Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc

Silver Spring, MD, United States

Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc

Silver Spring, MD, United States
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Geier D.A.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc. | Kern J.K.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc. | Geier M.R.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc.
Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research | Year: 2016

BACKGROUND This study evaluated the hypothesis that the 1999 recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and US Public Health Service (PHS) to reduce exposure to mercury (Hg) from Thimerosal in US vaccines would be associated with a reduction in the long-term risk of being diagnosed with autism. MATERIAL AND METHODS A two-phase assessment utilizing a case (n=73) -control (n=11,783) study in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database (for hypothesis generating) and a more rigorous, independent matched case (n=40) -control (n=40) study (hypothesis testing) was undertaken. RESULTS Analysis of the VAERS database using logistic regression revealed that the odds ratio (OR) for being an autism case in the VAERS database significantly decreased with a more recent year of vaccination in comparison to controls (OR=0.65) from 1998 to 2003. Sex-separated analyses revealed similar significant effects for males (OR=0.62) and females (OR=0.71). Analyses of the matched case-control data revealed, using the t-test statistic, that the mean date of birth among cases diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (2000.5±1.2) was significantly more in the past than in controls (2001.1±1.3). Logistic regression also revealed that the OR for being diagnosed with ASD significantly decreased with a more recent date of birth in comparison to controls (OR=0.67) from 1998-2003. CONCLUSIONS This study reveals that the risk of autism during from the late1990s to early 2000s in the US significantly decreased with reductions in Hg exposure from Thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines, but future studies should examine this phenomenon in other US populations. Vaccine programs have significantly reduced the morbidity and mortality associated with infectious disease, but Thimerosal should be removed from all vaccines.


Geier D.A.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc. | King P.G.,Commonwealth Edison | Hooker B.S.,Simpson University | Dorea J.G.,University of Brasilia | And 3 more authors.
Clinica Chimica Acta | Year: 2015

Introduction: Thimerosal (or Thiomersal) is a trade name for an organomercurial compound (sodium ethyl-mercury (Hg) thiosalicylate) that is 49.55% Hg by weight, which rapidly decomposes in aqueous saline solutions into ethyl-Hg hydroxide and ethyl-Hg chloride. Developed in 1927, it has been and is still being used as a preservative in some cosmetics, topical pharmaceuticals, and biological drug products, including vaccines. Concerns have been voiced about its use because it is toxic to human cells. Although it is banned in several countries, it continues to be added to some vaccines in the United States and many vaccines in the developing world. Discussion: This critical review focuses on the clinical, epidemiological, and biochemical studies of adverse effects from Thimerosal in developing humans. This review will include research that examines fetal, infant, and childhood death; birth defects; neurodevelopmental testing deficits in children; and neurodevelopmental disorders (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, tic disorder, and specific developmental delays). The review will also look at the research that examined the outcomes of acute accidental ethyl-Hg poisoning in humans. The studies that examine the underlying biochemical insights into the neuronal cellular damage will also be explored. Conclusion: The culmination of the research that examines the effects of Thimerosal in humans indicates that it is a poison at minute levels with a plethora of deleterious consequences, even at the levels currently administered in vaccines. © 2015 .


Geier D.A.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc. | Geier D.A.,Commonwealth Edison | Geier M.R.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc. | Geier M.R.,Commonwealth Edison
Neurochemical Research | Year: 2013

