Category Archives: Sickness

Roseola fever

ben011707 Right after Christmas Ben started feeling punk. The in-laws were in town, the house was still full of wrapping paper and toys that go beep, whirrrrr and zoink. But Ben had a fever, and the fever kept getting worse. Since it was the holidays the pediatrician’s office was closed and the calls were forwarded to the UNC hospital phone bank 30 miles away in Chapel Hill. The dial-a-nurse kept reassuring us every time we called that Ben would be alright, that children can endure high fevers and as long as he was drinking liquids and comfortable a 104 fever is nothing to be concerned about. She also said not to worry unless his fever gets over 105. When it got to be 105, we called again and again we were told not to worry, kids can take it.

On the evening of the second I was with my in-laws in the living room watching a game on the television, Ben’s mom traded places with me earlier to lay with Ben keeping an eye on him. It wasn’t long before I heard my name being called, I ran into the room as Ben was being lowered into a tub of water, “His fever is 107, we have to get him the hospital.” So we dunked Ben in the tub, dosed him once again with Motrin, dressed him in a tshirt and ran out of the house to the hospital. I dialed 911 on the way alerting them to the situation and called the doctor.

There were no rooms available in the emergency room, a nurse fumbled with the clip on his finger as Ben lay screaming on the gurney in the hallway. This was not turning out as I had hoped but Ben’s fever had dropped to 106 and was continuing to fall quickly for the next 20 minutes. No call back from the doctor, no doctor coming into the ER so I get back on the phone and start yelling. I believe I said something like, “If my son’s doctor does not call back in 10 minutes and something happens to my son, tell him I will find him and hurt him.”

I immediately got a call back from the doctor, “Get him out of the ER, it will only make him sicker, bring him to my office.” We packed him up and headed across the street to the doctor’s office. Ben’s fever had broken and was back down to 104, we were relieved.

The doctors notes said the fever was most likely viral and appeared “tired and sleepy”. You betcha!

The next day Ben went back to the doctor’s office, still some concern about his well-being. His blood work showed a WBC count of 3,000, normal range is from 6,000-15,000. His Red cell distribution width (RDW) was high at a 14.6, normal range is from 11.5 – 14.5 and his Platelet count (PLT) was low at 131 when the normal range is 150-350. If Ben was a Chemo patient the levels might not cause alarm. We were sent back home with a pat on the head for being such cautious parents.

Now it is important to remember these test levels because when I get around to talking about April 18, 2007, you’ll need to remember this, the doctor didn’t.

The next evening the febrile fevers finally went away, and the following day Ben developed a rash on the trunk of his body. This is what the doctor diagnosed as Roseola. A few months later the fevers and rash returned and over the phone the doctor diagnosed it as a recurrence of Roseola.

Roseola is a generally mild infection that usually affects children by age 2. It occasionally affects adults. Roseola is extremely common — so common that most children have been infected with roseola by the time they enter kindergarten.

Two common strains of the herpes virus cause roseola. Roseolovirus refers to both Human Herpesvirus Six and Seven, both members of the betaherpesviridae subfamily of herpesvirus.The condition typically causes several days of fever, followed by a rash.

Some children develop only a very mild case of roseola and never show any clear indication of illness, while others experience the full range of symptoms.

Roseola typically isn’t serious. Rarely, complications from a very high fever can result. Treatment of roseola includes bed rest, fluids and medications to reduce fever.

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ProQuad

proquad-knockdownSo Ben is injected with ProQuad on April 18, 2007 and immediately after he begins to change. Now I don’t mean to suggest that it was as dramatic as lights on, lights off, but over the next few months he flickered off and on,  and then dimmed.

ProQuad is manufactured  by Merck in West Point, PA at a plant that was found by the FDA to have failed to thoroughly investigate when vaccine batches did not meet specifications, even if those batches had been distributed. Some drug components were tainted, and the plant lacked proper procedures and safeguards to ensure purity. FDA conducted the inspections between November 26, 2007, and January 17, 2008.

ProQuad was taken off the market in April 2007, a week or so after Ben’s shots. Merck claims that the shortage of the vaccine — a combination of the company’s measles, mumps, rubella (MMR II) vaccine and its varicella-zoster (chickenpox shot ) licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on September 6, 2005– is designed for children from 12 months to 12 years of age.

