Autism Becomes A Political/Legal Football

17 Apr

In the most recent edition of the Schafer Mercury Report, editor Lenny Schafer has a fascinating response to a letter writer. Its not really necessary to reproduce the letter, but Schafer’s response is a gem:

Myself and other autism activists believe there is enough evidence to support a causative relationship between mercury and autism in a court of law, in front of a jury, where standards of evidence are different than that of the narrow focus of scientific findings. And if you can convince a jury, you can convince the public. Since public health by definition is political, legal standards are even more so appropriate. The profound conflicts of interest amongst those who order, perform and draw conclusions from most of the no-connection evidence as alibis for vaccines, renders such evidence as tampered and thus, less than useless. The defenders of mercurated vaccines are in trouble and attempt to hide their malfeasance behind lab standards.

I mean _wow!_

This is a de facto admission that the scientific evidence to support an autism/mercury connection is very weak:

…. where standards of evidence are different than that of the narrow focus of scientific findings.

By ‘different’ Schafer really means ‘lesser’. I mean call me naive here but I was under the impression that the debate with the mercury militia on one side and the AAP, CDC, UK Gvmt, NHS, and ourselves – autistic advocates – were having was a _scientific_ debate. How silly was I? According to Schafer:

Since public health by definition is political, legal standards are even more so appropriate

Public health is by definition political? Really? Only if you can only see one thing at a time maybe. Widen the lens a little bit and I think every medical research scientist, patient and doctor/nurse might see public health as something a little bit more than a simply political process.

This is a debate at its core about what it means to be autistic. What causes people to be autistic. How in God’s name can that be political beyond the kind of infantile number crunching the Generation ‘6000% increase’ Rescue go in for? The people who have politicised this debate are the ones who employ media manipulation specialists such as Fenton Communications.

But hey – lets not worry about that – lets not worry about the *fact* that learning more about autism is a core scientific responsibility. Turning it into a manipulated football to kick about at the whim of a lawyer is much more realistic.

Schafer is absolutely right that scientific standards are greater than legal ones. Stronger, more stringent, demanding of _actual_ evidence. Maybe Schafer could remind me: was it science or a jury that discovered electricity? Was it science or a jury that discovered penicillin? Science or a jury that took men to the moon? Science or a jury that discovered our place in the stars? Our place in nature? Our place in the future?

But then again:

…if you can convince a jury, you can convince the public…

Because y’know, science is _hard_ . Stick instead to trial lawyers so we can let the sort of people who got OJ Simpson cleared, or the Birmingham Six banged up to sort out the tricky concept of autism. Great idea.

_”The profound conflicts of interest amongst those who order, perform and draw conclusions from most of the no-connection evidence as alibis for vaccines, renders such evidence as tampered and thus, less than useless.”_

Yeah, its all a big conspiracy. Like the one that saw SafeMinds purchase the domain evidenceofharm.com or the one that saw Wendy Fournier of the NAA build Kirby a website, like the one that had Richard Deth listed as an expert witness without his knowledge, or the one that tried to smear Paul Shattuck, or the one that had the Chair of the NAA working for thiomersal lawyers Waters and Kraus, or the one that saw Andrew Wakefield allegedly filing a patent for a rival vaccine to MMR *before* he published his paper, or the one that had Kirby add on two years to his statement regarding when the thiomersal connection would be in trouble, or the one that saw RFK Jr talking about the results of a study from the Geiers several months before it was published, or the one where the Geiers started patenting Lupron therapy, or the one where Generation Rescue placed words in the mouths of scientists.

Its true that your scientific case is very weak Mr Schafer. Without that science, so is your legal one.

161 Responses to “Autism Becomes A Political/Legal Football”

  1. David H April 19, 2006 at 20:13 #

    “That’s not what Neubrander has claimed in the past. He’s stated that he’s administered tens of thousands of injections over the years. Maybe he meant that he “prescribed” those injections, but it isn’t a trivial semantic issue.”

    He must have meant that he prescribed those injections. I can guarantee you that his protocol is to have parents do the injections. His every 3 day protocol would make it extremely inconvenient, if not impossible, if he was to administer those injections.

  2. mike stanton April 19, 2006 at 22:32 #

    David H
    I asked “Why are you clutching at straws?” because it seems to me that you are trying to hold onto the mercury hypothesis in the face of all the evidence. Why argue for traces of mercury in vaccines when there are traces of mercury everywhere? The whole thimerosal argument rests upon the fact that the mercury burden was increased by the addition of TCVs to the early childhood vaccination schedule in the USA in the 1990s and there was a subsequent increase in the prevalence of autism.

    In Canada the majority of children have always experienced the same trace elements but did not recieve that extra burden in the 1990s. But reported prevalence in Canada also increased at the same time.

    So to explain the prevalence increase you have to dismiss thimerosal and look for a common factor. If you believe that prevalence reflects a growing incidence then it is right to look for a common environmental factor. But that factor cannot be thimerosal because exposure to TCVs is different in different countries and in Canada it is virtually non-existent.

    I was not offended by your questions, more like exasperated.

    I said this

    “What difference does it make to your relationship with your autistic child if mercury is not to blame; if your child just “is” autistic and you both have to deal with that?”

    because I had you down as someone desperately tryting to defend the mercury hypothesis and surmized that you wanted to believe it because it held out the hope of a cure for your son. If I am wrong I apologize unreservedly.

  3. Ms Clark April 20, 2006 at 01:47 #

    Kevin C,

    The injections are usually given intramuscularly and can be tasted almost immediately. Do you really think that the difference would be that great for IM. Neubrander SAYS that he see’s a better result or whatever from SubQ injections, but this is the world of a pathologist who is raking in the bucks, even if it’s not specifically from the sale of the B12. What kind of car does he drive, what’s his house like? Did he move soon after he discovered autism… he’s a pathologist (waves hand annoyingly) Hello!

    Dr. Hendren is following what he read in the James protocol, which presumably was based on the word of Neubrander as opposed to real research with published data we can all look at…

    His results so far are about what you get from injecting saline.

    I don’t think you can inject red dye into kids for fun. It would be interesting to know what they are using for a dye.

    For now, I don’t believe that it has no smell, but I’ll find out eventually from the folks at the MIND.

    If you have a nurse do the injecting she is less likely to have time to sit around and try to figure out which stuff she is giving out, the active one or the placebo… she could open a numbered package in front of a witness and just give the injection so she wouldn’t have a chance to inspect the hypo and try to figure out what it was. It could be in an opaque pre-loaded syringe, I suppose.

    It’s easy to double-blind lots of drugs, just not the ones with a unique odor or taste. Like, what’s the placebo for chewable aspirin? There might be one…but it would be hard, I think to find an inert substance that tastes like aspirin.

    Interestingly, I have heard that all this interest in B12 goes back to the idea that autistic kids have damaged intestines that don’t absorb b12, but that’s not true. It’s certainly not the typical thing with autistic kids to have pernicious anemia. Some autistic kids have too much b12 in their blood, so the treatment is to give more, right?

    If tuna is so low in mercury then it can’t cause autism and all the mercury-moms can stop griping about tuna right? It’s just albacore they need to avoid.

    We are all surrounded by mercury all the time. That’s what “ubiquitous” means when they say “mercury is ubiquitous”. Dr. Pessah told some mercury parents that he knew someone who found mercury in corn syrup… yeah. It’s everywhere.

    NAA (quoting the “Autism One” guy) recommeded that parents give their kids Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine… some of the common types of these “medicines” are made with mercury and lead. Not advice I’d be giving people. They recommended craniosacral and homeopathic meds, the one not impossible (moving the bones of the skull around in spite of their being locked in place) the other is water. Homeopathic treatments are water, just water. The ultimate placebo, water.

  4. Kevin Champagne April 20, 2006 at 03:17 #

    Mrs Clark said, ” What kind of car does he drive, what’s his house like? Did he move soon after he discovered autism… he’s a pathologist (waves hand annoyingly) Hello!

    You’ve got to be kidding me? You’re so ridiculous! Those things are none of your business.

    How many doctors or scientists live in government subsidized housing and take the bus?

    Self proclaimed blog scientists or blog doctors (not mentioning any names), don’t count.

  5. Kevin Champagne April 20, 2006 at 03:41 #

    ” NAA (quoting the “Autism One” guy) recommeded that parents give their kids Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine… some of the common types of these “medicines” are made with mercury and lead. Not advice I’d be giving people. “

    You wouldn’t? Then why do you do it here everyday by telling people that there is nothing wrong with thimerosal?

    ” We are all surrounded by mercury all the time. That’s what “ubiquitous” means when they say “mercury is ubiquitous”. Dr. Pessah told some mercury parents that he knew someone who found mercury in corn syrup… yeah. It’s everywhere.

    I completely agree it’s everywhere and unavoidable in an industrialized world, but why put it in vaccines? If mercury is everywhere and it’s harmful, especially to small children, then why add insult to injury by exposing them to more through vaccines?

