Bayer, the maker of the world’s most unsafe brands of birth control – the Yasmin line and the Mirena/Skyla IUDs, as well as a maker of neocontinid pesticides killing the bees – can now be held responsible for the rise in Autism rates over the last 30 years, as they are the makers and manufacturers of Cipro and Avelox, two of the world’s most popular fluoroquinolone antibiotics, which have recently been shown to alter DNA in ways that encourage expression of Autism related genes. Johnson & Johnson, the maker of Levaquin, also a popular fluoroquinolone antibiotic, can also be held responsible for the atrocity of one in eighty-eight children being autistic, as Levaquin is also a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that does the same thing.
Cipro (ciprofloxacin) is a second generation fluoroquinolone patented in 1983 by Bayer, Levaquin (levofloxacin) is a third generation fluroquinolone patented in 1987 by Ortho-McNeil-Janssen (a division of Johnson & Johnson), and Avelox (moxifloxacin) is a fourth generation fluoroquinolone patented in 1991 by Bayer. In the 1980s the incidence of Autism was 1 per 1,000 children, today it is 1 per 88 children. The incidence of Autism has gone up hand in hand with the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
Of course, this correlation between the introduction of fluoroquinolone antibiotics to the market and increasing rates of Autism, proves nothing. For proof, studies, experimentation and scientific exploration are needed. In September, 2013 the studies of topoisomerase inhibitors like fluoroquinolones as they relate to Autism commenced with an article in Nature entitled “Topoisomerases facilitate transcription of long genes linked to autism.”
Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Lead to Autism Gene Expression
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are eukaryotic DNA gyrase (also known as topoisomerase II) and topoisomerase IV inhibitors. Topoisomerases “are integral to gene expression, as they resolve DNA supercoiling that is generated during transcription.” Here is a video describing what that means and how fluoroquinolones work –
A 1999 study in Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis showed that fluoroquinolone antibiotics damage and destroy mitochondrial DNA. It makes sense that they would do so because mitochondria are the parts of our cells that are most closely related to bacteria. Bacteria are destroyed by fluoroquinolone antibiotics through the unraveling of bacterial DNA and resulting apoptosis (programmed cell death). Sadly, mitochondria also suffer the same fate.
An article published in September, 2013 in Nature entitled “Topoisomerases facilitate transcription of long genes linked to autism” noted that topoisomerase inhibitors can adversely affect gene expression and, “topoisomerases facilitate the expression of a large number of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) candidate genes, including many that are long and that are thought to have large effects on ASD pathology.” Basically, drugs that effect topoisomerases, chemotherapy drugs and fluoroquinolone antibiotics (which are chemotherapy drugs) can cause Autism genes to be expressed.
The article concludes by stating that:
“Our data suggest that chemicals or genetic mutations that impair topoisomerases, and possibly other components of the transcription elongation machinery that interface with topoisomerases, have the potential to profoundly affect the expression of long ASD candidate genes. Length-dependent impairment of gene transcription, particularly in neurons and during critical periods of brain development, may thus represent a unifying cause of pathology in in many individuals with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.”
THIS IS HUGE. It is an environmental factor, topoisomerase inhibiting chemotherapy drugs including fluoroquinolone antibiotics, that cause the expression of Autism genes.
It should be noted that the specific drug studied in “Topoisomerases facilitate transcription of long genes linked to autism” is Topotecan, not fluoroquinolones. Topotecan is a topoisomerase I inhibitor whereas fluoroquinolone atibiotics are topoisomerase II (also known as DNA gyrase) and topoisomerase IV inhibitors. Further studies need to be done to definitively show whether or not fluoroquinolones have the same adverse effects as Topotecan.
HOWEVER, the Researchers note that:
TOP2 (topoisomerase II) enzymes, (particularly TOP2B) also participate in gene transcription. We next tested whether genetic or pharmacological inhibition of TOP2 enzymes could reduce the expression of long genes. Indeed, with new experiments and by re-analyzing data from others, we found that the TOP2A/TOP2B inhibitor ICRF-193 reduced gene expression in a length-dependent manner in cultured mouse cortical neurons, embryonic stem (ES) cells and ES-cell-derived neurons. There was extensive overlap between genes affected by ICRF-193 and topotecan in cortical neurons, particularly for long genes, and the magnitudes of these effects were highly correlated. Thus, TOP1 (topoisomerase I) and TOP2 (topoisomerase II) enzymes regulate the expression of many of the same genes.
This means that topoisomerase II inhibitors, also known as DNA gyrase inhibitors, such as fluoroquinolones do the SAME THING as the topoisomerase I inhibitors studied. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics – Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox and a few more – “profoundly affect the expression of long ASD candidate genes.”
26.9 MILLION prescriptions for fluoroquinolone antibiotics were given to people in 2011 alone. Quantities of prescriptions of these DNA altering drugs have been in the millions since their rise in popularity in the 1980s.
