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Autism's First Case: From Old Gold to New Treatments

Meg HandBy Teresa Conrick

My focus on the Microbiome and Autism continues into 2016. It is THE continual connection that research shows is lighting the way to medical treatments for so many severely and adversely affected.  My daughter is one of them, and as a result, I read much of the published research on Autism, but also studies that I sense are related.  Meg has both an AUTISM and an AUTOIMMUNE diagnosis. She showed symptoms of regression after receiving both a Hib-DTP vaccine [Tetramune®]  and M-M-R® II (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live).  She developed a fever for days, a fine, red rash and lost expressive language skills and eye contact. An Autism diagnosis was given at age 2 yrs, 7 months. More symptoms would come and increasing health problems with each passing year. She was diagnosed with seizures at age 16 and at 17, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). At age 18, she received an autoimmune diagnosis, with positive anti-nuclear antibodies.  More recently, Meg's fingers and joints look inflamed and she is bothered by them.  She is non-verbal. Treatments tailored for the Microbiome seem to be a hopeful avenue as her life has much pain. With that in mind, Dan's recent Weekly Wrap about Donald T was timed perfectly as I had just been connecting a few dots about Donald.

About this time last year, a study hit the the autoimmune world that to me, gave more credence to the significance of the Microbiome:

Decreased bacterial diversity characterizes the altered gut microbiota in patients with psoriatic arthritis, resembling dysbiosis in inflammatory bowel disease

That title alone should connect some dots because for so many with an Autism diagnosis, the gut is the epicenter.  Inflammatory bowel disease has been on the radar with regression and Autism for over ten years.  The connections here are beyond serendipity.

Here was the Atlantic's story about it:  Joint Pain, From the Gut

Scientists don't know what causes rheumatoid arthritis, but many suspect that the microbiome—the bacteria that live in our gastrointestinal tracts—may be to blame.....

Several recent studies have found intriguing links between gut microbes, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases in which the body’s immune system goes awry and attacks its own tissue.  

It's no secret that I have always been intrigued with what Dan and Mark had written about Donald, based on their book : and the connections to the other first children that Kanner had described.  I also wrote about the joint pain-microbiome connection last year, with not much attention:

Since 1938: Autism, The Microbiome and Donald Triplett, CASE 1 And an excerpt of what I wrote:

…."Scientists are increasingly focusing on how gut bacteria influence the immune system. Studies show the rate of autoimmune diseases is rising, and some scientists believe that may be due, in part, to changes in gut bacteria tied to unhealthy diets, the explosion of antibiotic use, and even anti-bacteria products."

Sound familiar?  I’ve been reporting here almost nonstop on the MICROBIOME and AUTISM.  CASE 1, Donald T could be considered GROUND ZERO on the issue of the microbiome being pivotal in autism.


BUT in doing so, consider those three listed reasons above as influencing bacteria in the gut -- “unhealthy diets, the explosion of antibiotic use, and even anti-bacteria products.”  In the 1930’s, these three factors did not yet exist.  What was new at that time were three, newly commercialized, ethyl mercury compounds: a seed disinfectant, a lumber treatment, and the vaccine preservative thimerosal. It is beyond coincidence that eight of the original "Kanner Eleven" have ties by location or occupation, to one or more of these compounds.......

I have been interested in the fact that MERCURY seems to be quite a contributor to antibiotic resistance and obviously the ramifications of that to the MICROBIOME would be significant.

Kanner described those first 11, showing signs of both GI and IMMUNE dysfunction, but he never recognized it. He was a psychiatrist and spent much of his time analyzing the families and not any of the signs of abnormal health in the children. This was his brief snapshot of Donald T as the parents reported (1938).  It looks like a significant MICROBIOME CONNECTION :

...there were frequent changes of formulas. "Eating," the report said, "has always been a problem with him. He has never shown a normal appetite.

