Poorly Designed Meta-Analysis on Homeopathy Fails to Prove Anything

IMG_0337I recently found my friends posting the following article about a meta-analysis ‘proving’ that homeopathy doesn’t work. This was followed by comments like ‘I love science’ and ‘surprise, surprise’, and equating a degree in homeopathy with a degree in baloney. But what has this meta-analysis really proven and where is the real baloney?

The conclusions of the meta-analysis were that:

“No good-quality, well-designed studies with enough participants for a meaningful result reported either that homeopathy caused greater health improvements than a substance with no effect on the health condition (placebo), or that homeopathy caused health improvements equal to those of another treatment,” the report’s summary states.
Read more at http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/meta-study-confirms-homeopathy-doesnt-work#JbvdfGJSQxZ17fMD.99

HP versus Pharma: Two Very Different Approaches to Medicine

One key issue here may be what the allopathic scientific community considers to be ‘good quality, well designed studies’. The standard one-size-fits-all methodology used for testing pharmaceutical drugs would inherently be inadequate for a study on any homeopathic drug except for commercial preparations sold for specific ailments, which are known to be the least effective homeopathic treatments.

This is because homeopathy is an entirely different system of medicine, with an approach that is opposite to that of chemical pharmaceutical treatments. Confused? I will try to explain.

In standard clinical trials with pharmaceutical agents, a specific chemical drug is tested in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. This is necessary to determine the specific effectiveness of that product for any given ailment, while eliminating bias in the recipients and those administering the drug. It must be tested against a placebo because the simple act of believing you are taking a remedy can have an effect on your physical condition, so that aspect has to be factored in for consideration. The person administering the drug and studying its effects must not know who has taken it and who has taken a placebo, or they may be subject to biased reporting. It is understood that each drug is being studied for a specific desired effect which, if it is effective, it should have on a substantial proportion of recipients. Everyone gets the same drug for the same illness. It’s a one-size-fits-all approach.

Homeopathy is fundamentally different in that treatment takes into consideration not only a specific, targeted ailment, but also the person as a whole: their constitution, their  life and medical history, physical traits, personality, temperament, habits and tendencies and anything else that can be used to build as complete a picture of the individual as possible. There are thousands of remedies to choose from, made from everything in nature from minerals, to plant materials, to animal sources. Many remedies can be used to address a specific ailment such as a skin problem or anxiety, but the homeopath chooses the one that is best matched to the person as a whole. For example, a person whose anxiety comes on with dizziness would receive a different remedy than a person whose attacks come on with sweating. A person with a social, sanguine disposition would receive a different remedy than a shy, withdrawn individual.

Homeopathic Specifics

There are homeopathic remedies known as ‘specifics’, which are used to treat specific ailments such as cocculus for nausea or aconite for fever, but even in the cases where these are used, dosing strength (potency) and frequency are tailored to the individual based on their constitution. A person with a frail constitution would receive a lower potency than a person with a robust one. Some pharmaceutical medications interfere with the effectiveness of HP remedies, and some people do not respond to HP or take longer to respond. Once you understand how this system works, it is easy to see how it would be impossible to judge the value of homeopathy as a whole with a standard one-size-fits all approach for any given homeopathic remedy or administration procedure.

Now let’s look at the new meta-analysis, which you can see here:

http://consultations.nhmrc.gov.au/files/consultations/drafts/resources/homeopathyoverviewreport140408.pdf

The above meta-analysis reviewed a number of meta-analyses and a number of individual conditions for which these had reviewed the effectiveness of HP.

Evidence Shows Homeopathy for Ottitis Media  As Effective as Standard Treatment and Better than Placebo- But That’s Still Not Proof Enough

If you look at the data on HP treatment of otitis media (ear infections), you will find that the results were that:
In all studies with comparison to standard treatment with antibiotics, there was found to be no difference in treatment outcomes for pain, duration of illness, and improvement in hearing loss. In other words, HP was as effective as standard treatment. In studies against placebo, evidence was found in favor of homeopathic treatment. Evidence was also found in favor of HP versus standard treatment when it came to a couple of specific outcome measures.
Still, it was concluded that there is not enough evidence to recommend HP treatment. This is not the same as having proven that homeopathy does not work.

