Vaccines, Autism and the Concession

1 Mar

1) Concession Report (This document has been removed due to the possibility of it being illegally obtained). If people really wish to read the document for themselves it can be founf here, at the Huffington post
2) Zimmerman Case Study

When David Kirby wrote his piece in the Huffington Post, I’ll admit I read it with my jaw on my chest. Here was evidence I was wrong. I emailed David Kirby to get the whole report from him and he was kind enough to provide not only a PDF version but a plain text version as well.

This enabled me to contact a few people that I know are medical people and/or scientists and/or closely connected to this case. For example I contacted Dr Zimmerman and learned that it was not possible for him to offer any sort of opinion on this case due to the fact that his patients parents had not allowed him to discuss his thoughts and opinions with anyone except the court. I was told however that ‘the comments on your site with questions raised and loopholes pointed out about the way others are interpreting the facts of the situation, are right on track.’

It is clear to me then that there is some wordsmithing going on – either deliberately or unintentionally. What we need to do is look closely at the wording of two documents. The concession report and the case study performed by Dr Zimmerman.

The claim by David Kirby et al is, in essence, that the US Government have conceded that vaccines cause autism in this one case. Lets look at the so-called concession report in relation to what it says about autism.

Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a pediatric neurologist, evaluated CHILD……on February 8, 2001. Dr. Zimmerman reported that after CHILD’s immunizations of July 19, 2000, an “encephalopathy progressed to persistent loss of previously acquired language, eye contact, and relatedness.” He noted a disruption in CHILD’s sleep patterns, persistent screaming and arching, the development of pica to foreign objects, and loose stools. Id. Dr. Zimmerman observed that CHILD watched the fluorescent lights repeatedly during the examination and would not make eye contact. He diagnosed CHILD with “regressive encephalopathy with features consistent with an autistic spectrum disorder, following normal development.”

Features consistent with. He did not diagnose her with autism. What were these features?

1) encephalopathy progressed to persistent loss of previously acquired language,
2) eye contact,
3) relatedness
4) disruption in CHILD’s sleep patterns,
5) persistent screaming
6) arching,
7) the development of pica to foreign objects,
8) loose stools
9) CHILD watched the fluorescent lights repeatedly during the examination
10) would not make eye contact

Of these ten, one is repeated (eye contact issues) so I make nine clear separate symptoms there. Which of these appear in the DSM (IV)? Green equal matches, red equal misses.

1) Loss of previously acquired language
2) Eye Contact
3) Relatedness
4) disruption in CHILD’s sleep patterns,
5) Persistent screaming
6) Arching
7) the development of pica to foreign objects,
8) loose stools
9) CHILD watched the fluorescent lights repeatedly during the examination

To meet the DSM(IV) criteria a person must meet no less than 6 of the criteria. So, as described perfectly exactly by the Dr Zimmerman in the concession report, this child has features consistent with an ASD. But its clear she does not meet the criteria for autism.

Later on,

CHILD was evaluated by Alice Kau and Kelley Duff, on May 16, 2001, at CARDS. The clinicians concluded that CHILD was developmentally delayed and demonstrated features of autistic disorder.

Almost the exact same phrasing. Consistent with. But no one has said thus far that the child has been diagnosed with an ASD.

The concession report concludes with:

the vaccinations CHILD received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder….

This is the phrasing that caused the uproar. But when looked at in light of the previous, it is clear that far from suggesting that vaccines cause autism via a mitochondrial disorder, the vaccines worsened an occluded or underlying mitochondrial disorder which took on a few of the symptoms of autism _but was never actually diagnosed as autism at all_ . Because it wasn’t autism.

Before we switch to Dr Zimmerman’s Case Study, lets clear up a few things.

No one, I repeat, no one is saying this child wasn’t autistic. She may well have been. What we are doing is looking at the science reported in the concession report and Zimmerman’s paper and seeing if what the _science_ says in these two papers means that it was the vaccines that caused any autism. The concession report clearly says that no it wasn’t. Thats why this case was uncontested. She was affected by her vaccines but autism was not the result.

