Evidence of Misinformation

7 Mar

This entry is once again guest blogged by SL. I’d like to thank SL once again for providing clarity on a massively complex issue.

I’m going to try and break down some of Kirby’s most confusing points he makes with regard to autism and mitochondrial disease. He is misleading, irresponsibly selling falsehoods and half-truths as fact. As Jon has pointed out on LB/RB, his math is way off at times. I’ve spent hours reviewing scientific studies, and hopefully can further clear up any confusion Kirby may have created.

Evidence of Misinformation # 1

Mitochondrial disorders are now thought to be the most common disease associated with ASD.

Well, it took some digging, but I found where Mr. Kirby came up with this one-liner. You will find a similar (yet, not really what he says) statement in here:

A minority of cases of autism has been associated with several different organic conditions, including bioenergetic metabolism deficiency. In a population-based study, we screened associated medical conditions in a group of 120 children with autism (current age range 11y 5mo to 14y 4mo, mean age 12y 11mo [SD 9.6mo], male:female ratio 2.9:1). Children were diagnosed using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria, the Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised, and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale; 76% were diagnosed with typical autism and 24% with atypical autism. Cognitive functional level was assessed with the Griffiths scale and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children and was in the normal range in 17%. Epilepsy was present in 19 patients. Plasma lactate levels were measured in 69 patients, and in 14 we found hyperlactacidemia. Five of 11 patients studied were classified with definite mitochondrial respiratory chain disorder, suggesting that this might be one of the most common disorders associated with autism (5 of 69; 7.2%) and warranting further investigation.

That last line sounds vaguely familiar right? Except, Kirby sold it as truth. Whereas in the study, it is presented as a thesis to be proved later on. A suggestion, a possible link, warranting further investigations. That’s much different from Kirby’s statement of fact, that mito *IS* the most common disease associated with ASD. Also, this study presents us with a figure of 7.2%, we’ll need this number later on.

Now, perhaps I’m wrong here. Maybe Kirby is getting his information elsewhere. So, then, what are his sources? Does a study exist which compares children with autism or autistic features who also have mito vs. those who also have other genetic disorders? How do those numbers compare? With the myriad of genetic disorders, I’d be highly interested in this. There’s a reason why so little is known about mito: it is a RARE disease. Has Kirby seen additional studies? Can he offer us large numbers of autistic children, being shown to have mitochondrial disorder too? No, he has one court case that he is referencing. He is using made-up figures and for some reason, fantasizes about autistic children having a mitochondrial disease.

I did find a few actual studies that I can reference. And, none state that mitochondrial disease is the most common disease associated with autism. I wonder about the Autism Genome Project Consortium’s study study with the strong link to Chromosome 11. Or the review by the Autism Research Unit UK, pointing to gastrointestinal problems, viral illnesses, and genetic disorders as factors in autism.

This study shows that “several metabolic defects have been associated with autistic symptoms with a rate higher than that found in the general population.” This essentially argues the opposite of what Kirby states. There are more autistic symptoms seen in some people with metabolic disorders than compared to the rest of the population. If I have Group A (General Population) and Group B (persons with metabolic disorders), according to this study, Group B will have more more people with autistic symptoms. This does not say that within a group of autistic individuals, metabolic disorders are most prevalent. Also, the study says “autistic symptoms” which is not the same as autism. Children with gastrointestinal dysfunction, seizures, etc. associated with a metabolic disorder could very likely appear to have “autistic symptoms.”

Another factor to consider is proper diagnosis (ruling out autistic features being secondary to a disease, vs. being true autism), and that any child presenting with autism or autistic features, should be screened properly. It is reasonable to rule out certain genetic and psychological disorders, such as those mentioned here. Equally important, with regard to mitochondrial disorders, is how samples are taken and tested. If someone unfamiliar with mitochondrial diseases, or a lab is improperly equipped, you may get inaccurate results. Also, because someone has “markers” for a disorder, that does not mean they definitively have that disorder or disease. In the majority of cases, an autistic child does not have a primary disorder, such as mito.

Evidence of Misinformation #2:

Some journal articles and other analyses have estimated that 10% to 20% of all autism cases may involve mitochondrial disorders, which would make them one thousand times more common among people with ASD than the general population.

Again, Kirby uses the same language to try and make his point. The words “some” and “other” should be the first red flags you see. What journal articles? What “other analyses” can be cited? It would be so very helpful if he would document where he gets the 10-20% figure from. This would be of great help, and would further this discussion. If he has real sources, scientific studies, any type of evidence of this, share it. I am not entirely against the idea that 10-20% of autistic individuals who have had a true regression, also have mitochondrial disease. I said it in a previous post – if a child has a well-documented, real regression, other things should be looked into (like mito, genetic disorders, etc.).

Remember that 7.2%? That is the only figure I was able to find in regards to the prevalence of mitochondrial disease in children diagnosed with autism. It is from the study I have posted above. 7.2% seems rather high, and certainly many more studies would need to be done to come to a more accurate figure. Another concern is the methods in which these children were diagnosed (i.e. tissue biopsy). Regardless, 20% is quite a jump from a documented 7.2%.

Here are some real numbers regarding mitochondrial disease, as well as autism. From the Cleveland Clinic:

About one in 4,000 children in the United States will develop mitochondrial disease by the age of 10 years. One thousand to 4,000 children per year in the United Sates are born with a type of mitochondrial disease.

According to The Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center (at UCSD):

Four million children are born in the US each year. This means that 1000 to 4000 children will be born each year with mitochondrial disease. By comparison, about 8000 new cases of childhood cancer are reported each year. Both mitochondrial disease and childhood cancer range in mortality from 1O to 50 percent per year, depending on the specific disease.

Going with the CDC’s 1 in 150 figure and Cleveland Clinic’s 4 million births per year, we can pull some more numbers from Kirby’s 10-20% theory. Currently, there are 1000 – 4000 children born with mito each year, or 0.03-0.10% of all births. Compare that to 26,670 (or 0.67%) estimated number of autistic individuals born in a year. If 10% of autistic children have mito, that means 2,667 additional children would be born with mito. At 15%, you have an extra 4000, at 20% an total of 5,333 more children would be born with mito. The likelihood of mito then increases up to 0.23%. That’s a substantial increase in cases of mitochondrial disease. And they portray autism as an epidemic?

And, speaking of the so-called “Autism crisis,” Kirby’s idea that 10-20% of autistics really have mitochondrial disease changes the rate of autism quite a bit. Autism figures would start to look more like 1 in 187. If indeed, 10-20% of autistics (2,667 – 5,333) truly do end up having mito, what would be the advice to those families with regard to vaccines? Who will be held accountable when families who have mitochondrial disease are devastated to find out how vital those vaccines are to their children?

Is Kirby also aware that in some families with mitochondrial disease, children can be affected to varying degrees? The argument may be that this “autism-mito” group is “less-affected” by the disease. Well, their siblings, including those born in the future, could be born with more severe forms of the disease. People have led countless numbers of families to forgo their vaccinations. What would be suggested when a family who only vaccinated their eldest (autistic) child, has 2 more children, both of which have more severe forms of mitochondrial disease? What would be said if one of those children died after being infected by a disease that could of been prevented had the family been properly vaccinated?

Evidence of Misinformation #3:

Another article, published in the Journal of Child Neurology and co-authored by Dr. Zimmerman, showed that 38% of Kennedy Krieger Institute autism patients studied had one marker for impaired oxidative phosphorylation, and 47% had a second marker.

Below is the actual report from the study. This is the study that Dr. Poling also co-authored, interestingly enough. I assume he prompted this study, following his findings with his own child. I assume the girl in the case is in fact, his own daughter [It is – KL](test results are the same).

To determine the frequency of routine laboratory abnormalities in similar patients, we performed a retrospective study including 159 patients with autism (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV and Childhood Autism Rating Scale) not previously diagnosed with metabolic disorders and 94 age-matched controls with other neurologic disorders. Aspartate aminotransferase was elevated in 38% of patients with autism compared with 15% of controls (P < .0001). The serum creatine kinase level also was abnormally elevated in 22 (47%) of 47 patients with autism. These data suggest that further metabolic evaluation is indicated in autistic patients and that defects of oxidative phosphorylation might be prevalent. (J Child Neuro 2006;21:170—172; DOI 10.2310/7010.2006.00032).

