There certainly was no doubt that my life, and certainly that of many others, felt as though it had been picked up by a tornado, spinned, and whirled into an uncontrollable frenzy, with debris apparently flying all about, and dropped, it seemed in a world no longer recognizable. So much of what I had once thought to be true – was simply - gone. This devastating tornado had brought with it – at first - feelings of insecurity, devastation and despair. Yet, I had finally come to a point in my life where I could rebuild and once again have hope and joy. For those in science, however, perhaps it was “my turn” to “turn things upside down”.
As I looked at the world about me, I truly realized that so much of what I had once thought to be true, just no longer appeared to be. I thus started to look at the world in a very different way. On walks, for example, I had once noticed a lone dandelion on a perfectly manicured lawn. Hum…. We had a whole industry built upon “exterminating the dandelion” – why? I remembered from biology class, years ago, that many common plants had within them the power to really boost the immune system – the dandelion and its roots was one such plant. Of course, today, you would probably be hard pressed to find a non-fertilized lawn. Chemicals were everywhere in the soil.
Another plant I recalled was the “blue spruce”. We had three of them in our yard as I was growing up. Later in life, someone had told me that the blue spruce tree’s sap, when boiled and ingested could provide a fantastic “immune system response in the case of biologic warfare”… it was supposed to taste horrible but work wonders. Whether or not that was true, I did not know, but, if true, given times of terrorism, it certainly was interesting to say the least! As I looked about me, I wondered, were the answers to so many issues in plants that God had given to pretty well everyone to start with – trees, flowers and maybe even those weeds we all knew as dandelions? We had an entire industry built on killing the dandelion – even though its roots had scientifically been shown to help boost the immune system. And just why was it that animals, like dogs, ate grass once in a while?
Granted, we now had all those “pesticides” on our lawns, but it seemed that in the race to “heal ourselves” we had actually been destroying ourselves.
Throughout my journey with autism, I had been forced to look at so much in a new light – and now, perhaps it was time for science to do so also by considering as I had done – what at first had appeared – “so outrageous”!
There were two specific areas that I now very much questioned. The first had to do with mutations – the second with nitric oxide.
Mutations were generally considered a “bad thing”. As I had read so much about so many disorders, something had become quite evident to me. The human body appeared to have an amazing ability to at least try to repair itself or use “backup systems”. In other words, when one option failed, it seemed there existed another that could potentially be used… and when that one failed… it seemed there was yet another option available to the body.
For example, in the case of iron overload, although the body had no good way of riding itself of iron there appeared to be several mechanisms in place to prevent its absorption. A simple thing like drinking green tea (an immune system booster) with meals instead of orange juice (something that greatly increased iron absorption) could make a tremendous difference in iron levels – as could the donating of blood. Granted, at some point – one reached saturation levels where the body obviously could no longer handle “more iron”, but it appeared that before that point was actually reached, the body had many options to potentially prevent damage from occurring. Many things were known to bind with iron.
For example, there was breastmilk that had lactoferrin in it. If a child was not breastfed, there was lactoferrin provided in bile. If lactoferrin was not available, it seemed the body tried to “hide iron” in other ways by making it bind to “other things” prior to allowing for absorption of perhaps toxic levels of iron to actually occur.
Likewise, the fact that the liver for example, could regenerate itself also seemed to indicate tremendous capabilities in the body for dealing with immune system issues. The liver, from what I had seen, appeared to perform literally hundreds of functions in the human body and as such, regeneration of this organ was perhaps not only critical but also, a testimony as to the versatility of the human body and its ability to adapt. Again, granted, there was a point of “no return” when the body finally said: “Enough is enough”, but, the fact that the liver could lose eighty to ninety percent of its functioning before one went into liver failure was in and of itself again indicative of the body’s amazing ability to repair or at least attempt to repair itself before actual damage was allowed to occur.
Certainly, an immature liver, such as that of an unborn child or infant under six months of age was much more susceptible to stresses imposed on the liver by iron, mercury, aluminum and vaccines in general. As such, I simply could not understand why we gave children under six months any vaccinations – and especially vaccinations laced with mercury, aluminum and other toxins such as formaldehyde.
It was also a known fact that within the body, there existed mechanisms specifically for dna repair. Casein kinase 1 – found at levels thirty times normal levels in the brain of those with Alzheimer’s – was one such substance known to be associated with dna repair. That, like the elevated lactoferrin levels found in the spinal fluid of persons with Alzheimer’s – was indicative of an immune system response and that – to me – indicated the body was once again, trying desperately to somehow repair itself.
Science certainly believed that the brain could “adapt itself” when damaged and, therefore, why could “dna” not “recode” or “repair itself”? Was that not what a “mutation” involved – the reshuffling or recoding of genetic information? If the body had within it natural repair mechanisms, for the brain, for cells in general, etc., did it not stand to reason that within those natural repair mechanisms, there could be mutations or changes to the genetic code as the body attempted to “fix itself”? Was that not a possibility?
As I read and learned more and more about so many issues in so many of these disorders, something else became very evident to me. Did not – all disorders – involve immune system responses? Was the fact that there even existed “dis-order” in any cell, any organ - any anything – not indicate that there was a problem that the body would “attempt to address” and as such, were all disorders not really – immune system problems? As such, should all disorders not be classified as immune system problems?
Certainly, there were major implications in terms of neural degeneration, etc., but the bottom line in all disorders involved “a problem” and a system attempting to “fix that problem” – and that – by definition – meant an immune system response – of some kind! This had huge implications in terms of “how we studied” all these disorders.
Was it truly necessary to have “all these labels” for so many shades of the same thing – immune system problems? In my opinion, the answer to that was question was - no. We all had the same basic immune system and the same basic workings in terms of the human brain and as such, could not all disorders be studied based on those two basic understandings? What I was attempting to say here was that rather than focusing on “this disorder known by this label”, perhaps we should be focusing on what we were seeing not in a specific disorder but focusing on what we were seeing in terms of specific immune system reactions based on development stage (i.e., unborn child, infant, young child, teenager, young adult, menopausal and finally, elderly persons).
