21 December 2012

Was the mother right to refuse treatment?

 Supports Chapters One and Two?

Everyone (in the UK at least) must know of Neon, the seven-year-old boy who has a brain tumour, medulloblastoma, and of Neon's mother, Sally Roberts, who is fighting for her son not to have radiotherapy and chemotherapy because of the danger, she says, of adverse side effects which could damage his brain and destroy his quality of life. 

The Daily Mail, today, put it this way:

Cancer boy Neon WILL have radiotherapy against his mother's wishes after High Court ruling.

  •     Mr Justice Bodey said he was worried Sally Roberts judgement had 'gone awry'
  •     Mrs Roberts had tried to claim her son should have alternative treatment to radiotherapy
  •     Experts brand her alternatives 'completely unethical'
  •     She conceded that her argument is 'weak' under questioning

I don't intend to take sides on this issue (although you can probably guess which side I might be on). But if you are wondering if Mrs Roberts has a case, here is the abstract from a 2003 study about the long-term effects on survivors of exactly the treatment a judge has decided her son must have:

Macedoni-Luksic M, Jereb B, Todorovski L. Long-term sequelae in children treated for brain tumors: impairments, disability, and handicap. Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2003; 20: 89-101.


Sixty-one long-term survivors, treated for brain tumors in childhood, were evaluated in term of neurological impairments, disability, and handicap.

Thirty-eight patients (pts) (62%) had at least one impairment.

Visual impairment was detected in 14 pts (24%), associated with recurrence (p = .012).

34r pts (56%) had motor impairment, associated with sex (female) in irradiated patients;

13 (21%) had epilepsy, associated with supratentorial tumor site (p = .001).

The same number of patients had brain atrophy; risk factors were hydrocephalus at diagnosis and perioperative complications.

16 pts (30%) had IQ score < 80, associated with young age at first treatment (p = .006) and recurrence (p = .043).

27 out of 61 of our patients (44%) were disabled: 12 mildly, 14 moderately, and 1 severely.

Epilepsy was the most important risk factor for disability.

Cognitive impairment, motor impairment, and epilepsy were associated with employment (43%);

Cognitive impairment was also associated with education.

 So is Mrs Roberts right to be worried about her son's having conventional treatment? Has her judgement 'gone awry'? You decide.


15 December 2012

Fluoride drugs and violent deaths

This week and last week saw the violent deaths of many people including young children, at the hands of young men on the rampage in the USA. Understandably, there are calls for changes in the gun laws. But the fact that American can carry guns is not the cause of the problem.

It isn't guns that kill people; it is people who kill people.

The US has a long history of such outrages. And is pretty much alone as a country to suffer in this way, despite the fact that guns are carried, legally, in other countries - whose citizens don't go around on killing sprees.

So, instead of blaming the weapons, wouldn't it be more profitable to research the cause? To ask why some people feel the need to go kill a bunch of others and then (usually) themselves?

In the 1990s I was researching fluoridation of water supplies. But as I did my research, I came across examples of the harm that fluoridated drugs could do. Just like the killings in last two weeks, there have been examples of children going on a killing sprees and shooting their parents, school friends, teachers, other people and then themselves for decades.

I don't know whether the recent perpetrators of these outrages were on drugs but back in the last century, I found that many, if not all, of them appeared to be taking the SSRI drug, Prozac.

Below is an extract from my book, Fluoride: Drinking ourselves to death? I wrote this in 1999; it is still relevant today. Searching PubMed today, I could find no medical research that addresses the problem. Perhaps it is about time there was some!

Fluoride drugs and violent deaths
Many antidepressive drugs contain fluoride because of its profound effect on mood. Fluanxol, Motipress, Motival, Parstelin and the biggest seller, Prozac, are all highly fluorinated. Hypothyroidism, which they produce, can induce almost any psychiatric symptom or syndrome, including rage, fear ranging from mild anxiety to frank paranoia, mood swings and aggression.
      Recently the USA has seen an alarming rise in apparently motiveless killings where individuals - usually men, but also children - have taken a gun and shot several people before shooting themselves.
      The number of people, including preschool children, prescribed antidepressants and stimulants rose in the mid-1990s despite limited knowledge about the effects of such drugs on young children. The reasons for prescribing such medications in young children include pain relief, anxiety associated with medical, pre-surgery and dental procedures, bed wetting and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children aged three years and older. Yet, 'Unresolved questions involve the long-term safety of psychotropic medications, particularly in light of earlier ages of initiation and longer durations of treatment'.1
      In an early case, a young defendant was found not guilty because he committed a murder 'in the course of a hypothyroid psychosis'. . . 'He was later judged to be not guilty by reason of insanity, although he was clearly sane at the time of his trial.'2
      The University of Maryland looked at 200,000 patients in three areas of the country. It found that use of stimulants and antidepressants rose in all the areas between 1991 and 1995. Julie Zito, principal author of the study, said that some of the drugs' uses are not included in warnings on drug packages. While this is not uncommon with some drugs for adults, there is no information on how these psychotropic drugs work for children.
      In a recent rampage that has become frighteningly familiar in the USA, a fifteen-year-old Springfield, Oregon, student, Kip Kinkel, dressed in a trench coat, ran through a crowded school cafeteria firing his rifle from the hip. He killed a classmate and critically wounding several others. The Associated Press headline read:


This was frighteningly similar to a violent episode which took place in Louisville, Kentucky in 1989. Joseph Wesbecker stepped out of an elevator at work firing an AK47 semiautomatic assault rifle. Twelve people were wounded and eight killed before Joseph Wesbecker took his own life. One victim described him as 'totally devoid of human element and human soul.'
      Kip Kinkel was restrained before he could take his life, but begged others to shoot him when they tackled him. Both men were taking Prozac at the time.
      Prozac's manufacturer, Eli Lilly has repeatedly claimed that Prozac is safe. The International Coalition For Drug Awareness (ICFDA), a non profit group that warns of potential serious adverse reactions to prescription medications, reports that there is abundant evidence in medical literature showing a link between Prozac and violence, as well as suicide.
Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, director of ICFDA, and author of Prozac: Panacea Or Pandora?, has testified as an expert witness since 1992 in Prozac and other antidepressant related criminal cases. Dr. Tracy poses the question, 'How many patients have ever been warned that even something as simple as mixing most major cough syrups with their use of these medications can produce PCP (Angel Dust) like reactions?' 'We are sitting in the middle of this nation's most dangerous drug problem and have not yet awakened to the seriousness of this situation.'
Wesbecker and Kinkel are only two of a growing number of violent cases committed by people taking Prozac or one of its clones:

  1. A mother on Prozac in San Francisco smothered her three small daughters by wrapping their hands and faces with duct tape and attempted to take her own life
  2. A man in Los Angeles on Prozac committed suicide in front of TV cameras.
  3. A lottery employee taking Luvox (a Prozac clone) in Connecticut shot and killed four fellow workers before taking his own life
  4. A man in Wyoming taking Paxil (another Prozac clone) shot and killed his wife, daughter and baby grand-daughter before he took his own life.

      Now four more are dead and Kinkel is facing a life without his parents and several classmates. He also faces spending the rest of his life in prison while he slowly comes to a realization of what he did in this drug-induced stupor.
      According to internal company documents made public in court cases filed against Eli Lilly, in 1990 they attempted to protect their 'golden goose' (Prozac was bringing in over $6 million a day). Dr Leigh Thompson went 'against the advice of his staff' and told the board of directors that suicide and hostile acts committed by Prozac users were, in all probability, caused by the patients' underlying disorders rather than Prozac. On 7 November 1990 he asked, 'What are our priorities?'
      Of course priority number one for Eli Lilly was to protect Prozac.
      In December 1993 the world heard that Prozac had been found 'not guilty' in the murderous rampage and suicide of Joseph Wesbecker. But, in fact, Eli Lilly had paid millions of dollars to settle out of court. The judge was so upset about the secrecy and deception surrounding the case that he called for an additional hearing to force Lilly to admit this publicly. He succeeded, and Lilly and the plaintiffs were forced to admit that this was indeed a settlement and not a 'not guilty' verdict for Prozac.
      In another Prozac case against Lilly (Forsyth v. Lilly) currently being tried in Federal District Court in Hawaii, Judge Alan C. Kay ruled:

  • 'Lilly falsified reports of side effects of suicide attempts by reporting them as overdoses.'
  •  'material issues of fact exist as to whether Lilly deliberately suppressed adverse studies.'
  • 'The Court finds that Plaintiffs have presented sufficient evidence to show that Lilly may have acted wantonly, oppressively, or with such malice as implies a spirit of mischief or criminal indifference.'

1. Julie Magno Zito; Daniel J. Safer; Susan dosReis; James F. Gardner; Myde Boles; Frances Lynch. Trends in the Prescribing of Psychotropic Medications to Preschoolers. JAMA. 2000;283:1025-1030.
2. Easson WM. Myxedema psychosis – insanity defense in homicide. J Clin Psychiatry 1980; 41: 316-8.
3. http://www.drugawareness.org/oregon.html. Accessed 15 April 2000

08 December 2012

Link Between Vitamin D And Women's Cognitive Performance

Supports Chapter 11:  Our irrational fear of sunlight

As part of the concept of a 'healthy' lifestyle foisted on us in the 1980s, sunbathing became a no-no, unless you were fully clothed, or slathered in sunscreen, or the sun wasn't shining, or preferably all three! 

Not long after, the numbers of cases of Alzheimer's dementia began to rise. Today, in the UK at least, dementia has become the number one health concern, not just for the misery it causes to sufferers and their families, but the sheer cost in terms of both money and health resources needed to look after the growing number of people with dementia.

And so to December 2012:

Two new studies have just been published in the Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences which show that vitamin D may be a vital component for the cognitive health of women as they age.

Higher vitamin D dietary intake is associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's, according to research conducted by a team led by Cedric Annweiler, MD, PhD, at the Angers University Hospital in France.

Similarly, investigators led by Yelena Slinin, MD, MS, at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis found that low vitamin D levels among older women are associated with higher odds of global cognitive impairment and a higher risk of global cognitive decline.

Slinin's group based its analysis on 6,257 community-dwelling older women who had vitamin D levels measured during the Study of Osteopathic Fractures and whose cognitive function was tested by the Mini-Mental State Examination and/or Trail Making Test Part B.

Very low levels of vitamin D (less than 10 nanograms per milliliter of blood serum) among older women were associated with higher odds of global cognitive impairment at baseline, and low vitamin D levels (less than 20 nanograms per milliliter) among cognitively-impaired women were associated with a higher risk of incident global cognitive decline, as measured by performance on the Mini-Mental State Examination.

Annweieler's team's findings were based on data from 498 community-dwelling women who participated in the Toulouse cohort of the Epidemiology of Osteoporosis study.

Among this population, women who developed Alzheimer's disease had lower baseline vitamin D intakes (an average of 50.3 micrograms per week) than those who developed other dementias (an average of 63.6 micrograms per week) or no dementia at all (an average of 59.0 micrograms per week).

Another case of 'cause and effect', as a result of incompetent health advisers.

n.p. (2012, December 4). "Link Between Vitamin D And Women's Cognitive Performance." Medical News Today. Retrieved from