Oops! The Kirby Autism-Speaks connection.

26 Feb

David Kirby just published a piece at the Huffington Post about an Autism Speaks interview that supports the idea that we need to do research on the proposed autism-vaccine connection.

No surprises there.

I was laughing at myself on the way home from work, thinking “Heck, if I were one of the Generation Rescue crowd, I’d be claiming a conspiracy. I’d be saying, ‘looks like Generation Rescue and Autism Speaks and the rest are on a concerted effort to ramp up hype on vaccines”.

But I’m not that paranoid.

Then David Kirby posted to the EOHarm yahoo group about his Huffington Post piece.

He included an email exchange between himself and Peter Bell of Autism Speaks. [edit: Note that Peter Bell is not just anybody at Autism Speaks. He's Executive Vice President. See the first comment below]

Oops.

Here’s Peter Bell telling David Kirby about the interview

From: Peter Bell [mailto:pbell@...]
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 5:29 PM
To: David Kirby
Subject: NICHD Director Dr. Alexander Discusses the Need for More Research on Environmental Risk Factors for Autism Spectrum Disorders

I think you will find this of interest: http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science_news/nichd_alexander_interview.php

We just posted this on our website.

And David Kirby’s response. He’s going to blog it!

From: David Kirby [mailto:dkirby@...]
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 6:32 PM
To: Peter Bell
Subject: RE: NICHD Director Dr. Alexander Discusses the Need for More Research on Environmental Risk Factors for Autism Spectrum Disorders

Wow!

Amazing

I will write about this – thanks

DK

For some reason, Mr. Bell doesn’t want people to know that he tipped David Kirby off:

—–Original Message—–
From: Peter Bell [mailto:pbell@...]
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 7:03 PM
To: David Kirby
Subject: RE: NICHD Director Dr. Alexander Discusses the Need for More Research on Environmental Risk Factors for Autism Spectrum Disorders

You just happened to find this on our website, right? J

And Mr. Kirby agrees to keep the story…only he didn’t. He forwarded the entire exchange to the EOHarm list.

—–Original Message—–
From: David Kirby [mailto:dkirby@...]
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 7:24 PM
To: ‘Peter Bell’
Subject: RE: NICHD Director Dr. Alexander Discusses the Need for More Research on Environmental Risk Factors for Autism Spectrum Disorders

I go there often, yes!

The piece will be up in minutes

NICE JOB!

dk

Oops. Again.

I don’t really know why Autism Speaks wants to keep their connection with David Kirby a secret. I mean, it’s pretty clear that AS has vaccines as their top priority (they didn’t mention anything else about the IACC’s strategic plan).

OK, I can see why Autism Speaks would want a bit of distance between themselves and David Kirby and Generation Rescue. It can’t help fundraising efforts, for one thing to be “just another anti-vaccine autism organization”.

But one more time: Oops!

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35 Responses to “Oops! The Kirby Autism-Speaks connection.”

  1. Broken Link February 26, 2009 at 05:37 #

    Peter Bell is not just a regular employee of Autism Speaks. He’s the Executive V.P., Programs and Services. From the Autism Speaks website:

    ____

    Peter H. Bell, Executive V.P.
    Programs and Services

    Peter Bell is executive vice president for programs and services at Autism Speaks. He oversees the foundation’s government relations and family services activities and also serves as an advisor to the science division. In addition, on an interim basis, he is overseeing the organization?s communications and awareness efforts. Prior to his role at Autism Speaks, Bell was president and CEO of Cure Autism Now, which merged with Autism Speaks in February 2007.

    Peter joined Cure Autism Now in 2004 following a successful 12-year marketing career at McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals, a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. As president and CEO, Peter led Cure Autism Now through a tremendous growth period and brought the foundation’s funding total to more than $39 million. In addition, Peter enhanced the foundation’s research, education and outreach initiatives and expanded the foundation’s treatment portfolio. Prior to joining the Cure Autism Now staff, Peter was a founding member of the Philadelphia chapter and served on the board of directors. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and holds an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

    Peter and his wife, Liz, reside in New Jersey with their three children. Their eldest son, Tyler, has autism.

  2. kristina February 26, 2009 at 06:19 #

    there is a liking for intrigue and conspiring in these matters……..

  3. Kev February 26, 2009 at 08:42 #

    As you say, hardly any need to cover this up (or try to) so why do they try?

  4. Joseph February 26, 2009 at 15:08 #

    We already knew Autism Speaks has turned into an anti-vax org. This just confirms it further. There’s no point in pretending now, though.

  5. Sullivan February 26, 2009 at 18:50 #

    The real conspiracy theorist would claim that Mr. Kirby wanted to out the connection to Autism Speaks.

    It get’s too complicated. If I wanted to be into finding conspiracies under every rock, I’d blog for AoA.

  6. qchan63 February 26, 2009 at 20:45 #

    Priceless. It reminds me of another, amusingly similar and very telling episode of Autism Speaks/EOHarm/GenRescue goofball-itude.

    That was the one where Kevin Barry, GenRescue’s ex-president, apparently asked Heidi Roger (treasurer of SafeMinds) to hit up fellow EOHarm list members for “feedback” to Autism Speaks about Roy Grinker’s “Unstrange Minds,” a book much hated by the EOHarm axis.

    Since Barry was consulting with Autism Speaks at the time, he emailed Roger that he wasn’t allowed to comment on the boards, so asked her: “Would you post this to the EOH board as if you can (sic) upon it yourself?”

    And Roger did. Only (oops again) she included Barry’s request in her post.

    (The exchange is reproduced at Kathleen Seidel’s site: http://neurodiversity.com/kbarry_hroger_eoh_post.pdf )

    By the way, this is the same Heidi Roger who apparently expressed on a Web forum not long ago the following sentiment: “Death may be better than autism in some cases.”

    If anyone told her to say THAT, i doubt he or she would be eager to take credit for it.

  7. Mark February 26, 2009 at 21:20 #

    Nice!

    And it appears that they’ve removed the post to the group. Scroll on down to the bottom of this page.

    and notice that message #96577 just happened to disappear.

  8. listwatcher February 26, 2009 at 21:52 #

    Funny how those posts disappeared from EoH. I assume there are screenshots.

  9. Bad mommy February 26, 2009 at 22:46 #

    Yes, but did you READ that thing Kirby had in the Huff Po? It was so incredibly, unbelievably distant from the reality of what is going on in the vaccine court, it made me spit coffee. How on earth can they publish that tripe? How, especially, without a disclaimer that this is a piece written by somebody with an extreme agenda, not some journalist?

    Shocking. I went to complain to the Huffpo, and discovered that there isn’t a link to comment to the editors on the nonsense permitted on their site. Says a lot, no?

  10. isles February 27, 2009 at 00:16 #

    Oh, that David Kirby, what a clever little conniver! “Oops, I did it again…”

  11. Broken Link February 27, 2009 at 01:28 #

    Well, yes those messages have been pulled from EoH, but they neglected to pull the response which still has the previous message at the bottom

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EOHarm/message/96580

    If the response is pulled as well, we’ll know they are reading this ;)

  12. Rpger February 27, 2009 at 05:09 #

    Frankly,I am surprised anybody who is not a member of their silly little group can read any messages there.Expect this to change by tomorrow.

    I happened to read this blog post yesterday, when I was logged into Yahoo! groups.Just on a lark,I hit reply.I found I could leave a reply to this post.What I said,was for the most part,pretty innocuous.It was very business-like,and not at all rude.I said I have a diagnosis of atypical autism, with multiple regressions.I went on to say that I had many other neurological,and medical problems,that my doctors could never find a cause for,in addition to my autism.

    I then went on to say,that I am well on the way towards getting a diagnosis for mitochondrial disease,and that I was too old to have gotten the MMR shot.

    All of which goes against everything these people had ever put out.In closing,I said I didn’t wish to stick around to argue with them,and if they wanted to discuss things further with me,they could do it offlist.

    Obviously I never heard from any of them,and my message is pulled too.Some of you might want to try and post something there too, while you can.

    I am one of the minority(?)of adult autistics,who does not identify with either the neurodiversity people,or the antivaxers. This is due mainly to the fact that the neurodiversity movement tends to ignore,or gloss over the more seriously disabled autistics.I do believe not all autism is created equal,and those who are more seriously disabled do not celebrate their autism.

    Hopefully there are those within the movement,who are more willing to listen to reason,than the David Kirbys and AoAs are.

  13. Harold L Doherty February 27, 2009 at 11:49 #

    Since this forum is trotting out the “conspiracy whackos” name calling tactic, yet again, to express its disapproval of the “anti-vaxers” can you tell me if the following individuals are all conspiracy whackos?

    1. Dr. Duane Alexander, Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), an NIH agency who has acknowldged that scientists must investigate susceptible subpopulations of children, including kids with mitochondrial disorders and those who have trouble metabolizing mercury and has stated:

    “One question (is) whether there is a subgroup in the population that, on a genetic basis, is more susceptible to some vaccine characteristic or component than most of the population, and may develop an ASD in response to something about vaccination. We know that genetic variations exist that cause adverse reactions to specific foods, medications, or anesthetic agents. It is legitimate to ask whether a similar situation may exist for vaccines,”

    2. Dr. Julie Gerberding recent CDC head who discussing possbile vaccine autism connections said that research COULD and SHOULD be done of unvaccinated children. (apparently there are great swarms of such children and they pose a serious threat to Amanda Peet and Campbell Brown’s children)

    3.Dr. Bernadine Healy former NIH and American Red Cross head who stated that the epidemiological studies are not specific enough to address population subsets that might be more vulnerable to risk from vaccines, who stated that there has been some animal lab work that raises concerns, stated that there are many references in the professional literature to vaccine induced injuries and pointed out that the IOM report on vaccine safety in 2004 expressly discouraged the research that might have shown vaccine autism connections.

    Are these three responsible, credible, health authorities all conspiracy theorists, nutjobs, silly, hysterical parents, or whatever pejoratives you are using today to dismiss those with whom you disagree?

  14. Broken Link February 27, 2009 at 12:57 #

    There is something strange going on here. I have a feeling that Peter Bell is not abiding by the official Autism Speaks line. After all, it was quite a short time ago that JB Handley was speaking of Autism Speaks’ Geraldine Dawson in highly negative terms. I’m not going to link to the Clown Blog, but you can find the piece yourself by googling “Is Autism Speaks’ Geri Dawson a Blithering Idiot?”

    Here’s an excerpt: “Geri Dawson is either a blithering idiot, or she is a corrupt, partisan hack who so desperately wants the autism-vaccine thing to just die so she can get back to work chasing her genetic-psychological theories on autism that she will happily go along with the mainstream spin on a stupid little study and do her part to exonerate the MMR, even if hundreds if not thousands of parents have called her organization which is supposed to help our kids and told them that the MMR turned their child upside-down including the daughter of the very people who founded the place she now calls home.”

    Somehow, I just don’t see Geraldine Dawson cozying up to David Kirby and his co-blogger JB Handley after a slam like that.

    Maybe someone who knows her should alert Dr. Dawson to these goings on.

  15. Broken Link February 27, 2009 at 13:00 #

    Oh, and Harold,

    You are starting to sound like a global warming denialist. They are well known for publishing lists of ALL the scientists who agree with them, conveniently omitting the fact that the list of scientist who disagree would be many orders of magnitude longer. (That’s a scientific term meaning hundreds, thousands, or more times longer)

    The same applies to your list.

  16. RAJ February 27, 2009 at 13:09 #

    “One question (is) whether there is a subgroup in the population that, on a genetic basis, is more susceptible to some vaccine characteristic or component than most of the population, and may develop an ASD in response to something about vaccination. We know that genetic variations exist that cause adverse reactions to specific foods, medications, or anesthetic agents. It is legitimate to ask whether a similar situation may exist for vaccines,”

    Gene environment interactions have been demonstrated in a study of adverse reactions to smallpox vaccine in adults:

    http://mednews.wustl.edu/news/page/normal/9634.html

    The study reported genes in Chromosome 2 and chromosome 11 were associated with increased risk for fever after smallpox vaccination in adults.

    Three months earlier the Autism Genome Consortium reported a genetic risk for autism
    also located in regions of chromosome 2 and 11.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17322880?

  17. Joseph February 27, 2009 at 14:13 #

    Obviously I never heard from any of them,and my message is pulled too.Some of you might want to try and post something there too, while you can.

    It is well known that all anti-vax mailing lists and blogs are heavily moderated, with no clear comment policy other than “we remove anything we want.” There’s no point in even trying to engage.

  18. Lucas McCarty February 27, 2009 at 16:36 #

    Rpger, I’ve never seen any example of glossing over severely disabled Autistic people, although I hear the accusation a lot. I have to wonder just how much attention those people are paying.

    I can’t speak for others, but in my view the reasons why some Autistics are more disabled than others is a complicated matter that is not helped by histrionics and mind-numbing claims about ‘severity of Autism’. It’s a matter for science and science is still investigating *why* some talk and some can’t or don’t, why some are relatively independent and others need a lot of help. Whenever someone trots out the “you are nothing like my child, you are high functioning; nothing you say applies to REAL autism” canard, I have to ask why it is they think I am different without having ever actually met me. Then corollary to that question is the question “why are some high functioning while others are low functioning?”. The answer given is usually “Because it’s a spectrum” to that effect, but the problem is that this has become a cliché and it doesn’t even remotely answer the question asked.

    I would prefer it if they went about their mission knowing what it is they are trying to eradicate first, rather than filling the blanks with their own creative ideas not supported at all in the published literature.

  19. passionlessDrone February 27, 2009 at 17:53 #

    Hi Raj -

    Re: smallpox vaccine. Other researchers have identified particular polymorphisms already associated with autism increase risk of adverse events with smallpox vaccination.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18454680

    In regards to what you posted; by this point this should not be surprizing to anyone. If you have problems regulating an immune response, you will also be more likely to have adverse reactions to vaccines. It just so happens that people with autism have been shown clinically to have abberant mechanisms for regulating immune responses.

    - pD

  20. Dedj February 27, 2009 at 18:36 #

    “Are these three responsible, credible, health authorities ”

    Healy is a health authourity. She is credible. She is responsible.

    In cardiology. Not autism or immunology.

    She’s significantly less credible in the relevant fields than even the minor authours of the epidemiological papers. In fact, I doubt anyone on the anti-vax side of the fence knew who she was before last year.

    Her first point is bizzare. If we can’t find these people when we look for them, how do we know they’re even there?

    The second is likely based on the “rain-mouse” studies, which was never seen to contain the data it claimed to.

    The third is old news.

    The fourth is answered in the discussion contained within the reference.

    In all, a poor showing. It’s such a shame she’s the best you have.

    The ironic thing is, had she came out as pro-vaxx , the anti-vaxx side would be pointing to the political nature of her mian appointment, the allegations of incompetance at her last post, and her lack of relevant qualifications. They wouldn’t even stop there.

    I don’t even know what you were thinking with your first quote (well done for finally learning how to quote by the way – and it wasn’t even from the same page!) he’s saying that there could be a possibility, a perfectly reasonable statement, which doesn’t go against the pro-vax posistion at all. We looked for it. It wasn’t there.

    What is it with people today, when even bog standard statements suddenly become ‘Golden Gotcha’s’?

    You’d think they have nothing else to offer.

    ………oh wait. They don’t.

  21. Dedj February 27, 2009 at 18:47 #

    “I have to wonder just how much attention those people are paying.”

    Very little to none.

    When one considers who the most well known ND’ers are, who they work for (amongst those that work), who they support, what they study (amongst those able to do so) and just what social actions they support – it’s fairly clear that ND does not ignore the more severely disabled at all.

