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Dr. Andy Wakefield - You Had Me at Microbiome

MicrobiomeAndy and teresaBy Teresa Conrick

I have been reading and writing about the microbiome quite a lot so it was inspiring to be able to hear Dr. Andrew Wakefield discuss vaccine safety issues, autism and the microbiome here in Chicago earlier this year.  Dr. Wakefield was presenting along with Dr. Ashly Ochsner, BS, DC, a popular, local Chiropractor, whose practice, Health From Within, treats many patients with an autism diagnosis. Marcella Piper-Terry, parent, activist, FB friend to many, and the heart and soul of VaxTruth, was also a presenter, discussing her own personal journey and the many parents along the way who have had children injured by vaccines.

We listened about the epidemic numbers of kids receiving an autism diagnosis and other chronic diseases.  We cried when Dr. Wakefield showed a photo of a boy, bloody and bruised by his own self-injurious behavior (SIB), who had the most severe case of autism that Dr.Wakefield had ever seen.  He described how the boy received a GI scope and lesions were seen everywhere.  The amount of pain would have had us all on the floor screaming for help, Dr. Wakefield described, but the boy was nonverbal and he could not tell of his plight.  His SIB was not some kind of psychotic display but his reaction to pain -- “the amount of pain probably had this boy almost suicidal.”  He then explained how the boy was put on a special diet and received medical treatments and medications to stop the inflammation and pain.  He was getting better but then the local doctors stopped it.  We have heard this scenario before.  An autism diagnosis often means psychotropic drugs and for a child like this, often restraints. The word, AUTISM, historically has meant a BRAIN issue, thus PSYCHIATRIC only and that’s what happened to this boy.  They stopped his medical care, and his pain and SIB returned.  The insanity of that is just too horrific. 

Andy et alDr Wakefield also described how for years parents were told that there was NO CONNECTION to GI issues and autism.  Many were treated as if they were crazy or had munchausen syndrome by proxy,  the most bizarre excuse that psychiatry ever invented.  Yet here we are now, with study after study showing that there is MUCH EVIDENCE of GI issues and autism:

Autism Gastro Problems May Be Linked To Gut Bacteria  

Gastrointestinal issues in autism spectrum disorder.

Autism Linked To Digestive Problems 

Fecal Microbiota and Metabolome of Children with Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified  

The Gut Microbiome: A New Frontier in Autism Research  

New Published Study Verifies Andrew Wakefield’s Research on Autism

Dr. Andy Wakefield went on to remind us all that it was so unfortunate that those first children of the 1930’s who began to exhibit the unique behaviors of perseveration, issues with language, and social impairments, were sent to a psychiatrist, Dr. Leo Kanner, who mistook their symptoms  which he described as “Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact,”  instead of MEDICAL presentations.Psychiatry also blamed the families, especially the mothers, for the unusual behaviors of their child.  Andy commented that this has prevented much medical care for the children still now, years later, most of them very ILL.  Many of us parents have lived that.  I know my daughter, Megan, age twenty-one and very severely affected, has GI issues, seizures, an autoimmune diagnosis, and episodes of pain and SIB.  She also lost language, lost eye contact and regressed in skills after vaccinations, especially after the MMR vaccine. Listening to Andy talk about the medical issues of autism is like rays of sunlight and hope filling a room that has been dark for far, too long.

The microbiome, a fascinating and pertinent topic in autism has had my interest and Andy touched on that many times in his talk.  He mentioned that a mom right here in Chicago should win the Nobel prize for this huge connection.  Here she is:

……a lady named Ellen Bolte. She had done a remarkable job reviewing the medical literature on autism and related diseases, and concluded this might well be a bacterial infection. And she thought the best example of this was infant botulism, wherein the organism grows in the gut of the baby, produces toxin, and it’s absorbed. It goes to the central nervous system and produces the disease….. So, she had recommended to Dr. Sandler that he treat her child with oral Vancomycin, reasoning that this drug would be active against the type of organism she thought might be causing the disease, and that would be a Clostridia group. They’re Gram-positive and the Vancomycin is particularly active against Gram-positive organisms. So, he agreed to do this and the child had a dramatic improvement, starting within a few days and persisting for six weeks while he was still on the drug. This involved improvement in language skills. He actually had no language beforehand, but he picked up a few words and even began to string together tiny sentences towards the end, like, “No, Mummy, I’d like this.” He was much more malleable. He would listen to people and respond. He would look at them, which was quite different from his usual behaviour. He didn’t have any fits of anger and generally was a much more, nearly normal child.


