Return To HOME Page

Return To Book 3 Table Of Contents

The Science - The Lack of Science… And Surely, Embedded Answers… Somewhere!   

Glial Cells And Bilirubin... 

If there were something that - in my opinion – was considered perhaps “politically controversial” it certainly would be the University of Calgary’s experiment showing neural degeneration as a result of low-level mercury exposure.    There was simply no denying the effects of mercury on neurons as depicted in this videotaped experiment and accompanying documentation.

This research, published in the NeuroReport, Volume 12, Number 4, March 26th 2001 publication, ISSN 0959-4965, clearly was controversial “politically” although there could be no controversy “scientifically”.   The effects of mercury on neurons were clearly shown – without a doubt!  This experiment had showed how a team of scientists at the University of Calgary School of Medicine had taken low levels of mercury, applied that mercury to neurons, and recorded a video of the results of that mercury exposure on the neurons.   The video showed how neurons exposed to mercury were completely devastated within a half hour of exposure, literally “burned away” by the mercury and shrank to approximately half their original size, completely stripped of their outer protective coating, of tubulin and actin and their ability to properly transmit neural messages.    The authors also discuss parallels to what was seen in Alzheimer’s.   

Note a critical comment in this video/published research - that lesions found were said to be like those found in eighty percent of human Alzheimer's brains.  Note also that the online video on neural degeneration indicated that neurofibrillary tangles formed after mercury exposure.   "Neurofibrillary tangles" were a hallmark associated with Alzheimer's

Interestingly, evidence presented in congressional hearing in June of 2002 seemed to indicate that there were virtually no long-term studies related to the safety of mercury in vaccines and/or immunizations.   Could this be why the CDC was refusing to allow documents relating to vaccination research to be made public – because, perhaps, they simply - did not exist?

Although the focus in the media had been on mercury in childhood immunizations, the fact remained that most shots given to adults also contained mercury – including flu, pneumonia and tetanus shots!

Indeed, based on information disclosed in vaccination hearings in June of 2002, it appeared the government and the pharmaceuticals, in their zeal to promote vaccinations and eradicate diseases had themselves, perhaps, been asleep at the switch – for decades – when it came to the issue of the safety of mercury and aluminum in vaccines!  The public was now finding out that vaccine studies lasted only a few days to a few weeks – at best – and that, truly, there existed no long- term studies for vaccines

Indeed, even the new five in one vaccine – combining shots for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and polio – approved in late 2002 by the FDA – had only been studied for thirty days!  Given that Dr. Wakefield – the controversial scientist who ignited the MMR controversy in Europe – expressed concerns over the interaction of just three viruses given at once (note the MMR did not have mercury), the combining of five into one shot was incredible to say the least!    Would this new “power punch vaccine” provide a permanent “knock-out” for many children – only time would tell!

The work of Hans Moises and his colleagues seemed to indicate a concern with viruses also.   This team had looked for the elusive “genetic link” also and discovered that those genes involved in schizophrenia appeared to be linked to the coding of glial cells – the very cells that provided the “scaffolding” for neurons to grow and connect.   This team hypothesized that viruses could be lodging in the brain and weakening glial cells – leading to schizophrenia – a disorder named for its “fragmented thoughts”.  

If viruses indeed weakened glial cells and these cells acted as “scaffolding” for neurons, it certainly stood to reason that as the “scaffolding” collapsed and neurons could not properly connect with one another, neural transmissions had to be somehow impacted.   Would this “collapse in the scaffolding” within the brain also not explain the “compactness” of cells seen in specific parts of the brain in these disorders?   In my opinion, it certainly could!

It seemed that, when you combined the work and concerns of these scientists – the University of Calgary team, Hans Moises and his colleagues, and the work of Dr. Wakefield, the pieces of the puzzle were now truly falling into place!  

Mercury had scientifically been shown to cause neural degeneration and viruses were suspected of lodging in the brain and weakening glial cells.  Glial cells were now also believed to be involved in much more than just a “scaffolding role”.  In an article entitled:  Glial Cells Under Physiologic and Pathologic Conditions, Pascal Kurosinski, Dipl Biol; Jürgen Götz, PhD, Arch Neurol. 2002;59:1524-1528, there seemed to be indication that glial cells played a role in not only “scaffolding functions” but also in perhaps actually “integrating neuronal input, modulating synaptic activity and processing signals related to learning and memory”.  Glial cells were also known to play roles in providing nutrients for neurons and in disposing of the brain’s waste.      

