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Virus Information

[This page was written and compiled by Anita Kugelstadt.]

This file is meant to be an introduction—a resource that offers information and links to investigate further. I did not try to present the information here in any particular order in regard to usefulness. What you find useful will depend on your child’s particular situation, what you already know, and what you’ve already done for your child. It is important to note that I have not included detailed cautions or background information on the majority of supplements/treatments mentioned although in some instances I do offer serious cautions—please read the file in its entirety so that you do not miss these cautions. I would not have felt confident sharing this file if Andy Cutler hadn’t taken the time to share his knowledge by commenting on the first drafts and offering many additions and corrections. I am grateful—endlessly grateful—for his generosity. I have included some of his comments directly and other information he provided has been included less directly in many places. If you find mistakes or would like to add to this file, please email Anita at mysuperteach@hotmail.com.


It seems that there are some ASD kids who have viral problems and some who don’t. No one knows exactly what these percentages would be, but many agree that somewhere around 30% of ASD kids who have received prescription antivirals respond favourably—however one wishes to interpret that. Of the kids who seem to have viral problems, it would seem that some can recover on their own by healing the gut, supplementing, and chelating. Other kids need help specific to their viral problem as well. Still some others seem to have only viral problems, or, at least viral problems are their main issue and resolving them seems to resolve all other problems.

The only certainty I was able to discover in researching for this file was this: viral issues in ASD are controversial. Be sure to research carefully, particularly the negative things that people have to say about each of the protocols, treatments, supplements, and promises you may find at any of the resources I share below. Try to attempt in your research to discern how closely parents followed any particular antiviral protocol. If details of the theoretical protocol were changed in practice, this would be an important thing to know.

To be honest, I have a difficult time differentiating between viral problems and autoimmune problems. They seem to be the same thing in some circumstances, whereas in others they are two different issues: an autoimmune problem that may have been triggered by a virus as opposed to a virus still active to some degree within the body. Andy clarifies this idea further: “In fact the typical mercury induced issue of overactive humoral (antibody) immunity and underactive or misdirected cellular immunity can cause either or both, while in addition the other adjuvants in vaccines can cause the body to sensitize to itself rather than the vaccine contents (and there is a natural mechanism to stop making new kinds of antibodies once a few are created) so that you can easily get all possible combinations of autoimmunity and lack of virus resistance/chronic viral infection.”

It should be noted that many people believe that viruses can work synergistically, and a child’s problem may be the result of a number of viruses, some of which may not have been identified yet. Again, Andy clarifies: “When this is occurring it is due to a defect in cellular immunity most likely acquired through mercury laden vaccines. Clearing the mercury will allow the body to recover, but it may need help to do so.”

Because of my difficulty in understanding the difference between viral problems and autoimmune disorders, I have not tried to point to either one or the other in many places in this file. Research seems to show that just over 50% of ASD kids have auto-antibodies to myelin basic protein. That is, their own bodies are attacking the myelin sheaths in their brains. This would be considered an autoimmune problem, perhaps precipitated by a viruses or viruses. It has been suggested that the following supplements may help repair/reverse the demyelinzation process: Vitamin E (d-alpha), phosphatidylcholine, pantethine or pantothenic acid, curcumin, GLA from borage or evening primrose oil, and high EPA fish oils. As noted below in a resource, myelinization continues until the age of 45, which should offer us great hope for our children. People like Dr. McCandless have also been investigating the use of low-dose naltrexone (LDN) and the prescription drug Actos to help deal with these sorts of problems. You can find out more information on LDN from here:
There is also an LDN yahoo group where you can find more information about these two treatments:

Dr. McCandless (Children with Starving Brains, 2005, p.163) explains that autoimmune disorders may be the result of infectious diseases such as rubella, herpes simplex encephalitis, varicella, cytomegalovirus, and roseola which is caused by the HHV6—the extremely common human herpes virus.

For a clear explanation of this virus which may very well play an important role in autism, see

The Life Extension Foundation has some good information on herpes viruses in general and what can possibly be done about them. Much of this information would be transferable to the situation of ASD kids, particularly those who suffer recurrent outbreaks of cold sores: http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-164.shtml
This site also offers good background information for people new to the investigation of viruses in general. Furthermore, there is a section which discusses some supplements not looked at specifically in this file. Important note of caution: Chemically sensitive people or those taking liver taxing drugs like depakote cannot tolerate BHT.