In terms of potential side effects, Dr. Henry Shinefield, a clinical professor of pediatrics and dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and a consultant to Merck, doesn’t see any more danger than there is with the current two vaccines. “It is important that children and parents be made aware of every side effect,” he said. “The side effects with this vaccine are inline with what we see with other vaccines.”

At the time of FDA approval, there was evidence of a slightly increased risk of fever-related seizures among children who got the vaccine, but the vaccine was approved with a commitment from Merck to do a large post-marketing study to further understand this risk. Now, these studies are showing that children who get this vaccine are twice as likely to have seizures caused by high fevers.

The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) made new recommendations on key vaccines at its February 2008 meeting in Atlanta, ACIP voted to withdraw the preferential recommendation for the measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine (MMRV, marketed by Merck & Co., Inc. as ProQuad) as the vaccine of choice for initial vaccination of infants. Researchers in the study looked at 43,000 children between the ages of 12 and 23 months who had been vaccinated with ProQuad and 315,000 who had received two separate MMR and chicken pox vaccines. They found that within seven to 10 days after vaccination, those given ProQuad suffered twice as many cases of fever followed by seizures as those given the separate shots. This amounted to one extra seizure per 2,000 children receiving ProQuad.

In absolute terms, nine of every 10,000 children receiving ProQuad suffered fever-related seizures, compared with four in 10,000 children in the dual vaccine group.

On February 27, 2008 the FDA accepted the new language to be used in ProQuad’s adverse reaction labeling. The Adverse Reactions section of the label has been revised to include two adverse events, encephalitis (Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain. It can be caused by a bacterial infection such as bacterial meningitis spreading directly to the brain, or may be a complication of a current infectious disease such as measles. Certain parasitic or protozoal infestations can also cause encephalitis in people with compromised immune systems. Lyme disease may also cause encephalitis. Brain damage occurs as the inflamed brain pushes against the skull, and can lead to death) and epididymitis, (Epididymitis is a medical condition in which there is inflammation of the epididymis -a curved structure at the back of the testicle in which sperm matures and is stored) to reflect updated data from post-marketing surveillance reports. Information regarding the potential risk of febrile seizures following ProQuad® administration has also been added to this section.

ProQuad has about 10 times as much chickenpox virus as the standalone chickenpox shot. Roseola, which like chickenpox is a herpesvirus. Ben had Roseola prior to receiving ProQuad.

ProQuad cost about $124, sales of the vaccine amounted to over 2 billion dollars in revenue for Merck, during the 2 years it was on the market.  That’s more than 200 million does sold. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was established in 1988 to compensate individuals and families of individuals injured by covered childhood vaccines.  The compensation money  has been funded by an excise tax of 75 cents on every purchased dose of covered vaccine. 200 million doses @ .75 each is $150,000,000.

In 1990, Merck & Co., manufacturer of the mumps-measles-rubella vaccine known as the MMR, made a significant but little-noticed change: It quadrupled the amount of mumps virus in the combination shot, from 5,000 to 20,000 units. Then in 2007 it reversed course, reducing the amount to 12,500 units. Neither the measles nor the rubella (German measles) component of the MMR was changed at all — each remained at 1,000 units throughout.

Merck also makes the single-component mumps shot, and in 1990 it also increased the potency of that shot by the same amount, from 5,000 to 20,000 units. But unlike the MMR shot, the standalone mumps shot’s potency was not scaled back in 2007. It remains at 20,000 units.

In 1990, Merck & Co., manufacturer of the mumps-measles-rubella vaccine known as the MMR, made a significant but little-noticed change: It quadrupled the amount of mumps virus in the combination shot, from 5,000 to 20,000 units. Then in 2007 it reversed course, reducing the amount to 12,500 units. Neither the measles nor the rubella (German measles) component of the MMR was changed at all — each remained at 1,000 units throughout.

Merck also makes the single-component mumps shot, and in 1990 it also increased the potency of that shot by the same amount, from 5,000 to 20,000 units. But unlike the MMR shot, the standalone mumps shot’s potency was not scaled back in 2007. It remains at 20,000 units.

