Monday, 21 April 2014

Professor Sir Simon Wessely – Right or Wrong? UPDATE

Margaret Williams

21st April 2014

In October 2013 evidence was collated that disputed – indeed disproved – Professor Sir Simon Wessely’s long-held belief that disorders including ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, Gulf War Syndrome and interstitial cystitis are but different parts of the same “elephant”, the “elephant” being a functional somatic disorder:  “Many of these syndromes are dignified by their own case definition and body of research….We question this orthodoxy and ask whether these syndromes represent specific diagnostic entities, or are they rather more like the elephant to the blind man – simply different parts of a larger animal?” (Lancet 1999:354:936-939). The article also provided evidence that Wessely was equally wrong about the Camelford drinking water catastrophe (Professor Sir Simon Wessely -- Right or Wrong? ).

Whilst some internet commentators question the benefit of re-visiting the past and wish only to move onwards, others hold the view that dismissal of the damage done to sick people by the wrongful ascription of a mental health label to a physical disorder hinders proper understanding and prevents similar damage from being repeated in the future, since nothing constructive has been learned from the unnecessary iatrogenic suffering and no-one has been held accountable for it.

With this in mind and with the emergence of further autopsy evidence, it is timely to reconsider the enormity of the wrong perpetrated by Wessely upon the people of Camelford (a small town in Cornwall), since the whole issue has once again surfaced and deserves global attention. 

It will be recalled that in July 1988 residents of Camelford were poisoned when 20 tonnes of aluminium sulphate were accidentally pumped into their drinking water supply; seven people died; 25,000 suffered serious health effects and 40,000 animals were affected (Dr Douglas Cross: The Ecologist:1990:20:6:228-233).

In 1995, Wessely and his co-psychiatrist Anthony David wrote an editorial in The Journal of Psychosomatic Research entitled “The Legend of Camelford: Medical Consequences of a Water Pollution Accident” in which they said: “Further health monitoring of the population at risk was considered…unnecessary…since the results would ‘be heavily influenced by people’s fears of long term effects’ ” and they noted that symptoms being reported “were put down to anxiety”.  David and Wessely commented that: “Psychological ‘damage’ can lead to successful compensation claims (and) it was clear that at Camelford a physical attribution was required by sufferers”.  They concluded: “We suggest that the most likely explanation of the Camelford findings is that the perception of normal and benign somatic symptoms (physical and mental) by both subjects and health professionals was heightened and subsequently attributed to an external, physical cause such as poisoning….It is probable that among those afflicted are a few individuals with pre-existing somatisation or abridged somatisation disorders…which were then diverted to fall in line with the prevailing complaints of the affected population….Future investigations of environmental incidents should recall that social and cultural factors are as important as medical ones”.

That same year the BMJ published a “re-assessment” of Wessely’s conclusions (Still waters. 5th August 1995:311:395); it found that “mass hysteria was largely responsible for the furore”.

Recently the Daily Mail published an in-depth article by Simon Trump: “Village of the damned: Mysterious suicides. Agonising illness.  And now, 25 years after UK’s worst case of mass poisoning, the first evidence that dirty water has killed people”: 19th April 2014:

Trump sets out the evidence that dead villagers have been found to have had high levels of aluminium in their brain, suffering early onset dementia and a relatively early death.

As Trump says: “It was the worst case of mass poisoning in British history.  The effects were noticed within 90 minutes and included diarrhoea and vomiting, severe joint aches, and blistering.  Hands and lips stuck together.  Hair turned green, fingernails blue”.

Trump exposes yet more aluminium-linked deaths than were previously known about and sets out factual evidence obtained at autopsy by Christopher Exley, Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry at Keele University, who found abnormally high levels of aluminium per gram of dry tissue in samples from Camelford residents.

Professor Exley noted that a finding of more than one microgram of aluminium per gram of dry tissue was “a little unusual”, and that samples from deceased Camelford residents were significantly high, with one such sample being more than 94 micrograms per gram of dry tissue.

At the time, scientists found levels of aluminium in the drinking water of Camelford to be between 500 and 3,000 times the maximum judged acceptable under EU law.

In his article, Trump considers numerous cases who were affected, including the case of one of the deceased who had undergone tests, scans and biopsies while still alive which showed high levels of aluminium in his blood and bones and which caused the protein plaque deposits that led to his early death from dementia. The man developed epilepsy and long before the onset of dementia, he suffered constant memory loss, kidney problems, skin complaints, gum disease, ear infections and brittle bones.  The blood flow in his brain was also restricted.