Kirby leads you to believe that both figures (38 & 47%) come from the same total of participants. It does not. The 38% is from the total of the group of 159. The 47% comes from a smaller group (subset, perhaps?), consisting of 47 patients. Kirby presents this information in such a way, that someone not willing to look at the numbers, would assume that nearly half of the autistic children in this study have mitochondrial disease. This is not the case.

Interesting to note:
Creatine Kinase (CPK) can also be a marker for for heart attack, hypothyroidism, and several other diseases.
Aspartate aminotransferase (AST, previously known as SGOT) is more commonly a marker for liver disease.

Also, these are two of several “markers” found to be abnormal for my daughter. My daughter does *NOT* have mito. It’s quite a leap for anyone to make that abnormal results for these two “markers” qualifies as mitochondrial disease. As in the study at the beginning, this one at the end makes its conclusion using careful words like “suggest,” and “might.”

Sorry, Mr. Kirby, but the dots you try to connect and the holes in many of your statements are potentially misleading. It’s unwise to make false claims, presenting them in a “scientific” or at the very least professional sounding manner. Parents who don’t know any better, have limited time or resources, they read what you have written. They take it as fact, and base very important decisions on what they read from you. I would never want to be responsible for causing pain and suffering via unwarranted, invasive medical testing to numbers of children. I couldn’t look myself in the mirror if my recommendations (to avoid vaccines) proved to be harmful to the very families who were so very “loyal” to me.

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91 Responses to “Evidence of Misinformation”

  1. S.L. March 10, 2008 at 00:26 #

    PLEASE READ:

    (from http://www.umdf.org)

    Complex I Deficiency

    Long Name: NADH dehydrogenase (NADH-CoQ reductase) deficiency.

    Inside the mitochondrion is a group of proteins that carry electrons along four chain reactions (Complexes I-IV), resulting in energy production. This chain is known as the Electron Transport Chain. A fifth group (Complex V) churns out the ATP. Together, the electron transport chain and the ATP synthase form the respiratory chain and the whole process is known as oxidative phosphorylation or OXPHOS.

    Complex I, the first step in this chain, is the most common site for mitochondrial abnormalities, representing as much as one third of the respiratory chain deficiencies. Often presenting at birth or in early childhood, Complex I deficiency is usually a progressive neuro-degenerative disorder and is responsible for a variety of clinical symptoms, particularly in organs and tissues that require high energy levels, such as brain, heart, liver, and skeletal muscles. A number of specific mitochondrial disorders have been associated with Complex I deficiency including: Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON), MELAS, MERRF, and Leigh Syndrome (LS).

    There are three major forms of Complex I deficiency:

    1) Fatal infantile multisystem disorder – characterized by poor muscle tone, developmental delay, heart disease, lactic acidosis, and respiratory failure.

    2) Myopathy (muscle disease) – starting in childhood or adulthood, and characterized by weakness or exercise intolerance.

    3) Mitochondrial encephalomyopathy (brain and muscle disease) – beginning in childhood or adulthood and involving variable symptom combinations which may include: eye muscle paralysis, pigmentary retinopathy (retinal color changes with loss of vision), hearing loss, sensory neuropathy (nerve damage involving the sense organs), seizures, dementia, ataxia (abnormal muscle coordination), and involuntary movements. This form of Complex I deficiency may cause Leigh Syndrome and MELAS.

    Most cases of Complex I deficiency result from autosomal recessive inheritance (combination of defective nuclear genes from both the mother and the father). Less frequently, the disorder is maternally inherited or sporadic and the genetic defect is in the mitochondrial DNA.

    Treatment: As with all mitochondrial diseases, there is no cure for Complex I deficiency. A variety of treatments, which may or may not be effective, can include such metabolic therapies as: riboflavin, thiamine, biotin, co-enzyme Q10, carnitine, and the ketogenic diet. Therapies for the infantile multisystem form have been unsuccessful.

    The clinical course and prognosis for Complex I patients is highly variable and may depend on the specific genetic defect, age of onset, organs involved, and other factors.

    Cause: Autosomal.

    Complex III Deficiency

    Long Name: Ubiquinone-cytochrome c oxidoreductase deficiency.

    Symptoms: Four major forms:

    1. Fatal infantile encephalomyopathy, congenital lactic acidosis, hypotonia, dystrophic posturing, seizures, and coma. Ragged-red fibers common.
    2.Encephalomyopathies of later onset (childhood to adult life): various combinations of weakness, short stature, ataxia, dementia, hearing loss, sensory neuropathy, pigmentary retinopathy, and pyramidal signs. Ragged-red fibers common. Possible lactic acidosis.
    3.Myopathy, with exercise intolerance evolving into fixed weakness. Ragged-red fibers common. Possible lactic acidosis.
    4.Infantile histiocytoid cardiomyopathy.

    Cause: Probably autosomal recessive.

    Thanks.

  2. S.L. March 10, 2008 at 01:09 #

    There’s more, but it won’t post. In the meantime, please visit http://www.umdf.org, read under Diseases, about Complex I & III.

  3. bones March 10, 2008 at 01:20 #

    “…you are compelled not to go to civil court, but the government demands you join one of the thousands sitting for years in something called vaccine court.”

    Not true. Any parent is free to file a claim in civil court.

  4. Schwartz March 10, 2008 at 04:25 #

    S.L.

    Those last couple of posts were very helpful. I have a couple observations that you could confirm or not:

    1) There is no confirmed connection between the patients’ genetic mutation and the mitochondrial disorder/dysfunction.

    2) The diagnosis of mitochondrial disorder/dysfunction occurred only after lab samples were taken post vaccination after the observation of symptoms of illness. Although mitochondrial disorders (type I and III) sometimes don’t show until later, there is no evidence that the patient had the disorder pre-vaccination.

  5. Kev March 10, 2008 at 08:48 #

    Schwartz – go back up a few comments and you will see a long-ish comment from SL at 17:51:57 and another from 00:26:13 which had been spam-trapped overnight. It may answer your questions.

  6. gwynfryn March 10, 2008 at 12:53 #

    At risk of being completely ignored yet again, I’m going to throw out a general question:

    Is there even one other person on this entire planet who understands the importance of correct labeling??????

    This debate is very interesting, but overlooks a significant fact: mitochondria are evolved parasites, early invaders into progenitors of what are now complex cells; as such, they have no bearing on genotype.

    “Autism”, as should be evident to anyone who can escape “orthodox think”, and looks at all the evidence, is clearly a genotypical variant of human kind, which has been with us for ever (well, as far back as Neanderthals, anyway) and cannot possibly be either a “defect”, nor the result of one. Lets look at a quote from the opening argument:

    [A minority of cases of autism has been associated with several different organic conditions, including bioenergetic metabolism deficiency.]

    If only “A minority of cases of autism” has been “associated with several different organic conditions” then why is this minority labeled “autism”? Why are the exceptions also labeled “autism”? Can someone (anyone) please explain to me what the point is of using a strange word like “autism” to describe so many different conditions, which are apparently due to so many different causes?

    Come on people! Think about what you’re posting!!! You are all debating some variant of what you all think is “autism” without having any clear notion of what the word actually means! If you can’t see the problem with this, consider (please) the following analogy:

    Imagine an epidemic of Dytch Olm Disease (Olm being a kind of tree) was been studied by teams of experts. One team noted that the disease seemed to be associated with a certain beetle infestation and so started gathering data, which, with subsequent statistical analysis, yielded a correlation of 76%. On noting this result, other groups set out to verify it, turning up similar correlations (73%, 81%, even 98% in one, somewhat suspect, study) and so studied the beetle, noted it was frequently a carrier of a certain fungus (again with a high correlation) and VOILA! We have a probable cause of Dytch Olm disease.

    Not a 100% certainty of course, as reality is too scrappy for that; some researchers may have failed to diagnose the disease in some Olm trees that had it (but found some beetles) while others may have found the disease, but failed to find the beetle (maybe it had been and gone, or maybe they just weren’t thorough enough?). Then there are always the possibilities that some small percentage of Olms are naturally immune (the basis of evolution) and that some beetles don’t carry the fungus. Never mind; anything above 65% is a good pointer to what is probably happening, right?

