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Hall of Fame: Background (next page) click for a PDF of this page
As the rates of autism began to skyrocket in the 1990s, more and more parents began to listen to what Dr. Rimland was saying and quickly saw the benefits for themselves of nutritional supplementation and dietary change. Dr. Rimland, overwhelmed by the response from parents, began to track their feedback regarding the forms of intervention that created the most improvement in their children. His Parent Ratings summary remains one of the most informative systems for tracking biomedical results. Like most professionals in the field of autism, Dr. Rimland does not have a background in toxicology. Little did he know at the time that it is mercury that strips the body of B6 and magnesium and that mercury contributes to gut permeability, allowing proteins, like the ones found in dairy and gluten, to enter the bloodstream and impact behavior. Dr. Rimland's efforts, culminating in the formation of the Defeat Autism Now! Network of physicians, helped provide the first opening to the mercury trail...
Lyn Redwood, a nurse from Georgia, and Sallie Bernard, a businesswoman living in New York, both knew that vaccines had played a role in their children's autism. The more they investigated, the more they found that something was not right. Why had the amount of Thimerosal from vaccines for children almost tripled beginning in 1988? Why hadn't anyone mentioned that these vaccines exceeded EPA safe limits for mercury by as much as 125 times safe levels for adults? Why was it that the symptoms of mercury toxicity were nearly identical to the symptoms of autism? Together, they founded SafeMinds, an organization dedicated to getting mercury out of children's vaccines. Along with Mark Blaxill and Albert Enayati, SafeMinds has gone on to publish some of the most seminal works in the autism field demonstrating the clear correlation between autism and mercury. They have also published several reports revealing the flaws in methodology and conflicts of interests in the authors of the prominent studies held up by mainstream medicine as "proof" no correlation between mercury and autism including the CDC, Denmark, and The Institute of Medicine.
Separately, parents of a mercury-poisoned child, Lujene Clark and her physician husband Alan Clark, founded NoMercury to tell the world about mercury's dangers and work at the state level to eliminate Thimerosal from pediatric vaccines. Thimerosal has now been banned in childhood vaccines in Iowa and California with 15 or more other states considering similar legislation. Additionally, Jo Pike, another parent of an autistic child, formed the National Autism Association to promote advocacy for children and education for parents. These parent-founded organizations provided a ray of truth that pierced through the ignorance and misinformation of the mainstream health authorities, became the conscience of several Congressman and State-level politicians across the country, and planted seeds of doubt in the misinformation about autism's true cause and cure.
Meanwhile, in Louisiana, two courageous doctors would change the way autism was treated forever. Dr. Stephanie Cave, a vaccine expert, saw her patient load of autistic children swelling in the mid to late 1990s. A visit by another Louisiana doctor, Amy Holmes, would change both of their lives. "Dr. Amy", as she is now known, was the parent of an autistic child. On a hunch that her son may be lead poisoned, Dr. Amy worked with Dr. Cave to administer an FDA-approved drug, DMSA, to remove lead from her son's body. As her son's hair tests would prove, the DMSA worked and the lead began to pour out of her son's body. At the same time, her son began to show improvement in autistic behaviors, although he was far from recovered. With each successive treatment, her son's lead levels in the hair dropped, implying that the DMSA treatment was working and the lead was largely removed. Yet, her son remained autistic, so Dr. Amy chose to keep going. This courageous decision to continue DMSA, despite lead levels that were dropping, lead to an amazing discovery: as the lead excretion ran its course, out of nowhere and after practically no previous excretion, mercury began to pour out of her son's body and with it came dramatic improvement in neurological function (Read Dr. Amy's summary about her son here). Drs. Holmes & Cave went into partnership together and have gone on to treat hundreds of autistic children. The mercury trail was widening.
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