For Autistic & Other
Pervasive Development Disorders As of December In 2002 – 2006 -
Of December In Year
21 and under
INCLUDES PERSONS AGE 65 AND OVER WITH CLAIM TYPE = DISABILITY.
to Ray Gallup. -editor.
Long-Running MMR Case
The long-running case against Dr Andrew
Wakefield and his Royal Free colleagues Professors Simon Murch and John
Walker-Smith, whose 1998 Lancet paper alleged links between autism and
MMR vaccination, resumes at the General Medical Council this morning.
The three doctors are charged with
serious professional misconduct, following a range of allegations
relating to the research. The case remains controversial because of the
support they have had from some within the autism community, both here
and in the US, who persist in thinking that MMR must in some way be
implicated in their children's condition, in spite of the absence of
One of the problems is that the cause of
autism, which is becoming more common, is still not known. Genes are
certainly implicated, but there are unknown environmental factors as
The Wakefield study was not only tiny
but also, it is now believed, seriously flawed. Only eight children
were involved and they were not typical of most people with autism.
They had a very rare condition on the autistic spectrum, called
One of the allegations is that not all
the children even qualified to be in the study on the basis of their
behaviour. Another is that the doctors mis-described their patients in
the Lancet, while Wakefield is said to have given a dishonest
description of them to the Medical Research Council.
Most of the charges against the doctors
relate to medical ethics, including experimenting on one of the
children with a purportedly therapeutic substance. The case was
triggered by revelations that Wakefield failed to reveal that he was
being paid for his expert advice by parents of the children in the
study, who were hoping to sue the vaccine manufacturers.
The case has been running since July
2007 and the end is not yet in sight.
• • •
Confidential MMR Vaccine
Files Should Be Opened In The Public Interest Watchdog rules
By Jenny Hope
Confidential documents on the
introduction of the MMR vaccine should be released by the Department of
Health, says the Information Commissioner.
Richard Thomas ruled that their release
was in the public interest, despite months of foot-dragging by
He said minutes from three committee
meetings before the introduction of the Measles Mumps and Rubella jab
in 1988 should be published under the Freedom of Information Act.
Some of the controversy surrounding
immunisation has been fuelled by a ‘perceived lack of transparency’, he
'Ultimately, knowing who said what and
whose opinions were taken into account will facilitate greater
openness, accountability and transparency,' he said.
The information is likely to include
data from the pre-licensing studies of MMR before the nationwide
immunisation began in 1988.
The ICO said it had not received
compelling evidence to suggest the commercial interests of the DH or
drug companies was under threat.
The ruling also criticised the length of
time the Department of Health took to correspond with the ICO, the late
application of exemptions and the very generic nature of their
The Department has 35 calendar days to
release the requested material.
Some parents boycotted MMR because of a
supposed link with autism and bowel disease, following a controversial
1998 study by Dr Andrew Wakefield and colleagues published in the
respected medical journal The Lancet.
British medical and Government experts
blame Dr Wakefield's research for sparking a public health scare and
say worldwide research has debunked his work.
Jackie Fletcher, who runs the vaccine
awareness group Jabs, said parents who believed their children were
damaged by MMR, often with debilitating gut problems, wanted to know
the basis on which the vaccine was originally approved.
They had been kept in the dark too long,
'We want to see what the evidence was
and how long the vaccine was tested for before it was used nationwide'
For more details and analysis see
Secret British MMR Vaccine Files Forced Open By Legal Action at tiny.pl/vmww -editor.
• • •
American Chiropractic Autism Board
In 2008, Renee Tocco, DC, formed the
American Chiropractic Autism Board (ACAB). The ACAB has a
world-class board of advisors that bring extraordinary expertise
concerning autism spectrum disorder care and represent the many
different facets of recovery. This board oversees “Hope for Autism” the
first BioNutritional Care certification program ever designed
specifically for chiropractors. Hope for Autism will equip
chiropractors to care for these disorders utilizing the BioNutritional
The ACAB is hosting a string of events
in order to get the word out about its association. The three-day
conference, which will take place May 15-17, 2009, will be held in
Charleston, SC. “The 2009 International Vaccine Risk Symposium”
will be held on the first day of the conference, and will bring
together some of the best medical minds who will validate and expose
the latest research on the dangers of vaccines.
In addition, a 2000 Canadian Olympic
Gold Medalist swimmer will be releasing her new book about her loss of
health due to chlorine and vaccines.
During the final two days of the
conference, the ACAB will present “Hope for Autism,” which is a
certification seminar that will equip chiropractors to responsibly
address autism, ADD, learning disabilities, and other neurological
developmental problems using BioNutritional Care. Doctors of
chiropractic that complete the certification conference will be added
to the ACAB’s online referral directory. This course will be CCE
The benefits of being a certified “Hope
for Autism” doctor include:
• Having the solution to the number 1
healthcare crisis affecting children;
• Meeting the demand of parents
who are desperately searching for a physician to help their child
• Being a part of the movement of
chiropractors who are
dedicated to healing our nation; and
• Increasing patient base
complimenting autism care and chiropractic, allowing for the best
opportunity of recovery.