    Suppose though, that the researchers had only a vague notion of what an Olm was? Supposing they included a superficially similar tree (the Ylm) in their studies, a tree which just happened to be immune to the fungal infection? If half of the trees studied were Ylm, then suddenly we have only a 38% (or similar) correlation, and the probable cause no longer seems so clear; beetle infestations no longer gave a high probability of catching the disease.

    Supposing, again, that the vagueness in definitions also let in data from Ulm trees (hey, they all look the same to me!) which, though prone to the fungal infection, was actually unpalatable to the beetle in question? Now we have not only trees with beetle infection but no disease, we also have diseased trees on which hardly anyone found the said beetle! Correlations are now down to less than 20%. This is not good; some researchers may think there’s a pattern, but the majority will think otherwise, and so spend their careers chasing their own myriad theories!

    Hello everyone! WELCOME TO THE CURRENT STATE OF “AUTISM” RESEARCH. Well no, it’s actually worse than that (can you believe this?); as if the tree researchers had got the idea that the Olm fern was a diseased tree, and used it as a collective noun for any tree that was vaguely “Olm” like.

    Kanner only borrowed the term “autistic” from a previous usage as a label for a personality type. The disordered kids in his study had certain behaviorisms which superficially resembled those of people who were strongly
    autistic (but not disordered). No connection between the personality type and the rag tag collection now labeled ASD has ever been demonstrated (but what can you expect when the inventor of this term clearly doesn’t understand what a spectrum is?). The use of “autistic disorder” is reasonable for the select symptoms Kanner described. The way Asperger described his “little professors” (but none of the other disordered kids he worked with) as “autistic” appears valid if one studies the personality type (who are systematically treated as non-humans, due to their unusually high levels of objectivity, rationality, egalitarianism, contemplative natures and other attributes which set them apart from “normals”, and get up the noses of those who think they should be in charge, and who’s opinions should not be challenged) as Aaron Rosanoff described it:

    http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/citation/77/3/417

    To use the word “autism” as a collective term for a boat load of disorders is totally illogical (what purpose can it serve?). As a premise for scientific research, it positively STINKS. Any debate in which people use “autism” as if they all have the same understanding of the term…

    {which clearly isn’t so; I’ve yet to come across any two researchers who agree precisely on what it means, or even have a clear, workable, definition! Yet they still beaver away looking for “autism” genes, or whatever, while having only a vague idea of what they think it means!!!!}

    …is futile, as (as demonstrated above) is any attempt at statistical analysis! Lets look at another quote:

    [There is an agenda behind the airplay this theory of autism as mitochondrial dysfunction is receiving:]

    There’s an agenda behind every attempt to misrepresent “autism” as a suitable collective name for disparate issues! By confounding personality differences with “disorders which superficially resemble the personality type”…

    {but a “preoccupation with the self” as may apply to those with NPD is NOT the same as the contemplative state real autistics get into when trying to make sense of interesting problems, or understanding how and why things work as they do! Those who have an ego type which is predominantly of the kind Rosanoff labeled “autistic”, may well be contemplating IC motors, cloud formation, Avogadro’s number, vulcanisation, gyroscopic effects, or just about any real-world issues, besides which their own “self” will provide little entertainment. Researchers, though, seem to have only one definition of “introversion”; it’s a nasty unsociable activity carried out by “defectives”}

    …and yet more disorders which aren’t even superficially similar; having already created an “issue which defies definition” (copyright Science magazine) they want to maintain this fiction until the public at large accepts that:

    1. Autism is a “problem” which can only be “resolved” by terminating any fetus which is so diagnosed(?).

    2. “Autism” is due to genetic defects or toxic vectors which can affect anyone, and so it’s elimination will not have any adverse on humanity as a whole…

    {not so; all the scientific advances we enjoy today arose because of the autistic personality type! Do you really want to consign your descendants to a future deprived of humanity’s best thinkers, the only segment of so called “Homo Sapiens” who could pull us out of the next dark age, into which our greed-freak leaders are so determined to drive us? WITHOUT AUTISM? THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER RENAISSANCE; look no further to understand why the S.E.T.I. program has had no results.}

    …and is a safe option (except for the designated fetuses).

    The establishment types never care about the consequences of their actions (witness Iraq or Yugoslavia) they just want rid of the irreverent, unmanageable, mavericks who irritate them so (and who they now believe can be replaced by much more agreeable butt-kissing team-players) and that, for them, is justification enough for the planned eugenics which they are striving for.

    But what about you guys? Are you in favour of this program? It would appear so, given your willingness to let the establishment pull the wool over your eyes, and condition your “understanding”(?) of the issues, with their deliberate obfuscations and sloppy definitions! If you care at all about humanity’s future, or about issues like minority rights…

    {autistic kids, by any definition, are now being routinely drugged and tortured, in what, for some at least, is a futile attempt to turn them into something they cannot be, using techniques like aversion therapy, which have long since been discredited, and would be considered illegal if used on prison inmates or “enemy combatants”; the lack of recognition of the autistic minority, primarily by so-called “autism experts”, leaves real autistics open to systematic abuse throughout their lives, especially by the irrational status-freak minority, who expect them to accept their “social inferior” designation.}

    …then you really should try to resist this agenda, by firming up your definitions, disputing with those who, oblivious to it’s historical relevance, use “autistic” as if it actually had a proven meaning with reference to disorders, and try (OK, this is a tough one) to bring some rationality to this debate.

    {It doesn’t look like the links I posted below are going to work, but anyone who’s interested needs only e-mail me at gwynzkind@yahoo.co.uk}

    AWARES Conference Centre :: Discussion

    Autism Diva: Steering autism research

    History of autism

    I.O.S.1

    http://chandlermacleod.com/cmbestfit/content/btw.cfm

    I. of S. (part 2). Ego and Class: major barriers to autism research!

  7. gwynfryn March 10, 2008 at 13:08 #

    Oh well; at least the C&M link worked:

    http://chandlermacleod.com/cmbestfit/content/btw.cfm

    Do please try this test (it only takes 5 minutes) as the outcome can be very revealing. Here’s a tip: don’t get too pedantic, or fixated on precise matches; just breeze through it to get your read-out (if you really can’t decide between any two choices, then it shouldn’t matter which one you click on). If it isn’t a good match (it should be around 95% accurate, quite remarkable for such a “Mickey Mouse” version of a full test which takes hours) you can always take it again another day.

    Those of you who don’t consider yourself disordered, but who are nevertheless “mis-fits” who tend to get a raw deal, particularly from female relatives, or males in position of power, don’t be surprised if you get an A (=autistic) among your score.

    Those of you who have some kind of official ASD diagnosis; did you fail to get an A? Well, if you’ve got this far, you really shouldn’t be surprised about that!

    The designations used here can be traced directly to Rosanoff’s theory, published in 1921. This is one of many pre-Kanner applications of the word “autism” which you can verify yourselves (after which you should start wondering why this entire monstrous “autism” research industry is based on the premise “autism” was first described in 1945).

    And why not tell us your scores? It’s very interesting how many prominent “aspies” won’t do so!

  8. S.L. March 10, 2008 at 16:35 #

    Thanks, Schwartz. Hopefully this will clarify more?

    1) There is no confirmed connection between the patients’ genetic mutation and the mitochondrial disorder/dysfunction.

    I’m not sure why this is of concern, with regard to this conversation. Once again, as I’ve written above, the genetic mutation was found years after the diagnosis of Mito disease. The mutation itself was not a factor in her diagnosis. Please research (I’ve added information above regarding diagnosis) how mitochondrial disorders and diseases are diagnosed: via lab, blood, urine, csf, and tissue samples. They are slowly finding various genetic markers and point mutations which may eventually make testing for mito diseases easier. It’s common that a family will have their own marker. The bottom line: Hannahs’ diagnosis is accurate, comes from a leading expert in the field, and samples were taken and tested properly…no dispute for her diagnosis, with the point mutation or not.

    It seems you are not a fan of Dr. Novella (who, in an attempt to help better explain this child’s point mutation, I did come across his blog). To be honest, his explanation of her point mutation is the best lay-man’s description I could come across. For those interested, here is the link:
    http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php?p=203

    Important to note that Dr. Steven Novella is a board-certified neurologist at Yale. He studied at Georgetown and Yale. Personally, I take his findings, his perspective, and certainly his scientific explanation with much more weight than that of David Kirby (a journalist and P.R. person, let’s not forget!).

