Tag Archives: science

G proteins: the connector proteins that try to prevent Autism Spectrum Disorder

Prof Mark Rasenick’s team in Chicago, Dr Gunner Schulte team in Sweden, and teams of experts all over the world like Dr Robert, Dorsam and Dr Silvio Gutkind, in Universities and industries are studying the G proteins in the developing and degenerating brain. They have a theory that if they understand how the G proteins work, they can cure a number of brain issues. In G proteins may lie an answer on how to cure Autism Spectrum Disorder and also, how to prevent it in the future.

G proteins are made of three proteins named alpha, beta and gamma. There are many different kinds of alpha, beta and gamma proteins and they can combine in many different ways. So, how many kinds of G proteins can there be? Many and more are being discovered. What is the function of the G proteins? They are connectors.

The G protein made up of alpha, beta and gamma proteins

Everyone knows that a connector is either a person who knows a lot of people who know lots more people or a connector is a valve that interconnects two tubes. Similarly, a G protein is a connector. It makes things happen within people. A person is made up of many, many cells, carrying genetic information. Inside each cell, in addition to genes are many different kinds of G proteins. When the cell gets a signal, its genes respond. Well, how does a signal outside the cell get to the genes inside the cell to tell it to respond? The G proteins. They interconnect the protein that receives the signal with the protein that activates the gene.

Now, let’s imagine the human gene receives a signal to die, because the signal was a severe toxin. Does the human being die? No, because survival is a crucial cell behavior. So, for a human being to die, many genes in many cells have to receive a signal to die. Which means, when the human is stimulated by a specific combination of signals rather than a single signal acting alone, only then does the cell collect the information coming from separate signals, integrates this information, and then makes a proper response – to die. The cell may also receive a similar integrated signal for another important human event – to grow and divide and to live. This integration is equivalent to microprocessors in a computer.

G protein connected receptor: When a human smells something or gets an infection or touches a chemical, a signal is received and processed ultimately by the brain. The human responds by “liking” the smell, or “succumbing” or “resisting” the infection or getting a chemical reaction. How does a signal in the environment reach the brain? Signals are received by proteins on the cell surface, called receptors. Within the cell are G proteins which connect these receptors to their target enzyme or ion channel, which ultimately tell the genes how to respond. You would expect a defective G protein to mess up a signal pathway. This is prevented because there appears to be “back up” G proteins which can take care of connector functions to keep the cell’s crucial functions going smoothly. To view a schematic in the journal Nature Reviews Cancer by Drs Robert T. Dorsam and J. Silvio Gutkind click here. It beautifully illustrates how G proteins integrate several receptors receiving many signals through several secondary messengers.

This schematic will also explain why answers to question “which signal causes 1 in 88 or 100 children have autism today” cannot be answered by just one factor like obesity or SHANK gene mutation or An aging father or a G protein mutation.

Second Messengers: Most G protein connected receptors activate a chain of events that alters the concentration of one or more small signaling molecules inside the cell. These second messengers in turn, pass the signal on by altering the behavior of selected cellular proteins. One very widely used second messenger is Calcium, stimulated by a distinct G-protein connected pathway. Another widely used second messenger is Cyclic AMP.

When a hormone is the chemical that acts as a signal the response is via second messenger Cyclic AMP.
When G proteins receive a signal to connect to another crucial enzyme – phospholipase C, then it changes the concentration of calcium within the cell, which is a far more widely used second messenger than Cyclic AMP.

In the next article I will reveal how calcium signaling works or as relevant to Autism – does not work.

An expert on G-protein of the brain:
There are many scientists in the world who are working on the G protein. Do reach out to them and request them to speak on their work and explain their focus.
1) Dr Gunnar Schulte and colleagues
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.
Email: gunnar.schulte@fyfa.ki.se


Prof. Mark M. Rasenick


Physiology and Biophysics, and Psychiatry

Director, Biomedical Neuroscience Training Program, U. Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60612

Cytoskeletal modulation of neuronal signal transduction


Related Articles:
Know your G proteins
Studies linking obesity to Autism
Why is Autism observed in America and not in a developing country like Somalia
Autistic child and a multiple sclerosis parent – a connection?

I wish to thank two of my readers:

1)  Everysensory blogger for inspiring me to cover the “whole” picture when the media suddenly focussed on “obesity causes Autism”.

2)  Fitfoodhealthprogram blogger who inspired me to write more information filled articles related Autism.


Filed under Health, Research, Science

Three patents by Reginald Henry Bradshaw: The Inventor of eye glasses, spectacles and tinted glasses

Rimless spectacles, eyeglasses, lorgnettes and monocles where first invented by Reginald Henry Bradshaw in 1919.
Three patents protected Bradshaw’s elegant inventions to improve human’s naturally failing eye sight. His thoughtful inventions forever changed the outlook of the aging person. Shouldn’t every school kid learn this name?

Patent one
Rimless spectacles and eyeglasses
United States Patent 1337818
Publication Date: 04/20/1920 (Issue Date)
Click here to see Drawing Page 1
Click here to view Specification (patent abstract and description and explanation of drawing figures)
Click here to read the six claims which protected this patent.

Patent Two
Improved method of obtaining graduated tinted glass
United Kingdom Patent GB356832
Date: June 18, 1930
….uniting clear and colored glass so as to produce a symmetrical filter or lens wherein the component is ground in such manner as to produce regular or irregular shading or tinting of the lenses in increasing or decreasing density from the centre of the lens to the periphery. Figs. 1, 7, 9 and 13 illustrate various components and the manner in which they may be ground.