As Trump makes clear, in 1988 the privatisation of the water industry was looming and Camelford was a major embarrassment. In 2001 the then Environment Minister, Michael Meacher, said that the issue had “become a tug of war between the truth and an attempt to silence the truth”.

Wessely’s part in the dismissal of such devastating suffering as mere “perception” and his confident assertions that there was no evidence of long-term adverse effects on health as a consequence of the drinking water contamination should not be under-estimated when considering the Camelford catastrophe.

Should he not at last admit that he was wrong and publicly apologise?

Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Resurrection

From the Bible

Matthew ch 28 v 1 – 10 -

“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.  And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.  His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:  and for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.  And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo, I have told you.  And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word.  And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him.  Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell My brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me.”

The following is taken from “Echoes of Eternity” by Michael R Abbott; used with permission.

Treasures Above

“Nothing lasts forever,”
So the worldly man does say.
He therefore seeks to grasp at all
The pleasures of the day.
Though moth and thief corrupt and steal,
He still lays up in store
Earth’s treasures, till the hand of death
Comes knocking at the door.

Whose then shall all these riches be,
When God your soul requires?
What will be left to mark your life
When time on earth expires?
Will you, when passing from this world,
Feel much regret and woe?
Or will you to eternity
With peace and comfort go?

“I am the resurrection
And the life,” the Saviour said.
And He, to make the promise true,
For sinners wept and bled.
Though Lord of all, He came to earth
And humbly laid aside
The riches of His throne above,
Then for His people died.

If we would be partakers of
His kingdom and His love,
We must turn from this world to seek
For treasures from above.
The riches that God freely gives,
Death never can remove:
He grants the grace to those who seek,
His promises to prove.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A New Autoimmunity Syndrome Linked to Aluminum In Vaccines

I thought that this world be of interest to those whose illness was, like mine, started by a vaccination.

Posted on: Monday, March 31st 2014 at 6:00 pm

Written By: Celeste McGovern  

Leading immunologists at International Congress on Autoimmunity link aluminum in vaccines to a new post-vaccine syndrome

While "anti-vaxxers" are being smeared in public campaigns as backward and unscientific fear-mongers, a growing body of cutting edge research is emerging from the top echelons of medical immunology to confirm what the cranks have been saying for years about the devastating effects of vaccine ingredients.  The biggest names in the field of study of the human immune system are attached to current papers in the most prestigious immunology literature that link widely used vaccine ingredients such as aluminum to terrifying  modern epidemics of immune-mediated diseases including autism and Alzheimer's.   As well, they've identified an entirely new post-vaccine syndrome: AutoimmuneInflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA). And while the study of ASIA is shining light on the underlying mechanisms through which vaccine ingredients trigger disease, it is also exposing cracks in the foundation of a century of vaccine orthodoxy .

Nearly 3,000 doctors and scientists from around the world gathered last week at the 9th International Congress on Autoimmunity (ICA) in the Nice Acropolis Convention Center on the French Riviera.  Dozens of seminars and panel discussions of causes and treatments for scores of autoimmune diseases were scheduled. But an entire day of the four day event held every two years was devoted to the 3rd International Vaccine Symposium held under the umbrella of the ICA.

Ignasi Rodriguez-Pinto, an autoimmunologist at the Barcelona Hospital Clinic and former fellow of the pre-eminent Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases at Tel Aviv University's Sheba Medical Center was at the symposium to announce the creation of a world registry for ASIA.

ASIA was first identified in the Journal ofAutoimmunology  in 2011 by Dr. Yehuda Schoenfeld, founder of the Zabludowicz Center. It includes a broad spectrum of neurological and immune-mediated phenomena seen following vaccine injections which result from exposure to their ingredients, including aluminum. Among ASIA's diagnostic criteria: weakness, anxiety, rashes, chronic fatigue, sleep disorders and the onset of a range of autoimmune diseases from Systemic Lupus Erythematosis to Rheumatoid Arthritis -- sometimes years after an initial reaction.

ASIA is also dubbed "Schoenfeld's Syndrome" for Schoenfeld who has published more than 1,700 articles in the medical literature and is widely regarded as the world's leading authority on autoimmunity  -- disease that results when certain proteins in the body lose  their "immune privilege" or protected status, and the machinery of the human defence system mistakes them as foreign invaders and launches an assault on its own body.
"ASIA is a wide concept that includes any environmental factor which is demonstrated to trigger autoimmune conditions," said Rodriguez-Pinto. Cases of Gulf War Syndrome, which result from exposure to the chemical squalene – a component of vaccines used on military personnel during the Gulf War, and siliconosis – immune-mediated symptoms  triggered by silicon exposure in prostheses and breast implants – are now being considered under ASIA's umbrella, he said.