The huge rise in autism cases began about the time the mumps component in the MMR was raised in 1990. One theory, dismissed by Merck and federal public health officials, is that viral interference between the components in the MMR could create a persistent sub-clinical measles infection in a subset of vulnerable children; and because the measles virus can cause brain damage, that could lead to autism.

A study released last week by the M.I.N.D. Institute at UC Davis reported that most of the fivefold increase in full-syndrome autism — from 9 in 10,000 children in 1990 to 44 in 10,000 children in 2000– is real and cannot be accounted for by broader categories or diagnostic substitution. And from 1990 to 2007, the mumps portion of the MMR was higher by roughly the same amount — quadruple.

Merck’s decision to cut back on the increase in the mumps vaccine also is surrounded by interesting timing.  The cutback, in 2007, came at the same time Merck announced it was suspending its recently introduced, much-hyped four-in-one shot, ProQuad — the MMR with the chickenpox vaccine added to it. In suspending ProQuad, Merck cited a shortage of chickenpox vaccine; subsequently, a study showed ProQuad caused twice as many fever-induced seizures as separate MMR and chickenpox shots given at the same time, and a CDC advisory committee withdrew its preferential recommendation of the vaccine. Merck won’t say when ProQuad will return to the market.

Could ProQuad’s higher rate of measles rash and fever-induced seizures be a warning sign that something is amiss with the MMR itself, especially beginning in 1990 when Merck tinkered with the proportions of the components?

A related finding comes from a study funded by Merck.  In 2005, the study reported that the four-in-one ProQuad shot — the MMR and chickenpox — was “generally well tolerated” and had a safety profile similar to the MMR and the chickenpox shot (also made by Merck and called Varivax) when given separately.

But there were a couple of interesting differences. First, “Measles-like rash and fever during days 5-12 were more common after the first dose of MMRV [ProQuad]” than after the MMR and Varivax given separately. The difference was substantial — 5.9 percent who got the MMRV had the rash and 27.7 percent had fever, compared to 1.9 percent with rash and 18.7 fever after getting separate shots. While that did not alarm the researchers, it could be a foreshadowing of the doubled rate of fever-induced seizures that was spotted after ProQuad was approved.

Second, even though the new element in ProQuad was the chickenpox portion, something new and unexpected was also going on with the mumps and measles components. “Geometric mean titers to measles and mumps were significantly higher after 1 dose of MMRV than after administration” of MMR and Varivax separately, according to the study’s summary. Later, the authors state: “This suggests that the measles and mumps virus replication is greater after MMRV than it is” after the MMR and Varivax given separately.

In non-scientific language, it looks like the addition of another live virus — chickenpox — potentiated the measles and mumps components: It kicked both viruses into higher gear and they replicated at rates higher than in the MMR.

At the same time, the researchers observed a greater incidence of measles-like rash, and fever, in those who got ProQuad. Were the increased measles and mumps viruses interacting in some unexpected and potentially dangerous way?

Then, for whatever reason, sometime between February and December of last year Merck reduced the mumps component of the MMR from 20,000 units to 12,500 while leaving the standalone mumps shot as it was. During that same period, it decided to suspend production of ProQuad. In April 2007, it announced the suspension, and said no more would be available after July. Then in early 2008, Merck’s study showing the doubled risk of seizures in ProQuad was unveiled and the CDC withdrew its recommendation.

And just last year, Merck said it would stop making the individual MMR component shots including, of course, the mumps shot. That leaves the MMR as the only vaccine in town, and it means there will no longer be a mumps vaccine formulation on the market with the dose the MMR contained from 1990 to 2007.

Merck acknowledges the three viruses can indeed interact to affect a child’s immune system, although in ways it says are not harmful.

A Merck scientist publicly discussed the interference issue at a CDC meeting in 2004, the year before ProQuad was approved, according to agency minutes. Dr. Florian Schodel “confirmed the possibility that the chickenpox virus component of ProQuad was causing a local immune suppression and an increase in measles virus replication. … The current hypothesis is that the varicella and measles virus are co-infecting the same or proximate areas of the body and engaging in a specific interaction, but how that works is as yet unknown.