Let’s look at one of the contibuting meta-analyses that did not find evidence in favor of HP. Altunc et al (2007) which examined HP treatment of ‘childhood and adolescent ailments’ including ADHD (section 4.2.4 in the document), and concluded that “the evidence from rigorous clinical trials of any type of therapeutic or preventive intervention testing homeopathy for childhood and adolescence ailments is not convincing enough for recommendations in any condition”. (Altunc et al (2007)

What did they actually analyze? They looked at data from 16 studies on nine different ailments and noted that ‘with the exception of ADHD and diarrhoea (three primary studies each), no condition was assessed in more than two double-blind Level II studies.’ In other words, they took together data from studies on nine different conditions, on the majority of which no more than one or two studies had been done, lumped them all together, and concluded that there was not enough convincing evidence that homeopathic practice was effective. It seems to me that, from the outset, the design of this study was bound to fail to produce conclusive results of any kind.

There was one study included each on warts, conjunctivitis, otitis media, post-operative pain-agitation syndrome, two each on asthma, recurrent URTI (upper respiratory tract infections) and adenoid vegetation, and three on asthma and ADHD.

Can you imagine if a meta-analysis examined this number of studies on this number of various conditions, treated with different pharmaceutical agents, and concluded that there is not enough evidence to convince them that pharmaceutical drugs have any effect? It would be laughable.

Let’s look at the data they included on studies with ADHD, which was one of the two condition for which three studies were considered (although I would hardly call an examination of three studies a meta-analysis). These include Frei et al, 2005, Freitas et al, 1995, and Jacobs et al, 2005.  Two out of three of these studies showed intergroup differences in favor of the effectiveness of HP over placebo.

Jacobs et al, 2005: This study found no intergroup differences and included ‘43 children with confirmed ADHD diagnosis (computerised Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children) with mean age of 9 years. 9 participants were already taking
stimulant medication but still displaying symptoms (n=5 active, n=4 placebo)’. Description is from Cochrane Review.

Stimulants are well-known to interfere with the action of homeopathic treatment for ADHD. Even if the child is not presently on stimulants, having previously been treated with them can affect how well they will respond and how long it will take to get a response. Including some kids who were on Ritalin during the trial would be a bit like including subjects who are on Suboxone in a trial on opiate painkillers, the effects of which this medication is known to nullify.

Strauss et all, 2000, involved: ’20 children with previously diagnosed ADHD (no confirmation) aged between 7-10 years. Half of the participants (n=10) were already taking Ritalin.18 boys, 2 girls.’ Again, half the children were taking a drug known to interfere with the effect of homeopathic ADHD treatment. Moreover, the HP remedy tested was a non-individualized, low-potency formula preparation sold OTC in pharmacies to ‘improve concentration, memory, and alertness’ and, which was given for only 18 weeks. Nonetheless, this study found intergroup difference in favor of the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment for ADHD.

While we’re on the subject of studies being set-up to fail to show accurate treatment results, Frei et al, 2005, the third ADHD study in the Altunc et al review, was discussed in this related study, published in 2007. This was a retrospective analysis of the effect of screening for responsiveness to HP ADHD treatment before randomization. After screening,

‘They then entered the parallel group, radomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over trial. The double-blind part of the study consisted of two groups of children who received either verum for 6 weeks followed by placebo for 6 weeks, or placebo for 6 weeks followed by verum for 6 weeks.’ (Frei et al, 2007)

The study showed that responders had a 38.5% drop in Connor’s Global Index scores for ADHD, while non-responders had only an 11% drop, and concluded that:

‘Because of the necessity of identifying an optimal medication before response to treatment can be expected, randomisation at the start of treatment in an RCT of homeopathy in ADHD children has a high risk of failure to demonstrate a specific treatment effect, if the observation time is shorter than 12 months.’ (Frei et al, 2007)

This study is very interesting and shows how standard study design may be a set-up for failure to show accurate results in a RCT. They also noted that subjects who had been pre-treated with stimulants took longer to respond.

http://www.siomi.it/documenti/pubblicazioni/sdarticle.pdf

Frei et al, 2005: CGI scores decreased from a median of 19 before treatment, to 8 post-crossover (a 58% drop!).

‘During crossover trial CGI parent–ratings of a child was significantly lower under verum (average 1.67 points)
than under placebo (p=0.0479). Long-term CGI improvement reached 12 points (63%, p < 0.0001).
Interpretation: The trial suggests scientific evidence of the effectiveness of homeopathy in ADHD-treatment, particularly in the areas of behavioural and cognitive functions’  

It’s possible that the relatively slight difference during the cross-over phase was due to the persistence of the action of the remedies taken in previous weeks. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, homeopathic remedies seek to address underlying issues and tend to produce more lasting, even permanent results over time.

http://www.imi.com.hk/~yogad1/imi2/images/Review%20%20Media/Homeopathic%20treatment%20of%20children%20with%20ADHD.pdf

These meta-analyses make the mistake of lumping together one, two or three studies each on a wide variety of conditions, or of examining a several studies on one condition but with widely different randomization and study approaches, remedy potencies, and other variables like treatment with contra-indicated pharmaceutical drugs, and they conclude that there is not enough evidence that this system of medicine as a whole works. Is that any surprise?