Neural degeneration due to mercury exposure…weakened scaffolding…fragmented thoughts – these issues now raced through my mind!

The elusive “missing link” had been missing and elusive for so long because in looking for a “missing link” we failed to see - or admit publicly - that the answer seemed to be in the fact that there was  - “no link”!  

In my second book, Breaking The Code To Remove The Shackles Of Autism:  When The Parts Are Not Understood And The Whole Is Lost!, I had argued that it seemed to me that a great deal of what I saw in my own son with autism could actually be explained in terms of brain structure and function if I assumed little or no connectivity among the various parts of the brain.   

The fact that so many critical neurotransmitters were “out of whack” in these disorders only further confirmed my suspicions that everything I saw in my autistic child could now be integrated by my theory that the autistic child had a breakdown of all sensory input integration, processing and relaying of information between the central nervous system and peripheral nervous systems!   This, in turn, fit hand in hand with my theory that the autistic brain was basically devoid of communication among its various parts… all parts of the brain acting almost independently from one another!   Was it any wonder that those in the pharmaceutical industry and government agencies involved in vaccination programs were so adamant in denying any link to vaccinations?   Who would ever want to admit that such devastation could even be possible!

Anyone who thought that, surely, conflicts of interest could not be “that influential” in “research” and in government as it related to the protection of the pharmaceutical industry was in for a rather rude awakening.   Countless persons in critical government roles had ties to the pharmaceutical industry.   These “conflicts of interest” were noted on countless websites having to do with autism or vaccination issues.   This link provided but a glimpse into these conflicts:, again, this was only one of hundreds on this issue.

Conflicts of interest in matters relating to vaccine policy and mental health had been uncovered over and over, by many, in the autism community.  It was truly incredible to see how many in government had ties to the pharmaceutical industry!    Perhaps the most interesting of all was the fact that President George Bush, SR had sat on the Board Of Directors at Eli Lilly – the very company that first put mercury in vaccines – and the very company that kept changing its inserts as to the “safety” of mercury in vaccines!  Was it any wonder that in the Homeland Security Bill, the administration of President George W. Bush – the son – attempted to provide complete immunity from vaccine injury to companies such as – Eli Lilly – specifically! 

Although this provision was later repealed from the bill, at the insistence of Democrats, the fact remained that the Republican administration had tried to slip it in the Homeland Security Bill at the last minute!   In addition, this same administration had tried to seal all vaccine injury lawsuit records from the public – although that, too, was later repealed.   The one thing that remained, however, was a provision whereby damages from vaccine injury lawsuits would be limited to $250,000.     Truly, once attorneys and any taxes were paid, that was but a drop in the bucket for families and lives so devastated by these disorders.  No one was denying the need to control deadly diseases in all this.   However, I certainly did question the need to shield – financially or criminally - those involved what I came to see as a complete social catastrophe!   

Yes, we needed to control diseases, but that could be done without shielding the pharmaceuticals of all liability.   There were other ways to control deadly diseases without having to maintain the pharmaceuticals as “for profit” organizations.   Clearly, if they had played a crucial role in these epidemics, they owed it to society to play a critical role in alleviating the pain of so many families – and in the prevention of more, future - “statistics”.  The pharmaceuticals were not owed any special treatment – not any more than were Ford or Firestone in the Ford Explorer/Firestone tire scandal. 

In the name of Homeland Security, we had reorganized entire organizations within the government – perhaps it was now time we reorganized a few more – agencies involved in vaccination programs and scientific research into mental health!

When tires seemed faulty, the government and public were quick to demand recalls – if even only a suspicion existed as to the safety of these tires on these particular vehicles, until a proper investigation could be conducted.   Yet, in spite of the huge public outcry and literally tens of thousands of parents of children with autism, scientists and doctors now pointing the finger to vaccines as a possible cause of these “epidemics”, still, we failed to recall mercury and aluminum-laced vaccines and continued to jab over eight thousand children a day in the US alone!   Why?  Why was a “suspicion” not enough in this case – and why were independent studies not funded immediately to investigate these issues?   I feared it was because the government and the pharmaceuticals knew such studies would only prove the public correct – as indeed, seemed to be indicated in notes from the Simpsonwood meeting on mercury in 2000!