The registry was established in January of this year as a tool to enable researchers to analyze cases of ASIA globally, to compare clinical manifestations after exposure, and to establish common instigators of autoimmunity and compare efficacy of treatments. In its first month of operation, 283 confirmed cases of the syndrome were registered -- 73% followed vaccination while the remainder were exposed to other known toxins.

Most currently registered cases of ASIA have followed vaccination for Hepatitis B (70.7 percent), said Rodriguz- Pinto. Forty percent of the cases developed defined autoimmune conditions including Multiple Sclerosis and a subgroup of 20 percent had more than one diagnosed autoimmune disease.

"Adjuvants have been used for decades to improve the immune response to vaccines, and among this large group, alumimum and silicone are most commonly described," explains  a paper in the July 2013 Immunologic Research, penned by four leading immunologists including Schoenfeld. "Nonetheless, as supported by increasing reports, although rarely vaccines are able to trigger the development of [autoimmune diseases] ADs in genetically susceptible humans, this could be ascribed to the presence of containing adjuvants. The time relationship between the vaccine delivery and overt disease can last from a few weeks to even years."

The paper adds that a "now abundant literature shows that exposure of human and animals to aluminum from various sources can have deleterious consequences on the nervous system, especially in adults."

Among the authors of that abundant literature is Canada's Christopher Shaw, chairman of the Children's Medical Safety Research Institute and a researcher at the University of British Columbia who , at the IAC last week described aluminum as "insidiously unsafe."

"That the aluminum ion is very toxic is well known," said Shaw. "Its toxicity was recognized as long ago as 1911 and evidence of that has only been amplified since," he said, especially in a growing body of evidence of aluminum's role in Alzheimer's disease and autism.

Though found in some food and water sources, since the 1920s, aluminum has been used in many and a growing number of vaccines, Shaw said, and "the compartment in which you put it in and the route of administration makes all the difference."

"Aluminum is a demonstrated neurotoxin," he added. "From the molecular level between ions and molecules, to the genome, to the protein and cellular level to the circuit level, there is no level of the nervous system that aluminum does not negatively impact."

Shaw reported on his research on mice injected with aluminum doses equivalent to those in vaccine injections. They showed progressive loss of muscle strength and endurance, and at the cellular level, "profound loss of motor neurons."   

He and other researchers also demonstrated "social interaction deficits" and elevated anxiety levels among the vaccinated mice, reflected by their obsessive stair climbing and reluctance to move between light and dark regions compared to controls, for example. Shaw's forthcoming research demonstrates the impact of aluminum on gene proteins and gene expression and how these relate to autism.

MIT senior research scientist Stephanie Seneff presented a roundup of studies outlining the effect of aluminum on the pineal gland and its possible explanation for the high prevalence of sleep disorders among ASIA sufferers.

French researcher Romain Gherardi explained his team's 2013 study describing a severe meningoencephalitis in mice after vaccination and tracing the path of nanoparticlized aluminum in doses equivalent to what a human would receive. The team found deposits of aluminum encapsulated in macrophages – large immune cells that engulf foreign particles -- in lymph nodes, spleen and brain tissue just four days after injection and lasting up to one year after a single shot.  "Aluminum particles used in vaccines are biopersistant and neuromigratory," he concluded. "These properties have been previously underestimated," and he said, they could explain "neurobiological adverse events."

Another Canadian researcher, Lucija Tomljenovic, described the mechanisms she believes were operating in the deaths of two girls: a 19-year-old who died in her sleep six months following HPV vaccination, and a 14-year-old girl who died in her bathtub 15 days after a second HPV shot. Tomljenovic stained tissue samples from each of the girls' brains and found evidence that aluminum was acting as a "Trojan Horse" into the brain, carrying along with it vaccine components which induced a "cross-reactive" autoimmune attack causing cerebral hemorrhage.

Though not a human study, perhaps Spanish veterinary researcher Lluis Lujan's experiment with sheep exposed to aluminium-containing vaccines is even more significant. Lujan outlined the "devastating consequences" of a compulsory multiple vaccine campaign against bluetongue in Spain in 2008 in which masses of animals died -- now recognized as the ovine version of ASIA.

