Could a hidden virus be the common link in autism, chronic fatigue syndrome and others

A virus is nothing more than a submicroscopic gene fragment covered in a fat or protein envelope. On their own viruses are completely harmless and basically inert; yet we all know they can have devastating effects when they gain access to the body.

When a virus enters the body, the immune system recognizes it because of the protein markers, called antigens, it carries. This recognition leads the body to mount an inflammatory response that accounts for symptoms such as fever, aches, and so on. In most cases this response succeeds in clearing the virus from the body.

Some viruses are known to resist this assault by the immune system and set up permanent residence inside the body. Some, like hepatitis C or HIV, cause progressive destruction of their target cells and tissues, eventually leading to death. Others, like herpes, lie dormant, basically doing nothing, until stress or some other factor weakens the body’s resistance and they then suddenly “wake up” and start causing trouble once again.

But what if there was a “new” type of virus that found a way to mutate and lose its marker proteins so that the immune system could no longer recognize it? It would be able to enter the body and cause trouble undisturbed. Not only that, it would also be very difficult to establish who has this virus and who doesn’t, given that we usually test for the presence of viruses by measuring markers of the immune response.

This is the very type of virus John Martin, MD, PhD claims to have discovered and named “stealth-adapted” or, more simply, “stealth” virus because of its ability to elude immune recognition.

Dr. Martin is originally from Australia where he earned not only a medical degree but also a doctorate in immunology. After moving to the United States he enjoyed a successful career that included prestigious appointments as an immunology expert at both the Food & Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control.

In the 1990’s Dr. Martin began to report that he was finding a stealth virus in people with complex neurological disorders and that his research suggested this virus could be traced back to another virus called SCMV previously found to contaminate human vaccines. He was trying to get the FDA and other well-funded organizations to confirm his research.

Instead, he became the target of intense criticism and was gradually stripped of his appointments and other positions.

But what seems most shocking is the very idea that viruses were found to contaminate human vaccines. In fact, as early as in 1960 it was found that polio vaccines were contaminated with a monkey virus named SV-40. This discovery did not lead to a recall of tainted batches, but the vaccine manufacturers quietly switched to culturing vaccine viruses in kidney cells from a different type of monkey called the African Green Monkey – a practice that continued until 2000.

In 1972 a joint FDA/industry study revealed a new monkey virus in polio vaccines, this one named SCMV (Simian Cytomegalovirus), but this finding was not shared with the public at the time and did not lead to any change in vaccine manufacturing practices. This is the virus Dr. Martin believes mutated and turned into the stealth virus he discovered in his research.

If you are interested in reading detailed accounts of the entire vaccine/virus saga, try the books “The Virus and the Vaccine” and “Emerging Viruses.” Both are available from Amazon.

You can also read an extensive – although, unfortunately, poorly organized – account of Dr. Martin’s research on his website, but be aware that contact information provided on the site is no longer valid. Since Dr. Martin lost his research funding as well as his laboratory license, he had to close his center and can no longer be contacted through that site.

In summary, Dr. Martin found that stealth viruses cause a characteristic type of cell damage in various organs of the body, including the brain and, in fact, stealth virus infection most often manifests as a brain or nervous system disorder. He rationalized that this occurs because the brain is highly specialized, so even localized damage can manifest as severe dysfunction. He also found that infection appears most often in more than one member of a family, and sometimes even affects family pets.

Dr. Martin developed a test to identify people who carry this virus by looking for markers of the cell damage it causes. Until a few years ago this test was available to the public, but this is no longer the case since Dr. Martin had to close his lab. I also don’t see other labs interested in offering this test any time soon because of the politically charged implication that vaccines could have spread disease.

However, we can still extract useful information from many of Dr. Martin’s findings. In terms of the spread of this condition, out of several hundred children with autism he tested he found that all presented evidence of this virus. Findings were less consistent in children with ADHD and behavioral disorders, but a majority of these also presented the same evidence.

Among adults, he found the virus was almost always present in people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia, as well many neurological and immune disorders. His research also revealed this virus in every patient he tested with Lyme disease. This led him to theorize that Lyme is viral in nature and not bacterial as commonly believed, although bacteria may play a secondary role. He also found evidence of this virus in some cancer patients. Many of these often presented with a personal or family history of chronic fatigue or other neurological condition.

Dr. Martin compiled an extensive list of signs and symptoms he found to be indicative of infection with the stealth virus. Although the entire list is too lengthy to report here, it includes: sudden and unexpected changes in smell, taste, vision, or personality; impaired sleep cycles; loss of balance, and more. For example, fatigue is not by itself indicative of infection, but if the fatigue is associated with loss of sleep, alterations in the sense of smell or taste, memory loss and so on, the case for a viral cause begins to emerge.

When it came to looking for a solution, Dr. Martin established a treatment strategy that included three major areas of intervention:

• Suppressing viral activation and replication
• Supporting metabolism at a cellular level, with a particular focus on methylation and detoxification
• Remedying other associated disorders

Initially he searched among medications (including antibiotics and antiviral agents) for answers, but did not find any consistent solutions. He later turned his attention to alternative medicine and identified a wide range of herbal and nutritional supplements he felt showed promise and had little or no toxicity.

Products he found the be particularly useful include vitamins B6 and B12; TMG, SAMe, and zinc; and antioxidants like quercetin, vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid and other products listed on his website. Another group of supplements, also discussed on his site, he felt worked by energizing the cells and activating an alternative healing process. These include humifulvate and certain types of naturally occurring trace minerals. Although he doesn’t discuss them, I feel that systemic enzymes also have a place in this category of energizing and helpful supplements.

I had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Martin last month. He is still actively involved in seeking funding to resume his research on treatments and his laboratory testing.

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