With so many children developing autism, and so many suffering from schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s, how long would the public wait before it demanded answers – honest answers based on independent research!   Perhaps now that schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s appeared to play into this also, that day would soon be here, yet, for infants  that day could not come soon enough.   In infants, the blood brain barrier, the envelope that surrounded the brain, was not fully formed until at least six months of age.   As such, any child under six months of age was even more vulnerable to substances found in vaccines – substances such as mercury, aluminum known to accumulate in the brain, and now, viruses also, possibly weakening glial cells!  This, in my mind, created a nasty picture indeed!

The new “super punch” vaccines being put out by the pharmaceuticals truly frightened me in terms of what it might do to children born today.  Thirty-day studies gave me no comfort whatsoever that the pharmaceuticals truly knew the impacts of these vaccines.  The fact that the   new five in one vaccines were to be given prior to six months of age was a huge concern for me given that the liver was not fully functional until it reached six months of age!    At six months of age, the liver only started to produce bile!  Thus, the liver, the main detoxifying organ in the body was not even fully functional until at least six month of age!  Yet, we were injecting countless toxic substances into these children in the first six months of life!     As such, I wondered, would this “super punch” five in one vaccine deliver a permanent knockout – severe autism - to many children?   

The scientific community knew that the earlier the exposure or assault by mercury on the human body, the worse the effects.  This had clearly been shown in notes from the “behind closed doors” Simpsonwood meeting of 2000 attended by persons from the CDC, NIH, WHO, pharmaceutical industry and medical community.  Yet, vaccination policies made it such that infants, as young as one day old were being given immunizations.   Indeed, by the time a child reached six months of age today, that child had already received several immunizations.  Yet, I could not help but ask the obvious.  Were these immunizations doing more harm than good?

The simple fact was that there were virtually no long-term studies on vaccinations.  In my opinion, that meant that although we would like to assume these vaccines did more good than harm, the reality was that we had no long-term studies to prove that this was the case.  There was another obvious question that needed to be asked:  If the liver was not fully functional until six months of age and the liver was the major detoxifying organ in the body, could hepatitis vaccines actually trigger a negative response in the liver given that hepatitis was a liver disorder and as such, damage the liver from very early on?   Obviously, if a vaccine (live or inactive) caused an immune system response and the liver was involved in that immune system response, if the liver was unable to work properly due to its immaturity in the infant, did that not mean the liver was susceptible to damage if assaulted early on when not fully functional?  With no long-term studies looking at this issue specifically, and given the autism explosions worldwide, I could not help but suspect that this was the case. 

Of course, I was not a doctor, nor a scientist – however, how could even a doctor or scientist conclude that this was not the case when no studies existed looking into this very issue?   Would that not make my “guess” just as good as theirs – because, truly, were we not all “simply guessing” without studies?   I knew that I had never had hepatitis.   Yet, when my daughter was born, I remembered a nurse coming over within the first week of birth or so to “check for jaundice” – why?  Was she checking for jaundice due to breast-feeding or jaundice due to a vaccine reaction – and – more importantly, how would she know the difference?  It was a “well known and supposedly well-accepted, scientific fact” that breastfed babies could develop jaundice.   However, the scientific community also knew that breastmilk jaundice rarely resulted in permanent damage to infants.   I quickly learned why “jaundice” from breastmilk rarely resulted in permanent damage in infants. 

The fact was that “jaundice” had always been seen as “a problem” in infants.  Yet, research was now indicating that a little “jaundice” may actually be good for infants.    Indeed, it appeared scientists, led by David Baranano at John Hopkins University in a study published in the November 25, 2002 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, had proved that bilirubin, the pigment that turned the skin yellow in jaundice, was actually a powerful antioxidant – capable of protecting a baby from cell damage.   Bilirubin was now confirmed to be such a powerful anti-oxidant that it displaced the top seated glutathione – the molecule believed for eighty years to have been the most powerful anti-oxidant.    Indeed, it now appeared that bilirubin played a major role in shielding the body and brain from highly damaging free radicals that result in oxidative stress.   I quote:

“The key is that bilirubin is part of a cycle, so a single molecule can be used over and over again to scavenge highly reactive oxygen (free radicals) that otherwise would damage membranes and their dna beyond repair”.  [end of quote].  And finally, this information on bilirubin as it related to this study:

“Bilirubin usually is present in low levels in cells; in high amounts it can be toxic and even deadly.   But the cycle makes each molecule of the pigment a sponge, capable of neutralizing 10,000 oxygen radicals.   That’s 10,000 times more efficient than glutathione, the cellular substance scientists previously considered the body’s main oxygen absorber, Snyder said.  In previous work, Snyder and his colleagues showed that bilirubin can save brain cells from oxidation.   In the new study, they prevented human cancer and rat brain cells from making biliverdin reductase.   The change made the cells much more vulnerable to oxidation by hydrogen peroxide than tissue with the functioning enzyme.”   [end of quote, emphasis added, Adam Marcus, Infant Jaundice Sign Has Its Plus Side: Bilirubin is a blue-ribbon antioxidant,].

This certainly appeared to be saying that the body’s most powerful anti-oxidant for dealing with oxidative stress was released with the breakdown of red blood cells.   Red blood cells had an average life of only one hundred and twenty days or so.   As such, they were constantly being broken down, and as such, our bodies, naturally, should be releasing its most powerful antioxidant rather consistently and thus, helping to constantly support our immune systems.   Yet, how was it that so many of us now had such compromised immune systems?   Cells deprived of bilirubin were now believed to be much more susceptible to free radical damage resulting from harmful oxygen molecules.   There could be no denying that in so many disorders with “oxidative stress” – a phrase I had seen over and over in my research – that bilirubin had to somehow play a key role in all this.   How were things like iron overload and vaccines impacting bilirubin production and release?   Bilirubin – so misunderstood in the past – and now – so very key! 

My concern with all this was that because of what “science had known to be fact”, bilirubin and jaundice had been seen as “bad” for decades – and now, what science once “knew” to be fact – that jaundice was bad - had once again been proven to be wrong!    Only now, there were literally tens of thousands of articles in journals and online giving the public potentially “inaccurate information” when it came to bilirubin and jaundice!  High bilirubin levels in so many studies had, in the past, been seen as “part of the problem and associated with hepatitis” – yet, in fact, it now appeared that elevated levels of bilirubin may be the body’s immune system response – a good thing.  Like a fever, “jaundice” provided an important warning sign that the body was fighting something.     Jaundice was now being seen by science as a possible “friend” in infants – provided fevers were not elevated.  Jaundice, or more specifically, bilirubin, was now being viewed as a “healing mechanism” and, in my opinion jaundice was perhaps one of the earliest sign of something going very, very wrong!

Return To Book 3 Table Of Contents

Return To HOME Page

Copyright 2002-2008 All materials I provide on this site including several key words and phrases are copyrighted materials.  All rights reserved.  Please see Use of Materials for more on this issue.  For general comments/questions, contact me at 

Things have a tendency to disappear on the Internet, but I can often find where the information has been moved or find replacement links addressing the same issue.  There is a lot of information provided on this site and any assistance with broken links is most appreciated.   My site has now been hacked twice.   If you get bounced to sites for online drugs, etc., report this to me at once using the above email as this is a result of hacking on my site.  This had nothing to do with me and/or my site.  Read more on hacking issue.

DISCLAIMER - The statements here mentioned and/or found in my materials have not been evaluated by the FDA or any other government agency or person in the medical field or in behavior therapy and are not meant to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any illness/disorder and/or behavior.  This information is not intended as medical advice or to replace the care of a qualified healthcare physician or behavior therapist.  Always consult your medical doctor or behavior therapist.  All information provided by Jeanne A. Brohart on her website is for INFORMATION PURPOSES and to GENERATE DISCUSSION ONLY and should not be taken as medical advice or any other type of "advice".  Information put forth represents the EXTENSIVE RESEARCH and OPINIONS of a mother based on her experiences and research and provides information as it relates to one family's journey with autism in hopes that other families may benefit from this experience and/or research.  The creator of this site is not responsible for content on other sites.

DISCLAIMER - PART II - Now... for those of you who think "mother at home researching" means "uneducated person with unfounded information"... I have 10 years of university... 3 degrees... and over 30,000 hours of research into these areas.   For anyone who thinks my research is "unfounded"...  read the RESEARCH FILE posted on my home page... with its over 1,000 references ... for your reading pleasure... because... quite clearly... you haven't read it yet!   Breaking The Code - Putting Pieces In Place!©