Immune System in Alzheimer's and Autism: Domino Effect From Mercury?
By Teresa Conrick
With 1 in 3 seniors dying with Alzheimer’s and 1 in 50 children now being diagnosed with autism, studying these patients should be crucial in both preventing new cases and helping millions of people afflicted now.
There are parallels in much of the research being published about both autism and Alzheimer’s. We are told the former is “neurodevelopmental” while the latter is “neurodegenerative,” but increasing studies show that both are medical consequences of some type of assault on the immune system.
The Microglia in Both Autism and Alzheimer’s
Microglia, the immune cells of the brain, are activated in both autism and Alzheimer’s -- “There, they engulf debris as well as unwanted and dying cells. At the same time, they contribute to brain inflammation by releasing immune proteins called cytokines and other proteins that may be toxic to the brain.”
“Studies from several laboratories have demonstrated the ability of microglia to sense and respond to a wide variety of pathogens capable of colonizing the CNS including bacterial, viral, and fungal species.”
Microglia also have another function:
“The human brain is an organ of staggering complexity, with hundreds of billions of neurons and glial cells forming something like a quadrillion connections, or synapses …Redundant connections are then removed in a process called pruning.
We now know that pruning occurs well into adulthood but exactly how the brain disposes of its unwanted connections was unclear. A team of Italian researchers now reveals the surprising mechanism by which pruning occurs – it is carried out by cells called microglia, which patrol the developing brain and engulf unwanted synapses as if they were invading microbes…
…Thus, the developing brain treats unwanted synapses as if they were unwanted invaders. It dispatches microglial cells to survey the state of synapses in their surroundings and to dispose of the ones that are wired incorrectly or superfluous. Abnormal neural connectivity has been implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, so deficiencies in microglial surveillance may contribute to such conditions.”
Beta-amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) in Both Alzheimer’s and Autism
The Alzheimer's disease-associated amyloid beta-protein is an antimicrobial peptide:
“The amyloid beta-protein (Abeta) is believed to be the key mediator of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology. Abeta is most often characterized as an incidental catabolic byproduct that lacks a normal physiological role….Here, we provide data supporting an in vivo function for Abeta as an antimicrobial peptide (AMP)… Findings reveal that Abeta exerts antimicrobial activity against eight common and clinically relevant microorganisms….
“Children with severe autism and aggression expressed secreted beta-amyloid precursor protein at two or more times the levels of children without autism and up to four times more than children with mild autism.”
“Secreted beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) has been detected in elevated levels in the plasma of about 60% of autistic children….Brain neurons in cortex and cerebellar cortex and dentate nucleus in autism in the post-developmental period of life accumulate intracellular N-terminally truncated Aβ42. This may result from excessive processing of APP….”
The Microbiome in Both Autism and Alzheimer’s
Another similarity is the microbiome or microbiota. I wrote about that and autism,
“Some research suggests the microbiota may also be implicated in neurologic conditions. There are multiple interfaces where the microbiota could impact our nervous system…The microbiota also produces metabolites that are absorbed into the bloodstream, and some of these metabolites can cross the blood–brain barrier…..research has suggested that ASDs may be related to an altered microbiota”
And now we see the research also making the connection to Alzheimer’s and the stew of microbes in the gut:
Alzheimer's disease and the microbiome
“Firstly, the microbiome of the human GI tract is the largest reservoir of microbes in the body, containing about 1014 microorganisms; over 99% of microbiota in the gut are anaerobic bacteria, with fungi, protozoa, archaebacteria and other microorganisms making up the remainder. There is currently an expanding interest in the ability of intestinal bacteria to influence neuro-immune functions well beyond the GI tract….Indeed, secretory products of the GI microbiome and translocation of these signaling molecules via the lymphatic and systemic circulation throughout the CNS are just beginning to be identified.”
