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Wednesday, May 8, 2024

RFK Jr. Says Medical doctors Discovered a Lifeless Worm in His Mind


In 2010, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was experiencing reminiscence loss and psychological fogginess so extreme {that a} buddy grew involved he might need a mind tumor. Mr. Kennedy stated he consulted a number of of the nation’s prime neurologists, a lot of whom had both handled or spoken to his uncle, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, earlier than his demise the earlier 12 months of mind most cancers.

A number of docs observed a darkish spot on the youthful Mr. Kennedy’s mind scans and concluded that he had a tumor, he stated in a 2012 deposition reviewed by The New York Occasions. Mr. Kennedy was instantly scheduled for a process at Duke College Medical Heart by the identical surgeon who had operated on his uncle, he stated.

Whereas packing for the journey, he stated, he obtained a name from a physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital who had a unique opinion: Mr. Kennedy, he believed, had a lifeless parasite in his head.

The physician believed that the abnormality seen on his scans “was brought on by a worm that obtained into my mind and ate a portion of it after which died,” Mr. Kennedy stated within the deposition.

Now an impartial presidential candidate, the 70-year-old Mr. Kennedy has portrayed his athleticism and relative youth as a bonus over the 2 oldest folks to ever search the White Home: President Biden, 81, and former President Donald J. Trump, 77. Mr. Kennedy has secured a spot on the ballots in Utah, Michigan, Hawaii and, his marketing campaign says, California and Delaware. His intensive efforts to realize entry in additional states might put him able to tip the election.

He has gone to lengths to seem hale, snowboarding with a skilled snowboarder and with an Olympic gold medalist who known as him a “ripper” as they raced down the mountain. A digicam crew was at his aspect whereas he lifted weights, shirtless, at an out of doors fitness center in Venice Seashore.

Mr. Kennedy hit the slopes in Jackson Gap, Wyo., this 12 months with the skilled snowboarder Travis Rice.Credit score…through Fb

Nonetheless, through the years, he has confronted critical well being points, some beforehand undisclosed, together with the obvious parasite.

For many years, Mr. Kennedy suffered from atrial fibrillation, a standard heartbeat abnormality that will increase the chance of stroke or coronary heart failure. He has been hospitalized no less than 4 occasions for episodes, though in an interview with The Occasions this winter, he stated he had not had an incident in additional than a decade and believed the situation had disappeared.

About the identical time he realized of the parasite, he stated, he was additionally recognized with mercury poisoning, probably from ingesting an excessive amount of fish containing the harmful heavy metallic, which might trigger critical neurological points.

“I’ve cognitive issues, clearly,” he stated within the 2012 deposition. “I’ve short-term reminiscence loss, and I’ve longer-term reminiscence loss that impacts me.”

Within the interview with The Occasions, he stated he had recovered from the reminiscence loss and fogginess and had no aftereffects from the parasite, which he stated had not required therapy. Requested final week if any of Mr. Kennedy’s well being points might compromise his health for the presidency, Stefanie Spear, a spokeswoman for the Kennedy marketing campaign, instructed The Occasions, “That may be a hilarious suggestion, given the competitors.”

The marketing campaign declined to supply his medical information to The Occasions. Neither President Biden nor Mr. Trump has launched medical information on this election cycle.

Medical doctors who’ve handled parasitic infections and mercury poisoning stated each circumstances can typically completely injury mind perform, however sufferers can also have short-term signs and mount a full restoration.

A few of Mr. Kennedy’s well being points had been revealed within the 2012 deposition, which he gave throughout divorce proceedings from his second spouse, Mary Richardson Kennedy. On the time, Mr. Kennedy was arguing that his incomes energy had been diminished by his cognitive struggles.

Mr. Kennedy supplied extra particulars, together with concerning the obvious parasite, within the telephone interview with The Occasions, carried out when he was on the cusp of getting on his first state poll. His marketing campaign declined to reply follow-up questions.

Within the days after the 2010 name from NewYork-Presbyterian, Mr. Kennedy stated within the interview, he underwent a battery of exams. Scans over many weeks confirmed no change within the spot on his mind, he stated.

Medical doctors in the end concluded that the cyst they noticed on scans contained the stays of a parasite. Mr. Kennedy stated that he didn’t know the kind of parasite or the place he might need contracted it, although he suspected it might need been throughout a visit by way of South Asia.

A number of infectious illness consultants and neurosurgeons stated in separate interviews with The Occasions that, primarily based on what Mr. Kennedy described, they believed it was possible a pork tapeworm larva. The docs haven’t handled Mr. Kennedy and had been talking typically.