    2) The diagnosis of mitochondrial disorder/dysfunction occurred only after lab samples were taken post vaccination after the observation of symptoms of illness. Although mitochondrial disorders (type I and III) sometimes don’t show until later, there is no evidence that the patient had the disorder pre-vaccination.

    A. The mother herself has mitochondrial disorder. What I am unsure of, is whether this result came from a tissue biopsy or from a genetic marker. Either way, a doctor has diagnosed her with it. This should take away any dispute whether vaccines “gave” the child mito. In this case, the mito dx was inherited. That should quickly dispel any rumors or theories that vaccines ‘gave’ Hannah mito dx.

    The Polings argue that the vaccines caused the autism. My opinion is that their questioning of whether vaccines caused Hannah’s mitochondrial disease (on Larry King), is something generated by their lawyer. Certainly, they did not receive that information from their genetics doctor. It is possible a DAN! physician gave them that possibility. Again, there is no science to prove that vaccines caused Hannah’s disease. It appears that Dr. Poling understands the science better, and was unwilling to put his reputation on the line by saying vaccines cause mito. He’s spent enough time with Dr. Shoffner to know better. His wife seemed to start to say it might be vaccines, but if you listen to her wording, it’s not really what she’s saying. She then goes on to clarify that Hannah’s case is unlike most, and she feels certain there is a genetic predisposition. It is their lawyer, who very firmly, declares that the vaccines caused the mito, and there is no genetic link. He goes against what his clients just said. I wonder why?

    From Larry King Live:

    J. POLING: What we’re trying to say, and the theory of what we felt happened to our daughter Hannah, is that she has a susceptibility to injury from stress of vaccination or potentially stress with the mitochondrial disorder of other potential insults. But clearly, what happened with our daughter was following a series of vaccinations that occurred in July.

    T. POLING: Oh, yes, definitely. There is no evidence that children are like Hannah. We don’t know — we didn’t know, actually. I don’t know that she had a mitochondrial disorder prior to July 19th of 2000. I had no evidence of it in any biological tests. I don’t know if it was the vaccines, getting nine at one time, that caused it. I’m sure she has a genetic predisposition for this. I don’t think that every family member has that. I don’t think that every family does. And as everybody knows, there’s a lot of children out there that do no not —

    SHOEMAKER: Thank you, Larry. I might add that one of the theories we were prepared to present in this case is the fact that mercury in the vaccine that were given back at that time can also lead to Mitochondrial dysfunction. In this case, we do not believe it was a genetic cause. We do not believe it was a cause.

    B. No one is disputing whether or not this child has mitochondrial disease. Some have tried to skim past this VERY significant point, by focusing on words like “dysfunction” and “genetic mutation” to imply that the vaccines harmed the mitochondria. We have to look at the actual court case documents, and the words used by Dr. Shoffner following diagnosis. Disregard what David Kirby, news reports, and public appearances by this family, with their anti-vaccine, injury lawyers have to say.

    C. Possible signs/symptoms of mito before vaccines:

    We know at the very least, the mother had gestational diabetes AND that Hannah had fever, eczema,and chronic ear infections, requiring tubes. This stood out to me when I first read the case. The gestational diabetes in the mother could be signs of her mitochondrial disease.

    Sometimes, mito disease can begin to show itself in very slight ways i.e. for Hannah, the fevers and eczema, then worsened with the otitis media. An infant or toddler may begin to get sick more frequently, perhaps ear infections, upper respiratory viruses, gastrointestinal illness, etc. Her otitis media is quite significant–it began at 7 months of age, and within 6 months, the child required tubes. She had been treated with “multiple antibiotics” as per the case documents.

    You are correct, there are plenty of cases of Mito Complex I and III that symptoms appeared during the toddler years, or later on. This is not rare, and further points that this was the path of Hannah’s mito, not vaccines. It is feasible that the fever associated post-vaccine OR a virus Hannah caught at the doctor’s office (a possible theory), brought out her mito in full force.

    The regression that Hannah had, when we look at terms like “anorexia,” loss of motor skills (walking), are not typical with regards to classic autism. Also from Larry King Live:

    J. POLING: Well, Hannah got very sick shortly after a series of vaccinations that she received at about 19 months old. And after that rather acute illness, she never was the same again. And the autism itself did not come on immediately. It developed over months.

    Notice, he says “acute illness?” Also, her autism “developed” over months. I think those two factors are significant. If we compare Hannah’s regression, symptoms, and appearance of autism, it’s easy to see that her case is not typical. Most of the symptoms they describe are seen in encephalopathy, and are not ones listed as part of the autism criteria.

  9. Science Mom March 10, 2008 at 17:08 #

    Hi Kevin, Well it was only a matter of time before the DANs jumped on this bandwagon:
    http://www.ovusoft.com/forum/fb.asp?m=8946708

    Some of these mums are convinced their children have mito without any workup. How long will it be before DANs come up with a miracle cure for mito and end the autism ‘epidemic’?

  10. S.L. March 10, 2008 at 20:58 #

    Wow, Science Mom, I had never really been to one of “those” boards. WOAH! This may be of interest to you, I just blogged on it a few days ago, the DAN! docs have come up with two “proven” treatments for what they are calling “mitochondrial dysfunction in autism.” Guess what they are? The DAN! Protocol & HBOT. Good grief!

  11. Lenora March 10, 2008 at 22:13 #

    Wow, one of the posters said her DAN doc just told her that 8 out of 10 of the autistic kids in his practice has a mitochondrial disorder.

  12. S.L. March 10, 2008 at 23:54 #

    That is so scary. Again, these DAN docs, Kirby, so many others are confusing “mitochondrial dysfunction” with an actual disease or disorder. What this will lead to:

    1. Autism being recognized as a “disease” to be cured and be rid of.

    2. DAN docs making their fat wallets even fatter. They have hit the jackpot, autism was one thing, but “mitochondrial disorder?” And, 8 out of 10?? Parents will run to their centers.

    3. Showing children who are autistic, have no physical health issues, not dying, etc. will take away from the significance and seriousness of true mitochondrial disease. If the public confuses what these folks are selling as “mito disorder” (autism), for the real thing, how much money will go toward studies for real mito disease? Children are dying every year from this, many more suffer serious, painful symptoms day in and day out. The best docs can offer is a “mito cocktail” of supplements. But, for the severe cases, it doesn’t really help much. To group an autistic person with mitochondrial dysfunction (which, like I said earlier, most of us have!) in with people who are suffering from mitochondrial diseases, it’s just unbelievable!

  13. Schwartz March 11, 2008 at 08:37 #

    S.L.

    You are doing a great job in explaning things.

    I’m not sure why this is of concern, with regard to this conversation.

    I’ve read a several people state that the mutation was involved in the Mito disorder, and Dr. Novella assumes that it is likely. I just wanted to confirm that you haven’t seen any evidence either way.

    It seems you are not a fan of Dr. Novella…

    It’s funny, because I thought his article was well written. I just don’t agree with his opinion portion and people are mixing up the facts he presents with his stated opinions (and the irony therein). His writing is far better than his podcasts though. Someone referenced his podcast in an attempt to defend a point, and I wasted 30 good minutes listening to pointless drivel about creationists and anyone who didn’t agree with his position. (NOTE: I do not ascribe to creationism). Several of his opinions were stated as facts in the podcast as well. And yes, he may be a board certified neurologist, but clearly he is capable of producing misleading podcasts. Dr. Poling is also a neurologist, and his opinion on the matter differs significantly from Dr. Novella and Dr. Poling has more information about the case. I would consider both of them subject to high risk of bias.

    As for any opinions Kirby (and Brian Deer for that matter) express, I take that with a grain of salt. Journalists are good for digging up information and making it entertaining, not for forming opinion.

    I also agree completely with your noting the significant illness in her early years. It is something I noted immediately as well. However, Dr. Poling is pretty clear in his statement, that there is no evidence of mito disorder prior to vaccinations, despite their having described the illnesses earlier.