Mitochondria in Both Autism and Alzheimer’s
Interestingly, that study goes on to discuss mitochondria in Alzheimer’s, another connection to autism in that mitochondria dysfunction, implicated in much autism research and to the well-known Hannah Poling vaccine case , where the US government conceded vaccines caused a toddler’s regression into autism:
“Since mitochondria are believed to originate from bacteria via endosymbiotic relationships that formed very early in the evolutionary history of eukaryotes, cross-reactivity of mitochondria and immunological responses to intestinal bacterial constituents could have deleterious effects on mitochondrial function through some form of molecular mimicry; this is partially evidenced by the inflammatory basal ganglia disorder Sydenham's chorea, rheumatic fever and the link to the facultative anaerobe Streptococcus”
That sounds familiar to PANDAS and PANS, another immune system disorder on the rise – and why?
Here is Paul A. Offit, MD, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, discussing molecular mimicry:
“Several infections cause autoimmune diseases. For example, Borrelia burgdorferi causes chronic arthritis42 and group A β-hemolytic streptococcus causes rheumatic heart disease.43 Theoretically, if infections can trigger autoimmune diseases, modified forms of infections (ie, immunizations) might also cause these diseases…… influenza vaccine appears to be a plausible candidate for molecular mimicry in the central nervous system.”
Additionally, most influenza vaccines continue to contain Thimerosal, the vaccine mercury.
Mercury in Molecular Mimicry and Autoimmunity
There is much research showing the dangers of acute mercury toxicity yet there is increasing evidence showing how the immune system takes a huge hit. Molecular mimicry appears to be part of that:
“Current discussions about the toxicity of THI [THIMEROSAL] and other organomercury compounds are either centered around effects like autism or the exact functions of molecular mimicry, by which mercury species are suspected to be transported in the human body.5”
“Molecular Mimicry in Mercury Toxicology”
“Another major mechanism by which metals traverse cell membranes and produce cell injury is by forming complexes whose overall structures mimic those of endogenous molecules.
"Low concentrations of HgCl(2) affect immune function in human cells by dysregulation of cytokine signaling pathways, with the potential to influence diverse health outcomes such as susceptibility to infectious disease or risk of autoimmunity."
"The different forms of mercury differ in the type and range of immune disorders, and ethylmercury (thimerosal) and inorganic mercury are similar in that they cause systemic autoimmunity, characterized by a marked increase of IgE and systemic immune-complex deposits"
"Hg was shown to actively increase the reactivity of the immune system in rodents. This immunostimulation led to the development of immunotoxic problems such as allergeric responses and autoimmune disease." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3173748/
Antibodies, Autoantibodies and Anti-Nuclear Antibodies
Add Alzheimer’s disease to the list of autoimmune diseases : “Thus, it is possible that the mere presence of anti-neuronal autoantibodies in the serum, whose importance had been previously dismissed, may be without pathological consequence until there is a BBB dysfunction to allow the deleterious effects of these autoantibodies access on their targets. Hence, these observations suggest autoimmunity-induced cell death in AD.”
In autism: In another example, antibodies present in the serum of mothers of autistic children have been suggested to contribute to autism53,54. Some mothers of autistic children have antibodies that bind brain tissue; when these antibodies were administered to gestating mice and monkeys, they caused abnormal behaviour in their offspring55,56.
We suggest that as more studies of the effects of maternal antibodies on the fetal brain are carried out, it will be important to keep in mind that the same antibody might have different effects on fetal and adult neurons, either because of differences in antigen expression and accessibility or because of differences in antibody-induced signalling cascades….Moreover, studies in rodents indicate that the effects of fetal brain exposure to toxins might not be evident in young pups or even in adults until the animal experiences a stressor, such as ischaemia, to the CNS, at which time the neuropsychiatric effects of the toxin exposure might be revealed57. So, antibodies that affect fetal brain development could result in no clinical symptoms until there is an insult to the CNS. These potential effects of maternal antibodies on fetal brain development might be difficult to diagnose because of the variable time delay before the effects are manifested and the possibility that they never become clinically evident in some individuals.”
There has been no research on the effects of influenza vaccines as a culprit regarding these maternal antibodies in autism, especially those containing the vaccine mercury, Thimerosal.