His 2013 study to investigate the underlying causes of the epidemic found that only 0.5% of sheep inoculated with aluminum vaccines showed an acute reaction within the first two to six days, marked by an array of nervous signs including lethargy, transient blindness, stupor, prostration and seizures.

However, as following the lethal bluetongue vaccines, the delayed onset "chronic" phase of the disease varied widely, manifesting in 50-70% of flocks and sometimes affecting nearly 100% of animals within a given flock. The reaction was frequently triggered by exposure to cold and began with abnormal behaviour, restlessness and compulsive wool-biting, then progressed to acute redness of the skin, generalized weakness, weight loss and muscle tremors, and finally, entered the terminal phase where the animals went down on their front quarters and could not get up. They became unresponsive, comatose and eventually died. Post-mortem examinations revealed "severe neuron necrosis" and aluminum in the nerve tissue.

"We are supposed to balance the benefits of vaccines against the adverse events," said Lujan. "What is sold is [the message] that vaccines have only beneficial effects, and the rest is forgotten or ignored, or nobody wants to hear about it."

Certainly there are many people who don't want to hear about the latest research linking vaccines to incurable and debilitating diseases. The enormity of the implications of ASIA and the toxicity of the aluminum adjuvant in current use throughout the world seems not yet to have penetrated medical consciousness.

Public health policy was barely mentioned, though it was noted that new and more vaccines are continuing to be added to pediatric schedules without taking account of the toxic load of aluminum.  And just what is a tolerable dose of a neurotoxin in a healthy newborn's vaccine?

There is an unaddressed issue of a staggering lack of informed consent. How many parents, for example, considering the distant risk of a hepatitis-B infection in their healthy newborn infant, versus the risk of their child developing perhaps multiple irreversible and poorly understood neuroimmunological diseases, would choose the shot?

"First do no harm," expressed an apparently frustrated scientist linked to the US  FDA. "When we know something is a toxin, it should not be given to people, particularly healthy people.  We have heard enough evidence today that it is a toxin. We can debate it, but based on my experience it is not even a good adjuvant."

No one even mentioned challenging pharmaceutical giants and demanding aluminum's retraction from vaccine manufacture, though such scientists at the ICA are perhaps the best candidates to do so.

ASIA victims are still in a system that is wholly ignorant of the adjuvant problem. Their symptoms, even if they occur immediately in the wake of vaccination, are unrecognized by physicians who have been steeped in a century of vaccine dogma. They are shuttled from one specialist to another and frequently wind up treated by psychiatrists.

Sarah Jensen, a board member of the Vaccination Forum of Denmark intends to send the ASIA registry details of about 200 cases from Denmark, collected from families of girls, mostly aged 14 to 25, who have experienced severe health complications following injection with the Gardasil vaccine against cervical cancer. But Jensen supposes that most of Gardasil's victims --  like those who say vaccine damage is a myth – have never heard of the syndrome.

While many doctors and researchers at the IAC see the problem as simply one of replacing aluminum with something "safer," there are more fundamental questions provoked by the study of ASIA.  Aluminum's toxicity was previously underestimated and denied for nearly a century, so what of other ingredients like the viral DNA contaminants (discussed at the congress), and the infectious agents themselves?  What if the whole vaccine model is just the hubris of a failing one-drug-one-effect paradigm that has vastly underestimated the spectacular complexity of the human immune system?

Most of Lujan's sheep showed no acute phase of immediate post-vaccine trauma. How long is this latency in humans?  Lujan's sheep suffered from an apparent dose-dependent aluminum toxicity. What if even a single aluminum injection sets the immune system up for a fall into neurological or immunological disease that is triggered years, perhaps decades, later? In that case, ASIA is the tip of a very big iceberg.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Widespread Neuroinflammation in ME/CFS

I don't like the use of the term "ME/CFS" as I feel it just creates confusion - but I think that this interesting research news is worth posting -

There are good reasons for thinking that central nervous system pathology is important in ME/CFS, and some indications that inflammation of the brain (neuroinflammation) might be involved. However, proving the existence of neuroinflammation requires specific neuroimaging methods, and these had never been applied to ME/CFS patients – until Japanese researchers bit the bullet.