Meanwhile, several pharmaceutical drugs that have been rigorously tested and shown on meta-analysis to be ineffective and even dangerous are regularly recommended by the medical industry as ‘safe and effective’. These notably include statins, flu shots, and anti-depressants.

As far as I can see, all these meta-analyses have proven that the pharmaceutical industry maintains an iron grip on the medical industry and continues to undermine our health freedom. I think we have found where the real baloney is.

 

Biomed Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease?

psychedelic

Alzheimer’s is one of those ‘mysteries’ like autism- but we now know that many kids can recover from autism with what is called a biomedical or ‘biomed’ approach that addresses underlying biological dysfuntions that result in physical or behavioral symptoms. Could adults also recover from Alzheimer’s, or at least halt its progression, with a biomed approach? Some of you may be familiar with NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) and its use in ASD- but look at these results on Alzheimer’s mice!
” The results showed that the mice pretreated with NAC had significantly greater retention in the step through test and shorter latencies in the water maze performance.”
Biochemical markers were also reversed or reduced with NAC pre-treatment.

There was another study that looked at a combo of NAC and acetyl-L-carnitine and S-adenosyl methionine on AD mice, too, with good results.
Behavioral abnormalities correlated with a decline in acetylcholine, which was also prevented by this nutriceutical combination, suggesting that neurotransmitter imbalance may contribute to their manifestation.

What brought me down this trail was looking at factors in RLS (which I have) and often it has to do with low iron or low oxygen transport and this is why iron supplements often help. Didn’t help for me, and neither did any of the other usual things like B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, etc. Usually, smoking makes RLS worse but in some cases, it oddly helps (including for me), and it turns out this is true for a subset of RLS patients and also Parkinsons’ patients, and the connection has to do with acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter.

On a side note, PD drugs like Requip are also used for RLS. These drugs are not that much more effective than placebos and carry the risk of serious side-effects, but perhaps they do work for a subset of RLS patients whose symptoms have to do with an underlying mechanism of action involving the same neurotransmitters that are involved in Parkinson’s Disease. They target dopamine receptors, which are also known to be defective in some patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, who have PD-type symptoms along with their AD.

RLS itself is also sometimes an early warning sign of AD (hope to God that’s not my situation). So there is this connection with both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and RLS, and a connection with improvement in PD and RLS symptoms with nicotine.There has also been some research showing that nicotine patches slightly improve memory in pre-demetia patients.

So we have scientific evidence that nicotine helps alleviate symptoms in some sufferers of AD, PD, and RLS. We also have evidence that these symptoms are related to acetylcholine levels, and that NAC normalizes acetylcholine levels in AD mice. What is the connection with nicotine and acetylcholine?
Nicotine imitates the action of a natural neurotransmitter called acetylcholine and binds to a particular type of acetylcholine receptor, known as the nicotinic receptor.
thebrain.mcgill.ca

I’m not recommending that anyone with RLS, PD, or AD take up smoking. In fact, I’m not recommending anything. But as you see, there is this connection with acetylcholine, RLS, AD and PD. So can it be prevented or reversed? You may have heard of coconut oil for AD but that is another story. Here are the mouse studies on NAC and other natural substances that raise glutathione and affect neurotransmitters and the doses are high but the results look promising and so do studies on NAC for AD in humans. Maybe one day, Alzheimer’s treatment will be focused on using neutraceuticals like NAC. Or maybe not, since there is no big money to be made in that.

For now, preliminary research in mice looks good and I hope we see more human studies on this soon!

http://www.mccordresearch.com/sites/default/files/research/NAC_and_Learning_and_Memory.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2952755/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2830120/

http://www.neurology.org/content/57/8/1515.short
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17914184

http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v19/n6/abs/1395227a.html

http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/i/i_03/i_03_m/i_03_m_par/i_03_m_par_nicotine.html

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Disclaimer: the content of this article is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice.

List of Contributing Causes of Autism

Autism_Puzzle_t670List of possible causes or contributing factors in the autism epidemic:

Genetics:
Autism in the family history raises the risk. A child with an autistic sibling has an 18% risk of becoming autistic him/herself.
One genetic condition predisposing a child to austism is mitochondrial dysfunction. Julie Gerberding. former head of the CDC, admitted this on nation-wide television and admitted that vaccines, by stressing the immune system of a child with this condition, could trigger autism.