l-Carnitine is a naturally occurring substance required in mammalian energy metabolism that functions by facilitating long-chain fatty acid entry into cellular mitochondria, thereby delivering substrate for oxidation and subsequent energy production. It has been purposed that l-carnitine may improve and preserve cognitive performance, and may lead to better cognitive aging through the life span, and several controlled human clinical trials with l-carnitine support the hypothesis that this substance has the ability to improve cognitive function. We further hypothesized that, since l-carnitine is an important co-factor of mammalian mitochondrial energy metabolism, acute administration of l-carnitine to human tissue culture cells should result in detectable increases in mitochondrial function. Cultures of SH-SY-5Y human neuroblastoma and 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells grown in 96-well cell culture plates were acutely administered l-carnitine hydrochloride, and then, mitochondrial function was assayed using the colorimetric 2,3-bis[2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl]-2H- tetrazolium-5-carboxyanilide inner salt cell assay kit in a VERSAmax tunable microplate reader. Significant increases in mitochondrial function were observed when human neuroblastoma or human astrocytoma cells were exposed to 100 nM (20 μg l-carnitine hydrochloride/L) to 100 μM (20 mg l-carnitine hydrochloride/L) concentrations of l-carnitine hydrochloride in comparison to unexposed cells, whereas no significant positive effects were observed at lower or higher concentrations of l-carnitine hydrochloride. The results of the present study provide insights for how l-carnitine therapy may significantly improve human neuronal function, but we recommend that future studies further explore different derivatives of l-carnitine compounds in different in vitro cell-based systems using different markers of mitochondrial function. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Geier D.A.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc. | Carmody T.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc. | Kern J.K.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc. | Kern J.K.,University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center | And 2 more authors.
Human and Experimental Toxicology | Year: 2013

Dental amalgams are a commonly used dental restorative material. Amalgams are about 50% mercury (Hg), and Hg is known to significantly accumulate in the kidney. It was hypothesized that because Hg accumulates in the proximal tubules (PTs), glutathione-S-transferases (GST)-α (suggestive of kidney damage at the level of PT) would be expected to be more related to Hg exposure than GST-π (suggestive of kidney damage at the level of the distal tubules). Urinary biomarkers of kidney integrity were examined in children of 8-18 years old, with and without dental amalgam fillings, from a completed clinical trial (parent study). Our study determined whether there was a significant dose-dependent correlation between increasing Hg exposure from dental amalgams and GST-α and GST-π as biomarkers of kidney integrity. Overall, the present study, using a different and more sensitive statistical model than the parent study, revealed a statistically significant dose-dependent correlation between cumulative exposure to Hg from dental amalgams and urinary levels of GST-α, after covariate adjustment; where as, a nonsignificant relationship was observed with urinary levels of GST-π. Furthermore, it was observed that urinary GST-α levels increased by about 10% over the 8-year course of the study among individuals with an average exposure to amalgams among the study subjects from the amalgam group, in comparison with study subjects with no exposure to dental amalgams. The results of our study suggest that dental amalgams contribute to ongoing kidney damage at the level of the PTs in a dose-dependent fashion. © The Author(s) 2013.


Geier D.A.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc. | Carmody T.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc. | Kern J.K.,Genetic Consultants of Dallas | Kern J.K.,University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center | And 2 more authors.
BioMetals | Year: 2011

Previous studies noted specific changes in urinary porphyrin excretion patterns associated with exposure to mercury (Hg) in animals and humans. In our study, urinary porphyrin concentrations were examined in normal children 8-18 years-old from a reanalysis of data provided from a randomized, prospective clinical trial that was designed to evaluate the potential health consequences of prolonged exposure to Hg from dental amalgam fillings (the parent study). Our analysis examined dose-dependent correlations between increasing Hg exposure from dental amalgams and urinary porphyrins utilizing statistical models with adjustments for the baseline level (i.e. study year 1) of the following variables: urinary Hg, each urinary porphyrin measure, gender, race, and the level of lead (Pb) in each subject's blood. Significant dose-dependent correlations between cumulative exposure to Hg from dental amalgams and urinary porphyrins associated with Hg body-burden (pentacarboxyporphyrin, precoproporphyrin, and coproporphyrin) were observed. Overall, 5-10% increases in Hg-associated porphyrins for subjects receiving an average number of dental amalgam fillings in comparison to subjects receiving only composite fillings were observed over the 8-year course of the study. In contrast, no significant correlations were observed between cumulative exposure to Hg from dental amalgams and urinary porphyrins not associated with Hg body-burden (uroporphyrin, heptacarboxyporphyrin, and hexacarboxyporphyrin). In conclusion, our study, in contrast to the no-effect results published from the parent study, further establishes the sensitivity and specificity of specific urinary porphyrins as a biomarker for low-level Hg body-burden, and also reveals that dental amalgams are a significant chronic contributor to Hg body-burden. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010.


Geier D.A.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc. | Kern J.K.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc. | Kern J.K.,University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center | Geier M.R.,ASD Centers LLC
Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities | Year: 2013

The purpose of this study was to evaluate scores generated from the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC), a parent-rated measure, and those derived from professionally completed Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) evaluations. A cohort of 56 participants diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder was used for the study, and each child was evaluated independently by the parent using the ATEC and a health care professional using the CARS. The Spearman's rank correlation statistic ρ was used to evaluate the correlation between ATEC and CARS scores. It was observed that there was a significant correlation between total ATEC and CARS scores (ρ =.71). Specific domains in the ATEC evaluation significantly correlated with CARS scores. Sensitivity, specificity, and receiver operating characteristic confirmed the association between CARS and ATEC domains. The results help to validate the utility of the parentally completed ATEC in comparison with an established, professional-related measure of autism. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Kern J.K.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc.
International journal of environmental research and public health | Year: 2013

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological disorder in which a significant number of the children experience a developmental regression characterized by a loss of previously acquired skills and abilities. Typically reported are losses of verbal, nonverbal, and social abilities. Several recent studies suggest that children diagnosed with an ASD have abnormal sulfation chemistry, limited thiol availability, and decreased glutathione (GSH) reserve capacity, resulting in a compromised oxidation/reduction (redox) and detoxification capacity. Research indicates that the availability of thiols, particularly GSH, can influence the effects of thimerosal (TM) and other mercury (Hg) compounds. TM is an organomercurial compound (49.55% Hg by weight) that has been, and continues to be, used as a preservative in many childhood vaccines, particularly in developing countries. Thiol-modulating mechanisms affecting the cytotoxicity of TM have been identified. Importantly, the emergence of ASD symptoms post-6 months of age temporally follows the administration of many childhood vaccines. The purpose of the present critical review is provide mechanistic insight regarding how limited thiol availability, abnormal sulfation chemistry, and decreased GSH reserve capacity in children with an ASD could make them more susceptible to the toxic effects of TM routinely administered as part of mandated childhood immunization schedules.


Geier D.A.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc | Geier M.R.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc
Clinical Rheumatology | Year: 2015

GARDASIL (Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA) is a quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV4) vaccine. An epidemiological study was undertaken to evaluate concerns about the potential for HPV4 vaccination to induce serious autoimmune adverse events (SAAEs). The vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS) database was examined for adverse event reports associated with vaccines administered from January 2006 through December 2012 to recipients between 18 and 39 years old with a listed residence in the USA and a specified female gender. It was observed that cases with the SAAE outcomes of gastroenteritis (odds ratio (OR) = 4.6, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 1.3–18.5), arthritis (OR = 2.5, 95 % CI = 1.4–4.3), systemic lupus erythematosus (OR = 5.3, 95 % CI = 1.5–20.5), vasculitis (OR = 4, 95 % CI = 1.01–16.4), alopecia (OR = 8.3, 95 % CI = 4.5–15.9), or CNS conditions (OR = 1.8, 95 % CI = 1.04–2.9) were significantly more likely than controls to have received HPV4 vaccine (median onset of SAAE symptoms from 6 to 55 days post-HPV4 vaccination). Cases with the outcomes of Guillain-Barre syndrome (OR = 0.75, 95 % CI = 0.42–1.3) or thrombocytopenia (OR = 1.3, 95 % CI = 0.48–3.5) were no more likely than controls to have received HPV4 vaccine. Cases with the general health outcomes of infection (OR = 0.72, 95 % CI = 0.27–1.7), conjunctivitis (OR = 0.88, 95 % CI = 0.29–2.7), or diarrhea (OR = 1.01, 95 % CI = 0.83–1.22) were no more likely than controls to have received HPV4 vaccine. Previous case series of SAAEs and biological plausibility support the observed results. Additional studies should be conducted to further evaluate the potential biological mechanisms involved in HPV4 vaccine-associated SAAEs in animal model systems, and to examine the potential epidemiological relationship between HPV4 vaccine-associated SAAEs in other databases and populations. © 2014, The Author(s).


