By Bill Welsh
“First of all they ignore you,
then they ridicule you
then they fight you
and then you win"
It is important to remind readers that this series of articles is based on a ‘hypothesis’---a theory. It was made clear in the first episode that this is not a criticism of any earlier hypotheses. So please read the 3 episodes in as neutral a manner as you can, then discuss.
I will summarise the two previous articles and respond to some of the interesting points raised.
It is proposed that the role of auditory processing disruption should be given closer consideration as a material factor in the development of autistic symptoms. It is also proposed that a vaccine contaminant, namely Mycoplasma fermentans, an undesirable by- product of the cell-line technology used in some vaccine manufacturing processes, may be directly responsible for many of the symptoms commonly seen in regressive autistic children. This would include not only auditory processing problems but also chronic gastritis. (It has been claimed elsewhere that 6% of commercial vaccines are contaminated). Mycoplasma’s opportunistic nature and affinity to the cilia, the hair like structures that extend from nearly all mammalian cells including the cilia containing areas of the inner ear, G.I tract, the eyes’ photoreceptors, and central nervous system would explain a great deal of what is articulated by parents when describing their child’s regression.
Mycoplasma fermentans is a bacterial pathogen and if it were proved to be in the cells of regressive autistic children the source of the contamination would be difficult to disprove, in my (naive?) view.
To answer ‘Not an MD’: I mentioned herbal treatments and I can recommend the book “Healing Lyme Disease Co-infections” by Stephen Harrod Buhner. It contains comprehensive (but somewhat harrowing) information on mycoplasmas and includes a rather complex herbal treatment protocol. I have discussed my theory with the author and he says “This makes a lot of sense to me”.
If you start researching mycoplasmas you will find that most research has centred on Mycoplasma pneumonia because of its association with the respiratory system, we can learn from this.
I also mentioned there is a treatment currently in clinical development and I can confirm I have been in contact with the company involved. Trials are taking place in Australia, using sheep. I have been in touch with the lead scientist.
No, I have not yet spoken to the sheep!
Important note: Mycoplasma is not visible to the naked eye, mycoplasma detection is difficult, sometimes impossible when using traditional microbiological techniques. Qualitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is necessary to identify the presence of mycoplasma.
Mycoplasmas can also be very hard to culture in the laboratory and are often missed as pathogenic causes of diseases for this reason.
More in response:
To answer Sarah: It is the CATS study (California Autism Twins Study), Genetic Heritability and Shared Environmental Factors Among Twin Pairs With Autism. Arch Gen Psychiatry. Published online july 4, 2011. Doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.76
To answer Seonaid: ‘Mycoplasma infection often results in middle ear infections’.
To answer Eindeker: my article contained the following; “Interestingly, a search of the literature on veterinary vaccines reveals the serious concern that pathogenic mycoplasmas, specifically Mycoplasma Fermentans, have generated over many years which may highlight poor ‘quality control’ and a lack of sufficient care in the manufacturing process”.
To answer Jenny: Chronic gastritis can be caused by mycoplasma, in fact I noticed in the scientific literature that none other than Professor John Walker Smith has been a co-author of a prospective study on that very subject.
To answer Barbara and Kathy: It was not suggested that this is restricted to ‘one vaccine’. It was hypothesised that contamination by Mycoplasma Fermentans may be a feature of the cell line technology used in the vaccine manufacturing process.
The vaccine manufacturing process is convoluted and frankly a potentially unclean procedure. Any vaccine can become contaminated during the process but the prospect increases when the vaccine is a multiple vaccine. The likelihood increases further when the vaccine is a live virus vaccine, and even more so when the vaccine is a multiple live virus vaccine. MMR is more likely to become contaminated than any other vaccine on the current UK childhood vaccine schedule, not just three times more likely, but many times more likely. (Hence the increase in autism?)
To answer Millie: You are quite correct. From your personal perspective this hypothesis is ‘garbage’. From the perspective of many others on the autism spectrum this hypothesis could be very significant.
To answer Greg: No, I am not saying vaccines are safe, but I am saying they would be safer without contamination with a bacterial pathogen.
To answer Carol: My litigation list is incomplete but at least 6 children had batch D1433. Autism and bowel problems the result.
With regard to the issue of ‘testing’ to establish whether or not Mycoplasma fermentans is present in a patient, (and to prove or disprove this hypothesis), that is more problematic.
In truth, this will require a properly conducted and funded research initiative. I am urgently exploring this aspect with others. A research project could be set up immediately by, say, a government body, but one danger is that the government body would have an interest in the outcome and may skew the results by for example testing the wrong children.
Nothing is ever straightforward where our children are concerned, is it?
I hope I have answered all the questions.
I am aware that pinpointing just one bacterial pathogen as the possible cause of regressive autism will seem simplistic to many but Mycoplasma fermentans ticks all the right boxes:
1) Associated with bowel disease.
2) Associated with problems of the auditory canal.
3) Difficult to detect.
4) Able to cross the blood/brain barrier.
6) Associated with vaccines. In fact I am hypothesising that it has actually been injected directly into the bloodstream of our children.
Bill Welsh is the founder and former Honorary President of Autism Treatment Trust, Edinburgh, Scotland.
This abridged hypothesis outlines the putative involvement of the pathogen mycoplasma fermentans as a potential aetiological agent and that vaccination is one likely conduit for this covert pathogen and a cause of the symptoms commonly seen in regressive autistic children. It is an abbreviated version of the scientific paper: Mycoplasma Fermentans and deciliation as a precursor to Regressive Autism.(copyright Bill Welsh).