By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
Professor Simon Baron-Cohen of Cambridge University Research Center created a firestorm of controversy a few years ago with his claim that autism was the result of an “extreme male brain”.
Dr. Mark Geier and his son David believe Baron-Cohen may be exactly right. I recently spoke with David Geier about these issues.
According to David Geier, the father-son team first became interested in this question after viewing a poster in which Dr. Boyd Haley showed how the addition of even a small amount of testosterone greatly enhanced the destructive power of mercury.
Through the work of Dr. Jill James, the Geiers were aware that people with autism had significantly lower levels of glutathione. In their investigations the Geiers found that testosterone blocks the body’s ability to make glutathione and that mercury binds to glutathione, thus inactivating whatever stores the body may already have.
According to the Geiers mercury also raises testosterone levels, while dramatically lowering glutathione. At special risk would be those individuals who have a family history of low estrogen and high testosterone. The Geiers' theory might tie together several disparate findings and give hope for those children who have not fully recovered through bio-medical interventions.
A known side-effect of high testosterone is precocious puberty, or the early development of adult features in children. When the Geiers went looking for signs of precocious puberty in the autistic children in their clinic they found it in approximately 80% of their patients.
According to the Breast Cancer Fund, over the past forty years the age of puberty in girls has dropped one to two years. The Geiers believe this is a population-wide effect of mercury from the vaccines. When the Geiers tested seventy children with autism for abnormal testosterone levels they found results outside the normal range in approximately one-quarter to one-third of their patients.
Curiously, the affected girls seemed to have even higher testosterone levels than the affected boys, leading the Geiers to conclude that was necessary to overcome the naturally protective effects of estrogen.
The testosterone molecule is also the perfect shape so that when it is combined with mercury the mercury will be tightly bound to the testosterone, making it impossible to remove from the body with chelators.
Let me say that again.
Testosterone binds with mercury, thus rendering it invulnerable to chelators. The chelators can then only pick up the free-floating heavy metals. If true, this is extremely important revelation.
Fortunately, traditional medicine has made tremendous inroads in moderating abnormal hormone levels. The drug Lupron has been used for many years to lower testosterone and has an excellent safety record according to the Geiers, with many people remaining on it for five to ten years. It is the treatment of choice among medical professionals for precocious puberty.
The Geiers theorized that if they were able to temporarily turn off testosterone production with lupron, they might be able to release these trapped stores of mercury.
In a discussion with a fellow medical professional the Geiers were curious as to whether anybody had tested what increased testosterone would do to normally developing children. The medical professional told them that testosterone shots were routinely done for boys who have undescended testes. Perhaps it’s not surprising, but during the course of the therapy the boys exhibit obsessive-compulsive traits, and near-autistic like tendencies which fade in the months following the end of treatment.
The Geiers claim to have treated more than two hundred patients with a combination of lupron until the point at which testosterone levels normalize, then DMSA to chelate out any remaining mercury. According to David Geier, there have been tremendous changes, “almost like a light switch” as these children make rapid improvements.
Treatment of children with autism by lupron seems to have some unique characteristics. Normally, a single injection of lupron is enough to bring down testosterone levels to normal levels, but when children with autism are administered lupron their testosterone levels often go up. At first it was theorized that this represented lupron resistance, although the makers of the drug when contacted by the Geiers claimed to have never heard of such a result.
For lack of a better description, it seemed as if the bodies of children with autism were “stuffed” with testosterone and as the body’s natural production of testosterone was temporarily interrupted it came pouring out of the body’s hidden stores. A modified lupron protocol was then created, with testing of testosterone levels guiding more frequent administration of the drug until testosterone levels are normalized.
The Geiers have found that the best results are achieved when patients are given a slow-release shot, and a daily injection.
The earliest patient was Wesley Sykes, whose mother is the Reverend Lisa Sykes of the Christ United Methodist Church in Richmond, Virginia. Three years ago, when Wesley was nine-years-old the Geiers told her about this idea. Besides being non-verbal, nine-year-old Wesley was having erections in the shower, masturbating, sporting peach fuzz, and had a two-inch growth spurt which Lisa had attributed to his good health. After talking with the Geiers it became clear to Lisa that Wesley was experiencing precocious puberty.
Working in concert with Dr. Mary Megson, it was discovered that Wesley did indeed have high testosterone levels.
As the first patient the Geiers were surprised to find that a lupron shot which should have taken Wesley’s testosterone levels from 25 to 0, only reduced it to 18. During that time, though, there were significant changes in Wesley, such as reduced hyperactivity, being able to swing on a swing, and beginning verbalizations. Consistent testing of testosterone levels guided the Geiers in how often to administer the lupron.
In an interview with Reverand Sykes which can be found on the internet, she recounted how she and the Geiers came to the conclusion that the testosterone had “bonded to mercury and soaked into his tissues.”
In the same interview Sykes recounts how the age of puberty in the United States has dropped two years, while in Scandinavian countries which demanded thimerosal-free vaccines in 1991, there has been no drop in the age of puberty.
The identification of testosterone with mercury retention might also explain another one of the long-standing mysteries of autism, namely why so many children with autism develop seizures in adolescence.
According to Reverend Sykes, it might be because their already high testosterone levels are pushed from “the stratosphere into orbit” by the additional testosterone production which accompanies the change to adulthood. The high testosterone produces seizures and aggressive behavior.
Now twelve years old, Wesley is reported by his mother to be extremely calm, typing with a keyboard, affectionate and interactive. In addition, the inappropriate sexual behavior vanished and with his keyboard he seems to have a fairly good grasp of his emotions and what is happening around him.
When a therapist was late for a session, he became agitated and when she later questioned him he was why he was upset he typed back, "I miss u." Another time he did not seem to be interested in a computer game suggested by his therapist and wrote to her, "This sucks."
While his receptive language is excellent, his verbal language opened in brief windows during the lupron treatments, but did not remain. They are continuing with the therapy as his porphyrin tests indicate some mercury still remains in his body.
I believe this may be an enormous advance in our understanding, while giving hope to those children who have not received the full benefits of a chelation protocol. In short, why do some children recover and others seem to hit a wall beyond which they don't improve?
Other physicians, like Dr. Jeff Bradstreet are looking at the usage of other medications, like spironolactone as a hormone modulator. There may be other ways to moderate testosterone levels in autistic children if indeed they are shown to be abnormal.
In a previous column I recounted how a hormone test showed my daughter to have high testosterone levels and our doctor is looking to treat it first with supplements because she likes to be conservative.
I am heartened by the claim of David Geier that this is something you can get any endocrinologist to test, and if the testosterone level comes back high, lupron is their treatment of choice.
The only caveat is the understanding that children with autism are not likely to respond in a normal fashion so there needs to be more frequent monitoring of hormone levels.
This is a really big idea. Wouldn't it be great if this turned out to be another big piece in the struggle to get all our children back?
If you’d like to view interviews with either the Geiers or Reverend Lisa Sykes click HERE.
Kent Heckenlively is Legal Editor of Age of Autism.