Research of Dr. William J. Walsch, Ph. D., biochemical researcher of the Pfeiffer Treatment Center, Illinois, USA, suggests that a congenital defect in metallothionein function could be the cause of autism. In his opinion all problems of autists, both immunological and brain/intestinal, can be explained by poorly functioning metallothionein. All facts indeed seem to indicate that a poorly functioning metallothionein system forms an important stress factor that contributes significantly to the cause of autism.

Methallothionein is a protein that carries out very vital functions in the body. There are four different types of this protein. It is made up of 60 to 70 amino acids and 7 atoms of zinc. One of its most important functions is the protection against heavy metals. For this reason high concentrations of this protein are present in the mucous membrane of the intestine where it serves as a binding agent for heavy metals by exchanging zinc for mercury, lead, platinum, aluminium etc. It goes without saying that in this modern age the protection against heavy metals plays an essential part in maintaining our health in a greatly polluted world. We continually ingest heavy metals with our food, the daily intake of mercury in nourishment being about 20mcg and if teeth are filled with amalgam, an extra dose is added depending on the age of the amalgam (1mcg/day for old amalgam to 450 mcg/day for newly used amalgam). Several vaccines also contain mercury. In the Netherlands, aluminumhydroxid is primarily used in vaccines (25 mcg per vaccine). Aluminium is also present in all kinds of packaging materials of juices whereby the packing is lined with aluminium. Many people still cook using aluminium pots, especially when on holiday. Metallothionein is therefore an essential protein. Not only is it present in the intestines, the first line of defence, but is also found in the liver, pancreas, mouth, stomach and brain. Heavy metals pass the blood-brain barrier unhindered. Thus a two month old baby with a metallothionein deficiency injected with the DTPP/HIB vaccination in two separate shots, is injected with 2 x 25 mcg of aluminium and is unable to bind the aluminium and expel it from its body.

Metallothonein also plays an important role in several other processes in the body:

  1. It regulates zinc and copper concentration in the blood.
  2. It is essential in the development and functioning of our immune system.
  3. It is indispensable in the development of nerve cells (neurons) in the brain together with the Omega-3 fatty acids.
  4. It protects against excessive yeast growth in the intestines.
  5. It prevents intestinal infections.
  6. It is involved in gastric acid production.
  7. It influences taste and texture sensation of food in the mouth.
  8. It has a regulating influence on hippocampal behaviour.
  9. It is involved in the emotional development and socialization (amygdala).

Owing to all these vital functions of metallothionein it is very reasonable to assume that a deficiency of this essential protein may lead to all kinds of problems in the development of the child. Most likely a genetic disorder is involved that does not become evident until the system experiences an overload. This may be triggered by a vaccine, a bacterial or viral infection possibly combined with antibiotics, amalgam fillings of the mother during pregnancy etc. The fact that some scientists and M.D's give a purely genetic lable to the cause of autism is proof of a poor scientific mentality and a lack in logical thinking. It is impossible for genetic disorders to increase at such an explosive rate as in the case of autism. In the United States, the number of autism cases has risen from 1 in 180.000 to 1 in 180 and in some states even to 1 in 150. Moreover, genetic does not necessarily mean hopeless and untreatable! Likewise, improved diagnosis cannot be the only reason as some have claimed. Environmental factors must be involved, even when there is a genetic base.

The conclusion that these data point to is that there might be a lot of children with a dormant metallothionein deficiency that run the increased risk of developing symptoms caused by all kinds of environmental factors. The symptoms resulting from malfunctioning metallothionein are most likely not only restricted to causing disorders in the autism spectrum but several other modern disorders like ADHD and other behavioural disorders, fibromyalgia, ME and CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) could possibly also be explained by this. It could even be a factor in cancer. For many years now I have been testing cancer patients and many of them show high copper and low zinc readings. In my practice, I have experienced several autistic children displaying a total shift towards ADHD type behaviour. Many children are diagnosed as autistic at one point and subsequently as ADHD or vice versa. Practical experience and continued scientific research will eventually have the final word.