Patent Three
Improvements in or relating to eye glasses, lorgnettes, monocles, spectacles and like
United Kingdom Patent GB463000
Date: Nov. 16, 1935
Each lens of spectacles or the single lens of a monocle, is mounted in a frame
……. which receives and encloses the entire circumferential edge of the lens, and means are provided for locking the lens in position in the frame in such a way that it can be readily unlocked and removed therefrom…. 

Related Article:
1) Drawing page of a patent for contact lenses – click here.

2) Designer or Non-brand Sunglasses? to save our retina


Filed under Health, Research, Science

New mutations in coding region of genes, Age of parents, and unknown factors in 70% of ASD patients

The three genetic research papers on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in 2012, with links below, summarize that no single gene or gene complex candidate has yet been discovered to be the cause.

1) Dr Sanders and others showing the new mutations that are associated with Autism but not causal.
2) Dr Brian O’Roak and others show that for 70% of ASD cases with no previous cases in the family there is no known genetic cause. Researching the coding regions of genes they find that:
a) Parental age contributes to new mutations – risk of older father;
b) 39% of disruptive genes affect the beta-catenin/chromatin protein network resulting in the most severe autism;
c) CHD8 and NTNG1 were recurrent protein altering genes with new mutations.
3) Dr Benjamin Neale and others sequenced the coding region of the genes of ASD patients and their parents to show that new mutations in a polygenic model that affect a complex of protein pathways such as CHD8 and KATNAL2 are genuine risk factors for ASD.

Related Articles
1) Is Autism found in Africa?
2) Autism covered in six videos by National PBS TV channel
3) Any connection – Autistic child and Multiple sclerosis parent?


Filed under Health, Research, Science

How Vitamin A might have helped an Autistic boy read clearly

Dr Megson, says that Autism may be a disorder linked to the disruption of the G-alpha protein, affecting retinoid receptors in the brain.  

 A study of 60 autistic children suggests that autism may be caused by inserting a G-alpha protein defect, the pertussis toxin found in the DPT vaccine, into genetically at-risk children. 

Dr Megson studied the 60 children at the Medical College of Virginia. Please, encourage more of this research by showering this scientist with encouragement, invite for a public lecture and perhaps dollar bills in the mail……….

For these and other reasons I started the boy on cod liver oil (3500 IU of Vitamin A) and a gluten free diet. After one week, he began to sit farther from the television and to notice paintings on the walls at home. He had always gone out of his way to follow the sidewalk and driveway to meet the school bus. On Vitamin A, he began to run across the grass directly from the front door to the school bus. After three weeks, he was given a single dose of Urocholine, an alpha muscarinic receptor agonist, to increase bile and pancreatic secretions and indirectly stimulate hippocampal retinoid receptors. It has minimal cardiac effect, is FDA approved, has been used safely in children since the 1970’s for reflux, and does not cross the blood–brain barrier, unlike secretin (17). It stimulates post-synaptic cell membranes via receptors for acetyl- choline, a neurotransmitter in the parasympathetic system.

Thirty minutes after administration of the Urocholine, the patient, who was sitting in a chair, swung his feet over the side, pointed to a glass candy jar on my shelf and said, ‘May I have the red Jolly Rancher® please?’ He had read the label on the candy in the clear jar. These were the first words he had spoken in eight years, and the first proof that he could read. We took him outside and he said, ‘The leaves, the leaves on the trees are green! I see! I see!’ When I asked to take his picture he looked at the camera, smiled and waved. When he left the office I said, ‘See you later.’ He asked, ‘What time?’

In this child’s case, after several weeks of treatment with Vitamin A in CLO 3500 IU/day, the Urocholine acted like a switch. When absorbed, he immediately became socially engaged, made excellent eye contact, hugged his mother tightly and said, ‘I love you so much,’ looking at her face. At that point we both realized that this child had a blocked pathway. The change in language and social interaction was dramatic and imme- diate. Yet he reverted to the pre-treatment state of silence when the dose wore off.  ………

Correspondence to: M. N. Megson, Developmental Pediatrician, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Medical College of Virginia Hospitals/Virginia Commonwealth University, Pediatric and Adolescent Ability Center, 7229 Forest Avenue, Suite 211, Richmond, VA 23226, USA. Phone: +1 804 673 9028; Fax: +1 804 673 9195 

1 Comment

April 1, 2012 · 2:27 am

Tracking the seasonal flu, The History of the Flu Vaccine and The Flu Vaccine of 2011

The seasonal flu of 2011 arrived with the first confirmed case in Arkansas (Read more). The vaccination of the public swung into action with the seasonal flu vaccine components of 2011, which were exactly the same as the vaccine components of 2010, and described in my previous article, entitled, “Should I get the flu vaccine this year?”. The 2011 – 2012 flu season is going to be an ordinary one, unlike the one in 2009 and the far deadlier one in 2018, all of them caused by the same deadly swine flu H1N1 strain of the flu virus. First reported death from swine flu in 2009 was a 23 month old boy in Texas (Read more). The vaccination of the public swung into action in 2009. Why was 2018 the deadliest flu season in America with over 40 million estimated to be killed world-wide, far more than by the war?  Why was the 2009 flu season pandemic by the same flu virus strain  far less deadlier? The answer is the flu vaccine, the story of which I will tell you here.