The team at Osaka City University in Japan, which has been studying ME/CFS for many years, have used PET imaging to try to obtain direct evidence of neuroinflammation. In essence, they measured the density of the ‘translocator protein’ (TSPO) produced when certain brain cells are activated – it’s the activation of these cells which indicates that inflammation is taking place. In this case, the brain cells were microglia (thought to be the main form of active immune defense in the central nervous system) and astrocytes (the most numerous brain cells, with functions including nutrient supply, repair, and nerve impulse transmission). The researchers recruited 9 people with ME/CFS (Fukuda 1994 and ME-ICC 2011 definitions) and 10 healthy controls, who underwent PET scanning involving the injection of a tracer followed by dynamic scanning over 60 min. Participants also completed questionnaires about symptoms, including fatigue, pain, and neurocognitive problems.

Their report in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine reveals that protein levels (indicating inflammation) were higher in ME/CFS patients than controls in “widespread brain regions”, including the cingulate cortex (199% higher), hippocampus (81%), thalamus (66%), midbrain (47%), and pons (45%). And, intriguingly, protein levels in some brain regions were significantly associated with the severity of particular symptoms; some of these associations were quite striking (despite the small number of patients), as in the correlation between protein level and cognitive impairment scores (r=0.94, p<0 .0002="" span="">

The authors conclude that “neuroinflammation is present in widespread brain areas” in ME/CFS patients compared with healthy people. As they point out, this may be due to an immune response to an underlying infectious process, or possibly to over-activation of nerve cells (for whatever reason). There are two things to bear in mind, however. First, numbers are small (in essence, this is pilot data), and would need replication – one swallow doesn’t make a summer, and one scientific report does not convince, though it might fascinate. Second, protein levels were relatively low in absolute terms, raising intricate methodological issues associated with standardization in PET imaging. The authors are to explore this particular aspect in the next phase of their work on ME/CFS patients, an international collaboration study that will use a different, second-generation tracer and have a refined methodology.

If these dramatic and fascinating results can be reproduced, objective evidence of an inflammatory process in the brain of people with ME/CFS will become readily available for diagnostic and treatment-monitoring purposes, with enormous consequences for patients and their families.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Although now dead, the Cholesterolosaurus will march on

By Dr. Malcolm Kendrick

A meta-analysis including 530,525 people, partly funded by the British Heart Foundation, and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has just come to this conclusion:
Conclusion: Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats 1.

Or to put it another way, there is no evidence that saturated fat consumption has anything, whatsoever, to do with causing heart disease, or strokes. Once again I get to say ‘I told you so.’ Ah, the four most satisfying words in the English language. That is, when arranged in that particular order.

So, eat butter, drink milk, and throw away the horrible sugar-loaded low fat yoghurt. Go to France and enjoy the highest saturated fat diet in Europe and you, too, can enjoy the French rate of heart disease. Yes, of course, the lowest in Europe.

But now what happens? You see, the entire edifice of the cholesterol hypothesis is held together by two links in a chain. Link one is that saturated fat consumption raises cholesterol levels. Link two is that raised cholesterol levels then cause heart disease.

Various ‘experts’ have simplified this to the very simple equation:

A (saturated fat in the diet) > B (high cholesterol levels) > C (heart disease)

This is the cholesterol hypothesis, or the lipid hypothesis, and it has driven medical thinking for the last sixty years.

I have had it painstakingly explained to me, by very clever people, exactly how saturated fat raises cholesterol levels. Indeed, you will find ‘evidence’ for this almost universally accepted fact in literally thousands of clinical studies. Here is what Wikipedia has to say on the matter

‘There are strong, consistent, and graded relationships between saturated fat intake, blood cholesterol levels, and the mass occurrence of cardiovascular disease. The relationships are accepted as causal 2.’

Okay, let us accept that eating saturated fat does raise cholesterol levels. However, if consumption of saturated fat does not increase the rate of heart disease then….. Then raised cholesterol levels can have nothing whatsoever to do with causing heart disease. Just keep chasing the implications of that statement around in your head for a while.

So what happens now? We now have a cholesterol/lipid hypothesis that just had its head blown off. Yet, it still continues to wander about, unaware that it is actually dead.

As everyone knows you can chop the head off a chicken and it can wander about for years. I was also informed, when I was an open-mouthed child, that you could shoot a dinosaur through the head and it would continue to blunder about for some time, the rest of its body blissfully unaware that it was actually dead.

Well, the cholesterol hypothesis has just been shot dead, but I suspect it will continue to rampage about, stomping on puny humans for many years, before it finally keels over and admits that it is dead.

But I say, farewell Cholsterolosaurus. You are now a deceased hypothesis. Gone to meet your maker. You just don’t know it yet. Because the people that believe in you do not understand logic.