Again, as I had read so many research articles regarding so many disorders, something else had become quite evident. We had all these “mutations” we attributed to “genetics” and said had to somehow be related to the “the cause” of the disorder. But, was that really true?
If the body was constantly working at repairing itself – as evidenced by an overactive immune system in so many disorders – such as was seen autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and so many others, would it not make sense that perhaps – as things like casein kinase 1 – known to play a role in dna repair – flowed through the body – did it not make sense that – perhaps – just perhaps –some “mutations” we were seeing were not the “cause” of these disorders or result of the assault on the gene code but, maybe, the immune system’s response in trying to “repair the body” and as such – could some of these “mutations” be - not the “cause” – but the “answer” – to so many of these disorders!
In other words, could the key to finding the answers to these disorders be not in looking at all mutations as “a cause” or a “problem” – but in looking at some as a potential solution – an immune system response in the form of “mutations” within chromosomes in an attempt to override system problems!
I asked this for many reasons. First and foremost was the obvious – dna repair mechanisms naturally existed in the body – and that had seemed to imply that as damage to dna occurred, the body had mechanisms to “go around fixing things”.
According to many in science, there was a belief that mitochondria in all humans was passed down by the mother only – that none of it came from the father – although, clearly, there was some disagreement on this point even within science! Mitochondria were those cells involved in the production of energy.
“mtDNA…there is evidence that mitochondrial sequences mutate at rates 3 to 5 times greater than nuclear DNA”… Therefore, the number of mitochondria from the mother far outweighs the number of mitochondria from the father, but, the idea that there is no mitochondria from the father what so ever in fertilization, is not true [end of quote – emphasis added, http://www.as.wvu.edu/~kgarbutt/Matinherit.html].
Others put that rate of mutations at – 10 times faster – as shown in this article – I quote:
“Additionally, mitochondria DNA has been found to mutate about 10 times faster than nuclear DNA” [end of quote from http://www.biospace.com/articles/082699.fingerprints.cfm].
This again, certainly showed that science as we knew it today, was anything – but accurate in many respects and that there existed a great deal of “disagreement” when it came to “known facts”.
But, at least there was agreement that “mutations” were much faster here than normal.
“Mutations” were somehow very closely tied to “something in the mother”. The key – in my opinion – in these articles had to do with the “rate of mutations” and the difference between male and female. Breastmilk contained “casein” – a milk protein. Breastmilk was obviously something passed down only by mother to infant. Given the mother produced breastmilk and breastmilk had “casein” and casein appeared to somehow be tied to casein kinase 1 - something known to be associated with dna repair – could this mtDNA also be tied not to “bad mutations”- and hence the “cause” of disorders – but rather to “mutations fixes” – perhaps the solution to disorders or the body’s way of “fixing itself”?
In other words, given casein and “maternal” mitrochondria – mutating at much greater rates than “normal” – appeared to be associated with “the mother” – could it be that this was the mother’s way of passing down those things that helped the infant with dna repair within his system via mechanisms – actual dna repair mechanisms – and surely, there were probably more than simply casein kinase 1.
That would mean that – just perhaps – these “blame it on the mom” disorders were really “not the mom’s fault” – but that – just perhaps – mom – was helping to somehow fix the problems in her child from a dna repair perspective.
Granted, the fact that aluminum, a known gene mutant had been put in vaccines, certainly had the potential to complicate matters as clearly, one should expect mutations when a known gene mutant was put into the body via vaccines and other sources such as foods, ointments, etc. Thus, certainly, most mutations were probably “bad mutations” – but, was that the case for “all mutations”? Was there not the potential within the human body for “good mutations” too – given the body had natural mechanisms to heal and repair dna itself – in my opinion, that certainly had to be the case!
Note that according to a website I had found, like the safety of mercury, aluminum had never been tested by the FDA for “safety” issues. I quote:
“Aluminum has been exempted from tesitng for safety by the FDA under a convoluted logic wherein it is classified as GRAS. (Generally Regarded As Safe.) It has never been tested by the FDA on its safety and there are NO restrictions whatever on the amount or use of aluminum.” [end of quote, emphasis added: Aluminum Toxicity information compiled and submitted by Frank Hartman and available at: http://www.luminet.net/~wenonah/hydro/al.htm#toxic].
I encouraged all parents to read the information on this website!
In my opinion, perhaps we had to “see” two types of mutations – mutations due to things like aluminum – a known gene mutant – and mutations that were perhaps “good” – and the body’s way of repairing itself!
Also interesting was the fact that heme synthesis originated in the mitochrondria – heme - the iron plus unconjugated bilirubin part of blood. Heme deficiency… that condition now known to be associated with the altering of amyloid proteins, the activation of nitric oxide synthase, and the inhibition of zinc and iron homeostasis. [Atamna, H, Killileas DW, Killilea AN, Ames, BN. Heme deficiency may be a factor in the mitochondrial and neuronal decay of aging. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Nov 12;99(23): 14807-12.].
What had made me think of this was not only the fact all these disorders had “mutations” of some kind, but the fact that too many disorders appeared “dormant” for too long – showing up only in later stages of life. That simply made no sense to me.
But, there was something else that made no sense to me – the parallels between Downs Syndrome and Alzheimer’s. Both of these disorders were known to have implications for chromosome 21. Indeed, in Downs Syndrome, the “most common cause” – note – literature indicated – “the most common cause” – that by definition meant – not – “the only cause” - of Downs Syndrome was the duplication of chromosome 21. In other words, in the Downs Syndrome child there was an extra chromosome 21 – a complete mutation or duplication of the entire chromosome so that an entire – extra – chromosome 21 existed!
Certainly – this was all very interesting. What was more interesting, at least to me, however, was the fact that the duplication – was not exact! In other words, there were mutations on this “extra chromosome”. Could it be that the body had somehow determined that this particular chromosome had been “so damaged somehow” that it was better to just “start over” and so the body simply made a new chromosome altogether? I truly wondered!