Dr. Clinton White, a professor of infectious illnesses on the College of Texas Medical Department in Galveston, stated microscopic tapeworm eggs are sticky and simply transferred from one individual to a different. As soon as hatched, the larvae can journey within the bloodstream, he stated, “and find yourself in every kind of tissues.”

Although it’s unimaginable to know, he added that it’s unlikely {that a} parasite would eat part of the mind, as Mr. Kennedy described. Reasonably, Dr. White stated, it survives on vitamins from the physique. In contrast to tapeworm larvae within the intestines, these within the mind stay comparatively small, a few third of an inch.

Some tapeworm larvae can reside in a human mind for years with out inflicting issues. Others can wreak havoc, usually after they begin to die, which causes irritation. The commonest signs are seizures, complications and dizziness.

There are roughly 2,000 hospitalizations for the situation, often known as neurocysticercosis, every year in the US, in keeping with the journal Rising Infectious Illnesses.

Scott Gardner, curator of the Manter Laboratory for Parasitology on the College of Nebraska-Lincoln, stated that after any worm is in a mind, cells calcify round it. “And also you’re going to principally have nearly like a tumor that’s there eternally. It’s not going to go wherever.”

Dr. Gardner stated it was potential a worm would trigger reminiscence loss. Nevertheless, extreme reminiscence loss is extra usually related to one other well being scare Mr. Kennedy stated he had on the time: mercury poisoning.

Mr. Kennedy stated he was then subsisting on a weight loss program heavy on predatory fish, notably tuna and perch, each recognized to have elevated mercury ranges. Within the interview with The Occasions, he stated that he had skilled “extreme mind fog” and had hassle retrieving phrases. Mr. Kennedy, an environmental lawyer who has railed towards the hazards of mercury contamination in fish from coal-fired energy vegetation, had his blood examined.

He stated the exams confirmed his mercury ranges had been 10 occasions what the Environmental Safety Company considers protected.

On the time, Mr. Kennedy additionally was a number of years into his campaign towards thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative utilized in some vaccines. He’s a longtime vaccine skeptic who has falsely linked childhood inoculations to an increase in autism, in addition to to different medical circumstances.
Within the interview, Mr. Kennedy stated he was sure his weight loss program had triggered the poisoning. I liked tuna fish sandwiches. I ate them on a regular basis,” he stated.

The Occasions described Mr. Kennedy’s signs to Elsie Sunderland, an environmental chemist at Harvard who has not spoken to Mr. Kennedy and responded typically concerning the situation.

She stated the mercury ranges that Mr. Kennedy described had been excessive, however not shocking for somebody consuming that amount and kind of seafood.

Mr. Kennedy stated he made modifications after these two well being scares, together with getting extra sleep, touring much less and lowering his fish consumption.

He additionally underwent chelation remedy, a therapy that binds to metals within the physique to allow them to be expelled. It’s typically given to folks contaminated by metals, equivalent to lead and zinc, in industrial accidents. Dr. Sunderland stated that when mercury poisoning is clearly diet-related, she would merely suggest that the individual cease consuming fish. However one other physician who spoke to The Occasions stated she would advise chelation remedy for the degrees Mr. Kennedy stated he had.

Mr. Kennedy’s coronary heart subject started in school, he stated, when it began beating out of sync.

In 2001 he was admitted to a hospital in Seattle whereas on the town to offer a speech, in keeping with information experiences. He was handled, and launched the following day. He was hospitalized no less than three extra occasions between September 2011 and early 2012, together with as soon as in Los Angeles, he stated within the deposition. On that go to, he stated, docs used a defibrillator to shock his coronary heart to reset the rhythm.

He stated within the deposition that stress, caffeine and an absence of sleep triggered the situation. “It seems like there’s a bag of worms in my chest. I can really feel instantly when it goes out,” he stated.

He additionally stated within the deposition and the interview that he had contracted hepatitis C by way of intravenous drug use in his youth. He stated he had been handled and had no lingering results from the an infection.

Mr. Kennedy has spoken publicly about one different main well being situation — spasmodic dysphonia, a neurological dysfunction that causes his vocal cords to squeeze too shut collectively and explains his hoarse, typically strained voice.

He first observed it when he was 42 years outdated, he stated within the deposition. Mr. Kennedy for years made a big sum of money giving speeches, and that enterprise fell off because the situation worsened, he stated.

He instructed an interviewer final 12 months that he had not too long ago undergone a process out there in Japan to implant titanium between his vocal cords to maintain them from involuntarily constricting.

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