[Today I have a guest post from David Anderson. I first learned about Glutamate from David. Really, he saved what little was left of my brain by warning me off the stuff. I since learned that both my autistic son and I have several GAD gene mutations and that helps to explain my reactions to foods high in glutamate –such reactions include seizures and feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck. I ate some TJ’s seaweed snacks a few weeks ago and couldn’t get out of bed the next day. If you have an autistic child, especially one with seizures you need to learn all you can about glutamate, start here. This book is a must read as well. –and no matter who you are, You NEED to read this post by David. –Jenny]
Just your name in this title will cause even some of my closest friends to not read beyond it. Which is the entire point of this open letter to you which could end in one sentence: you have marred the revelations of the last two weeks with regard to CDC data manipulation that erased a correlation between Autism and vaccines with the stain of your perceived charlatanism and made this fight harder to fight for all of us. And I’m not happy with you.
I did not arrive in the vaccine-safety camp through your research. I, like the rest of the world, thought you a discredited hack. In a world where perception is reality, that is what you are whether that label be fair or not. And I actually do believe it’s unfair. But your research did not influence my decision not to vaccinate my youngest, my son Caspar, born after Autism had already claimed his older brother Zeddy. Jenny McCarthy had nothing to do whatsoever with that decision. Natural News, Dr. Mercola, Dr. Oz had NOTHING to do with that decision. Nor did I assume any confidence to be had in studies saying that they were safe. My wife and I, two whip-smart Middlebury graduates with a combined IQ of somewhere just south of 300 with 3 graduate degrees between us looked strictly at the numbers when deciding what to do to protect our youngest from the same fate as his brother. The rate of Autism at the time was still reportedly 1 in 150, though you and I both know that when the CDC catches up to his birth year of 2008 it’s going to be revised closer to 1 in 30. Yet the rate of a repeat of Autism in a family with children on the spectrum was somewhere between 1 in 8 and 1 in 12. We were quite certain that some environmental trigger played a role in Zeddy’s disappearance from the socio-emotional, conversational world of which he was a part until 1 year of age, while still willing to accept that a genetic component may be making our children susceptible to whatever the environmental insult was. We decided to raise Caspar in as close to an 1850 universe as we could. Something out there that wasn’t out there 150 years ago was doing this to the world’s children, and until anyone could say exactly what it was, everything was a potential candidate. We bought organic everything. Organic clothes. No meds. No creams. No fluoride. And we had to make a decision about no vaccines. Again, we looked at the numbers. Of everything we vaccinate against, the most likely of the contractible diseases for Caspar to come across was Whooping Cough. His odds of catching it looked to be about 1 in 330 and that number was taken from the peak of WC infection at the beginning of the 20th century I believe. Even then, his odds of actually dying from it were a single digit percent of that after-the-decimal digit percent. His odds of Autism were at best 1 in 12. If you handed me a 330-sided die and 12-sided die and told me not to roll a 1, which would you choose if you were me? Because, had I the choice of a paralyzed-from-polio Zeddy over the child he is now or the adult he will be, one who will never have a friend, a romantic partner, a conversation about the weather, who will never live an unsupervised moment of his life and who may indeed one day find a way over our 420 feet of six foot fence, find a body of water and drown and die as so many of his kind do, I’d take Polio. He’d at least be able to tell me about his day, read, wipe his ass properly. I’d take death from Whooping Cough over a life sentence where he stands to live his last decades after we die alone, unkissed, unloved, ignored, visited periodically to wipe the shit from his ass, and even possibly abused. A predator has no better victim than one unable to identify his assailant, report what happened to him, even say his name. I didn’t vaccinate because statistically in a world where no one can definitively tell me what happened to Zeddy, I chose a path for Caspar that gave him his best odds of coming out the other side and I did this based on my experience, and raw epidemiological data. And even still, my wife got her flu shot when she was pregnant with Caspar. We kept a healthy dose of skepticism in our choices on both sides of the vaccine debate. We believed that vaccinating her was safe*.