If you are interested in pursuing information on autoimmune problems and autism, you may want to look at http://www.taap.info/ home of the Autism Autoimmunity Project. You may also want to visit http://www.nids.net/ for information on Neuro Immune Dysfunction Syndromes. Dr. Michael Goldberg at http://www.neuroimmunedr.com/ also has information on this topic. I have received negative reports from some parents in regard to the efficacy of the treatment their children received from Dr. Goldberg. I do not want to dismiss or withhold parent reports like this. It should be noted that Dr. Goldberg is considered to be very anti-chelation and anti-DAN!.

Dr. W. John Martin, who is also considered very anti-chelation and anti-DAN! argues that stealth-adapted viruses are the cause of autism. You can onibasu some of his opinions in the autism-mercury archives. His ideas are presented in these three webpages: http://www.ccid.org/ , http://www.s3support.com/ , http://www.emergingworlds.com/centerhope.cfm . Dr. Martin’s work is highly controversial. I have received negative feedback from parents whose ASD children have been his patients. I would strongly urge you to read the following articles (there are more like them if you choose to google) before you consider Dr. Martin’s hypothesis of the stealth adapted virus and how it might relate to your child:


People like Dr. Yasko and Dr. Wakefield have looked a great deal at the possible involvement of the MMR vaccination in the health problems of ASD children, particularly at measles virus infection some ASD children suffer. Dr. Yasko talks about this in her paper “Autism: A Twisted Tale of Virus and Thimerosal” which you can find, along with a good deal of her other work at http://www.autismanswer.com . You can find some of Dr. Wakefield’s work at http://thoughtfulhouse.org .

Andy has pointed out that, “It is well known and discussed in standard medical texts that a) children with impaired cellular immunity can’t clear live virus vaccines like measles and can be killed or severely disabled by them, and b) mercury and thimerosal impair cellular immunity.”

Dr. Yazbak has researched the connection between mothers who received vaccinations such as the MMR during pregnancy and breastfeeding and ASDs in their children. For some information on that you can look at

What might viral issues look like in my child?

I have been unable to establish any precise list of what viral signs would look like—there is too much controversy. Some of the signs listed are considered soft signs while others are considered more valid indicators. It would depend on who you spoke to which category any of these possible indicators falls into. In researching this file I read many times that dealing with viral issues is sometimes like chelating autistic children: the only way to know for sure if it is going to work is to try it and do it properly.

Some children might display the following signs:

· Motor problems, including fine motor problems. Sometimes these problems are one-sided (often the right side seems weaker). Some people believe that toe-walking is also a sign.
· The child seems to move from improved behaviour to more autistic behaviour for no apparent reason. These cycles of progression then regression might last weeks or months.
· Less autistic behaviours during and immediately following fevers followed by a return to more typical behaviours after this time has passed.
· Chronic viral-like illnesses or no symptoms of ever being sick.
· Negative reaction after MMR vaccination.
· Cold sores/fever blisters/unexplained sores in or around mouth. Warts, plantar warts.
· Continual gut problems in spite of all possible efforts to alleviate them.
· Improvement while on antibiotics—this may be a result of a concomitant bacterial problem.
· Hyperactivity
· OCD, scripting, repeating fairly meaningless actions (tics) or sounds.
· Staying in own world (see for example the recovery video of Ethan as mentioned below for this last one).
· Sensory integration disorder, eye or ear sensitivity
. Hypotonia.

Some parents might choose to run tests that may indicate viral problems. It is, however, of no use to run these tests unless your doctor is clear as to the course of treatment that will be followed if certain results are obtained. It would be important to understand what these treatments will be, on what criteria will they be used, and if you are willing to have your child undergo these treatments.

Sometimes these tests will show extremely high titers to things such as Epstein-Barr Virus (very rare in a young child), Cytomegalovirus, Herpes Simplex Viruses 1 and 2, HHV6 and the measles virus (which, of course, most children will have titers to because of the MMR).

Sometimes the titers will not be high at all because the child’s immune system is unable to mount any sort of defense. Andy points out that, “If titers are NOT elevated for something they were vaccinated against, then yes there is a serious problem, it is with humoral immunity, and it needs to be explored carefully.”

Some feel that low NK cells is a sign of viral problems although low NK cells is indicative of mercury toxicity too and this would seem like the much more likely explanation in metal toxic children. Andy comments that, “Low NK cell number AND activity is characteristic of mercury toxicity, is seen in all mercury toxic kids and not the others, and does not correlate very well with response to antiviral treatment.”

Dr. McCandless’s book speaks of testing. The lab recommended by Dr. McCandless for testing is Immunosciences Lab., Inc which you can find at
Again, if your doctor is not very clear as to how test results will dictate treatment, the tests may not be worthwhile, in terms of both expense and having blood drawn from your child.

