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February 05, 2003

by Jon Rappoport

FEBRUARY 5. I have written about courageous Dartmouth researcher Roger Masters before. Masters has done studies on the effects of lead and on the correlation between fluorides in municipal water supplies and elevated levels of lead in children’s blood.

Now he weighs in on ADHD. After reading one of my articles on the subject, he sent me the following message:

“…The problem is that, from what I can gather, ADHD is NOT a ‘disease’ with a single diagnostic signature (fitting the model of ‘one germ, one disease’ in medicine): rather, it is a set of functional cognitive deficits---inability to focus attention (i.e., signal/noise ratio around 1.0) PLUS poor behavioral inhibition. Each of these can have multiple causal pathways.

“The horror is that one very frequent pathway is heavy metal neurotoxicity, esp. lead neurotoxicity. This is evident from the work of Dr. William Walsh at Pfeiffer Treatment Center: where ADHD children have high lead levels in blood or hair, Walsh told me that for at least 80% of cases, nutrient based chelation of toxic heavy metals over six months results in the end of symptoms with NO medication (i.e., no Ritalin). If nothing else, evidence that for some individuals, heavy metals can coincide with ADHD symptoms, with chelation and removal of the heavy metal (at least lead) coinciding with an end of symptoms.

“The mechanism for lead is very clear, at least for hyperactivity, since the effect of lead in downregulating dopaminergic function and increasing impulsivity is well known (see work of Cory-Slechta et al. on lead and fixed interval conditioning paradigms).

“That lead can be one pathway to ADHD doesn’t mean that lead is the sole “CAUSE”…we are going to need a different view of multicausal non-linear dynamic systems leading to behavioral or cognitive dysfunctions.

“In this context, relying on quick-fix changes through medications like Ritalin is terrible (it may make parents and teachers feel good and doctors feel powerful, but it’s hard to see why we would prescribe the estimated 11 million children to take Cocaine, so why prescribe a medicine with similar functional effects?).”

I’ll add a few of my own comments.

What about those children who really have no symptoms of anything besides terminal boredom in the classroom? What about those children who spend six hours in school every day and never get a chance to reveal their talents? What about those children who live in homes where parents are inattentive at best, or cruel? What about those children who have parents who are being coerced, by social service agencies, into signing an approval form for Ritalin, as part of a quid pro quo for SSI benefits? What about those children who drinking a ton of sugar in those sodas in the vending machines at school? And so on and so forth…

And what about Novartis, the maker of Ritalin, one of the biggest drug pushers in the US?


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