Similarities in biomarkers and research paint a picture of a sick immune system in both autism and Alzheimer’s. Microbes, infections, microglia activation, amyloid beta-protein, antibodies and a feasible "insult to the CNS" are domino effects that sure look like the pathway to disease. That fact should be guiding research, treatments and prevention. If vaccines can be the catalyst, then their role as hit men on the immune system can no longer be ignored. This sentence appears in a new study showing elevated anti-nuclear antibodies in a portion of older adults vaccinated with a flu shot. If it's true, honest discussions and alerts need to happen from a doctor to patient level but also on a global level.
“The relationship between the response to influenza virus vaccination and autoantibody levels is a major source of concern among physicians because of the fear that vaccination might increase the risk of autoimmune responses or diseases.”
Teresa Conrick is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.
Thank You Jenny for those comments about diabetes of the brain. That was very interesting.
And thanks for the links.
Posted by: Benedetta | November 07, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Do constant insulin spikes (google insulin is a neurotransmitter ) affecting glucose process in the brain & body caused by an increase in gluten and other proteins in wheat(according to the book Wheat Belly some of the propogated changes to wheat happened in the early 1900's and again in the 80's - similar in timing to first cases of autism being found and to changes that would have affected women in the 80s in time for the autism spike in kids) affect the body and brain's ability to fight infection (as evidenced in slow healing in diabetic patients) and detox from environmental toxins including those encountered in vaccines, leading to an increase in chronic diseases such as autism. Do such glucose changes cause mercury/heavy metal affinity in certain tissues in the body. Has there been research about the efficacy of vaccines given at the same time as insulin spikes vs given to a body not in a state of elevated insulin? Or whether adverse events increase during insulin spikes? Is the body inclined to retain heavy metals more in the presence of high insulin levels?
Here is a free online 7 day summit with all sorts of good speakers:
Posted by: Jenny | November 06, 2013 at 11:52 AM
Excellent article, Teresa. I think there are many things that exist in our society that can disrupt the same pathways in the body. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that doppler can also cause disruption, as its already been shown that EMF can alter glucose processing in the brain.
Didn't Dr. Oz recently call Alzheimers "diabetes of the brain?"
And we see diabetes listed over and over again in the adverse events of the VAERS database accessible through MEDALERT.
And we know about mercury's affinity for certain tissues in the brain through tissue sampling and that there is a subpopulation of people (I don't limit the idea to children anymore) which cannot get rid of toxins in the body as well as others. Is there research anywhere about tissue sampling of the pancreas that indicates an affinity for some of the toxins in vaccines to be held in the pancreas, disrupting things from that angle?
Posted by: Jenny | November 06, 2013 at 08:50 AM
This is just the information I needed to know! Thank you so much for sharing pieces of information, Theresa. I never thought that Alzheimer’s and autism can have the same implications though, I really do hope that in time there will be treatments for these conditions. Seeing our love ones suffering with these conditions is really a huge obstacle to tackle.
Posted by: Lorraine Jacobs | November 06, 2013 at 02:30 AM
There really is a name for muscles just killing us after the first week on the low carb diet????
Posted by: Benedetta | November 05, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Excellent review, Teresa. Thanks. I do not believe, however, that the evidence showing that vaccinations increase risks of seniors developing Alzheimer d. will serve to stop this practice. If fact, I know that vaccinations are more and more often used now as an euthanasia tools in nursing and assisted living homes. It really looks like planned depopulation.
Posted by: no-vac | November 05, 2013 at 02:47 PM
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Posted by: Teresa Conrick | November 05, 2013 at 11:47 AM
I wanted to thank you very much for your excellent article about what could trigger a pre-existing condition.
Yes i have loads of article and publications about all the different elements I mentioned.
specially when symptoms worsen.
All cases are different and Parents are key in all these protocols, as they are applying what the doctors and naturopaths are prescribing depending on how the child reacts
I am available to share my network and articles
please let me know how to contact you
Posted by: FXL | November 05, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Excellent article. In trying to protect our most vulnerable populace from disease/illness- children and the elderly - our health science industries have created the twin scourge of Alzheimer's and Autism. Your article immediately came to mind upon the news that Johnson & Johnson is being forced to pay over 2 billion dollars to settle criminal and civil claims that it marketed Risperdal for off-label use. Who did they market this anti-psychotic drug to? Those afflicted with Alzheimer's & children suffering from Autism. No amount of money can rectify this abuse of public trust but it's nice to see them take a hit.