Common viruses can be tested at labs within your own city and covered by insurance. Understand that IgG refers to past infection or vaccination. IgM refers to current or recent infection or vaccination. You would want to test for both for each virus.

Consistant low white blood count and high lymphocyte percentage are often associated with viral infections. Andy notes that, “lymphocytes go up during and for a few weeks after viral infections, while neutrophils go up during and for a few weeks after bacterial or fungal/yeast infections.”

What are possible treatments?

Chelation: If a child remains metal toxic during treatment specifically for viral problems, it is unlikely that the viral issues will be resolved. The metals will not allow the immune system to function properly. There are children who never need viral treatments beyond the healing of chelation and its accompanying measures.

Healing the gut: Using chelation, diet, natural antifungals (prescription antifungals are not appropriate for long-term use), antibacterials (only as necessary, of course), probiotics, and other supplements as appropriate can help heal the gut which in turn will help improve the immune system.

Improve the immune system: There are supplements (see below) that can help improve the immune system. A healthy diet will make this more likely. Again, if a child requires chelation, doing so will allow the immune system to function more normally.

Natural antivirals: Antivirals are listed below. A viral “die-off” (viruses are not alive and therefore aren’t really dying) can involve a great deal of emotion, weepiness, rashes, drunken laughter, itchiness, generally feeling unwell (flu-like symptoms) and more. Please note that the high dose Vitamin A protocol will NOT and should NOT produce these same signs. Vitamin A protocol is NOT supposed to induce toxicity. Read about Vitamin A protocols for measles virus below.

Enzymes: Karen DeFelice’s work with Virastop, a protease enzyme, may have positive implications for ASD children battling viral issues. Viruses are protected by a protein cover which certain enzymes, particularly Virastop it would seem, can digest. Please see below for the link to Karen’s work and informative page. It should be noted that some concerns were raised at autism-mercury in regard to Serratiapeptidase, one of the enzymes found in Virastop. If you wish to investigate this, messages 155705, 155980, 156057, 156071, 156083, 156272, and 156516 are likely most pertinent. In my opinion, these concerns were very well addressed.

Prescription antivirals: Acyclovir and Valtrex, a form of acyclovir, are two commonly used prescription antivirals. Blood work is necessary while on these drugs to ensure a child’s safety. As mentioned above, somewhere around 30% of ASD children prescribed these drugs show some benefit. Andy notes that combining prescription antivirals with natural antivirals can be particularly effective because they work through different mechanisms. He also notes that Acyclovir and Valtex should be dosed 5 or 6 times a day. Some people have also used IVIG treatment successfully.

Where can I get more information?

This is Karen DeFelice’s site. The information here is easily understood and copious. She has many links that are invaluable. It is here that you can learn about the latest details available regarding the use of Virastop, an enzyme, to fight viral infections in our ASD children. Karen’s yahoo group
might be of interest for those wishing to pursue this course of treatment.

This is Dana’s information on viral problems. Here she offers a great number of links, including information on the high dose vitamin A protocol for measles virus, PANDAS (which is a bacterial problem, but included), Lyme (which is also bacterial—see below), Dr. Megson’s work, and a number of other useful sites.

Dr. McCandless’s book Children with Starving Brains offers a chapter called “Immunity, Autoimmunity, and Viruses (Or Other Pathogens). In it she offers some general background information on these issues: information on testing; a case history of one older child helped enormously by anti-viral interventions; and immunomodulators, immune boosters, and prescription anti-virals.

Stan Kurtz, who started the yahoo group
is the father of a recovered child, Ethan, whose video you can see at the website
The website posts videos of recoveries by using diet, vitamins (like nasal spray methylcobalamin), and antiviral therapies. This group is very new, but may be helpful for people interested in using prescription antivirals, sharing experiences with parents of children who seem to have viral problems, and finding general viral information. Stan is not a doctor, but has devoted a great deal of time to researching viruses and has many contacts with adults and children who have used antivirals and other supplements to improve their health.

The DAN! view of the high dose Vitamin A protocol for measles virus can be found here (I’ve included two links for the exact same document just in case one becomes broken):
at the bottom of the page.

