Groundbreaking Primate Study Links Mercury Vaccine Preservative To Brain Injury

Main Category: Autism
Also Included In:
Immune System / Vaccines;  Neurology / Neuroscience
Article Date: 03 Oct 2009 - 1:00 PDT

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A new study in the leading scientific journal NeuroToxicology lends further credence to parents and scientists concerned about an increasingly aggressive childhood vaccine schedule and toxic vaccine components. A team led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that infant macaque monkeys receiving a single Hepatitis B vaccine containing the mercury-based preservative thimerosal underwent significant delays in developing critical reflexes controlled by the brainstem. The infant macaques that did not receive vaccines developed normally.

Government vaccine guidelines were expanded in 1991 to include a Hepatitis B vaccine for infants within the first few days of life, even though the disease is primarily transmitted sexually or spread through the use of dirty needles. The introduction of the shot was part of a greatly accelerated vaccine schedule that coincides with the drastic increase in
autism, which now affects one in 100 American children. Thimerosal was removed from U.S. Hepatitis B vaccines in 2000 but was not recalled from the market and was administered for approximately two more years. It still remains in other vaccines including all multi-dose shots for both the seasonal flu and H1N1.

Current government recommendations for seasonal flu and H1N1 call for pregnant women to receive both vaccines, and children as young as six months to receive as many as four separate flu shots. "This also doesn't take into account that nursing infants may be exposed to additional mercury through breastmilk should both mother and baby be vaccinated," says National Autism Association (NAA) board chair Lori McIlwain. "This study's outcome confirms that such an over-the-top toxic vaccine schedule is an assault on the developing brains of our children."

Specifically, the study found:

-- Thirteen newborn rhesus macaques were given a Hepatitis B vaccine containing a standardized dose of thimerosal adjusted for their weight, four received a saline placebo, and three were not given any shots.

-- Vaccinated animals experienced a significant delay in the acquisition of three survival reflexes compared to unvaccinated animals. Root, snout, and suck reflexes, critical to animal survival in the wild, were delayed in the vaccinated macaques.

-- These reflexes are controlled by the brainstem, a vital part of the brain that regulates automatic functions such as breathing, heart rate, and intestinal activity.v -- Neonatal responses in unvaccinated control animals were not delayed.

-- The delay in acquisition of three of the four survival reflexes was not contingent on birth weight or gestational age.

For years, parents of children with autism have lobbied government health agencies to conduct research comparing the health of vaccinated children to that of unvaccinated children, and to remove thimerosal from all vaccines. Neither request has been met.

"This study underscores the lack of appropriate government action to ensure the safety of vaccines. Had our government agencies conducted the most basic research on the implications to children's health from the vaccines they rigorously promote, they could have spared thousands of children the neurological injuries they endure today," said Ms. McIlwain. "It's shameful."

Source: National Autism Association