But, I wondered about something else too! Not only were Downs Syndrome and Alzheimer’s both strongly linked to chromosome 21, but, the brain of a Downs Syndrome child, by the time that child reached age 35 or so, resembled that of a person with Alzheimer’s. How very interesting again!
What was interesting in that – to me – was the whole “genetic disorder” argument. Clearly, both disorders were linked to the same chromosome and clearly, both disorders had the same prognosis in terms of the impact to the brain – and yet, in one disorder the impact was in very late life and in the other, it had been there before birth.
Could an immune system response in a child – while still in the womb, not have triggered the generation of an extra chromosome as the child – still unborn – attempted desperately to “fix himself”? If damage to chromosome 21 while in the womb had been so significant that the body of the unborn child simply decided to “start over” and make a new chromosome 21, would that not have had serious implications for other areas of development while in the womb - areas that impacted appearance of the child, brain function, etc., given there had now, potentially, been a “delay in development” of that chromosome?
If chromosome 21 was so closely associated with Alzheimer’s – should not the Alzheimer’s patient look a little more like a Downs Syndrome person? Clearly, that was not the case. Yet, both had the same prognosis in terms of the impact on the brain. Why was that? And why was it that children with Downs Syndrome were at greater risk of developing leukemia – cancer of the blood and had increased chances of developing diabetes? Insulin levels were modulated by iron levels. Iron was certainly a component of blood – and in the unborn child, the blood was produced in the liver – not the bone marrow. The bones of an unborn child really matured only in the third trimester, prior to birth.
Given blood in the unborn child was made in the liver and leukemia could result when damaged cells found their way to the bone marrow, I now suspected Downs Syndrome was perhaps an iron overload, mercury or aluminum problem while the child was still in the womb.
In no time at all, I came to find an “iron connection” to Downs Syndrome also. According to information posted on the website of the Edelson Center as it related to Downs Syndrome, information available at http://www.edelsoncenter.com/Diseases_Treatment/down_upd.htm, the following “iron connection” to Downs Syndrome appeared to exist:
“All of the symptoms and problems associated with Down Syndrome are secondary to a genetic defect concerning chromosome 21. This chromosome has an extra copy of itself (and so Trisomy 21) and therefore has an overabundance of specific genetic material which ultimately leads to the physical and mental problems associated with Down Syndrome. The defect causes the overproduction of the enzyme Superoxide Dismutase (SOD). SOD then directly converts the free radical Superoxide into Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) The amount of hydrogen peroxide produced is in excess of "normal" amounts and quickly uses up the enzymes, glutathione peroxidase and catalase, which are intended to deal with the peroxide. The body cannot deal with the buildup of hydrogen peroxide. This excess causes cell damage and apoptosis (cell death). The elevated hydrogen peroxide also combines with iron to increase the production of the extremely damaging hydroxyl (OH-) radical (Yankner) (Odetti, et al). According to Badwey, the hydroxyl radical is the most noxious of the free radical species. Damage to biologically important macromolecules (proteins, DNA, RNA, cell membranes) results due to the body’s inability to prevent these oxidative interactions. This pathology can and does effect other chromosomes. Allowed to continue this will lead to Alzheimer-like dementia by the third or fourth decade of life (deHaar). The glutathione deficiency from the overproduction of peroxide and the overabundance of cystathionine beta synthase (another enzyme), caused by another Trisomy 21 gene, causes a serine deficiency and a homocysteine increase which lead to vascular damage and DNA and RNA damage. Homocysteine causes the production of additional free radicals which then damage the endothelial linings of the vascular system… Much of this injury as well as the mental retardation can be prevented! The retardation is not present at birth. It develops as the molecular injury occurs unchecked. "There may exist a window of opportunity wherein a specific intervention (e.g., judicious uses of antioxidants) might avert the neuronal degeneration previously assumed to be navoidable." (Becker et al) [end of quote, emphasis added, The Edelson Center For Environmental And Preventive Medicine, http://www.edelsoncenter.com/Diseases_Treatment/down_upd.htm].
Note also that “hydrogen peroxide” again played a role here… just as it did in the bilirubin study by John Hopkins University that now revealed bilirubin to be the most powerful antioxidant known to man… again – “just coincidence”?
Again, this was all very interesting to say the least. For example, how was it that a disorder could be “genetic” but not hereditary. This certainly appeared to be the case with Downs Syndrome… a “genetic” but yet “not hereditary” disorder. Indeed, there were now more websites starting to make this distinction between “genetic” and “hereditary” when it came to Downs Syndrome. Clearly, there was a huge difference between “genetic” and “hereditary”.
Genetic referred only to an abnormality in the gene code. Hereditary meant that abnormality was inherited. How very interesting especially when considered in light of Dr. Weil’s comment at the Simpsonwood meeting as explanations were sought for the explosions in neurological disorders as they may be related to mercury in vaccines. I quote:
Dr. Weil, p. 208, at the Simpsonwood meeting on mercury in vaccines:
“The high rise in the frequency of neurobehavioral disorders whether it is ascertainment or real, is not too bad. It is much too graphic. We don’t see that kind of genetic change in 30 years”.[end of quote, emphasis added, CDC’s National Immunization Program (NIP) Report entitled Scientific Review Of Vaccine Safety Datalink Information, produced based on information from a June 7-8, 2000 meeting convened by CDC’s NIP Director, Dr. Walter Orenstein].