The MTHFR mutation, which inhibits the body’s detoxifying process known as methylation, is also implicated in autism. This is connected to other environmental causes, however, as the ability to methylate can be impaired by exposure to heavy metals. About 25% of the North American population have the MTHFR mutation. You can learn more at www.MTHFR.net
and please read this mother’s blog post about her experience with MTHFR contributing to her daughter’s autism. autismroadtorecovery.blogspot.ca/2012/09/mthfr-mother-fer-gene.html

Others include:
CBS Mutations. These alter the body’s process of detoxification. “CBS (cystathionine beta synthase) catalyzes the first step of the transsulfuration pathway, from homocysteine to cystathionine. Dr. Yasko considers addressing CBS mutations as first priority aside from addressing the gut. CBS defects are actually upregulations.”
SHMT and/or ACAT mutations. Please see this link to Dr Amy Yasko’s website for help addressing these mutations.
PTEN gene, which is associated with autism and some types of cancer and is present in about 10% of ASD kids.
SHANK3 Mutation, which affects neurological development and is associated with autism.
Mutations in neuroligin genes. Little is known about this and whether it is a contributing cause in ASD.

Genetic Conditions that can have ASD symptoms or be misdiagnosed as ASD include:
Noonan Syndrome
Landau-Kleffner Syndrome

IVF with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection)
Children conceived by IVF with ICSI may have a higher risk of autism. IVF is known to raise the risks of birth defects, rare genetic abnormalities, and childhood cancers. The results for IVF and ICSI in relation to autism risk are inconclusive and even though there is some corelation, it maybe be due to other variables.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/why-children-born-by-ivf-may-be-more-at-risk-of-autism-and-childhood-cancers-422353.html

http://getbetterhealth.com/is-autism-caused-by-fertility-treatment/2010.06.01

Fertility Drugs:
It has been found that children who were conceived with Clomid (Clomiphene citrate) have nearly double the risk of autism and the greater the number of cycles, the higher the risk. The link between the two is not clear, though, as other variables may account for it.

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1990567,00.html

Could it be possible that Clomid and Pergonal (human menopausal gonadotropin) contribute to austism because they suppress cholesterol, which the embryo needs for brain myelination?

http://www.drugs.com/answers/has-anyone-considered-low-cholesterol-as-being-315528.html

Ultrasounds During Pregnancy:
In 2006, a study led by Dr Pasco Rakic at Yale on mice found that prenatal exposure to ultrasound waves changed the way neurons distributed themselves in the brain: a smaller percentage of cells migrated to the upper cortical layers and a larger percentage to the lower layers and white matter. This was interpreted by another neuroscientist, Manuel Casanova, to confirm that ultrasound exposure is the main environmental factor contributing to the exponential rise in autism. This study was only looking at mouse brains and didn’t take anything else into account. Personally, I don’t believe it is the main cause, because autistic children have been shown to have many medical issues related to the gut and other things, and addressing these underlying problems has been shown to improve symptoms and even lead to recovery to the point that many children lose their labels and become much like neurotypical children. If it were just a difference in brain development, they shouldn’t be able to ‘recover’ with biomedical treatments.and

Maternal Infections/Elevated C-reactive Protein During Pregnancy
It has been known for some time that infections like flu in a pregnant woman raise her child’s risk of autism. More recently, it has been discovered that it is not the infection itself, but the mother’s immune system’s reaction to it, that causes changes in brain development which seem to raise the risk of not only autism but also schizophrenia. Neuroscientist Dr Russell Blaylock has warned for a long time that it is known that stimulating a pregnant woman’s immune system raises these risks for her child, and says that vaccines such as flu shots may carry the same risk because they also stimulate the mother’s immune system.
A study has now shown C-Reactive Protein to be a biomarker for this process and has demonstrated the link between raised levels of CRP in the mother and increased risk of autism in her offspring.
“Autism risk increased by 80 percent among children of mothers with CRP in the top 10th percentile (higher than 90 percent of those tested).
The findings add to mounting evidence that an overactive immune response can alter brain development during pregnancy. However, Dr. Brown emphasizes that the vast majority of mothers with increased CRP levels will not have children with autism.”

autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/prenatal-inflammation-linked-autism-risk

