Testimony Presented To Government Reform Committee Hearing On Autism
Washington, DC, April 6, 2000
Mr. Chairman, Honorable Dan Burton and members of the committee:
My name is Mary Norfleet Megson. I am a board-certified pediatrician, Fellowship trained in Child Development, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Medical College of Virginia.
I have practiced pediatrics for 22 years, the last 15 years seeing only children with Developmental Disabilities, which include learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and autism. I have served as advisor to the City of Richmond and the surrounding counties as they have established entire programs for autistic children.
In 1978, I learned as a resident at Boston Floating Hospital that the incidence of autism was one in 10,000 children. Over the last 10 years I have watched the incidence of autism skyrocket to 1 in 300 to 1 in 600 children.
The segment of children with “regressive autism”, the form where children develop normally for a period of time then lose skills and sink into autism most commonly at 18 to 24 months of age, is increasing at a phenomenal rate. I am seeing multiple children in the same family affected, including in the last week four cases of “autistic regression” developing in four-year-old children after their MMR and DPT vaccination. In the past, this was unheard of.
In the vast majority of these cases, one parent reports night blindness or other rarer disorders which are caused by a genetic defect in a G protein, where they join cell membrane receptors, which are activated by retinoids, neurotransmitters, hormones, secretin and other protein messengers.
G proteins are cellular proteins that upgrade or downgrade signals in sensory organs that regulate touch, taste, smell, hearing and vision. The are found all over the body in high concentration in the gut and in the brain, and turn on or off multiple metabolic pathways including those for metabolism and cell growth.
Close to the age of “autistic regression”, we add pertussis toxin (DPT vaccine) which completely disrupts G Alpha signals(3). This leads to:
(1) Glycogen breakdown (elevated blood sugar)
(2) Lipid breakdown (increased blood fats)
(3) Cell growth differentiation (uncontrolled cell growth)
The MMR vaccine given at 15 months precedes the DPT at 18 months, which turns on uncontrolled cell growth differentiation.
Families of these damaged children report cancer in the parents or grandparents, the most common being colon cancer. The genetic defect is a cancer gene (rasoncogene). It is the same defect as that for congenital stationary night blindness.
G protein defects cause severe loss of rod function in most autistic children. They lose night vision and shading on objects in the daylight and 3D vision, seeing only colour and shape except for a box in the middle of their visual field.
They try to make sense of the world around them by lining up toys, sorting by color. Their avoidance of eye contact is an attempt to get light to land off center in the retina where they have some rod function. Mother’s touch feels like sandpaper on their skin. Common sounds become like nails scraped on a blackboard.
I am using natural lipid soluble concentrated cis form of vitamin A in cod liver oil to bypass blocked G protein pathways and turn on these central retinoid receptors. In a few days, most of these children regain eye contact.
After two months on vitamin A treatment, some of these children, when given a single dose of bethanechol to stimulate pathways in the parasympathetic system in the gut, focus, laugh, concentrate, show a sense of humor and talk after 30 minutes as if reconnected.
This improves cognition, but they are still physically ill. When these children get the MMR vaccine, their vitamin A stores are depleted; they cannot compensate for blocked pathways. Lack of vitamin A (the anti-infective agent) leaves them immuno-suppressed. They lack cell-mediated immunity. On cod liver oil, the only natural source of this natural substance, the children get well.
The parasympathetic nervous system is blocked by the second G protein defect. These children are unable to relax, focus and digest their food. Instead they are in sympathetic overdrive with a constant outpouring of adrenaline and stress hormones.
They are anxious, have dilated pupils, high blood pressure and heart rate. These and other symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are part of this constant “fright or flight” response. These symptoms improve on bethanechol.
Children with autism are physically ill, immuno-suppressed with a chronic autoimmune disorder affecting multiple organ systems. Implementing vaccine policies that are safe for all children should become our first priority.
Mothers from all over the country have brought pictures of their autistic children to Washington this weekend. Most of these children were born normal and lost to “autistic regression”. Look into their eyes and you will hear their silence.
Mary N. Megson, MD., F.A.A.P.