Dr. Sanghavi,I look forward to hearing the response from Dr. Sanghavi or seeing if he is willing to meet with Dr. Deth
I am a neuropharmacologist at Northeastern University doing research into the molecular cause(s) of autism. Having read your article in today's Globe, I would like to help you become more knowledgable about how thimerosal has contributed to the autism epidemic. While you dismiss parental concerns about the thimerosal connection as a sort of mis-guided blind faith, I can assure you that there is solid scientific evidence, both clinical and molecular, supporting a link between vaccine-related mercury exposure and autism. If you are going to assume the role of spokesperson for this issue, you also assume an obligation to understand all of the evidence.
I hope that you will afford me the chance to meet with you to update you on this recently obtained evidence, since it is impractical to do so in an email. However, let me just outline a few of the most important points here.
1. Thiol (sulfur) metabolism is widely recognized as the primary target of mercury (i.e. Thimerosal) neurotoxicity. (Would you not agree?)
2. Autistic children exhibit profound abnormalities in thiol metabolites (see attached study by Dr. Jill James).
3. Concentrations of thimerosal produced by vaccination inhibit methylation activity of the enzyme methionine synthase. (Article attached)
4. Autistic children exhibit impaired methylation activity (Dr. James study).
5. Thiol metabolism plays a key role in inflammation and oxidative stress (e.g. maintaining glutathione levels).
6. Autistic children exhibit neuroinflammation and oxidative stress (Vargas et al. Ann Neurol. 2005 Jan;57(1):67-81)
7. Mercury and other heavy metals cause neuroinflammation (e.g. activation of microglia).
8. Thimerosal causes significantly greater accumulation of inorganic mercury in the brain than does methylmercury. (Burbacher et al. Environ Health Perspect. 2005 Aug;113(8):1015-21)
Ergo, there is indeed substantial scientific evidence of a link between Thimerosal and autism.
Furthermore, and more importantly:
Treatment of autistic children with regimens that:
1. Remove heavy metals (e.g. chelation)
2. Augment levels of glutathione (e.g. GSH or N-acetylcysteine)
3. Support methylation activity (e.g. methyl B12 (not just B12), folinic acid)
4. Reduce neuroinflammation (PPAR-acting agents)
....bring about clinical improvement in a large proportion of children with autism. If you or anyone else would like to understand the link between autism and Thimerosal, I suggest that you study autistic children. However, when the debate about thimerosal's role is put aside, it is the ability to provide improvement in the lives of autistic children that really matters.
I sincerely look forward to the opportunity to meet with you so that you can speak to this issue with a fully informed background. My contact information is provided below.
Richard Deth, Ph.D.
Professor of Pharmacology Northeastern University
December 10, 2005
Dr. Deth Corrects Dr. Sanghavi
More reaction to, "The Secret Truth", by Darshak Sanghavi, MD