So, in this meeting, clearly, doctors knew that “genetics” could not explain what we were seeing in terms of the rise in neurobehavioral disorders – and certainly – Downs Syndrome had to be one of those disorders considered a “neurobehavioral” disorder. Thus, if Dr. Weil’s statement was correct, as I truly believed it was, how could it be that in Downs Syndrome, a “congenital disorder” - there at birth - considered a “genetic disorder” but not necessarily a “hereditary” disorder, that within this one generation alone, there was an entire chromosome that had duplicated itself? Could the mother’s age factor in Downs Syndrome have anything to do with insulin and iron levels in an older mother? Hum…
Note that when it came to “genetics”, all we were finding for autism, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia were mutations here and there… and yet, with Downs Syndrome, a disorder in which the brain was like that of Alzheimer’s by age thirty five or so, even prior to birth, we had an entire chromosome replicating itself – not just a gene or two changing over a lifetime – but an entire chromosome literally replicated itself prior to birth. If Dr. Weil thought “genetics” did not change significantly enough in one generation to explain the explosions we were seeing in neurological disorders, would that also not be true for Downs Syndrome!
Interestingly, a diagnosis of “autism plus Downs Syndrome” was also becoming “no longer rare” according to the work of Dr. Bonnie Patterson M.D., Director Down Syndrome Clinic, Cincinnati Center for Developmental Disorders, Cincinnati, Ohio. Indeed, this clinic was finding that approximately six percent of patients had autism spectrum characteristics. More information on this was available at the following website: http://www.altonweb.com/cs/downsyndrome/index.htm?page=barcelona2001.html. Again, how very interesting indeed!
Hydrogen peroxide… bilirubin… oxidative stress… It certainly appeared that there could be two types of “oxidative stress” – too much – or too little – oxygen – and that both were very devastating. Too much oxygen, in the presence of too much iron, certainly could result in “oxidative stress” could it not? Interestingly, children with Downs Syndrome also were known to have a higher incidence of leukemia – cancer of the blood. Note the blood, in the unborn child, was produced in the liver. But, was it oxygen itself or the combination of oxygen and something else – such as iron - that was the problem?
Given the fact that there was only approximately .5 mg of iron per liter of breastmilk and given that iron supplements were “poorly absorbed” by the body, perhaps science should have realized that, just maybe, the body did not need that much iron. Yes, it was found in breastmilk and was naturally found in the human body. As such, there could be no denying that “some” was necessary. However, the very fact that iron was not well absorbed by the human body should perhaps provide a “clue” that maybe, just maybe, the body recognized “excess iron” as “a huge problem” – especially since the body had no good mechanism for riding itself of iron.
It seemed that excess oxygen, to a degree at least, could be quite beneficial. Note that “oxygen therapy” was known to help cancer patients. I quote:
"A major theoretical foundation for oxygen therapy is the work of Otto Warburg, M.D., winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1931 (for elucidating the chemistry of cell respiration). Warburg observed that cancer cells have lower respiration rates than normal cells. He postulated that cancer cells therefore grow better in a low-oxygen environment, and that introducing higher oxygen levels could retard their growth or kill them." (Cassileth)” [end of quote, emphasis added, BC Cancer Agency, Care And Research, http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/PPI/UnconventionalTherapies/HydrogenPeroxide.htm].
I was beginning to suspect that the role of hydrogen peroxide may have been very misunderstood in Downs Syndrome too.
Could what we were seeing in Downs Syndrome be a very early reaction to iron overload in the unborn child? Excess iron was associated with cancer of the liver. Could not hydrogen peroxide in Downs Syndrome be the result of the body trying to fight off cancer cells prior to birth, especially given the fact that hydrogen peroxide was known to bind to iron! I certainly was no scientist, but, again, there just seemed to be a few “too many coincidences” here for my comfort level!
The “first trigger” in Downs Syndrome was believed to be this extra chromosome 21. But, again, I asked, what had caused that chromosome replication in the first place? Could it not have been the fact that aluminum was a known gene mutant found in many of our vaccines, foods and other daily products? Aluminum was known to lead to heme deficiency. Or, could it possibly have something to do with iron levels while the child was still in the womb, iron levels that may have been impacted by insulin levels that may have been impacted – by mercury!
Note also that much damage to “other chromosomes” can result if this “iron free radical” was left “unchecked”. That seemed to indicate to me – not a “genetic link” – but an environmental link because it was not the “genetics” that resulted in the additional chromosome damage but rather the introduction of certain “free radical molecules”. Note also that the “mental retardation” was not believed to be “there at birth” in the Downs Syndrome child and that it resulted from unchecked molecular injury – injury very much having to do with iron! Given that white matter developed first in the brain and white matter was associated with oligodentrocytes cells - those cells in the brain believed to be richest in iron receptors this all was very, very interesting to say the least.
Could damage from iron not have resulted while still in the womb? Given that prenatal vitamins were loaded with iron as were so many foods that certainly could be a possibility. Note also, that as in the case of autism, Alzheimer’s and ALD, in all this, there appeared to be “an enzyme not working”.
If this particular “SOD-iron free radical” was considered the “worst of the worst”, would it not make sense that maybe, if it involved chromosome 21, that the body, in an attempt to “fix itself” would simply attempt to “start over” by creating an extra chromosome 21 while the child was still in the womb?
Again, I quote:
“Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States and the fourth most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Anatomical lesions leading to cancer have been detected in human colons and in experimental animals treated with chemicals that cause cancer. Altered levels of antioxidant enzymes, known as superoxide dismutases, have been implicated in cancer development in both humans and experimental animals. Dietary factors are potential modulators of superoxide dismutase activity. The current study investigated the effects of dietary copper, manganese and iron on anatomical lesions and superoxide dismutase activities in animals treated with a chemical that causes cancer. We observed that the frequency of these anatomical changes was significantly increased in animals fed low dietary copper and tended to be increased in animals fed low dietary manganese and high dietary iron. Changes in the frequency of these anatomical lesions correlated with changes in superoxide dismutase activity; this suggests that dietary alterations affecting superoxide dismutase activity may affect cancer susceptibility.”[end of quote, emphasis added: Cindy Davis and Yi Feng, Effect of Dietary Copper, Manganese And Iron On The Formation Of Aberrant Crypts In Colon Of Rats Administered 3,2’- Dimethyl-4-minobiphenl”, available at //www.nal.usda.gov/ttic/tektran/data/000009/70/0000097063.html, TEKTRAN, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service].
