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Bring Back the Neanderthal!

Neanderthal By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

On the weekend of January 30 I went to my first autism conference in San Francisco.  It was called "Autism: Hope in Action" and put on by Martin and Julie Matthews.

It may seem unusual that I'm such an active voice on-line and yet have met hardly any of our community in person.  What can I say?  My home life is tough, but this was in my area.  There was no reason not to go.

I expected to find a range of people, from the lost, the struggling, the brilliant, and the eccentric.  I wasn't disappointed.

As I sat with more than 150 people in the hotel ballroom listening to speakers talk about dietary changes, the struggles we parents, especially men face, I thought, well, this is a good start.

I spent about a half hour with one of the organizers outside the ballroom discussing the vaccine/autism question.  The general idea the organizers had was to fully document all of the medical research on the positive effects of diet while skirting the vaccine question.  I understood the thinking, even if I disagreed with it.  I tried my best to explain from my veteran perspective that what we're saying isn't new to the medical establishment.  Those at the very top, as explained so well by former NIH chief Bernadine Healy, have made a conscious decision not to investigate these claims "for fear of what they might find."

The vaccine/autism question isn't a discussion with the medical community, I tried to explain to him.  We're at war.  They have abandoned our children.  We're the only ones to fight for them.  I even had a number of bumper stickers printed up (based on J.B. Handley's wonderful article of a few weeks ago) which read "VACCINES DON'T CAUSE AUTISM.  PEDIATRICIANS DO."  I was thinking about offering them to the organizers but after looking at the crowd I realized they weren't warriors.  They were a bunch of injured lambs, trying to figure out how to fix their children.  Maybe that anger needs to sit for a few more years.

The panel discussion with three local doctors was pretty standard for anybody who reads Age of Autism on a regular basis, but I asked a question which provoked a good deal of discussion.  For the past few months I've been researching a question for which I still don't have a clear answer.

The question is this: is autism the result of capillary inflammation, resulting in lowered oxygen supply throughout the body giving us all sorts of unusual effects such as metal retention, increased viral and bacterial infections, production of abnormal fats, and lowered mitochondrial energy production?  The idea I'd run across is that insults to the body might trigger an inflammatory switch on the inside lining (endothelium) of the capillaries (the greatest number being located in the brain and digestive system) and barring some intervention to flip the switch the other way, you get autism which seems resistant to any interventions.

The doctor told me he thought I was on the right track, although he then gave me information on medications which either block glutamate from attaching to the receptors, or increase the production of GABA.  And of course he wouldn't agree to just a half hour consult with me on the phone, but wanted a mountain of forms filled out, along with a check for $450 for a one hour consult.

I told the office manager that I pick up things pretty quick and really didn't need an hour.  Personally, I think all I need is about 15 minutes to let me know if the guy has anything worth investigating.

As the session was winding down a man saw my name tag and became very excited.  He told me he was a big fan of my work and had even linked a few of my articles to his blog.  (Insert your own mental image of Kent puffing up with pride.)  "You're one of the heroes of the autism fight!" he gushed with great enthusiasm.

And then he called me a caveman. 

Okay, it didn't go exactly like that.  Here's how it actually went.

As we talked I mentioned one of the things which always amazed me is how many men seem to mentally check out when something goes wrong with their children.  That wasn't my experience at all.  My wife freely admits I'm the warrior among us.  "Maybe it's just that my mother was full-blooded Sicilian" I mentioned to my number 1 fan.  "But when your family's in trouble you fight.  Fight to the last breath.  I don't understand any other way of thinking."

A sudden look of excited discovery swept his face and he replied, "It's not your Sicilian background that made you that way!  It's the Neanderthal!" 

He went on to explain his theory of how islands were the last refuge of Neanderthals and the subsequent interbreeding led to people who were more clannish and violent.  He spoke of the small, robust stature of island people, their hairiness, and even the slightly different shape of their skull.  He recounted the various genetic clues in the genome of island people as residue of the Neanderthal, like the high rate of MS and cystic fibrosis in certain populations before concluding, "And if you look at how the mafia acts you clearly see evidence of Neanderthal thinking."

And so I stand revealed before my gentle homo sapien readers in all my prehistoric Neanderthal glory!  At first I was a little offended but I quickly started to ponder the association more deeply.  I often feel like a lone warrior in wanting to go Neanderthal on the pharmaceutical companies and medical authorities who act as if our children don't exist.  

If I am a throwback I take pride in my heritage.  My ancestors braved the ice age, killed woolly mammoths, and as their lands dwindled, I'll bet the Cro-Magnon women snuck off to bear children with them because there's nothing sexier than a man who will fight for his family.  They wanted their children to be warriors, not cowards.  (I can just hear the conversation around the prehistoric campfire.  Turok, how is it that your children all have dark, curly hair when both you and your wife have blonde, straight hair?  Turok shrugs, "Who understands the gods?" he replies.  His wife turns away to tend the fire, a slight smile on her face.)

Don't you want to be a Neanderthal, too?

Kent Heckenlively is Contributing Editor of Age of Autism (When he's not fighting off saber-tooth cats!)

