REPORT ON "CONFERENCE ON AUTISM"
April 15th, 2007
Organised by Institute of Health Sciences, Bhubaneswar.
Report by: Jagannath Chatterjee.
On 15th April a "Conference on Autism" was conducted at Hotel Presidency, Bhubaneswar, under the auspices of Institute of Health Sciences (IHS), an institute devoted to providing training on various aspects of rehabilitation technology. The Institute also provides services to persons with disability.
It has been treating all kinds of speech, language, hearing and behavioural disorders since 1999. Training is offered in areas of Audiology, Speech, Pathology and Physiotherapy by way of two 4 and 4 1/2 years degree courses with affiliation from Utkal University.The fact that it treats children with special needs prompted it to address the needs of autistic children.
The conference sought to educate medical professionals like Pediatricians, General Physicians, Neurologists, Neurologists, Psychiatrists and Psychologists. Parents of autistic children were also invited so that they could equip themselves with latest developments in the field of treatment and rehabilitation of the unfortunate victims.
An eminent panel addressed the assembly. It was composed of Dr Rajendra Satpathy, a very senior ENT specialist, and the Director of IHS, Prof Satya Mohapatra, the Principal of the Institute, Dr S P Mokashi, Astt Professor (OT), NIRTAR, Cuttack, Dr Pratibha of NIMHANS, Dr Arun Mukherjee, MD, Director of UDAAN, Delhi, and Ms Bhuyan, Psychologist. Dr Sarangi of IHS assisted the resource persons with their presentations.
In his opening speech, Prof Satya Mohapatra, explained the syndrome called autism. He said many children today were behaving abnormally despite seeming outwardly normal. The IHS has been flooded with such children whom it is trying to help through a coordinated approach involving specialists from various fields and using the latest technology available.
The reason behind autism is not very clear, he said, which is hampering the progress of patients. Often it is felt that individualised attention is needed as the children suffer from a wide variety of complaints which has forced the medical community to name the condition Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Explaining further he said that these children lived in a world of their own. They do not play with others and may suffer delayed development in various spheres. There is a considerable amount of brain damage in these children making treatment very slow and difficult. As these children are unable to speak or communicate it is very difficult to judge the extent of damage as well as pain. That autism affected the senses and emotions was well documented, he said.
They needed constant therapy involving speech, behavioral psychotherapy, locomotor therapy and also occupational therapy to help improve their functional skills. However even with all these the children would probably never be able to recover fully to the satisfaction of their parents. Hence the emphasis should be on determining the cause and prevent this fast progressing epidemic.
He hoped that the eminent doctors invited to address the medical professionals would be able to shed light on better modes of diagnosis and treatment.
Dr S P Mokashi of NIRTAR, then described autism as a very common childhood disorder found across all sections of society today. Children everywhere were being diagnosed as autistics, falling within the autism spectrum which included Pervasive Development Disorders (PDDs).
It is a very complex and baffling disorder with a wide continuum of associated cognitive and neurobehavioural disorders. These children also suffer from impaired socialisation, and impaired verbal and non verbal communication. It is very difficult to understand these children as they suffer from a very complex brain disorder which affected the way they percieved both people and objects.
He dwelt on various therapies that were being used by doctors and scientists at NIRTAR. He showed a video of a patient about seven years old and undergoing treatment since the last five years. The child still appeared severely affected displaying repetitive activities and also acting as if no one else was present in the room. He was indifferent to the efforts of others trying to communicate with him.
Dr Mokashi said the illness was very disturbing and affected the morale of the attending staff as recovery was extremely slow. Often staff had to be rotated as they suffered from acute depression arising out of their apparent failure at tackling the disabilities of the children. He said something was very wrong with these children and it was difficult to pinpoint the cause. It defied all existing medical knowledge.
Next it was the turn of Dr Arun Mukherjee, MD, and Director of UDAAN, an organisation in New Delhi solely devoted to the cause of treating children with disabilities. Dr Mukherjee is a very senior doctor having served as a Medical Adviser to many pharmaceutical giants of repute.
