The connection between mercury and elevated testosterone - which seems so solid to the Geiers - is not clear at all, even at overtly toxic levels. Nor does the idea that testosterone impairs mercury excretion or increases mercury toxicity seem to be holding water... we have no data to support the idea that testosterone binds preferentially to mercury, that mercury bound to testosterone (if it were possible) would be bioavailable (capable of doing harm). We also have no data that mercury causes an increase in DHEA (as proposed by Geier and Geier) or that testosterone impairs excretion of mercury. What's left?
The Lupron "Protocol", or Experimenting on Autistic Kids for Fun and Profit
Conference attendee's account of claims by Dr. Mary Megson that she administered Lupron to a child for the purpose of increasing the ability of chelation to extract mercury.
Starting with two pieces of real data ([a] some autistic children have elevated testosterone levels and [b] mercury can impair the function of one enzyme related to testosterone production), the Geiers have spun a tale of how mercury can cause autism, how various unrelated autism 'therapies' are working through this common pathway, and how giving autistic children drugs to reduce testosterone can make them 'all better'. Is anyone else seeing the holes that I do? There is no data to support what they are saying, beyond the rather thin threads mentioned above. Now, if they were advocating the use of a water-soluble vitamins and absorption-limited 'minerals' (ala Rimland), that would be one thing. The risks of that sort of 'therapy' are low and the costs are likewise low. However, Lupron (the drug they are advocating on their 'snake-oil circuit', if not the only drug mentioned in their article) is potentially very dangerous and it is very expensive.
In which Dr. McCandless claims that Lupron increases the ease with which chelation pulls mercury from the body.
Lupron is one of the latest in a series of drugs, called antiandrogens, that trigger a reduction in the production of testosterone. Most commonly used to treat men with prostate cancer -- like New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani -- and women with endometriosis, it also serves as a "chemical castration" to treat sex offenders.
Leuprolide is a synthetic analog of endogenous gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), or gonadorelin. GnRH regulates follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) synthesis and secretion by the anterior pituitary gland. In response to GnRH, FSH and LH synthesis initially increase, causing a transient increase in circulating levels of sex hormones. With continued administration for more than 1-3
weeks, the pituitary gland down-regulates and desensitizes GnRH receptors, reducing FSH and LH secretion. Although the physiologic effects are complicated, the end result of continuous GnRH use is
chemical castration, or markedly reduced estrogen levels in females and testosterone levels in males.
Profile of a family in which the parents attribute their son's autism to thimerosal. Discussion of "alternative therapies" contains reference to "testosterone regulation" as an emerging treatment for autistic children.
In 2003, a special master who presided over a case of alleged vaccine injury issued a report that severely criticized Dr. Geier's analysis of a case. The ruling is espcially noteworthy because the special master referred to him as "a professional witness in areas for which he has no training, expertise, and experience" and listed nine other cases in which Geier's expert testimony was given "no weight."
Approval Letter(s), Medical Review(s), Chemistry Review(s, Environmental Assessment, Pharmacology Review(s), Statistical Review(s), Microbiology Review(s), Clinical Pharmacology Biopharmaceutics Review(s), Administrative Document(s), Correspondence
Brief mention of Lupron, followed by discussion.
There is an unsubstantiated theory put about by Boyd Haley and the Geiers that testosterone levels are raised in autistic people. There is a further unsubstantiated theory that high testosterone counteracts the bodies ability to be chelated of its mercury efficiently. That the excess mercury got there is also due to an unsubstantiated theory that thiomersal in vaccines is responsible. The use of chelating agents (which alter the body's chemistry) have never been tested for safety or efficacy for autistic people (who have chemically different brains than non-autistic people). So, in my opinion, we have a potentially dangerous and thus far non demonstrably necessary treatment being administered to autistic people. It was put about awhile ago that a typical course of chelation should last 18 months to two years. Now we seem to be approaching that time scale for a lot of children and there seems to be little to no response (unless you believe the unverified claims of Generation Rescue), there's now a casting about for a reason why the chelation isn't working as was first thought.
the studies by Geier could not establish a causal relation between MMR and autism because of their methods -- such as using statistical measures incorrectly and omitting facts about their research approach. Similar problems were found in six other studies by Geier and one study by Blaxill, which reported findings of an association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. In addition, Geier's expertise in neurological disorders has been questioned.
Who will assume moral and legal responsibility for any adverse consequences to children being subjected to the Geiers' “Lupron Protocol”? Will children have to die or suffer grievous damage in order for this reckless experimentation to stop? What could any of the adults involved in this endeavor possibly be thinking when they submit autistic children to this sort of treatment?
About Mark and David Geier's applications to patent the "Lupron protocol."
Like many scientists, I used to grow glassy-eyed at any of the pseudoscientific and baseless claims that autism is due to mercury poisoning from thimerosal in vaccines, that autism could be cured by chelation, etc., because I thought these were just wacky claims from a fringe element. What I've learned is that relatively influential and financially-motivated persons in the autism community are creating medical danger for hundreds of thousands of children by preying on rightfully concerned parents who are swayed easily by emotional, but non-scientific, arguments.
Dr. Geier, who is a geneticist and an obstetrician, is not qualified to give a neurological diagnosis... In other cases, Dr. Geier's testimony has similarly been accorded no weight... It is doubtful that Dr. Geier meets the AMA guidelines for expert witnesses. Dr. Geier's expertise, training and and experience is in genetics and obstetrics. He is, however, a professional witness in areas where he has no expertise, training and experience. Petitioners must seriously consider whether they want to proceed with a witness whose opinion on neurological diagnosis is unacceptable to the undersigned.