Comments

Allison Smith

As someone with Asperger's, I have to say...this is the silliest and most unscientific piece I've ever read regarding autism. I can't believe this even got posted. I know I'm late in the game here, but I had to say it. I really hope you don't still stand by this.

Narner

Well this article you have is a couple years old I want to shoot some holes in it regarding neanderthals. First Islands were are not the known last refuge of the neanderthal but are perhaps the last known refuge of homo erectus. The last known evidence of neanderthal culture is 25,000 years old and is found in Spain. Second All non Africans have 2-5% neanderthal in their genes. So yes you and every person you know that is not 100% African has neanderthal ancestors. Third, Recent research has discovered that Neanderthals were white and likely had red and blond hair. While the first homo sapiens To reach Europe and encounter Neanderthals likely had African pigment and dark hair. Fourth, There is no evidence that Neanderthals waged war. There is Evidence that some resorted to cannibalism from time to time. That could be an argument for neanderthal war. But it could also just be evidence of starvation. Evidence shows that Neanderthals had larger brains than us lived in small groups not much larger than 25 people in a troupe. Neanderthals were brave hunters that got in close and personal with their monstrous prey.

So far is known Homo sapiens Have waged war for a long time and can live and travel in very large tribal groups. What I am saying is that the neanderthals are gone except for that 2-5% in our genetic code.

Personally I think that when we encountered Neanderthals there may have been some conflict but mostly I think any interaction was trade. Neanderthals were probably respected for their strength and skills. Neanderthals were likewise impressed with the throwing weapons of the HSapiens. Some neanderthals retreated further and further north. some integrated with the H-sapiens. But in my opinion, based on recorded history, the neanderthals were eliminated in several ways. Displacement by H-sapiens, foreign born disease brought to Europe by H-sapiens, and last breeding with H-sapiens. Their might have been some murdering going on too but I don't think that is enough to wipe them out. We lived with them and near them for thousands of years before they were gone.

Anyway, your friend assuming that Neanderthals were raving mad angry warrior types just doesn't stand up. Neanderthals were predators as are we. They were intelligent and like most primates probably territorial. But they are all gone. There is just no evidence found yet that Neanderthals waged war against h-sapiens to protect their lands and way of life. It is romantic to think it happened and I kinda do hope that some day we know for sure. But what we do know is that they were skilled hunters and craftsman, they buried their dead, used fire, cared for their sick and elderly, made flutes out of baby cave bear femurs, were stocky and 3 times stronger than the average H-sapien, and that they were probably not as good at running or throwing as h-sapiens. Nothing suggests that they were dumb raving cavemen.

So there is my anthropology lesson for the day.

Elizabeth Hensley

I so instinctively sense the Neanderthal theory of autism is correct! We don't have an autism epidemic. We have an epidemic of sick Autists. Without glutamate hiding in foods and vaccines under 40 different names and heavy metals and other toxins and measles and a diet designed for Cro Magnons (way too many grains and not enough meat) we'd still be here anyway. But we'd be Teslas in his younger days not in his older days, Oppenheimers not Rainmen, Bill Gates, not spinning and rocking and flapping and pounding our heads against walls to distract ourselves from the agony in our guts! I am Elizabeth Hensley and I am Autistic. I am verbally gifted and definitely a Neanderthal who took longer to grow up and was scolded for that. I am in a lot of pain ever since some shot I definitely remember arching my back and screaming until exhausted because I could feel it changing and permanently harming me! I am 53 years old. My Mother was too Autistic to feel any love for me. She grew up in mercury polluted St Louis but she could function until vaccinated to "protect me." My Father was Autistic too and unable to feel any empathy towards our plight but he could function just fine and saved his company millions of dollars. He was never vaccinated much. I am too sick to work and second hand smoke, no decent medical care and my expressive agnosia cost me a college education but I write poetry that has been studied in college and
fanfiction at http://www.fanfiction.net under the penname Atomdancerrr and I understand the theological consequences of General Relativity. But I lost a chance to be treated to a shake because I could not remember the ice cream parlor was across the street from the post office. :-/ Check out my web pages. Even if your Children cannot work they will be far from useless! http://www.poemsofdarwinsgod.org http://www.proofgodexists.org http://www.gigglesfromheaven.org

Andrew

It is not inflammation mediated ;-)..although inflammation can come....
ot is flow dynamics and healing, if that makes any sense at all..and it is not autism..it is the cause of ..well, pretty much most of the ailments we suffer...infectious disease to otherwise..and it is the blood flow mediated... as part of the problem;
and kawasaki' is a variation of the same problme as autism, aspergers, adhd, dementia, vaccine injuries, and polio paralyses for that matter.....

the bioterrain is everything; the germs, like the metals and toxins, are simply triggers.... it was never the germ, in and of itself; and it is not inflammation...although inflamation is part of impaired healing..and healing for that matter... it is, however, capillary flow dynamics based ;-0A

Amy Becker Clark

"...there's nothing sexier than a man who will fight for his family."