    Some people confuse the lack of overt mentions of people with less function as willfull omission, yet they utterly fail to take advocates for other conditions to task over the same thing , which is endemic. After all, why mention that you’re talking for the whole spectrum when it’s implicit in the context and content of your words?

  22. Sullivan February 27, 2009 at 19:28 #

    Harold,

    given the lack of homework that Bernadine Healy did and the smear tactics she used on her own organization (the IOM), I have very little respect for her.

    That is before I found out that she worked for TAASC–taking tobacco company money to spread misinformation about second hand tobacco smoke.

    That’s a genuine conspiracy there, Herald. A group of people working in concert to confuse others about the dangers of Tobacco smoke, being paid by tobacco companies directly (as in the case of the letter I posted to this forum recently) and indirectly through other groups.

    Do you have a different take on that? How do you characterize her efforts with TAASC if not a conspiracy?

  23. RJ February 27, 2009 at 21:45 #

    “It just so happens that people with autism have been shown clinically to have aberrant mechanisms for regulating immune responses.”

    I assume you can supply documentation for this.

    First off, Harold, just because some say could and should doesn’t mean it is. We could/should look at sub-populations…yeah, we can/should. It’s called science. But because someone says we should look, this isn’t proof either way. It is merely a statement recommending a possible course of action. To take anything else from those statements you’ve provided is a step beyond jumping to conclusions. Do yourself a favor (be objective), take only what was actually said from the statement and stop deriving unfounded conclusions.

    pD,

    Finding “connections” with autistics and abnormal immune behavior(s) will take more than a partial observation from any one or the few studies that have made them. What is completely lacking (a glaring, gaping hole) is the mechanism of autism as a consequence of immune response/dysfunction. The fact remains, EVERY SINLGE PHYSIOLOGICAL FUNCTION IN OUR BODY HAS AN IMMUNE COMPONENT OR RELATIONSHIP INVOLVED. The vaccine cause autism camp have yet to provide any credible mechanism. Some have been tried, but they hopelessly feeble, and they are dropped and they come up with another a few days later.

    Look at the research that talks about the mechanisms that are known about why autistics are autistic, and what dysfunctions they have in there brain chemistry. Then, try to work up a link to inflammation/immune responses. You will see why the concept of autism as a result of immune dysfunction has little traction.

    The world is waiting for the mechanism behind autism and vaccine/immunity. So far, I’ve seen nothing.

  24. Kev February 27, 2009 at 22:01 #

    I’ve just banned Harold. I simply couldn’t be bothered reading through one more pompous little missive.

  25. jypsy February 27, 2009 at 22:40 #

    Mr. Doherty has been sitting on a polite, on topic, informative, comment I made on his blog over 24 hours ago (while publishing others on that post and others).
    Then again, it’s likely the optimist in me that thinks he’s still sitting on it….

  26. Clay February 28, 2009 at 04:33 #

    Kev said:

    “I’ve just banned Harold. I simply couldn’t be bothered reading through one more pompous little missive.”

    YAY! You’ve just made my day! I wish ALL of the Hub was a Best and Doherty-free zone.

  27. passionlessDrone February 28, 2009 at 15:45 #

    Hi RJ -

    I assume you can supply documentation for this.

    I’m don’t know you well enough to know if your question is geniune or not; that is, do you already know such research exists, and ask anyways? In any case, here are a couple.

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/122/2/e438 [Highly increased levels of MIF found in autism, with circulating levels correlating with autism severity. Other populations with increased levels of MIF include asthmatics, and those with type 1 diabetes.]