“He said the interference appeared to involve only the chickenpox and measles viruses – ‘there is no such effect for the mumps or rubella vaccines administered locally at the same time.’”

Yet based on Merck’s own 2005 study cited above, ProQuad triggers an increase in mumps virus replication, too. Live viruses in ProQuad seem to be behaving in ways “as yet unknown” that cause immune suppression, co-infection, interaction and increased replication. Even without ProQuad on the market, interaction between the MMR components and the chickenpox virus remains a possibility. The CDC started recommending the chickenpox shot in the mid-1990s at the same 12-month well-baby visit as the MMR.

That suggests the pattern highlighted by ProQuad could be at work through the increased mumps component of the MMR and the addition of chickenpox to the childhood immunization schedule in the mid-1990s. The lesson could be that combining live viruses, and then increasing them or adding new ones, is inherently dangerous, especially when invasion of the brain by one of them “is not an uncommon event.”

Two additional points worth noting: After the increase in 1990 and decrease in 2007, there is still more than twice as much mumps virus in the MMR as there was in 1990.

The changes in the mumps virus component of the MMR serves as a potent reminder of something else: MMR is not one thing but three different exposures. And over the period 1980-2009 the MMR has changed significantly at least twice, making epidemiological studies even more difficult to interpret.

Gathered from Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.

ProQuad has been taken off the market, coincidentally within a week or two after Ben’s shot. The manufacturer of ProQuad, Merck, has yet to reintroduce the vaccine back to the marketplace, but if they do the FDA has made a requirement in 2008 that ProQuad list as an adverse reaction, siezures and encephalitis (swelling of the brain), both of which my son developed after his vaccine.

Ben’s neurologist feels Ben’s encephalitis is caused by a viral infection, most likley the measles. But who knows?

What I do know is that ProQuad generated nearly 2 billion dollars for Merck the two years it was on the market. It was their second biggest bread winner, just behind Gardasil.

Just prior to Merck pulling ProQuad the FDA inspected their plant in West Point, PA and issued Merck a warning that Merck officials didn’t thoroughly investigate when vaccine batches failed to meet specifications, even if those batches had been distributed. Some drug components were tainted, and the plant lacked proper procedures and safeguards to ensure purity.

The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) made new recommendations on key vaccines at its February 2008 meeting in Atlanta, ACIP voted to withdraw the preferential recommendation for the measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine (MMRV, marketed by Merck & Co., Inc. as ProQuad) as the vaccine of choice for initial vaccination of infants.

On October 1, 1988, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-660) created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP was established to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines, stabilize vaccine costs, and establish and maintain an accessible and efficient forum for individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines. The VICP is a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system for resolving vaccine injury claims that provides compensation to people found to be injured by certain vaccines. The U. S. Court of Federal Claims decides who will be paid.

As of January, 2009, 12,850 cases have been filed with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) , 5,535 representing autism cases. Of the total, 6,979 have been adjudicated, with 2,260 being compensated. Claims arising from vaccinations given prior to October 1, 1988, were paid from general appropriations. Petitioners filed 4,259 pre-1988 claims, with 1,187 being compensated. Over 900 million dollars of general revenue was paid for pre-October 1988 cases, including attorneys’ fees at a statutorily capped level. Payments for post- October 1988 cases come from a trust fund supported by an excise tax on each dose of vaccine that is covered by the Program. Thus far, 8,591 post-1988 claims have been filed, with 1,071 being compensated. Over 939 million dollars has been paid in compensation from the trust fund for the post- 1988 cases, including attorneys’ fees and costs. There is currently nearly 3 billion dollars in the trust fund. There is a wide range of awards depending on the severity of injury, with the highest award currently being $9.1 million in present dollars.

2008 there were 144 awards totaling $83,743,524.93 (avg. over a half million dollars per award) 5 million dollars in attorney fees were paid, in the 70 dismissed cases, the court paid out over 2 million in attorney fees (about $30,000 per case.

See http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation for more detailed statistical information regarding the VICP.

Lastly, just the other day I discovered on the the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) Web site that ProQuad has had two deaths attributed to the vaccine. Both were submitted on November 3rd and entered in on November 4th. (VAERS ID 331196 & 331194 .