Kent, I can't be held responsible if I dream about you tonight. I'm just hard-wired that way. Keep up the good fight.

Pamela

Great article Kent. To your subtopic, you really should attend an Autism One conference if at all possible. It is very inspiring and certainly a lot of empowered warrior parents in attendance.

Benedetta

Svitlana;
I bet it is the lining of the blood vessels and not the blood itself, because going back to the disease Kawasaki's the vessels leading to their hearts some times balloon out - they are weakened.

I think in my very humble opinion that what our kids are suffering from atypical kawasaki's. And some kids with typical Kawasaki's with the typical symptoms are ending up some times with autism too.

If the blood vessels and capillaries swell and cut off blood for a moment or two or 15 minutes it is the same as a stroke!

Svitlana Jones

Dear Mr. Heckenlively,
Can we speak more about the capillary inflammation? Its consequences appear to be similar to the ones caused by mass ischemic stroke (Dr. Andrew Moulden), which I have been researching recently. It appears that children with severe autism suffer from the same things as stroke survivors. For instance, left-hemisphere stroke survivors might have right side paralysis and/or aphasia (difficulty speaking and/or understanding). Right-hemisphere stroke survivors may suffer from left side paralysis and/or have spacial/perceptual difficulties (i.e. trouble picking things up, difficulty dressing, misjudging distances, falling down), develop impulsive dangerous habits and others. Both hemispheres stroke survivors may have short memory effected (have difficulty learning new information and retaining it). Cerebellum stroke survivors have reflexes and balance problems. And on and on, and on. In addition, our children do have problems with elevated GLUTAMATE, which, in fact IS the result of excitotoxicity caused by neuronal injury of the ischemic stroke on the microcellular level (Dr. SId Shah). When I think about my son, he has most of these characteristics. So, the question then is this: is autism caused by cappilary inflammation or massive silent ischemic stroke caused by "sludged" blood as a result of multiple vaccinations? Could someone help answer this question?

With all respect,
Will's mom

Heidi N

Well, what I have to say is that you handled that conversation really well. I would have pulled out the ego stick since my kids are recovered and told him some things about what's really going on.

Benedetta

Kent is not glutamate and GABA just for the brain alone?

Would they do anything for the rest of the capillaries like heart, stomach so forth?

You have to be right, all you have to do is see a child in the full throws of Kawasaki's to know it is the capillaries inflamed. The red rash if you look close are little bitty red marks under their skin marks the capillaries. Even after they are some what better and you give them a hot bath they get this mottlen look to the skin where the capillaries under the skin are heated up from the water.

Benedetta

So funny Kent!
Loved the information on the capillarilies and it makes sense.

It brought back memories of how my husband was during all this. He left the fighting to me which is too bad because he was way on smarter than me. But he loved us and kept us in house, food, health insurance, and supported me till I could freely give all for out kids. That counts for a lot.

Robin

Kent I went to that conference also and I think I remember you talking about that in the lobby. There was a lack of conversation about vaccines even though all the people who sat by me talked about it in between the speakers. It was like the blue elephant in the room.

lj goes

My husband Dave will love this. Finally a justification for his club wielding ways!

roz young

kent- i love you. you know my dad was a burly russian bear(read hairy) and he always fought for us kids. so i am bereft when my husband just steps back and leaves it all to me. i just keep waiting for him to fill my fathers shoes. but this just explains it so well. he is not a neanderthal-he is a gentle soul-middle child-peace maker-so no wonder he runs-thank-you!!!

DCannon

Can you send me some of your bumper stickers? :)...I agree with you, there are few fighters...

David Troutman

UHG Ken,have club will travel.Dave

Kevin

Gunga garunga fabba murraka.

Translation: I understand completely.

Gatogorra

I like your take on it, Kent. You took a lemon, squeezed it and added sugar.

The anything-but-vaccines or the fence-riding vaccines-but-not-really folks seem to all be in love with this goofy genetic theory: http://www.rdos.net/eng/asperger.htm

There's a little toxic-hypothesis woven in with a lot of typical pharma-crock about inherent brain chemicals and natural neurodiversity. No proof of course and it appears that sapiens may have actually eaten Neanderthals.

But I don't mind at all the idea of a nebulous tribe of warriors-for-the-good roving around and kicking ass. There might be a wild streak in some that distinguishes the parents who lay down to the epidemic and the ones who fight.

There's surely some Darwinism at play somewhere. My parents are both first generation Americans on one side each. It's mixed with a lot of WASP and Mayflower, but there's a strain of survival culture in there. My great-grandfather was shot in the head on his wedding day, survived and escaped the Kossacks by rowing a little dinghy across the Baltic sea to Sweden on his way to America, followed by my great-grandmother-- who had her seventh child at fifty-one.

My husband is part Argentine Indian. We haven't really been "suburbanized" and tempered for that long. We might even have a genetic aversion to eating shit-- you never know.

DebinIL

Keep all firearms and clubs from Kent! His only weapon should be his words.

Terrific and funny article, however, we need to be labeled as equals to the "other side" and not the "cavemen". :)

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