That certainly appeared to be telling me that dietary iron could impact this enzyme known as Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) - the enzyme that appeared so closely associated with Downs Syndrome and – again, with – iron!
Autism… Downs Syndrome… ALD… Alzheimer’s….
An enzyme not working… an enzyme not working… an enzyme not working… an enzyme not working… and in all cases… the end result was the same… neural degeneration and the “neural degeneration” – appeared in most cases not to “exhibited” – at birth! Hum…
Chromosome 21 certainly in my opinion would prove to be key for many disorders. Fortunately, this chromosome had been pretty well almost completely mapped by the human genome project. Of all the chromosomes in the human body, this certainly was among the best understood and that certainly provided hope as did the fact that of all the chromosomes, this appeared to be the smallest with only two hundred and twenty five genes. Prior to the mapping of this chromosome, estimates had been as high as five hundred genes.
In an article entitled: The DNA Sequence Of Human Chromosome 21, M. Hattori, A. Fujiyama, T. D. Taylor, et al., published in Nature, (405)311-319Vol 405, 18 May 2000, available at: http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v405/n6784/full/405311a0_fs.html&content_filetype=pdf, the authors made the following comment:
“Mutations in 14 known genes on chromosome 21 have been identified as the causes of monogenic disorders including one form of Alzheimer’s disease (APP), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SOD1), autoimmune polyglandular disease (AIRE), homocystinuria (CBS), and progressive myoclonus epilepsy (CSTB); in addition, a locus for predisposition to leukaemia (AML1) has been mapped to 21q”. [end of quote – emphasis added - The DNA Sequence Of Human Chromosome 21, M. Hattori, A. Fujiyama, T. D. Taylor, et al., published in Nature, May 18, 2000, (405)311-319Vol 405, 18 May 2000]
What I found interesting in this statement was not only the fact that this particular chromosome was tied to Alzheimer’s but also was tied to some type of “progressive epilepsy”. I soon discovered that this was a “class of disorders”. The following site provided a good basic overview for parents who were interested in reading more on this subject:
This article was written by Dr. Michael R. Pranzatelli, Professor, Department of Neurology & Pediatrics, Head, Division of Child & Adolescent Neurology and Director, National Pediatric Myoclonus Center.
According to Dr. Pranzatelli, this disorder known as progressive myoclonus epilepsy involved about a dozen diseases. Needless to say, this again, was very interesting to me given that persons with autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s developed seizures and due to the fact that epilepsy in up to ninety nine percent of cases by some estimates – was not considered “genetic”.
So, in this article on chromosome 21, we were told of “mutations” and those mutations were somehow associated with epilepsy – even though epilepsy was generally not considered “genetic”. I again, had a difficult time believing that one percent of epilepsy could be “genetic”. That, again, just kind of seemed – “odd”. The whole discussion of the “same disorder” being able to be either “genetic” or “not” – just seemed - “odd”. You would think that a disorder would be either one or the other – not a mix.
So, if not “genetic” and mutations existed that were associated with these groups of disorders known as “progressive myoclonus epilepsy”, were we seeing in this “mutation” on chromosome 21 the body’s attempt at “fixing itself”? This type of epilepsy was said to be “rare” and appeared to occur when two parents had a defective gene that was then passed on to the child – so, could this mutation on chromosome 21 be the body’s way of repairing this one very rare type of epilepsy. Although this type of epilepsy was considered “genetic” – was it hereditary to start with? I was not debating that a mutation existed in both parents, but what had caused the mutation in the first place? Could it have been aluminum in vaccines? Why was this a rare type of epilepsy and yet, most epilepsies were considered “non-genetic”. Could this one really be “non-genetic” too in the sense that perhaps the mutation was only an indication of a past assault and perhaps of a body attempting to “fix itself”?
What I was trying to say here was that although “mutations” indicated a “defect” in the chromosome and hence appeared to be “part of the problem” – could some of the mutations we were now seeing be part of “the solution” as the body attempted to “fix itself”?
If man was created with an inherent mechanism for dna repair – such as appeared to be the case with casein kinase 1, then, did that not mean that although the genetic code could be altered by mutations, there existed a mechanism within man to handle that. As such, I could not help but wonder if some of what we were seeing in “mutations” were not the body’s attempts at somehow “fixing itself”. Granted, there was no denying that most mutations were probably “bad” in that they were in all likelihood the result of things like aluminum poisoining – a known gene mutant, completely unregulated it seemed by the FDA, yet found in vaccines and so many other products. Yet, did we know, without a doubt, that “all mutations were bad” in modern man?
Truly, I wondered – especially after seeing statements as I had so often seen in literature like the following:
“Finding these mutations does not explain the pathophysiologic mechanism of the increased Fe [iron] absorption. Increased Fe [iron] absorption from the GI tract appears to cause the overload…[end of quote – Merck Manual, available online at the following website: http://www.merck.com/pubs/mmanual/section11/chapter128/128a.htmemphasis added].
Although this particular statement referred to “iron overload” issues, this statement could also be made of many “findings”. Science was finding “mutations” but the mutations were not explaining - the “cause”! Perhaps – as I stated – it was because, just maybe, in some cases, the “mutation” could be an indicator not of the “cause” but of the “solution”!
Yes, this could be “absolutely crazy” – but, was it not a possibility given the body had natural dna repair mechanisms? Would that not help to explain why in spite of finding mutations, we were not finding “answers”? Could we have been seeing as “problems”, in some cases, the very things that held within them – the “solutions”!
The autistic child – and now, the Downs Syndrome child – once forgotten children – both once believed “unteachable” … mentally retarded… - these “unteachable children” - in my opinion - now held the keys to teaching man so much – about man himself!
