Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Today Programme: Kendall House: drugs and birth defects

The BBC Today programme reports of children in their early teens who were sedated in Kendall House, Gravesend, Kent, Church of England care homes in the 1970s and 80s producing offspring with birth defects.

The precise drugs were not spelled out in the Today programme, although Sparine (Promazine) and Valium (Diazepam) are mentioned but we can reasonably assume that they include major tranquillizers (Chlorpomazine, Haloperidol &c) antidepressants (Imipramine, Amitriptylene) and anti-Parkinson drugs such as Ophenadrine, Benzhexol and Procyclidine, because they were the standard issue drugs at that time.

The next step from the point of view of medical science should be to review the pregnancy of all mothers of children with birth defects to find out how many of them were given these drugs. Policy change should not have to await the conclusion of the science. The Bradford Hill Criteria are guidelines for deciding whether agent A caused condition B, but they are rarely applied systematically, since authority prefers to play around with the "no scientific proof" red herring that gullible corporate journalists are only too keen to buy into.

The data collected so far, 10 cases from Kendle House alone, means that there is a prima facie case for banning the use of drugs on girls, by the application of the Precautionary Principle.

Each woman has a finite number of eggs in her ovaries. The pregnancies occurred a number of years after the drugs were given, so it looks as if drugs given at that time affect the woman's whole stock of eggs. It seems from the Today report that the cases were collected by former Kendall House resident Teresa Cooper, whose three children all have birth defects. She set about contacting other previous residents, and has come up with this data. This is not the first time that important, ground-breaking ecological data has been discovered by non-scientists, and Teresa Cooper should be applauded for her work.

We can expect the pharmaceutical industry, the Church of England and the Department of Health to begin a long process of denial, obfuscation and delay, which will rely on "getting scientific proof" that the drugs caused the defects. This approach is wrong. There is no such thing as scientific proof, and the precautionary principle should be applied while research takes place.

This raises the question of how to treat psychologically disturbed children, or at least girls, without drugs. To be fair, drugs are used much less on children than before. There is evidence that they react differently to some psychoactive drugs:

A statistical analysis of paroxetine clinical trials in children and adolescents was conducted by the FDA in 2004. It indicated a statistically significant 2.7-fold raise in suicide behavior and ideation as compared to placebo. The trend for increased suicidality was observed in both trials for depression and for anxiety disorders.

Modern CBT psychotherapy is far more effective than the approaches we had in the 1970s. I would add to this the technique called "Cutting the ties" , which is an imaging technique that I and many others have found highly effective for overcoming the undue, negative influence of powerful persons in the child's life. Traumatic events (PTSD) can also be neutralised using the Mindfield's "Rewind" technique.

So. Another scandal unfolds, and the various authorities that we pay to look after our interests will be busy reaching for the broom and lifting the corner of the scientific carpet, instead of applying the principles of reason and humanity to the situation.


Teresa Cooper said...

Hi Richard

Thankyou for such a fantastic and different approach to this story and also for the compliment :-)

Teresa Cooper

Author Trust No One

DocRichard said...

Hi Teresa
You richly deserve the praise for your work, which is ground-breaking. It suggests that the chemical environment of young girls, especially around the onset of medication, needs to be looked at much more carefully. I am thinking about exposure to "gender bender" chemicals like Bisphenol A.

You may be interested in my approach to the .treatment of paedophilia



Teresa said...

Hi Richard

Thankyou :-)

I hear it is a groundbreaking find and it feels wierd for me because Ive never been taken seriously until now.

The governments and drug companies need to acknowledge this in a serious manner. There is no research on the long term effects especially if given to girls going through puberty at a time their reproductive system is maturing. Those drugs given to adult females affect their menstrual cycles, cause a high hormone change in many cases that affect the female reproductive system so if they can do that to an adult it is going to have a bigger impact on a young girl. Those drugs were popular in the 70's and 80's and a decade later we see a rise in birth defects. Today cleft pallates are common when pre and just post war it was a rare occurance. Drugs were used but not in the capasity they were in the 70's 80's and beyond because the government promoted them in a big way as did the medical profession. There is a huge rise in birth defects in general and the government need to get their act together.

I asked girls for information on their living environment to see if for example we all live by pilons, we dont, or if we were all by fields where chemicals are used and most dont and each one is different and the only thing we had in common is Kendall House.

Dr Perinpanayagam knew he was overdosing us as he is the foreword in a book called revision notes in psychiatry and it was regularly updated. It was used to train psychiatrists and it has the recommended doses. He was also using ect on some of the girls without sedation. He submitted an article on ect to a medical journal too. He had his finger in many pies and was researching various things and I found it unusual that as a psychiatrist he was researching malaria.

Have you ever heard of Megamide?

He researched that too and in my files there is one drug he used on me and is named and we have no idea what it is. There is no drug ever made of that name anywhere in the world that I could find and doctors have never heard of it.


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