These popular antibiotics, prescribed for sinus infections, urinary tract infections, strep throat, traveler’s diarrhea, prostate infections, etc. ALTER DNA AND NEGATIVELY INFLUENCE GENE EXPRESSION (EPI-GENETICS) AND LEAD TO THE EXPRESSION OF AUTISM GENES. Genes. DNA. Epi-genetics. The bits of information that our cells pass from one generation to the next. The damaged DNA is passed from parent to child and from that child down to their children, and so on and so on.
Gene expression, epi-genetics, is tricky because so many factors influence how genes are expressed, and it is only recently that ways of measuring and describing epi-genetics have been discovered. Neil deGrasse Tyson is probably better at explaining epi-genetics than I am, so please check out this video –
One of the research scientists who Dr. deGrasse Tyson interviews notes that, “you’re not only what you eat, (you are) potentially what your mother ate and even what your grandparents ate” to show the power of the heritability of epi-genetic markers. Dr. deGrasse Tyson and the research scientist are discussing how food can effect epi-genetic markers and influence obesity throughout generations of mice. If food can effect epi-genetics that dramatically, just imagine how dramatically a drug that is intentionally designed to interfere with and unravel mitochondrial DNA can effect human heredity. Not only can a drug that a parent (not just mothers, the DNA of fathers contributes to 50% of everyone’s genes) took influence the epi-genetics of their child, but the epi-genetics of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren can be adversely effected as well.
So, children are inheriting damaged genes, the genes that control whether or not a person is Autistic, because their parent (or even grandparent – for future generations – fluoroquinolones haven’t been around long enough to mess up multiple generations of people – yet) took an ANTIBIOTIC that messed up their mitochondrial DNA. This is absurd. Generations of humans will continue to be plagued by high autism rates, possibly indefinitely, because a certain class of antibiotics that has dangerous and severe side-effects even to those who take them directly, has damaged their mitochondrial DNA. This entire horrifying situation is Bayer’s and Johnson & Johnson’s fault and they should be held accountable to humanity in every way possible.
Let me just back-pedal a little bit and say that many women who have been severely adversely effected by fluoroquinolone antibiotics have had healthy, happy, beautiful, smart babies. Many factors go into how genes are expressed. What you eat, music, positive thoughts and words, etc. can influence how your genes are expressed. If you have taken a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, you are not doomed to have an autistic child. But it really seems shameful, horrifying actually, to increase someone’s odds of having an autistic child by encouraging the expression of autism related genes synthetically, through an unneeded and destructive antibiotic, when other, safer, non-DNA-damaging antibiotics are available.
If I can figure out that fluoroquinolones have the same effects as Topotecan, and that damaged DNA and gene expression / epi-genetics markers can be passed on from generation to generation, with my Cipro frazzled brain, you can bet that Dr. Zylka and his team of undoubtedly brilliant Scientists also realize that topoisomerase II / DNA gyrase (and topoisomerase IV) inhibitors like fluoroquinolones are leading to the expression of autism genes. I thank these Scientists for what they have uncovered and published from the bottom of my heart, and I beg of them, please have enough courage and moral fortitude to stand up for what you know to be true – that fluoroquinolone antibiotics made by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson have severely, and possibly irreversibly, damaged the human gene pool in a way that is causing children, innocent children, to be hurt. Though there is little that can be done to stop the damage from being passed down through the generations, the people who have already been hurt by Bayer and J&J deserve compensation. The children who are living with Autism deserve compensation. Bayer and J&J hurt them, they hurt humanity, and they should pay for their sins. Without the word of Scientists to back up these assertions, no justice will ever come to the families. Dr. Zylka and others… please, do what’s right.
The Dangers of Fluoroquinolones Shouldn’t be a Surprise
This coalmine is littered with dead canaries. The Scientists who designed fluoroquinolones always knew that they were topoisomerase inhibitors that unraveled bacterial DNA. They may not have known that fluoroquinolones caused the expression of Autism related genes, that’s a recent discovery, but any claims not to know that these drugs are dangerous involves a huge amount of willful ignorance. In 1998 Stephen Fried published Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs, describing his wife Diane’s severe adverse reaction to Floxin (a fluoroquinolone that is no longer popular, but is still available) that included severe CNS issues. Before and since publication of Bitter Pills, article after article, research paper after research paper has been published noting one danger of fluoroquinolones after another. Here is just a small sample of the information about the immediate dangers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics – http://floxiehope.com/links-resources/. So many people have been needlessly hurt by these drugs. Many of those who have been hurt have been screaming about their pain, trying to get people to listen, trying to save others from their sad fate – and their warnings have been unheeded. It is to be determined whether or not this article in Nature will change anything, whether or not people will pay attention to the canaries in the coalmine. I hope so. Regardless of whether or not the harm that has been done to human DNA is reversible, people deserve to know the truth. They deserve to know why autism rates have gone from 1 in 1,000 children in 1980 to 1 in 88 children in 2013. They deserve to be compensated for their losses. They deserve to be able to make appropriate and informed decisions regarding the drugs they take and, sadly, the reproduction choices they make.
