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. anonimouse July 11, 2006 at 23:18 #

    The flu vaccine argument makes me laugh, considering that even among the “recommended” audience for the vaccine uptake is poor. Add to the fact that in the U.S., if you are getting your vaccines through the VFC (Vaccines For Children Act) you are virtually guaranteed a thimerosal-free vaccine. The number of children who would even be getting thimerosal-containing flu vaccines at this point is pretty small.

  2. Ms Clark July 11, 2006 at 23:30 #

    Personally, I don’t think drinking cranberry-flavored water is going to do much for one’s fiber intake either, but there is a trace of it in there.

    I wonder what Andy Cutler will advise for chelating aluminum? Is aluminum chelatable? Maybe he’ll be able to stay the course with ALA. I suppose the commenter you quoted would say that “injected” aluminum is way way way more toxic than the stuff we eat every day. At least in this country. It’s in the common brands of baking powder, and so likely to be in every cookie or cracker, pancake or biscuit we eat here. Of course, newborns don’t eat pancakes…

    I’m guessing that Bernard et al are whipping up a new hypothesis, “Autism: a novel form of aluminum poisoning!” Poor Geiers are still touting a precipitous drop in the number of autistic kids, even as other of the dwindling mercury mafiosi are saying that the numbers haven’t fallen. I wonder if the mercury parents can sustain both ideas simultaneously, that the numbers are both rising and dropping. I’m guessing that they can. They tend to be very good at illogical thinking. I expect to see the ambulance chasers taking down their thimerosal pages from their website. Maybe they’ll be replaced with aluminum pages.

    “Was your child normal until given vaccines containing aluminum???” Call 1-888-AMB-CHSR and talk to an attorney. We have guys in suits standing by now ready to take your call.”

    The thing is, as has been pointed out, there’s a constant turnover in new parents, as they wise up and move out of “biomed” there are always new ones as fodder for the DANites. So to them, aluminum will be *the thing*, and mercury will be a *non-thing*. Just like now most biomed parents aren’t interested in Secretin, but a few years ago it was the miracle cure.

    Let’s hope there aren’t any toxic and/or deadly remedies for imaginary aluminum toxicity that can end up killing poor autistic kids, or ruining their health.

    I’d like to make a prediction, too, probably not that great of a prediction, but here it is: The next big cure will be TD-ZEOLITE(tm). I’m buying a boxcar full of zeolite and a tanker truck full of hand lotion, for a thousand dollars or so. I’ll just mix it up in my bathtub (it will be clean), no need for purification nonsense. I’ll sell little bottles of the stuff for $50 each. It won’t even stink like TD-DMPS.

  3. Joseph July 11, 2006 at 23:37 #

    Finally, it is worth noting that thimerosal’s reduction in most vaccines has coincided with an increase in the use of aluminum… If aluminum has an impact that is similar to mercury, the numbers would remain largely unchanged.

    What Wade is actually claiming is the following:

    1) The reduction in the thimerosal dose per child roughly matches an increase in the aluminum dose per child.

    2) Both aluminum and mercury cause the same disorder: autism.

  4. David H July 12, 2006 at 00:58 #

    Kev,

    Does the large scale study that exonerates thimerosal & MMR happen to explain why one might expect to find the vaccine strain of measles virus in the guts of autistic children? Just curious.

    Why is it that if someone who once believed it was solely thimerosal that was responsible for their child’s autism but now believes it is vaccines in general they are desperate? I recall you stating that your initial reaction to your daughter’s autism was that it was clearly due to an adverse reaction to her vaccine. Over time your belief has apparently changed. Somehow I doubt you would characterize that change in belief as desperation. But I would not want to put words in your mouth.

    Please accept this as constructive criticism. You would be well served to hold yourself to the same criteria that you hold the “mercury militia” and “anti thimerosal” crowd to.

  5. Hyperion July 12, 2006 at 01:19 #

    “Does the large scale study that exonerates thimerosal & MMR happen to explain why one might expect to find the vaccine strain of measles virus in the guts of autistic children? Just curious.”

    No, but it does tell us that even if it were true that autistic children did have such a virus, there is no correlation between MMR vaccine rates and autism prevalence. Furthermore, the MMR explanation doesn’t explain the presence of autism prior to the advent of the MMR vaccine, or why the measles virus in general doesn’t cause autism.

    “Why is it that if someone who once believed it was solely thimerosal that was responsible for their child’s autism but now believes it is vaccines in general they are desperate? I recall you stating that your initial reaction to your daughter’s autism was that it was clearly due to an adverse reaction to her vaccine. Over time your belief has apparently changed. Somehow I doubt you would characterize that change in belief as desperation. But I would not want to put words in your mouth.”

    I could e wrong, but I think it is because there is an important difference here: Kev went from believing that thimerosal was responsible, to looking through scientific evidence, finding no link, and accepting the general scientific consensus of genetic causation. The former mercury-militia, on the other hand, continued to insist that thimerosal was involved in the face of very good evidence to the contrary. When it is finally shown that there is no connection, they still insist on falling back to a watered-down generalized version of their previous hypothesis. In other words, the new evidence didn’t cause them to rethink their position, merely to abandon one tenet of their position that was completely discredited in favor of a broader but still unsupported version of the same thing.

    I fail to understand the paranoia regarding vaccinations or the automatic assumption that they must cause something bad. At least the thimerosal explanation had some sliver of plausiility, in that it involved a specific chemical and a specific method of toxicity. It ultimately proved false, but at least it made specific, falsifiable predictions. The assertion that any and all vaccines are responsile for as-yet-unspecified reasons doesn’t even rise to the same level of plausibility as the discredited thimerosal hypothesis.

    And aluminum? C’mon now, if this were the case, you’d have found a correlation between regions with naturally high aluminum levels in the soil and higher rates of autism, and you’d have found it long ago. That or you’d have found a prevalence etween women who drank sodas from aluminum cans during pregnancy and autism. Oh, whoops, you forgot that aluminum is far more common outside of vaccines, and none of its more common occurances correlates well with autism. Sorry, please try again.

  6. cordelia junction July 12, 2006 at 01:53 #

    It would appear that no one has ever truly found measles in the intestines of autistics anyway. If there was measle virus in the intestine wall there would likewise be measle virus in the blood. Plus, it looks like Wakefield and the few who have claimed to replicated Wakefield’s (nonfinding) are not doing the test correctly. They aren’t confirming that the genes they found are really measles genes. These tests must be done with great care or you get a false positive.

    Bradstreet claimed that wild-type measles can cause autism, just as vaccine strain measles (he’s a nut job, though, used to push exorcism, remember?). Seems to me that people would go with the vaccine, since if the kid gets the wild-type he’s more likely to die or go blind, deaf, etc.

    There are people who are just plain distrustful of anything the gummint orders. If the gummint orders vaxeens, then the gummint must be a tryin’ to kill usn’s with them thar vaxeens. (Dadgum revenewers.) Which would explain why so many of the leading lights of the autism world belong to the Association of Paranoid American Phyisicians and Surgeons, and publish in JAPS.

    I’m pretty sure Kev didn’t think thimerosal was part of his daughter’s condition, the UK antivaxers are pretty much against measles and not so tuned into mercury. And now they’ll have to shift to alu-MIN-ium. But that’s cool because there’s always zeolite.

  7. María Luján July 12, 2006 at 02:48 #

    Hi Hyperioin
    You say
    ” The assertion that any and all vaccines are responsile for as-yet-unspecified reasons doesn’t even rise to the same level of plausibility as the discredited thimerosal hypothesis.”
    I am not so sure:
    About MMR=
    References I found related to the possibility of immunosuppresion by measles and concomitant gut problems.
    1- Measles virus infection in a transgenic model: virus induced immunosuppresion and central nervous system disease Cell 1999,Sep 3. 98 (5), 629-640.
    2-Measles virus infection causes transient depletion of activated T cells from peripheral circulation J. Clin, Virol. 1999, 12 (3), 201: 10 Nanan R, Chittka B, Kreth H. W
    3-Changes within T cell receptor B subsets in infants following measles vaccination Clin. Immunol Immunopathol 1996 May 79 (2) 163-170. Auwaerter PG, Hussey GD, Hughes J. Goddard EA, Ryon JJ, Strebel PM, Beatty D, Griffin DE-from John Hopkins
    4-Pathogenesis of measles virus infection: an hypothesis for altered immune responses J Infect Dis 1994 Nov 170 Suppl 1 S 24-31. Griffin DE, Ward BJ , Esolen L. M: John Hopkins
    The immune response that is effective in clearing virus and in establishing long term resistance to reinfection.. “ is associated with immune suppression, autoimmune encephalomyelitis and increased susceptibility to secondary infections”. This apparent paradox may be explained in part by preferential long term activation of type 2 CD4+Tcells by measles virus infection. Preferential stumulation of type 1CD4+Tcells by inactivated virus vaccines is hypothesized to play a role in subsequent development of atypical measles,
    5-Measles virus induced immunosuppresion in vitro is associated with deregulation of GI cell cycle control proteins J Gen Virol 1999, Jul 80 (7), 1599-1608 Engelking O, Fedorov LM. Lilischkis R, ter Meulen V, Schneider-Schaulies S
    6-Measles virus infects human dendritic cells and blocks their allostimulatory properties of CD4+Tcells J Exp Med 1997, Sept 15; 186 (6) 801-812.
    7- The pathogenesis of Crohn´s disease J Gastroenterol 1994, Jul 29 Suppl 7 11-15.Pounder R. E
    The author considers that the main problem is the mesenteric blood supply
    “Viral particles have been identified within the vascular endothelium, with the appeareance of para myxoviridae. In situ hybridization and other studies suggests that these particles are measles virus”
    8-Colonic CD8 and gamma delta T cell infiltration with epithelial damage in children with autism LJ Pediatrics 2001 Mar 138 (3) 366-372 Furlano e al.
    Neuroreport. 2004 Jan 19;15(1):27-32.