    From the paper:

    MIF is encoded in a functionally polymorphic locus on chromosome 22q11.2 (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man No. 153620, GenBank accession No. NM_002415) that has been associated with the incidence or severity of different autoimmune inflammatory conditions.37 Given its location in a previously identified locus of interest and its upstream action in immunity, MIF may represent a candidate gene for ASD or its components. Thus, the central hypothesis underlying this research was that a genetic predisposition to a particular level of MIF production may lead to a proinflammatory profile of cell activation that, if present during a neurodevelopmentally sensitive period, might contribute to the etiopathogenesis of autism.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18762342?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum [Significantly decreased levels of TGF-Beta1 are identified in autism, again, with a correlation between circulating levels and severity. TGF-Beta1 plays an important role in regulating immune responses. This is the second paper reporting decreased levels of tgf-beta1 in autism.]

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18827301?ordinalpos=10&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum [Significant decreased of p-selectin are found in autism population, with correlations to autism severity. P-selectin is a component involved with transport of lymphocytes out of the bloodstream and into the surrounding tissues.]

    In any case, there are lots, lots more, but space is an issue, but these are several that also include correlations between the level of abnormal measurements and behavioral severity.

    Finding “connections” with autistics and abnormal immune behavior(s) will take more than a partial observation from any one or the few studies that have made them.

    Well, if I felt like spamming this post like crazy, I could probably post two dozen studies on abnormal immune functioning in autism. Maybe more.

    What is completely lacking (a glaring, gaping hole) is the mechanism of autism as a consequence of immune response/dysfunction.

    Aha. Well, I’d really love to get a more detailed question from you here; what would keep me from saying the same thing about any number of genetic associations. I wouldn’t, of course, but my point is that we really don’t understand enough of what is driving autistic behaviors at all; any area of research is subject to this claim.

    In any case, we do actually have evidence that immune responses can alter neurological functioning.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19228962?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    From the abstract:

    “In inflammatory diseases occurring outside the CNS, communication between the periphery and the brain via humoral and/or neural routes results in central neural changes and associated behavioral alterations. . . Our results identify the existence of a novel immune-to-CNS communication pathway occurring in the setting of peripheral organ-centered inflammation which may have specific implications for the development of alterations in cerebral neurotransmission commonly encountered in numerous inflammatory diseases occurring outside the CNS.” [snipping due to space considerations]

    It should be noted that highly increased TNF-alpha and MCP-1 have already been observed in the CNS and brain of autism populations (Chez 2007 / Vargas 2005).

    Here is one regarding depression:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19150053?ordinalpos=4&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    Interestingly, depressed patients with increased inflammatory biomarkers have been found to be more likely to exhibit treatment resistance, and in several studies, antidepressant therapy has been associated with decreased inflammatory responses. Finally, preliminary data from patients with inflammatory disorders, as well as medically healthy depressed patients, suggest that inhibiting proinflammatory cytokines or their signaling pathways may improve depressed mood and increase treatment response to conventional antidepressant medication. [Again, snipping due to space considerations]

    You are characterizing our understanding of the interactions between the immune system and neurological functioning, including autism, as well understood. I am taking the opposite approach.

    A state of chronic inflammation would likely result in disturbances to critical formation processes (i.e., MET).

    The fact remains, EVERY SINLGE PHYSIOLOGICAL FUNCTION IN OUR BODY HAS AN IMMUNE COMPONENT OR RELATIONSHIP INVOLVED

    You are correct. So I’m wondering why this means that in the case of autism we should not give weight to exceedingly abnormal values that have been observed? I believe this speaks towards my point more than your own; it is critically implicated all of the body, has been found to be skewed in dozens of studies, but yet, you are yet to be convinced of its importance.

    Look at the research that talks about the mechanisms that are known about why autistics are autistic, and what dysfunctions they have in there brain chemistry.

    Hm. Well, presumably you have documentation that these particular dysfunctions in brain chemistry are causative of autism, as opposed to resultant? I’d love to see those.

    In any case, your assertion is again incorrect.

    What about glutamate processing; implicated by highly increased levels that have been observed in autism, as well as genetic studies that show assocations between polymorphisms and processes eventually responsible for glutamate processing. Well, it turns out, we have evidence that an abnormal immune response can result in altered glutamate metabolism, and indeed, dysregluation of a vareity of amino acids.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18567974

    There are many others. Instead of spamming away, maybe you should tell me which particular components of brain chemistry you feel are the ones causing autism, and we can see if there is an immune component.