ProQuad was removed from the market back in May of 2007. A year and a half later two deaths show up on the VAERS website. This reminds me of the April 18, 2006 article in AoA about ProQuad’s study that determined that there were twice the number of children with seizures than those receiving the MMR and the chicken pox vaccine separately. Apparently in the Washington state capital of Olympia, a couple of injuries resulting from the administration of the vaccine back in January 2001 and October 2002. The injuries were not reported to the FDA until 2006, 3 months after the FDA approved ProQuad and after a reporter asked if the FDA had them. See the comments section for more about this AoA report. (to find all the Pox articles by AoA editor Dan Olmsted click here and scroll down to April 2006)

If anyone knows how to get information on the two deaths listed in VAERS please email me at bensmyson@gmail.com, obviously both did not die in November of 2008.

Also look for the post on this blog regarding the link between Varicella-Zoster virus also known as Herpes Zoster and Acquired Childhood Aphasia (ACA) which is a language impairment resulting from an unspecified brain damage. This brain damage can have different causes, such as head trauma, tumors, cerebrovascular accidents, encephalitis, or seizure disorders. Most, but not all authors state that ACA is preceded by a period of normal language development.


Science – In for a bumpy ride

benridemerck I think back to my high school science education, 2 years of biology (failed and repeated) and the in the five years I was in college I some how managed to postpone any lab sciences. So my understanding of anything that has to do with biological science or chemistry is somewhat limited to my own personal experiences with doctors and hospitals… oh yeah and my mother the nurse, hospice nurse, expert in things that can kill you.

Science is that Ben was sick in January 2007 with a serious week long bout with a fever. The fever was recorded at home by ear at 107, prior to that it was 105 and over most of the day. We reported the 105 earlier to the doctor’s call in service at UNC Hospitals.

Science shows that on January 2, 2007 Ben had some abnormal scores on his blood work. Primarily very low white blood cells (3,000), his GRAN was at 0.8 and low red blood cells (4,500). His RDW was high at 14.6 and his PLT was low at 131. Ben was very sick. Later broke out with Roseloa.

On April 18, 2007 Ben had his blood drawn again prior to his vaccines. His chart showed a check beside his hemoglobin indicating that it was within normal range. His HGB in fact was high at 13.3 as was his HCT which was at 40.1. Ben’s white blood cell count was still low at 6.2, his GRAN was low at 2. His RDW was on the low end at 11.9.

The vaccines Ben received on April 18, 2007 were:

ProQuad – MMRV

Hep A (However, note at bottom of page in chart says “hold Hep A” unsure if delivered on that day)

HIB

Prevnar

On October 19, 2007 Ben received the DTaP and note shows that the HepA was declined as was a booster.

May have had a flu shot on 10/19/07 as well.

NOTES FROM CHART

2/5/07

Eczematous patches on face

7/14/07

Ben fell and split lip

8/15/07

fever 103.8

Weight 25.7

viral syndrome

9/17/07

fever for 3 days

101.8

viral syndrome

Rx for antibiotic, “just in case”

10/19/07

mother concerned about lack of speech and not responding to name

advised to wait until first of year

vaccines, DPaT and maybe flu

11/23/07

fever, no flu booster given

104 night prior, 103 morning

antibiotics

did not notice Ben speak while with doctor

11/23/07 (evening)

fears of allergic reaction to antibiotic, Ben broke out in rash, blue lips

heart rate 100-150

no cynanosis appreciated, not sure if it is cyanosis.

11/29/07

still with fever

mom concerned about autism

mom concerned doctors unable to be positive he has OM vs. viral and wants to know if Ben could possibly have leukemia or anything else that may be causing chronic and recurring fevers.

mom also asked about seizure activity, during the day he will stiffen up and kind of be unresponsive however will have no shaking. he will wake up in middle of night or during nap screaming and crying and acts as if parents are not there, not interacting with them.

mom wonders about high fever and how it may have affected his brain and whether it can account for his behavior problems

Ben well appearing , playful, no apparent distress

seems to exhibit age appropriate behavior, maybe a bit on hyperactive side

mom very preoccupied with Ben’s behavioral what she perceives to be Ben’s behavioral disorder and is eager to find the cause at this point

recommended a workup by TEACH

feels a lot of mom’s concerns are prompted from reading on internet. told her there is more bad information about autism than substantiated information.

anything under 100.4 is not considered a true fever therefore not a concern for leukemia or chronic systematic illness

looked back at latest CBC in April and it was completely normal

12/06/07

rash

bendna

CYTOGENETICS

Ben began seeing a DAN doctor summer of 2008. She is a neurologist and specializes in children with special needs. On September 29th she drew blood from Ben. The results are as follows.

