Wakefield may have the highest public profile but he is just one of many who seek to profit from autism and he is by no means the worst. Remember the Geiers? This father and son team from Silver Springs in Maryland have an unsavoury record that makes Wakefield seem almost reasonable.
Wakefield breached the terms of his hospital’s ethics committee. The Geiers, operating out of the family home, invented their own IRB and granted themselves ethical approval for experiments on children with a powerful drug called Lupron. Lupron is used to treat precocious puberty, a rare condition in young children. It is also used is also used to treat prostate cancer in men, to treat endometriosis in women, and to chemically castrate sex offenders. The Geiers use it on autistic children and young adults.
Kathleen Seidel has catalogued their bad science, plagiarism, inflated academic resumes, the fraudulent IRB, cruel and unnecessary blood draws, attempted deals with TAP pharmaceuticals and the Lupron Protocol itself on her Neurodiversity website. Trine Tsouderos at the Chicago Tribune covers all the basics in her recent profile of the Geiers, ‘Miracle drug’ called junk science.
The most disturbing part of Tsouderos’ story was the news that the Geiers were rolling out a franchise for others to cash in on their unproven and dangerous protocol. According to their website they offer the following
- Genetic Markers (DNA Fragile X Syndrome, Blood Chromosome, Chromosome Microarrays, DNA Rett Syndrome, Angelman/Prader Willi Syndrome)
- Mitochondrial Dysfunction (Carnitine, Lactic Acid, Ammonia, Hand Muscle Testing)
- Hormone Imbalances (Total Testosterone, Free Testosterone, DHEA, DHEA-S, Androstenedione, Dihydrotestosterone, Total Estrogens, Estrone, Estradiol, ACTH, Aldosterone, Prolactin, FSH, LH)
- Oxidative Stress/Inflammation (Neopterin, Lipid Peroxides)
- Detoxification Pathways (Glutathione, Cystathionine, Homocysteine, Methionine)
- Immune System Function (Immune Deficiency Profile, HLA-Testing, Immune Complexes, Food Allergies, Celiac’s Disease)
- Heavy Metals (Porphyrins, Blood Metals, Urinary Metals)
- Neurological Dysfunction (Brain MRI scans, Brain SPECT scans)
- General Health Status (Comphrensive Metabolic Panel)
And this is the team that will deliver these services.
- Maryland: Mark Geier MD, geneticist and David Young MD, Obstetrician and gynaecologist.
- Springfield, llinois: Mary Young MD, psychiatrist and neurologist.
- Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: David Claymore, neuroradiologist.
- Parsippany, New Jersey: Paul King, industrial chemist.
- Indianapolis, Indiana: Melissa Troutman, radiologic technologist.
- Dallas, Texas: Janet Kern, RN, neuroscientist.
- Louisville, Kentucky: Janet Pope, RN
And that is it. The only member of the American Academy of Pediatrics is Mary Young who has worked as a child psychiatrist. There are no board certified endocrinologists or anybody with the board certification to diagnose and treat precocious puberty in children.
And what of David Geier BA? He remains vice-president of the non-profit 501(c)3 Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc. and the non-profit 501(c)3 CoMeD, Inc. Much of the profit from the franchise will be directed to “these corporations dedicated to
autism research and advocacy efforts.” sure. So families or their insurers will be paying for treatments for their children that have been condemned by real autism experts as junk science. And the profits from this enterprise will be used to fund more junk science. Do they have a GMC in America? Do they want to borrow ours?