By Teresa Conrick
Advisory Committee on Childhood Vaccines Votes No to Tics as Vaccine Injury
Tics used to be associated with a sole diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome. Today, they are more frequently seen in Autism Spectrum Disorder, PANDAS, and PANS . Motor, vocal, and whole body - I see videos and discussions about them on the FB groups I frequent, as Meg has both an autism and PANS diagnosis. I recently read on the World Mercury Project website, this article from Brian Hooker, Ph.D., P.E. Please read it as he does an excellent job showing some important connections:
Between November 2013 and September 2014, I was in direct contact with the CDC Whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson. I recently wrote about my interactions with Dr. Thompson in an editorial piece that appeared in the winter 2017 edition of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (22:119). One of the key issues that I discussed with Dr. Thompson was the relationship between thimerosal and tics, based on CDC’s own publications....
....A significant association between Hg exposure from thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines and a diagnosis of tic disorder (TD) has now been found in six epidemiological studies (Verstraeten et al. 2003, Andrews et al. 2004, Thompson et al. 2007, Young et al, 2008, Barile et al. 2012, Geier et al. 2015). The Thompson study states that, “The replication of the findings regarding tics suggests the potential need for further studies.”
Very recently, there was a glimmer of hope that at least one Federal Agency was going to take the relationship between thimerosal exposure and tics seriously. In December 2017, the Advisory Committee on Childhood Vaccines(ACCV), the body that determines which vaccine injuries warrant compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), considered adding tics as an injury to the “vaccine injury table” for which compensation should be received. This was on the basis of a separate citizen’s petition to allow tics to be added to the “table” and thus qualify for compensation....This was most likely “a plan” to avoid a flood of tic claims in the NVICP. Surely, the ACCV understood that tics are a common feature in autism(occurring 4 times more frequently in autistic children than in neurotypical).
Different year - same bullshit it seems. Solid research yet nothing helpful seems to come from it.
I remember this study that Dr. Hooker shared, Mercury intoxication presenting with tics, as I had found it years ago in researching about Meg's symptoms:
Abstract: A 5 year old Chinese boy presented with recurrent oral ulceration followed by motor and vocal tics. The Chinese herbal spray he used for his mouth ulcers was found to have a high mercury content. His blood mercury concentration was raised. Isolated tics as the sole presentation of mercury intoxication has not previously been reported.
I personally find this fascinating as Meg has presented with tics on/off since age 3. Since tics are 4 times more prevalent in autism spectrum disorders than in non-affected children and young adults, it is intriguing to look at patterns to figure out what is happening. The brain , of course, is a well-known recipient to toxic exposures but science is also reporting on the huge impact of the gut microbiome on the brain. Because Meg had numerous vaccines with Thimerosal, the mercury preservative, and has both autism and the autoimmune disorder, PANDAS/PANS, could there be connections in any of this?
Autism can present with tics, as this heartbreaking Youtube video shows but tics are also a telling symptom in PANDAS/PANS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UU3rmsLV_6w. Very similar and increasing in numbers.
Let me present research that I have been reading that threads some of this together:
It is also becoming evident that the intestinal microflora regulates brain function and behavior, and may thus influence the pathophysiology of various neuropsychiatric disorders including anxiety, depression, and autism.3,4
Now, preliminary findings of research presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in Atlanta, Georgia, indicate a likely connection between obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and a disrupted gut microbial milieu.5....It is worth noting that in this sample, comorbid generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), major depressive disorder (MDD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or tic disorder was established in 40% to 60% of patients diagnosed with OCD.
Temporal Association of Certain Neuropsychiatric Disorders Following Vaccination of Children and Adolescents: A Pilot Case–Control Study - There is a considerable body of scientific evidence indicating that the immune system plays a key role in normal brain development and in the pathobiology of several neuropsychiatric disorders (1). These include obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) (2,3), anorexia nervosa (AN) (4), tic disorders (5), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (6), major depressive disorder (7), and bipolar disorder (8)....Receipt of any vaccine in the previous 6 months was highest for children with AN (21.4%), followed by OCD (15.9%) and tic disorder (15.8%) ... In general, vaccination rates were highest among children in the AN, OCD, and tic disorder groups....Children with tic disorder were more likely to have received an influenza or a meningococcal vaccine in the previous 6 or 12 months.
It should be noted that both of those vaccines, influenza and meningococcal, can contain approximately 25 mcg. of Thimerosal .
Another aspect of this in both autism and neuropsychiatric disorders like PANDAS and PANS, is that mercury can affect the MICROBIOME, the bacteria that play a huge part in our body's physical and mental health.
......prevalent and well-defined external human health hazards—suggest the role of commensal bacteria may equal or exceed that of genetic polymorphisms that regulate metal transformations within the body....Thousands of studies have shown that mercury affects many metabolic processes and organ systems in humans and experimental animals. Silbergeld says research by her laboratory and others indicates inorganic mercury can also impact the mucosal immune system, for instance by increasing the production of proinflammatory cytokines and serum levels of biomarkers of immune alteration related to autoimmunity. ...humans have generated unprecedented environments with high concentrations of antibiotics and metals, especially mercury, inside our bodies.
Summers says bacterial exposure to metals such as mercury can contribute to antimicrobial resistance because many transferrable plasmids carry genes for multiple types resistance. In other words, in the process of developing metal resistance, a bacterium may also become resistant to an antibiotic it hasn’t even encountered.
....mercury exposure increased the abundance of mercury-resistant bacteria, but also found that mercury exposure completely eliminated Bacteroidetes and elevated levels of Actinobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and Alphaproteobacteria.....a recent epidemiological study found that probiotics have a protective effect against increases to blood levels of mercury in pregnant women (Bisanz et al. 2014), suggesting that modulation of a mercury-exposed gut microbiome could possibly counter the effects of mercury-exposure-related disease. However, there remains a need for more experimental studies that use animal models greater of similarity to humans as well as cutting-edge microbiome profiling techniques in order to better establish the relationship between mercury exposure and the gut microbiome.
In addition to organic pollutants, human gut microbes modify the structures and alter the toxicities of various heavy metals, including bismuth, arsenic, and mercury. Mercury bioaccumulates in living organisms, posing a threat to human health, and gut microbial metabolism may affect mercury toxicity and lifetime in the body. Rat fecal samples reduce methylmercury (CH3Hg+) to the less toxic inorganic mercury, thereby facilitating mercury excretion from the host (84). Depletion of the gut flora in rats and mice can result in the accumulation of methylmercury, thereby causing neurological symptoms (85). The enzymes responsible for this protective activity could include homologs of the demethylating, organomercuric lyase (MerB) and mercuric reductase (MerA), which have been identified in human isolates (86). However, the abundance of mer genes did not correlate with fecal methylmercury levels in a recent clinical study, raising the possibility of additional enzymes or indirect effects (87). Notably, incubation of a mixture of 16 metal(oid)s with suspensions from an in vitro simulator of the GI tract resulted in volatilization of many metal species and the production of As/S compounds not previously observed in biological systems (88). These studies indicate that there are major gaps in our knowledge of the gut microbiota’s interactions with heavy metals and the resulting toxicological implications.
Lisa Helbling Chadwick, the NIEHS liaison for the Human Microbiome Project, says the institute is increasing its focus on the impact of microbiomes on toxicology. “One thing we are really interested in at NIEHS is understanding how individuals respond differently to exposures, what makes one person more susceptible to adverse health outcomes from an exposure than another,” she says. “Genetics only partially explains this.”
Thoughts? Feelings? Solutions? More research?
Teresa Conrick is Science Editor for Age of Autism.