It was at five months of age that we saw the first trouble with Caspar. Upon the introduction of solid foods, he conspicuously lost the rudimentary oral-motor and joint-attention skills he was only just beginning to develop. My wife and I both noticed it. He went from a baby who would raspberry for your attention and “talk” to you that way for 10 minutes to one whose mouth hung open and whose only sounds were closed, velar drones. Now there is no clinical data on these events because there really are no hard and fast benchmarks for babies that age. You can’t get them evaluated by Early Intervention agencies because there’s not enough of anything to go on at 5 months to say that this is a significant delay or significant at all or a regression. All Ariane and I could do was apply a scientific process of “what changed,” eliminate that change and see what happened. Taking him back to just breast feeding, his oral-motor and joint attention skills returned after 4 days. And he kept them, all the way to the next attempt at solid food a month later. For the next three months, on the advice of medical professionals at Columbia Presbyterian, Roosevelt, in private practice — all of whom would call our observations “compelling” — we tried different solids to see if there was a course of feeding that didn’t result in our infant’s mind and mouth being anesthetized. With every effort he regressed again. With every elimination and a return to breast milk the skills came back. He had to relearn them. They were weak, but they would get strong again until the next solid food. When after a meal of blended pork tenderloin (on the advice of the gastroenterologist we saw at CP) my son looked at me with lit up eyes, put his tongue between his lips, tried to spit, failed, crossed his eyes, looked to his mouth with AWARENESS of what he could not do, that’s when I was done with doctors and decided to get answers for myself.
I went to numbers. The University of Denmark had available a database with the total nutritional content of 1000’s of foods. These are not your typical FDA labels. They list not just raw protein content but break down WHICH proteins, which amino acids, are present in different foods in different concentrations. Over the course of three sleepless nights, I found that Caspar’s food options to that point had as a common denominator what seemed to be high levels of glutamate. For my uninitiated friends who are still with me to this point, glutamate is a non-essential amino acid, meaning you can live without it because you can synthesize from some of the other 8 essential amino acids that you must consume to stay alive. Glutamate functions as your primary neurotransmitter meaning that every breath you take, every memory you record, every blink, every impulse, every messengered thing that passes through the brain travels on the back of a glutamate molecule. It’s how neurons fire. It’s also been known since the 50’s to be an excitotoxin and that too much of it, a build-up of it if you will, causes dendritic contraction and neuronal death. So when I saw glutamate, learned what it was and how too much of it can be a bad thing for some, I decided to compare the glutamate content of rice, oats, pork, etc. to the glutamate content of the food Caspar seemed to be fine on: breastmilk. Matching the labels on the numbers (and we’ll go with ‘n’ for the purposes of demonstration) the glutamate content of breast milk came in at 22n. The glutamate content of rice came in around 1500n. And that was the lowest value of the foods I’d researched after having fed them to Caspar. Then I thought of my at-the-time screaming-and-in-crisis-24/7 son Zeddy with a long evaluative paper trail of no gains in 3 years and wondered just how much glutamate he might be eating. Wheat: 9000n. Cheese: 10000n. MSG(lutamate) laden chinese take-out dumplings: do I need to? Gelatin: 11000. Peanut butter: 7000. Soy: 5000. His only low glutamate foods were bananas and blueberries. Everything else was a paper weight’s worth of the neurological equivalent of jet fuel. Holy shit, I thought. These fad diet approaches cut a lot of that out. Is that what’s up? This seems like something I’ve both heard of before and yet not seen anyone try on this level of awareness. How do I cut out glutamate? Well, I did. And the clinical, third-party, blindly collected data of his own ABA-SEIT shows exactly what we saw: a transformed Zeddy who was emotionally regulated and making rapid cognitive gains, though rapid in the context of effectively 0 since 12 months of age. Caspar started crawling, calling me dada, playing patty-cake in that same 4 day window after taking glutamate away from his mother. There was a renaissance in my home that was the first hope we’d felt in 5 years.
At this point, everyone who knew Zeddy from his family to the professionals that worked with him could see a shift. You can’t tell us at this point that glutamate bombs are good for him. Our observations were compelling enough to get New York’s arguably most respected physician in the field of Autism research, Dr. Isabel Rapin, to order 48 hour EEGs on both our boys to try and document brain signaling changes caused by concentrated glutamate ingestion — she ultimately said of the EEG results that it may have been too blunt an instrument to pick up what we were looking for and urged me to bring our kids to another researcher for the sole reason that she was approaching 90 and too old to see this line of inquiry through. While Caspar’s EEG was within normal limits, he projectile vomited the jello we tried to feed him (but kept soy milk down shortly after) and spent the next 48 hours unable to stand stably. She believed us.