My Megan has been treated numerous times for Clostridial infections and she too improves due Meg regressingto stopping the infection which then stops the pain, the toxins, and then the negative behaviors.  The microbiome and microbiota are hugely involved in autism, Andy reinforced, and emphasized that the GI bacteria and microbes may be THE KEY to autism.  He showed us this study:

Microbiota Modulate Behavioral and Physiological Abnormalities Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders

…..Our study suggests that B. fragilis is able to ameliorate leaky gut by directly targeting tight junction expression,cytokine production, and/or microbiome composition. Intriguingly, a recent analysis in humans showed that among the Bacteroidaceae family, only a single phylotype most closely related to B. fragilis was selectively depleted in ASD children compared to matched controls, and most dramatically in those subjects with more severe GI issues…..We propose the transformative concept that autism, and likely other behavioral conditions, are potentially diseases involving the gut that ultimately impact the immune,metabolic, and nervous systems, and that microbiome-mediated therapies may be a safe and effective treatment for these neurodevelopmental disorders.

Amen, but because vaccines have been increasingly reported by the parents as the factor that caused regression and illness into autism, a war with those parents, their doctors and the researchers who seek the truth continues.  Dr. Andrew Wakefield has been treated horribly for investigating the origin of GI pain, regression and suffering in autism.  We learned about the D.A.I.R. Foundation and how it is committed to integrity in academics and research.  It supports Andy and other scientists, doctors and researchers when their work is challenged by special interests. Donate if you can.

Thank you to all mentioned here for your commitment in helping so many sick children.


To Andy, your continual concern for our children while you must deal with professional and personal injustice is nothing short of heroic.  Thank you for never giving up.

Teresa Conrick is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.



Terresa, you and Megan have been carrying the gastro-microbiome torch for a long, long time. Maybe someday a medical school will invite you to give a lecture to first year medical students on how to not make people ill.

Thank you


It is looking to me that Schizophrenia, bipolar I , bipolar II, and a mild bipolar called Cyclothymia are all spectrums of the same disease. AND it does involve the gut and they are telling them all-- on these websites to cut out the carbs.



Thanks so much for the information. I knew you were one of us! I printed it off to show my daughter, and read your blog to my husband.

Congrats because you seem to be getting better and better! So glad you are seeing Dr. Frye. Promise me you will tell us everything he tells you esp about treatments.

You are thinking antibiotics and they could play a role - I am not sure; maybe.

For my family; it was the DPT shot --Both of my kids reacted to the DPT shots each and every time beginning at three months of age and again around -6 months - and again around a 10 months and again at five years old. Reactions were always severe and ranged from passing out with very high fevers to even a swollen lower chamber of the heart-- all ignored by genius peds inspite of me complaining. Swollen left ventricle of the heart was my son at three months of age and he had until that point not taken any antibiotics.

I have noticed that many on this website suspects that the reaction to the MMR may in fact be associated with the prior DPT shot. After all Dr. Wakefield at the Royal did find a weakened measles virus in the gut after an MMR which is given later after the DPT shot! Is it because the regular gut microbe has been harmed by previous Hep B or DPT shot to allow even a weakened measle virus to grow?

My suspicions are --my kids would not have needed so many antibiotics if their immune system had not been messed up by the DPT shot to begin with.

Did the DPT shot kill the regular gut bacteria in my kids? If so; it did within hours after receiving the DPT shot at times -- but then there delayed reactions too.

Now they have Hep B given the very day of birth; And from the way my then 28 year old daughter reacted to it - it is a dangerous vaccine - esp for a baby.