Andy provides a different perspective on the Vitamin A protocol for measles virus. Please see message number 112213 at autism-mercury for details of his recommended approach. Here is my synopsis which leaves out a lot of detail: A loading dose isn’t mandatory and it will in fact increase the risk. Use 500-1,000 IU per pound per day. If you choose to use a loading dose, do it once at ten times the daily dose. You are not just addressing the measles virus, which may or may not be the main problem, but are also trying to improve immune, intestinal, vision, and neurological functions, as well as eye contact. You are NOT trying to induce toxicity or the any signs of the measles. If you are using this protocol for a girl who has had a menstrual period, no more than 25,000 IU per day with NO loading dose. Signs of toxicity include a scruffy looking rash around the neck, cracked lips, headache, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, unusual hyperactivity, dry/rough skin.

is home of the Big Picture Book of Viruses, perhaps one of the best places on the net to acquaint yourself with many things viral. Included is a list of viral diseases and their etiologic agents (plus a great many diseases some people may assume are viral but are not) and information on viral architecture. This site is very detailed.

Although not viral in nature, lyme disease (which is bacterial) is considered by some to play an important role in their ASD children’s health. Lyme and its connection to autism is controversial; however, there are parents who have recovered their children from autism using treatments for lyme. There is a yahoo group that discusses lyme disease and autism:

General information articles you may find helpful:

A general article on the connection between so-called mental conditions and bacteria, viruses, and parasites. (Thanks to Michelle)

Talks about the “overlooked relationship between infectious diseases and mental symptoms.” (Thanks to Sharon)

An article on the relationship between mother's Herpes Virus Infection and schizophrenia in her children. (Thanks to Sharon)

An article entitled “Breakdown of myelin insulation in brain's wiring implicated in childhood developmental disorders” (Thanks to Rebecca)

A general article on myelinization with the good news for our kids that it continues until around age 45!

A partial list of antivirals and immune boosters

The antivirals and immune boosters you choose will reflect both your situation and the background of your health care professional, if you are using one. Most health care professionals will want to use the treatments with which they are most familiar. Those treatments may not include the ones listed below, none of which require a prescription.

Never rotate antivirals. Andy recommends that you choose the ones you feel may be appropriate and use them synergistically for a period of several months.

You can rotate indirect acting supplements like echinacea, astragalus, inositol, etc, that boost the immune system and don’t attack the virus.

The information provided for each of these is not meant to be exhaustive. You must do further research. The information is organized in this manner:

NAME OF THE PRODUCT: brief description (recommended dosages and dosing schedules when available from Andy. NB: these dosages are for adults. You must adjust accordingly for a child). Cautions, suggestions, comments offered, most often by Andy. Websites where you may find further information or purchase the product.

These products are offered in no particular order.

LAURICIDIN: An antiviral that seems to show great promise in both research and practical application. Also works as an antidysbiosis. (50 pellets 3 or 4 times a day).

THYMIC PROTEIN: Supports white blood, increases T-cell levels, promotes antiviral effect. There are a number of these products available from different companies.

COLOSTRUM: an immune booster and good for viral related GI issues. Colostrum is a dairy product; however, casein-free colostrum is available from Kirkman’s.

ELDERBERRY : an antiviral (1 tbsp 4 times a day). Sambucol is an antiviral syrup made for children. It is made from elderberries and generally used against influenza but seems to be pretty broad spectrum in activity.

ASTRALAGUS ROOT: promotes healthy numbers of NK cells. (1-3 capsules 3-4 times a day for 5 days each month. Not at the same time as Echinacea).

OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT: an antiviral, antibacterial (1-2 capsules 2-4 times daily). Douglas Brand works particularly well.

ECHINACEA: promotes healthy numbers of NK cells. (1-3 capsules 3-4 times a day for 5 days each month. Not at the same time as astralagus).

VITAMIN C: an immune booster and antiviral. See supplement file for further details.

VITAMIN A: immune function booster. See supplement file for further details.

VIRASTOP: see comments above.

CAT’S CLAW: an antiviral. There is concern that much of the cat’s claw sold is not the effective cat’s claw. See the first recommended reading for an explanation of this particular issue.

TURMERIC: an antiviral, anti-inflammatory. This supplement raises plasma cysteine and should not be used unless plasma cysteine is low. The test is available through Great Smokies and Direct Labs.

GARLIC: an antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial. This supplement raises plasma cysteine and should not be used unless plasma cysteine is low. The test is available through Great Smokies and Direct Labs.

LICORICE: an antiviral (1-2 capsules daily)

LARCH ARABINOGALACTAN: an immune booster.

L-LYSINE : antiviral against herpes

ZINC : promotes immune function

ST. JOHN’S WORT : antiviral (1 capsule 3-4 times daily)

INOSITOL : increases NK cell activity (1-4 grams daily)

INOSINE : an antiviral

BETA GLUCAN: immune modulation, antiviral. (2 capsules 3 times a day) Pure encapsulations brand is recommended, available from the manufacturer or through Emerson Ecologics.

[My thanks to Anita for allowing me to use this page on my site.]

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