In children with central precocious puberty (CPP), stimulated and basal gonadotropins are reduced to prepubertal levels. Testosterone and estradiol are reduced to prepubertal levels in males and females respectively. Reduction of gonadotropins will allow for normal physical and psychological growth and development. Natural maturation occurs when gonadotropins return to pubertal levels following discontinuation of leuprolide acetate. The following physiologic effects have been noted with the chronic administration of leuprolide acetate in this patient population. 1. Skeletal Growth. A measurable increase in body length can be noted since the epiphyseal plates will not close prematurely. 2. Organ growth. Reproductive organs will return to a prepubertal state. 3. Menses. Menses, if present, will cease.
We put forward the medical hypothesis that autistic disorders, in fact, represents a form of testosterone mercury toxicity, and based upon this observation, one can design novel treatments for autistics directed towards higher testosterone levels in autistic children. We suggest a series of experiments that need to be conducted in order to evaluate the exact mechanisms for mercury-testosterone toxicity, and various types of clinical manipulations that may be employed to control testosterone levels. It is hoped by devising therapies that address the steroid hormone pathways, in addition to the current treatments that successful lower heavy metal body-burdens of mercury, will work synergistically to improve clinical outcomes... (I)t seems imperative that the avenue of potential treatment by manipulation of the steroid hormone pathways be explored immediately.
Links to Powerpoint presentations about the experimental use of Lupron on autistic children. Presentations discuss apparent indicators and manner of diagnosis of "precocious puberty" by a non-endocrinologist who speculates that "excess testosterone" increases the toxicity of mercury, and that its regulation can increase the efficacy of chelation.
About the striking similarities between two articles written by Mark and David Geier, and a June 2000 draft of a study by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control.
About the drugs administered to children on the Lupron Protocol -- Lupron, succimer (DMSA) and Androcur.
About the promotional assistance provided to Mark and David Geier by the parents of research subjects and political allies.
About the shifting terminology used by Mark and David Geier to refer to the condition supposedly experienced by autistic children being treated with Lupron, raising questions about the means by which insurance companies are being persuaded to reimburse the costs of the treatment.
About the extensive phlebotomy and laboratory testing performed on children being evaluated for participation in the Geiers' study and possible treatment with Lupron.
About the appearance of a misleading statement of affiliation in the byline of an article by Mark Geier and David Geier, published in the journal Hormone Research.
About the manner in which Mark and David Geier cite the work of other researchers to substantiate their claims about the "Lupron protocol."
A partial transcript of an interview with Mark Geier on the conspiracy talk show, Radio Liberty.
About the application to patent the "Lupron Protocol" submitted by Mark and David Geier and TAP Pharmaceuticals.
About the increase in numbers of autistic children diagnosed with central precocious puberty and administered Lupron, and the criteria according to which those diagnoses are being proferred.
A response to The biochemical basis and treatment of autism: Interactions between mercury, transsulfuration, and androgens, the first peer-reviewed journal article in which Mark and David Geier discuss after the fact their treatment of autistic children with Lupron.
About the "Institute for Chronic Illnesses" and its Institutional Review Board, established by Mark Geier to supervise his and his son's own research, with members drawn from the ranks of patients' parents, business associates and political allies.
About the amendment and republication of Mark and David Geier's article by Hormone Research, in spite of documented irregularities with their Institutional Review Board.
Features a discussion of the use of Lupron as a treatment for autistic children.
Links to videos of Mark Geier, and David Geier discussing their experimental use of Lupron on autistic children, and testimony of Lisa Sykes about her son's treatment.
Mrs. Nadeau suggests that “regulating testosterone levels” might “help” autistic children. This involves administering Lupron, a potent hormonal suppressant. The “researchers” promoting this hypothesis, Mark and David Geier, have made a career out of persuading parents to file lawsuits alleging vaccine injury. Dr. Mark Geier's “expertise” has been rejected by numerous judges; one characterized his testimony as “intellectually dishonest.” Disturbingly, Autism-Mercury newsgroup posts (http://www.onibasu.com) reveal that Mrs. Nadeau recently advised one mother to disregard a doctor's conclusion that her son's testosterone levels were normal, and encouraged that mother to contact the Geiers, who stand ready to offer telephone consultations to New Hampshire clients.
Re: A Series of Studies to Analyze the Vaccine Safety Database
Mark and David Geier, the father-son tag-team of VAERS database dumpster-divers who don't seem to be too concerned about following Institutional Review Board guidelines while diving in, have latched on to the idea that lowering testosterone will "increase the efficacy" of chelation therapy. That's why they want to give Lupron to children. Others (links at the end of the article) have weighed in on this issue extensively, making me wonder whether there was anything further I could contribute. After thinking about it, however, I realized that my unique contribution could be to look at the Geiers' concept (I won't dignify it with the word "hypothesis") from a scientific point of view to explain why it's such a bad idea.
Opinions expressed by the authors of pages to which this site links do not necessarily reflect this site developer's opinions.
In other words: Sublime or ridiculous? You decide!
Copyright © 2004-2008, Kathleen Seidel. All rights reserved.
This page was last updated on 5 November 2008, 3:48 pm
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