Terbutaline
This drug, which is used to halt preterm labor is known to cause brain damage and is associated with autism. This article is wrong about there being no corroborating studies linking MMR to autism, but they have a lot of good information on Terbutaline.
autisticfraternaltwins.oddodesign.com/articles/terbutaline-unrelated-to-mmr-vaccinations/
Here is a scientific study showing that Terbutaline exposure for more than two days in the third trimester raises the risk of ASD fourfold:
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21874331

If you think your child has been injured by Terbutaline, here is a lawyer who specializes in lawsuits concerning this matter
discepolollp.com/about_us.html

Pitocin
Pitocin is an artificial version of the hormone oxytocin and is used to induce or speed up labor. It appears to be that there is a connection between the use of Pitocin and later autism diagnosis. Since all women who receive Pitocin also receive a variety of other drugs and medical interventions during labor, it is not known whether Pitocin itself is a causative agent in autism or is only indirectly related. The following article states that in an informal survey of midwives, it was reported that no babies birthed at home were later diagnosed with ASD. Perhaps medicalized births in general are a causative factor.
autismtoday.com/articles/ATTN_Researchers.htm

Formula Feeding
One study showed that babies fed formula-fed without ARA and DHA were 4 times as likely to be autistic and 13 times more likely to have regressive autism than breastfed babies. Early weaning (under 1 week) was also associated with a higher rate of autism. Although there was a correlation, this does not prove that formula feeding caused the austism. However, because formula feeding is known to undermine the establishment of healthy gut flora, it is possible that there is a direct cause-and-effect relationship, as unbalanced gut flora is known to be part of the autistic condition.

BPA/Bisphenol-A This chemical is found in plastics, including can liners (such as baby formula cans) and baby bottles (although BPA has now been banned from baby bottles in Canada) Exposure to BPA has been found to alter genetics and brain development and to raise the risk of autism.
cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57571171/bpa-exposure-linked-to-genetic-changes-that-alter-brain-development

Vaccinations
Most people have by now heard that many believe there is a link between vaccinations and autism. Many parent shave reported that their children regressed abruptly following vaccinations, in particular the MMR shot. However, there are cases of unvaccinated autistic children as well, and most children who receive vaccinations do not become autistic. One of the most famous (and infamous) figures in the vaccine-autism connection debate is Dr Andrew Wakefield who found a link between persistent measles infection in the gut and a condition he named autistic entero-colitis. He was subjected to what basically amounts to a witch hunt for doing this and this had a lot to do with Merck, the makers of MMR-II, threatening to withdraw funding form the Royal Free Hospital in London, where Wakefield had done his study, unless the study authors would recant or be subjected to disciplinary actions. Dr Wakefiled, however, stands by his findings and 28 other studies have also found a link between MMR and autism and you can see links to them here.

While the media continues to push vaccine propaganda and deny a link between immunizations and autism, US and European vaccine courts have admitted the connection by default. This Pace Environmental Law Review article documents 83 cases of American children being awarded damages for ‘autism-like symptoms’ and you can download it here
Hannah Polling became autistic after receiving 9 immunizations in one day and was awarded $1.5 in damages for vaccine-induced autism. Her case records were the sealed. What are they hiding?
There was a similar case in Italy as well. ‘Judges in Rimini, north-east Italy awarded the Bocca family Euros 174,000 (£140,000) after the Italian Health Ministry conceded the MMR vaccine caused autism in their nine-year-old son Valentino. ‘
Studies have shown that vaccinated, but not unvaccinated dogs develop auto-immune disease.
A recent Polish meta-analysis showed that vaccines can trigger auto-immunity in children and that this is related to autism.
Here is a link to a list of 68 studies that show the connection between vaccines and autism.

Antibiotics and Abnormal Gut Flora:
Many parents and doctors who specialize in autism believe there is a connection between antibiotics use and autism and some parents have witnessed their children regress or deteriorate following treatment with antibiotics. One study examined the possibility of a connection via antibiotics ability to alter genetics.
It is also possible that the connection is due to antibiotics ability to alter gut flora. Gut dysbiosis (abnormal flora) is known to be present in nearly all autistic children. Probiotics tend to improve symptoms and some even claim that a diet that restores the gut can reverse autism.
Gut flora is inherited from the mother. If the mother has been exposed to antibiotics before or during pregnancy or during labor, this can compromise the baby’s flora.
It is possibly to test for dysbiosis before vaccinating, to see whether your child may be susceptible to vaccine damage due to pre-existing gut flora problems.