Here, too were some signs in the other first-diagnosed children:

•    He vomited a great deal during his first year
•    She quit taking any kind of nourishment at 3 months. She was tube-fed five times daily up to 1 year of age.
•    He vomited all food from birth through the third month.
•    Large tonsils and adenoids
•    large and ragged tonsils.
•    His tonsils were removed when he was 3 years old.
•    He suffered from repeated colds and otitis media, which necessitated bilateral myringotomy
•    He had been kept in bed often because of colds, bronchitis, chickenpox, streptococcus infection, impetigo
•    Following smallpox vaccination at 12 months, he had an attack of diarrhea and fever

More on this topic later but back to Donald T and what this means today.  For years, parents, researchers and doctors have seen the suffering of so many, with these issues:
Cyclic infections (often ear/throat - STREP)  > Severe GI issues  ( painful constipation/diarrhea/reflux)  > REGRESSION into AUTISM  >  Abnormal EEG with or without seizure activity > Immune abnormalities  > Mitochondrial dysfunction > Chronic seizures (onset often with puberty).  

There were signs of these Microbiome clues with those first patients and even more so today.  Let's look at Donald then in a new light:

Patient 1- Donald Triplett , received both a diagnosis of Autism and Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Science is now showing that both of those, Autism and Rheumatoid Arthritis , seem to be connected to a Microbiome that harbors less healthy bacteria and usually large amounts of pathogenic bacteria. The spectrum of Autism might actually be a barometer showing the health of the Microbiome, ie the bacteria, viruses and bacteriophages of each diagnosed individual. Parents and researchers for well over a decade have made this connection of gut to brain and now it seems well established.

Donald was treated with Gold Salts around 1946, and had a remarkable improvement in his symptoms of both Autism and Rheumatoid Arthritis, as Dan has reportedScience today shows us how that may have occurred and the MICROBIOME seems to be the reason.

So it was with great interest that I saw a study that again illustrated how gold salts could have helped Donald T and how technology today is improving upon that:

Functional gold nanoparticles as photothermal agents for selective-killing of pathogenic bacteria

Our aim was to demonstrate that functional gold nanoparticles can be used as photothermal agents for the selective killing of pathogenic bacteria.


This photothermal approach is effective for the inhibition of pathogenic bacteria cell growth, including Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Very interesting but don't rush out to get gold nanoparticles as more improvements just came out this week:

Combating Antibiotic Resistance Goes Quantum

"Previous studies proved that nanoparticles made of gold or silver were effective at combating antibiotic-resistant infections but indiscriminately damaged the surrounding cells as well. However, quantum dots could be tailored to particular diseases thanks to their light-activated properties. The dots are inactive in darkness, but can be activated by exposing them to light, allowing researchers to modify the wavelength in order to alter and kill the infected cells."....The researchers are hopeful that the specificity and effectiveness of this innovation may help reduce or eliminate the potential side effects of other treatment methods, as well as provide a path forward for future development and clinical trials.

This is the type of research that Autism, Arthritis, plus many other neurodegenerative (ie-Alzheimer's, Parkinson's) and neuropsychiatric (ie-PANDAS,  PANS, LYME ) disorders deserve. The improvement in Donald T seventy years ago was not only a blessing for him but for my daughter today and so many others. Let's heed its message.

Teresa Conrick is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.



On vimeo, Dr Burrascano, one of the pioneer Lyme drs, talking about the history of Lyme,
mentions a nano particle gold stain that NIH studied to find Lyme. Too bad they didn't pursue it for diagnosis and treatment
from about 27:40 to 31:35


@concerned parent

The abusive practice of using bleach ingestion and bleach enemas on kids with autism should be driven beyond "underground" and should be eliminated. Recall that Kerri Rivera herself admitted to the Illinois Attorney General that:

1) she "makes unsubstantiated health and medical claims regarding the use of chlorine dioxide in the treatment of autism;"
2) she "lacks competent and reliable scientific evidence to support her claims that chlorine dioxide can treat autism;" and
3) her "act of promoting unsubstantiated health and medical claims regarding the use of chlorine dioxide in the treatment of autism" is fraudulent under Illinois law.