So maintaing the glutamate-is-bad line, I looked for other sources. I found Aspartame as the body converts less useful aspartate to glutamate. I found cigarette smoke that contains ammonia, also converted to glutamate by the body. And then I landed in a place I never went looking for. Every vaccine, every dose, every booster, all of them are made of hydrolyzed gelatin. Gelatin is made of glutamate and glycine. And my Zeddy had gelatin shot into his body every 2 months, every 4 months, every 6 months, every year of his life in decreasing frequency, yes, but if the principle of immune boosting to the point of permanent immunity is true for MMR, did my Zeddy also learn to attack the components of gelatin? My boy with his swollen head who can’t speak, or couldn’t until I cut his raw glutamate intake down to effectively nothing. To this point I was ready to accept that my boys might have some as yet undiscovered genetic disease like PKU. Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid. All babies are tested for PKU because some of them are making whacked-out enzymes that metabolize phenylalanine improperly and turn it into a brain toxin. That exists. That’s on every can of Diet Coke. Zeddy might have GKU, if you will. But when I realized he had gelatin shot into him with militarized regularity, I wondered if his genetically-predisposed aggressive, effective, efficient, 1-billion-years-of-evolution-surviving immune system didn’t learn exactly what it was taught. To my great disappointment, I learned that no one is really looking at this common-sense, layman’s line of reasoning. But one way or another, you can not tell me that my sons’ glutamate problem isn’t real, isn’t treatable, and you certainly can’t tell me it’s a good idea to shoot it into their bodies.
When Caspar became more developed, making more of his own glutamate in more sophisticated responses to his world, he regressed again as we expected. While he had never himself had an immunization, we had to wonder if that flu shot his mother had was enough to set off a sensitivity in him. When he finally became old enough to be far enough behind to ring that Early Intervention bell, he failed with flying colors upon evaluation — both a neurodevelopmental medical one and a behavioral one conducted by the city. He lost words, had more and more trouble saying a word he was trying to repeat, he stopped responding to his name all at 15 months. The living ghost of his older brother. While working with his appointed therapist, daily logs were kept of his progress. Without her knowledge and in the interest of sound if crude scientific method, we manipulated his glutamate levels. She documented a month long decline in his skills as we turned up the glutamate and an instantaneous resurgence of skills and further development shortly after we yanked it away. Doing what we do for them is bankrupting financially. We had to be sure what we were doing was worth it. And I have paper, right now, downstairs, in my smelly basement, on BOTH boys that shows that it works. I am happy to report that today, Caspar is a bright, creative, socially fluent though conspicuously lispy 6-year-old, neurotypical child without Autism. And we do it by avoiding glutamate. And as a side note, we find it fascinating that our 6-year-old has never, not for one day of his life, had a fever. Colds, sure. Sick? Never. He’s the only kid I know with perfect attendance through two years of unvaccinated pre-K and one unvaccinated year of Kindergarten.
As I said above, my line of reasoning in terms of causation (and, potentially, legitimized medical exemption from vaccination) has never been carried out by the CDC or a reputable institution of higher learning. And it will never be so long as society, and my friends being my exponentializing conduit to that society, continue to hold the line of there being “no correlation” between vaccination and Autism. We’ve been told it’s a dead end and therefore any inquiry into Autism causation that intersects with vaccines is a non-starter. Where there is no correlation, investigations of causation are pointless. Yet now, a party to the line that “autism and vaccines aren’t correlated” has said that there EXISTS evidence that they are. And no one is hearing that. It’s enough to have to overcome groupthink. But you have very unwisely chosen to appoint yourself the banner-carrier in these revelations. We’ve been told that you’re the monster who started a debate that threatens to kill the whole world. No one should listen to you. That’s the spirit of today’s discourse. I have met you. I have shaken your hand, Dr. Wakefield. I have listened to you speak on this subject and there is no doubt in my mind, whatsoever, that a man can not fake the kind of real commitment to a real cause that you really do have. I believe that as a gastroenterologist and not a neurologist that you stumbled onto something huge. I believe that you were also very naive to think that you could simply publish something with the implications it had and not suffer a backlash. I think you also made a rush to publish motivated by the appetite for notoriety, credit, Nobels? The current problem is the same problem you had in the past. You are sloppy, Dr. Wakefield. And your fatal flaw is hubris.