    Then, try to work up a link to inflammation/immune responses.

    OK.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17521344?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=4&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed

    PURPOSE: Early-life seizures increase vulnerability to subsequent neurologic insult. We tested the hypothesis that early-life seizures increase susceptibility to later neurologic injury by causing chronic glial activation. To determine the mechanisms by which glial activation may modulate neurologic injury, we examined both acute changes in proinflammatory cytokines and long-term changes in astrocyte and microglial activation and astrocyte glutamate transporters in a “two-hit” model of kainic acid (KA)-induced seizures. METHODS: Postnatal day (P) 15 male rats were administered KA or phosphate buffered saline (PBS). On P45 animals either received a second treatment of KA or PBS. On P55, control (PBS-PBS), early-life seizure (KA-PBS), adult seizure (PBS-KA), and “two-hit” (KA-KA) groups were examined for astrocyte and microglial activation, alteration in glutamate transporters, and expression of the glial protein, clusterin. RESULTS: P15 seizures resulted in an acute increase in hippocampal levels of IL-1beta and S100B, followed by behavioral impairment and long-term increases in GFAP and S100B. Animals in the “two-hit” group showed greater microglial activation, neurologic injury, and susceptibility to seizures compared to the adult seizure group. Glutamate transporters increased following seizures but did not differ between these two groups. Treatment with Minozac, a small molecule inhibitor of proinflammatory cytokine upregulation, following early-life seizures prevented both the long-term increase in activated glia and the associated behavioral impairment. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that glial activation following early-life seizures results in increased susceptibility to seizures in adulthood, in part through priming microglia and enhanced microglial activation. Glial activation may be a novel therapeutic target in pediatric epilepsy.

    So. If you induce seizures in early life in rats, they go on to develop abnormal behaviors, a state of activated microglia, and an increased succeptibility to seizures in adulthood. If you want to prevent these things from happening, you can do so by interferring with the proinflammatory immune response. Hiyo!

    Do I really need to post links to findings of chronically activated microglia, increased presence of seizures, and abnormal behavioral functioning in autism? Do I?

    In the past twenty years we have undertaken a course wherein we insure that more and more of our infants experience early life seizures as the result of vaccinations. It just so happens, that doing so seems to create behavioral and physiological characteristics of autism. This effect is completely invisible to every single autism / vaccine study thus far undertaken.

    So far, I’ve seen nothing.

    What about now?

    - pD

  28. RAJ February 28, 2009 at 22:40 #

    Pd;
    Seizures in the first year of life is strongly associated with ASD.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17555525?

    This was a population based study which showed that 7.1% of infants referred for diagnosis and treatment in Iceland for neonatal seizures had an AS diagnosis. The prevelance of ASD’s in this group is more than 10 times greater than the CDC’s latest estimate of 1/150 (.667) prevelance for ASD in 8 year old children in the US, a prevelance rate that is inflated by the the phenomena of diagnostic substition
    present in the CDC statistics.

  29. passionlessDrone February 28, 2009 at 23:26 #

    Hi Raj -

    Great stuff. It would seem unsurprizing considering what we understand about the physiological findings post seizure in the animal studies we have above.

    By the way, it just so happens that having a postnatal inflammatory response during critical developmental timeframes leads to increased succeptibility to seizures into adulthood in an animal model. What a strange coincidence!

    http://www.jneurosci.org/cgi/content/abstract/28/27/6904

    I particularly appreciate the quote in the discussions section:

    The most exciting finding of the present study is that a mild inflammatory response evoked by LPS during a critical period of development causes a long-lasting increase in hippocampal excitability in vitro, and enhanced seizure susceptibility to the convulsants LI-PILO, KA, and PTZ in vivo. The latter effect was observed over a range of mildly inflammatory doses of LPS and was only evident if administered during the second postnatal week (P7 and P14), and not before (P1) or after (P20) this time. Importantly, inactivation of the proinflammatory cytokine TNF with an intracerebroventricular TNF antibody blocked the long-term changes to seizure susceptibility induced by LPS, whereas intracerebroventricular administration of rrTNF alone mimicked the effect of LPS on seizure susceptibility. These novel results indicate that a single transient inflammatory episode during development can modify the brain through a TNF-dependant mechanism, making it more susceptible to generate seizures in adulthood.