Whole genome chromosome SNP/CN microarray (CMS) copy number analysis was normal. No significant DNA copy number changes in 1.8 million region specific SNP and structual targets were detected. No increase in hommozygotsity. Normal GTG banding in all cells observed.

Fragile X – normal, 20 CGG repeats identified.

Normal male Karyotyope

ALLERGEN PROFILE – Basic Foods

No allergies to cow milk, wheat, peanut, corn, sopybean, pork, beef, fish/shell mix, egg, chocolate/cocca

IMMUNOGLOBULINS A/E/G/M SERUM

immunoglobulin G, Qn, serum 933 (453 -916 normal)

E/M/A Immunoglobulin normal

MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase)

MTHFR, DNA Analysis result shows C677T single mutation identified.

Hyperhomocysteinemia is an independent risk factor for cerebrovascular disease and the homozygous C677T mutation in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene can induce hyperhomocysteinemia. (Hyperhomocysteinemia is a risk factor for coronary artery disease and in cases of young myocardial infarction the level is found to be elevated. Individuals with MTHFR gene mutations that reduce enzyme activity, may develop hyperhomocysteinemia and thus be at risk for vascular disease.) However, the association between this 677TT genotype and ischemic stroke still remains controversial. Therefore, we carried out this study to determine whether the MTHFR TT genotype is associated with certain subtypes of ischemic stroke.

The homozygous C677T mutation in the MTHFR gene is associated with multiple small-artery occlusions, but not with single small-artery occlusion. Findings suggest a genetic basis for certain subtypes of ischemic stroke.

A lack of the vitamins folic acid or riboflavin can lead to the inactivation of MTHFR, and the researchers have shown that humans with the C677T mutation may be particularly susceptible to such vitamin deficiency. Inactivation of MTHFR results in elevations in a compound called homocysteine. Such elevations may lead to increased risk of heart disease, strokes, and birth defects in humans.

Increasing the intake of riboflavin and folate through better diets and vitamin supplements should help prevent these potentially life-threatening problems in people at risk.

Researchers  suggest that the C677T mutation may confer protection against some forms of cancer, provided the patient has an adequate dietary intake of folic acid. Scientists must look at ways to avoid the disadvantages associated with this variation, while maximizing the advantages. Any common mutation that persists in the human population must confer advantages as well as disadvantages. If the mutant had an entirely negative influence, it would have been eliminated.

The C677T mutation can be a cause in the disease Hyperhomocysteinemia, an independent risk factor for cerebrovascular disease and the homozygous C677T mutation in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene can induce hyperhomocysteinemia.  The homozygous C677T mutation in the MTHFR gene is associated with multiple small-artery occlusions, but not with single small-artery occlusion.

Small vessel encephalitis can present with motor deficits, aphasia, and/or vision changes. Commonly seen in immunosuppressed patients, small vessel encephalitis is the most common CNS complication of VZV infection.
IL-2 Receptor Alpha

IL-2 Receptor Alpha – High at 1258 (233-710 normal)

Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is an interleukin, a type of cytokine immune system signaling molecule, that is instrumental in the body’s natural response to microbial infection and in discriminating between foreign (non-self) and self. IL-2 mediates its effects by binding to IL-2 receptors, which are expressed by lymphocytes, the cells that are responsible for immunity.