Posted by: Christine Thompson | November 05, 2013 at 08:14 AM
Thank you for that information. Fascinating. Is there a study that could be published? Do you find more severe cases to also be helped? Are all of the pathogens coming up in initial testing and then reduced as treatment progresses? How long are antibiotics being used?
Posted by: Teresa Conrick | November 05, 2013 at 07:05 AM
Good morning from Europe
Since 2008 more than 2,500 ASD children have been part of a anti-pathogen - bacteria and virus - treatment in France,Italy,Spain,Poland and UK.
Bacteria involved : Borrelia, bartonella,babesia, rickettsia,mycoplasma and Sutterella
Virus : HHV6, EB, Toxoplasmosis
Antibacterial protocol : antibiotherapy in sequences with anti fungal
Anti viral : GCMAF
Some of the pioneer MDs in this protocol are now treating AD patient with the same protocol.
Results show a decrease of ASD and AD patient symptoms of 60%
In some case they have 80 % success
Beware of Herxheimer and length of the protocole
In every core protocol the Cytokines storm, involved in allergy - via mastocytes - and microglia activation should be treated with Leukotrienne and CoX1 inhibitor. Never use a CoX2 inhibitor for children. NSAID could worsen gut issues, but some patient tolerates them we'll
Also target BBB 'porosity' with flavonoids : Luteonlin + diosmin
Mitochondria dysfunction and Methylation issues - borrelia,mycoplasma and rickettsia-
Ammonia in the blood - toxin coming from borrelia- is a neurotoxin : salve and apple pectins
Glutamate storm in the brain - borrelia again- can be treated with long term L-Theanine supplement
Beta Amyloids with Huperzine A
Adrenal support could be considered : thyroid and HPA axis
Support methylation issues by providing MB12 to the CNS
High potency Probiotics to support the gut
GFCF diet, no sugar, replace the potatoes with sweet potatoes or pumpkin
No chelation : the liver is already having issues, so the heavy metal treatment might come at the extreme end of the long antibacterial protocol when the liver is fully functioning
I could write more but this is a good start
Some US ILADS MDs are treating Autism the same way, and SCIA MDs in the. Us and LatAm too
At your disposal for infos
Posted by: fxl | November 05, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Thanks, Maurine, Sandy and All,
Hi, Mary, I am very familiar with Boyd Haley and am a big fan for well over 10 years now. I also know about Beth Maloney and her son, Sam. Magnificent message for sure. Many are using antibiotics (probiotics, herbs, antimicrobials)in autism too. I also know about SCIA but do not know of any patients with Alzheimer's on this protocol. Anyone out there know? I do know there is research showing how NSAID's are promising in Alzheimer's-
Posted by: Teresa Conrick | November 04, 2013 at 06:54 PM
Vitamin D is necessary for glutathione production (it contains sulfur) which in turn is necessary for mercury detoxification. So, it's entirely possible that, indirectly, lack of Vitamin D contributes to accumulation of mercury in the body.
Posted by: Birgit Calhoun | November 04, 2013 at 06:50 PM
Another thing I wonder about is whether or not using sunscreen, which is known to inhibit the natural production of vitamin D, might also inhibit mercury excretion, given that it has been recently discovered that fish at lower depths, i.e., who have less exposure to sunlight, have higher accumulations of mercury. http://mauinow.com/2013/08/27/sunlight-shown-to-affect-mercury-levels-in-fish/?mobile=1
Posted by: Sandy Gottstein | November 04, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Thanks, Teresa, for this excellent piece. Thought you might be interested in a column I wrote earlier this year: Autism and Alzheimer’s: Matching bookends? http://www.vaccinationnews.com/2013-4-9-autism-alzheimers-matching-bookends-GottsteinS
Posted by: Sandy Gottstein | November 04, 2013 at 05:51 PM
f you go back to a lot of stuff all these guys writes -- including James Cherry -- you see before they became a hired gun - they were reasonable intelligent people, that had a lot of things to say about the true affects of vaccines.