Nalidixic Acid, the foundation of all quinolone and fluoroquinolone antibiotics was discovered in 1962 by George Lesher. It took 51 years and indescribable damage to the human gene pool for the dangers of this DNA altering substance to be revealed. May this be a lesson for all people intentionally altering the genes of humans, animals or plants.
Of course, there are some factors other than gene expression that contribute to Autism Spectrum Disorders. Sadly, many of those can also be explained by fluoroquinolone use. Direct application of fluoroquinolones (ear and eye drops that are fluoroquinolone based are commonly prescribed to children as young as 1 to treat their ear and eye infections, as opposed to the inherited exposure described above, has been shown to cause disruption of tubulin assembly, mitochondrial damage, and a cascade of interrelated brain and nervous system damage stemming from the ability of certain drugs and substances to inhibit deacetylation of histone. All of these things have also been linked to Autism.
A Note About Vaccines
Studies have shown that, “certain individuals with a mild mitochondrial defect may be highly susceptible to mitochondrial specific toxins like the vaccine preservative thimerosal.” Drugs that damage mitochondria, fluoroquinolones are not the only drugs that do so, combined with vaccines, can be toxic and can lead to a marked increase in oxidative stress, production of reactive oxygen species, cell death and possibly Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Adverse reactions to direct application of fluoroquinolones (again, as opposed to inherited exposure and direct application can come in the form of orally administered fluoroquinolones, ie pills, intravenously administered fluoroquinolones or topically administered fluoroquinolones, ie ear and eye drops) are often both delayed and triggered by exposure to another toxin. The 2008 lawsuit that got the Black Box Warning of tendon ruptures added to the warning label of orally and intravenously administered fluoroquinolones accepted drug reaction times of up to four months after the fluoroquinolone was taken as a reasonable time frame. Also, the warning labels for fluoroquinolones note that adverse reactions can occur several months after administration of the drug has stopped. Unfortunately, the evidence that I have for adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones being triggered by another toxin are anecdotal. However, I think that the anecdotes are illustrative. In my personal case, my adverse reaction to Cipro started a full two weeks after I had FINISHED taking the Cipro, when I started taking ibuprofen, a NSAID. Enough other people who are also suffering from fluoroquinolone toxicity also have reported adverse reactions to NSAIDs (and the warning label says, “Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (but not acetyl salicylic acid) in combination of very high doses of quinolones have been shown to provoke convulsions in pre-clinical studies.” http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2013/019537s082,020780s040lbl.pdf though I did not take NSAIDs in combination with the quinolone/fluoroquinolone nor have I suffered through convulsions – yet) for me to think that the ibuprofen triggered my severe adverse reaction. The CAUSE of my adverse reaction was the Cipro that I had taken two weeks earlier. The ibuprofen was simply the trigger. It would not have been dangerous on its own. However, since Cipro had started a cellular adverse reaction in my body, the ibuprofen became dangerous to me. (It should also be noted that my adverse reaction began when I started my period and that hormones may be related to fluoroquinolone toxicity as well – again, sorry for the anecdotally based assertion.) It should be explored whether or not vaccines can TRIGGER adverse reactions to other drugs – especially drugs that damage mitochondria. If this is the case, the earlier administered drugs are the cause of the problem and the vaccines are simply the trigger – but they’re not exactly innocent either. All of these assertions should be explored further than I have the resources or expertise to do.
As someone who has personally been severely adversely effected by a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, Cipro, which caused central, peripheral and autonomic nervous system problems as well as damage to the connective tissue throughout my body, I always suspected that the dangerous and tragic effects of fluoroquinolones were going to explode into common consciousness at some point. I hoped that it would blow up because of advocacy efforts and that it wouldn’t require a tragedy for the screams of the victims of fluoroquinolones to be noticed. I suspected that my hope was ill-founded though. I thought that a difficult to treat major infection would make its rounds and that everyone would take a fluoroquinolone – and that a large number of people would get sick so that it became undeniable what these drugs did. I imagined a scenario where a foreign leader got sick from a fluoroquinolone and had a fit over it – causing an international relations snafu. Though either of these scenarios would have involved a huge amount of sadness for the victims, they also would have involved some vindication and righteousness on my part over the fact that I KNEW and I tried to warn everyone. Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the tragedy caused by fluoroquinolones would be a slow-moving one and that it had been happening over my lifetime. Never would I have imagined that something as insidious and tragic as Autism was the tragedy caused by fluoroquinolones and that one in eighty-eight children would be effected. Never would I have imagined that our DNA would be so profoundly affected by these dangerous drugs that even if everything that I wished for – that their use be severely restricted and that victims of these drugs be compensated – came true, that the havoc that these drugs caused would not be stopped. I am profoundly and deeply saddened by this situation. I cannot express how much my soul aches over the fact that the victims of these drugs are children, the innocent among us, those who need our protection, the babies. They have been let down. Humanity has been let down and I cannot quit sobbing for all of our souls.
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