IL-2 is normally produced by the body during an immune response.[10][11] When environmental substances (molecules or microbes) gain access to the body, these substances (termed antigens) are recognized as foreign by antigen receptors that are expressed on the surface of lymphocytes. Antigen binding to the T cell receptor (TCR) stimulates the secretion of IL-2, and the expression of IL-2 receptors IL-2R. The IL-2/IL-2R interaction then stimulates the growth, differentiation and survival of antigen-selected cytotoxic T cells via the activation of the expression of specific genes.[12][13][14] As such, IL-2 is necessary for the development of T cell immunologic memory, one of the unique characteristics of the immune system, which depends upon the expansion of the number and function of antigen-selected T cell clones.

Neuron-specific enolase (NSE):

Neuron-specific Enolase, serum- High at 17.4 (0.0 – 12.5 normal)

Neuron-specific enolase (NSE) is a substance that has been detected in patients with certain tumors, namely: neuroblastoma, small cell lung cancer, medullary thyroid cancer, carcinoid tumors, pancreatic endocrine tumors, and melanoma.

Studies of NSE as a tumor marker have concentrated primarily on patients with neuroblastoma and small cell lung cancer. Measurement of NSE levels in patients with these two diseases can provide information about the extent of the disease and the patient’s prognosis (outlook), as well as about the patient’s response to treatment.

ANTI-OXIDANTS – 9

Anti-Oxidants – high

8-OHdG – high

Lipid Peroxides – high

Taurine – low

MINERALS – 3

Taurine – low

B-VITAMINS

Formiminoglutamic Acid – high 21.4 (<=9)

AMINO ACIDS

Lysine – low 80 (149-1,522)

taurine – low 236 (274-1,607)

DIETARY PEPTIDE RELATED MARKERS

Anserine (dieptide) – low 2 (23-483)

1-Methylhistidine – low 65 (144-2,122)

PROTEIN MALABSORPTION/ MALDIGESTION

Lysine – low

BACTERIAL DYSBIOSIS

Benzoic/Hippuric Acids Ratio – high

YEAST/FUNGAL DYSBIOSIS

Arabinose – high 77.4 (<=63.0)

OXIDATIVE STRESS – 9

8-OHdG – high 20 (<=16)

Urinary 8-OHdG: a marker of oxidative stress to DNA and a risk factor for cancer, atherosclerosis and diabetics.

Lipid Peroxides – high

Taurine – low

ELEMENTAL ANALYSIS – Hair

As one might expect Ben has some environmental toxins due to his weakened immune system. An analysis of his hair shows that several key elements have and are poisoning him.  Some of the elements of concern are:

Antimony (Sb) is above the reference range. Hair Sb reflects past or chronic skin exposure, inhalation or ingestion of this element. Sb is a nonessential element considered to be more toxic than arsenic. Antimony’s deposition in body tissues and its detrimental effects depend upon the oxidation state of the element. Sb+3 affects liver functions, impairs enzymes. And may interfere with sulfur chemistry. If Sb impairs phosphofrutokinase (PFK), then purine metabolism may be disrupted, resulting in elevated blood and/or urine levels of hypoxanthine, uric acid and possibly ammonia. Sb+5 deposits in bone, kidney and in organs of the endocrine system: “Antimony spots” may result from skin contact with Sb salts and vapors. Symptoms can be variable, including fatigue, myopathy, hypotension, angina and immune dysregulation.

Gadolinium (Gd) is above the reference range. Gadolinium is a member of the group of rare earth metals known as lanthanides. It has been used for superconductors, magnets, fluorescent materials, and as a nuclear MRI contrast agent. Toxicity appears similar to nickel and copper, and has been associated with hair loss and skin lesions. These changes are consistent with Zinc deficiency and are correlated with increase in urinary zinc concentrations.

Magnesium (Mg) is below the reference range. Low Mg in hair correlates with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Low Mg in hair may reflect symptoms or conditions that include muscle tremors, weakness, mental depression and cardiac arrhythmias.

Uranium (U) is above the reference range. Hair levels of uranium may reflect past or chronic ingestion. Most exposure  comes from natural uranium in ground and drinking water. The major toxicology concern of U238 excess is biochemical rather than radiochemical. U is a reactive element which is able to combine with and affect metabolisms of: lactate, citrate, pyruvate, carbonate and phosphate.

Ben’s levels of Mercury and Lead were within reference range.

Like I said at the beginning I have no idea what any of this means. I’ve been told it means he has a weakened immune system.