These are not merely allegations or unsubstantiated charges by the state of Illinois against her. These are her own admissions, legally and factually binding on her, made over her own signature. Illinois gave her the chance to prove her claims and she made no attempt to do so. Instead, she agreed to and signed an assurance of voluntary compliance (AVC) wherein she admits to medical fraud and agrees to stop promoting her fraudulent "protocol" in Illinois. I suspect any other state would pursue similar action against her if she came back onshore from Mexico to engage in such conduct.

The AVC can be found at



it's also my understanding that around the early 1900's wheat was modified significantly, and again in the 1980's (leading to the 90's increase in autism?), both times increasing the gluten content. I read a study once that seemed to imply that during a clinical trial, to induce vitamin D3 deficiency in the lab animal, they gave it gluten. I've wondered since then that if there is possibly an inverse relationship between gluten and D3, what would happen if our most eaten food with an unnaturally high level of gluten could cause a vitamin D deficiency so severe that our bodies could no longer manage germs, especially in injected form, after all D3 is an immune modifier and producer of innate antibacterials, isn't it? If we no longer could fight pathogenic germs, and at the same time started shooting them plus a toxin in our veins, as well as spraying food with things causing antibiotic resistance bacteria in our plant and animal foods, using baby formula instead of breast milk with protective antibodies in it, and creating antibiotic resistant germs in our own mouths with mercury fillings, what would the results of that perfect storm look like? If gluten, vaccines, and mercury and antibiotic resistance all increased in the 80's, it could be similar to the synergistic toxicity between mercury and aluminum. Individually measurably negative, together exponentially dangerous.

Concerned parent

On 'selective killing of pathogenic bacteria' - Chlorine-dioxde has been found to be effective in killing gram negative pathogens through oxidation, and to neutralize heavy metal compounds ( in the biofilm of the gut) thereby reducing inflammation - without causing tissue damage in the gut. Many children & adults have reported dramatic recoveries from typical symptoms of the spectrum, but this approach still seems to somehow be a underground activity, when it has the potential to be a significant breakthrough in treatment approaches. After years of DAN treatment, we have had the first glimpse of complete recovery with this protocol. Would urge AoA to report more on kids recovering using Kerri Rivera's protocol, and the unexplored dimension of pathogenic parasites in the gut (which exist in symbiosis with gut bacteria, fungi and the human host in a 3 way connection). More info at cdautism dot org and google for Andreas Kalcker.

 Teresa Conrick

Hi Benedetta,

Thanks and that's right about the fecal transplant study...but the results are still not yet out.

Fingers crossed...



encore on the fat summit.
Purlmutter talking about the University of Arizona going to do a study on fecal transplants of kids with autism.


On a recent "Fat Summit" Dr. Hyman was interviewing Dr. Purlmutter.

Dr Purlmutter said that there was going to be a big study on kids with autism taking place in Arizona - for fecal transplants.

Any knowledge about this?

Jeannette Bishop

Thanks, Teresa.

Someone commented in a past post that the appendix stores bacteria for the gut, which was news to me.

Somewhat old press release:


I'm not sure I agree with the conclusions suggesting lack of need for microbiome maintenance in our society...but it's interesting to me to note that there is immune system tissue in the appendix and these researchers believe the function is to protect the bacteria.

So, can vaccination/mercury alter appendix function or ability to sustain the microbiome on a rather permanent basis? Could there be some form of autoimmunity involved?

These case reports suggest to me that the appendix might be a target for mercury accumulation:



Does aluminum accumulate here also? I'm not sure how to search on these topics effectively to determine if this is a viable theory or already explored or...