He is also an expert at various trend breaking laboratory techniques. He is now trying to devise a protocol aimed at treating autistic children. He has already devised a treatment methodology which has been submitted to the Indian Government for study and subsequent approval.
He said he hoped that the Drugs Controller of India would give the go ahead to his project. He hinted that he had faced many obstacles of various nature while trying to help the children. He was helped in his work by eminent doctors in the US who went out of their way to ensure that the children of India received treatment.
He too expressed deep concern at the explosion of autism cases engulfing the world at a fantastic pace. He said autism had progressed from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 150 in the US. In the UK, it was 1 in 80. InIndia it was 1 in 500 as per a 2005 survey but it was found to be 1 in 250 in 2006. This meant that a total of more than a crore children could be affected. (Currently the worldwide rate varies from 1 in 38 to 1 in 100, growing at a tremendous pace. As per Ms Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of the Autism Society of India, as per a very conservative estimate there could be 8 crore autistic children in India and the numbers are growing. She also cautioned that this was a very modest estimate as there were not many doctors in India who could properly diagnose autis. As per Indian doctors the rate in urban India is three times the national average)
He however cautioned against accepting this figure to be correct as the survey was not able to fully target the desired population and that 99.9% of doctors in India were not trained to detect and treat autism. He said that autism was just a paragraph in the entire medical literature but efforts were on to trace the genetic cause of the disease.
Speculating on the cause of autism he said it could be a result of genetic predisposition as well as heavy metal poisoning. Mercury could be one of the culprits he said as the symptoms were exactly similar to the famous Minnamata poisoning in Japan as well as the Iraqi epidemic caused by using mercury laced fungicides in wheat given as aid by a donor country.
Minnamata disease was first discovered in Japan in the late fifties as a result of mercury pollution of a marine bay. It was studied extensively and the results are available to the medical community.
The mercury exposure, he said, could be through environmental pollution, industrial pollution, mining activities, hospital waste, dental amalgams, mercury in vaccines and in certain eye drops. Prima facie it appears that it is the mercury in vaccines which may be the real culprit.
Each mercury containing vaccine exposes the infant to 25mcg of mercury which is way beyond safety limits. As per safety limits set by EPA the infant would have to weigh 550 pounds to tolerate a single shot. The vaccination schedule, he informed, pushed 249.5mcg of mercury into the infant, a dose that cannot be called safe by any standards. Vaccines contain ethyl mercury, he said, which is very different from methyl mercury we generally talk about. And this ethyl mercury, he informed was an industrial toxin.
He said there was an urgent need to remove mercury from vaccines and dental amalgams. He asked the parents to be more informed and examine the vaccine vial label as well as the package insert. If the words Thiomersal and Aluminum was mentioned in the label it would be prudent to skip the shot. The parent should decide on what vaccine to be given to the child taking into consideration all the risk factors.
He wondered how infants were being vaccinated. It took twelve years for a child to develop somewhat, he said. The mercury the child received in the mothers womb, as a result of vaccinating the pregnant mother, was enough to render the child autistic. He said it would be prudent to examine the child at the age of 7 to 8 months. If the child did not turn its eyes when called it could mean that it was already autistic.
He said that older people were given only one or two vaccines when they were children. But now it was strange that doctors warned of impending death if the entire course of around 30 to 40 shots were not given. As there is no means to determine the genetic susceptibility of the child, the entire vaccine process had become unduly risky.
But he said certain vaccines were necessary. If the figure of autism was 1 in 150, (1 in 100 now actually) it meant that 149 children were being protected and one child was being sacrificed to keep the rest healthy. The affected child must be helped to recover without blaming fate or any other agency. Disease was inevitable and has to be fought with the latest knowledge available.
The decontaminant Thiomersal in vaccines is composed of ethylmercury. The warnings against mercury were based on methylmercury. It is generally argued that ethylmercury is safer than methylmercury. But tests have revealed that ethylmercury is 1000 times more toxic than methylmercury and it is an extremely hazardous industrial toxin. The entire audience gasped, terribly shocked by this revelation.