I guess my husband might be the less confusing example in this mess. At age 28 -he was healthy - never missed a day of work - worked all day long and come home and work on his farm, house, lots of energy. He was not taking any antibiotics when he received a DPT shot at work ( they called it tetanus, but it was a DPT shot) he had seizures all night long -- he recovers! - except right after this night of seizures he started having panic attacks -- So much so that he had to have medicine to cope. Remember - healthy - no problems - previous and no antibiotics - just a vaccine.

But it is not the end of the story - for life goes on and things change.

A few years later he steps on a nail. He does not get a DPT shot right away. He is given antibiotics orally - he finally has his foot operated on then he is put on a long course of antibiotics given at home through an IV -- and his work needs him so bad that with an antibiotic drip still in his hand he goes into work at a factory! Oh, by the way the home nurse when changing out the antibiotic bags allows some to drip down on my wood floor and ruined the polyurethane finish.

After all of that was over and done with he is fine. They then give him another DPT shot --(tetanus) I could not believe it-- and what irritates me: he does not remember it was after all this foot operation and antibiotics. I remember because we waited dinner for him for two hours and we were finally sitting down at the table when he walks in and tells us that they gave him a tetanus shot (probably DPT), and because he reacted to the last one they made him wait there for a couple of hours. That is why he is late.

I am sitting at the table with two vaccine injured children, so I paid attention. I don't think men -or at least he had pay attention to mile stones nor did he get it when I described to him what I had witnessed in a vaccine reaction. It is hard to fathom through speech -- like the true horrors of war - I suppose -- is hard to really describe.

. Three weeks later - he begins to have severe pain and weakness all over, but the worse was in his legs. It took several years before he ended up down at the Emory Clinic and was diagnosed with acquired mitochondrial disorder in the Complex I mostly -- but also the Complex 4.

By the way he still has panic attack, but they have progressed to myclonic jerks. He has had to live with this for 25 plus years.

Sorry this is so long -- but I think antibiotics can play a role - but the vaccines may play a bigger role.


Schizophrenia besides Autism is making the radar.

Autoimmune diseases, gastrointestinal disorders and the microbiome in schizophrenia: more than a gut feeling.

Roger Kulp

Benedetta,there is a very good chance I have the type of acquired,yes acquired,mitochondrial disease Dr.Frye has written about,with hits on Complex I and IV.I am learning more all the time.As I said here before,I am going to be seeing Dr.Frye in a few months.My case seems to fit what he describes in this article.

It's very long and very complicated,and you need to read it many times to get it.The textbook entry I linked to a few days ago would explain the underlying epigenetic changes that would lead to this type of mito.

Let me quote two sections

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been associated with mitochondrial disease (MD). Interestingly, most individuals with ASD and MD do not have a specific genetic mutation to explain the MD, raising the possibility of that MD may be acquired, at least in a subgroup of children with ASD. Acquired MD has been demonstrated in a rodent ASD model in which propionic acid (PPA), an enteric bacterial fermentation product of ASD-associated gut bacteria, is infused intracerebroventricularly. This animal model shows validity as it demonstrates many behavioral, metabolic, neuropathologic and neurophysiologic abnormalities associated with ASD. This animal model also demonstrates a unique pattern of elevations in short-chain and long-chain acyl-carnitines suggesting abnormalities in fatty-acid metabolism.

So much for "It's gotta be genetic."

Way further down we have this.

Enteric bacterial populations found in increased numbers in stool samples of ASD patients (Clostridia, Desulfovibrio) are known to produce PPA from fermentation of dietary carbohydrates.Impaired carbohydrate digestion and transport in children with ASD can result in a higher concentration of dietary carbohydrates for these bacterial populations to ferment.A recent study has shown that stool from ASD patients have elevations in PPA and other short-chain fatty-acids.In addition, Desulfovibrio is capable of producing PPA from fermentation of peptones and can produce hydrogen sulfide, a potential mitochondrial toxin, which may act synergistically with PPA to promote mitochondrial dysfunction.