A Flu Virus

The Story of The Flu Vaccine:
This year quite different from other years in the story of the Flu Vaccine and that is because Prof. Edwin Kilbourne passed away very quietly in 2011. He had devoted his entire life to the study of the flu virus and played a leadership role in the history of the development of the flu vaccine. I could tell you about Dr Kilbourne but to tell you why he is important, I would need to tell you about the 2018 flu pandemic.

Many have wondered why the Flu pandemic of 1918 is not mentioned as a turning point in American lifestyles in the History books. The fall of 2018 began just like another fall in the middle of a chaos of a country in the midst of the a world war. Stealthier than any human enemy, arrived a tiny microbe, the flu virus strain H1N1 on a crisp New England fall day in a Boston sea port. It must have arrived with some sailors. The September of 1918, the Boston Port was busy with war shipments of machinery. The war efforts allowed the virus to spread and diffuse. It was named the “Spanish Flu” or the “La Grippe”.

The flu pandemic of 1918 devastated many towns and military cantonments by acting very strangely. It wiped out America’s young and healthy, particularly those aged 20-35 years of age. There was no cure. The ill were advised to rest lying down, get fresh air, and to take plenty of fluids. The healthy were advised to avoid crowded, public places. Many wore masks to protect themselves or to prevent infecting others.

The Contagious First Wave of the 1918 Flu Pandemic
The best recorded first case was in Fort Riley, USA. On March 11, 1918, Private Albert Gitchell, a cook at Fort Riley, came down with a cold that required isolation. Within 5 weeks, 1,127 soldiers came down with the same symptoms and 46 of them died. Soldiers trained at Fort Riley before being deployed for the war effort in Europe and unintentionally spread the flu to Europe. When the flu began to ravage the people of Spain, the Spaniards publicly announced the disease. Spain was not in World War 1 and was not censoring its news and the world first heard of the deadly flu from Spain. Hence, the name, the “Spanish Flu”. By July 1918, the “Spanish Flu” had visited Russia, India, China and Africa and appeared to be dying out. Nobody guessed that this was only the first wave of the deadly flu pandemic about to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world of humans by a microscopic, indestructible microbe.

The Contagious and Deadly Second Wave of the 1918 Flu Pandemic
Towards the end of August, a more deadly flu struck three world cities simultaneously. Boston, USA; Brest, France; and Freeport, Sierra Leone. The overwhelmed hospitals asked for volunteers to take care of their sick, who had to be housed in tents because of their sheer numbers.

Nurses care for the sick in tents

Some died within two days of first symptoms which included coughing violently, bleeding from their ears or turning blue in color and of course, extreme fatigue, fever and headache. The Spanish flu in its second wave struck suddenly and severely, killing some within several hours or a few days, while sparing others. Not surprisingly, panic ensued. Public events were canceled. Schools and theaters closed. Masks were required by many communities. Popular homemade remedies of the past did nothing to prevent or cure this disease. The dead piled up and mass graves had to deal with the bodies. There were not enough people to dig individual graves.

The Third Wave of the 1918 Pandemic
On November 11, 1918, an Armistice brought an end to World War 1. The hugging and kissing of the returning soldiers, some carrying the flu virus helped to create yet another epidemic wave, spreading a weaker version of the “Spanish Flu”. This wave was largely ignored because people had to concentrate on rebuilding their lives, while the pandemic lingered alongside and slowly petered away. Some say the flu lingered until next year but nothing as deadly as the early fall of 1918.

Preventing Another Deadly Pandemic
In an effort to prevent another deadly pandemic in the future, the USA government allocated 1 million dollars to learn more about the “Spanish Flu”. Among many recruited towards the laboratory war against the “Spanish Flu” was a young and eager Dr Edwin Kilbourne, a medical school graduate who was well-trained in virology laboratory research.

Dr Edwin D Kilbourne and Dr D E Rogers testing the Asian Flu virus

It was particularly hard for the Alaskan Indians for whom the death rate was elevated beyond that of the non-Indians. In one Inuit village in Alaska 72 of its 80 residents  died within 5 days in November 1918. Years later in 1997, a researcher dug up remains in the permafrost to isolate the flu virus and reconstructed the fatal strain H1N1. The Spanish Flu had traveled from Boston to Alaska in 2 months, killing many in it’s path.

In 1918 children would skip to the rhyme (Source: Crawford)
I had a little bird, Its name was Enza. I opened the window, And in-flu-enza.

The “Spanish Flu” of 1918 killed over 40 million people worldwide that flu season, while the World War 1 claimed about 16 million. Archives of photos here describe how the public and the government reacted to a situation of panic in the midst of a world war. These archives will help guide future leaders when faced with a similar crisis in the future. The Flu virus mutates over the years and has a habit of returning every few decades to cause epidemics or pandemics, that kill many. A cryptic, well-researched PBS movie (click here to watch) entitled, “1918 Spanish Influenza”, follows the story of the 1918 flu virus pandemic.

Native American death rate from the flu

swine flu death rates elevated for alaska natives and american indians


The “Spanish flu” of 1918-19 devastated Inuit villages in Alaska. In one, Brevig Mission, 72 out of 80 residents died over five days in November 1918. A researcher extracted tissue samples in 1997 from a body buried there in a mass grave in the permafrost, allowing scientists to reconstruct that fatal strain of influenza.

CDC brochure advising that antibiotics will not work against the flu


Arkansas has confirmed the first case of seasonal flu for 2011 in America   http://nwahomepage.com/fulltext-news/?nxd_id=276457

First reported death from swine flu in 2009 was a 23 month old boy in Texas    http://www.chron.com/news/health/article/Swine-flu-s-spread-pushes-Texas-to-cut-high-1744879.php

Tracking swine flu worldwide   http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/04/27/us/20090427-flu-update-graphic.html

The United States Department of Health and Human Services  – a one stop to flu   http://1918.pandemicflu.gov/

The flu season that should be in history books    http://virus.stanford.edu/uda/   http://virus.stanford.edu/uda/

In 1918 children would skip to the rhyme (Crawford)  (source  http://virus.stanford.edu/uda/  )     I had a little bird,Its name was Enza.I opened the window,And in-flu-enza.     It first arrived in Boston in September of 1918 through the port busy with war shipments of machinery and supplies. The war also enabled the virus to spread and diffuse.  

Watch the PBS movie on the 1918 Spanish Influenza  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/influenza/

Watch an archive of photos of the 1918 flu that killed an estimated excess of 40 million people worldwide while the world war 1 during the same time claimed an estimated 16 million lives  http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/influenza-epidemic/

For the federal government answers to frequent questions go to   http://www.flu.gov/general/

For a brief history of the Flu vaccine in The Times in 2008   http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1864920,00.html

The CBS documentary by Norman Gorin on the 1976 flu vaccine that caused 4000 people to claim damages, two thirds of them neurological   http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x9nnh6_swine-flu-1976-propaganda_news#rel-page-1

Natural questions followed on how to deal with the 2009 flu pandemic heeding the lessons of the 1976 mass flu vaccination  http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1894129,00.html

Looking back it is not difficult to see why the 1976 flu vaccination decisions were taken.  http://www.haverford.edu/biology/edwards/disease/viral_essays/warnervirus.htm  but with the knowledge now, that the 1976 vaccine had the trigger that could make 8.3 per million people with most likely no prior illness sick from GBS versus 0.7 per million people with most likely a prior illness sick from GBS. Rationale for future vaccination programs.

Dr Edwin Kilbourne was the virologist who convinced the US Public Health Service to mass vaccinate. His was a stellar career, devoted to outwitting the Flu Virus. 1920 – 2011.  http://www.virology.ws/2011/02/25/edwin-d-kilbourne-md-1920-2011/    The New York Times only featured a miniscule portion of his career and his role in the 1976 flu vaccine fiasco and ignored his tremendous contribution to the modern flu vaccine.

Palese and Garcia-Sastra continue the search for a diagnostic, preventive and curative agent for all strains of Influenza. http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2011/0027270.html  and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Palese  and the team at Mt Sinai

Towards a broadly protective flu vaccine  http://www.jci.org/articles/view/37232  The team at St Judes Medical center  with the goal to define the role of cross reactive lymphocytes. Webster’s article on flu history with photo of little girls skip roping to the poem above  http://people.scs.carleton.ca/~soma/biosec/readings/influenza/influenza.html   Also has great related internet sources.

Egg free vaccine – my earlier article


Filed under Flu, Health, Research, Science

Why is Autism observed in America and not in underdeveloped countries?

Dr Andrew Wakefield wants to study the immigrant Somali families in Minnesota who have observed an unpleasant phenomenon: many of their children are Autistic, to an extent that this is being called ‘The American Disease”. Immigrants realize that this is not due to a lack of vigilance on the part of Somali doctors. They have the opportunity to visit their colleagues in their home country, and in comparing their own children and the children of their contemporaries, the result is glaring. A handful of countries, such as USA, UK, Australia, Vietnam and Sweden, have significantly higher numbers of autistic children, of which the Somali children are a small percentage.  Can we find a cure? How do we prevent more Autistic babies?

Autism amomg the immigrants from Somalia:
The controversial Dr Andrew Wakefield is of the opinion that the answer may lie within the Somali community in Minnesota. He is trying to recruit Somali families for his self-financed study. You can see a video here of Fox news interviewing Dr Wakefield on January 6, 2011. You can see a videohere of CNN channel interviewing Dr Wakefield on January 5, 2011 and a photo of a severely autistic boy.

A Healthy Boy in Famine Stricken Somalia

An Autistic Boy born in USA

UNICEF photo of families in Famine Stricken Somalia

The Somali Autistic children in Minnesota:
Anne Harrington, the special education district coordinator of Minneapolis district noted that the Somali families sometimes have more than one autistic child and it is a more severe form of autism. The kindergarten classes are about 12% Somali but autism cases in the early childhood special education classes are about 17% Somali. Read more and get involved.

It has been observed that there is a cluster of Somali families who have autistic children in Minneapolis. Other immigrant Somali communities have not experienced increased autism rates. A search for a set of triggers should be sought asking two questions:
First, why a cluster of Somali families in Minneapolis has autism, while the other Somali families do not and also, why these families have no autism in Somalia?
The next question is why are Autism rates higher among Somali families than in non Somali families in Minneapolis?

The Somali Autistic children in Sweden
It was observed that many Somali families in Sweden had children with autism. All these families had never heard of autism or observed any symptoms defined as autism in their homeland of Somalia. Dr Barnevick-Olssen and colleagues, psychiatrists in Sweden, published a report of their observations in 2008. They noted that children from Somali backgrounds are over-represented in the total group of children with autism and suggest a search for triggering factors is warranted. Read more. The Somalis living in Sweden have named it the “Swedish disease”.

Researchers in Sweden have requested access to a confidential database for information on Somali and Swedish children to search for clues. Some researchers ask if Somalis need more Vitamin D, coming from sunny Somalia to dark, long, Swedish winters. Is it the lack of sunlight and excessive use of sun protection? However, there is autism being observed in sunny Australia. Read more.

Video: “True wisdom about Autism” – An Autistic Child’s wish by Matthew ward who is Autistic and the forum that made it possible for him to present his wish, his mother, Nancy Alar. If there is one video you must see, it is this one, November 6, 2011. It made me cry. You will see for yourself in this video that an autistic child is intelligent. We must find a cure to help Autistic children speak again.

So what causes Autism?  What cures Autism?                                                                                                                               Scientists still cannot answer these questions. However, they fear that Dr Wakefield’s controversial published paper (see below) may have diverted the study of autism, with too much emphasis on an incorrect hypothesis. The search for both the set of triggers and therapy continues.

What is Autism?                                                                                                                                          When you see a severely Autistic child, you will ask, “What is wrong with this child?” I am not discussing the autism spectrum here, but only severe Autism. To truly understand the Autistic child see video number 4 below, as narrated by an Autistic child, whose simple wish is that he could speak better and that the world was educated to be tolerant of Autistic kids.

Why should all of us be more aware of Autism? Because Autistic kids are here to stay unless we find a prevention or a cure. The CDC says that 1 in 100 kids born today in America will be autistic. They will grow to become adults with Autism who will need to be employed. One in every hundred adults seeking employment in 2030 will be Autistic. You may be the employer or the colleague who will have to adjust because the Autistic adult may be effective at the job skill. What should be society’s role? Knowledge, tolerance and acceptance. Tomorrow it could be someone in your family.

Autistic children are easy to identify even by a layman. They are simply children who are very uniquely different from other children, with a defined set of one or more of the following characteristics:

* Does not communicate or talk – even though they talked as toddlers;
* Smashing head against a wall repeatedly;
* Increasingly violent and aggressive;
* Special bowel, food, intestine issues and acute hearing, olfactory and sense of touch;
* The child may throw unusual tantrums, and needs to be calmed down and not punished; Special aids workers with special training on Autism are superbly able to calm down an Autistic child. They may appear far more anxious than the average child, in a new situation.

Autism – The New Disease: The uninformed and those who are ignorant are naturally unaware of Autism. It is, after all, a “new” disease, a “life style” effect of our modern society’s advanced choices. For those of you who have never witnessed or been in contact with an autistic child, I have selected a few videos here of how Autism in our children exists in our daily life in developed countries. As responsible community members, we have a role in ensuring the safety of all our children. The Autistic child is very healthy, but possesses a special neurologically and intestinally dictated condition. We have not discovered what this phenomenon or set of triggers that produce an autistic child is so far. We owe our Autistic children a decent, safe place in our community.

Videos of Autistic children and how our community responds:
1) An 11 year old Autistic child being beaten by untrained aids in a school bus;
2) A father of an Autistic child in Canada, shoots his 11 year old son and then himself, after learning his child would have to be housed in a facility that does not understand the special needs of an Autistic child;
3) Hopes of Autistic children graduating from a special school;
4) “True wisdom about Autism” – An Autistic Child’s wish by Matthew ward who is Autistic and the forum that made it possible for him to present his wish, his mother, Nancy Alar. If there is one video you must see, it is this one, November 6, 2011. It made me cry.

Who is Dr Andrew Wakefield?                                                                                                                 Dr Wakefield published a paper in The Lancet, saying that the MMR vaccine is linked to the rise of rates of autism in children. Subsequently, his medical license of revoked with concerns raised that his publication was an ‘opinion piece’ and not a scientific paper. Panicked parents avoided and some still continue to avoid the MMR vaccine which prevents measles, mumps and rubella. This avoidance of vaccine has raised concern among the health care community. His co-authors discovered much later that Dr Wakefield had been financed by a law firm, with an intention to sue vaccine manufacturers with the results of his study data. This is a serious conflict of interest which had not been disclosed prior to publication. The fraud allegations arose because of the twelve children in his study, five of the children were autistic before receiving the MMR vaccine and three of the children were not autistic. Dr Wakefield defends himself from the fraud allegations by saying that the claims of the link between the MMR vaccine and autism came from the parents.  Such parents remain Dr Wakefields core group of supporters and continue to believe autism is caused by the MMR vaccine. Dr Wakefield prefers to use the term “linked” rather than “cause” when discussing MMR vaccine and Autism today.

Impact on Health Care Resources:
 However, we are running out of time. Our burden to our future health care community is mind boggling. We have a large population of aging baby boomers presenting with Alzheimers. This is already draining the medical in house facility resources. What will happen when the Autistic children out live their parents? They are very healthy. Originating from different cultural, ethnic and immigrant backgrounds and yet, most presenting with the future task of requiring safe supervision. Civilized society has to begin preparation to face this unique care giver situation of looking after a healthy, aging population, unable to navigate the world on their own.

Lets begin to ask: How are we going to take care of Autistic adults as their baby boomer parents age with Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis or simple frailty? These children will grow up to be adults who will need supervised living. Autism research funding: who is paying and how much?. The time to begin the dialogue in today. George Braddock, President of Creative Housing Solutions LLC is offering solutions for community living for adults with autism.

Related Article
Italian court rules MMR causes Autism: parents sued court for forcing parents to vaccinate child with MMR and win


Filed under Health, Research, Science

Why am I feeling fatigued after getting my flu vaccine?

Are you or someone you know feeling fatigued or feeling unwell after getting the flu vaccine?

The needle method of delivery of Flu Vaccine

The needle method of delivery of Flu Vaccine

Some vaccines are not for all people. The flu vaccine comes in various delivery formats.  The clear choices are between a needle delivery and a nasal spray delivery. However, discuss with your doctor which option may not be suitable for the very young under 8 and the elderly, whose immune systems cannot handle the live virus in some flu vaccines versus the attenuated virus in other flu vaccines. You may also read “Certain flu vaccines are not recommended for all ages“.

Also, avoid taking a pain killer along with your flu vaccine since they dilute the effect of the vaccine.

The Centers of Disease Control lists the following common reasons for feeling unwell after getting the flu vaccine:

1. People may be exposed to one of the influenza viruses in the vaccine shortly before getting vaccinated or during the two-week period that it takes the body to gain protection after getting vaccinated. This exposure may result in a person becoming ill with flu before protection from the vaccine takes effect.
2. People may become ill from non-flu viruses that circulate during the flu season, which can also cause flu-like symptoms (such as rhinovirus). Flu vaccine will not protect people from respiratory illness that is not caused by flu viruses.
3. A person may be exposed to an influenza virus that is very different from the viruses included in the vaccine. The ability of a flu vaccine to protect a person depends largely on the similarity or “match” between the viruses or virus in the vaccine and those in circulation. There are many different influenza viruses. For more information, see Influenza (Flu) Viruses.
4. Unfortunately, some people can remain unprotected from flu despite getting the vaccine. This is more likely to occur among people that have weakened immune systems or the elderly. However, even among these people, a flu vaccine can still help prevent complications.

What about people who get a seasonal flu vaccine and still get sick with flu-like symptoms? How about an allergic reaction to egg or latex?
Have you considered an allergy to egg in which the flu virus is traditionally grown? Discuss with your doctor egg free options available this year. If egg allergy is a concern, then you may also read:
Egg Allergy and Flu vaccine : egg free options are available in Europe but not in USA until 2012. Check with your doctor on latest 2013 egg-free flu vaccine options.
Latex Allergy : some needle tips are coated with latex, eg., intradermal delivery of flu vaccine. Please, confirm about absence of latex coated needle tips on package insert. See video on Intradermal Flu vaccine technology  by Fluzone  microneedle, the first intradermal flu vaccine approved using the microneedle technology and available for 2011-2012 flu season.

A Flu Virus

Seasonal influenza vaccine provides the best protection available from seasonal flu—even when the vaccine does not exactly match circulating seasonal flu strains, and even when the person getting the vaccine has a weakened immune system. Vaccination can lessen illness severity and is particularly important for people at high risk for serious flu-related complications

Dual flu infections:
Australian scientists have discussed a “dual flu infection” phenomenon reported by Japanese scientists in 16 students.
1) They reported that vaccination with the regular flu season vaccine resulted in a higher risk of infection with H1N1 and they give their scientific opinion on why that happened in some areas of the world and not in others.
2) They hypothesize that a strand-transcending short-term immunity results. In other words, it is usually rare that two strains of influenza A attack in the same year and so close to the infection by the other strain. If the second strain attacks quickly after the first strain infects, then there is some transient immunity which protects; however, longer this gap this immunity wanes. So, by their theory, dual infections have a gap.

Super immunity:
This is the “holy grail” of flu scientists – to discover the one vaccine that will prevent all strains of flu. Apparently, natural survivors of the H1N1 infection may have a “super immunity” to all known Influenza A strains of the flu virus. A BBC article. describes Dr Patrick Wilson and his colleagues work on this. In my opinion, lets see what happens in the next few flu seasons.However, scientists caution that a vaccine developed to achieve similar “super immunity” results will have to undergo several years of clinical trials before being eligible to be marketed.

Related Articles:
Flu Vaccine
Now is the time for your 2013 – 2014 flu vaccine
The compostion of the 2013 – 2014 trivalent and quadrivalent flu vaccine for the Northern Hemisphere
Should my baby get the flu vaccine?
Should I get the flu vaccine this year?
Flu vaccination and egg allergy – do check with your doctor on update 2013 there are egg-free flu vaccine options today. This article shows you the procedure of traditional flu vaccine development


Filed under Flu, Health, Research, Science, Uncategorized

Multiple Sclerosis cured by hook worms?

In 2007, researchers Dr Correale and Dr Farez, in Argentina discovered that their Multiple Sclerosis patients with a hook worm infection appeared to fare better than those without a worm infection.

Variety of Hookworms

The Intestinal Hookworm

Early clinical trials in MS patients are showing reduction in size of brain lesions. This may not be a cure, but even a low rate of lesion reduction is a promising therapy. What is more important is that this is a natural therapy which shows why people in developing countries may be developing Multiple Sclerosis. There are some clinical trialsunderway, which are trying to see how best to deliver a ‘doze’ of worms or their eggs to get the best results. Brain lesions are being tracked before, during and after a treatment with worms. The initial patterns shown on MRIs is encouraging and studies are in progress.

How does the hook worm act on MS patients? Researchers believe that in MS the immune system has an excessive response to it’s own brain tissue; the presence of the worm’s anti-inflammatory system lessons this response. In doing so, the brain lesions lessen. In other words, the worms suppress the patient’s overactive immune system. The worms need to do this to settle inside the human gut. It is possible that as humans evolved along with nature, our gut system and our immune system evolved to adjust to a constant presence of other gut worms and germs. The developed world’s decision to clean our gut of worms and germs may have been too harsh. Definitely, in MS the presence of worms in the gut makes it far more pleasant for the brain.

Follow your gut: Earlier, it was believed that MS was a caucasian disease when Asian countries reported no MS. Then, in the recent decades, Asians settling in developing countries were developing MS, leading researchers to conclude that MS is a disease of a developed country lifestyle. This, is further proof that the Argentina researchers discovered how the underdeveloped life style may be protective for our human brain.

Respect the hookworm. ‘Follow your gut’ has new meaning.

How to thank the scientists? Dr Correale and Dr Ferez’s original article showing the immune connection between hookworms and MS in 2007 has been cited 91 times. Now, if you want to encourage science of this caliber and in this field, shower these two scientists with your letters and emails. Let them know how much you appreciate them. Read their original article published in 2007. You may encourage them further by emailing them

E-mail: jcorreale@fleni.org.ar

The same scientists have published a 2011 paper showing that patients infected with worms showed significantly less relapses and include updated information. You may want to read their original article published in 2011.


Filed under Health, Research, Science, Women's Health

Why should you choose a traditional pecan pie, free of corn syrup, this Thanksgiving?

Princeton researchers have found that a high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) diet can make all considerably more fat, 48% more fat than those on an ordinary sugar diet; in addition, not all on the natural sugar diet got fat, unlike all on HFCS. These Princeton University researchers and several others all over the nation are now, naturally, quite motivated to prove HFCS can cause an obesity epidemic and obesity related diseases, like diabetes and high blood pressure. See ABC video discussed below on the controversy raised by a Harvard professor on sweetened beverages and snacks. There are 16 million Latino kids in USA and one in two of them will develop diabetes connected to obesity, writes Cindy Rodriguez of Huffington post. A lack of will power is not to blame for this rise in obesity of Hispanic children, says a Professor of Pediatrics, at Baylor Medical Center of Texas. An interesting note, while there has been an alarming rise in Autistic children in the recent decades, the number of Hispanic children presenting severe autism is rare. Is it possible that the factor responsible for obesity is protective from Autism?

A Hispanic Children's Obesity Participant

Many consumers want to boycott products with HFCS. Others, simply buy products which do not include HFCS – hence, encouraging use of natural sugar in products we commonly use, like cereal. This Thanksgiving, 2011, many are giving thanks by eating an old – fashioned pecan pie, made with no corn syrup and HFCS; a recipe follows, if you scroll all the way down.

The Old Fashioned Pecan Pie - with no corn syrup


Food with no corn syrup?

Have you tried to buy bread recently? Firstly, there is none with no sugar. “Sugar-free” does not count because it is sweetened artificially. The “sweetened” bread uses high fructose corn syrup to be sweetened. It will be difficult to find a brand without HFCS. Of course, you will put on weight by eating bread sweetened with HFCS, even if you may not have put on weight eating the same brand when it did not use HFCS. Hurley and Liebmanin 2008, reviewed thoroughly the “healthy” claims of many commercially sliced breads on the store shelves. They said since HFSC or sugar is added in such small amounts it is an unimportant fact in sliced bread. I disagree. Bread is a staple and every little bit of HFSC adds up. They raised the alarm on the use of artificial sweetener in bread, and I would agree. How about sweetened cereal? That too is a staple?

A sampling of commercial cereal

History of sugar and corn syrup & Patents

Use of sugar goes back centuries. It was never meant to be used in such large amounts as modern, affluent societies began to use in candies and other confectionaries. Sugar was dangerous to produce. It required handling of boiling hot liquids. Much of this work was done by slaves. This inspired a son of a former slave to invent a safer process for manufacturing sugar. Norbert Rillieux, of New Orleans, Louisiana, received a patent from the United States Patent Office in 1846, entitled, “Improvement in sugar making“. His invention included vaccuum and evaporation steps. Thus, began the industrial age of sugar in 1846.

The discovery of corn syrup and High Fructose corn syrup (HFCS) allowed for cheaper substitutes for sugar. Then, followed a search for a cheaper process of manufacturing HFCS. A recent patent by East lansing, Michigan, scientists in 2007 claims to have discovered a better process for HFCS manufacture. The patent discusses how production of HFCS using immobilized glucose isomerase (GI) is the largest commercial enzymatic process. So, this patent claims to have found a better enzyme for industrial production of HFCS, and the search continues for a yet better enzyme.

It appears that if you want to make more money for your company, you should support cheaper, large scale manufacture of HFCS. On the other hand, if you are against all people gaining weight, even those who are genetically able to resist weight gain from a little sugar in their diet, then you should be against HFCS. It is clear that there are two schools of thought: one for profits, and denial of obesity and the other, desperate to save humanity from an obesity epidemic. Researchers are collecting data linking the alarming rise of obesity with the discovery and use of HFCS in soda and now, most branded food. The Corn syrup association is quick to refute most research findings.