Heavy Metals Toxicity:
“Evidence supports the role of heavy metals in causing autism, PDD and ADHD. These children often have biochemical impairments that put them at greater risk for damage caused by heavy metal accumulation.” This is related to imparied glutathione production. From what I have read, many parents have found their autistic children improved with metals chelation and glutathione supplements. Environmental sources of heavy metals in infancy include maternal amalgam fillings, fish consumption, vaccinations, lead in toys or paint, living near industrial sources of mercury such as power plants, and others.

http://treatautism.ca/detoxification/heavy-metals/

Industrial and other sources of environmental mercury exposure:

http://www.who.int/ipcs/features/mercury.pdf

Results of studies that assess metals burden in autistic children are mixed:
One famous study by Hornig et al showed that some types of mice developed autism-like symptoms after being exposed to mercury-containing Thimerosal equivalent to what babies receive in their vaccines. ““Profound behavioral and neuropathologic disturbances were observed after postnatal thimerosal in SJL/J mice, but not in strains without autoimmune sensitivity.” -Horning’s conclusions. You can read more about the resemblance between mercury poisoning and autism symptoms and related studies here
The IOM quickly concluded, however, that this research was inconclusive and that there was no proven connection.

One study showed higher concentrations of lead, mercury, and uranium in the hair of autistic children, compared to controls
Another study showed unremarkable levels of metals in the urine of autistic children on chelation challege:
(This was a small sample and they were looking at general metals levels in autistic children, not comparing risk of autism in children exposed to higher sources of metals.)

Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Acetaminophen has been causally related to asthma and may possibly be implicated in autism as well. By depleting glutathione, Acetaminophen inhibits the body’s ability to detoxify via sulfation. Dr Shaw believes this leads to overgrowth of clostridia in the gut, which causes alterations in brain neurotransmitters (the gut-brain connection has been well established), which then leads to abnormal behavior. You can read more about this here:
ventography.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/update-from-dr-shaw-acetaminophen-and-autism-connection/

Anesthesia
Some parents in the autism community have reported their completely unvaccinated, neurotypical kids becoming autistic after receiving anesthesia. Research shows receiving anesthesia at age 3 or younger can double the risk of developmental disorders.
“A total of 304 children with no history of developmental problems had surgery for a variety of reasons before the age of three, while the remaining 10,146 children did not have surgery.
Findings showed 25 percent of children who had surgery were subsequently diagnosed with developmental and behavioral disorders, compared with just 9 percent of children who did not have surgery.
After taking into account pre-existing illnesses, birth complications and sex, the researchers concluded surgery at an early age doubles the risk of children having developmental disorders. The researchers also concluded that children exposed to anesthetics are more likely to have developmental delays.”

sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018163301.htm

Low Cholesterol:
58% of autistic children have low cholesterol, and in 19% it is very low. Low cholesterol can impair brain function and cause autism symptoms.

http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/mediaroom/releases/Pages/Ohio-State-Studying-How-Cholesterol-Levels-Affect-Autism.aspx

Cholesterol supplements reverse many autism symptoms in Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS).

http://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/home/eng/cholesterol.asp

Because of these connections, cholesterol supplements are being considered as a possible treatment for autism symptoms.

http://www.generationrescue.org/latest-news/resources/the-role-of-cholesterol-in-autistic-behaviors/

7-Glyphosate (Roundup), the herbicide used on GMO crops:
This agent inhibits cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, which serves to detoxify xenobiotics (such as pharmaceuticals and pesticides).
“Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Here, we show how interference with CYP enzymes acts synergistically with disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids by gut bacteria, as well as impairment in serum sulfate transport.”
The authors of this study believe this to be cause of many conditions including autism. Gut dysbiosis, inflammatory conditions and impaired ability to detoxify, are known to be common in autistic children.

http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416

http://ecowatch.com/2013/study-links-monsantos-roundup-autism-parkinsons-alzheimers/

GMOs:
As you just read above, there seems to be a link established between Roundup (glyphosate) and inflammatory and neurological conditions, of which autism is one. GMO crops are engineered to withstand Roundup, so they end up being sprayed with and containing large quantities of this pesticide. In addition, some GMO crops such as certain varieties of corn, are engineered to contain a built-in pesticide called Bacillu Thuringiensis (Bt). Once in the digestive tract, this has been shown to alter gut flora. Gut dysbiosis (altered gut flora) is known to be a major contributing factor to autism, as evidenced by its strong prevalence in autistic children and by the fact that restoring the gut flora improves autism symptoms. Read more on GMOs and autism here:
responsibletechnology.org/autism