Interestingly, administration of common antibiotics (that is, beta lactams) for routine pediatric infections alters gut flora favoring PPA-producing species. This could be significant considering the reported high incidence of antibiotic use in some ASD patients.In addition, this offers a potential explanation for temporary behavioral improvements in some patients following vancomycin or metronidazole treatment, which eradicates these bacterial, and profoundly reduces stool PPA.Furthermore, removal of refined carbohydrates from the diet, which has been suggested as an empiric treatment to improve the behavioral fluctuations, gastrointestinal symptoms and dysbiosis in ASD,8 may act by reducing substrate for these bacteria to produce PPA.

Although low concentrations of PPA may be beneficial, humans with impairments in PPA metabolism (that is, propionic or methymalonic acidemia, holocarboxylase, biotinidase or B12 deficiency,valproate or ethanol exposure) exhibit neurodevelopmental conditions with behavioral and biochemical similarities to ASD.

There has been a discussion recently over at the Facebook Mitochondrial Autism group about children who regressed,not after vaccines,but after amoxicillin,and similar antibiotics.Some of these kids were too young for shots like the MMR.Right away I wondered if this was the case with me.Since I seem to be fitting the profile Dr.Frye has studied so well for this type of mito,and my mother always said I had my first regression at 6-7 months after being in the hospital for acute bacterial meningitis.

This is complicated stuff.There are a lot of layers on this onion to peel back.It isn't just vaccines.

Teresa Conrick

Dear Andy,

You are so welcome, always.


Thank You Jenny for the information.

Martha Martha; Sjogren's Syndrome has come up many times for us too -- along with other fancy names for a cetian type of auto immune disease.

Scoping the gut all the way through is not an easy task -- and some times it is not lesions they find but inflammaion to varying degrees.

You are looking to see if yours is different from everyone else.

There is not even on kid with autims that is the same.

What is similiar - basically auto immune diseases which they really don't have good -- lab -- test for.

Jenny Allan

Benedetta asks - "Was Ellen Bolte able to get a fecal transplant for her son?"

Well, only Ms Bolte can answer that one, but folks might like some info about faecal transplants, also called bacteriotherapy. An Aussie doctor called Tom Boroday (now Prof), privately offered this therapy at his clinic in Australia. There were plenty of 'takers' from all over the world, many desperately ill, having suffered debilitating recurrent bouts of Clostridium difficile.

The problem with C diff is that it is both CAUSED and CURED by antibiotics, but the Metronidazole and Vancomycin, used to treat this infection, do not prevent recurrences of the disease, and both antibiotics also cause gut microbiome depletion!!

Faecal transplants were considered a 'last resort' therapy, and Prof Boroday was initially ridiculed and denigrated by the established medical fraternity. There was also an understandable 'aesthetic' aversion on the part of the patients. However, the therapy WORKED. Putting back an established microbiome, (from donor stools, usually from the patient's family), often completely cured the patient.

Now, the 'medical fraternity', once so critical, have had to swallow their collective pride and incorporate Prof Boroday's faecal transplant therapy into their own clinical treatment regimes.

PS - NO I didn't need a faecal transplant, although they ARE now available in Scotland for difficult C diff cases. Instead I take daily probiotic supplements to prevent any C diff recurrences. I have special capsules for the rare times when I require antibiotics to treat other infections.


What I think is there are different kinds of bowel disease in our individuals. I agree that Wakefield was on to something as some of our GI doctor's are also onto important thoughts about disorders.

My son doesn't show the lesions. He has paralyzed bowel muscles due to a historical Megacolon problem. In the past he has dealt with bowel impactions. He may also have Sjogren's Syndrome which has to do with depletion of moisture in the body such as dry mouth and dry eyes but it can cause constipation because the bowel requires moisture to function. My GI doctor told me this today.

Andy Wakefield

Teresa, thank you.

angus files

Its a mess the whole Autistic body of any of the kids that have had the vaccines .Anyone trying to help are very brave people and need all the support they can get...instead..they are demonised ..shame on pharma..

I hope Dr Wakefield and all keep going one day justice will has to..

Thanks to our Mercury induced Autistic son (the messenger)




Dr. Richard Frye is also in this mess. He is pointing to propionic acid. He says that this short chained carbon molecule is being produced by something or somethings in our gut in way too much abundance. It clogs up the Complex I of the mitrochondria by taking up all the Succinic acid -- is that just considered a toxic effect of botulism?