He also wondered about the side effects of the MMR. A parent informed him that both his children were injected with MMR on the same day. One became autistic but the other escaped unscathed. He said MMR did not contain mercury. Moreover as they were brothers they would share the same genes. How then could the offered explanation of combination of genetic susceptibility and heavy metal poisoning be accepted?
Dr Mukherjee said that researchers were very cautious and even scared as the doctor who wanted to study the link between MMR and autism, Dr Andrew Wakefield, was driven out of UK for daring to question vaccines and he had to take shelter in the US. But his findings were not wrong as the measles vaccine strain virus was indeed found in the guts of the autistic children the doctor had examined.
Upon being prodded by another victim, he said there was a great debate raging worldwide on the vaccine issue. The parents are questioning the very concept of vaccines. The medical community seems indifferent to the opposition but in reality the dangers are well known.
He spoke about the Simpsonwood Conference which was held in utter secrecy in the US. The dangers of ethylmercury was discussed but no action has been taken because the WHO and other bodies do not have enough funds to render all vaccines mercury free. Thus these organisations as well as the Govt's were forced to continue with the risk to save the majority of children from vaccine preventable diseases.
Dr Mukherjee agreed that diseases such as measles, mumps, chicken pox etc were nowhere as dangerous as autism which killed the soul of the child. Thus parental education and interference in the vaccination process was very necessary, he said.
On being asked why doctors were not fighting the vaccines he said that it was for the political machinery to do that. There is also a question of ethics which each doctor should be aware of said the visibly angry parents.
Dr Mukherjee also pointed out that autism cases were on the decline in certain states of the US where mercury in vaccines was being drastically reduced. He also presented graphs which showed that autism had peaked worldwide as more and more vaccines were included into the schedule.
Mercury in vaccines cannot be wished away, he said. The future generation would face great misfortune due to this needless mass poisoning akin to genocide. He said old men like him were sad that such a thing was happening silently and unopposed. Except for the parents, victims, therapists and an activist here and there no one seemed to be genuinely interested. An ostrich like attitude was being adopted.
Dr Rajendra Satpathy, Director of IHS, was visibly annoyed and upset and felt sorry that doctors were no longer acting like human beings. He was of the opinion that this situation had to be urgently addressed. There is already a catastrophe of immense proportions. MNCs should no longer be allowed to dump mercury containing vaccinations intoIndia, he said. Prof Satya Mohapatra and Dr Mokashi nodded in agreement. The issue of vaccines had to be publicly debated they said.
Dr Pratibha of NIMHANS sarcastically pointed out that Autism was not a developmental disorder but a Deviant Disorder. Rarely were children autistic from birth but regressed at a certain age. It was upto the medical community to come out with the facts and the real reasons, she said.
Ms Bhuyan, talked about the psychological interventions which could be resorted to in order to help the affected child. She pointed out that medically autism was being tackled with psychiatric drugs. The doctors present pointed out that this did not address the underlying problem and did more harm than good.
Dr Arun Mukherjee then dwelt upon the methods he intended to use to help the children. He said that he would try the DAN protocol, the MB12 vitamin therapy, Chelation (heavy metal extraction) and also the HBOT therapy. He appealed to the physiotherapists to continue with their efforts as these children needed all kinds of help.
He said he would try and inform the parents of low cost therapies as the cost of full scale medical intervention would be beyond even the very rich in India. Upon being asked about Govt intervention, compensation and subsidies, Dr Mukherjee again put the ball at the feet of the political machinery. He said he was ready to offer treatment on cost basis but he was sure that very few parents could afford the treatment. The vast majority of the children were thus doomed to a life of living hell.
He spoke of dietary interventions like a GFCF diet. This was the Gluten Free, Casein Free diet where the child was taken off wheat, barley and oats. They were also denied milk and other diary products, ice creams, pastries, cakes, biscuits and sugar. He said these were opium to the children who would show severe withdrawal symptoms once this diet was commenced. But the parents had to be firm and after 4 to 6 weeks the child would start improving. The very appearance of withdrawal symptoms would mean that the treatment was on the right track.