Rodriguez J.I.,Stop Calling It Autism | Kern J.K.,Stop Calling It Autism | Kern J.K.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc. | Kern J.K.,University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Neuron Glia Biology | Year: 2011

Evidence indicates that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) suffer from an ongoing neuroinflammatory process in different regions of the brain involving microglial activation. When microglia remain activated for an extended period, the production of mediators is sustained longer than usual and this increase in mediators contributes to loss of synaptic connections and neuronal cell death. Microglial activation can then result in a loss of connections or underconnectivity. Underconnectivity is reported in many studies in autism. One way to control neuroinflammation is to reduce or inhibit microglial activation. It is plausible that by reducing brain inflammation and microglial activation, the neurodestructive effects of chronic inflammation could be reduced and allow for improved developmental outcomes. Future studies that examine treatments that may reduce microglial activation and neuroinflammation, and ultimately help to mitigate symptoms in ASD, are warranted. © 2012 Cambridge University Press.


Geier D.A.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc | Geier M.R.,Institute of Chronic Illnesses Inc
Immunologic Research | Year: 2016

Gardasil is a quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV4) vaccine that was approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration in June 2006. HPV4 vaccine is routinely recommended for administration to women in the USA who are 11–12 years old by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Previous studies suggest HPV4 vaccine administration was associated with autoimmune diseases. As a consequence, an epidemiological assessment of the vaccine adverse event reporting system database was undertaken for adverse event reports associated with vaccines administered from 2006 to 2014 to 6–39 year-old recipients with a listed US residence and a specified female gender. Cases with the serious autoimmune adverse event (SAAE) outcomes of gastroenteritis (odds ratio (OR) 4.627, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.892–12.389), rheumatoid arthritis (OR 5.629, 95 % CI 2.809–12.039), thrombocytopenia (OR 2.178, 95 % CI 1.222–3.885), systemic lupus erythematosus (OR 7.626, 95 % CI 3.385–19.366), vasculitis (OR 3.420, 95 % CI 1.211–10.408), alopecia (OR 8.894, 95 % CI 6.255–12.914), CNS demyelinating conditions (OR 1.585, 95 % CI 1.129–2.213), ovarian damage (OR 14.961, 95 % CI 6.728–39.199), or irritable bowel syndrome (OR 10.021, 95 % CI 3.725–33.749) were significantly more likely than controls to have received HPV4 vaccine (median onset of initial symptoms ranged from 3 to 37 days post-HPV4 vaccination). Cases with the outcome of Guillain–Barre syndrome (OR 0.839, 95 % CI 0.601–1.145) were no more likely than controls to have received HPV4 vaccine. In addition, cases with the known HPV4-related outcome of syncope were significantly more likely than controls to have received HPV4 vaccine (OR 5.342, 95 % CI 4.942–5.777). Cases with the general health outcomes of infection (OR 0.765, 95 % CI 0.428–1.312), conjunctivitis (OR 1.010, 95 % CI 0.480–2.016), diarrhea (OR 0.927, 95 % CI 0.809–1.059), or pneumonia (OR 0.785, 95 % CI 0.481–1.246) were no more likely than controls to have received HPV4 vaccine. Confirmatory epidemiological studies in other databases should be undertaken and long-term clinical consequences of HPV-linked SAAEs should be examined. © 2016 The Author(s)

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