Here endeth “outrageous thought number one” …
and here beginneth “outrageous thought number two”…
Outrageous thought number two…
I searched for more on iron, nitric oxide and hemoglobin… and found the following:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?holding=npg&cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12032357&dopt=Abstract, again, on a government website, this one for the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The references provided for this particular article were as follows: Reference: Tae H. Han et al., Nitric oxide reaction with red blood cells and hemoglobin under heterogeneous conditions Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002 May 28;99(11):7763-8, Erratum in: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002 Jul 23;99(15):10227. The full text of this research was provided at http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/99/11/7763 (published online before print May 21, 2002, 10.1073/pnas.122118299).
Before getting into this particular article, I wanted to remind all readers that I did not know if this was at all related to any of what we saw in autism, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. I presented this information only as a possible place “to look” for those, who, like me, were so desperately searching for answers! I wanted all readers to keep in mind that I had virtually NO BACKGROUND in chemistry – this was simply a “what if” – my wondering “if” something was possible… and that “what if” was simply based solely one statement – about a “triple reaction” – a statement in a scientific article that I clearly could not even begin to understand… a statement that may have absolutely nothing to do with anything we see in autism, Alzheimer’s or schizophrenia…in all likelihood, this had NOTHING to do with autism, Alzheimer’s or schizophrenia, but, given that there was always a “possibility” of something happening – I had wanted to raise this as a - “what if”- ONLY!
Indeed, even the scientists who conducted this study were very much only “hypothesizing” as to what was going on in their study. There seemed to be “nothing concrete” there either… they had their “what if” and I had mine – but, the bottom line was these were just “what ifs”. But, if there was any chance – at all – even only a very, very, very slim chance - that my “what if” could be possible, I had wanted to raise it – as absurd or crazy as it would certainly sound to so many!
Now that I had “set the stage” for you in terms of stating that this was a rather “out there hypothesis” – as crazy as it sounded – as unrelated as all this seemed to truly be – I would now let readers know “what had peaked my interest” and made me think the unthinkable – the no doubt, scientifically - unimaginable!
What appeared on the National Library of Medicine (NLM) website as it related to this research was quoted below:
“Understanding the interaction of nitric oxide (NO) with red blood cells (RBCs) is vital to elucidating the metabolic fate of NO in the vasculature. Because hemoglobin (Hb) is the most abundant intraerythrocytic protein and reacts rapidly with NO, the interaction of NO with Hb has been studied extensively. We and others have shown the NO reaction with RBCs is nearly 1,000-fold slower than the reaction with cell-free Hb. Because the reaction rate of NO with cell-free Hb and RBCs is quite different, we hypothesize that different reaction products evolve under locally high NO concentrations, which can be generated by bolus NO addition or NO inhalation. Here we use electron paramagnetic resonance to show that bolus NO addition to cell-free Hb solutions results in nitrosylhemoglobin [HbFe(II)NO] formation as a minor product through a MetHb-dependent pathway. Further, the RBC is shown to be more prone to form HbFe(II)NO under this heterogeneous condition compared with an equivalent free-Hb solution. In both cases, trapping MetHb with cyanide blocked the formation of HbFe(II)NO. We conclude that the formation of HbFe(II)NO is a heterogeneous phenomenon involving three successive reactions of NO with the same heme molecule . These results were supported further by mathematically modeling NO-Hb reactions and diffusion.” [end of quote, emphasis added: Tae H. Han, Daniel R. Hyduke, Mark W. Vaughn,, Jon M. Fukuto, and James C. Liao, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002 May 28;99(11):7763-8, Erratum in: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002 Jul 23;99(15):10227, available online at: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/99/11/7763 , published online before print May 21, 2002, 10.1073/pnas.122118299)].
I would be the first to admit that I had no idea as to what all this meant. But, within this paragraph, I had seen a few things… hemoglobin, iron, nitric oxide… and that last statement – the one I had underlined. It was based solely on seeing those things… those very few words… that I would then ask if the unimaginable could possibly be happening. Again, I had virtually no chemistry background… these few words had simply been something that had peaked my interest. When you did not understand something, it was easy to do those “what ifs”… indeed, all of science was based on that – not understanding and asking – the “what if”!
This article, “Nitric oxide reaction with red blood cells and hemoglobin under heterogeneous conditions”, by Tae H. Han, Daniel R. Hyduke, Mark W. Vaughn, Jon M. Fukuto, and James C. Liao - although I certainly could not even begin to understand it - very much peaked my interest due to the fact that it spoke about iron, nitric oxide and red blood cells and the interactions among them. Of course, given that blood contained iron and nitric oxide was known to play a role in immune system functions via the blood, that would not have necessarily captured my attention as “something to look at”. But, of particular interest to me was the fact that iron was involved and more interesting was the statement having to do with “ three successive reactions of NO with the same heme molecule”. That statement had very much captured my attention!
I knew that iron metabolism, nitric oxide and hemoglobin issues were very much be involved in autism, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. And, then, I also knew a few other things – as they related to nitric oxide – things involving the definition that had been provided by The Britannica Concise online encyclopedia – as provided below:
“Nitric oxide: Colorless, toxic gas (NO), formed from nitrogen and oxygen by the action of electric sparks or high temperatures or, more conveniently, by the action of dilute nitric acid on copper or mercury. First prepared c.1620 by J. van Helmont, it was first studied in 1772 by J. Priestley, who called it "nitrous air." An industrial procedure for the manufacture of hydroxylamine is based on the reaction of nitric oxide with hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst. The formation of nitric oxide from nitric acid and mercury is applied in a volumetric method of analysis for nitric acid or its salts. [end of quote - emphasis added: The Britannica Concise online encyclopedia, available online at: http://education.yahoo.com/search/be?lb=t&p=url%3An/nitric_oxide.]
From this definition, I knew nitric oxide could form from “the action of dilute nitric acid on copper or mercury”. Especially interesting to me were also the words: “more conveniently” when referring to the formation of nitric oxide as it related to “dilute nitric acid on copper or mercury” – substances both known to be elevated in autism.
Given electrical wiring was made of copper – there was no doubt that copper was highly conductive when it came to matters of “electricity” – would that not also be true in matters of “electricity” in the brain?