  6. Ms Clark April 20, 2006 at 03:41 #

    kevin c,
    I’m asking was there an abrupt increase in his income when he stumbled across the B12 “miracle”. If so, one might think that it was part of a plan merely to increase his income. What was he doing before he got into autism? I sincerely doubt that Neubrander was doing poorly before he got into B12. I’m saying, are there signs of extreme greed?

    All doctors are paid pretty well, if you don’t count the ones that are still repaying their loans, they are not poor at all.

    He’s a pathologist, not board certified in any specialty. And you say I’m ridiculous? He’s not publishing anything. His brother works with him. And you say *I’m* ridiculous How many doctors use their brother’s to drum up business? Talk about smelling fishy. To me, the Neubranders are the height of ridiuculousness.

    Do you want to share why you stopped the injections? No pressure, but it’s interesting that you stopped, apparently it didn’t cure your child.

    There was a mercury mom who was horrified by how awful a DAN! doctor was. She commented on the fact that he drove up to the clinic in a brand new HUGE red pick up truck. He gave her B12 and a bunch of empty syringes and expected her to fill them herself. She was freaked out by how quacky he was… I’m not the only one who thinks “greed” and “quack” when they think “B12 injections.”

  7. David H April 20, 2006 at 05:52 #

    “I asked “Why are you clutching at straws?” because it seems to me that you are trying to hold onto the mercury hypothesis in the face of all the evidence.”

    All the evidence? Like the flawed epidemiology studies the IOM relied on in 2004? What evidence are you referring to? Is “all the evidence” in Canada?

    “Why argue for traces of mercury in vaccines when there are traces of mercury everywhere?”

    First of all, the form of mercury found in vaccines is not found everywhere. Second of all, traces of mercury is not the only chemical in vaccines. Do you think it’s possible that mercury + aluminum is even more toxic than those chemicals administered individually? Did you know it is common to receive multiple vaccines at one time? Is it possible that some babies could have a bad reaction to a vaccine containing heavy metals followed by a vaccine containing live viruses? Clearly the synergistic effect of multiple vaccines is a unique event, despite the fact that there “are traces of mercury everywhere.”

    “In Canada the majority of children have always experienced the same trace elements but did not recieve that extra burden in the 1990s.”

    Are you saying that the Canadian vaccine schedule has never changed? I’m admittedly not familiar with it but I imagine you must be extremely familiar with it. Can you please let me know what the vaccines schedule was for Canadians in the mid 80’s, including the age at which the shots were mandated, and then let me know if the schedule was modified at all since then.

    “But reported prevalence in Canada also increased at the same time.”

    Can you provide some more details? Where did the data come from? Is it one source or multiple sources? Are these DSM IV cases? Is the DSM history in Canada the same as the US?

    “So to explain the prevalence increase you have to dismiss thimerosal and look for a common factor.”

    I think you’re jumping the gun just a wee bit.

    “If you believe that prevalence reflects a growing incidence then it is right to look for a common environmental factor. But that factor cannot be thimerosal because exposure to TCVs is different in different countries and in Canada it is virtually non-existent.”

    You are making many assumptions. I can’t speak to what happened in Canada but in the US the vaccine schedule change introduced more vaccines, introduced more vaccines at a younger age, gave more vaccines at the same time, and also increased the thimerosal exposure. Are you saying that since thimerosal exposure varies from country to country … vaccines and thimerosal can’t be responsible for causing autism? My personal opinion is that autism is caused by genetic and environmental factors. I think vaccines are the primary cause of autism but not the only one.

    “I was not offended by your questions, more like exasperated.”

    I know the feeling.

    “because I had you down as someone desperately tryting to defend the mercury hypothesis”

    I tend to broaden the argument to vaccines in general and the only studies that could possibly prove that vaccines do not cause autism have not been done.

    “and surmized that you wanted to believe it because it held out the hope of a cure for your son. ”

    I hope & believe that my son will be cured. I love him as he is today more than anything in the world and that will never change. But if you find fault with me wanting to cure my son ….

    “If I am wrong I apologize unreservedly.”

    What you should be apologizing for is making this personal and it shouldn’t start with an “If.”

  8. David H April 20, 2006 at 05:57 #

    “Neubrander SAYS that he see’s a better result or whatever from SubQ injections, but this is the world of a pathologist who is raking in the bucks, even if it’s not specifically from the sale of the B12. What kind of car does he drive, what’s his house like? Did he move soon after he discovered autism… he’s a pathologist (waves hand annoyingly) Hello!”

    Do you stop and think for even a couple of seconds before you hit the “Say it” button? You should really take a long look in the mirror before you complain about the antics of those who believe vaccines can cause autism.

  9. David N. Andrews BA-status, PgCertSpEd (pending) April 20, 2006 at 09:30 #

    KC: “How many doctors or scientists live in government subsidized housing and take the bus?”

    In Finland, the salaries are not high in the public systems; I have seen some who take the bus and have rent support.

  10. clone3g April 20, 2006 at 15:29 #

    DH: Are you at all familiar with the Burbacher study? He wasn’t looking at their behaviors. He sacrificed those poor monkeys so he could examine the impact of methyl vs ethyl mercury.

    Minor correction here David, impact wasn’t assessed. Distribution was the only data produced by the Burbacher study. Even if behavior wasn’t evaluated, alterations in brain chemistry and neuroglial cells could have been examined but wasn’t, or at least wasn’t reported.

    Yes, those “poor monkeys” sacrificed in the name of thimerosteria. There will, of course, be a second round of macaquacide to satisfy the nanomolar mercury obsessed parents but where will you be if Burbacher doesn’t observe anything to suggest an acute reaction?

    You can always fall back on the genetic susceptibility thing. These primates don’t possess the “poor excretor” genes, whatever they may be. Plus, they are covered in hair so DDI hair tests will be even more useless.

    Oh, and your synergy theory? Dead end. If you can’t prove an association between a single ingredient and autism, adding more factors to the hypothesis doesn’t simplify the task. Burbacher likes to use real world thimerosal free vaccines and spike them with thimerosal. Not exactly an approximation of the original formulation. Too much synergization.

    Ooooooh. Synergy! Blaxill likes that word too. Maybe that’s why he’s used so many different cure du jour DAN! treatments on his still autistic daughter. He’s been chelating for at least three years now. Maybe he’ll try Lupron to get those last traces of thimerotestosterone out of his little girl.

  11. David H April 20, 2006 at 15:56 #

    “where will you be if Burbacher doesn’t observe anything to suggest an acute reaction?”

    I’ll be right here.

    “Oh, and your synergy theory? Dead end. If you can’t prove an association between a single ingredient and autism, adding more factors to the hypothesis doesn’t simplify the task. ”

    The unpublished VSD study already found an association. And I didn’t realize that a theory is considered a “dead end” because it “doesn’t simplify the task.” If Carolyn Mahoney has her way we’ll get a study comparing a vaccinated population vs an unvaccinated one.

    “Ooooooh. Synergy! Blaxill likes that word too. Maybe that’s why he’s used so many different cure du jour DAN! treatments on his still autistic daughter. He’s been chelating for at least three years now. Maybe he’ll try Lupron to get those last traces of thimerotestosterone out of his little girl.”

    So your saying what exactly? That it’s difficult to cure all of the medical conditions in autistic children thereby curing the child of autism? I don’t disagree with you. Regarding Lupron and testosterone – didn’t Sasha (or was it Simon?) Baron-Cohen find a correlation between testosterone levels and autism?

  12. Ruth April 20, 2006 at 17:14 #

    DH:

    Yes, mercury is a neurotoxin, but the cells damaged by organomercury do not correlate with the differences seen in autism. Autopsy of victims of methyl mercury poisoning show neuron loss in the occipital lobe and the cerebellum. Autopsy of autistic subjects show alterations in the limbic system and fore brain. The cerebellum of autistics have fewer than normal Purkinje cells ( a type of neuron with lots of branching), while these cells are less affected than granule cells in mercury poisoning.

    If autistic children were having as high a level of mercury as you claim, they should be experiencing partial blindness and deafness. Bernard claimed that the clumsiness seen in some autistics is ataxia. If toxins were affecting the anterior portion of the cerebellum, the patient would have a staggering walk, like an alcoholic. They would have trouble sliding the heel of one foot from the knee-to-ankle of the opposite leg. If the flocculonodular lobe was damaged, they would have a swaying of the upper body.

    Burbacher’s paper showed that the standards for mercury exposure, based on methyl mercury cases, are likely lower than necessary, as ethyl mercury is cleared from the system faster, and has lower rate of crossing the blood-brain barrier.

    If mercury has a role to play in autism, it would be in the first trimester of pregnancy. That is when neuronal migration occurs, which is disrupted in the autistic brain. There is no mechanism to produce the changes in the autistic brain in a typical brain exposed to any toxin in the newborn child. The brain structure is established, all that can occur is neuronal injury or death.

    Chelation is useful in removing high levels of mercury soon after exposure, before neuronal death occurs. In many acute poisonings, chelation months after exposure showed no improvement in brain function, even as blood and urine levels demonstrated successful removal of Hg. Neurons do not divide in mature brains. Few stem cells are present in the brain, so dead neurons will not be replaced, even if you chelate all the mercury.

    I don’t need “lies” from the CDC to tell me that SafeMinds is wrong about the science. Five years ago my daughter had stopped making eye contact and had little interest in social contact. Now, educational and behavior intervention plus her own growth and development have made her a happy, out-going little girl, who still has autistic behaviors. She may always be ‘different’, just as I am. Most autistic children will make progress without toxic doses of vitamin A, without chelation and without Lupron.

  13. David H April 20, 2006 at 18:29 #

    “Autopsy of victims of methyl mercury poisoning show neuron loss in the occipital lobe and the cerebellum.”

    But it’s not methyl mercury in vaccines, it’s ethyl mercury.

    “If autistic children were having as high a level of mercury as you claim”

    My claim was referring to the amount of mercury in vaccines. Maybe “hundreds” was a little extreme. Here’s the details of the schedule that was in place up until 2002ish. You be the judge:

    Birth: 12.5 mcg Hg
    8 lb infant – EPA Hg limit: .36 mcg = 35X over limit
    4 lb infant – EPA Hg limit: .18 mcg = 70X over limit

    _________________________________________
    2 months: 62.5 mcg Hg
    Avg weight: 10 lbs – EPA limit: .45 mcg = 138X over limit
    __________________________________________
    4 months: 50 mcg Hg
    Avg weight: 14 lbs – EPA limit: .65 mcg = 72X over limit
    __________________________________________
    6 months: 50 mcg Hg
    Avg weight: 16 lbs – EPA limit: .73 mcg = 68X over limit
    ______________________________________________
    12 months: 50 mcg Hg
    Avg weight: 20 lbs – EPA limit: .9 mcg = 55X over limit
    Total Ethyl mercury exposure in 1st year: 212.5 mcg

    So what do you think? Is it harmless? Could the reaction be even worse given that aluminum is also in vaccines? What about antibiotics? Live viruses?

    “Burbacher’s paper showed that the standards for mercury exposure, based on methyl mercury cases, are likely lower than necessary, as ethyl mercury is cleared from the system faster, and has lower rate of crossing the blood-brain barrier.”

    What about the increased inorganic mercury in the brain from ethyl mercury exposure? Burbacher did not reach the same conclusion as you. He called for more research.

    “If mercury has a role to play in autism, it would be in the first trimester of pregnancy. That is when neuronal migration occurs, which is disrupted in the autistic brain. There is no mechanism to produce the changes in the autistic brain in a typical brain exposed to any toxin in the newborn child. The brain structure is established, all that can occur is neuronal injury or death.”

    So how would you explain regressive autism? If neuronal migration is disrupted since the first trimester of pregnancy how is it that the child can be functioning normally for two years or so?

    “Neurons do not divide in mature brains.”

    What age is considered mature? There are children 2, 3, 4 years old undergoing chelation. Some speculate that Hyperbaric Oxygen can help brain injuries by delivering more oxygen and by increasing stem cells. Here are two links to studies that discuss this. I’d honestly love to hear your expert opinion:

    Click to access Brain%20Study-clinicalstudyimpaired%20brain%20function.pdf

    http://www.rxpgnews.com/printer_3086.shtml

    “Now, educational and behavior intervention plus her own growth and development have made her a happy, out-going little girl, who still has autistic behaviors. ”

    That’s great news. I’m also a strong believer in education & behavior therapies.

    “Most autistic children will make progress ”

    No argument there. But that doesn’t mean they won’t make more progress with biomedical treatments. Many autistic children are sick and many, like Martha Herbert, believe that these children can be treated and possibly cured. Here is a link to her paper: http://www.usautism.org/PDF_files_newsletters/herbert_autism_brain_or_affecting_brain_final.pdf

  14. anonimouse April 20, 2006 at 20:14 #

    Ruth,

    If mercury has a role to play in autism, it would be in the first trimester of pregnancy. That is when neuronal migration occurs, which is disrupted in the autistic brain. There is no mechanism to produce the changes in the autistic brain in a typical brain exposed to any toxin in the newborn child. The brain structure is established, all that can occur is neuronal injury or death.

    I agree. I think the same can be said for ANY environmental cause or toxic insult – if it’s going to cause problems, the problems will most likely be as a result of in utero exposure. That’s why I think studies that look at maternal fish consumption or thimerosal-containing shots (like flu shots or RhoGam) given to mothers in the first trimester are the most likely indicators of whether mercury is really a problem.

    Post-natally, it is highly unlikely that mercury could alter brain structures in such a way to cause autism to develop, and it is even less likely that chelation would have anything to do with improvement of autistic symptoms.

  15. David H April 20, 2006 at 21:22 #

    “Bernard claimed that the clumsiness seen in some autistics is ataxia. If toxins were affecting the anterior portion of the cerebellum, the patient would have a staggering walk, like an alcoholic. ”

    I haven’t read that paper in awhile but as I recall that was not the only comparison made. Does ataxia present itself in every case of mercury poisoining and are the symptoms always identical? For example, does everyone turn pink from mercury poisoning?

  16. Ruth April 21, 2006 at 00:36 #

    In the Iraq case in 1972, numbness was seen when hair Hg was about 70 micrograms, ataxia at 125, death occurred above 780 micrograms/g hair. Hair levels aren’t a perfect measure of blood levels, but do give relative exposure to methylmercury. Pink disease is usually seen with inorganic mercury.

  17. David H April 21, 2006 at 01:45 #

    “Pink disease is usually seen with inorganic mercury.”

    That’s the point I was trying to make. Depending on the type of mercury exposure the symptoms may be different. It’s the reason why the paper was titled “Autism, a novel form of mercury poisoning.”

  18. Kev April 21, 2006 at 07:39 #

    David H –

    Burbacher’s _sole_ conclusion was: _”The results indicate that MeHg is not a suitable reference for risk assessment from exposure to thimerosal-derived Hg.”_

    Which is interesting but in terms of thiomersal causing autism means less than nothing. As I understand it there are also key technical issues with the methodology used.

    Pink’s disease and the Bernard paper: all forms of mercury poisoning share a few common symptoms (Anorexia and dihorrea for example). The Clarke’s attempted to draw a comparison between Pinks and autism which I had a detailed look at and found no correlation.

    In the case of the Bernard et al paper I would be interested in anyone being able to list just one common symptom between the DSM(IV) criteria and either low dose or high dose ‘standard’ mercury exposure, something I also took a good look at.

  19. MAría Luján Ferreira April 21, 2006 at 08:22 #

    Hi Ruth

    I only want to clarify that I do not think that autism is mercury poisoning. I do think that because of autistic different biochemistry Hg poisoning is possible, due to combination of factors.

    Some comments

    Yes, mercury is a neurotoxin, but the cells damaged by organomercury do not correlate with the differences seen in autism. Autopsy of victims of methyl mercury poisoning show neuron loss in the occipital lobe and the cerebellum. Autopsy of autistic subjects show alterations in the limbic system and fore brain.

    I think that it must be considered that brain structure is different in NT than in autistics and also genetics therefore gene expression and proteomics must be different at a level not studied or understood today. Therefore why are they going to match if there is Hg poisoning present? If a xenobiotic management problem in the phase I and phase II of the liver and the detox system , from enzyme´s activities to cofactors and concentrations of is present in some autistic, therefore Al and HM in general can be doing damage. Considering the gene expression and epigenetics role of viruses and toxoids in combination with, not isolated, as potential insults to the brain must be considered also. Diet must be considered. The brain alterations found can not be assignable for sure to some specific cause with the lack of actual knowledge about autism biochemistry, immunology and neurochemistry-.

    “Neurobiological correlates of autism: a review of recent research”:http://taylorandfrancis.metapress.com/(gv3vav45jxpxjomvz5gih055)/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=parent&backto=issue,4,6;journal,1,34;linkingpublicationresults,1:103096,1

    “Advances in autism neuroimaging research for the clinician and geneticist”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16419098&query_hl=48&itool=pubmed_docsum

    “Autism at the beginning: microstructural and growth abnormalities underlying the cognitive and behavioral phenotype of autism”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16262983&query_hl=49&itool=pubmed_docsum

    The cerebellum of autistics have fewer than normal Purkinje cells ( a type of neuron with lots of branching), while these cells are less affected than granule cells in mercury poisoning.

    The Purkinje cells number is related to the prenatal development in autistics, following several published literature.

    If autistic children were having as high a level of mercury as you claim, they should be experiencing partial blindness and deafness.

    Not necessarily. It depends of the kind of exposure ( high dose in bolus or low exposure in accumulative way) and individual answer and how is managed in the body. The role of Al can not be neglected in advance.

    I found this manuscript important
    “Silent Latency Periods in Methylmercury Poisoning and in Neurodegenerative Disease”:http://www.ehponline.org/members/2002/suppl-5/851-854weiss/weiss-full.html

    The Work of Dr Clarkson emphasizes the individual susceptibility to Hg.
    Visual and auditory problems are found in some children with autism.

    Bernard claimed that the clumsiness seen in some autistics is ataxia. If toxins were affecting the anterior portion of the cerebellum, the patient would have a staggering walk, like an alcoholic. They would have trouble sliding the heel of one foot from the knee-to-ankle of the opposite leg. If the flocculonodular lobe was damaged, they would have a swaying of the upper body.

    Hg management would not be the only problem to take into account for me. Genetic predisposition and different brain structure and biochemistry also, along with epigenetics. The BNDF, CPOX and GSMT1 polymorphisms have not been studied in autism enough
    These kinds of polymorphisms have not been studied in autistic children yet, except GMST1 (Glutathione S Methyl transferase) and the results were positive for correlation in one study (2006, recently published)
    “GMST1”:http://www.pubmedcentral.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=16472391

    For me, it is not possible to compare Hg poisoning in NT with supposed problems with Hg in autistics children, that also would have the impact of the overall vaccines, the schedule, the antibiotics , childhood infections, etc in combination in time.

    Burbacher’s paper showed that the standards for mercury exposure, based on methyl mercury cases, are likely lower than necessary, as ethyl mercury is cleared from the system faster, and has lower rate of crossing the blood-brain barrier.

    The Burbacher paper for me is not representative of the current schedule for a child using vaccines thimerosal. It only can be used to say that ethyl is different than methyl mercury He did not study the effect of the vaccine composition.

    If mercury has a role to play in autism, it would be in the first trimester of pregnancy. That is when neuronal migration occurs, which is disrupted in the autistic brain. There is no mechanism to produce the changes in the autistic brain in a typical brain exposed to any toxin in the newborn child. The brain structure is established, all that can occur is neuronal injury or death.

    That can be related to environmental insult of different sources in a different brain due to genetics.

    Chelation is useful in removing high levels of mercury soon after exposure, before neuronal death occurs. In many acute poisonings, chelation months after exposure showed no improvement in brain function, even as blood and urine levels demonstrated successful removal of Hg. Neurons do not divide in mature brains. Few stem cells are present in the brain, so dead neurons will not be replaced, even if you chelate all the mercury.

    For example
    “Actions of neurotrophic factors and their signaling pathways in neuronal survival and axonal regeneration”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16603794&query_hl=36&itool=pubmed_docsum

    “The microglial cell. A historical review”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=8847546&query_hl=43&itool=pubmed_DocSum

    MAría Luján

  20. Ms Clark April 21, 2006 at 08:35 #

    _“There are several countries that openly report a rate of 1 in 166 or higher FOR THE WHOLE SPECTRUM and who aren’t crying “epidemic caused by thimerosal” Get over it.” (Ms. Clark)

    What does that even mean? Is your argument that most of the people on the EOH list aren’t from Sweden, for example, so you now conclude that Swedes don’t believe thimerosal can cause autism? Even if the average Swede doesn’t believe thimerosal is dangerous does that somehow make it true? (David H)_

    David H.

    Let’s say that Starbucks Coffee consumption began sometime around 1985 (I first tasted it in 1987) then there was this skyrocketing rate of Starbucks ™ coffee consumption that peaked in 2005 (I’m just guessing). Lets say that someone notices that each time Starbucks opened a shop in a new state (starting in 1995) there was an increase in cataracts among the 30 year olds.

    Say you can lock the increase in Starbucks consumption by the ounce to the number of cataract surgeries in those under 40. There is an absolute correlation. There’s been an epidemic in cataracts in the under 40 crowd, a skyrocketing rate that follows skyrocketing rate of Starbucks drinking perfectly.

    Except, there are Starbucks in other counries, too, and as the coffee shops opened in Canada (there were almost as many per capita in Canada as the US) , Mexico, the UK, Sweden, Australia, Italy, China. (I’m making some of these stats up for the story, but I know that Starbucks is in Europe)
    http://blog.brandexperiencelab.org/experience_manifesto/2005/01/will_europe_war.html

    http://cruises.about.com/library/pictures/china/blbeijing24.htm

    There was absolutely no correlation between cataracts and Starbucks consumption outside of the US.

    The US was the only country where you could draw that tight correlation. Other countries had the same kind of consumption as the US, but only for 3 years, and then it dropped off, for example, but it didn’t impact the rate of cataracts.

    All the countries had the same “skyrocketing rate” of cataracts, but there was no correlation between Starbucks consumption and cataracts if you looked at the whole picture.

    So what do we assume? That Starbucks coffee in the states is different that the stuff they send overseas? Maybe. Or that the correlation is an illusion, it’s a coincidence. If there’s no logic to connect Starbucks coffee with cataracts, then it’s really unlikely that it was the Starbucks. You’d want to see what else happened in all the countries that followed the same rise as the cataracts in all the countries.

    —–
    In the case of autism and thimerosal if you set up a graph following certain rules, you can get a correlation between mcg of thimerosal per average kid and autism diagnoses, but only if you change the definition of autism and loosen it over time and use the very imprecise, and subject to political changes, IDEA and DDS stats to do it.

    If you set up the graph in the same way for other countries YOU CAN NOT FIND THE SAME CORRELATION between dosage of thimerosal and numbers of ASD kids ANYWHERE ELSE on planet earth.

    Go ahead, do the graphs. Show me I’m wrong.
    Show me thimerosal usage in the Netherlands, then show them in the Netherlands how they missed this correlation that you found but they didn’t.

    Show them in Canada how they have had the same thimerosal usage as the US over the past 30 years and the same autism rates. Only you can’t they’ve had the same autism spectrum rates and significantly different thimerosal usage.

    Those graphs alone sink your case into oblivion. Then you have no science to show how thimerosal at the doses from the 1990’s, which you think are so toxic, can ever cause autism. You have no studies to show that thimerosal causes brain damage that ever could cause symptoms of autism.

    If kids can’t cope with the amount of thimersoal in vaccines than they can’t cope with life on planet earth which is full of mercury – in different forms – and a jillion other toxins in food and water and air. This earth is toxic. If you take away all the man-made pollution, it’s still toxic.

    Go eat some grain with ergot growing on it and tell me the earth is not a toxic place, Go have a plate of fugu or eat some peanuts (aflatoxin) or certain mushrooms. Plants make toxins to survive, bugs make toxins, germs make toxins even “potent neurotoxins”.

    A judge would have to be crazy to let you guys hold up the court system for another two years while you try to prove that thimerosal causes autism. The whole picture is screaming, “thimerosal doesn’t cause autism!”.

  21. Sue M. April 21, 2006 at 13:41 #

    Ms. Clark wrote:

    “A judge would have to be crazy to let you guys hold up the court system for another two years while you try to prove that thimerosal causes autism. The whole picture is screaming, “thimerosal doesn’t cause autism!”.

    – I believe that you are very wrong here, Ms. Clark. The only ones who are screaming “thimerosal doesn’t cause autism” are you guys and the pro-poison pushers (note, I am separating you from them… you need to decide which group you fall into). Most rational people would like to see the studies followed up on, all the data to be opened up for analysis, etc. It’s a no-brainer. I’m pretty sure that our court system can be “held up” for as long as it takes to find out if our children have been adversely affected by unsafe and untested vaccines.

  22. anonimouse April 21, 2006 at 15:28 #

    Sue,

    Most rational people don’t care, because they think that the autism-mercury crowd is just a bunch of loons and they believe public health officials and scientists who say that the two are not related.

    The only people that really care are those with a vested interested in keeping the autism-mercury hypothesis alive (for their own personal gain in many cases) or those with a vested interest in exonerating thimerosal. Some of those people may be those who do not believe there is an autism epidemic, some may be medical professionals, some may be drug companies, etc, etc.

    The reality is that most people don’t think there’s anything to worry about. The concern is that certain types of people (with low risk tolerance or an inherent mistrust of government) might be swayed by the autism-mercury PR campaign not to vaccinate. And that hurts everyone.

  23. clone3g April 21, 2006 at 15:48 #

    Let’s keep in mind that Sue doesn’t have any autistic children, she is here because she is sure that thimerosal triggered celiac and diabetes in her children and her mission is to see that all vaccine ingredients meet her seal of approval.

    Sue, again, can you tell us how it is that thimerosal can possibly cause autoimmunity toward islet cells? Wouldn’t that be the logical question to ask before embarking on a mission to disrupt one pharmaceutical program while paradoxically supporting another? An you call others hypocritical?

  24. Sue M. April 21, 2006 at 17:20 #

    Mouse wrote:

    “Most rational people don’t care, because they think that the autism-mercury crowd is just a bunch of loons and they believe public health officials and scientists who say that the two are not related”.