Food Intolerances
Regular allergy tests only check for the kind of frank allergies that result in physically visible symptoms like hives or anaphylactic schock, but many kids on the spectrum have food intolerances that mainly affect brain chemistry. Some of the most reactive foods include wheat/gluten, dairy, soy, and eggs and many kids improve when these are restricted. These food sensitivities are associated with abnormal gut flora and a ‘leaky gut’ that allows peptides, partial protein molecules, through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream, where they make their way to the brain and act as opiate-like substances. There is also a condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which has many of the symptoms of celiac disease but does not show up on celiac tests. Please read this woman’s story of how she recovered her daughter from behavior that is common to ASD kids, just by removing gluten from her diet (note: I’m not implying that GF is a cure for autism, only that intolerance should be considered as a possible contributing factor to behavioral problems)
anchoragepress.com/news/the-gluten-made-her-do-it-how-going-gluten-free/article_39e2478e-4585-11e2-a80c-0019bb2963f4.html

P.A.N.D.A.S./P.A.N.S.
No, I’m not talking about a bear. PANDAS stands for Pediatric Auoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep. PANS is Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Syndrome. As their names suggest, these are conditions which present with neurological and psychiatric symptoms and are caused by an autoimmune reaction to an infection with strep or another bacteria or virus, including strains of Lyme disease. These conditions can cause symptoms/behaviors of autism and high percentage of kid on the spectrum who also have PANDAS/PANS. There is so much overlap that it is likely that many kids diagnosed as autistic or PDD-NOS actually have underlying PANDAS/PANS/PITANDS. Please see this article on the connection between this condition, brain damage, autism and self-injurious behavior. vaxtruth.org/2012/01/is-pandas-really-vaccine-injury

Classic symptoms of PANDAS/PANS include abrupt onset of tics, OCD, and rages. This often follows an atypical strep infection that does not present with regular strep throat symptoms, but can be detected with a blood test. Some kids’ illness follows a saw-tooth pattern where symptoms flare up with infection, then decrease back to baseline, only flare again with the next re-exposure. Over time, the condition between flares (the baseline) deteriorates as well.
Prognosis is variable. Some kids improve with a course of antibiotics. Others require long-term antibiotics. In other cases, IV immune globulin or plasmapharesis is necessary. Some people find their kids respond to herbal treatments or homeopathics. Sadly, this condition is sometimes stubbornly resistant to treatment.
Many doctors are unfortunately not aware of this condition or are skeptical about whether it really exists, even though it is well-known to specialists and is on our government’s list of conditions for which treatment with IV immune globulin is approved in Canada.
For more about the connection between PANDAS/PANS and autism, see this article:
ageofautism.com/2011/11/autism-and-pandas-.html

As you see, there are many environmental and genetic factors that can contribute to causing autism. In the big picture, what we see is exposure to toxins, impaired detoxification, altered gut flora, auto-immune reactions and altered brain development and activity. Some of these can be remedied and some children improve or even recover with biomedical treatment.

Recovering Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia and Special Needs with Shelley Tzorfas

tzorfas recovering With 1 out of 6 kids now having a Developmental Disability, 1 out of 50 Autistic (which equates to 1 out of 29 boys) there is no time to waste while academia figures this out. The child’s brain can be “Rebooted” similar to how a stroke victim can relearn to walk or talk. Early intervention is essential.
My guest tonight is Shelley Tzorfas, author of ‘Recovering Autism, ADHD, and Special Needs’. In this book, Shelley show how much of ADHD is a systemic internal infection and what to do about it. Autism is up to 50 layers of illness that effect the skin, gut, eyes not working together. She addresses sensory overload and how it is a physical illness, not a psychiatric problem, and how to strip away each layer of discomfort. Shelley also discusses what dyslexia really is, how kids are getting misdiagnosed, why it is important to re-write the IEP or the goals for school, careers (Not grocery bagging) vacations (and scholarship) simple reading and writing exercises, free vision exercises, colleges that accept only special needs kids, and how to detox and more.

Shelley has been working on a one-to-one basis with kids in her “Specialized Tutoring/Learning Assessments” business. At the beginning the clients were a little hyper or unfocused but by the 1990′s they came in with little to no eye contact, banging their heads, unable to hold down food and generally clumsy. What she discovered was that in 1986 US passed a law that blocks people from suing vaccine maker’s in regular courts. Consequently, kids went from receiving a few vaccines to getting more than 70 containing aluminum, fetal cells, parts of rats, pigs, dogs, caterpillars, formaldehyde, mercury, ether and more. They also went from milder to more severe vaccine damage.

