Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mercury in light bulbs... Whose bright idea was that?

We have an epidemic of autism. We have tiny newborn babies given vaccines containing mercury before their blood-brain barriers are developed, and that dose is over a hundred times higher than the recommended adult daily exposure (according to the US FDA). Meanwhile we have generally increased atmospheric mercury loads because of ongoing burning of coal in coal-fired power stations. We have warnings about eating fish that have acquired mercury most likely as a result of coal-burned vapour falling into mountain streams and flowing into the oceanic food chain.

And now we have laws that mandate the use of mercury-laden light bulbs in every Australian house.

Why was our government so keen to outlaw incandescent bulbs and introduce these new products? Surely the cost of power would have been incentive enough for consumers to drift toward low-wattage bulbs?

Are they trying to make it impossible for parents of mercury-affected children to sue for vaccinal damage down the track? Supposing mercury is proven to be the culprit, their lawyers will simply say, 'Tell me, Mr and Mrs Smith, have you ever broken a light bulb in your house?' You can't prove mercury from vaccines caused the damage if you've allowed your children to inhale mercury from other sources.

Meanwhile, try finding the instructions on the light bulb packs about vacating the room and leaving windows open for fifteen minutes to allow the mercury vapour to dissipate... I had to go web trawling to find that information.

Something is very wrong with a system that won't release information that may prove or disprove a link between coal-derived mercury vapour and autism, that constantly focus on genes at the expense of environmental research, that relies on flawed studies to claim vaccinal mercury is safe, and that mandates the use of light bulbs that contain mercury, yet tells us not to eat fish!

Something causes autism.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mercury and autism research...

A hit on PubMed that looks interesting, titled 'Mercury and autism: accelerating evidence?' Unfortunately I don't have access to more than the abstract.

According to the abstract (authored by Mutter J, Naumann J, Schneider R, Walach H and Haley B at the Institute for Environmental Medicine and Hospital Epidemiology, University Hospital Freiburg, Germany), the links between mercury exposure and autism are real.

The abstract notes: 'Recently, it was found that autistic children had a higher mercury exposure during pregnancy due to maternal dental amalgam and thimerosal-containing immunoglobulin shots.' Furthermore, 'In vitro, mercury and thimerosal in levels found several days after vaccination inhibit methionine synthetase (MS) by 50%. Normal function of MS is crucial in biochemical steps necessary for brain development, attention and production of glutathione, an important antioxidative and detoxifying agent. Repetitive doses of thimerosal leads to neurobehavioral deteriorations in autoimmune susceptible mice, increased oxidative stress and decreased intracellular levels of glutathione in vitro. [...] Promising treatments of autism involve detoxification of mercury, and supplementation of deficient metabolites.'

It's interesting to read the point about neurobehavioural deterioration in 'autoimmune susceptible mice'. There are a few autoimmune issues in my family history (for instance eczema and allergies). But you have to look at the most recent generation to find any autism.

Something causes autism.


Autism, mercury and coal

An article by Debra Jopson in the Sydney Morning Herald back in October says:
'A researcher who has found strong evidence that autism is caused by mercury poisoning has been refused access to data that could point to emissions from coal-fired power stations.'

Apparently information on autism by postcode is being withheld by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs on privacy grounds.

See 'Autism coal link study stalled by government' by Debra Jopson in The Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax, October 4, 2010.

Something causes autism.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Suicidal tendencies...

I just read about a woman who killed herself after feeling she'd failed her autistic child for not preventing autism or finding useful treatments.

I'm not a suicidal person. In fact, I quite enjoy being here for the next challenge. Life may be hard, but it's always interesting. But I say that now, after the worst is already long behind us and Milli continues to improve.

Ask me how I was when Milli was enduring 18 months of crashing deterioration, couldn't eat and couldn't recognise people.

Ask me how I felt when doctors offered no more hope than that Early Intervention may help her learn to socialise, while our girl couldn't even eat or drink.

Ask me how I felt when paediatricians assessed her at a glance and spent more time warning us about cat droppings in schoolyard sandpits than taking detailed observations and measurements. And no-one ever suggested an ECG.

Ask me how I felt when our nights were a ragged sleepless nightmare and we were on our own. When grandparents took no interest because they simply had no idea what autism was, or why our child had it, or what they should do. When our girl went four days without eating or drinking. When my partner started treating me like a madwoman for researching on the internet. When I held this grey, limp, dying child in my arms and knew I had to do something drastic, but had no support to do so.

Ask me how I felt when doctors said it was genetic, but nobody in my family or my partner's family in any generation above this one had autism.

I felt responsible.

A woman I don't know took her life, perhaps for a similar reason. She seems to have felt responsible for the child, for letting the child down.

But autism isn't about parenting or even about individuals (including their genes). If it was, it wouldn't be global and escalating. If it was, the gene responsible (not a gamut of 'suspects' so varied that a recent expert suggested all families have their own genetic autism variant) would have been found.

Autism is about large-scale decisions, and how they affect the vulnerable.

And the only way to fight that is to make equally large-scale change. Which is why, sadly, I suspect the autism rate will continue to climb.

Something causes autism!

Monday, December 20, 2010

fever seems to help...

Just an aside: yesterday our girl had a moderate fever, but was even more switched on than usual. She kept approaching me on the lounge, crawling up beside me and banging heads or suddenly throwing herself at me... Her way of asking for kisses. :-)

She has a good sense of humour and enjoys playing little games, such as the one where she refuses to stand up when I'm trying to lead her from the kitchen to the couch where she has her bottle. She just keeps laughing and scooting along on her bottom, enjoying the pretend growl in my voice and the fact that she's the one in control, not me.

We also enjoy 'Big Eyes'. When you ask if she'll play 'Big Eyes' you put your face right near hers, and suddenly she'll turn and stare really hard, but really briefly, into your eyes. Then she turns away smiling or laughing... Again she's in control.

Fun moments.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

One of those days...

Little girl at home with the vomits... Wish she knew to let it out instead of throwing her head back and crying/inhaling... :-( But at least she's learned we're here to comfort her; there was a long time when she didn't understand we were on her side.

The improvement in her ability to relate came only recently, after removing wheat and gluten from the family cupboard. Recently a teacher had said our older son may have ADD (the passive variety). His concentration and focus had been impaired for a while, and he was beginning to lag behind other children academically. (Remember, our son had the mercury-laden Hep B jab at age 2, not as a newborn. Things are never simple.) Without wheat or gluten his concentration and focus did a fast turnaround; a byproduct of this pantry-change was that our girl's eye contact and attention span improved too.

Most people encounter 'gluten free' advice early in ASD diagnosis, as did we. However when we had tried the gluten free (and casein free) diet at the time our girl was first diagnosed (at age 2), she seemed to crash.

As I've said elsewhere, it turns out that our early attempt at dietary intervention had probably ushered in a new set of problems via dissolved aluminium in the packaged rice milk. Chelation with alpha lipoic acid brought an almost immediate recovery of her swallowing reflex, but the detour was long, and it didn't seem a gluten free diet could be helpful.

However my son's more recent school troubles made trying anything worthwhile. Once again I de-glutened the house.

Immediately our son's focus improved massively at school, and our girl became more alert, switched-on and happy. She began choosing to snuggle up to us on the couch, and to initiate tickling and other non-structured play. This is very new and very unexpected. Not all the surprises that come with autism are bad.

It's the small positives that make this journey bearable. Some children advance to normality while for others a rare piercing look, or choosing to lean against a parent for comfort, are just as powerful.

Meanwhile of course there are the low points... Like trying to help a child learn not to inhale vomit.

Something causes autism.