The doctors may be catching on -- last year I was visited my a good childhood friend - who became a doctor and she said it sounded like botulism what happened to my husband. So she already knew something - I am glad - that she is keeping up. At that time I did not understand what she was getting at. They all are tight lipped - on the matter. I guess I should remember the Chinese student standing in front of the tank image and be charitable. Except; they did and do a lot of flu and booster vaccines slinging - complicity - Yet; you get into each and every doctor -- what did they know and when did they know it. As in my children's ped that knew 30 some years ago and instead of being sorry - was eager to test out the chicken pox vaccine on us - cause if we did not react - that would prove just how safe it was. He viewed us for a few seconds as just an experiment -- the few seconds untill I answered we already had chicken pox.


We might not be allowed to sue the pants off the vaccine manufactures, or the government agencies, or Ohhhh so want justice for the people controls these government agencies that hold up research

-- but if you have a medical test that actually shows something -- can even take a picture of it, and a local doctor ignores it -won't treat it - we sure can sue the pants off of them for that.


I know this is personal -- but I have a pony -- ponies in this race, so I want to know????

Was Ellen Bolte able to get a fecal transplant for her son?
He would be a prime canadate since all the news - the test that proves he had Clostidium infection?

And if he did -- did it work?

Or did his immune system not allow it?

Jenny Allan

My Grandson was one of the 'lucky ones'-treated at the Royal Free by Professor Walker-Smith and his team. He regressed into autism shortly after receiving the MMR vaccine in 1992, but it was many years before his autism was officially diagnosed, some time after his referral to the Royal Free for his bowel problems, (which he still suffers from). A special dietary regime and some clinical interventions worked wonders. Suddenly the near impossible behaviours, (probably as a result of severe pain), were almost gone and my grandson was able to attend a mainstream school with just some extra classroom support. It's heartbreaking to hear about the suffering of other autistic children, which could be alleviated.

When he initially began to attend nursery school as an infant, my grandson was allocated a speech therapist, whom I believe was disciplined by her London Council LEA bosses for 'daring' to mention the 'A' word, but with hindsight my grandson was a 'classic' case of autism, almost non verbal, but able to read and do mathematical calculations in his head involving 3 figures. No one 'taught' him. He was quite 'robotic' and loved to read and chant 'lists' from notices and newspapers, particularly the names of racehorses and the London Undergound stations.

A few years ago, after contracting a nasty dose of Clostridium difficile at a local hospital, I found myself left with many of the same problems and food intolerances my grandson had. A bit of research informed me almost all newborn babies have Clostridium difficile in their bowels, where it is harmless due to the immaturity of newborns' bowel development.

C diff is a 'man made' disease, caused by broad spectrum antibiotics causing an imbalance within the bowl microorganisms. C diff forms resistant spores when threatened. My grandson was on antibiotics for a respiratory infection when he was administered MMR vaccine, and I have often wondered whether antibiotics played a part in his developing autism. I believe viruses as well as bacteria, are also a part of a normal gut microbiome, and would normally be kept in check by a diverse bacterial flora. What happens when three live viruses are delivered to a child with a depleted gut microbiome?

I am quite sure Dr Wakefield's research on the possible persistence of MMR derived measles virus in childrens' bowels might have answered this question. Too bad Dr Wakefield's research was deliberately stopped, following pressure from the then UK Government health department, particularly since this could actually have exonerated the MMR vaccine. My C diff research revealed it can take up to 2 months for a bowel microbiome to recover following a course of antibiotics. Waiting a few weeks before vaccine administration would be a sensible and cost effective measure.

Ellen Bolte's Clostridia research interested me greatly. The Botulism, Gangrene and C Diff bacteria all produce tissue damaging toxins. Other species of Clostridium, which may invade the Ileum are known to 'mop up' essential vitamins including Vitamin B12.

With all the £$billions gong into 'dead end' research into genetics and wiring up babies' heads, how about some REAL cost effective investigations into gut disease and the microbiome in autistic children?

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