    – I agree that many don’t care … if they aren’t affected, it isn’t that interesting to them. It is unfortunate that many also believe bogus claims of the CDC, AAP, and IOM. When “rational” people are open to hearing the other side, they begin to question what is going on. Mercury in vaccines? It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out why that is such a bad idea. I am completely rational when talking to people about this topic (you may find that surprising) but I don’t talk about conspiracies, I don’t talk about evil Offit, I don’t talk about any of that. The FACTS about this controversy are enough for most people to question what “the officials” say.

  25. Sue M. April 21, 2006 at 17:40 #

    Clone wrote:

    “Let’s keep in mind that Sue doesn’t have any autistic children, she is here because she is sure that thimerosal triggered celiac and diabetes in her children and her mission is to see that all vaccine ingredients meet her seal of approval”.

    – Clone is right here about me not having any autistic children. However, I did shell out a shitload of money (although comparatively much less than others do) for my son to have “therapy” for his “sensory integration disorder”. These sensory issues which forced us to stay at home most of the time due to outburts, noises too loud, tags to rough, etc. This “sensory integration disorder” which coincidentally came upon us rather suddenly after a flu vaccination in the fall of 2003. Go figure. I am also not sure that it triggered the type 1 diabetes or Celiac disease, but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Clearly there seems to be a connection between autoimmune issues in family members and autism. Why? I want to know, you apparently want to blame it on our “bad genes”. Go ahead. I will go ahead as I see fit.

    Clone wrote:

    “Sue, again, can you tell us how it is that thimerosal can possibly cause autoimmunity toward islet cells”?

    – Um, Clone. I don’t know specifically if it does or does not. The possibility is certainly there and needs further research. Have you ever asked a endocrinologist about the rates of type 1 diabetes and when they started rising? Here’s a hint: You may not want to 🙂

  26. David H April 21, 2006 at 17:52 #

    “Burbacher’s sole conclusion was: “The results indicate that MeHg is not a suitable reference for risk assessment from exposure to thimerosal-derived Hg.”

    “Which is interesting but in terms of thiomersal causing autism means less than nothing.”

    I agree with you. But it also doesn’t mean that thimerosal doesn’t cause autism which was Ms. Clark’s point.

    “In the case of the Bernard et al paper I would be interested in anyone being able to list just one common symptom between the DSM criteria and either low dose or high dose ‘standard’ mercury exposure, something I also took a good look at.”

    Kev, I can only speak for my son. Some mercury exposure traits that my son displays are:

    Mood instability, speech disorder, disturbed gait, Immune system dysfunction, gastroenteritis, abdominal pain (although this has gone away since implementing the SCD diet), excessive salivation (although it’s not constant)

    The DSM is a living document that is likely biased by the accepted cause of autism. If you believe autism is strictly a genetic brain disorder then there would be little reason to test for immune dysfunction – even though we are seeing several current studies point to this as a common thread in autism.

    I recently had my son evaluated by a PT and I’ll share with you some of that eval. I’ll refer to my son as Superman.

    “Superman has low postural tone. Tone is the muscle system’s automatic response to gravity and is responsible for balance, body alignment, and space orientation. Tone provides the foundation on which voluntary movement is accomplished by using strength. Superman’s low tone was observable in his postural instability, and in very weak static (stationary) and dynamic (during movement) balance reactions, which compromised his safety.”

    “Also often associated with low tone (but actually two separate conditions), joint flexibility testing revealed range that went beyond the normal in Superman’s hips. This would further compromise Superman’s stability, and may have developed as the result of the low tone, as Jaden is a habituated ‘W’ sitter.”

    “Superman is also a constant toe-walker, both in and out of his shoes. That affects his balance as well as his gait efficiency.”

    “On the PDMS-2 …. identifying an approximate 55% delay in Superman’s performance as compared to his age. Also on the PDMS-2, Superman finished with total test scores that placed him below the first percentile, 2.6 standard deviations below the mean. On the PES Superman’s scores in the large motor sub test placed him more than three SD’s below the mean.”

    I don’t think it’s so uncommon for autistic children to be behind physically as my son is. I see lots of autistic children qualifying for OT & PT although I know lots of autistic children don’t need these services. I guess my point is that we can probably do a much better job of identifying sub groups within the spectrum with a much broader range of traits. I understand why you would refer to the DSM in your analogy but for my son it completely ignores some of his characteristics.

  27. clone3g April 21, 2006 at 19:15 #

    Sue M.: The possibility is certainly there and needs further research.

    Right, the Sue M. stock answer: It’s possible. More research is needed. It’s not impossible but it’s improbable.

    Have you ever asked a endocrinologist about the rates of type 1 diabetes and when they started rising? Here’s a hint: You may not want to 🙂

    Thanks Sue, I’ll stop and talk to one today before I leave the hospital. What in specific should I ask? Endocrinologists are notoriously impatient when it comes to hints.

    Should I say:
    “Hey, has there been an increase in IDDM? Did you know that vaccines used to contain thimerosal? You can figure the rest out for yourself, I’m sure.”
    I’ll let you know how that goes.

  28. Ms Clark April 21, 2006 at 19:23 #

    David H,

    Look. You don’t want to hear it, I’m sure, but I’m gonna tell you what I suspect.

    Your child has a connective tissue disorder. If you read up on Ehlers-Danlos or Marfan’s syndrome you will find out about the hyperextensible joints. Your child may bruise easily. His skin might damage easily. He probably has wide set eyes. He might have thin lips. He might have unusual ears. He may have flat feet or highly arched feet, and might have a highly arched palate. He probably has long limbs and long fingers proportionately.

    There are case studies where people have connective tissue disorders and ASD so there may be some causal connection there. Williams Syndrome has a connective tissue aspect (elastin), Frag X kids have connective tissue problems of some kind. Some forms of collagen disorders are benefited by extra Vitamin C.

    There is some correlation between Ehlers-Danlos type symptoms and autism. I have seen it over and over again in autistic kids I have met…and their siblings. Low muscle tone and hyperextensible joints are not caused by vanishingly small doses of mercury in vaccines.

    Your child has a connective tissue problem he was born with, it’s obvious, he might have been a “floppy baby”.

    My kid was a “W” sitter, too, and has a diagnosed connective tissue disorder as well as an ASD. My NT kid doesn’t have the connective tissue disorder. I have a milder case of the same connective tissue thing, not officially diagnosed, but its obvious.

    Sue M, I’m disgusted with myself that I thought you had ASD children. “celiacdaughter” go hassle the celiac folks for a change.

    Mercury is only dangerous in vaccines if you convince yourself that it is. Mercury *wasn’t dangerous* when a million moms swabbed it on their kids open wounds for decades. You can still buy it in Australia in mercurochrome (with real mercury in it). Mercury is only so horrifically dangerous when you listen to *freaks* and *liars* who say, “mercury is the second most toxic substance on earth, after plutonium.”

    Your mercury-phobe world is bizarre. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure that out. You are the poison pusher. Your words are poison, your thoughts about vaccines are poison. Your attitude toward vaccines could kill a child. How toxic is that?

  29. anonimouse April 21, 2006 at 19:27 #

    David,

    The DSM is a living document that is likely biased by the accepted cause of autism. If you believe autism is strictly a genetic brain disorder then there would be little reason to test for immune dysfunction – even though we are seeing several current studies point to this as a common thread in autism.

    Wow, that’s a new one. So suddenly autism isn’t just a brain disorder?

    In any event, you still have to associate autism with mercury poisoning or environmental insults. And you can’t. Your hypotheses about “subgroups” and “new types of autism” are just that – hypotheses.

  30. Sue M. April 21, 2006 at 19:35 #

    Ms. Clark wrote:

    “Sue M, I’m disgusted with myself that I thought you had ASD children. “celiacdaughter” go hassle the celiac folks for a change”.

    – You SHOULD be disgusted with yourself since it has been mentioned NUMEROUS times here (for months) . Fool. Get a clue. Now, how many ASD children does Clone have? How about Jonathan? OK, so maybe they themselves are on the spectrum. Great. They can’t be in the discussion because they don’t have autistic children and they are too high functioning to add to this discussion. Only a jackass would disallow my views because I don’t qualify with only a child with “sensory integration disorder” along with another child with autoimmune issues. Get a life, Camille. Thankfully, I have a flight to catch in a few hours. You are pathetic. You too, Clone…

  31. David H April 21, 2006 at 19:47 #

    Ms. Clark,

    Thanks for the analogy. I understand what you were referring to.

    “If you set up the graph in the same way for other countries YOU CAN NOT FIND THE SAME CORRELATION between dosage of thimerosal and numbers of ASD kids ANYWHERE ELSE on planet earth.”

    Can you post a link to the graphs?

    “Show me thimerosal usage in the Netherlands, then show them in the Netherlands how they missed this correlation that you found but they didn’t.”

    Not to sound like a broken record but I don’t restrict the discussion to thimerosal. I have no idea what thimerosal usage is or was in the Netherlands and I have no plans to do this research. If it has already been done please just post a link to it.

    “Show them in Canada how they have had the same thimerosal usage as the US over the past 30 years and the same autism rates. Only you can’t they’ve had the same autism spectrum rates and significantly different thimerosal usage.”

    Mike Stanton was talking about Canada and I asked to see some of those details.

    “Those graphs alone sink your case into oblivion.”

    So please show me the graphs already and spare me the dramatics.

    “Then you have no science to show how thimerosal at the doses from the 1990’s, which you think are so toxic, can ever cause autism.”

    Again, it’s not just thimerosal. Find me a toxicologist who will state that those levels of thimerosal aren’t toxic. I’m still waiting to hear what Ruth has to say on this topic.

    “You have no studies to show that thimerosal causes brain damage that ever could cause symptoms of autism.”

    No, not yet at least. We also have no studies to show that thimerosal is safe yet it’s still in vaccines… but I digress.

    “If kids can’t cope with the amount of thimersoal in vaccines than they can’t cope with life on planet earth which is full of mercury – in different forms – and a jillion other toxins in food and water and air.”

    Again, it’s not just mercury in those vaccines. Do you really think the average daily environmental exposure to toxins & viruses is equivalent to what a typical baby receives at a well visit in a vaccine? I imagine you don’t have a study to support that claim.

    “This earth is toxic.”

    No argument there.

    ” If you take away all the man-made pollution, it’s still toxic.”

    Maybe, but I bet it would be a lot less toxic.

    “A judge would have to be crazy to let you guys hold up the court system for another two years while you try to prove that thimerosal causes autism. The whole picture is screaming, “thimerosal doesn’t cause autism!”.”

    I’m just not seeing the picture. First the picture was the VSD data. Then we learned the VSD data actually found an association. Then the picture was thimerosal preventing autism in Denmark until we learned that the study wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on. So if the new picture is a portrait of Canada lets get all of the data on the table so we can discuss it.

  32. clone3g April 21, 2006 at 19:56 #

    More Love from Sue M.

    Sue, the point isn’t whether having an ASD child makes you qualified to discuss autism. No one has the right to make erroneous and harmful statements about autistics whether they are autistic or a parent of an autistic child.

    The fact that you don’t have an autistic family member, but continue to spread lies about thimerosal and autism, makes it doubly offensive.

  33. clone3g April 21, 2006 at 20:03 #

    DH: Not to sound like a broken record but I don’t restrict the discussion to thimerosal

    But earlier:
    I think vaccines are the primary cause of autism but not the only one.

    So you think vaccines are the primary cause but not thimerosal? Watch out. Some of those fenceposts are sharp.

  34. Ms Clark April 21, 2006 at 20:50 #

    buh buyee Sue,

    I smiled at your little rant. Have you thought about chelation to lower your toxicity levels? I hope that radiation from the plane flight doesn’t do anything bad to you. If it does, there’s always those magnetic clay baths that undo radiation.

    I’m still appalled that Sue doesn’t have autistic kids. Silly me for not noticing. It’s probably because I see “Sue M” and my brain filters out what she writes as so much toxic garbage with no logical support.

    David H,

    I’m not going to create the graphs for you. If you want, ask Blaxill to do it. He created 2 graphs that are on my blog somewhere that show the UK and US having identical rises in “autism” rates while having totally different thimerosal exposure.

    The increase in the rates is mainly driven by the broadening of the criteria for “autism” that occurred during the period graphed.

    I’m not going to build the graphs for you, I can see it by looking at the different country’s thimerosal usage and the identical rates of autism.

    There’s no logical reason to say that it’s the thimerosal that all the countries have in common , since the real thing they have in common is that they all started to adopt the wider definition of autism and started counting the whole spectrum.

    Talk about perseverating, you guys need to think outside the thimerosal box.

    Now, I’m hoping that Sue discovers some fabulous diabetes and celiac conspiracy forums and never returns here. Too much to expect, I suppose.

    I’ve seen some ugly stuff coming from the mercury parents where they trash doctors who don’t have autistics kids. “If you don’t have an autistic kid you can’t possibly know what we are talking about… blah blah,” they say. They say it to autistic adults who have been autistic children, “You don’t have an autistic child so you can’t understand the need to chelate…”

    Sue can’t know the absolute joys of having an autistic kid, that’s sad. She thinks it’s all grim, white butterfly boys in brown diaper things falling out of cocoons and saying, “I thought I’d never get out” or “I wished I was dead when I was autistic, but now I’m normal, I’m going to turn into an ugly butterfly and fly off into the darkness.” Erik Nanstiel and some others seem to think the same thing, but I think they also know the joys of parenting an autistic child. They just won’t admit it publicly because it might mess up someone’s legal case.

  35. Ms Clark April 21, 2006 at 21:58 #

    It just occured to me, in the mercury phobe world, the rates of celiac disease in children under the age of 5 ought to be dropping like a rock in California, if thimerosal causes celiac. Or is there like a 10 year lag time between a kid getting a TCV (WMD) and being diagnosed with celiac? Same for diabetes and sensory integration problems. Along with autism, the need for treatments for those other problems ought to be dropping which would show up in insurance claims, etc. I guess we could ask the gastroenterologists of California if they have seen a drop in the cases of celiac in children.

  36. Kev April 22, 2006 at 05:53 #

    _”I agree with you. But it also doesn’t mean that thimerosal doesn’t cause autism which was Ms. Clark’s point.”_

    With all due respect David that’s a never-ending argument: we could say the same about anything that children regularly come into contact with. If Burbacher wants to conduct further science on what _exactly_ the toxicity of thiomersal might be in relation to autism then he should go ahead. But to my way of thinking, Mady Hornig’s already tried this and came up woefully short.

    _”Mood instability, speech disorder, disturbed gait, Immune system dysfunction, gastroenteritis, abdominal pain (although this has gone away since implementing the SCD diet), excessive salivation (although it’s not constant)”_

    OK, but none of these things are symptomatic of autism – I wanted symptoms that occur in *both* diagnostic criteria.

    I don’t think we can just sweep away the DSM criteria jsut because it doesn’t fit with what some people suspect. The DSM criteria lists key autistic traits. We don’t diagnose anything else by potential comorbidities and with good reason.

  37. Kevin Champagne April 23, 2006 at 05:59 #

    I am responding to comments from Mrs. Clark that she posted 3 days ago about Dr. Neubrander. I didn’t see them back then.

    Clark said, ” I’m asking was there an abrupt increase in his income when he stumbled across the B12 “miracle”. If so, one might think that it was part of a plan merely to increase his income.

    I don’t know if there was an abrupt increase in his income and I can only imagine that there most likely was an increase considering the amount of children that have benefitted from these injections, but it’s really none of our business now is it? I don’t know what Dr. Neubrander was doing before as you say “he stumbled across the b12 miracle”. I don’t really care. What was big pharma doing before them stumbled across vaccines? Especially the bogus flu vaccine? It’s funny how you question little ole Dr. Neubrander’s motives for his association with MB12 injections but you don’t question big pharma’s motives.

    Clark said, ” His brother works with him. And you say I’m ridiculous How many doctors use their brother’s to drum up business? Talk about smelling fishy. To me, the Neubranders are the height of ridiuculousness. “

    In March of 2005, my wife and I sat at the same table as Dr. Neubrander and his brother Rick at the DAN conference dinner. I only talked to Dr. N briefly but talked to his brother for quite awhile. Rick explained to me that he was very knowledgeable in computers and website design and that he lived in Florida but came up to his brother’s practice in New Jersey a few times a year to design and update his website with video clips the Dr. N had recorded or obtained from families that he was treating. Sometimes Rick filmed parent testimonials to put up on the website. I didn’t realize working with a family member was considered sleazy and as far as “ using his brother to drum up business “, I would like to ask you where you heard that or is this another one of your many assumptions?

    Clark said, “Do you want to share why you stopped the injections? No pressure, but it’s interesting that you stopped, apparently it didn’t cure your child.”

    As far as I know, no one is calling MB-12 injections, a cure. Dr. Neubrander’s lecture that he gives all over the country is, or was called “MB-12 Masterpiece Or Miracle?“. No claims of a cure. You posted some long rant on your blog last year about Dr. N and how it was impossible that he could’ve given 75,00 MB-12 injections and that it contained cyanide. You were almost immediately proven wrong by several commenters that showed that the type of MB-12 he uses, does not contain cyanide, and that the 75,00 injections were prescribed and not administered. You were caught assuming again.

    As far as why we stopped using the MB-12 injections, we didn’t see much improvement from them, so we stopped. I know of other children that were somewhat verbal and after their first MB-12 injection, they started talking in sentences. It seems obvious, that their liver was not converting cyanocobalamin into methylcobalamin and that the injection filled the need. Every child is different and they all react different to various therapies.

    Clark said, ” There was a mercury mom who was horrified by how awful a DAN! doctor was. She commented on the fact that he drove up to the clinic in a brand new HUGE red pick up truck. He gave her B12 and a bunch of empty syringes and expected her to fill them herself. She was freaked out by how quacky he was… I’m not the only one who thinks “greed” and “quack” when they think “B12 injections.”

    I say again, who gives a shit what kind or how expensive the car is that the doctor drives? Do you really think that a status symbol like a car defines a person’s wealth? If Dr. Buttar drove a Yugo, would that make you feel better? I know I wouldn’t. I would be afraid that he wouldn’t make to the office in time for our appointment in a jalopy like a Yugo.

    The DAN doctor in the big red pickup that wanted the patient to fill their own MB-12, could’ve been a quack, I don’t know, but I do know that I don’t like the DAN! organization or “The DAN Approach”.

  38. Kevin Champagne April 23, 2006 at 06:02 #

    Correction – I meant 75,000 injections, not 75,00.

  39. anonimouse April 24, 2006 at 17:46 #

    Every child is different and they all react different to various therapies.

    In other words, if I try ten different therapies and number ten is the one where my child responds immediately afterward, that must have been the one that worked. There’s no possible way that it’s just coincidence.

    Argh.

  40. David H April 24, 2006 at 19:12 #

    “Your child has a connective tissue disorder. If you read up on Ehlers-Danlos or Marfan’s syndrome you will find out about the hyperextensible joints. Your child may bruise easily. His skin might damage easily. He probably has wide set eyes. He might have thin lips. He might have unusual ears. He may have flat feet or highly arched feet, and might have a highly arched palate. He probably has long limbs and long fingers proportionately.”

    I know you’re trying to help and I do appreciate it. Based on your description and what I just read about these disorders on the Internet it doesn’t sound like my son. The only other trait in addition to the hip joint flexibility is flat feet. Both my wife & I have flat feet so I can’t read into that one too much.

    “Low muscle tone and hyperextensible joints are not caused by vanishingly small doses of mercury in vaccines.”

    “Your child has a connective tissue problem he was born with, it’s obvious, he might have been a “floppy baby”.”

    I find it hard to believe that it’s obvious my son has a connective tissue problem based on the snippets of info I provided from a PT eval. He wasn’t a floppy baby. In fact, he was quite the opposite. He was strong & crawled around like a champ.

    “My kid was a “W” sitter”

    What is a “W” sitter? I can’t find a reference to it online and I forgot to ask the PT about that.

    “Mercury is only dangerous in vaccines if you convince yourself that it is.”

    Then why has every country banned it (exception being the US)? Many countries banned it before the mercury moms existed so you can’t say that they are to blame for it. And show me a toxicologist who thinks it’s safe. It doesn’t even seem like Ruth thinks it’s safe.

    “If you want, ask Blaxill to do it. He created 2 graphs that are on my blog somewhere that show the UK and US having identical rises in “autism” rates while having totally different thimerosal exposure.”

    I don’t understand the logic behind this. Just because two countries have a different thimerosal exposure and similar autism rates it doesn’t mean that thimerosal/vaccines doesn’t cause autism.

    “OK, but none of these things are symptomatic of autism – I wanted symptoms that occur in both diagnostic criteria.”

    But if you look at the studies from IMFAR, immune disorders are symptomatic of autism. Just because the DSM hasn’t been updated yet doesn’t mean it’s not true.

    “I don’t think we can just sweep away the DSM criteria jsut because it doesn’t fit with what some people suspect. The DSM criteria lists key autistic traits. We don’t diagnose anything else by potential comorbidities and with good reason.”

    Kev, you’re making an assumption that those traits are comorbidities based on what? The fact that they’re not listed in the DSM? You obviously know the history of autism very well. Do you really have a warm & fuzzy feeling that the current mainstream understand of autism is correct and final? It was that long ago that the word autism didn’t exist and even less long ago that we thought it was caused by cold mothers. Now we’re lead to beileve that it’s a genetic disorder even though there has been very little progress in finding the “autism gene.” If it’s really a genetic disorder that should be present from birth how we do explain away the children who regressed? I’m just not buying it. The studies showing autistic children have immune disorders, inflammation, oxidative stress and GI disorders are real. There is no bias in making a diagnosis there. Personally, I consider them to be more relevant than measuring a set of behavior traits.

  41. anonimouse April 24, 2006 at 19:26 #

    Then why has every country banned it (exception being the US)? Many countries banned it before the mercury moms existed so you can’t say that they are to blame for it. And show me a toxicologist who thinks it’s safe. It doesn’t even seem like Ruth thinks it’s safe.

    David, you continue to argue that those who oppose the mercury-autism link think that mercury is safe or that it shouldn’t be in vaccines if it isn’t necessary. Who is really arguing that point? By continuing to bring it up you run the risk of making a straw man argument.

    The dispute is whether mercury plays a role in autism or other neurological disorders. Period.

    I don’t understand the logic behind this. Just because two countries have a different thimerosal exposure and similar autism rates it doesn’t mean that thimerosal/vaccines doesn’t cause autism.

    Actually, it does. Ok, saying it makes it “unlikely” is probably more appropriate.

    But if you’re going to argue that the autism epidemic was precipitated by use of thimerosal-containing vaccines in the U.S. (which is the oft-used claim) then looking at autism rates vs. thimerosal-usage rates is absolutely valid. If the use of TCV’s at a population level doesn’t make a difference with regards to autism rates, then the best you can argue is that vaccines play a minor role in a tiny subset of kids that wouldn’t be picked up by epidemiology. Certainly not the epidemic that is most often proposed.

    Do you really have a warm & fuzzy feeling that the current mainstream understand of autism is correct and final?

    Argument from ignorance. You’re assuming that because we don’t know everything there is to know about autism that your theory about autism is correct.

  42. David H April 24, 2006 at 19:50 #

    “David, you continue to argue that those who oppose the mercury-autism link think that mercury is safe or that it shouldn’t be in vaccines if it isn’t necessary. Who is really arguing that point?”

    Ms. Clark is arguing that point. Also the AAP & CDC are arguing that point by fighting to keep mercury in vaccines… or haven’t you heard?

    “But if you’re going to argue that the autism epidemic was precipitated by use of thimerosal-containing vaccines in the U.S. (which is the oft-used claim) then looking at autism rates vs. thimerosal-usage rates is absolutely valid.”

    I’ve said this so many times already. The change wasn’t just thimerosal. The age at vaccination decreased. The number of shots increased and number of shots at one time increased.

    “Argument from ignorance. You’re assuming that because we don’t know everything there is to know about autism that your theory about autism is correct.”

    Not exactly. I’m arguing for conclusive lab tests that could play a role in the etiology of autism while others automatically call the conclusions of these tests comorbidities – simply because they’re not listed as a trait of autism in the DSM.

  43. clone3g April 24, 2006 at 20:23 #

    David H: The studies showing autistic children have immune disorders, inflammation, oxidative stress and GI disorders are real.

    Maybe the studies are real but the findings are far from unanimous, don’t include all children with autism, and are not best explained by thimerosal or ‘Killer Jabs.’

    But if you look at the studies from IMFAR, immune disorders are symptomatic of autism. Just because the DSM hasn’t been updated yet doesn’t mean it’s not true.

    OK, so how should we update DSM to include immune disorders and how are they symptomatic of autism? How would you suggest these immune disorders be treated?

    DH: I’ve said this so many times already. The change wasn’t just thimerosal

    Right, you’d like to include other factors but you aren’t willing to exclude thimerosal. That must mean you believe thimerosal is at least a major contributing factor, am I right? So why aren’t we seeing a decrease now that thimerosal has been removed from pediatric vaccines?

  44. Kev April 24, 2006 at 20:24 #

    _”I don’t understand the logic behind this. Just because two countries have a different thimerosal exposure and similar autism rates it doesn’t mean that thimerosal/vaccines doesn’t cause autism.”_

    No, that’s right. But its certainly very indicative of a non correlation. Its certainly a strong indicator against the so-called autism epidemic.

    _”But if you look at the studies from IMFAR, immune disorders are symptomatic of autism.”_

    Immune disorders are _not_ symptomatic of autism. That statement is simply incorrect.

    _”Just because the DSM hasn’t been updated yet doesn’t mean it’s not true.”_

    Thats completely illogical. Using that same argument I could say that standing on ones head is symptomatic of Tonsillitis – after all, just because its not in the diagnostic criteria doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

    _”Kev, you’re making an assumption that those traits are comorbidities based on what? The fact that they’re not listed in the DSM?”_

    Correct.

    _”You obviously know the history of autism very well. Do you really have a warm & fuzzy feeling that the current mainstream understand of autism is correct and final?”_

    No, that would be ridiculous. But you seem to be trying to argue that because we don’t have a complete understanding of autism that this means we can fill in any old thing we like. We can’t.

    What we _know_ about autism is that it causes differences in three main areas. Communication, socialisation and imagination. These things are used to make a diagnosis of autism. Comorbidities such as you list cannot be used to diagnose autism because they do not exist across the entire spectrum in every case.

    At some point in the future we very well may discover that there are autisms rather than autism. It also seems likely that we’ll stumble across a few environmental triggers. However, its becoming clearer and clearer that those triggers are not thiomersal in vaccines, or vaccines at all.

    _”Now we’re lead to believe that it’s a genetic disorder even though there has been very little progress in finding the “autism gene.” If it’s really a genetic disorder that should be present from birth how we do explain away the children who regressed?”_

    You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone on the face of the planet who believes autism is solely genetic in every single aspect. You’re arguing a case on your own here.

    _”The studies showing autistic children have immune disorders, inflammation, oxidative stress and GI disorders are real.”_

    No, they’re not. At best what they show is _some_ autistic people _seem_ to have comorbidities such as you list. No one knows how common these comorbidities are – they could affect less than 0.1% of the autistic population as far as we know. They’re certainly not enough to start making blanket statements about the nature of autism.

    _”There is no bias in making a diagnosis there. Personally, I consider them to be more relevant than measuring a set of behavior traits.”_

    Thats your prerogative David. Unfortunately, your _belief_ has no relevance to reality.

    _”I’ve said this so many times already. The change wasn’t just thimerosal. The age at vaccination decreased. The number of shots increased and number of shots at one time increased.”_

    And? Where are the studies that a) show vaccines have any effect on autism at all and b) where are the studies that indicate clustering vaccines would increase autism rates? Why is it do you think that according to the CDDS data Rick Rollens, David Kirby and RFK Jr trumpet every quarter, the prevalence of autism in the key 3 – 5 year old cohort continues to rise? The flu vaccine? Bear in mind that even _if_ children receive the flu vaccine, their total body burden of mercury has dropped from 187.5 µg Hg to 25 µg Hg.

  45. David H April 24, 2006 at 22:14 #

    “Maybe the studies are real but the findings are far from unanimous, don’t include all children with autism, and are not best explained by thimerosal or ‘Killer Jabs.’”

    As I recall the authors did not venture a guess as to what caused the findings so I have no idea how you make your conclusion.

    “OK, so how should we update DSM to include immune disorders and how are they symptomatic of autism? How would you suggest these immune disorders be treated?”

    DSM needs to be updated after more research has been performed. I have no idea how to treat those immune disorders and other conditions that are being found. I just hope that these findings are taken seriously, built upon and appropriate treatments get established.

    “Right, you’d like to include other factors but you aren’t willing to exclude thimerosal.”

    Right. Why does the cause have to be thimerosal in isolation?

    “That must mean you believe thimerosal is at least a major contributing factor, am I right?”

    Yes, in combination with the other vaccine ingredients

    “So why aren’t we seeing a decrease now that thimerosal has been removed from pediatric vaccines?”

    How many times do I need to answer the same question? Vaccines other than flu still contained thimerosal late in 2002. So that means 2/3 of the 3-5 year old cohort could have been receiving thimerosal in the same dosages as children in the 90’s. So if you want to test solely for thimerosal dosage as a cause you would need to wait until the 3-5 year olds did not have thimerosal as a preservative in their vaccines. The flu vaccine further muddies the waters and the vaccines still contain trace amounts of thimerosal. If it’s the synergistic (yes, I do like that word) effect of thimerosal, aluminum, live viruses, antibiotics and other vaccine ingredients given to children at young ages triggering autism, as opposed to bolus doses of thimerosal, then we may not see a decrease in the numbers. If this was the case we would need to see a study of a vaccinated vs unvaccinated population or biological studies that can determine the mechanism.

  46. David H April 24, 2006 at 22:27 #

    “Immune disorders are not symptomatic of autism. That statement is simply incorrect.”

    Then you would be in disagreement with several scientists presenting at IMFAR. Did you read any of those abstracts or did you only focus on those that didn’t find mercury in autistics?

    “Comorbidities such as you list cannot be used to diagnose autism because they do not exist across the entire spectrum in every case.”

    It’s entirely possible that some combination of immune disorder, inflammation, oxidative stress, etc… exist in every case of ASD.

    “However, its becoming clearer and clearer that those triggers are not thiomersal in vaccines, or vaccines at all.”

    Really? Where is the data that says vaccines are not a trigger?

    “No, they’re not. At best what they show is some autistic people seem to have comorbidities such as you list. No one knows how common these comorbidities are – they could affect less than 0.1% of the autistic population as far as we know. They’re certainly not enough to start making blanket statements about the nature of autism.”

    Comorbidity is your description of these findings. The authors believe those conditions could be part of the cause.

  47. anonimouse April 24, 2006 at 22:33 #

    Vaccines other than flu still contained thimerosal late in 2002. So that means 2/3 of the 3-5 year old cohort could have been receiving thimerosal in the same dosages as children in the 90’s.

    How do you know that? Because the good folks at SafeMinds tell you that’s true? The reality is that only a fraction of vaccines “on the shelf” had thimerosal by that point, and in most cases kids weren’t getting TCV’s at all.

    The fascinating thing in 2004 was that SafeMinds was putting out press releases talking about how autism in California was declining and then attributing said decline to the removal in thimerosal in vaccines. It was only after the DDS numbers stopped declining to any great degree that they turned around and went to the “thimerosal is still in vaccines” card.

    And most kids get thimerosal-free flu vaccine, because if you get your vaccines through the VFC program that’s pretty much the only kind you can get.

  48. Kev April 24, 2006 at 22:58 #

    _”Then you would be in disagreement with several scientists presenting at IMFAR. Did you read any of those abstracts or did you only focus on those that didn’t find mercury in autistics?”_

    Please link through to the papers where immune disorders are described as being symptomatic of a diagnosis of autism.

    _”It’s entirely possible that some combination of immune disorder, inflammation, oxidative stress, etc… exist in every case of ASD.”_

    However, its _very likely_ that they don’t. Can you show me any evidence as to what prevalence these ailments have in autism?

    _”Really? Where is the data that says vaccines are not a trigger?”_

    In order for the thiomersal (or indeed any vaccine) theory to hold water you need several things:

    1) Documented proof of how autism and mercury (or lead, aluminium, whatever you want to blame it on this week) are the same. There is no such evidence.

    2) A good working theory of how differing rates of thiomersal (or vaccine ingreidient of your choice) and similar rates of autism across the world could possibly happen. There is no such theory.

    3) Evidence of a large upswing in _prevalence_ when thiomersal (or vaccine ingredient of your choice) useage also increased. There is no such evidence.

    4) Evidence of a corresponding downswing now that thiomersal is mostly gone from US schedules and totally gone from UK schedules. There is no such evidence.

    5) A working hypothesis as to how it could be that chelation apparently not only chelates but _reverses_ the neuro-damage that you claim occurs. There is no such hypothesis.

    _”Comorbidity is your description of these findings. “_

    No David, its not. This is simply how it is. If you believe I’m wrong please show me the paper that demonstrates how these ailments were used to make a diagnosis of autism. Comorbidity is a condition secondary to the primary difference – epilepsy for example. For some people who are Down’s Syndrome, autism itself is a comorbidity. Autism is not necessary for (or indicative of) a diagnosis of Down’s Syndrone and oxidative stress is not necessary for (or indicative of) a diagnosis of autism.

    _”The authors believe those conditions could be part of the cause.”_

    My Aunty believes in God. At age six my son believed in Santa and the Tooth Fairy. Belief is a nice thing to have I guess. Me, I prefer facts.

  49. David H April 25, 2006 at 03:41 #

    “How do you know that? Because the good folks at SafeMinds tell you that’s true? The reality is that only a fraction of vaccines “on the shelf” had thimerosal by that point, and in most cases kids weren’t getting TCV’s at all.”

    I know that because Dave Weldon made a document that he received from the drug manufacturers public. The reality is that we don’t know how much thimerosal was still in vaccines in California in 2002. So if you want to use that data to make a comparison the logical approach is to use a sampling when we’re confident that thimerosal has been removed from all vaccines (with the exception of flu & with the exception of “trace” amounts).

  50. Kev April 25, 2006 at 06:42 #

    _”The reality is that we don’t know how much thimerosal was still in vaccines in California in 2002.”_

    Here’s an email from Sallie Bernard to Onibasu message board from *June 2001*:

    _”A group of university-based researchers needs several vials of the older DTaP vaccine formulations which contained thimerosal for a legitimate research study. If anyone knows an MD who might have some of these vaccines or knows where to get them, please email me privately. Thank you. Sallie Bernard, Executive Director, Safe Minds.”_

    Onibasu.

    Seems it was _nationally_ in such short supply that the director of SafeMinds had to go begging for people to search high and low for some.

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