Betty Bona

Hi Teresa, I can't tell from the picture whether your daughter actually has a rash, but I'll tell you my experience. I had the MMR in the hospital after my first child because I apparently had no titers to rubella (I know I had it as a child, but I was on steroids when they tested). Over the next couple of years, I developed a skin rash on my hands - starting at the joints, but spreading everywhere on my hands. I tried everything to get rid of it and got tested for allergies. The only things they tested that I reacted to were formaldehyde related compounds and neomycin (both in the MMR by the way). I avoided those, but the rash continued. At times, my hands were horribly swollen and covered in a very painful and itchy rash. After about ten years with the rash, I discovered that it was actually improved somewhat by some turmeric type supplements, but never healed completely until I hit menopause. I always knew it was hormone related because it would flare during certain times of my cycle, but I was delighted to see it wane at menopause. I have recently had a very slight flare where my thumbs connect to the wrist, so I'm adding turmeric back in to see if it dissipates. I also wonder what I might have done hormone wise to cause the slight recurrence. Watch your daughter to see if her hands flare with her cycle.

I have recently found a vet who believes certain autoimmune and seizure conditions in animals (and humans too) may result from an estrogen/cortisol/thyroid feedback breakdown (I think mainly caused by our newly toxic environment). He has some interesting reading on his website at drplechner.com. His treatment has saved my dog from her spiraling downturn, so I know he's on the right track, but she's not where I would like to see her. Still, I haven't totally followed all his suggestions. Anyway, it's interesting reading. His initial blood test to see if your pet fits his syndrome (Dr. Plechner's Syndrome) measures total estrogen, cortisol, T4 and T3, and IgA,IgG, and IgM. I wanted to get my son tested as well (it's a vet lab, but they do humans as well), but that's too way out for my family!

Birgit Calhoun

Teresa! The following article appeared in "The Scientist"
The Mycobiome: http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/45153/title/The-Mycobiome/

Also, one of the many videos that were shown re autism one of them had as its main subject the microbiome. I hope you saw it. I can't remember the person who was talking. Very interesting subject.

Betty Bona

Very interesting observations, Teresa. Lisa, did you notice the Richard Deth B12 study reported on here on January 25? It also notes the similarities between schizophrenia and autism in the presence of lower brain B12 levels. The paper discusses the reduced efficacy of the methylation cycle as well. I would not consider the methylation cycle differences to be "mutations" though. They were just perfectly viable genetic differences before we had so much exposure to mercury, aluminum, GMOs, pesticides, endocrine disruptors, latent viruses, and so on. With all these modern day toxic exposures, it's weighing heaviest on people with genetic methylation cycle differences (not that others aren't affected as well). I think some of our B12 is made by our gut bugs, so the toxins have multiple avenues to cause damage. I hope we wake up soon!

 Teresa Conrick

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for you continual support on this topic that keeps gaining more traction. The more we can find out how these symptoms present, the more we can know what caused them...and how to treat/cure them and then -- prevent them!




Thank you so much, Teresa, for this latest contribution. I am reading your columns on the microbiome faithfully and with great interest. I became aware of a strong link between autism, schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis while doing my own research this past year. In my own family we have both rheumatoid arthritis and schizophrenia. My good friend has both rheumatoid arthritis and schizophrenia in her family.

Turns out there is a very high incidence of rheumatoid arthritis in the immediate families of people with autism as well as people with schizophrenia. The best theory, in my assessment, that ties all of these together is a strong genetic susceptibility in some families to retain metals, leading to alterations in the gut bacteria that you have been researching. This may be due to genetic mutations affecting the methylation cycle and/or production of glutathione, which helps excrete metals.

As you and I discussed by email previously, there was a study published in the early '90s showing that the mercury in dental amalgams cause antibiotic resistance. The implications of that study, which was conducted in primates, were nothing short of breath-taking, but the study was never followed up on in any serious way in humans. (I smell a rat, or two or three! There should have immediate follow-up with humans, but the powers that be likely didn't want it, for obvious reasons.)

Here is a link to the NY Times article that covered the study:


If dental amalgams can render the bacteria in the gut immediately resistant to at least five different antibiotics, imagine the impact after several years. And if amalgams can do it, then why not other forms of mercury?

And, if this is the effect on the average mammal, imagine the effect on someone who has less than the average ability to excrete heavy metals in an efficient way.

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