Zimmerman’s case study is entitled ‘Developmental Regression and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in a Child With Autism’ – this is further evidence against the case presented that it was the vaccines that caused the autism. This child is reported as being one with autism. Not one who develops autism as a result of vaccines.

However, it is clear that this child _does_ develop autism:

We describe a female patient in whom developmental regression and autism followed normal development…..Evaluation at 23 months showed …..[t]he Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) score was 33 (mild autism range), and she also met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for
Mental Disorders-IV criteria for autism

and yet this autism was so mild that at that exact same period (23 months):

the patient began speaking again at 23 months old

which means that expressive language was lost for a sum total of one month (it is reported being lost at 22 months). It should also be noted that CARS is _not_ designed for diagnosis but is an indicator only. Overall, we get a picture of a child who had an underlying mitochondrial dysfunction exposed by the illnesses following her vaccinations which caused developmental regression. This developmental regression presented with some features of autism.

Did the vaccinations cause her developmental regression? Seems likely. It is an undisputed fact that vaccines do cause injury, that is why after all there is a compensation program to claim from in the US and the UK.

Was her developmental regression autism? No. At no point in either the concession report is it claimed that the developmental regression the child went through _was_ autism. However, in the same way that Leukemia (weakness, paleness; fever and flu-like symptoms) can have the same symptoms as flu (weakness, paleness; fever and flu-like symptoms) but be totally different, this child’s developmental regression shared certain features of autism.

So was this child autistic. She might well have been. However, her autism was not caused by a vaccine.

Update

This column was forwarded to me by a friend. Thanks to him.

The practice of calling certain things near-autism, or even autism itself is not new. Here’s a quote from a Science article regarding HIV in 1989:

The signs of AIDS dementia in children are clear and, Pizzo says, “very painful to watch. Very young children lose words.” Words like “mommy” and “daddy” and “bear” are too hard to remember as the AIDS virus multiplies in the young child’s body and penetrates the central nervous
system.

An 8-year-old boy, once normal, was rendered practically autistic by HIV, Pizzo said. He stopped speaking. Asked to trace a simple
outline of an elephant, the boy could not. Painfully, he knew what a simple task it was, and he knew he was failing it. But he could not cry even though his doctors could see tears welling up in his eyes.

Pizzo has seen children lose IQ points one boy lost as many as 28-as AIDS ravages their brains. “Kids who used to do well in school really deteriorate,” says Pizzo who has “before and after” IQ data from school-age children.

But in a series of remarkable studies, Pizzo has seen AZT (azidothymidine) reverse these symptoms. The child who lost words like “mommy” and “daddy” “got them back,” Pizzo says. The boy who lost IQ points is restored to his former capacity.

The 8 year old cries. After just a couple of weeks of continuous AZT therapy, the boy who could not trace an elephant is successful at tracing a horse.

Now, we all know that ‘tracing an elephant’ and losing IQ points are not symptoms of autism but it is intriguing to see a doctor describe a regression as ‘practically autistic’. Note also, just like in this case, in Zimmermans case study, the child quickly loses, then very quickly regains aspects of their former regression. But HIV didn’t cause autism any more than vaccines did.

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112 Responses to “Vaccines, Autism and the Concession”

  1. century March 6, 2008 at 13:31 #

    “Why do you assume they haven’t?”

    (I could ask you the same -with the “n’t” removed)

    I don’t know what has been asked, of whom, if anything. And neither do you.

    So you can shout “gagged” and “barred” as much as you want, but you have nothing to back it up with except speculation.

  2. Kev March 6, 2008 at 14:34 #

    Its a simple fact century. If Zimmerman has not been given permission to speak then he is being gagged. Either explicitly or implicitly, but it is happening.

  3. century March 6, 2008 at 15:10 #

    “Its a simple fact century. If….”

    Exactly – IF

    Has Zimmerman asked permission?
    Was permission granted?
    Does he want to talk about it?
    etc etc

    You (we) can speculate all day long, but it still remains speculation.

  4. Fiona Sacchetti March 7, 2008 at 08:48 #

    Yes but hey, why try to be factual or admit that we don’t actually know, when it can be so much more fun to speculate, make up stories and engage in personal attack.