I had absolutely no way of knowing if any of this was related… but still… I would ask the unthinkable – the unimaginable – “what if”! What if (and I knew this was a huge “what if”) that “three successive reactions of NO with the same heme molecule” in the above referenced article [Tae H. Han et al., Nitric oxide reaction with red blood cells and hemoglobin under heterogeneous conditions Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002 May 28;99(11):7763-8, Erratum in: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002 Jul 23;99(15):10227] could have anything to do with the nitric acid equation – HNO3?
Based solely on that one statement of “three successive reactions of NO with the same heme molecule” and the fact that I knew nitric acid was something referred to as HNO3 (meaning 3 oxygen molecules were needed to form it), and the fact that NO was usually found with only one oxygen molecule, could this “three successive reaction thing” possibly lead to the formation of nitric acid in the human brain?
I knew that this was very, very, very, very, very, very unlikely - but I had to ask – just in case – in the very, very, very, very, very, very unlikely event – that it was!
Hemoglobin had the following “stuff” in it: [C738H1166FeN203O208S2]4. Nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen - all components to nitric acid (HNO3) - were all there… as was iron… and sulfur – something known to be “low” in children with autism… and something known to be “loved” by mercury… so, if indeed there did exist a “triple reaction of NO with the same heme molecule”, could that “triple reaction” possibly do something to generate nitric acid in the human brain?
What I now wanted to know was whether or not these things could be related! Could the “three successive reactions of NO with the same heme molecule” described in the paper entitled Nitric oxide reaction with red blood cells and hemoglobin under heterogeneous conditions, by Tae H. Han, Daniel R. Hyduke, Mark W. Vaughn, Jon M. Fukuto, and James C. Liao, potentially create nitric acid (HNO3) in the human body – in the human brain? That was my big “what if”! Could that “triple reaction” possibly generate nitric acid in the brain – an acid that could then interact with mercury (from vaccines) to produce - “more conveniently” – thus “more” - nitric oxide – a substance very much associated with cell death?
In all likelihood, absolutely none of this was related – but, just in case it was, I had wanted to mention these particular articles.
I did not know… I had absolutely no way of knowing… I could not even begin to understand these issues of chemistry…but, I certainly wondered… and as such, I had provided this information for those parents and scientists who would understand the chemistry behind these articles and as such, perhaps be able to determine if this was – in any way – part of the autism, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia puzzle!
Any “potential” for the “formation of nitric acid” in the human brain was very much a concern to me. Anything with the word “acid” – to me – meant “eating away” and as such, I certainly hoped that, indeed, none of this was related – especially given this description of nitric acid in The Britannica Concise online encyclopedia because it seemed to me that even without “excess nitric oxide”, nitric acid – on its own – if it could indeed be somehow produced in the brain - certainly looked like it would have the potential to create a lot of damage!
Nitric acid – as defined by The Britannica Concise online encyclopedia below, was clearly not something one would ever want to see forming in the human body – even in minute amounts.
Definition of Nitric Acid taken from The Britannica Concise online encyclopedia at http://education.yahoo.com/search/be?lb=t&p=url%3An/nitric_acid:
“Nitric Acid: Inorganic compound, colorless, fuming, highly corrosive liquid, chemical formula HNO3. A common laboratory reagent, it is important in the manufacture of fertilizers and explosives (incl. Nitroglycerin), as well as in organic syntheses, metallurgy, ore flotation, and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. A strong acid, it is toxic and can cause severe burns. It attacks most metals and is used for etching steel and photoengraving” [emphasis added - end of quote from The Britannica Concise online encyclopedia].
Yes, that was a big “IF” – but was it possible?
As I looked at this definition for nitric acid - again - … another familiar word…nitroglycerin. Nitroglycerin pills… those were the pills heart patients took when they “felt” a potential problem with their heart. Thus, was it nitric oxide that had “blood vessel dilation” properties – or nitric acid? The Nobel Prize had been won for the discovery of properties as they related to nitric oxide and yet this definition indicated that nitric acid was important in the formation of nitroglycerin – …
The Britannica Concise online encyclopedia defined nitroglycerin as: http://education.yahoo.com/search/be?lb=t&p=url%3An/nitroglycerin
“ Nitroglycerin: Organic compound, powerful explosive and ingredient of most forms of dynamite. It is a colorless, oily, somewhat toxic liquid with a sweet, burning taste. Its safe use as a blasting explosive became possible after A. Nobel developed dynamite in the 1860s with an inert porous material (moderator) such as charcoal or diatomaceous earth. Nitroglycerin is also used in a mixture in rocket propellants. In medicine, it is used to dilate blood vessels, especially to ease angina pectoris”[emphasis added - end of quote The Britannica Concise online encyclopedia, http://education.yahoo.com/search/be?lb=t&p=url%3An/nitroglycerin].
This seemed to indicate nitroglycerin was given to heart patients… and its formation – it appeared – involved nitric acid – not nitric oxide… or did it involve both… meaning that nitric acid could be present in the body… hum…
Again… “just asking”…
Nitric oxide… nitric acid… nitroglycerin…dilation of blood vessels…Viagra… I remembered that this drug used for sexual dysfunction, or impotence in men, made use of something that “dilated blood vessels”. The Britannica Concise online encyclopedia, defined Viagra as follows:
“Viagra: First oral drug for male impotence, generic name sildenafil. Before the FDA approved Viagra in 1998, impotence was treated with surgical implants, suppositories, pumps, and drugs injected into the penis. Taken as a pill shortly before sexual intercourse, Viagra selectively dilates blood vessels in the penis, improving blood flow and allowing a natural sexual response. It works in about 70% of cases; it should not be used by anyone taking nitroglycerin or with heart problems, hypotension, hypertension, recent stroke, or certain eye disorders” [emphasis added - end of quote from The Britannica Concise online encyclopedia, http://education.yahoo.com/search/be?lb=t&p=url%3Av/viagra].