    The mother herself has mitochondrial disorder. What I am unsure of, is whether this result came from a tissue biopsy or from a genetic marker. Either way, a doctor has diagnosed her with it. This should take away any dispute whether vaccines “gave” the child mito. In this case, the mito dx was inherited. That should quickly dispel any rumors or theories that vaccines ‘gave’ Hannah mito dx.

    Dr. Poling in his statemtns never states that T Poling had any mitochondrial disorder, only that she had a genetic marker in the Mito DNA. Unless the genetic marker is directly related to Mito Disorder (which I think you agree there is no evidence to support this — as Dr. Poling also says) then I wonder where the evidence that Terry Poling has Mito disorder is coming from?

    We have to look at the actual court case documents, and the words used by Dr. Shoffner following diagnosis.

    Do we have access to these yet or are you saying we need to wait before drawing conclusions?

    The Polings argue that the vaccines caused the autism. My opinion is that their questioning of whether vaccines caused Hannah’s mitochondrial disease (on Larry King), is something generated by their lawyer. Certainly, they did not receive that information from their genetics doctor… It appears that Dr. Poling understands the science better, and was unwilling to put his reputation on the line by saying vaccines cause mito. He’s spent enough time with Dr. Shoffner to know better.

    The statement made by Dr. Poling at the press conference does not support your opinion. He clearly outlines what he considers to be two plausible theories. One of these is how Thimerosal can cause mitochondrial disorder which leads to subsequent brain injury, encepalopathy, Autism and seizures. He also states more than once that the damage precipitated by the vaccines (in either theory) resulted in Autism. Quoted from the press release:

    While I agree with much of the data your presenting, some opinions and/or facts seem to diverge from those stated by Dr. Poling:

    1) He states that there is no evidence that the genetic marker (inherited from the mother) was related to the mito disorder (this is consistent with your statements so far)
    2) He clearly outlines a plausible theory for how thimerosal can lead to Autism (this is different from your statement above)
    3) His other theory involves genetics, but not necessarily related to the genetic marker in the mito DNA. This theory also points to the vaccines as playing a key role in the resulting brain damage and Autism
    3) He states that there is no evidence that Hannah suffered from mito disorder prior to vaccination (differs from your opinion)
    4) He does not suggest that T Poling has or had a mito disorder (differes from your statement)

  14. Schwartz March 11, 2008 at 08:41 #

    S.L.

    The quote from the statement was lost above. Here it is:

    Mitochondrial disorders are still quite mysterious in that they may manifest at any age, effect any and all parts of the body, or never cause any problems at all. They also may be inherited or acquired. The inheritance patterns are extermely complex. Some have asked that since Hannah was found to have a mitochondrial DNA mutation, isn’t all this genetic and why are we here today? Unlikely, because further testing performed on Terry has shown that the same mitochondrial transition was detected in her blood, and look at Terry she’s not autistic or sick. Remember all mitochondria come from the mother, the DNA from mitochondria come from the mother. There is no evidence that suggests that this difference in genetic code that hannah had caused any disease or there was really any unlying mitochondrial disfunction prior to that July 2000. This leads me to discuss the two potential theories of how Hannah’s vaccination may have caused the injury. The first Theory is that Hannah had an inborn genetic problem. Following vaccination, that illness produced stress leading to permanent brain injury as manifested by Autism and seizures. This succeptibility, i.e. mitochondrial disfunction may never have manifested as disease if not for the vaccinations Hannah received in July 2000. The second theory which Mr. Shoemaker and colleagues were preparing to present, was that the preservative Thimerosal which contains mercury directly caused mitochondrial disfunciton. There is extensive literature that Thimerosal and mercury do cause mitochondrial disfunction so this is not a… this is certainly not a leap of faith. This mitochondrial disfunction resulted in brain injury as manifested by regressive encepalopathy, autism, and seizures. Although both theories have merit and deserve further consideration, there is also extensive literature on mercury toxicity.

  15. Kassiane March 11, 2008 at 09:50 #

    Regarding Terry’s lack of illness:

    Mitochondrial disorders are tricky that way. Each daughter cell that becomes an egg that becomes a zygote et cetera gets a different number of wild type (normal) and mutated (not normal) mitochondria from the parent.

    What this boils down to is a parent who isn’t sick, or just fatigues a little easily or kinda has gut problems or minor epilepsy or migraines (which in the grand scope of mito disorders are small fry, really) can have a child who is VERY OBVIOUSLY ill. They can have the same mutation but the parent can have a 10-25% (for example) mutation rate and the child can have a 75% mutated rate, even though that math just doesn’t seem to make sense.

    Complicating matters even FURTHER, different organs can be effected more or less, or the effects can be shown more or less (hence MNGIE and MELAS and their respective issues, and LHON…they all hit different things more). As I understand it, with Hannah’s particular disorder this is less an issue but of course it does depend where the bad mitochondria landed in part. I’m sure SL will correct me if I’m wrong on that point….

    (sources: UMDF, MitoAction, My Geneticist).

  16. María Luján March 11, 2008 at 12:17 #

    Hi
    The mito conditions seem to be extremely complex and affected by multiple factors, between them by genetic ones-but not the only ones, such as Schwarz has presented and in line with Dr Poling opinion .
    I am not going to repeat posts from a forum-AW-, therefore I wonder if you would be interested on other published research on the topic-besides the genetic aspect that SL has presented very well-therefore I may include the links here.
    Please let me know

  17. Kev March 11, 2008 at 17:04 #

    Be my guest Maria 🙂

    But do me a favour? Can you present them and discuss them one at a time? Otherwise we’re getting to get very bogged down.

  18. Dr.Megan Taylor March 11, 2008 at 18:22 #

    Autism is clearly on the rise in the world and the global initiative to immunize children early as to not miss the chance may be at fault. I am a physican parent of an autistic child reaching out to have pure Scientists not funded by Vaccine companies to review the data on Immunization.
    Looking at the Immunologic data, there seem to be 2 major categories of autistic children. These are those that are born with the disease and those that have late onset of problem with regressive symptoms. Scientists have recently found a difference in the NK cells(immune response cells) in the late onset group in that they are highly expressed. Other researchists have found clear immunologic destruction in the postmortem brains of autistic individuals who donated there bodies to science. I have more information and feel it is the time to speak up and figure out what is happening. The incidence of the problem is increasing at an alarming rate. Perhaps the children who are immunologically over responsive to vaccines causes this outcome and destruction. In the current world, it wouldn’t be surprising to find an increased incidence of autism in children born to families who are forced to get immunizations like Hep B as an infant. Are we missing the boat and ruining families and impairing our society as we are led blindly by dictums to add vaccines rather than reveiwing our steps. I recently got an answer that it is too late to evaluate vaccines as a source in this case as they are already instituted as a requirement. Who is monitering this and what involvement have they had with vaccine company reimbursement in the past. Why isn’t this being addressed at the level of the Immunologic journals rather than the Neurologic, genome and Psychiatric journlas if this is perhaps a different immune respone. The death rate from many of these diseases is far far lower than the incidence of autism which for some families is a death sentence to their dreams for their children.

    Dr. Megan Taylor
    Allergist and Immunologist-Board Certified practicing clinician
    I am not looking for funding,fame or anything other than someone to engage and help figure this out. Please direct people/MDs with similar thoughts to me. I have the medical literature.

  19. Rob43 March 11, 2008 at 21:53 #

    Well, things are more interesting and informative today with the New York Times editorial asking for release of records that will help to clear up matters in this child’s case. However, before that occurs, Dr. Shoffner is quoted in Time Magazine’s new article posted today and offers more information for your consideration. He states he is “genuinely puzzled” by the the court’s decision. It goes without saying that he knows the child’s entire medical record and is a long-time specialist in diagnosing mitochondrial disorders, dysfunctions and diseases. The reason he is puzzled is because the dysfunction found in the child is not severe at all from the measurements reported from the tissue sample, and the genome testing at Hopkins that revealed only minor snips. Such snips as documented have never been implicated in a serious mito. disease or autism before and are the basis for more scientific inquiry.