He said vitamin supplementation was essential as the autistics suffered from gut problems. The guts contained more nerve endings than the brain. The abdomen is the primeval brain. What makes autism so difficult and dangerous is that almost the entire nervous system is affected.
As the intestines were damaged and inflamed the child was not able to get the proper nutrition thus leaving it malnourished. There was also a severe and irreparable damage to the liver that few doctors were able to diagnose as there was no swelling or sensitiveness. The child therefore suffered from reduced or no appetite. The gut problems also allowed unwanted toxins back into the body instead of being eliminated.
The above indicated that more children were damaged than are being diagnosed.
He proposed the following:
Barley, Oats, Wheat
Milk and milk products
Pastries, Cakes, Biscuits
Eggs, Citrus fruits.
Vit C (As tablets, because citrus fruits had to be denied)
Vit E (Natvie of Franco India)
Carotenoids (Fresh Fruits, multicolored salads)
Zinc, Iron, Magnesium (NOT COPPER)
Alpha Lipoic Acid (IF THERE ARE NO GUT PROBLEMS)
Melatonin (Melocet - 1/3rd of a tablet)
What is not readily available in India is Glutathione and Torine Amino Acid. (However the above vitamins helped manufacture glutathione in the body).
The above regimen should be tried for three months. The child should also be tested for heavy metals in an accredited laboratory. The less the metals found in hair and nails the MORE serious was the internal poisoning as the child was not able to extract the metals and was retaining them.
This is actually a type of Vit B12 micronutrient that is deficient in autistic children. The children are depleted of various minerals, vitamins and essential micronutrients as their bodies exhaust all resources in trying to fight the heavy metals injected into them.
The MB12 has the ability to activate the methionin/homocystein biochemical pathway directly thus allowing the children to return to this world. Banana has traces of this micronutrient.
This is a technique whereby the child is placed in a pressure chamber where the pressure is greatly increased to force more oxygen into the body and brain.
This involves injecting the child by a heavy metal extraction agent called DMPS. Injected at intervals over a long period of time the child would excrete a large quantity of the metals. Dr Mukherjee said THE IMPROVEMENT WAS DRAMATIC USING THIS THERAPY. The child simply becomes his old self again. But the treatment costs would put this therapy out of the reach of Indian children UNLESS THE GOVERNMENT DECIDED TO BEAR THE COSTS OF TREATMENT.
The damaging effects of heavy metals were available on the internet said Dr Mukherjee. But this information has been erased from medical sites. One had to access sites dealing with toxic waste like TOXLINE to get the required information. Thus it became clear that extremely toxic materials are being injected into children in the name of "strengthening their immune system".
The list of heavy metals that are usually found in the tissues and fat of autistic children are;
Ethylmercury (1000 times more toxic than Methylmercury)
Aluminum (from vaccines again)
Lead (from petrol fumes in environment, fertilisers)
Cadmium (from contaminated groundwater, suspected to be in some vaccines also as this chemical is used in the vaccine manufacturing process)
Copper (industrial waste)
Arsenic (pesticides that is polluting groundwater)
Dr Mukherjee said autism experts from all over the world would be converging at New Delhi in the month of September to address the problem in India, and hopefully to put some sense and inculcate some ethics into the medical and political establishment.(This conference was not up to expectations as, threatened by the vaccine industry none of the government health authorities or other officials attended the program)
When questioned by this reporter, angry parents were vocal with complaints that they regularly faced threats from some doctors whenever they brought up the vaccine issue. These doctors threaten to stop treating the children and accuse them of spreading "rumours" that go against the "national interest". Is it in the "national interest" that small babies should be killed and poisoned en masse, they asked.
This reporter is marking a copy of this report to our Honorable President, HE Shri Abdul Kalam, the Prime Minister, Sri Manmohan Singh, and also Ms Sonia Gandhi hoping that the urgent needs of these hapless victims may be addressed.
The media too has a responsibility, we may add. It can enter into the private lives of individuals in search of titillating news but shirks from reporting this very public and widespread mayhem.
Where are we headed as a society? Can we not protect small children?
Note: This is merely a report and the suggestions for treatment reported must be resorted to by consulting an accredited doctor who should also be a human being.