Your name is poison, however unfair that may be. Most people do not know that it was not the data in your study that was disproven. Most people do not know that you have real biopsies of real tissue with real active measles from real stomachs taken from real children. Most people do not know that it was a conflict of interest that you failed to disclose that impugned your results. They don’t know that this study (which wasn’t a “study” and not held to the same rigors but is a split-hair that no non-scientist has the capacity to care about) was paid for by lawyers looking to sue vaccine companies. They don’t know anything about you other than that you’re the devil. No, it’s not fair. But you were sloppy. You gave them the ammunition with which they assassinated your character. Given the stakes of what you had to report, you had a duty to do it right, free of blemish and you failed. And fair or not, it’s the fact of your public perception. To have headlined this latest news, and moreover to have participated in the deceit of a man, Dr. Thompson at the CDC, who by all appearances is a sincere, genuine, scientifically-responsible man… to record him without his knowledge and then to editorialize and tell us what, how to think of all this in a high-production value, restore-my-name, teen-aged-bully-youtube/facebook OUT-ing while being who know yourself to be in the public eye.. you have made this fight harder to win for all of us. This is not about restoring your name. This is about millions, MILLIONS of children living and yet-to-be born who will live institutionalized, financially and emotionally eviscerating lives. This is about Zeddy. And you standing at the front of this simply ensures that there is more that the world at large will all never know. You took the low road to bring these truths to light and have tainted it for all of us. You are only slightly better than the infamous Poul Thorsen; you will not derive the millions he did after authoring “safe” vaccine studies, selling those same vaccines to the US government, embezzling millions from the funds designated to research those vaccines, and disappearing to some volcanic atoll somewhere as an international fugitive – those are facts, even if no one knows them. You’ve done this to restore your good name. Your good name is a lesser, and by your own choices maybe lost, cause. I will carry your banner no longer. And you will not carry mine.
Because you headlined this release of secret audio tape, most people will never listen to what Dr. Thompson said to Brian Hooker — the grandest of ironies, you had nothing directly to do with his admissions; you inserted yourself in post-production. Thompson knew BETTER than to talk to you but rather to another Autism researcher still clinging to a thread of credibility, clearly forfeited, when he got into bed with you for what plays like a salacious exposé. They will not hear the urgency, the scientific passion, the unambiguity with which Thompson lists the reasons thimerosol in flu vaccines is a bad idea. They will never hear his incredulity at the fact that we put these shots in pregnant women. They will never understand that while you might be able to edit words to say what you want them to say, you can not edit together the emotions with which things are said. They will not even hear his admission that the voice is his, that the conversations took place, that the CDC omitted “significant” data. They won’t hear his commitment to vaccines, to their safety, their study, their transparency. They won’t hear his intellectual curiosity. They won’t hear that the author of a study that people cite as case-closed evidence is actually saying to the world that the case isn’t closed. Hubris, Dr. Wakefield. Your personal interests that hung up the study that began all this in 1998 have laid another impediment at the most crucial time in our kind’s history. You fucked up. It’s a pattern. You attached your black name to a clandestine effort to get someone in-the-know on the illegally-recorded record and stand to get it all thrown out after injunction. You are setting us back. If you want your medical license back within your own lifetime, I quite earnestly urge you as an until-now sympathizer to STFU. And let us do the fighting for our kids and play this out in your lifetime.
Which brings me to my conclusion. I have tagged everyone I know on this update. I earnestly want real answers to real questions. I want you to believe the author of your studies that once said there was no connection when he says, no, there very well MIGHT be a connection. I want to distance myself from so-called charlatans and demonstrate to you my reasoning, my self-arrived-at, unbiased research and experience. I want the credibility any one of you afforded me in the 30 years you’ve known me back. And I want you to get mad about what’s happening now. I want you to care that boys like my Zeddy didn’t have to be the boys they are. I want you to demand truth. I want you to see your stake in validating, questioning, refining the data that tells you you are safe from autoimmune disease when you are vaccinated. I want you to use your own brains and read, listen, arrive at your own conclusions the way I have with an open mind. One of your government scientists is telling you, has admitted, does not deny that the questions are still unanswered where vaccines and ASD are concerned. I am beating a drum. Please, beat it with me.
*[Added by Jenny: This video has since been released where William W. Thompson, CDC ‘whistle blower’, discusses giving mercury to pregnant women. It’s a must see, 1 minute long video: