This is the second article in a series of nine (as of January 29th, 2012), regarding the 12 girls in Le Roy, New York. If you haven’t read the first, you may want to start with this article, which was written on January 15th: Cause of Epidemic in Le Roy is Hush-Hush: “Are The Le Roy Twelve Really Victims of Vaccine-Injury?”
Article Two: Written January 18, 2012…
Today’s latest on The Le Roy Twelve reveals there is finally a diagnosis for the mysterious tic disorders in these formerly healthy and vibrant young women: “Mass Hysteria.” The psychiatrists have determined that there is no real physical cause for the sudden onset of symptoms associated with serious neurological damage, so they have conclusively stated, “It’s all in their heads.” It’s a “conversion disorder.” For those who may not have heard of “Mass Hysteria” or Conversion Disorder, let me give you a little background.
The concept of Conversion Disorder was first proposed by Dr. Sigmund Freud. Dr. Freud usually gets credit for “the discovery of conversion disorder” but he actually stole much of his theories from Dr. Josef Breuer; another German psychiatrist who was quite prominent in his field in the 1880s.
Dr. Freud is known in the psychiatry circles as “The Father of Psychoanalysis.” He’s the guy who thought every adult struggle in life was caused by feelings of sexual frustration in childhood. He’s the guy who said that all of women’s difficulties were because of their hormones; to Freud, women were weak and crazy (he used the term “neurotic”) simply because women have a uterus. The Greek word for uterus is “hystera.” That’s where “hysteria” comes from. In my opinion, that’s also why The Le Roy Twelve have been diagnosed with “Mass Hysteria”… because they are girls. Freud is also the genius who said that women suffered from immense frustration which was all due to the fact that we do not have penises, hence the term, “Penis Envy.” What most people may not know about the “revered” Dr. Sigmund Freud is that he was a cocaine addict who died of syphilis; hardly a stellar end for “The Father of Psychoanalysis.”
A great many people I know are up-in-arms about the diagnosis of “Conversion Disorder” that has been assigned to The Le Roy Twelve. Rightfully so. A big part of the reason for the uproar among my friends is because many of them cannot believe that the injuries these girls have suffered (which are obviously real and obviously physical) appear to be caused by one of two things: Gardasil or PANDAS. For a psychiatrist to be so quick to assign the diagnosis of Conversion Disorder to this group of young women, without investigating infectious agents or toxic exposures as causal factors is unacceptible.
Everybody knows what Gardasil is. It’s had a lot of press. Not everyone knows about PANDAS – Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptoccus. PANDAS, and now PITAND and PANS are all acronyms for physical illnesses that occur with a high degree of frequency in vaccine-injured children. There are some physicians who are treating children diagnosed with autism who believe that ALL cases of autism are the result of an autoimmune attack on the brain. I know about PANDAS because when I worked in D.C. in a private practice, the neuropsychologist with whom I worked was associated with Johns Hopkins and she knew a few of the psychiatrists who were involved in the research group that initially coined the term. Several years later when my own daughter began exhibiting the waxing-and-waning symptoms associated with a bacterial infection that attacks the basal ganglia and anterior cingulate gyrus, I recognized what was happening in her and was able to treat her accordingly. My daughter has PANDAS. When I moved to the midwest in and joined a psychiatry practice here, I was the one who taught the very progressive and very intelligent, Mayo-trained psychiatrist about PANDAS. He had never heard of it. At my suggestion, beginning in 2003, we started testing our teenaged patients who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, autism, ADHD, and anorexia for persistent strep infections. When those came back positive, we tested for markers of autoimmunity, and guess what? We very frequently found what we were looking for. This begs the question… do the psychiatrists who are seeing The Le Roy Twelve know about PANDAS/PITAND/PANS? Have they done the labs to determine if this is what’s going on? If not, why not? Is it because they are GIRLS, and therefore written off as being “hysterical?” If the girls have not had strep titers (ASO) and tests for autoimmunity done (ANA, Anti-DNase), this needs to be accomplished as soon as possible. If they do have undiagnosed and utreated strep infections, it can be fatal. They also need to be checked for staph infections in the blood. If these bacterial infections are present and going undetected because what is seen is not the usual presentation, death could – and does – occur. If you don’t believe it, read this article.
It is VERY important to note that while testing for strep and other bacterial infections is essential, it is NOT the end of the investigation. The bacterial infections that cause autoimmune attacks on the brain are the same bacterial infections that cause the rest of us to develop things like sore throat, fever, and body aches. The question is, WHY do children develop PANDAS and the other autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders? The answer to that is vaccines. As you will have learned if you read my previous post about The Le Roy Twelve, the aluminum that is contained in vaccines, and used as an adjuvent, causes a hyper-immune response. That’s why it’s in the vaccines in the first place. This state of hyper-immunity is what sets the stage for PANDAS/PITAND/PANDS. So if it IS discovered that some or all of The Le Roy Twelve DO have high strep levels (or other bacterial or viral titers) and autoimmune markers, this DOES NOT exclude vaccine-injury. The opposite is true: it points directly AT vaccine-injury as a causal event.
Enough about PANDAS. What about Gardasil?
The reason they are ruling out Gardasil may be because this “Mass Hysteria” thing has happened before – in North Carolina in 2002. Check out this article. Twelve students (eleven girls and one boy) at a rural high school developed what was referred to as “pseudo-seizures” and “syncope” – the boy’s seizures were determined to have been “real” and had started some time prior to when the girls became affected. The girls were diagnosed as having “conversion disorder.”
The psychiatrists who have diagnosed The Le Roy Twelve appear to be doing what many psychiatrists (though not all) do best. When they don’t know what’s causing the illness they assign a psychological or psychiatric diagnosis. Doing the research, writing the labs, and actually figuring out what’s going on with these girls takes time. It’s much easier tell them it’s all in their heads, give the Conversion diagnosis, write a prescription and have the office manager schedule the patient for 8 weekly sessions at anywhere from $300 to $500 per hour. Who cares if the diagnosis is wrong? This is, afterall “a soft science.” The psychiatrist who appeared on The Today Show along with Thera and Katie and their mothers has one thing correct: Stress does make things worse because stress further depletes serotonin by raising adrenaline and cortisol levels. Forcing someone to participate in psychotherapy while simultaneously denying the validity of the physicality of their illness IS STRESSFUL, so Thera Sanchez is exactly right when she says the therapy is making her worse.
Psychiatric medications may help the symptoms for a while because through a process of trial and error the psychiatrist can throw different combinations of SSRIs and anti-cholinergic medications at them and possibly, something will make a difference, at least for a while. However, this is not the effective treatment. You cannot have effective treatment for aluminum toxicity unless you accurately diagnose it to begin with.
So now that we’ve discussed Gardasil and PANDAS, what’s left?
This research article documents the effects of deficiencies of calcium, magnesium and zinc and the increase in uptake of aluminum in the body. The prime environmental candidate for deregulation of calcium, magnesium, and zinc in Le Roy, New York is Lead. Lead mimics calcium and displaces it in the body. Calcium is dependent on magnesium and zinc and they have to be in the right ratio in order to work properly. Mercury further deregulates the essential minerals, and when combined with Lead is EXPONENTIALLY more dangerous than either of these toxic heavy metals alone. The environmental component of lead predisposes people to vaccine-injury because 1) lead displaces calcium; and 2) lead causes mitochondrial disorder. Mitochondrial disorder increases the risk of vaccine-injury to 1 in 50, according to the CDC. Mitochondrial disorder is the underlying factor that resulted in a multi-million dollar award from the U.S. Government’s “Vaccine Court” to the parents of Hannah Poling when she regressed into autism after receiving nine vaccines in a single office visit at 19 months of age. Please watch this video from MSNBC News, where Attorney Karen DeSoto discusses what happened in the Hannah Poling case.
After watching the above video there are a couple of things you should know.
- Hannah’s case is not as rare as the video leads you to believe. Her parents are not the only ones who have received multi-million dollar awards for their children’s vaccine-injuries. We do not have a true estimate of these awards because just like in Hannah’s case, the other cases are sealed by the government. The parents are not allowed to talk about their cases. If they do, they risk losing the money they need, in order to care for their children for the rest of their lives.
- The fact that Hannah’s case did not go to court is unusal. As the reporter in the video stated and as this article from the New England Journal of Medicine states, Prior to the Hannah Poling case the “Vaccine Court” had not awarded compensation in a single case of vaccine-induced autism. So why was Hannah’s case different? Why were her parents and their attorneys successful when so many other parents whose children’s cases were identical to Hannah’s were unsuccessful? Here’s a hint: Hannah’s father is a neurologist and her mother is a registered nurse. The scuttle-but among those of us who follow these things is that Dr. and Mrs. Poling put together a very compelling case arguing that Hannah’s underlying mitochondrial disorder was CAUSED by her previous vaccines. This is a definite possibility, for a couple of reasons. First, according to the generally-accepted research, mitochondrial disorder is genetic and is passed from mother to child in utero. Hannah’s mother does not have mitochondrial disorder so this is not how she got it. Second, Hannah was born and received her “baby shots” in the 1990s, so she received a lot of mercury in her vaccines. Both mercury and aluminum damage the mitochondria. Rumor has it that Dr. and Mrs. Poling were prepared to go to court and lay out their research proving that vaccines were responsible for making their daughter more vulnerable to vaccine-injury. Heavens! We can’t have THAT on the official record! What to do?? What they did is they offered a 20+ million dollar settlement. Then they sealed the records so nobody would find out.
- One more thing you should know after watching the video of Karen DeSoto discussing the Poling case: Julie Gerberding, mentioned in the video as the Head of the CDC and the person declaring with vehemence that Hannah Poling’s case was an isolated incident, is now the President of Merck Pharmaceuticals Vaccine Division. Dr. Paul Offit, the author of the NEJM article, is the Chief of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he is the recipient of a $1.5 Million Dollar Research Grant funded by…. you guessed it! Merck Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Offit is also the developer of the Rotateq vaccine; a stellar career achievement that made Dr. Offit quite wealthy when Rotateq’s patent was sold for $182 Million Dollars. This is a good video that will give you some information about Dr. Offit. Now I cannot prove that Dr. Offit or Julie Gerberding are influenced by Merck money and are choosing dollars over children’s health, but this potential conflict of interest does cause me to raise an eyebrow. Let’s just say it’s one of those “Things that make you go Hmmmm……” Add to this the fact that Dr. Offit was part of the group at the Institute of Medicine when they declared in 2004 “The research has been done. Do not spend anymore research dollars on the vaccine/autism link,” and my “Hhhhmmmmmmmm……” gets substantially bigger.
It does seem that Merck has a record of being involved financially in a BIG way with those very government and medical officials who are making the decisions about whether or not vaccines are safe, and whether children should be force-vaccinated as a condition of school attendance. You may think the issues with Dr. Offit and Ms. Gerberding are isolated events. You would be wrong. Remember the debacle between Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman over Gardasil? Guess who contributed approximately $30,000 to Perry’s campaign (through various 3rd parties) prior to the Governor enacting the law making Gardasil mandatory for school girls in Texas? Yup. Merck. The makers of Gardasil. And while we’re on this topic… Remember Brian Deer? The journalist who has been lauded as a hero for taking down Dr. Andrew Wakefield? “Oh No!” you say! “Not Brian Deer, too!”
It would take the rest of this post and about ten more to describe the conflicts of interest in the Brian Deer/Andrew Wakefield case. Thankfully, others have already taken on that challenge so I don’t have to. Specifically, Ginger Taylor has done a stellar job of constructing a flow-chart that outlines the conflicts-of-interest between Brian Deer, his employer at the Sunday Times, and Glaxo-Smith-Kline (the makers of the MMR vaccine). Ms. Taylor and I have a few things in common. We both have master’s degrees. We have both worked as therapists, and we both have children who were vaccine-injured. Ms. Taylor also spends a lot of her time researching and writing about vaccine-injuries and other things related to autism. I hope you will check out her blog: Adventures in Autism. (Just please finish reading this article before you scurry on over there.)
If, after looking at the chart above you still believe Brian Deer is a hero and Andrew Wakefield is a “fraud,” I strongly urge you to take the time to review my article, Only 5 of 25.
So… back to The Le Roy Twelve.
And The North Carolina Twelve.
UPDATE: Information added at 10:42 pm January 18, 2012: We can now add 350 students in 23 clusters of Mass Hysteria that occurred in Taiwan. The episodes happened during the nationwide in-school vaccination program against Influenza A (H1N1) http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=19575
Now that we know that the case of “Mass Hysteria” in Le Roy, New York is not the only case of its kind in recent U.S. history, we have some more clues to pursue… Just as we need to ask ourselves “What common factors do The Leroy Twelve have that may predispose them to vaccine-injury?” we now must also ask, “What common factors are there between Le Roy, New York and the as-yet-unknown small rural town where The North Carolina Twelve resided?” This is difficult because I have not yet been able to figure out exactly where the 2002 “Mass Hysteria” outbreak took place. Rest assured… I’m not likely to give up on that. Hopefully someone who sees will know and leave that information in the comments section of this article (hint).
UPDATE: (Jan 19, 2012; 2:34 pm) – The North Carolina Twelve were in Ashe County. This post will be updated shortly with the TRI data for the environment where The North Carolina Twelve lived in 2002.
For now, the best we can do is to look at what environmental factors may be at work in Le Roy, when it comes to things that cause mitochondrial disorder. The officials who are investigating the case say they have “ruled out” environmental factors. I’d like to know exactly what they’ve ruled out. From what I can gather, they have confined their investigation to the high school. The officials are thinking too small. Imagine that.
When we think about environmental factors and vaccine-injury, we need to look at not only the immediate area, but also at the environmental factors that are ubiquitous in the lives of those who live in places where there are “mysterious clusters” of illness – and I mean physical illness, not Conversion Disorder. What’s going on in Le Roy is not “all in their heads,” it’s physical. If you doubt that please read my previous article, where you will find a thorough breakdown of how aluminum toxicity causes tic disorders and Tourette’s Syndrome.
As noted at the beginning of this article, the uptake of aluminum is increased in people who are deficient in the essential minerals: calcium, magnesium and zinc. We have also learned that mitochondrial damage predisposes children (and adults) to serious vaccine-injury, as it did in Hannah Poling’s case. So when we try to figure out what’s going on with The LeRoy Twelve, we need to ask ourselves two questions:
- “What environmental factors that cause the depletion of calcium, magnesium and zinc are present in LeRoy, New York?”
- “What environmental factors that cause mitochondrial damage are present in Le Roy, New York?”
If you click this link, it will take you to the TRI (Toxic Release Inventory) data from the EPA.
You should see an interactive map of New York State. If you hover over each county it will tell you the number of pounds of environmental toxins reported by businesses that put significant amounts of chemicals and heavy metals into the air, water, and soil during 2010 (the latest data available). Genesee County only reports 1,318#, and as noted in a comment above, the major toxin in Le Roy is Lead. But we can’t stop there because there are no walls extending up around Genesee County. There is nothing blocking toxins produced in nearby counties from entering the environment in Genessee. If you hover the mouse over Erie County, you get 2,024,870 pounds of toxins; Cattaraugus = 361,019 pounds, and Chautauqua = 1,315,346 pounds of toxins. Because Genesee is upwind from these high-polluting areas, citizens living in Le Roy and other parts of the county are exposed to huge amounts of toxic pollutants coming from businesses in their neighboring counties.
The highest amounts of toxins from Cattaraugus County, just SW of Genessee County are: Antimony, Barium, Chromium, Lead, Nickel and Zinc. You might think high amounts of zinc in the environment are good but they’re not. The over-exposure from the environment results in bio-unavailability (the body cannot use it properly), which further contributes to deregulation of essential minerals and increases the uptake of the toxic aluminum in vaccines. As noted above, Barium and Lead both cause mitochondrial damage. So does Antimony. I haven’t researched Chromium, but I’m pretty certain it also damages the mitochonria, and I know at least some forms of it cause cancer, as does anyone who has seen the movie, Erin Brockovich.
This link will take you to the TRI data for Chautauqua County, which is also SW of Genessee County. Better prepare yourself for this one… The highest amounts of toxins from Chautauqua County are: Barium, Asbestos, Hydrochloric Acid, Hydrogen Fluoride, Copper, Manganese, Nickel, Sulfuric Acid, Vanadium and Zinc Compounds. Many of these cause mitochondrial disorder all by themselves. In combination with each other…. who knows what damage they do?
The point is, that while Genessee County does not produce a lot of environmental toxins, it is directly in the wind stream of 3 counties that do. Together, the businesses in Erie, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua Counties put nearly 4 Million pounds of toxic chemicals and heavy metals into the air, water, and soil during 2010. And when the wind blows to the northeast, everything that’s produced in the counties to the southwest blows directly on Genessee.
What the two previous photos demonstrate is that the interaction between environmental toxins and vaccine-injury (or “autism”) is not isolated to one area. If it’s happening in Indiana and Texas, it’s happening in other places where there are high levels of heavy metals and toxic chemicals in the environment. Including Le Roy, New York.