  5. Kev March 7, 2008 at 10:07 #

    _”Exactly – IF”_

    But there is not if about it. He cannot speak until the family give him permission.

  6. Kev March 7, 2008 at 10:14 #

    Fiona, you are new here so I will cut you some slack for your rudeness towards me. You should know however, that my view on autism aetiology is dominated by what is factually evident.

    I will give you a chance to explain yourself however – what am I not being factual about? What stories have I made up? What personal attacks have I made towards you?

  7. century March 7, 2008 at 11:15 #

    “He cannot speak until the family give him permission.”

    Agreed ->

    see my previous post ->

    speculation ->

    end.

  8. Kev March 7, 2008 at 13:53 #

    ????

    century I’m not going to to keep going over and over the same point. Whether Zimmerman is asking for permission or not is irrelevant. Unless he is given it, he is being constrained.

    Using your argument, every Iraqi who never asked Saddam to step down approved of his leadership.

    There is a difference between being actively disuaded or constrained, which I have no knowledge is happening one way or the other, or covertly restrained, which is definitely, indisputably happening now.

  9. century March 7, 2008 at 14:14 #

    “century I’m not going to to keep going over and over the same point.”

    Neither am I, so you can have the last word if you want.

    The last 2 things i’ll say on this topic are
    1. your analogy is not valid
    2. your last sentence is conjecture

  10. Kev March 7, 2008 at 14:21 #

    Thanks for letting me have the last word century ;)

    I’ll savour that last word as I ruminate on the irony of someone conjecturing that I’m invalidly conjecturing.

  11. Fiona Sacchetti March 10, 2008 at 09:39 #

    Hi Kev, thanks for the slack.

    My comment was aimed at everybody on the blog not at you personaly (apologies for any misunderstanding). You have not attacked me, nor has any other poster.

    However, there are posts that contain speculation, fabrication and personal attack towards others on the blog. I could look them up but as you are possibly going to be removing some material from the blog due to the new comments rule, I’m guessing that some of the comments I take issue with are going to disappear. I will be watching with interest to see if the images you posted of Nazi experimentation and the comparison you made to parent’s of autistic children will be removed.

    I logged on today and saw the new rules about comments (that they must be factual). Surely this, however it has come about, is testimony to the influence this blog has. My view is that those who post here should bear that in mind and be careful with how they present their personal interpretation of events. I think anyone who engages in the debate surrounding ASD has a duty to conduct themselves in an honourable, truthful and fair manner.

    There are some posts on here that are downright offensive. I respect the right of others to express themselves in such a fashion, but I maintain the right to express my distaste of such actions.

    Kev, you said;

    “You should know however, that my view on autism aetiology is dominated by what is factually evident.”

    Then why all the speculation about the Poling case? Somebody on here once said that David Kirby had missed his real calling; that of a spin doctor. When I read this blog, the same comes to mind for your good self Kev!

    I don’t have an axe to grind here, like you, I am interested in the truth. I don’t agree with your interpretation of events most of the time, but I can’t help but admire the skill you have in presenting that interpretation.

  12. Kev March 10, 2008 at 09:54 #

    Much as I would very much like to Fiona, I simply _cannot_ discuss reasons _for_ the new comment policy.

    That said, piccies like the nazi experimentation one will continue to be fair game. They represent how I felt about what I read, not about the actions of one person, named or not.

    I speculate about the Poling case, as there is an awful lot that is not being discussed and an awful lot being presented in a way that is disingenuous. I don’t think I’m spinning anything but if you think I am, thats fine – but if you want to take me to task over it, _please_ be specific. The one person you (generally, not you specifically) can slag off without fear of recrimination is me!

    This whole Poling situation reminds me of the early days of the MMR debacle when people were running around making more and more outlandish claims about what the implications were for autism, for vaccine policy etc and there was 99% noise to 1% signal.

    What I would like above all else is to make sure that on _this_ site that we consider as many implications and possibilities as possible. You, Schwartz, pD and whomever else who disagree are totally free to contribute to that, speaking your mind. Please compare that to the Age of Autism blog for example where I am aware of at least six people who’s comments are simply not allowed to be published.

    I am not suggesting a cover up, more a fear of open discussion.

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