• • •
Caretaker Accused of
Rockville, Md. - Montgomery County
police have taken a man into custody charged with the sexual abuse of
an autistic child.
61-year-old Abdul Mohamad Kudsy of
Silver Spring was arrested Friday evening, and is currently held on
bond, accused of the sexual abuse of an autistic 11-year-old.
The victim's family hired Kudsy as a
temporary caretaker for the autistic boy. The family found Kudsy
through the Children Achieving Maximum Potential (CHAMP) program of
Rockville. Kudsy's job involved helping the child with social
situations and providing general supervision.
Police allege that the suspect had
inappropriate contact with the boy and had on one occasion taken his
picture while only partially clothed.
Since Kudsy has worked with autistic
kids and adults before, police are concerned that there may be other
victims who have not reported abuse.
Anyone with additional information is
asked to contact Det. Williams at 240-773-5422.
• • •
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Place your order for these free Advocate
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• • •
Autism Awareness March:
“Open Your Eyes To Autism"
Saturday 28th March 2009. 2pm
Bagpipers will lead us off at 2pm from
Temple Place (Behind Temple Tube Station) via Victoria Embankment,
Whitehall and ending at Trafalgar Square.
This will be the biggest ever
demonstration of support for all children and adults with autism
throughout the UK.
We Will Join In A Call For:
• Improving services for autistic
children and adults.
• Recognition of the world autism
• Better educational services.
• Free biomedical interventions on the
• Recognition of the role of vaccination
• Valid Research to establish cause.
• More support for autistic adults.
• More help with the transition from
child to adult:
And much more.
Make This A Big Event.
Bring banners. Bring placards. Bring
your family. Represent someone who can’t attend. Mark this important
date in your diary:
Meet up: Temple Place 1.30 pm Saturday
28th March 2009
• • •
NY Times Discovers 'Love
"Anti-Love Drug May Be Ticket to Bliss"
Note: Oxytocin, or lack thereof, has
been implicated in autism.
In the new issue of Nature, the
neuroscientist Larry Young offers a grand unified theory of love. After
analyzing the brain chemistry of mammalian pair bonding — and, not
incidentally, explaining humans’ peculiar erotic fascination with
breasts — Dr. Young predicts that it won’t be long before an
unscrupulous suitor could sneak a pharmaceutical love potion into your
That’s the bad news. The not-so-bad news
is that you may enjoy this potion if you took it knowingly with the
right person. But the really good news, as I see it, is that we might
reverse-engineer an anti-love potion, a vaccine preventing you from
making an infatuated ass of yourself. Although this love vaccine isn’t
mentioned in Dr. Young’s essay, when I raised the prospect he agreed it
could also be in the offing.
Could any discovery be more welcome?
This is what humans have sought ever since Odysseus ordered his crew to
tie him to the mast while sailing past the Sirens. Long before
scientists identified neuroreceptors, long before Britney Spears’
quickie Vegas wedding or any of Larry King’s seven marriages, it was
clear that love was a dangerous disease.
Love was correctly identified as a
potentially fatal chemical imbalance in the medieval tale of Tristan
and Isolde, who accidentally consumed a love potion and turned into
hopeless addicts. Even though they realized that her husband, the king,
would punish adultery with death, they had to have their love fix.
They couldn’t guess what was in the
potion, but then, they didn’t have the benefit of Dr. Young’s research
with prairie voles at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at
Emory University. These mouselike creatures are among the small
minority of mammals — less than 5 percent — who share humans’
propensity for monogamy. When a female prairie vole’s brain is
artificially infused with oxytocin, a hormone that produces some of the
same neural rewards as nicotine and cocaine, she’ll quickly become
attached to the nearest male.
+ Read more: tiny.pl/vx3h
• • •
To The Wall St. Journal
Steve Salerno's "The Touch That Doesn't
Heal" (WSJ, Taste, Dec. 26) tiny.pl/vx3d
provides an acute perspective of those Americans who could be more
open-minded about the frontier of medical science.
Alternative medicines are popular
because of the dark reality of medical orthodoxy and the system it has
created. Patients are not happy with the way medicine is being doled
out, from the choices they don't get, to the informed consent papers
they are forced to sign, to the costs they don't know until the bill
comes, to the discompassionate communication seen in ERs across the
country, to the multiple studies highlighting the sad truth of medical
errors, mishaps, and adverse events in the system.
There are already over 1,000 scientific
studies showing a variety of complementary and alternative medicine
therapies to be valid or effective. Financial incentive is lacking for
large clinical trials using ancient modalities that are not patentable
or profit-engendering like a new drug.
If scientists are indeed true to what we
originally defined as science and the exploration of truth, why the
fear that exploring these therapies may uncover understandings of the
human body, and useable techniques for healing the nonchemical,
nonphysical elements in the study of life, mind and spirit, as they
heal the organs of the body? While most of the medical orthodoxy is
blind to the fact that its gold standard of proof is largely
ineffective for anything other than drugs, the public has used its
common sense and moved on, to their solid data of personal experiences.
The bottom line is that we all just want to feel better and live life
with more vitality. How does a microscope or mass clinical trial
- Bhaswati Bhattacharya M.D., MPH
Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine Weill Cornell Medical
College New York
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