That would include Brian Deer too.
Posted by: Benedetta | November 04, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Well over ten years now that Lorschneider made the film showing neurons being destroyed by infinitesimal amounts of mercury in the brain.
And guess what we find that apart from a dumbing down of our brains for young and old with those in between holding on at present.
We find that hearing and sight problems are now being linked to autism diagnoses.
Almost all sadly predictible by theory, common sense or simple deduction and what do we do?
We decide to cremate people so we can get more and more mercruy to more an dmore people.
And guess what rising health conditions continue rising.
Add 200 years of dental mercury
Add 80 years of putting fluoride in the water and food and medications and medicines and pesticides etc.
Add to that engineering food so its no longer fit to eat for at least harmful insects as accepted by everyone.
And the outcome for the future with help from Chernobyl, Fukushima et al is.
Here comes 100 per cent disability.
And for tens of millions its game, set and and permanently if not fatally true.
Posted by: John Fryer | November 04, 2013 at 03:21 PM
Not to take anything away from you article, it's great, Teresa, that you are giving the subject of autism further dimensions, the connection of autism and Alzheimer's has been made quite while ago by Chemistry Professor Boyd Haley. He first studied the connection between mercury and Alzheimer's. When I first investigated about mercury I came across his studies at the University of Kentucky. I contacted him at the time and he was the fist one to make me aware of molecular mimicry. That is a problem that has not been explored nearly enough. He pointed out that, since mercury has a great affinity for anything sulfur and binds to it very easily, certain vitamins especially the B vitamins get altered in the presence of mercury. Example Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) is changed drastically. It still mimics the vitamin; it's just not the same, and it won't work as it is supposed to. The mercury essentially makes a person B1 deficient. Similar things happen to Vitamin B12 and other B vitamins with a sulfur component. Also mercury occupies the places on enzymes where ordinarily zinc would be found. Some of these connections point out what toxicity really is. I could go on. All of this made me conclude that Alzheimer's is possibly the same thing as autism except for the fact that an old person has had a productive life before the condition started.
Posted by: Birgit Calhoun | November 04, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Dear Teresa, Thank you for the Alzheimer information.
In line with Mario Capecchi’s discovery, there’s a man named Juan Rodriguez who spoke at the Autism One Conference in May. His bi-lingual website keeps a long list of doctors who treat autism with the microglial approach. Website is: StopCallingItAutism.org. If you know of any doctors who use it for Alzheimer’s, please tell. Also, in the book “Saving Sammy,” about a boy with OCD, the mother, Beth Maloney, says that he was successfully treated with Augmentin for strep. I mean he lost his OCD thusly. There is a Youtube about it with Nancy Snyderman. (Old Home Week for rehab here!)
Posted by: Mary W Maxwell, PhD, LLB | November 04, 2013 at 02:41 PM
Certainly worth pointing out that something Offit has said is not entirely consistent with his blasé, blanket endorsement of the vaccine schedule.
Posted by: John Stone | November 04, 2013 at 01:36 PM
Rehabilitating Paul Offit, are we?
Posted by: Mary W Maxwell, PhD, LLB | November 04, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Just wanted to share this recent podcast on creatine and mitochondrial disorders
Creatine deficiency and supplementation, with Dr. Joseph Clark
Posted by: SarahW | November 04, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Thank you Theresa for this incredibly informative and useful compilation of research!!
Posted by: Dana | November 04, 2013 at 11:58 AM
Teresa thanks for article.
It is about time some one links these two diseases together.
It ain't just autism, or even just bad autism, everyone is affected. I had no idea how many of my former classmates have kids with very mild autism, but were not talking about it - just spending tons of money taking them to tutor classes way over in the next large city). Well now that they are older --- they might have a pretty good education but there is a failure to launch. But it is still better than the ones that seemed okay (undiagnosed bipolar or some kind of mood disorder) only later developed drug addiction.
I am unclear about the mitochondria, pandas -- so the immune system becomes over active and is destroying all types of healthy bacteria in our gut as well as our mitochondria?