    It seems the parents, as well as Dr. Shoffner, when stating their two theories of causation, take into account the potential damage from injections she received prior to the July 2000 bombardment of nine vaccines. In other words, the Hep B vaccination on the day of birth with thimerosal alone could have caused the rather minor mitochondrial activity changes measured. If so, such changes could have contributed to a weakness in the body’s immune system or compromised the capability of the child’s body to tolerate later insults from vaccine ingredients, or the live viruses, etc. or the insult of nine vaccines at once.

    It’s clear that the government grabbed at the straw it could, and wants to get this case out of the Omnibus. It’s too messy, too dangerous to currently recommended vaccine schedule practices, and too well documented that something about the vaccines, not mito. dysfunction, pushed her into regression which is now diagnosed clearly as ASD. It wasn’t as clear immediately after the injections as the regression occured, but was clear within six months to a year afterwards.
    Well, at least there are a few more expert facts/opinions out there today to add to the puzzle.

  20. María Luján March 12, 2008 at 01:41 #

    Hi Kev

    Thank you very much.

    Please check your mailbox.Thanks

  21. Schwartz March 12, 2008 at 02:44 #

    Matt,

    Dr. Poling has posted a response to Dr. Novella’s blog entry in the comments section of an AOA article: “THANKS TO YOU, THE NEW YORK TIMES IS PAYING ATTENTION”

    On the topic of Hannah’s disfunction, he states:

    Some experts have already stated that ‘mitochondrial disease’ is degenerative so the vaccine reaction was just the start of an inevitable decline. This was neither the opinion of Dr. Richard Kelley at KKI nor Dr. John Shoffner. In fact, the markers that led us down the mitochondrial trail (inc AST but not ALT, low serum bicarbonate, and slight increased CK, increase in the alanine to lysine ratio on PAA) are no longer present.

    S.L.

    It would appear that he has corrected a significant number of inaccuracies posted by Dr. Novella — I guess good writing doesn’t mean accurate or scientific (as was my experience with his misleading podcast). The unnecessary inaccuracies (for someone who is a Dr of Neurology) confirms my suspicion that he is more interested in politics than medicine (kind of like Dr. Offit and Orac) and thus his statements should be treated with similar caution and a critical eye.

    It is also pretty clear that Dr. Poling and his associates have been looking at the connection between Mito Disfunction and Autism for quite some time now and believe it represents the potential to help a significant number of people:

    … The conclusion was that further research would be required to determine if inflammation was a primary disorder in autism or; alternatively, if inflammation and microglial activation was secondary to neurodegeneration. Dr. Sudhir Gupta at UC Irvine has a nice model of how the two pathways of neuroinflammation and mito dysfunction may not be mutually exclusive. This remains to be seen; however, study of mitochondrial dysfunction and neuroinflammation hold the promise of treatment development. The two avenues of research deserve funding at the highest levels.

  22. Schwartz March 12, 2008 at 04:27 #

    Kassiane,

    “Regarding Terry’s lack of illness:

    Mitochondrial disorders are tricky that way.”

    Reading more about Dr. Polings post on Age of Autism, he states pretty clearly:

    1) Terry has a transition mutation in her DNA. There is no evidence to indicate that this defect is related to any sort of Mitochondrial disease or disorder

    2) Hannah suffered from mitochondrial disfunction at the time of her autistic regression, and that those symptoms have since disappeared. (he sadly states that the Autism and Epilepsy still remain)

  23. Ms. Clark March 12, 2008 at 10:17 #

    One thing Dr. Poling wrote seemed to say that the difference between the point mutation being harmful or not harmful (as in the difference between the mom and the daughter) could be an allele that the daughter has that the mom does not. In other words, daughter could have a yet unidentified mutation in another gene (not necessarily coming from the mom) that is working with this point mutation to cause Hannah’s problems. If Hannah is better now maybe it’s because she’s on supplements that tend to help with mito problems? Would she revert biochemically to what she was after the fever if they stopped giving her the supplements? I don’t know, but I think it’s an interesting question. I don’t think they should stop giving her the supplements if they are keeping her mitochondria working more normally.

    I think Dr. Poling shows how utterly unreasonable and perhaps unintelligent he is by hammering on the thimerosal in flu vaccines. Kids all over the world are getting vaccines with thimerosal and there is no evidence that they are becoming autistic at any greater rate than those who are not getting vaccinated.

    Dr. Poling’s continuing to throw suspicion on Thimerosal is bizarre. There isn’t enough mercury in a vaccine or even in the number of vaccines Hannah got (they didn’t all contain thimerosal) to cause a problem.

    If there was evidence then why didn’t the PSC show it in the hearings they’ve had so far. So far all they could do is point to incidents of massive poisoning (thousands oor tens of thousands of times more mercury than in a vaccine, and in more toxic forms, usually) and not one of these poisoning victims had signs of autism, not even one baby who was seriously poisoned with an injection of a huge amount of thimerosal by accident. She got better. No developmental problem at all. The thimerosal dose was so hideous it caused a big chunk of her thigh to die (where they had injected this massive amount of thimerosal) but she didn’t become autistic. If I recall the paper that that was reported in was offered by the PSC as evidence. But it’s evidence that huge doses of thimerosal don’t make babies autistic.

    Also the mitochondria disorder association is not buying Dr. Polings fear of vaccines for mito kids, apparently. They aren’t calling for the removal of thimerosal from childhood vaccines. Why should they? Because the Polings have been DAN!ified since a couple of months of Hannah’s fever and regression?

  24. María Luján March 12, 2008 at 10:50 #

    AD
    I disagree
    Not only Dr Poling seems to me very educated and polite, but also very intelligent and reasonable. His position on vaccines is one many of us share. His position on susceptibilities- known or unknown also. and to discover- also. His encouragement to further properly research, also.
    Kids over the world are receiving thimerosal containing vaccines. There are no epidemiological data to know about if the numbers have increased or not because of multiple confounders.Of course I would add antibiotics/vaccines-full schedule and full composibion and full pediatric management of childhood to include in the picture of how children with susceptibilities may be prone to adverse reactions to vaccines/other drugs in general.
    His concerns on thimerosal are also shared by many of us, such as other concerns related to vaccines and children with different kind of reactions to them. Children prone to adverse reactions to vaccines that could remain undetected and undiangosed given the status of the situation-previous to vaccinations.
    The nutritional state of the host at the time of vaccinations, the kind of immunological answer to them, especially because of the accumulative impact in children prone to adverse reactions to them are all aspects that deserve a more careful study- that has not been done.

  25. Ms. Clark March 13, 2008 at 03:34 #

    There is no evidence that vaccine levels of thimerosal are high enough to do anything like initiate a mito crisis.

    If a child can survive being injected with a massive amount of thimerosal and not be noticeable affected developmentally, then I don’t think people need to be concerned about the micrograms that are found in vaccines.

    I think it is cruel, if not vicious, for people to try to implicate thimerosal with NO evidence that it causes autism or even so much as a tic in any children at all when such a whispered rumor or ivory tower hypothesis which can be oh so fun to bat around on various websites can lead the hideous deaths of real children whose parents may read these comments and decide not to vaccinate and leave their child open to infection with a potentially deadly virus or bacteria.

    I think Dr. Poling and anyone else who persists in yammering on about their personal fears or beliefs about thimerosal being a possible cause of developmental problems of any kind is irresponsible and heartless.

    This is a real world question affecting real world children that can die. And may I remind you that death is worse than any imagined autism.

  26. Schwartz March 13, 2008 at 05:21 #

    Ms. Clark,

    “There is no evidence that vaccine levels of thimerosal are high enough to do anything like initiate a mito crisis.”

    Typically in the process of approving drugs, it is the owness of the person seeking approval to identify the level of toxicity in the patients before the compound gets approved.

    If you want to follow the rules, this was never done for Thimerosal. Nor has it’s safety effects ever been adequately studied for children. So it should never have been approved in the first place.

    Pretty simple actually.

    As for Tics, there are two studies which implicate it for Tics and Dr. Poling mentionned one of them.

    I would also like to see your evidence that removal of Thimerosal increases the risk of infection? Especially since it was never a part of several vaccines for many years. Sounds like a manufactured problem to me. I personally don’t see how anyone is going to die from using a Thimerosal free vaccine as he’s proposing. There seems to be a bit of a disconnect here.

    I see you have now resorted to assuming Dr. Poling is incompetent or dishonest. Where is your evidence of either?

  27. María Luján March 13, 2008 at 06:11 #

    Hi Scwartz
    You said
    If you want to follow the rules, this was never done for Thimerosal. Nor has it’s safety effects ever been adequately studied for children. So it should never have been approved in the first place.

    Especially considering this kind of information available now
    Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2005 Dec;1(4):655-69.
    Drug-induced mitochondrial toxicity.
    Chan K, Truong D, Shangari N, O’Brien PJ.

    Mitochondria play a critical role in generating most of the cell’s energy as ATP. They are also involved in other metabolic processes such as urea generation, haem synthesis and fatty acid beta-oxidation. Disruption of mitochondrial function by drugs can result in cell death by necrosis or can signal cell death by apoptosis (e.g., following cytochrome c release). Drugs that injure mitochondria usually do so by inhibiting respiratory complexes of the electron chain; inhibiting or uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation; inducing mitochondrial oxidative stress; or inhibiting DNA replication, transcription or translation.
    Quote:
    It is important to test for mitochondrial toxicity early in drug development as impairment of mitochondrial function can induce various pathological conditions that are life threatening or can increase the progression of existing mitochondrial diseases.

    The work of Dr Gupta from 2002 presents a study of mitochondrial impact of thimerosal
    Genes Immun. 2002 Aug;3(5):270-8.
    Biochemical and molecular basis of thimerosal-induced apoptosis in T cells: a major role of mitochondrial pathway.Makani S, Gollapudi S, Yel L, Chiplunkar S, Gupta S.

    The major source of thimerosal (ethyl mercury thiosalicylate) exposure is childhood vaccines. It is believed that the children are exposed to significant accumulative dosage of thimerosal during the first 2 years of life via immunization. Because of health-related concerns for exposure to mercury, we examined the effects of thimerosal on the biochemical and molecular steps of mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis in Jurkat T cells. Thimerosal and not thiosalcylic acid (non-mercury component of thimerosal), in a concentration-dependent manner, induced apoptosis in T cells as determined by TUNEL and propidium iodide assays, suggesting a role of mercury in T cell apoptosis. Apoptosis was associated with depolarization of mitochondrial membrane, release of cytochrome c and apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) from the mitochondria, and activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3, but not of caspase-8. In addition, thimerosal in a concentration-dependent manner inhibited the expression of XIAP, cIAP-1 but did not influence cIAP-2 expression. Furthermore, thimerosal enhanced intracellular reactive oxygen species and reduced intracellular glutathione (GSH). Finally, exogenous glutathione protected T cells from thimerosal-induced apoptosis by upregulation of XIAP and cIAP1 and by inhibiting activation of both caspase-9 and caspase-3. These data suggest that thimerosal induces apoptosis in T cells via mitochondrial pathway by inducing oxidative stress and depletion of GSH.
    The link to the full manuscript
    http://www.nature.com/gene/journal/v3/n5/full/6363854a.html

    You said
    I personally don’t see how anyone is going to die from using a Thimerosal free vaccine as he’s proposing.

    Me neither, especially when the proposal is to personalize vaccination schedule- considering the potential underlying problems- that could be undetected in susceptible children and to avoid high number of vaccines together to reduce the possibility of adverse events- to begin with. He was especially clear on the point- and I appreciated the most his balanced position
    I do not understand why he- or someone else- could be considered irresponsible or heartless because of the considerations presented above- thimerosal free vaccines and care with injection of lot of vaccines together.
    I do not think so.

  28. Ms. Clark March 13, 2008 at 21:35 #

    Shwartz,

    You are putting words in my mouth. I never intended anything about an infection resulting from a vaccine not preserved by anything. I’m talking about infections as in measles infections, chicken pox infections… is this a wrong use of the word “infection”?

    The word is “onus” not “owness”. What I hear from you is a blithering repetition of antivax mercury phobia.

    When a drug has been used over and over again it can be legally be grandfathered in. This is what happened with thimerosal. Deal with it. The onus is on people to prove that it’s bad when there’s no evidence that it’s been dangerous at higher doses. People, when I was a child, up until the time my children were babies could buy thimerosal (merthiolate) over the counter and dose themselves ad lib with the stuff painting it on open wounds and in the case of merbromin (mercurochrome) the stuff was liberally swabbed inside the throats of children. No one freaked about it, no one reported regular bad results from this.

    There is no evidence that larger doses of thimerosal causes any serious problem. You want to assume that it can cause neurological problems. You and others have bought the unreasonable fear of micrograms (hello! millionths of grams) of thimerosal. It’s pathetic. The data on a relation between thimerosal and tics was weak. It wasn’t like, “Oh no! now we know that a little thimerosal can cause tics!” and how is it that no one noticed kids turning autistic after thimerosal exposure over the decades when no one feared it to the extreme neurotic degree that they do now.

    This is no evidence that thimerosal in vaccine doses causes tics.
    http://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20070926/thimerosal-no-smoking-gun
    “Thimerosal and Tics

    What about the other 2% of the study findings? The study looked at 42 different outcomes, ranging from intelligence to fine motor coordination. The researchers performed 378 statistical tests on the data. Each statistical test had 5% odds of being a chance finding.

    “By chance alone we would estimate about 5% of test results would be significant,” Schuchat said. “And in fact that is exactly what we found: 19, or 5%, of the statistical tests did find significant results. They were pretty evenly split between [linking] better and worse outcomes [to thimerosal].”

    One of those worse outcomes was a slightly increased risk of tics — repetitive physical motions or vocalizations. What makes the finding plausible is that two previous studies identified tics as a possible thimerosal side effect.

    However, there is good reason to think that the tic finding was simply chance:

    * The significant finding for tics came from observers who saw the child only once. Parents of children with the highest thimerosal exposure reported no more child tics than parents of children with lower thimerosal exposure.
    * The finding applied to boys, but not to girls.
    * The tic finding included transient tics, which experts do not consider a problem.”

    If you want to hear thimerosal being attacked with the best available evidence to attack it, read the Omnibus transcripts or listen to the recordings. Then watch as these pathetic attempts at demonizing thimerosal is broken down and shown for what it is, stupid.

    I’m sorry, I thought I was going to like Dr. Poling a bit, I think I’ve changed my mind about him (which is my right), if he’s going to demonize thimerosal based on NOTHING.

  29. Ms. Clark March 13, 2008 at 21:49 #

    I am not impressed by people thinking they can revamp the vaccine schedule with their amateur opinions. When you want to keep millions of people as healthy as possible it’s not practical to say, we will give them all a customized vaccine schedule. You can’t cope with that reality? Tough! Reality is reality.
    The other reality is that poor countries are populated with people whose lives count as much as yours. They deserve a life without polio and diphtheria! You want to pretend like they don’t exist? Like their countries don’t need to provide vaccines from multidose vials and that our lives are more worthy so we can save ourselves from imaginary risks from thimerosal at vaccine doses.

    The constant fear mongering that you do makes me feel sick, because I know that your ivory tower intellectually “satisfying” conversations are destructive to innoncent lives. You who keep yammering on about arcane possibilities of hypothetical problems that have never been demonstrated in real life are personally culpable for any children who suffer because their parents don’t vaccinate them because of your little pretend scientific parlor games with your surface understanding of toxicology, immunology, vaccinology and the complex issues of public health.

    Seriously, how can you do this with no qualms of conscience?

  30. Schwartz March 14, 2008 at 02:36 #

    Ms. Clark,

    “you are putting words in my mouth. I never intended anything about an infection resulting from a vaccine not preserved by anything.”

    I apologize, I misread that paragraph. I re-read it and you are correct.

    However, your example that people will stop vaccinating for measles due to Thimerosal is pretty illogical since that vaccine (or varicella for that matter) never contained it.

    “…with NO evidence that it causes autism or even so much as a tic in any children…”

    As you yourself pointed out, there IS evidence that it is related to Tics. More than two studies it appears. Your statement is plain incorrect. If you want to argue that the evidence is weak as you did on your SECOND post, that is your perogative, but you were wrong to state it as fact the first time.

    As for the argument of pure chance, that might apply to one study, but if it’s showing up multiple times, it is certainly worth investigating. Additionally, the argument of chance in that latest study, just goes to show the low power of the study (small study group) and thus how it can’t find any real problems in smaller but still significant sub-populations.