There was that word again… nitroglycerin… only this time, there was a “warning”… and it appeared that this warning indicated, that nitric oxide - that substance believed to dilate blood vessels – that substance for which the Nobel Prize had been won - and nitrogycerin - a substance that somehow seemed to involve nitric acid in its formation – did not mix!
Two substances – both having to do with the dilation of blood vessels...
Nitric oxide… nitric acid… dilation of blood vessels… sexual dysfunction…reproductive failure…hemochromatosis…
Hemochromatosis… the disorder resulting from the body retaining too much iron… leading to iron overload… hemochromatosis… known to be the cause of many other disorders… including…reproductive failure, and - impotence!
As I thought about all this and the article on “Nitric oxide reaction with red blood cells and hemoglobin under heterogeneous conditions”, by Tae H. Han, Daniel R. Hyduke, Mark W. Vaughn, Jon M. Fukuto, and James C. Liao – that article mentioned just above, and then, about the article entitled: Heme Deficiency In Neurons Causes Metabolic Disruptions Similar To Alzheimer’s Disease, by Atamna, H, Killileas DW, Killilea AN, Ames, BN. (Reference: Heme deficiency may be a factor in the mitochondrial and neuronal decay of aging. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Nov 12;99(23): 14807-12 and then about the article entitled “Delay in the fetal globin switch in infants of diabetic mothers” by SP Perrine, MF Greene, and DV Faller in the New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 312:334-338, February 7, 1985, Number 6, I could not help but wonder – could all these things, when taking into consideration known developmental changes in the brain – could all these things possibly explain so many of the differences we had seen in these disorders in terms of “how” the brain was impacted - if - indeed nitric acid could form in the brain? Again, I had absolutely no way of knowing – but I truly wondered! I knew excess nitric oxide – in and of itself – was a potentially huge problem. Yet, was it possible that nitric acid could be forming in the brain? Could it be possible – even in minute amounts?
Again, I did not know if this was at all related to any of what we saw in autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. I presented this information only as a possible place “to look” for those, who, like me, were so desperately searching for answers! I was not in any way stating that acid was forming – I was only raising a concern – a “what if” it was? I wanted all readers to keep in mind that I had virtually NO BACKGROUND in chemistry – this was simply a “what if” – my wondering “if” it was possible!
All of science was based on “not understanding” and asking the “what if” – I was simply asking my “what if” – not as a scientist – but as the mother of a child with autism – a mother who had worked so hard to regain her son and now feared losing him again – a mother looking for answers in the hope of stopping further brain devastation in her son – and as such, I hoped everyone understood why I had to ask – the “what if”!
I knew this certainly would sound “crazy” to those in science. Quite frankly, I did not care – I found a lot of “science” rather “crazy”, too! :o)
Matters of “pride” concerned me very little now – my priority was not in “what would other people think of all this?” – my priority was in understanding my son… and that meant I had to look at everything… and ask both the obvious and – yes – even the “outrageous”! Any possibility had to be considered. My son, it very much appeared, could lose a great deal of gray matter at puberty – and as such – I certainly hoped those in science understood “my reasons” for asking – even those things that seemed – so totally – “outrageous”!
Unlike the motivation behind science, for me, understanding autism or “breaking the code – and putting pieces in place” to the disorder I had so very painfully known as “autism” was not a matter of personal or professional “accomplishment” or “pride in one’s work” – it was simply a matter of understanding my son – of seeking the truth – because only in understanding my son, could I then help him and perhaps – prevent what I very much believed would be more devastation coming with puberty. I had worked very, very hard at “saving Zachary” – and now, I knew I could – potentially - lose him again – perhaps more than ever at puberty onset due to tremendous gray matter loss that had been observed in teenagers with schizophrenia!
Adolescents who had participated in that schizophrenia gray matter loss study had not been exposed to the high levels of mercury, aluminum and most likely iron that my son had been exposed to. If they had lost so much gray matter, how much could my son lose? What awaited my son? Perhaps if those investigating these issues could place themselves in the shoes of parents of children with autism for only a minute – perhaps they could – even if only minutely – begin to understand our concerns!
Unlike science – something that could be so impersonal with… its controlled cultures in Petri dishes… its synthetic, regulated environments… its precise measures… its hypotheses painstakingly proven or discarded… its current facts… its ever-evolving theories…its illusions… its long, long timeframes… its slow, slow progress…its joy in placing a missing piece of the puzzle…its passed hurdles and anticipation of the next challenge… its regeneration as another discovery was made… and all its systems were a “go” for the next step and…its hope for life…mine - was – the “real” world – a very real and personal world of excessive bacteria and yeast flare-ups…of whirlwind environments… of imprecise science due to the lack of science – or, the lack of knowledge… of guessing games that could have painful consequences… of critical facts once thought to be true only to be later – completely reversed…of delusions… of short and fragile lives hanging in the balance of uncertain equations…of anxiousness and apprehension as to what the next discovery could reveal… of sadness in the midst of too many pieces still missing… of failing immune systems… of potentially devastating degeneration and/or system failures… of the potential for early death.
Yet, even with all this – the one thing that kept me going – was hope - hope that one day, I could finally come to understand my son, understand him enough to have the complete faith to know that everything I was doing was absolutely in his best interest.
The world of science was one fueled by…desire to understand… personal pride… achievement…money… and politics – mine, was a world fueled by… need to understand… personal survival… lack of achievement… the search for truth… and most of all… love – love for a son I knew I simply could not, potentially lose - again – with the onset of puberty.
My days were spent not slowly performing and waiting for experiment results… but in caring for a son I so desperately loved and in scanning countless research articles for potential bits and pieces that were still missing in my puzzle. Bits - and pieces… bits - and pieces…no matter how minute, no matter how crazy, if they had any chance of providing an answer, they had to be considered…because it only took one little piece – one domino – to set off the reaction that could tumble the entire puzzle and make every piece - suddenly fall into place!
Bits and pieces… the first domino…