Traces Of Desperation

11 Jul

A new trend is developing amongst the mercury militia. This new trend might even lead me to have to abandon the term ‘mercury militia’ completely.

What seems to be happening in the last couple of months is the downplaying of the role of thiomersal/mercury in ‘causing’ autism and the fomentation of a more generalist position of ‘somethings’ (including thiomersal) causing autism.

This is easy to sympathise with. In recent days a large-scale study has come out that (yet again) indicates no causative link between thiomersal (or MMR) and autism and the body of ‘science’ accumulated thus far by the miltia’s scientists was utterly demolished in both scientific and legal terms. These are people who’s position is becoming desperate. Essentially, in terms of legal success they have less than six months for a scientific paper to establish the possibility of a causative link between autism and thiomersal. I think its fairly obvious that’s not going to happen. When one examines the CDDS data (data David Kirby refers to as ‘the gold standard’) in the 3 – 5 year old cohort (the cohort Kirby agree’s is the only important one to examine) the rate of autism is not falling. It is still climbing. What we see are quarterly fluctuations (both ways) in the rate of increase (which Kirby agree’s is not the right measure).

Therefore, we have a still climbing autism rate according to CDDS data despite the fact that the amount of thiomersal in vaccines has very dramatically gone down and the amount of vaccines containing thiomersal has drastically reduced.

To look at it another way, in order for the autism rate to continue to be climbing in the way it is and for the thiomersal hypothesis to be correct, the US would need to be maintaining the same amount of thiomersal containing vaccines with the same amount of thiomersal in each.

So for a variety of reasons thiomersal’s role is altering to fit the new agenda.

Thiomersal’s role is subtly altering in the mercury militia’s mindset. It’s now altering from an absolutist ‘autism = mercury poisoning’ role to a more subtle role where thiomersal is one amongst many elements that cause autism. As an interesting aside, one has to wonder what the role of Generation Rescue will be in this brave new world.

Now, lets be kind here and forget that for months, years even, those of us who’ve consistently opposed such an absolutist position have tried to explain just why it couldn’t simply ‘be’ thiomersal. We have to remember that those who believe it _is_ thiomersal and solely thiomersal lack the capacity of rational thought in many cases. John Best Jr is a case in point.

The idea that thiomersal is simply ‘one amongst many’ that may cause autism is more valid from a standpoint of basic (dare I say it?) Common Sense, and yet from a science point of view it brings the group of people we should now refer to as the ex-mercury militia (all alternative aliterations accepted) to a standpoint of working from the ground up about how a whole _multitude_ of elements may cause autism. Good luck with that one.

And yet, the ghost of the thiomersal, much like another unquiet corpse, rests uneasily in its grave. It is now suggested, despite the massive drop in the available amount of thiomersal (from a compulsory 187 ug Hg to an optional 25 ug Hg in the US)and the apparent continued rise in rates of autism that the reason the autism rate may continue to be rising may be the ‘trace’ amounts of thiomersal used in the vaccine manufacturing process. This trace amount is in DTaP-HepB-IPV, DTaP, Hepatitis B and one flu vaccine.

Here’s a commenter on a recent WebMD thread:

First, it must be recognized that thimerosal, although not generally used as a “preservative,” is still used in the manufacturing process, resulting in “trace” amounts remaining in various quantities. Also, thimerosal is still used as a preservative in many, if not most, flu vaccines which are highly recommended for administration to pregnant women and young children. There is no denying that the exposure to thimerosal has been greatly diminished, but it has not disappeared altogether.

So lets examine what the word ‘trace’ might mean. I offer as evidence a bottle of cranberry flavoured water from the Leitch fridge. Look closely at the nutritional list where fat – saturated fat even – is descibed as being in trace amounts (click for bigger picture):

Now, I can’t speak for America but over here we don’t have an epidemic of cranberry flavoured water induced obesity. However, by law, manufacturers are required to state what the _exact_ constituent makeup of their product is. It seems daft and rather nanny-stateish to me but thats besides the point. The trace of saturated fat in bottled water can’t make anyone overweight. The trace of thiomersal levels now in vaccines can’t make anyone autistic.

The commenter on WebMD went on to say:

Finally, it is worth noting that thimerosal’s reduction in most vaccines has coincided with an increase in the use of aluminum. Although I know of no published studies yet bearing on the impact of aluminum one way or the other, I understand that this is a question that we shall see more of in the future. If aluminum has an impact that is similar to mercury, the numbers would remain largely unchanged.

Fascinating bit of strawman logic. And one I take pleasure in saying ‘I told you so’ about.

14 months ago in May 2005 I said

the next big boogeyman (which will apparently be Aluminium)

when referring to a review of Evidence of Harm. This either makes me really smart or the ex-mercury militia very, very predictable.

72 Responses to “Traces Of Desperation”

  1. Prometheus July 13, 2006 at 06:23 #

    To Dave H, who questioned the value of the Hepatitis B vaccine at birth – you should read some of the studies of Barry Blumberg, winner of a Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1977 (or 1976) for his work on hepatitis B.

    Besides the rather appalling rate of chronic active liver infection and subsequent liver cancer, he found that in populations with a high rate of chronic active hepatitis B infection (about 30% of people who get hepatitis B – more common in males than females, by the way) infected women gave birth to more male than female children (about 1.5:1; the normal ratio is closer to 1:1).

    After hepatitis B vaccination was introduced, those populations not only had less cirhhosis and liver cancer, but also a nearly 1:1 male:female birth ratio. Curious?

    I must admit, I was skeptical when the hepatitis B vaccine was introduced, thinking that it was rather pointless to immunize children against something that they would only get later in life (through sex or IV drug use), but I later discovered the high (one might even say near total) transmission of the virus from mother to child at birth (and maybe before).

    Given the “downside” of hepatitis B infection, perhaps the risks for not getting the vaccine are greater than you think.

    To Maria, who thinks that it is more important to be open to new ideas than it is to ensure that they have some merit – I would have to say that I strive to reject all hypotheses until I see some data that supports them. This is, of course, a goal rather than a routine practice, as I continually find myself getting excited about ideas that have absolutely no data to support them.

    I was very excited about the thimerosal-causes-autism idea until I saw the data coming down on the “other”side. Then, like the scientist that I strive to be, I heartlessly abandoned the thimerosal-causes-autism hypothesis as a bad investment. I’m willing to get excited about other environmental exposures, but I have a once-burned-twice-shy attitude. As Grandmother used to say, “Fool me once, shame on you – fool me twice, shame on me!”

    Many people involved in the autism world are full of great ideas about what causes autism, how to treat it and – ominously – who to blame for it all. This is a well and good, but before they start using their “great ideas” to start setting public policy (or filing lawsuits), they – not the “scientific community”, not “the government” – need to come up with some data.

    If they are not capable of coming up with data, then they need to convince someone else to do the work. Either way, don’t expect me to be your cheerleader until I see the data.

    Oh, and data “soon to be published” is the same as homework that the dog ate. Rashid Buttar promised that his data on the efficacy of his TD-DMPS would be published “…in 2004…”; last I checked MedLine and Web of Science, it still wasn’t there. Promises, promises…

    Prometheus

  2. Kev July 13, 2006 at 07:31 #

    _”I do not agree that this study exonerates thimerosal or MMR. I was simply parroting what you were saying.”_

    Echolalia David? ;o)

    _”I put more faith into clinical data than I do epi data. Because Fombonne found an increase in PDD’s even though MMR uptake fell by a couple of percent is much less significant than the fact that measles virus has been found in the guts of autistic children, at least in my opinion.”_

    Come on David. You and I both know its all in the context. In the context of establishing a causative link between vaccines and autism, if we compare this study to say, Krigsman’s latest (still unpublished) MMR study, we can see a definite relationship between the data and the event in Fombonne whereas there’s no such relationship in Krigsman.

    _”Kev, so please show me the scientific evidence that proved to you that vaccines didn’t cause your daughter’s autism. I guess it’s the fact that there is no such evidence that has me scratching my head and thinking this is not “apples & sheep” as you like to say.”_

    Thats not what I said. I said I examined (and continue to) _all_ the science I can get access to. The literal truth is that there is no evidence whatsoever of a causative link between autism and vaccines, either taken as a whole or broken down to their constituent parts. Further, the anecdotal evidence is poor and unsupported. When I compare that to the epi _and_ clinical studies that fail to establish a causative link between autism and vaccines and when I read accounts of how autistic adults progressed as kids/teens/young adults and I look at my own childs development then to me its clear as day.

    I read a post on some mercury group saying that without the wonders of chelation and nasal spray’s that the poster *knew* her daughter wouldn’t be starting to talk. Se concluded with the usual rant against Big Pharma for ‘doing this’ to her child. I just thought of my own child who, whilst she still doesn’t speak regularly is slowly beginning to, she also wrote her name for the first time a few days ago and can recite the alphabet when shown flashcards.

    People progress. You don’t need nasal spray, chelation or Lupron to effect that progress.

  3. María Luján July 13, 2006 at 07:48 #

    Hi Prometheus
    You say
    To Maria, who thinks that it is more important to be open to new ideas than it is to ensure that they have some merit

    No It is not. It is surprising to me the way you assume things based on your appreciations about my thinking ( wrong ones by the way) without enough knowledge about myself and the why, who, where and based on what.

    – I would have to say that I strive to reject all hypotheses until I see some data that supports them.

    You own particular position about “rejection” and “hypothesis” and “data”. Surprising I must say.

    This is, of course, a goal rather than a routine practice, as I continually find myself getting excited about ideas that have absolutely no data to support them.

    I can imagine.

    MAría Luján

  4. Gabesmom July 13, 2006 at 08:03 #

    Maria said,

    “I consider that Each family must have the right to do the decissions about their children´s health that consider pertinent.”

    In most cases, I would agree with you. However, when we are discussing immunizations, the decision is no longer purely personal. I certainly understand why a parent whose child had had a previous reaction to a vaccine would be highly wary of future immunizations. In this case, as well as in the case of a family history of vaccine reactions, I believe that a child should not be required to be immunized. It is my understanding, however, that roughly 92% of a given population must be immunized to convey maximum protection for the entire community. Therefore, if a large group of parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children, their children are not the only ones at risk, and I have to say that that bothers me a great deal. It is my hope that we can put the vacinnation/autism controversy to rest, one way or another, sometime very soon, and that we do develop ways in which to more accurately weed out members of the population who may be more susceptible to vaccine related injuries. No one wants any child to be harmed by a vaccine, but the reality is that, for the time being, there is still some risk involved. Is that risk great enough to justify allowing parents to refuse immunizations for children without prior reactions or family histories of reactions? It is my opinion that it is not.

  5. Ms. Clark July 13, 2006 at 09:04 #

    Speaking of multiple hypotheses as to the cause of autism… Here’s just one of my ultra-cool, very saleable hypotheses. I just may have to publish it in _Medical Hypotheses_ I would, but then I would ever after worry what publishing in Med Hyp had done to my reputation…. Here fab hypothesis #2:

    There’s a higher than normal rate of strabismus in autism. I’m sure I can dig up some citations for that. One would be a small study on dysmorphology that Patricia Rodier was involved with… some isolated place in Canada… but mainly I’m going on *what I have seen with my own eyes*, which, by the way, I was told by one optometrist are slightly strabismic (is that a word? strabismufied?). There’s something going on in the very early development of the tendons and muscles that control the eyes, or the kids wouldn’t have strabismus. As far as I know, postnatal mercury and aluminum exposure don’t cause strabismus, or other dysmorphic facial features sometimes seen prominently in supposedly “mercury toxic” children. One of the supposedly vaccine damaged kids whose face was on a posters being shaken at CDC employees and visitors during the, “scene of the mercury moms” rally recently, had malar hypoplasia (sort of like missing or small cheekbones). Somehow, I don’t think he was born with normal cheekbones and then lost them due to vaccine exposure.

    But I digress. I think atypical vision (basically, problems with depth perception) causes autism, or autism causes atypical vision, or something that causes strabismus causes autism, too. At least in the kids with strabismus.

    Think about it. Cock-eyed. huh? Cock-eyed? yeah. Cock-eyed people think different than normal eyed people. uhuh.

    I base this on personal experience and on observation of close family members. Vaccines had no relation to autism in my family. Neither does aluminum or mercury exposure. It’s all in the eyes.

    Actually, a PhD student at UCD was studying vision (perception, psychology) in normal people, trying to get to studying autism, his ultimate goal… long story… We talked a bit about my it’s-the-strabismus-and-eyes hypothesis and he was very interested. That’s practically the same as having published data in _Nature_, if you ask me….well, not really, but I really did have those interesting conversations with the PhD student.

    Now some hot-shot 23 year old PhD student will get famous off of my great hypothesis. It’ll be Rosalind Franklin all over again. 🙂 I’ll market tiny baby eyeglasses as a cure for autism. I’ll get rich. The glasses will have rhinestones, a big selling point. Autistic parents of autistic kids are attracted to sparkly things.

    (Gratuitous Autie Spotting:)
    The other day I had to take my car in to get it “smogged.” The car has this license plate on it, says, “AUTISTC.” The technician takes my car keys and drives my car into the garage and then finds me in the waiting area and starts to discuss the paperwork… then he says, “Are you autistic?” Dude. The last person who asked me anything about the license plate asked if I worked with autistic kids and he was a guy who changed the oil on my car at the Jiffy Lube, place…

    Anyway, this guy was about 45 years old, I think, and he’s looking at me and he’s got one crossed eye.

    I said, “I have a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, which is a form of autism.”

    He said, “Oh, I don’t think I have autism, but I do have ADHD.”

    I said, “Well, we have something in common then, because there’s some overlap between ADHD and Asperger’s.” and I was thinking, “Dude, I bet you are autistic. It’s written on your face.” 😀

  6. María Luján July 13, 2006 at 09:12 #

    Hi Gabesmom
    You said
    “No one wants any child to be harmed by a vaccine, but the reality is that, for the time being, there is still some risk involved. Is that risk great enough to justify allowing parents to refuse immunizations for children without prior reactions or family histories of reactions? It is my opinion that it is not.”
    This has several aspects for me. As you know, many times there are adverse reactions to vaccines that unfortunately doctors are not trained to detect/ consider seriously. Besides, there is present the problem of lack of a biomarker for the development of autism, since birth. However, the CDC includes in its page a lot of conditions that should be supposedly excluded to vaccinate ( for example immunodefficiencies- not in the sense of HIV infection but in lacking of IgA for example). There are a lot of resources ( clinical) that , if consider adequately in practice, for me could give some insight about previous risky health situations to vaccinations ( that are not tested routinely, even if the child demonstrates previous mild signals). Also the role of nutritional support has been very much underestimated. I am not considering that vitamins must be you know, overused, but what I consider we are facing is an extreme situation where the general idea is that one situation fits for all children ( All vaccines safe, all children safe and unrisky in advance). What I am asking for is for a rational , coherent and based in common sense approach, individualized for each child, depending on his/her health history. For me, to refuse to vaccinate PER SE is one thing, to refuse to vaccinate based on previous familiar history of autoimmunity, negative reactions to certain diseases, allergies is another thing, to refuse to vaccinate ALWAYS is different than to ask for example for a delayed schedule with nutritional support and adequate testing of nutritional support previous to vaccination to avoid negative reactions.
    María Luján

  7. María Luján July 13, 2006 at 10:52 #

    Hi
    This is really worrisome for me
    “Pharmaceutical Industry Cannot Be Trusted To Deal With Biased Reporting Of Clinical Trials Without Stricter Regulation, Royal Society Of Medicine “:http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=46284.
    I am aware of the selling of “cure ” in 50 ml bottles by unescrupulous people. Only want to point out the level of confussion we must face in general, where nobody ,honestly, seems trustable until demonstrates the contrary.
    MAría Luján

  8. Joseph July 13, 2006 at 13:31 #

    But I digress. I think atypical vision (basically, problems with depth perception) causes autism, or autism causes atypical vision, or something that causes strabismus causes autism, too. At least in the kids with strabismus.

    FWIW, I don’t doubt that sensory problems can increase the possibility of autism slightly. In fact, congenitally blind children have a very high rate of autism.

    I said, “Well, we have something in common then, because there’s some overlap between ADHD and Asperger’s.” and I was thinking, “Dude, I bet you are autistic. It’s written on your face.” 😀

    You must have autdar 🙂

  9. David H July 13, 2006 at 13:45 #

    Prometheus,

    “I must admit, I was skeptical when the hepatitis B vaccine was introduced, thinking that it was rather pointless to immunize children against something that they would only get later in life (through sex or IV drug use), but I later discovered the high (one might even say near total) transmission of the virus from mother to child at birth (and maybe before).”

    I should have made my point clearer. If the mother is positive for Hep B then it makes perfect sense to receive the vaccine at birth. If the mother does not have Hep B then the newborn is in no danger of contracting the virus until a much older age. So why in the world would we vaccinate newborns against a disease that they have no chance of contracting for at least 10 years? It’s not a vaccine but I have the same feeling about the eye drops given just minutes after delivery. For the majority of babies that medicine is completely unncessary yet it is state law.

  10. David H July 13, 2006 at 14:12 #

    Kev,

    “Come on David. You and I both know its all in the context. In the context of establishing a causative link between vaccines and autism, if we compare this study to say, Krigsman’s latest (still unpublished) MMR study, we can see a definite relationship between the data and the event in Fombonne whereas there’s no such relationship in Krigsman.”

    I didn’t mean to imply that Krigsman’s study proves causation. I’ve said it doesn’t right from the start on your blog. But it should be causing more research to occur so that we can find out what it means. It bothers me tremendously that the reactions to that study are dismissals and advertising campaigns advising parents that the MMR is safe. Mainstream medicine is viciously fighting to prevent vaccine research under the guise of “we have to spend our precious research dollars carefully” when the truth is they are scared of what might be learned.

    “Thats not what I said. I said I examined (and continue to) all the science I can get access to. The literal truth is that there is no evidence whatsoever of a causative link between autism and vaccines, either taken as a whole or broken down to their constituent parts. Further, the anecdotal evidence is poor and unsupported. When I compare that to the epi and clinical studies that fail to establish a causative link between autism and vaccines and when I read accounts of how autistic adults progressed as kids/teens/young adults and I look at my own childs development then to me its clear as day.”

    I have no issue with you forming your opinion and changing your mind. But my point is it’s just an opinion. Like I said before, there are no studies to prove the vaccine schedule is safe let alone prove it doesn’t cause autism. Likewise, there are no studies to conclusively show vaccines do cause autism. Just like you continue to review research and form your opinion so too do the parents on the other side of the fence. They should be entitled to change their opinion without being called desperate.

    “I read a post on some mercury group saying that without the wonders of chelation and nasal spray’s that the poster knew her daughter wouldn’t be starting to talk. Se concluded with the usual rant against Big Pharma for ‘doing this’ to her child. I just thought of my own child who, whilst she still doesn’t speak regularly is slowly beginning to, she also wrote her name for the first time a few days ago and can recite the alphabet when shown flashcards.”

    “People progress. You don’t need nasal spray, chelation or Lupron to effect that progress.”

    Why even bother arguing these reports? You have no way of knowing whether those treatments accelerate progress. I’m truly happy that your daughter is progressing nicely. My son has turned into a chatterbox since we started treating him.

  11. David H July 13, 2006 at 14:17 #

    Ms. Clark,

    “I think atypical vision (basically, problems with depth perception) causes autism, or autism causes atypical vision, or something that causes strabismus causes autism, too. At least in the kids with strabismus.”

    Are you familiar with Vision therapy & prism lenses? I’m not sure if this is the same thing but I’d be interested in hearing your opinion on this type of treatment: http://www.autisticvision.com/index.htm

  12. Kev July 13, 2006 at 15:10 #

    _”This is really worrisome for me
    Pharmaceutical Industry Cannot Be Trusted To Deal With Biased Reporting Of Clinical Trials Without Stricter Regulation, Royal Society Of Medicine .”_

    Me too Maria. Anything that can be done to tighten things like this up, should be done.

  13. María Luján July 14, 2006 at 00:02 #

    Hi
    “Chronic Mycoplasmal Infections in Gulf War Veterans’ Children and Autism Patients”:http://www.gulfwarvets.com/chronic_infections.htm
    The main author has a lot of publications in the field.
    Ma Luján

  14. Ms. Clark July 14, 2006 at 03:26 #

    One reason I’m slightly serious about my strabismus/autism correlation hypothesis is that in the years I have spent interacting with autistic adults on the Internet (about 3 years), I have found that (it looks like) the majority of them have some kind of vision problem, which could be totally my bias and totally wrong, it’s just how it seems to me. Usually, there’s some kind of major discrepancy in focus between the eyes. For me I have one “bad eye” and one “good eye” and didn’t know it until I was about 35 years old, the first time I had a real eye check up. For a while my presecription was to wear one contact. I discovered what real 3D vision was for the first time, apart from looking into Vumaster toys, where I could see in 3D, but thought that everyone saw things the way I did…

    Another reason I am serious about the vision thing is because of what you mentioned, Joseph. The connection between blindness from birth and autism.

    Normally, kids with eyes as different as mine lose the vision in one eye. I don’t know why I didn’t. I have something like “monovision.” That’s where they put two different contacts on a normal person, one to see far away and one to see up close, instead of bifocals.

    That kind of discrepancy seems to be common among onlin autistic adults.

    I have a real problem with parallel parking because of not seeing in true 3D and I tend to ignore whatever is off to my left side. I realized that when I got a contact, that there was this whole world going on to the left side of my body. It’s not like “visual neglect,” though. Colors are slightly subdued because of my vision and are slightly brightened when I put on glasses now. I wasn’t able to keep wearing the contact, though, because my eyes are too dry.

    OK… too much information.

    As for the atuism vision clinic or whatever that was, I certainly wouldn’t advocate putting glasses on a baby to cure autism, though putting glasses on a baby is a good idea (sometimes even contacts) if the baby needs them see well. Autistics should get their eyes checked and their vision should be corrected if possible. I don’t really think that’s going to change their brain structure enough to make them normal. I can see how quacks could push glasses as a cure, particularly if they could charge lots of money for the exam and glasses. So far, as I understand it, there isn’t much evidence that Irlen lenses do anything special.

  15. Joseph July 14, 2006 at 04:28 #

    For me I have one “bad eye” and one “good eye” and didn’t know it until I was about 35 years old, the first time I had a real eye check up.

    I have one good retina and one bad retina. The eye with the good retina has a noticeable floater. However, I was quite the Aspie already before any of these problems.

  16. Hyperion July 14, 2006 at 05:05 #

    *I said, “Well, we have something in common then, because there’s some overlap between ADHD and Asperger’s.” and I was thinking, “Dude, I bet you are autistic. It’s written on your face.” :-D:*

    Y’know, I’ve actually had the equal and opposite reaction to some Aspies: “wow, you are soooo ADD and don’t even know it.”

    At some point I think it just comes down to whether you call someone ADHD who also has picky eating habits and a tendency to lecture pedantically, or an Aspie who also has chronic disorganization and an inability to sit still.

    Or it could just be that those of us with ADHD and freakishly high IQs will inevitaly mimic some Aspie traits, while Aspies with short attention spans will inevitably mimic ADHD traits.

    Oh how I wish I had an fMRI machine.

  17. María Luján July 14, 2006 at 13:01 #

    Hi
    A recent manuscript , in press in Journal of Neuroimmunology
    Antibrain antibodies in children with autism and their unaffected siblings
    Harvey S. Singera, b, , , Christina M. Morrisa, Phillip N. Williamsa, Dustin Y. Yoona, John J. Honga and Andrew W. Zimmermanc
    aDepartment of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Jefferson Street Building 124, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287-1000, USA
    bDepartment of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Jefferson Street Building 124, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287-1000, USA
    cDepartment of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger Institute, 707 North Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
    Abstract
    Serum autoantibodies to human brain, identified by ELISA and Western immunoblotting, were evaluated in 29 children with autism spectrum disorder (22 with autistic disorder), 9 non-autistic siblings and 13 controls. More autistic subjects than controls had bands at 100 kDa in caudate, putamen and prefrontal cortex (p

  18. Joseph July 14, 2006 at 15:22 #

    Stahlberg (2004): About 30% of adults with ADHD have ASD and about 38% of adults with ASD have ADHD.

  19. Darren Hemsley July 17, 2006 at 11:54 #

    Interestingly, what you note seems to be being borne out in PR for the UK mercury militia. I note today that the Glasgow Herald published a letter in which Bill Welsh (no longer signing up as Chairman of Action Against Autism, but now as Chairman of the Autism Treatment Trust) goes over the well worn “Reasons for Sharp Increase In Autism” arguments but with a new twist. In his letter he states that ATT opened a treatement centre in Edinburgh in April this year “and to date we have comprehensively tested 60 autistic children” (I don’t really want to think about what comprehensive testing involves)
    “For example, heavy metal toxicity is a common feature, with significantly high levels of lead, aluminium, tin and antimony present in autistic kids, in comparison to typical children”
    Sounds to me like the mercury militia moving awau from everybody’s favourite heavy metal and chosing a random number of others…

    PS does anyone in the UK know anymore about this Autism Treatment Trust and what their work actually entails – are we looking at a Uk version of the Geirs?

  20. Darren Hemsley July 17, 2006 at 12:35 #

    I’ve added a link here for anyone who wishes to look at the ATT’s website
    http://www.autismtrust.org.uk/treatments.html

  21. Joseph July 17, 2006 at 17:55 #

    “For example, heavy metal toxicity is a common feature, with significantly high levels of lead, aluminium, tin and antimony present in autistic kids, in comparison to typical children”

    I wonder if they had a control group or just went with published averages. Anyway, it would not be surprising if they find somewhat higher levels of lead than normal in autistic kids. Developmentally delayed kids tend to have Pica. Causation is a different matter.

  22. Kev July 17, 2006 at 20:15 #

    Hi Darren,

    Yes I’ve been following Bill Welsh’s band of merry men for awhile now – they’re more a UK Generation Rescue than a UK Geier’s but I take your point – scientific illiteracy is a common theme.

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