Video on obesity

See this ABC videon “Should parents lose custody of their extremely obese kids” as advised by a Harvard Professor? Taking a child from a parent is drastic. Perhaps, families need to be counseled on adopting food choices with no corn syrup, HFSC sweetened foods, in my opinion. Removing a child, already facing depression from obesity, having two glasses of soda a day, in school and home and having no vegetables and unsweetened food is not going to reduce the obesity of this child.  In thirty years childhood obesity has tripled. 2 million children are extremely obese, with some kids weighing hundreds of pounds.

Should food with corn syrup and HFSC be labeled dangerous, obesity inducing?

More children are more obese than previously expected. A medical researcher recently published a study in 2010 of 710,000 children and found that 7% of boys and 5% of girls were “extremely” obese, where a 10 year old child who should have weighted about 70 lbs weighs 140 lbs. Have you ever seen such large people ever in your lifetime, any time in USA or in the world? Have you asked your grandparents their opinion and observations on their young days and current obesity? Why do most people in USA want to pay more for food excessively sweetened than for unsweetened food? If the same food item were labeled, “Danger! You will become obese”, would the same consumer buy that food item?

Popular snacks in the USA

Have you been angered when too often in recent years the person sitting next to you on your flight cannot fit into the airplane seat? Do you find that obese children are getting abnormally fat? Have you noticed how the sedentary, obese children of USA are far fatter than the sedentary, obese children anywhere else in the world? China, too is reporting an obesity epidemic.

Choosing a Soda on a Hot day


Is it ethically alright to allow an entire generation, and perhaps future generation of HFCS guzzlers to get very obese and very sick? Princeton researchers have shown that HFSC diets are related to higher triglyceride levels which are connected with high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. Have you done the maths to see how this generation’s unrestrained obesity related illnesses will affect every person’s medical insurance payments? Next time you see that obese person, who is spilling into your seat, guzzle a HFCS sweetened drink, will you wonder how much extra your medical insurance payments will go up because of that drink which you are not drinking? Or will you feel sorry for the person, wondering how sick will this obese person become in a few years time?

Pecan Pie Recipe: corn syrup and HFSC free

Recipe of Old Fashioned Pecan Pie from “The Kitchen“: Just as decadent, rich and sugary as ever, but with one small change; they ditched the corn syrup. You must try this HFCS and corn syrup free recipe this Thanksgiving and share with us your reaction. Did you enjoy your pie, knowing that perhaps, you may not have gained weight if you were not programmed genetically to gain weight from a little traditional sugar?


Filed under Health, Research, Science

Should I get the flu vaccine this year?

Although, the 2011-2012 combination in the flu vaccine, is the same as the 2010-2011, an effective way you can protect yourself against a flu virus infection is through vaccination.

The Flu Virus

However, current vaccination approaches rely on achieving a good match between circulating flu virus strains and the isolates included in the vaccine formulation.  The recommendation is made by the World Health Organization  collaborating centers. Such a match is often difficult due to a combination of factors, one being that the recommendations are made six months prior to the initiation of the flu season, and the flu viruses are constantly undergoing change.

What if the formulation of the vaccine this year is the same as the previous year? The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advice that for optimal protection it is safest to get vaccinated against the flu every year. The CDC recommends all people above six months get vaccinated annually; especially the young and the elderly and gives information specific to the 2011-2012 season, including the vaccine formulation, which is exactly the same as the 2010-2011 combination, but is different from the 2009-2010 and earlier combinations. Some non-vaccinated people got quite ill and weak for a very long time in the fall of 2009 from what could have been the H1N1 flu. The vaccinated people apparently were protected or only had mild flu-like symptoms and lost little productive time.

Get vaccinated annually: A Boston.com article by a Globe staff, Deborah Kotz, gives a simple explanation why one needs to get immunized annually in spite of the same combination of strains in the vaccine. If you are naturally infected by the flu virus, your body can retain that immune memory for a life-time. On the other hand, when you are vaccinated by the same flu virus, your body’s immune memory becomes weaker over time, and we do not know currently whether you will have an appropriate immune response if infected next year.

According the CDC, certain people should get advice on whether they should get vaccinated; especially those with egg allergy or latex allergy.

If you have an egg allergy:

A Scientist Cultivating the Flu vaccine in Live Eggs - A labor intensive effort

When you have to make a decision about getting a flu vaccine, which is the vaccine currently grown only in egg in most countries, then you should seriously consider medical supervision because you may have options. They are rather limited in the USA versus Europe and I have detailed current strategies in a previous article on flu vaccination and egg allergy.  The options in Europe are quite different from those currently available in the USA. You may also read “Next generation of flu vaccines coming of age: Cell – based technology may replace egg – based flu vaccines“, by Teddi Dineley Johnson.

What is the combination in the 2011-2012 flu Vaccine? There is an international effort to create that single, life-time flu vaccine, but until then the vaccine combination will need to be reassessed every year. The 2011-2012 combination in the flu vaccine, which is the same as the 2010-2011,  is:

A/Cal/7/2009 (H1N1) – like

A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2) – like

B/Brisbane/60/2008 – like antigens

If you have a latex allergy: There is both the traditional injection version and a new, intradermal version vaccine available this year.  If you have a latex allergy you may want to take advice and choose a latex free version. The package insert says that the dermal version prefilled syringe tip caps (Fluzone) may contain natural rubber latex to which you may have an allergic reaction if you are allergic to latex. The intradermal version is specially designed to not hurt at all, unlike a needle in the arm version, which many find painful. Either way, your choice of vaccination this year will have the same combination of flu virus.


Filed under Flu, Health