Shelley came to this work originally because she had undiagnosed dyslexia until age 25. She hid the fact that she could barely read or write through the beginning of college. Accidentally, she discovered that her eyes were not properly tracking together and that she had double vision, which was corrected in her 2nd year of college. A team of 3 eye specialists provided vision training and within several months, Shelley became an avid reader. She learned to write during my master’s thesis

Shelley has an MFA, had studied education at NYU and Hunter College, is a member of the International Dyslexia Association, of Cambridge Who’s Who, and of several Holistic Groups. She is the author of “Recovering Autism, ADHD, and Special Needs,” and “The Road Too Often Travelled.”

Click here for “Recovering Autism, ADHD, and Special Needs”
Click here for ‘The Road Too Often Travelled’:
tzorfas road

Listen live tonight from 10:00 pm -midnight EST at http://americanfreedomradio.com
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Call in: 218-339-8525

Gluten-Free Cooking with Chef Andrew Doyle

eat taste liveConsidering going gluten-free, but not sure how to go about it? Need advice on shopping or recipes? Chef Andrew can help! And what’s even better is, he will be joining me live tonight on Truther Girls Radio from 11-midnight EST.
Listen live at americanfreedomradio.com
Archive: americanfreedomradio.com/TrutherGirls_13
Live Chat: truthergirls.chatango.com
Call in to talk to chef Andre in person: 218-339-8525

When chef Andrew Doyle’s father nearly died from undiagnosed Celiac Disease years ago, he became a dedicated gluten-free chef and has been been cooking gluten-free ever since. He currently hosts an online gluten-free cooking show called Eat, Taste, Live, which is a live, interactive cooking class for celiacs, gluten-intolerants, and healthy eaters.
Their mission is to create amazing, tasty recipes for those with Celiac disease and/or gluten intolerance.
and those seeking a healthier, better today. Each class features Chef Andrew Doyle preparing various dishes that are 100% gluten free and 100% delicious.

Eat. Taste. Live. Always delicious. Always gluten free.

Tickets are $12.50 per episode and can be purchased at eattastelive.com/#!kitchen-studio/c1bcs

For more on Eat. Taste. Live. and gluten-free cooking:
Check out their FB page: facebook.com/EatTasteLive
And their website: eattastelive.com

Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist

Autism_Puzzle_t670This is an indispensable resource for parents who are trying out different biomedical interventions with their kids who are on the spectrum. You fill out the questionnaire at baseline and then after each intervention to evaluate improvement. It is recommended that you try out and evaluate one intervention at a time to get the most accurate results.

autism.com/index.php/ind_atec_survey

Ever Wondered What It’s Like to be a Dissident in Communist China?

martial law John Kusumi, former independent political candidate and founder of the China Support Network, is my guest tonight from 10:00 pm – 11:00 pm EST on Truther Girls Radio. In recent years, we have experienced a progressive loss of freedoms in North America. Some say we are headed toward a system comparable Nazi Germany, or communist Russia or China. But what is it like for dissidents, activists and journalists living in Communist China right now? Would North Americans man up like those Chinese who take a stand against their government’s totalitarian regime?

Will FEMA camps one day be used to re-educate dissidents the way Chinese labor camps like this one do?

The China Support Network was created to boost the Chinese pro-democracy movement, which broke out in Tiananmen Square on April 17, 1989 and was crushed in Tiananmen Square when the Communist government sent in the army, in a vicious military assault – as live ammunition was used on unarmed civilians – on June 4, 1989.

In his capacity as founding director of the Network, Kusumi has been a political handler to Chinese dissidents after their escape to the West, and has been a staunch campaigner, delivering anti-communist speeches while shoulder-to-shoulder with leading Chinese dissidents at human rights rallies and other events.

China has recently had a transition from the former President Hu Jintao to the new one, Xi Jinping. Tonight John will discuss that political transition from the point of view of the dissidents of the Chinese pro-democracy movement.

Listen live tonight from 10-11 pm EST at americanfreedomradio.com
Download archive: americanfreedomradio.com/TrutherGirls_13
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Call In: 218-339-8525

Second Hour (11:00 pm -midnight EST) my Special Guest will be ‘Proof’, former stand-up comic, owner of freedomizerradio and host of the Proof Negative show on Freedomizer. We will be discussing news and a few stories we look forward to talking about include:

New Republican Bill seeks to get rid of obligation to pay overtime, pitches as ‘family friendly’ a bill that would replace traditional time-and-a-half pay for overtime with compensatory time off.

16-year-old girl charged with felony for ‘science experiment‘ involving making a pop bottle burst with household chemicals on school grounds.

NBA Basketball player comes out of closet, receives congratulatory call from President and First Lady.