    Morbillivirus has been related to MS
    Search for morbillivirus proteins in multiple sclerosis brain tissue.

    We investigated brain samples of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and controls with immunohistochemistry using monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) against canine distemper virus (CDV) and measles virus (MV) proteins. All stained negative except for MoAb F3-5, which recognises a conserved epitope on the fusion protein of morbilliviruses. F3-5 immunostaining was found in 8/9 MS plaques and 2/5 herpes simplex virus encephalitis brain samples, but not in six controls or four patients with ischaemic stroke. Using RT-PCR we found no evidence for the presence of MV in MS plaques. The F3-5 epitope may represent a protein that is upregulated during inflammation or point to a yet unrecognised morbillivirus in the human central nervous system that might be implicated in MS pathogenesis.

    10-Stubbs EG. 1976. Autistic children exhibit undetectable hemagglutinin-inhibition antibody titers despite previous rubella vaccination. J Autism 6: 269-274.

    11-Stubbs EG, Crawford ML, Burger DR, Vandenbark AA. 1977. Depressed lymphocyte responsiveness in autistic children. J Autism 10: 15-19.

    12-Gupta S, Aggarwal S, Rashanravan B, Lee T: Th1- and Th2-like cytokines in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in autism. J Neuroimmunol 85:106–109, 1998

    13-Denney DR, Frei BW, Gaffney GR: Lymphocyte subsets and interleukin-2 receptors in autistic children. J Autism Dev Disord 26:87–97, 1996

    14-Plioplys AV, Greaves A, Kazemi K, Silverman E: Lymphocyte function in autism and Rett syndrome. Neuropsychobiology 29:12–16, 1994

    “Warren et al. (119–121) reported several immune system abnormalities in autistic patients. Lymphocyte abnormalities included reduced responses to T-cell mitogen concanavalin A, a reduced response to B-cell mitogen pokeweed, a decreased number of T lymphocytes and altered helper/T-suppressor cell ratio, significantly reduced natural killer cell activity, and significantly reduced plasma concentration of C4b protein. ”
    Presentation of Dr Ward et al in Montreal

    Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were isolated and up to three real-time reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) assays were performed. These assays targeted the N, F and H genes of MV using the primer pairs published by Uhlmann et al., with detection by SYBR Green I. Amplicons from positive reactions were sequenced.
    RESULTS: The Uhlmann primer-based assays gave rise to a large number of positive reactions in both groups. For example, a positive signal was observed in 93% of ASD samples and 100% of the control samples using the F gene assay. Almost all of the positive reactions in the assays were eliminated by melting curve analysis and amplicon band-size on agarose gels. The amplicons for the remaining positive reactions were cloned and sequenced. No sample from either ASD or control groups was found to contain nucleic acids from any MV gene.
    CONCLUSION: There is no evidence of MV persistence in the PBMC of children with ASD.

    In a new manuscript from pub med
    J Virol Methods. 2006 Mar;132(1-2):166-73. Epub 2005
    Development of quantitative gene-specific real-time RT-PCR assays for the detection of measles virus in clinical specimens.
    Hummel KB, Lowe L, Bellini WJ, Rota PA.
    Real-time RT-PCR assays targeting sequences in the measles virus (MV) nucleoprotein (N), fusion (F), and hemagglutinin (H) genes were developed for the detection of MV RNA in clinical specimens. Four primer and probe sets each for the N, F, and H genes were evaluated and reaction conditions optimized. Using dilution series of synthetic RNAs, the limits of detection were determined to be approximately 10 copies for each target RNA/reaction. The relationship between C(t) values and RNA concentration was linear within a range of 10-10(6) RNA copies/reaction, and intra- and inter-assay variability was low. The N gene-specific real-time assay detected MV RNA in 100% of clinical samples from confirmed measles cases compared to 41% by standard RT-PCR. The MV H and F gene-specific real-time assays detected MV RNA in 93% and 82% of these specimens, respectively. Real-time assays could detect RNA from strains representing each active genotype of MV and were also highly specific, as no false positives were identified when samples known to contain other respiratory viruses were tested. Real-time RT-PCR assays will be available to support routine measles laboratory surveillance, to facilitate research projects on pathogenesis that require sensitive and quantitative detection of MV RNA, and to aid in the investigation of serious disease sequelae resulting from natural measles infection or vaccination with measles-containing vaccines.

    Infect Genet Evol. 2005 Sep 16; [Epub ahead of print]
    Genetic variability of measles virus in acute and persistent infections.
    Kuhne M, Brown DW, Jin L.
    Health Protection Agency, Centre for Infections, Virus Reference Department, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5HT, UK.
    RNA viruses have high nucleotide substitution rates, and therefore the potential to mutate rapidly. In the case of vaccine preventable RNA viruses, this may potentially lead to emergence of vaccine escape mutants. The WHO has targeted measles virus (MV) for elimination in many regions, and its genetic variability is monitored to estimate appearance of such mutants. Phylogenetic analysis of partial N or H genes of 230 MV strains circulating in the UK over a 10-year period was performed. Substitution rates in three outbreaks were determined to be 3.9×10(-3) to 6.7×10(-3) per nucleotide per annum. This is an order of magnitude higher than previously reported for circulating MV. Analysis of virus detected sporadically in the UK between 1992 and 2000 lead to a slightly higher substitution rate of 7.8×10(-3) per site per year. Additionally, genetic variability of persistent MV, isolated from subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) patients, was investigated and appeared more stable than circulating viruses. Profiles of nucleotide changes in acute and persistent virus were compared. In acute virus, 33% of all mutation events occurred from A-to-G, which contrasts the predominant U-to-C mutations found in persistent infections. Mutations do not seem to be driven by positive selection and no association with known biological functions could be found. We conclude that substitution rates in circulating virus may be higher than in persistent, hypermutated virus and that the high substitution rate of MV may allow evolution of escape. Diversity of circulating strains should be closely monitored in the future.

    Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1994 Jun 6;724:367-77.
    Generation and properties of measles virus mutations typically associated with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis.
    Billeter MA, Cattaneo R, Spielhofer P, Kaelin K, Huber M, Schmid A, Baczko K, ter Meulen V.

    Institut fur Molekularbiologie I, Universitat Zurich, Switzerland.
    Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), a very rare but lethal disease caused by measles viruses (MV) persisting in the human central nervous system (CNS) is characterized by lack of viral budding, reduced _expression of the viral envelope proteins and spread of MV genomes through the CNS despite massive immune responses. The five major MV genes from several SSPE cases were cloned and sequenced, the two transmembrane envelope glycoproteins hemagglutinin (H) and fusion protein (F) were expressed and their maturation, cellular localization and functionality analyzed. We conclude that 1) mutations in the MV genes arise not only individually, by errors of the MV polymerase, but also in clusters as hypermutations, presumably due to RNA unwinding/modifying activity altering accidentally formed double-stranded RNA regions, 2) MVs spread in SSPE brains after clonal selection, 3) the MV matrix (M) gene is most heavily mutated and dispensable, 4) the two genes encoding envelope transmembrane proteins give rise to functional but altered proteins (typically F is heavily altered in its cytoplasmic domain), 5) H protein is transported poorly to the cell surface, 6) F and H proteins maintain tightly interdepending fusion functions, presumably to allow local cell fusion and MV ribonucleoprotein (RNP) spread through the CNS.

    1-Don´t you think that if an altered immune answer is present in autism, “normal ” values of IgG can be of non-value in terms of comparison to healthy controls, in blood?
    2-Don´t you think that there can be a slow replication virus cycle in the case of measles, that by molecular mimicry-mutation-exchange of genetic material can be hidden of an abnormal immune system and -such as in the case of herpes zoster. remain apparently inactivated but doing subclinical damage at CNS level?
    3-Don´t you think that the differences found in IgG in blood from different studies ( including those of Dr Singh) can be due to this kind of problems related to the combination of abnormal immune system answer to viruses in combination plus slow replication of mutated-exchanged DNA measles?
    4-Don´t you think that immunosuppresion can play a role in the lack of IgG found for measles?
    5-What do you think about problems in immune answer to measles in genetically susceptible children , undetected?

    About pharmacovigilance of vaccines
    1-Hepatitis B Vaccination Should Be Avoided in Patients With Risk of CNS DiseaseWESTPORT, Aug 04 (Reuters Health) – French researchers report eight cases in which patients developed central nervous system inflammation and demyelinating disease less than 10 weeks after receiving a hepatitis B vaccination.

    “The risk of CNS inflammation after hepatitis B vaccination is unknown, according to the researchers. They note, in their paper in the second July issue of Neurology, that epidemiologic studies under way in Europe and the United States may help resolve the question.”

    “In the absence of an immediate answer, it would seem reasonable to treat these patients as having MS and, as a precautionary measure, to avoid hepatitis B vaccination in patients with a personal or familial history of symptoms suggestive of an inflammatory or demyelinating disease of the CNS.”

    Now, I am going to provide the links to pubmed, with the abstracts:
    4-Autoimmunity. 2005 May;38(3):235-45.
    “Infection, vaccines and other environmental triggers of autoimmunity”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16126512&query_hl=2&itool=pubmed_
    docsum
    5-Autoimmunity. 2005 Mar;38(2):117-9.
    Pemphigus following hepatitis B vaccination–coincidence or causality?
    Pemphigus is an autoimmune blistering disease caused by autoantibodies against epithelial intercellular components. Its etiology is unknown, and neoplasms, antecedent infections or medications are considered possible triggering factors for the disease in some cases. We describe the first case of pemphigus following a hepatitis B virus vaccination. We suggest that in some cases vaccination may be the triggering factor for pemphigus in genetically predisposed individuals and physicians should be aware of this possible association.
    7-“Autoimmune hazards of hepatitis B vaccine”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=search&DB=pubmed

    8-“Anti-phospholipid antibodies following vaccination with recombinant hepatitis B vaccine”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=search&DB=pubmed
    9-“Autoimmune diseases and vaccinations”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15196997&query_hl=8&itool=pubmed_docsum
    10-“Autoimmunity induced by adjuvant hydrocarbon oil components of vaccine”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=search&DB=pubmed.

    11-“Autoimmunity, environmental exposure and vaccination: is there a link?”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15036747&query_hl=11&itool=pubmed_docsum

    12-“Induction of lupus autoantibodies by adjuvants”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=12892730&query_hl=13&itool=pubmed_docsum

    13-“Neuroimmunology and inflammation: implications for therapy of allergic and autoimmune diseases”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=12839111&query_hl=15&itool=pubmed_docsum
    14-“Brain barrier systems: a new frontier in metal neurotoxicological research”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=14554098&query_hl=27&itool=pubmed_docsum

    15- Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2004 Feb 15;195(1):73-82.
    “Development of an in vitro blood-brain barrier model-cytotoxicity of mercury and aluminum”

    In this study, in vitro blood-brain barrier (BBB) models composed of two different cell types were compared. The aim of our study was to find an alternative human cell line that could be used in BBB models. Inorganic and organic mercury and aluminum were studied as model chemicals in the testing of the system. BBB models were composed of endothelial RBE4 cell line or retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell line ARPE-19 and neuronal SH-SY5Y cells as target cells. Glial U-373 MG cells were included in part of the tests to induce the formation of a tighter barrier. Millicell CM filter inserts were coated with rat-tail collagen, and RBE4 or ARPE-19 cells were placed on the filters at the density of 3.5-4 x 10(5) cells/filter. During culture, the state of confluency was microscopically observed and confirmed by the measurement of electrical resistance caused by the developing cell layer. The target cells, SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells, were plated on the bottom of cell culture wells at the density of 100000 cells/cm(2). In part of the studies, glial U-373 MG cells were placed on the under side of the membrane filter. When confluent filters with ARPE-19 or RBE4 cells were placed on top of the SH-SY5Y cells, different concentrations of mercuric chloride, methyl mercury chloride, and aluminum chloride were added into the filter cups along with a fluorescent tracer. Exposure time was 24 h, after which the cytotoxicity in the SH-SY5Y cell layer, as well as in the ARPE-19 or RBE4 cell layer, was evaluated by the luminescent measurement of total ATP. The leakage of the fluorescent tracer was also monitored. The results showed that both barrier cell types were induced by glial cells. Inorganic and organic mercury caused a leakage of the dye and cytotoxicity in SH-SY5Y cells. Especially, methyl mercury chloride could exert an effect on target cells before any profound cytotoxicity in barrier cells could be seen. Aluminum did not cause any leakage in the barrier cell layer, and even the highest concentration (1 mM) of aluminum did not cause any cytotoxicity in the SH-SY5Y cells. In conclusion, BBB models composed of RBE4 and ARPE-19 cells were able to distinguish between different toxicities, and ARPE-19 cells are thus promising candidates for studies of drug penetration through the blood-brain barrier.

    16.”Neurological adverse events associated with vaccination”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=12045734&query_hl=19&itool=pubmed_docsum

    17-“Vaccination and autoimmunity-‘vaccinosis’: a dangerous liaison?”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&list_uids=10648110&itool=pubmed_docsum&dopt=abstractplus&dr=abstractplus
    I am not antivaccines, I want them safer. Please note that I am not saying that vaccines produced autism, what I am saying is that because of autistic genetcis, transcriptomics, metabolomics and biochemistry, vaccines can be an insult and produce, in a subset of children undesired reaccions.I want that researchers involve in the identification of children prone to susceptibility because of immune alterations. The CDC has clear recommendations about how to manage vaccinations and unfortunately many times they are not followed properly- not by parents. They are considered TOTALLY safe FOR ALL and this is my concern.

    MAría Luján

  8. David H July 12, 2006 at 03:23 #

    Hyperion,

    “I could e wrong, but I think it is because there is an important difference here: Kev went from believing that thimerosal was responsible, to looking through scientific evidence, finding no link, and accepting the general scientific consensus of genetic causation.”

    ” The former mercury-militia, on the other hand, continued to insist that thimerosal was involved in the face of very good evidence to the contrary. When it is finally shown that there is no connection, they still insist on falling back to a watered-down generalized version of their previous hypothesis. In other words, the new evidence didn’t cause them to rethink their position, merely to abandon one tenet of their position that was completely discredited in favor of a broader but still unsupported version of the same thing.”

    You are basing your argument on your own belief system. You see a difference in those two situations when there really is no difference. You are acting like we have proof that autism is strictly genetic when we have no such evidence.

    You are also making assumptions about those you refer to as “mercury militia.” Scientists and DAN doctors alike have noted the immune abnormalities in autistic children. Studies are underway to treat this condition. I would make the argument that the “mercury militia” recognize this new evidence and are changing their beliefs accordingly. What “new evidence” are you referring to? The Canadien study? So you’re saying that their position literally changed last week? Because I know you can’t be referencing the VSD or the Danish studies since that would be plain silly.

    “And aluminum? C’mon now, if this were the case, you’d have found a correlation between regions with naturally high aluminum levels in the soil and higher rates of autism, and you’d have found it long ago. That or you’d have found a prevalence etween women who drank sodas from aluminum cans during pregnancy and autism. Oh, whoops, you forgot that aluminum is far more common outside of vaccines, and none of its more common occurances correlates well with autism. Sorry, please try again”

    The problem with your argument is that once again we are left looking at a single vaccine ingredient in isolation when that is not how they are given. It’s the combination of mercury, aluminum, formaldahyde, anti-biotics, live viruses, etc… Do you have an example where that combination is more common outside of vaccines? Can you reference a single study that investigates the synergistic effects of vaccines?

  9. David H July 12, 2006 at 03:27 #

    “It would appear that no one has ever truly found measles in the intestines of autistics anyway. If there was measle virus in the intestine wall there would likewise be measle virus in the blood. Plus, it looks like Wakefield and the few who have claimed to replicated Wakefield’s (nonfinding) are not doing the test correctly. They aren’t confirming that the genes they found are really measles genes.”

    Source please

    “(he’s a nut job, though, used to push exorcism, remember?).”

    OK. I have to ask. I’ve been watching everyone write about this exorcism thing for some time now. What is the source of this?

    “There are people who are just plain distrustful of anything the gummint orders. If the gummint orders vaxeens, then the gummint must be a tryin’ to kill usn’s with them thar vaxeens.”

    Hi Camille.

  10. bonni July 12, 2006 at 03:47 #

    the group of people we should now refer to as the ex-mercury militia

    Perhaps they should be The Militia Who ‘Til Recently Said Mercury.

    bonni

  11. Hyperion July 12, 2006 at 04:07 #

    “There are people who are just plain distrustful of anything the gummint orders. If the gummint orders vaxeens, then the gummint must be a tryin’ to kill usn’s with them thar vaxeens. (Dadgum revenewers.) Which would explain why so many of the leading lights of the autism world belong to the Association of Paranoid American Phyisicians and Surgeons, and publish in JAPS.”

    Hehehe, I actually work at the crossroads of government and healthcare (on the healthcare side), so I guess I’m right in the thick of the conspiracy. Hmmm, that reminds me, I ought to schedule in some conspiratin’ next week in between the staff meeting and the conference calls. I don’t know how you Brits manage to find the time to work out new strategies for poisoning the kids, we’re just too busy to do anything other than fluorinate the water, and that’s starting to become too passe.

    (pssst, I think David is on to us)

    “You are acting like we have proof that autism is strictly genetic when we have no such evidence.”

    Straw man. We have good evidence from twin studies that autism has a strong genetic component. We also know that other neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and Tourette’s have strong genetic components as well.

    You will never see evidence that it is strictly genetic because such evidence cannot exist, which is why no one says that. What is asserted is that there is extremely good evidence showing a strong genetic component for the disorder, and as of yet no equally good evidence for any other specific factor. It is impossible to rule out all other factors, but the urden of proof is on others to prove that such factors are involved.

    Until and unless solid evidence for other causes can be shown, then such an assertion is correct.

    And if it were a synergistic effect, wouldn’t you expect to see different types of autism in different countries that had different vaccine schedules?

    Sorry, I shouldn’t expect consistency in conspiracy theories (and sorry for taking up so much space on your log, Kev)

  12. Joseph July 12, 2006 at 04:34 #

    It’s the combination of mercury, aluminum, formaldahyde, anti-biotics, live viruses, etc…

    That’s a lovely theory. And note that not all ingredients are required. You can remove the mercury, but if all of the rest are still there, we’re still in trouble.

    That’s even better than Wade’s theory, that aluminum and mercury are interchangeable in autism causation.

    I’ll give you 2 points for imagination and narrative, but zero on plausibility.

  13. clone3g July 12, 2006 at 04:35 #

    Hyperion,
    I’ve enjoyed reading every word you’ve written but you just have to get that ‘B’ key fixed 😉

  14. David H July 12, 2006 at 04:40 #

    “You will never see evidence that it is strictly genetic because such evidence cannot exist, which is why no one says that.”

    Really? What about something like Fragile X or Down syndrome? Isn’t there a big difference in the evidence that Fragile X is genetic as opposed to autism? I linked this for you on the Canada discussion but it’s appropriate here as well: http://www.usautism.org/PDF_files_newsletters/herbert_autism_brain_or_affecting_brain_final.pdf

    “And if it were a synergistic effect, wouldn’t you expect to see different types of autism in different countries that had different vaccine schedules?”

    I suppose you would expect to see different types of autism in general. And I believe we have that. I think most would agree that the ASD spectrum is huge and that there are many differences in autistic individuals. In fact, the MIND Institute is attempting to create sub groups because of the significant differences that exist: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/newsroom/releases/archives/mind/2006/phenomeproject3-2006.html

  15. María Luján July 12, 2006 at 05:17 #

    Hi
    Recent published review of studies on autism
    “Tracing the Origins of Autism: A Spectrum of New Studies”:http://www.ehponline.org/docs/2006/114-7/focus-abs.html

  16. Kev July 12, 2006 at 05:27 #

    _”Does the large scale study that exonerates thimerosal & MMR happen to explain why one might expect to find the vaccine strain of measles virus in the guts of autistic children? Just curious.”_

    Well I’m glad to see you agree the study exonerates thiomersal and MMR David but I’m not sure what the relevance of the MV question was.

    _”Why is it that if someone who once believed it was solely thimerosal that was responsible for their child’s autism but now believes it is vaccines in general they are desperate? I recall you stating that your initial reaction to your daughter’s autism was that it was clearly due to an adverse reaction to her vaccine. Over time your belief has apparently changed. Somehow I doubt you would characterize that change in belief as desperation. But I would not want to put words in your mouth.”_

    Apples and sheep David. One is a move based entirely on belief and poor science and the subsequent fact that its becoming clearer that the absolute stone cold certainty that thiomersal was _the_ culprit exhibited by most of the groups in the mercury militia camp is incorrect and that, as vaccines are the real target, not thiomersal, another vaccine ingredient must be targeted – SafeMinds should adopt a new strapline: _’keep it vague, keep it unprovable’_

    It wasn’t my _belief_ that changed. It was a process of examining scientific evidence and then _discarding_ belief. The vaccine theory is Santa Claus for grown ups I’m afraid.

  17. Hyperion July 12, 2006 at 06:37 #

    “I suppose you would expect to see different types of autism in general. And I believe we have that. I think most would agree that the ASD spectrum is huge and that there are many differences in autistic individuals. In fact, the MIND Institute is attempting to create sub groups because of the significant differences that exist:”

    You misunderstand. I was not speaking to the vast diversity of the autism spectrum (or the diversity of the entire group of neurodevelopmental disorders), but rather to the fact that if this were caused by a mix of vaccination types, we should see very specific patterns of regional variation in autism, correcting for diagnostic differences (ie Asperger’s cases increased in the US after 1994 cause American psychiatrists lacked Asperger’s diagnostic criteria afore then). You would expect to see all the Aspies in region X, the LFAs in region Y, PDD-NOS in region Z…and then other regions might e dominated solely y other neurodevelopmental disorders, so you’d have an entire ADHD nation (they’d want to go to war, but they kept losing the launch keys for the nukes, then they forgot who the enemy was), and you’d see Tourette’s localized in another country. You also might see these things grouped y time as well (again, accounting for diagnostic changes).

    And yet we don’t see these things. Autistic children who have never been immunized aren’t that much different than those who have. Autistic children in different countries with different vaccine schedules are still fairly similar.

    Also, remember that subgroups do not automatically indicate environmental differences in autism’s sister neurodevelopmental disorder, ADHD. Like autism, ADHD has subgroups, specifically inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined (I ring this disorder up often because I am more familiar with it, and also because far more research exists than for virtually any other neuropsychiatric disorder in general). Yet, it is known that this disorder is primarily genetic in origin, and there is little evidence that any environmental factor will “cause” it, only that some factors may make it worse in some people who would otherwise develop the disorder anyways. And again, as with autism, you don’t see the temporal or geographic delineations that you would expect if environmental effects were responsible for the differences.

    The observed epidemiological evidence just doesn’t resemble what you would expect to see if your hypothesis were correct. Additionally, once you ring enough external factors into an equation, they generally would tend to statistically cancel each other out, and you’re just left with genetics and random chance. All you’ve done is attempted to assert that certain factors *could* *possibly* come together to act to play *a small role* in the development of the disorder. Even then, the picture we see is inconsistent with the hypothesis, but you haven’t really offered much in the way of evidence to show that any of the mechanisms you propose actually cause autism, or that their use correlates to higher autism rates.

  18. Gabesmom July 12, 2006 at 07:54 #

    The most amazing thing to me about all of these “mercury militants” is not the fact that they are so adamant in their belief that something (whether it be mercury or some other as yet unidentified agent) in vaccines is causing autism but the fact that they harbor the completely nonsensical notion that vaccines are not effective at preventing illness. So, on the one hand, they will wholeheartedly endorse an idea without any credible scientific evidence to back it up, and on the other hand, they will refuse to believe something with decades of scientific research to validate it. That’s why no matter what we say to them, no matter how many papers we pull out, no matter how many statistics we quote, it’s all akin to trying to start a fire in the middle of a heavy downpour. And they want to cure autism? Hell, I think our money would be much better spent trying to find a cure for stupidity.

  19. Ms Clark July 12, 2006 at 09:25 #

    Poster from IMFAR this year:

    Primary Author’s Institution/Affiliation
    Division of Infectious Diseases, McGill University Health Center (MUHC)
    Abstract Title
    NO EVIDENCE OF PERSISTING MEASLES VIRUS IN PERIPHERAL BLOOD MONONUCLEAR CELLS FROM CHILDREN WITH AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDER
    List of Authors
    Y. L. D’Souza, E. Fombonne, B. J. Ward

    BACKGROUND: Claims of an association between measles, mumps and rubella vaccination (MMR) and the development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are based primarily on the identification of measles virus (MV) nucleic acids in tissues and body fluids by PCR. These data come almost exclusively from a single group of investigators, Uhlmann and colleagues (Mol Pathol 2002; 55: 84-90).
    OBJECTIVES: We sought to replicate the PCR assays used by Uhlmann et al. to determine whether or not MV nucleic acids persist in children with ASD compared with non-ASD children.
    METHODS: We recruited 54 children with ASD and 34 developmentally normal controls referred to the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were isolated and up to three real-time reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) assays were performed. These assays targeted the N, F and H genes of MV using the primer pairs published by Uhlmann et al., with detection by SYBR Green I. Amplicons from positive reactions were sequenced.
    RESULTS: The Uhlmann primer-based assays gave rise to a large number of positive reactions in both groups. For example, a positive signal was observed in 93% of ASD samples and 100% of the control samples using the F gene assay.
    *Almost all of the positive reactions in the assays were eliminated by melting curve analysis and amplicon band-size on agarose gels. The amplicons for the remaining positive reactions were cloned and sequenced. No sample from either ASD or control groups was found to contain nucleic acids from any MV gene.*
    CONCLUSION: There is no evidence of MV persistence in the PBMC of children with ASD.


    re: David Amaral’s Autism Phenotype Project. He ain’t looking for mercury induced autism. He’s looking at proteins that are present in autistic babies blood at birth that differentiates them from kids never dxd with autism. Also, his APP is itself showing his faith that there is no decline in the number of little autistic kids, because he’s aiming to use only very little autistic kids age 2 to 4 for the entire study.

    The MIND’s own CHARGE study didn’t find any correlation between mercury and autism. Maybe they measured Al levels, too. I know they were looking at a bunch of toxins. Investigators were to go into the homes of families with an autistic kid and take hair samples from the mom, if her hair was long, and from the autistic kid. They took blood, too, though maybe not during the home visit. Dr. Hertz-Picciotto, the lead investigator says it’s entirely, 100% wrong to say “autism epidemic” and she doesn’t think it’s the mercury from what she’s told me.

    Kev, the new slogan for SAFEMINDS should be, “keep it vague, keep it unprovable, keep it *actionable* — and at all costs — keep it *moving*.”

  20. rutty July 12, 2006 at 09:32 #

    They had some doctor or other on Radio Five Live a few months ago and he was arguing that austism might be caused by “heavy metals” and might be explained by kids sucking batteries, or similar.

    I thought of you when I heard that. Sorry, I didn’t catch his name.

  21. Ms Clark July 12, 2006 at 09:45 #

    Oh, I should add, the MIND is attempting to do (look, Ma! no hands!) what no one has been able to do up until now, that is, find the until-now elusive “subgroups.”

    As in, one would think that, for instance, all the kids with alleles E, B, and R (I made those up) will all spend more time flapping and staring than the kids with alleles C, W, and Z, who are known to have dyslexia and tend toward calandar calculating savantism, while the kids with alleles M, P and A are friendly, have blue eyes, flat feet and extra large brains.

    Those are the kinds of endophenotypes they are looking for. Then maybe you could design treatments of some kind for each endophenotype. Maybe one type would come up as always having mitochondrial problems. Well there are things that help mitochondrial problems that probably aren’t going to do anything for kdis without them.

    They’ll probably find lots of kids with subclinical Rett and Frag X, WS and so forth, since they are going to look super close at genes as well as proteomics. Notice how the Hg and measles pushers are not interested in solid research like this. It will tend to disprove them. They don’t have Amaral in their back pocket like they have some of their friendly scientists and quacks. Amaral would like to find some kids with his study who have what he thinks might be curable or preventable autism – by changing their proteins or something, after they are born. I don’t think he’s particularly heading for an early prenatal test, but who knows? I don’t know that he’ll ever find those “subgroups” or “endophenotypes”.

  22. Kev July 12, 2006 at 10:01 #

    Sucking batteries? Remarkable.

    Can you remember what show it was on Dave? Or was it just a news item?

  23. María Luján July 12, 2006 at 11:27 #

    Hyperion
    There is not a genetic epidemiology study looking at different countries with different environment. Therefore , because the characteristics of different subtypes are not determined- from the clinical side of the question- you simply do not know and you are speculating by the positive ( all the autistic are similar around the world, etc ). You do not know. The same behavior can have 25 different causes.
    Gabesmom
    It is really surprising to me the easy way the people use words like “stupidity” , “criminal”, etc, especially when nothing is known about why other think they way they do.
    “they harbor the completely nonsensical notion that vaccines are not effective at preventing illness.”
    My son was produced varicella by the varicella vaccine, to begin with. At individual level, you simply do not know – except in very selected number of cases- if the vaccines with the actual schedule/composition can have an impact in a subtle different immune system.The amount of published studies on pharmacovigilance, potential problems with autoimmunity and potential secondary effects of vaccines is high and growing. The secondary effects of vaccines in susceptible group of people are showing more and more. The fact that this situation is not being properly addressed and it is not receiving enough attention is another point.
    Camille
    I contacted Dr Ward about this manuscript . He was very open minded on the issue I assure you. Even more, there is recent published manuscripts about the difference in a 1000 factor in the quality about the methods to detect measles. I do think Dr Amaral work is really important, as is the work of other researchers in the field of proteomics in Autism.
    María Luján

  24. anonimouse July 12, 2006 at 15:28 #

    My son was produced varicella by the varicella vaccine, to begin with. At individual level, you simply do not know – except in very selected number of cases- if the vaccines with the actual schedule/composition can have an impact in a subtle different immune system.The amount of published studies on pharmacovigilance, potential problems with autoimmunity and potential secondary effects of vaccines is high and growing. The secondary effects of vaccines in susceptible group of people are showing more and more. The fact that this situation is not being properly addressed and it is not receiving enough attention is another point.

    It is possible for a child to suffer a very mild version of chicken pox after receiving Varivax. However, the alternative would be for the child to receive CP naturally, and then all bets are off as to the severity and long-term effects of the disease.

    But your hypotheses about “potential problem with autoimmunity” and “potential secondary effects of vaccines” are not well-supported at all by the scientific literature. What you’ve provided is a hodgepodge of studies that show that measles infection may supress the immune system (big shock) and that vaccines may play a minor role in rare autoimmune conditions, most of them transitory. (which we’ve known for years)

    However, I’d suggest two things – one, that the epidemiological evidence that vaccines can cause significant autoimmune issues is virtually non-existent. Two, this still has little to do with autism because the link between autoimmunity and ASD (or even subtypes of ASD) is at best very weak.

  25. _Arthur July 12, 2006 at 15:32 #

    Could you fix the typo “thiomersal” in the article ?

    I find it distracting.

  26. María Luján July 12, 2006 at 16:06 #

    anonimouse
    This is your opinion. I respect it but I do not share. The version of the varicella in my son was a virulent form ( and therefore your opinion does not apply). AS I told you, you do not have enough information about my son to have an opinion about. If you are interested about, please contact me.
    You say
    But your hypotheses about “potential problem with autoimmunity” and “potential secondary effects of vaccines” are not well-supported at all by the scientific literature
    Yes they are and this is also a question of opinions, because of the amount of reported clinical studies about immune imbalances at an individual level in ASD. That you prefer to discard this evidence is your prerogative.
    You say
    that vaccines may play a minor role in rare autoimmune conditions, most of them transitory.
    Yes, in healthy people, with a functional immune systems. In the case of ASD, there is a growing amount of evidence that says that the immune system is not physiologically as in the case of non-autistics.Therefore your prompt does not apply.

    You say
    However, I’d suggest two things – one, that the epidemiological evidence that vaccines can cause significant autoimmune issues is virtually non-existent.

    Exactly my point. There has been no genetic epidemiology about and I think it would be very important to be developed and studied under the parameters of genetic+environment component. ASD can not be considered as an infectious disease from the epi point of view ( and it has been)

    Two, this still has little to do with autism because the link between autoimmunity and ASD (or even subtypes of ASD) is at best very weak.

    Your opinion, not mine. There are several published papers about autoimmune conditions in ASD.
    1-“Hyperserotoninemia and Altered Immunity in Autism.”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16614791&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum
    2-“Immunological findings in autism”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16512356&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum
    3-“Is autism an autoimmune disease?”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15546805&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum
    4-“Prevalence of serum antibodies to caudate nucleus in autistic children.”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=14729233&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum
    5.http://www.kevinleitch.co.uk/forum/viewforum.php?id=8
    You can find here several other discussions about.
    The fact that epidemiology has not been done implies nothing at an individual level.
    6.You can find also very healthy and complete discussions about in Autism Immune.
    7.Neurobiology of Disease
    Volume 9, Issue 2 , March 2002, Pages 107-125
    Review
    Genetic and Immunologic Considerations in Autism
    Elena Korvatskaa, Judy Van de Watera, Thomas F. Andersb and M. Eric Gershwina
    a Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Clinical Immunology, University of California at Davis, Davis, California, 95616
    b Department of Psychiatry, University of California at Davis, Davis, California, 95616

    According to recent epidemiological surveys, autistic spectrum disorders have become recognized as common childhood psychopathologies. These life-lasting conditions demonstrate a strong genetic determinant consistent with a polygenic mode of inheritance for which several autism susceptibility regions have been identified. Parallel evidence of immune abnormalities in autistic patients argues for an implication of the immune system in pathogenesis. This review summarizes advances in the molecular genetics of autism, as well as recently emerging concerns addressing the disease incidence and triggering factors. The neurochemical and immunologic findings are analyzed in the context of a neuroimmune hypothesis for autism. Studies of disorders with established neuroimmune nature indicate multiple pathways of the pathogenesis; herein, we discuss evidence of similar phenomena in autism.
    María Luján

  27. Kev July 12, 2006 at 16:14 #

    Hi Arthur – its the British way of spelling it and I, being British, follow that convention most of the time :o)

  28. María Luján July 12, 2006 at 16:30 #

    Hi anonimouse
    Other manuscripts
    “Increased Prevalence of Familial Autoimmunity in Probands With Pervasive Developmental Disorders “:http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/112/5/e420
    “Familial clustering of autoimmune disorders and evaluation of medical risk factors in autism”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=10385847
    Ma Luján

  29. Prometheus July 12, 2006 at 16:51 #

    Wade brings up an intriguing – if completely nonsensical – point in his attempt to “shift the goalposts” on the vaccines-cause-autism issue. After all, if the “mercury militia” (or, “the militia that used to cry MERCURY”) is going to simply shift blame from one component of vaccines (thimerosal/mercury) that has been shown to not cause autism to others that have not been specifically tested to see if they might possibly cause autism, then they can keep researchers chasing their tails indefinitely.

    Second, I would like to see where Wade got his information that aluminum has been increased in vaccines in proportion to the thimerosal that was removed. Thimerosal was used as a preservative – aluminum is in vaccines to increase the immune response (an “adjuvant”). The two functions are not related.

    Now, some vaccines have increased their aluminum content in the recent past, but not in relation to having thimerosal removed – it was done to improve the percentage of people who get a long-term immunity and to extend the duration of immunity.

    Another point that fails to get addressed is that even if we assume that all of the components of vaccines – even the sterile water – can cause autism, this still doesn’t explain why the autism numbers – as documented by the California DDS and the US Dept. of Education – keep going up! Unless Wade or someone else of the mercury/vaccines/whatever-causes-autism cabal can show that the number of vaccines received by children has continued to climb at the same rate, then their whole hypothesis collapses.

    I eagerly await illumination.

    Prometheus

  30. David H July 12, 2006 at 17:23 #

    Kev,

    “Well I’m glad to see you agree the study exonerates thiomersal and MMR David but I’m not sure what the relevance of the MV question was.”

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

    “Apples and sheep David. One is a move based entirely on belief and poor science and the subsequent fact that its becoming clearer that the absolute stone cold certainty that thiomersal was the culprit exhibited by most of the groups in the mercury militia camp is incorrect and that, as vaccines are the real target, not thiomersal, another vaccine ingredient must be targeted – SafeMinds should adopt a new strapline: ‘keep it vague, keep it unprovable’

    It wasn’t my belief that changed. It was a process of examining scientific evidence and then discarding belief. The vaccine theory is Santa Claus for grown ups I’m afraid.”

    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.

    Gabesmom,

    “The most amazing thing to me about all of these “mercury militants” is not the fact that they are so adamant in their belief that something (whether it be mercury or some other as yet unidentified agent) in vaccines is causing autism but the fact that they harbor the completely nonsensical notion that vaccines are not effective at preventing illness.”

    I don’t think that is view of most of the people you are referencing. But certainly those who witness an adverse reaction to a vaccine or the vaccine causing the illness it was designed to prevent would have the right to form a strong opinion.

    Regarding stupidity, I think it is stupid that everyone assumes vaccines to be safe and I think it’s really stupid that some people are so threatened by the “mercury militia” that they resort to taking crazy pro-mercury stances.

    Ms. Clark,

    “Almost all of the positive reactions in the assays were eliminated by melting curve analysis and amplicon band-size on agarose gels. The amplicons for the remaining positive reactions were cloned and sequenced. No sample from either ASD or control groups was found to contain nucleic acids from any MV gene.”

    And this is your proof that Walker incorrectly interpreted his test results? Somehow I’m missing the point. Here are the results reported by Walker:

    Results: Medical and clinical data have been collected for >275 patients who fit the study inclusion criteria. PCR analysis on TI biopsy tissue from an initial 82 patients showed that 70 (85%) were positive for the F gene amplicon. Fourteen have been verified by DNA sequence and an additional 56 amplicons are being sequenced now. Work is ongoing to assay the remaining specimens (~200) and to identify and assay relevant control tissue samples.

  31. David H July 12, 2006 at 17:39 #

    Prometheus,

    “Wade brings up an intriguing – if completely nonsensical – point in his attempt to “shift the goalposts” on the vaccines-cause-autism issue. After all, if the “mercury militia” (or, “the militia that used to cry MERCURY”) is going to simply shift blame from one component of vaccines (thimerosal/mercury) that has been shown to not cause autism to others that have not been specifically tested to see if they might possibly cause autism, then they can keep researchers chasing their tails indefinitely.”

    Groups like SafeMinds have been asking for research into vaccines, not just single ingredients, for years. Although the focus has always been mercury they have always sought a study to compare a vaccinated population to an unvaccinated one.

    “Thimerosal was used as a preservative – aluminum is in vaccines to increase the immune response (an “adjuvant”). The two functions are not related.”

    Although thimerosal was used as a preservative, I think the thought process is that it also contributed as an adjuvant. So when it was removed vaccine manufacturers may have needed to increase other adjuvants. I don’t have a source for that but I suppose one could check the vaccine ingredient list to find out for sure, although I don’t know if quantities are included.

    “Another point that fails to get addressed is that even if we assume that all of the components of vaccines – even the sterile water – can cause autism, this still doesn’t explain why the autism numbers – as documented by the California DDS and the US Dept. of Education – keep going up! Unless Wade or someone else of the mercury/vaccines/whatever-causes-autism cabal can show that the number of vaccines received by children has continued to climb at the same rate, then their whole hypothesis collapses.”

    Why would the whole hypothesis collapse? Surely you must accept that part of the increase is due to improved awareness.

  32. David H July 12, 2006 at 17:57 #

    Maria,

    Thanks for all of the great links.

  33. María Luján July 12, 2006 at 18:31 #

    Hi David H
    You are welcome
    María Luján

  34. Dad Of Cameron July 12, 2006 at 19:15 #

    “Groups like SafeMinds have been asking for research into vaccines, not just single ingredients, for years. Although the focus has always been mercury they have always sought a study to compare a vaccinated population to an unvaccinated one.”

    Maybe groups like them, but apparently not SafeMinds.

    From their website.

    “While we encourage all families to take aggressive steps to prevent exposure to thimerosal and mercury from all sources, the ultimate goal is to encourage and support efforts to conduct medical research that provides credible findings to support that the mercury/autism hypothesis is true. Eventually we hope for a remedy or cure to be found that will reverse the damage incurred.

    Since its inception in 2000, Safe Minds has sponsored over one half million dollars in research related specifically to mercury and adverse neurological outcomes, including autism. This level of financial commitment establishes Safe Minds as the largest private non-profit organization funding mercury and autism related research. Research proposals are accepted throughout the year.”

    Sounds pretty single-ingredient to me.

  35. David H July 12, 2006 at 19:52 #

    DoC,

    When Dan Burton’s office asked Lynn Redwood to create a wishlist for the CDC the #1 study on her list was a population study of unvaccinated childen. I’ve corresponded with Mark Blaxill and this is on the top of his list as well. Even JB Handley is aggressively working to fund that study.

  36. clone3g July 12, 2006 at 20:17 #

    So Burton, Blaxill, Redwood, and Handley don’t think it’s the mercury?

    Gosh, I guess it’s all been a big misunderstanding.

    Cool

  37. David H July 12, 2006 at 21:56 #

    “So Burton, Blaxill, Redwood, and Handley don’t think it’s the mercury?”

    I’m just saying that those people have supported research into vaccines, not just mercury.

  38. Dad Of Cameron July 12, 2006 at 22:25 #

    Burton apparently still believes it’s mercury.

    Here’s an excerpt from a letter he wrote to Governor Lingle of Hawaii in support of a Thimerosal ban, less than 10 days ago.

    “Two studies released in 2005 lend support to the Mercury theory. The “Baby Haircut” study, conducted at Arizona State University, analyzed hair samples from children exposed to Thimerosal during development and found evidence that their bodies were not eliminating mercury; and, the Burbacher study, which demonstrated that there is a difference between methyl and ethyl mercury’s impact on the brain and that ethylmercury – the type of Mercury found in Thimerosal – is significantly more harmful to humans than methylmercury or environmental Mercury.”

    Incidentally the bill was vetoed by Governor Lingle citing objections which included the following:

    “This bill is objectionable because it restricts the use of FDA-approved vaccines for no scientifically sound reason.”

    and

    “This bill ignores the body of current scientific evidence on thimerosal-containing vaccines.”

    David,

    I’m sure your aware that the Holmes baby haircut study was not 2005 nor ASU, and I’m sure you already understand that it doesn’t prove anything about autism and mercury. I’m sure you can also clarify why the Burbacher study doesn’t demonstrate any “impact” on the the brain or conclude anything about autism.

    Here’s my point, in the context of Kevin’s post, the people you cite have apparently not been multiple ingredient proponents “for years” as you seem to be trying to imply. I don’t argue that they may not be now, recently, or over the course of the past year, that’s the point of Kevin’s post.

    Interesting reading on Dan Burton at wikipedia by the way. Despite his apparent lack of understanding of the science (his letter to Governor Lingle looks more like error-prone parroting of Safeminds stuff), he’s got some interesting history.

  39. Heraldlog July 12, 2006 at 22:33 #

    Bradstreet and exorcism? Too funny. Please, a link! Must. Have. Link.

  40. Hyperion July 12, 2006 at 23:13 #

    “Since its inception in 2000, Safe Minds has sponsored over one half million dollars in research related specifically to mercury and adverse neurological outcomes, including autism.”

    At our staff meeting today, another group within my association announced that they had completed the paperwork for a single half-million dollar study this year on a particular medical issue. While I’m sure that many mercury moms might find Safe Minds’ budget impressive, I’m gonna guess that this basically covered a couple of newspaper ads and the salaries of their executive office.

    With regards to unvaccinated populations, that’s just not going to happen. It would be such an enormous reach of ethics to withhold vaccinations from children for the purpose of a study that doing so would leave one open to civil and quite possibly criminal charges. Populations with large numbers of unvaccinated children such as the Amish are unfortunately often endogamous, which creates some confounding issues when studying conditions with a strong genetic basis.

    If one can find a population of unvaccinated children that is large, random, and diverse enough for a study, then go for it, but I doubt it’s going to happen. Of course, you could do some case studies of the reported cases of autism in unvaccinated children and see what pops up.

    That being said, you need to find some way of explaining why the vast majority of immunized children do not develop autism. Laying the blame at some immune dysfunction fails to explain why many children with abnormal immune systems do not develop autism. At some point you just keep coming back to the fact that the only correlation seen is genetic.

    Oh, one final thing: Someone mentioned a study showing excessive 5-HT levels in autistic children. The supposed hypothesis was that 5-HT levels would affect the immune system and that this would somehow leave them vulnerable to vaccinations. I was shocked to read this, because excessive levels of 5-HT could explain many of the neurological symptoms of autism on its own, with no need to drag environmental factors into it. 5-HT (serotonin) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Excess serotonin will result in inhibited neurological activity in some regions, and could also result in something called dis-inhibition in others, where the 5-HT inhibits the action of neurons which themselves exert an inhibitory effect elsewhere. Screwy levels of essential neurotransmitters is a far more likely cause of autism on its own, with no need to even mention autoimmune disorders.

    In fact, now that I think about this a little more, many of the sensory overload effects of illicit hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD are produced by mimicking the action of 5-HT in a region known as the Raphe nucleus. I’m not equating LSD to autism, just thinking that if drugs which mimic the action of 5-HT can cause sensory overload and changes in cognition, then it is also possible that a genetic condition which affects the levels of that neurotransmitter would also be capable of causing sensory overload and other sensory difference as well as cognitive and perceptual differences.

    Hmmmmmm

  41. Joseph July 12, 2006 at 23:26 #

    Isn’t Bradstreet also the guy who continues to insist that Secretin is an effective autism treatment, despite all the double-blind studies that show otherwise?

  42. María Luján July 12, 2006 at 23:42 #

    Hy Hyperion
    You say
    That being said, you need to find some way of explaining why the vast majority of immunized children do not develop autism.

    Because thei genetics is non- autistics (they do not carry the polymorphisms related to the metabolism, and biochemistry and brain structure related to ASD).

    Laying the blame at some immune dysfunction fails to explain why many children with abnormal immune systems do not develop autism.
    This is a fallacious logic.
    Many children with autism have abnormal immune systems.
    BUT NOT all children with abnormal immune systems are autistics.

    At some point you just keep coming back to the fact that the only correlation seen is genetic.

    Never discussed that the root is genetics. My point is that you can not discard IN ADVANCE the environmental cointribution ( how much? how? at what level? ) that can play an important role in the general health ( or lack of).

    Oh, one final thing: Someone mentioned a study showing excessive 5-HT levels in autistic children.
    The supposed hypothesis was that 5-HT levels would affect the immune system and that this would somehow leave them vulnerable to vaccinations. I was shocked to read this, because excessive levels of 5-HT could explain many of the neurological symptoms of autism on its own, with no need to drag environmental factors into it. 5-HT (serotonin) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Excess serotonin will result in inhibited neurological activity in some regions, and could also result in something called dis-inhibition in others, where the 5-HT inhibits the action of neurons which themselves exert an inhibitory effect elsewhere. Screwy levels of essential neurotransmitters is a far more likely cause of autism on its own, with no need to even mention autoimmune disorders.

    In fact, now that I think about this a little more, many of the sensory overload effects of illicit hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD are produced by mimicking the action of 5-HT in a region known as the Raphe nucleus. I’m not equating LSD to autism, just thinking that if drugs which mimic the action of 5-HT can cause sensory overload and changes in cognition, then it is also possible that a genetic condition which affects the levels of that neurotransmitter would also be capable of causing sensory overload and other sensory difference as well as cognitive and perceptual differences.

    What about both together? Why is it always this or that ? What about this and that- in this case of 5HT?
    MAría Luján

  43. Gabesmom July 13, 2006 at 02:30 #

    Maria, my point was not whether or not immunizations in some way, shape, or form cause autoimmune diseases or even if they contribute to autism.I have allergies and allergy induced asthma, as did my great grandfather and grandmother before me- neither of which was immunized, by the way. I did not develop any symptoms until I moved to East Tennessee (in the U.S) when I was almost 17 years old. Had I never moved there, there is a good chance I would never have developed symptoms- though the potential was obviously there from the beginning. I have since lived in states where I have experienced no symptoms. I often wonder how the increase in mobility over the last few decades has contributed to the increase in the number of people diagnosed with allergies.

    My point was that many of the proponents of the mercury or vaccine= autism hypothesis refuse to acknowledge that vaccines prevent disease. My only advice to them is a a nice stint in a subsaharan African country without the proper shots. While they are enjoying their stay, let them ask the natives how many of them would risk the possibility of their child developing allergies for the chance to have them fully immunized against life threatening and disabling diseases.

    It may be true that vaccines could be safer. Now, it’s certainly true that all medications carry a certain risk to the user, but one must always way the risk against the benefit, and, unless and until there are some serious, independently veriified studies that suggest that the risk associated with vaccinating my children is greater than the potential protection against disease, I will opt to vaccinate. I prefer my children living thank you very much.

  44. David H July 13, 2006 at 02:50 #

    “It may be true that vaccines could be safer. Now, it’s certainly true that all medications carry a certain risk to the user, but one must always way the risk against the benefit, and, unless and until there are some serious, independently veriified studies that suggest that the risk associated with vaccinating my children is greater than the potential protection against disease, I will opt to vaccinate. I prefer my children living thank you very much.”

    So do you think the benefit of vaccinating a newborn with Hep B is greater than the risk to that baby? I fail to see how anyone could rationally come to such a conclusion but I suppose I’m just to stupid to see the benefits. Please let me know if you find a cure for my ailment.

  45. Hyperion July 13, 2006 at 02:59 #

    “My point is that you can not discard IN ADVANCE the environmental contribution ( how much? how? at what level? ) that can play an important role in the general health ( or lack of).”

    No, Maria, you misunderstand: I cannot *accept* in advance environmental contributions. I especially cannot accept in advance that unknown sundry environmental factors exert an unknown and unobserved effect that may cause some unknown percentage of symptoms of a disorder, especially when said disorder has such a strong genetic correlation.

    Saying that I cannot discard in advance an environmental contribution is like saying that I cannot in advance discard the possibility that an intelligent designer created autistic children as they are for a purpose. Both statements are technically true, but completely irrelevant.

    The burden of proof is to demonstrate that a specific particular factor has a positive epidemiological correlation with a given disorder in the population at large, and then confirm via clinical testing that such a factor is capable of causing such effects. Now, it is certainly acceptable for a researcher to ask the question “Is there a correlation between factor X and condition Y,” but he wouldn’t expect anyone to accept that such a correlation exists, or is even possible, until and unless he provided some evidence, and he would have an obligation to provide such evidence.

    Even so, questioning whether something is possible is solely for research. Policy analysis is only concerned with what can be demonstrated via solid evidence. Feel free to disagree with me, but it would be wise to listen…errr, read…as I am explaining to you exactly what just about any health policy analyst is going to conclude if you present him with that argument.

    “I put more faith into clinical data than I do epi data.”

    You have the right to put your faith wherever you wish. Me, my professional opinion is that epidemiological data is more useful as a first-pass investigation. If there’s no correlation, then there’s likely nothing going on. If there is a correlation, it might still be unconnected, but it’s a good start for looking into clinical data. A full conclusion really requires both. The only thing worse than doing nothing is basing a policy on shaky evidence that doesn’t pan out. Just look at the measles outbreaks in Britain, and consider what would have happened if government or private health analysts had done as you wish and advised people to cease vaccinating.

  46. María Luján July 13, 2006 at 03:00 #

    Gabesmom
    Thank you for your comment to me- and for sharing personal information.
    You say
    My point was that many of the proponents of the mercury or vaccine= autism hypothesis refuse to acknowledge that vaccines prevent disease.
    I understand your point. I disagree with this particular statement and consider important vaccines. I had measles with 1 year old- no vaccine available at that time- and I almost died. I have ever considered important the vaccines. My point is how the safety is tested and whythe need to vaccinate too much when the children are too young, considering that all the children are similar in the potential positives and the potential negatives- for me they are not.
    I have posted this before in another blog but I hope you forgive me to repeat my thinking:
    As a parent the (wrong) presentation of the issue is to pick between an infectious and potentially life-threatening disease (by do not vaccinate) or the risk of neurodevelopmental problems, autism and in extreme cases, death (by to vaccinate). No parent must be pushed in this position for me. And the presentation of this dicotomy is worrisome for me because it is not true. At an individual level is possible that vaccines can do harm. The main point for me is to detect what children are prone to the risk/negative reaction to avoid the potential of damage not to be pushed in the position of to vaccinate or do not vaccinate per se because this is not a solution; it is a nightmare. This is what I consider important. For me it is not to vaccinate at any cost or not to vaccinate at all. It is much more complex. By adopting extreme positions a strong damage is being done to the vaccination program and at least to my autistic child in my personal view, indeed.
    You say
    Now, it’s certainly true that all medications carry a certain risk to the user, but one must always way the risk against the benefit

    And I agree with you. The problem for me is that if it is not known what child can be at high risk, how can you know the potential risk? One question how many doctors follow the CDC recommendations on vaccinations? How many doctors think about previous diseases or symptoms of immune dysregulation in children before vaccinations?

    , and, unless and until there are some serious, independently veriified studies that suggest that the risk associated with vaccinating my children is greater than the potential protection against disease, I will opt to vaccinate. I prefer my children living thank you very much.

    I consider that Each family must have the right to do the decissions about their children´s health that consider pertinent.
    The problem for me is
    a- IF enough amount of information is provided about potential risks ( I was never adviced about for example)
    b- IF the doctor is aware of symptoms of potential negative effects of vaccinations.
    Sincerely
    María Luján

  47. Ms. Clark July 13, 2006 at 03:03 #

    From a popular mercury parent yahoo Group, in 2005.

    The first person quoted is Lawrence L, physician, MD:
    _Actually I heard that from him myself. He is a true believer in the devil and exorcism. I don’t think he mentions it no[w] but he did in the past because one of my parents who has a child with DS and a child with autism (by the way a common combination) who is, herself, a devout Christian was told the same thing in 1999 by Dr. Bradstreet. She saw him for 2 years._

    On Feb 4, 2005, at 8:59 AM, Holly B_____ wrote:

    _Honey, that was HIS word, not mine. I can think of a dozen people he told to have thier kid exorcised. The first few who told me I thought was funn then I heard it from other listmates on this list, then I heard it on audiotape for myself. He was actually banned from participating in a DAN conference one year for this. We are not kidding. I don’t believe that he prescribes this anymore, to anyone, because I think we would have heard so maybe it was a temporary lapse of judgement, but it was a doozy!_

    > _From: “jesusnowworld”_
    >> _Exorcism is a pretty strong word. I don’t even know who performs_
    >> _exorcisms these days. It gives people a lot of really negative images._
    ——————

  48. María Luján July 13, 2006 at 03:39 #

    Hi Hyperion
    You said
    No, Maria, you misunderstand: I cannot accept in advance environmental contributions.
    Me neither. Only after a lot of research (personal research) I analyzed the idea with another light.
    Nothing can be done in advance here fore me, to accept or to discard.

    I especially cannot accept in advance that unknown sundry environmental factors exert an unknown and unobserved effect that may cause some unknown percentage of symptoms of a disorder, especially when said disorder has such a strong genetic correlation.

    I am not asking you to accept. I am talking about studying. I am talking about the lack of tools of common epi to detect genetic conditions that (can) request for an environmental trigger – whatever the source (xenobiotics, a virus, an infection, combination of)

    Saying that I cannot discard in advance an environmental contribution is like saying that I cannot in advance discard the possibility that an intelligent designer created autistic children as they are for a purpose. Both statements are technically true, but completely irrelevant.

    No, there are no published or anecdotal report of what you mentioned. There are plenty of published reports of the potential effects of environmental insults and a lot of anecdotal reports for science that requieres systematizatoin, proper analysis and consideration /design of high quality/high science controlled studies to determine the true contribution of.

    The burden of proof is to demonstrate that a specific particular factor has a positive epidemiological correlation with a given disorder in the population at large, and then confirm via clinical testing that such a factor is capable of causing such effects.

    You are considering a specific particular factor. I am talking that the condition can have several factors whose impact depends on individual genetics and health history. Genetic epidemiology considerates adequately the role of environment in several of its approaches.

    Now, it is certainly acceptable for a researcher to ask the question “Is there a correlation between factor X and condition Y,” but he wouldn’t expect anyone to accept that such a correlation exists, or is even possible, until and unless he provided some evidence, and he would have an obligation to provide such evidence.

    But more than the correlation (because correlation is not caussation) what for me is needed is
    1- a biologically plausible hypothesis of interaction of xenobiotics in ASD ( and studies designed to test these hypothesis)-. Several have been published for example on GSMT1
    2- a biochemically plausible mechanism of immune dysregulation, linked to genetics/maternal antibodies/ prenatal insult, that can explain the impact of xenobiotics and give a support to the published data on immune problems in a subgroup of children with autism. Work of Dr Ashwood is very interesting for me also work of Dr Panja
    “Immunological findings in autism”:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16512356&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum
    3-a biologically plausible role of management of viruses and bacterian infections- and also those from vaccines- that can be tested adequately with the adequate tools (please see the link above )- non-aggresive ( I would never say to test a child with a test I would not do in my son if not absolutely necessary and under life threatening: CFS study for example)
    4- based on the axis brain- gut to test adequately the role of immune answer related to gastrointestinal problems .

    Even so, questioning whether something is possible is solely for research. Policy analysis is only concerned with what can be demonstrated via solid evidence. Feel free to disagree with me, but it would be wise to listen…errr, read…as I am explaining to you exactly what just about any health policy analyst is going to conclude if you present him with that argument.
    “I put more faith into clinical data than I do epi data.”

    Hyperion for me this is not a question of faith , it is a question of facts. I consider that I can not mention my son because he is anecdotical for science. Only can say to you that epi can not ( and did not) give even a clue to know about what to search as medical condition in a ASD child, concomitant to the ASD diagnosis under the DSMIV. What I found under trustable tests in trustable labs- no commercial labs, no e-mail sàmples- put me in a road of research and learning where I found the needed information to do the best informed and responsible decisions I could. Epi did not help. Almost no doctor helped.

    If there’s no correlation, then there’s likely nothing going on.
    Absence of correlation finding is not absence of correlation.

    If there is a correlation, it might still be unconnected, but it’s a good start for looking into clinical data. A full conclusion really requires both.
    I agree

    The only thing worse than doing nothing is basing a policy on shaky evidence that doesn’t pan out. Just look at the measles outbreaks in Britain, and consider what would have happened if government or private health analysts had done as you wish and advised people to cease vaccinating.

    But this is what is worrisome for me. Why we must pick between two extremes? Yes/No- as I established in my previous post. Why, if Health is the priority, we can not ask for safer options- for example measles alone if parents required? For me, it is not to cease vaccinating the point ( only if the child has a condition that make the vaccination contraindicated and CDC lists many). What I am concerned is to vaccinate at any cost with a lot of vaccines that are not enough tested for safety- and there were some examples- Rotavirus vaccine for example, that was withdrawn in 2000. What I am concerned is about doctors knowing nothing about potential negative effects of vaccines. For me
    a- it is not serious (or fair) to dismiss parents concerns about vaccines systematically
    b-it is not serious to be more concerned by vaccination policies that for potential damages in genetically susceptible children, when now apparently and theoretically the proportion is near 0.5 % if we consider autism in general There are dozens of published studies about the need to identify genetically susceptible people to vaccines (toxoids , viruses or preservatives-additives), heavy metals or environmental poisons.
    c-it is not serious that one complete study has not been done on the issue funded by mainstreamed sources, about impact of COMBINATION of potential insults in genetically susceptible children
    d-it is not serious that ALL alternative medicine is considered quackery
    e-it is not serious in mainstreamed medicine the lack of knowledge of chemistry, immunology, virology and gastrointestinal issues in autism , let´s go to call them comorbilities for now
    f-it is not serious how children/teens and adults are left unattended because “it is all the autism” once and again. It is unfair how the situation is presented to parents: “few children with autism will grow to have something similar to a normal life, most of them will be a tremendous burden to the family, emotionally, financially and perhaps he/she will be a danger for him/she and to the family”. But also it is not serious to say “all children with autism will grow up and would have almost normal lives” because it is not true, unfortunately. Each child with autism is unique. Each child with autism deserves the adequate treatment for him/her.
    g-it is not serious how publicly the concerns of parents are dismissed without a careful consideration., trying to reassure reputations and vaccine program credibility.
    h-it is not serious to qualify ALL the researchers involved with or akin to the alternative movement or similar as quacks ( and unfair).
    i-it is not serious to confuse scientific rigor with close mind and high standard of science with blindness to real –life experience.
    However, mainstreamed medicine is very careful before consideration of treatments, needs a lot of replication of data to conclude about so serious medical conditions such as autism and it requires years of research to generate a real treatment based on years of clinical trials. Mainstreamed/non-commercial labs are trustable in terms of optimum ranges based on clinical studies, the use of right tools and the adequate protocols. Pubmed is a wonderful source of information and you can find a lot of excellent-and not so- published research there.
    My point is that , even if it implies efforts, even between different organisms, the answer to this kind of requests of safety must be more serious that to dismiss in advance and to maintain all the same, because nothing is proven for sure.
    Well I would say for the population in general, no it is not proven; for my autistic son I am not conviced looking at his tests.

    María Luján

  49. María Luján July 13, 2006 at 03:44 #

    Hi
    A clarification. I could not get the “iImmunological findings in autism” paper but the abstract includes a (I think) mistake: that the MMR contained thimerosal. At least the versions used now do not.
    Ma Luján

  50. Sister July 13, 2006 at 04:54 #

    “Someone mentioned a study showing excessive 5-HT (Serotonin) levels in autistic children. ”

    NIH did a study in the 1960’s investigating elevated serotonin levels in autistic children. I participated in the study as a control (normal child) My brother, autistic, also participated. Result: my serotonin level was higher than my brother’s. That study was discontinued.
    I find it interesting that 30 years later, the same theories are under discussion.

    my guess for the next theory of causation: smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol by both parents prior to conception, during pregnancy and in early childhood cause autism, maybe then, instead of skipping immunizations, scared parents will undertake beneficial changes in health, plus think of all the potential lawsuits – more big tobacco settlements 🙂

    ps. if mercury were a cause of autism, then there would have been an ‘epidemic’ of autistic children of hatmakers in the 1800’s.

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