The South Jersey Courier Post carries a story today concerning the father and son team of Mark and David Geier.
They have presented at the branch meeting of the U.S. Autism & Asperger Association concerning their own branch of autism related woo – treatment with Lupron. A process that has led them to stretch the truth beyond breaking point numerous times, claiming false affiliations and using friends and family as members of review bodies in order to pass ethical regulations. In a wider world of autism related woo, this is a particularly sordid story.
The Geiers say excess testosterone increases the toxicity of mercury, which they claim is the primary cause of autism, and that the suppression of testosterone production improves the ability to remove the poisonous mercury — a method often referred to as chelation therapy.
The drug Lupron, or leuprolide acetate, lowers testosterone in autistic children, which then frees up the toxic mercury, the Geiers say. The Geiers, who operate eight offices nationwide under the name “Genetic Consultants,” found that testosterone blocks the body’s ability to make glutathione and that mercury binds to glutathione.
So, the Geier’s are still clinging grimly to the mercury = autism belief. A belief for which there is no sound science whatsoever and so much against it would take too long to discuss in one blog entry.
And they are also claiming that they have ‘found that testosterone blocks the body’s ability to make glutathione’. Searching PubMed for ‘lupron glutathione’ returns no hits at all. So where have they found this? Under the stairs? Why aren’t they publishing this science if they’re so sure?
Lupron lowers testosterone and…
To prove there is a hormonal connection to autistic children, the Geiers displayed several studies that showed a major side effect of high testosterone in children is precocious (or premature) puberty. The Geiers said they found signs of premature puberty, such as facial hair, body odor and early sexual development, in 80 percent of the autistic children in their clinic.
Weird stats. When I searched PubMed for ‘precocious puberty autism’ I got one result back:
This is a presentation and discussion of clinical and laboratory data obtained on 13 girls with Rett syndrome…..Precocious puberty and respiratory alkalosis were not found in our patients
Huh. Fancy that. Not found. And here the Geier’s are claiming an 80% correlation rate between autism and precocious puberty. Maybe that results from the test they’re using.
The Geiers said they found signs of premature puberty, such as facial hair, body odor and early sexual development…
And yet they somehow failed to perform the very simple and definitive test for precocious puberty – an xray of the wrist. If bone age is one year older than their chronological age then they have precocious puberty. Simple. And not done by the Geier’s. You have to wonder why.
And here we have more hidden science.
Mark Geier said laboratory tests at his clinic show that after just three months on Lupron, autistic children improved in dozens of cognitive and behavioral ways.
Next time someone tells you that ‘big pharma’ are using unindependant research, tell them this: science published in a mainstream journal has its methods and results clearly published so that other scientists can attempt to replicate them. That’s about as independent as you can get. Here we have the Geier’s simply saying these kids improved. No methods, no results, no science is shown. We’re just expected to take their word for it. That’s about as unindependent as you can get. Anyone would think the Geier’s have a vested interest in Lupron doing well.