Schafer Autism Report


Wednesday, January 14, 2021                                                  Vol. 13 No. 6


Hundreds of Local Autism Events

New National Children's Study Seeks Environmental Causes of Autism, Asthma, ADHD

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
Watchdog rules

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, Asthma, ADHD

      From US News and World Report.

      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 possible causes.
      "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:

      For more on the controversy over autism and vaccine exposure, you can check out Dr. Bernadine Healy's recent column on autism and vaccine research and Deborah Kotz's report on vaccine safety


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• • •

Key Developmental Mechanisms of The Amygdale Uncovered
By Children's National scientists
Findings could have implications for brain alterations associated with autism

       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 the brain."
      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 Threats
to UC Davis Researchers

      By Niesha Lofing for the

      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 spokesman.
      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 detected.
      "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 Anyone who finds a suspicious package should call campus police immediately at (530) 752-1727.

• • •

Autism-Mitochondrial Study: Participants Needed
(study inclusion criteria has changed to allow previous chelation therapy)
      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).

Study Background
      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 participants.
      For more information or if you would like to participate, please contact Dr. Janet Kern at: 214-592-6600 or, 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.

      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:

• • •

SSI Recipients, Counts For Adults And Children Receiving Benefits For Autistic & Other Pervasive Development Disorders As of December In 2002 – 2006  - US Totals.





As Of December In Year

 Children 21 and under

Adults 1/

All Recipients






























      Thanks to Ray Gallup. -editor.

• • •

Long-Running MMR Case Resumed Monday

      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 scientific evidence.
      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 well.
      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 disintegrative disorder.
      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 officials.
      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 said.
      '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 arguments.
      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, she added.
      'We want to see what the evidence was and how long the vaccine was tested for before it was used nationwide' she said.

      NOTE: For more details and analysis see Secret British MMR Vaccine Files Forced Open By Legal Action at -editor.

• • •


Chiropractor Forms
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 approach.  
      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 accredited.
      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 recover;
     • 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 Sexually Abusing
Autistic Child

      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.

• • •


Start the New Year with New Knowledge

      Our Advocate Academy web seminars let you learn from the experts without leaving your home or office. Now through January 31, 2021 you can have unlimited access to four Advocate Academy Webinar archives. Place your order at:

      You’ll get free access to these previously conducted Webinar events:
      • Realistic Ways to Build Collaboration in IEP Meetings Presented by Kathy Wian, MPA Director, Conflict Resolution Program University of Delaware
      • Response to Intervention (RtI): What Special Education Advocates Need to Know Presented by Daryl F. Mellard, Ph.D.
      Co-Principal Investigator, National Research Center on Learning Disabilities Co-author, RTI: A Practionioner's Guide to Implementing Response to Intervention
      • Transition Planning Under IDEA 2004 Presented by Ed O'Leary, Ph.D.
      Program Specialist, Mountain Plains Regional Resource Center Private Consultant, Educational Consulting, Inc.
      • Negotiating Assistive Technology Supports and Services Presented by Dave L. Edyburn, Ph.D.
      Associate Professor, Department of Exceptional Services University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Founder and Editor, Special Education Technology Practice Co-editor, Handbook of Special Education Technology Research and Practice
      Place your order for these free Advocate Academy archives at:
• • •


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 pandemic.
      • Better educational services.
      • Free biomedical interventions on the NHS.
      • Recognition of the role of vaccination in ASD.
      • 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 Drug' Oxytocin
"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 drink.
      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:

• • •


To The Wall St. Journal

      Steve Salerno's "The Touch That Doesn't Heal" (WSJ, Taste, Dec. 26) 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 measure that?
      - Bhaswati Bhattacharya M.D., MPH Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine Weill Cornell Medical College New York


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