Or do you think that there is something that is imitating some molecule that not only messes up our mitochondria in our cells, but also throws a wrench into the fermentation process of our gut bacteria as well? That sounds like what you mean.
Oh what could it be --wonder, wonder; You are thinking mercury, right?
But it could be something in our immune system that the vaccinet triggered.
or not just the ercurym, but combinations of mercury and aluminum,
Or, some of the others 62 ingredients found to be questionable in the vaccines. It is 62 -- is that the right number--- or is it 66 (that is getting close to the Devil's number).
As for titers for antibodies.
My now doctor friend and I had a tetanus shot (that turned out to be a DPT shot) way back in 1979.
Right after I had my first yeast infection. Candida was outgrowing my gut bacteria and my immune system was not kicking in to keep it under control. So my gut bacteria was under attack by something.
And while up on a mountain trapping small mammals on strip mines, in waist high snow -- I almost had to carry my young future doctor off of that mountain because her monthly was so bad.
Years later after she became a doctor; she told me she had a thyroid problem from the mumps when she was little, but it just for some reason became worse right out of college. Slap on forehead, here -- she did not even remember going with me to the health department with our little piece of paper from the Forest Department to be stamped that we got that there tetanus (aka DPT shot).
Antibody titers - something is not right there, either. .
My doctor friend by the way has moved around a lot and every different practice she goes into - she is tested for Hep B antibodies titers, and nothing is showing up so she has received several Hep Bs. She better watch it or one day she will come home and become stiff like a board and end up passed out in the hall way like my hubby.
She is still standing though -- just bad thyroid trouble -no thyroid function at all.
I do not think there is a test for IgEs and how many is not attached to that great big circulating Mast cell. If they are doing titers on some vaccinated person and it is coming back that they have no such antibodies where is it all a going??
It must be going to make IgEs and Mast cells instead. They don't have a test for that do they?
Posted by: Have you had your flu shot? | November 04, 2013 at 11:49 AM
You would think that intelligent people would not tamper with something they know so little about, that has the potential for mass destruction. Recognizing how easily affected our complex bodies are by toxins and even subtle changes in our environment, any sane person would conclude that man's #1 priority should be to safeguard the environment, our planet. Wisdom dictates prudence, instead reckless hubris rules and destroys.
Posted by: Linda | November 04, 2013 at 11:23 AM
Excellent article Teresa!! Thank you. Dr. Mario Capecchi, a geneticist and researchers for University of Utah gives some very interesting insights on the link between microglia and mental illness. He says "defective microglia, output defective behavior"
Please watch the full interview here:
Posted by: SarahW | November 04, 2013 at 11:15 AM
Go to the head of the class, Teresa. Stupendous. Thank you a million times over.
Posted by: maurine meleck | November 04, 2013 at 09:35 AM
Teresa, Thankyou for your research and compilation. My hope is that an awareness of mercury as causal in Alzheimers could be the nail in the coffin for the use of mercury in vaccines and dental amalgams- and more than one nail if possible ! I think that far more people are concerned about Alzheimers than they are about autism- particularly after they have seen the headlines "Gene for Autism Found" about 8 times over 12 years. When people see that mercury is a possible cause of Alzheimers, they will begin to question the mercury in fish and dental amalgams too. Currently, many people , when told that eating a lot of fish is dangerous, are dismissive. I believe that we have been too focused on autism alone. Another area where we can make a difference to people's attitudes is in people with kidney disorder. Take a look at whatDr. Suzanne Humphries has to say about vaccines given to kidney patients. She has watched people crash into the dialysis/death category after flu and pneumonia vaccines containing mercury. What a terrible thing for doctors to do to a patient.
Posted by: Cherry Sperlin Misra | November 04, 2013 at 07:46 AM
After a year of research I believe it is our doppler weather radar towers causing the increase in autism. They are energizing the atmosphere which in turn is gradually ionizing all of us at a higher rate, triggering accelerated decay and mutations. The installations coincide with the rise in Autism. They are also killing biology in our waterways and triggering algae blooms.
Posted by: ChemE | November 04, 2013 at 07:22 AM