    Several particularly pertinent points here regarding an association to an inflammory immune response:

    1) We are quickly ammassing evidence that we can safely disregard the notion that there is no available mechanism by which immune responses can alter neurological functioning. In the case of the study above, we see that a single immune response can infer lifelong changes to neural excitability. Further, the response need not be significantly large, as the authors report that the results were evident with ‘mildly inflammatory doses of LPS’.

    2) The rats didn’t get an actual infection, just the protein components of bacterial walls, LPS. The authors were able to duplicate the same symtpoms by injecting inflammatory cytokines. The authors were able to remove increased succeptibility by concurrently adminitering tnf alpha blocking agents. In other words, the immune response was responsible for generating increased succeptibility to seizures.

    3) There was a critical early life window during which generation of such an immune response could generate increased succeptibility to seizures. It seems appropriate to mention the obvious; over the past two decades we’ve seen a gradual decrease in the of first vaccinations, and an increase in the number of vaccinations given at that lower age.

    4) Once again, the impact of an immune response is invisible to all of our thimerosal based studies. Likewise, studies involving the MMR constitute an analysis of a small subset of our vaccination schedule. Without these two types of studies there are zero studies involving autism and vaccination.

    - pD

  30. mayfly March 1, 2009 at 08:15 #

    The IOM said

    “Absent biomarkers, well-defined risk factors, or large effect sizes, the committee cannot rule out, based on the epidemiological evidence, the possibility that vaccines contribute to autism in some small subset or very unusual circumstances. However, there is currently no evidence to support this hypothesis either.”

  31. passionlessDrone March 1, 2009 at 15:25 #

    Hey Raj -

    I wonder if you knew that some studies provide evidence that children with autism have immunological profiles that are consistent with increased succeptibility to seizures? There is some variability in the findings, but still enough oddities to be of interest. Well, to me anyways.

    Interleukin-10 is associated with resistance to febrile seizures: Genetic association and experimental animal studies.

    IL-10 is found to be protective of seizures.

    Elevated cytokine levels in children with autism spectrum disorder

    Children with autism are found to have less il-10 at baseline than their undiagnosed peers. Another study in 2009 found unchanged levels of IL-10 in the brains of children with autism.

    The role of interleukin-1beta in febrile seizures.

    One of many studies showing a relationship between increased levels of IL1-Beta and genesis of febrile seizures.

    Preliminary evidence of the in vitro effects of BDE-47 on innate immune responses in children with autism spectrum disorders

    Blood cells from with autism are found to generate more IL1-beta than controls when the blood is pretreated with BDE-47 and then stimulated with LPS. Additional tnf-alpha creation is also observed, which we know is critical towards succeptibility of seizure generation by early LPS exposure.

    Proinflammatory and regulatory cytokine production associated with innate and adaptive immune responses in children with autism spectrum disorders and developmental regression

    83% of ASD cases generated IL-1beta and TNF-alpha more than 2 SD above the mean when stimulated with LPS. Other stimulators revealed large increases in TNF-alpha in the autism group compared to the control group. This same researcher group found decreased IL-1beta when testing subgroups of autism and using slightly different methods of stimulation.

    - pD

  32. Roger March 2, 2009 at 07:27 #

    pD,

    As much as we would all like to believe it,the immune anomalies in autism,have not pointed to a distinct syndrome,like lupus or a primary immune deficiency,which is what doctors look for.

    I spent nearly ten years being tested for every possible form of immune disease,and I did not have any of them.And I had a very suggestive history of immune disease.Recurring meningitis,and pneumonia,rheumatic fever,and a chronic lung infection that lasted nearly twenty years.

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