    “The word is “onus” not “owness”.”

    My apologies to all those insulted by a spelling mistake in a blog comments section –
    – I know a friend who would be insulted…

    “When a drug has been used over and over again it can be legally be grandfathered in.”

    Interesting that you switch to legalities. I’m not really interested in legalities if safety is being compromised. Is that how you determine medical recommendations?

    “This is what happened with thimerosal. Deal with it.”

    It is finally being dealt with… very slowly in a scientific, safe and logical manner. How much longer to you think it will be used in childhood vaccines?

    “The onus is on people to prove that it’s bad when there’s no evidence that it’s been dangerous at higher doses.”

    Not in an environment that puts safety above profit. Is that not the kind of environment you prefer?

    “If you want to hear thimerosal being attacked with the best available evidence to attack it, read the Omnibus transcripts or listen to the recordings. Then watch as these pathetic attempts at demonizing thimerosal is broken down and shown for what it is, stupid.”

    As you know from your own blog, I have reviewed them, and have found nothing to convince me that it has been shown to be safe. But we needn’t rehash all of the problems with those old studies because that has all been said before. I still maintain, that there is no credible evidence of safey, and little credible evidence of harm. That means we need more credible evidence. Given that the compound is a known neurotoxin and the dosage of toxicity is not yet determined, it is only prudent to cease it’s use pending the proper study of it.

    “You want to assume that it can cause neurological problems.”

    I assume nothing. I find no evidence of safety and no scientific toxicity tests. Since I know it is a toxic substance, it is obviously prudent not to use it (especially en masse) until it’s toxicity is scientifically determined. You are the one assuming it is safe based on no scientific testing.

    “People, when I was a child, up until the time my children were babies could buy thimerosal (merthiolate) over the counter and dose themselves ad lib with the stuff painting it on open wounds and in the case of merbromin (mercurochrome) the stuff was liberally swabbed inside the throats of children. No one freaked about it, no one reported regular bad results from this.”

    I love the argument that because in the past a lot of people did things in ignorance that we would consider dangerous (through no fault of theirs), it must be safe. You can’t state no one complained, because no one was tracking the problems in a way that we can analyze. More assumptions stated as fact. Do you think they stopped selling it because it was harmless?

    “I’m sorry, I thought I was going to like Dr. Poling a bit, I think I’ve changed my mind about him (which is my right), if he’s going to demonize thimerosal based on NOTHING.”

    I’m so glad you came out of the closet and stated your opinion of him clearly. Too bad you’re not providing any credible evidence to back up those opinions on him.

  31. Ms. Clark March 14, 2008 at 03:05 #

    I did provide evidence of why we don’t need to fear thimerosal at vaccine doses, it’s all in the transcripts of the Omnibus hearing up until now. I see you are not convinced. I am convinced. I think that reasonable people would be offended by the pathetic baiting and switching that was attempted by the PSC in trying to show how massive doses of various forms of mercury (rarely actual thimerosal) could harm people. Then they tried to use in vitro studies that had no bearing on the toxico kinetics of thiemrosal in a human body. It was pathetic.

    I think you can’t see what’s wrong with their collected reasoning because you have made up your mind that you have some kind of special insight into the motivations of vaccine manufacturers.

    And as for people eschewing the MMR even though it never contained thimerosal, that’s a point that I believe will be lost on people who read the constant whining about “no studies, no studies, we don’t know… maybe it could kill a child if the moon was in the 7th house and if Venus was rising and the child is the daughter of a descendent of Cleopatra of Egypt and if she was not given the right combination of love and vitamin C and if her doctor’s office was recently carpeted with carpet that is off-gassing and if on the way to the doctors office they pass a golf course being sprayed with pesticides containing…. and if…. and if…. and if…. and if…”

    What you and Maria and others like you leave people with a is a mishmash of plausible LOOKING gobbledeegook that even an expert can’t cobble into helpful advice. You leave them thinking, “well obviously there’s a reason to suspect what my doctor and vaccine experts say, and this guy is surely smart since he can spell most words correct and all… so I think I’ll just skip the vaccines for my kid.”

    And Schwartz, if that happens and a child is severely harmed, then you won’t know about it most likely, even if you are really one who had an influence on that particular parent reading your posts. You will sleep at well at night and not know which child is buried where because of your and your little friends’ antivax motivated speculations, that are just oh so satisfying for you to promulgate. And I think that’s a shame.

  32. Anon. Person on Spectrum March 14, 2008 at 04:40 #

    Clearly, the risk of “tics” are worse than that of polio or measles. “Repetitive vocal or motor mannerisms”? Oh, the horror. I hope some of you know how insulting your argument appears to people with atypical neurologies.

  33. Schwartz March 14, 2008 at 05:59 #

    Ms. Clark,

    “When you want to keep millions of people as healthy as possible it’s not practical to say, we will give them all a customized vaccine schedule.”

    That’s funny. Are all children supposed to start eating food at exactly the same age? Do they all speak at the same age? How about Potty training? All at the same age?

    Do all children get exactly the same medical treatment when they catch a cold? Do all children get the exact same illnesses as at the same time as other children? Do all children fight off the flu at the same rate?

    I noticed that all children were different. You must have missed that somehow. Clearly there are children that are damaged by vaccines — we don’t know the number. Why would we just write them off as casualties without even trying better?

    “The constant fear mongering that you do makes me feel sick, because I know that your ivory tower intellectually “satisfying” conversations are destructive to innoncent lives.”

    I’m sorry that’s your opinion. I could apply exactly the same words to you. Except I might have to add the adjectives vitriolic and nasty to describe the conversation part.

    “The other reality is that poor countries are populated with people whose lives count as much as yours. They deserve a life without polio and diphtheria! You want to pretend like they don’t exist? ”

    I didn’t realize we were talking about Africa. Oh yeah, we’re not. Thimersol is still being used in all of those juridictions, just as you would prefer.

    “Seriously, how can you do this with no qualms of conscience?”

    Pretty easily… and a lot easier than if I advocated what you do. Convenience above safety. You keep your faith in the system. I’ll rely on the credible evidence, thank you.

  34. Schwartz March 15, 2008 at 00:48 #

    Ms. Clark,

    I guess you’ve forgotten to notice the overall lack of credible evidence of safety. As bones correctly pointed out to me earlier “no evidence of harm” is not the same of “evidence of no harm”. But like I said, you go living your life in faith of the system.

    “I think you can’t see what’s wrong with their collected reasoning because you have made up your mind that you have some kind of special insight into the motivations of vaccine manufacturers.”

    Obviously you think you have special insight into my mind? You certainly won’t make a living as a mind reader. I am observing both history and evidence. They both point to weaknesses in scientific publication and government oversight. Using these observations, I temper the weight of the evidence I read. To do otherwise would be illogical and would be ignoring the evidence of the process. I do the same for non-governmental/industry publications for as we all know, science is littered with junk from all sides. What I do not do is place FAITH in the system, in the absense of credible evidence. I prefer to make note of credible anecdotal evidence in the absense of anything better, something that you seem to completely disregard — which in itself is illogical.

    “And Schwartz, if that happens and a child is severely harmed, then you won’t know about it most likely, even if you are really one who had an influence on that particular parent reading your posts. ”

    You see, you’ve misread my mind again. For some reason you think I’m all anti-vaccine. Let’s review a couple of scenarios:

    1) The government continues to deny ANY problems with Thimerosal and the possibility it could possibly be dangerous, refuses to remove it, refuses to study it, and continues to force people to use it.

    The lack of safety testing is still glaringly obvious. The chorus of credible neurologists recommending it’s removal still exists, and the people become scared — because no real data is forthcoming due to the refusal to do a safety study. So people stop vaccinating because they don’t trust the government, they get mixed messages, and then the vaccination rate of the important illnesses actually drops.

    2) The CDC removes Thimerosal from all childhood vaccines, then perform long term safety trials on vaccines. They also perform real safety trials when they alter vaccine schedules. People may not vaccinate right away (but they wouldn’t be vaccinating under scenario 1 either) but they will feel much more confortable with the direction because there is little to object to under this scenario. Vaccine rates of the rarer diseases MAY drop, but the confidence in the oversight will slowly return. With the publication of data, either changes will be made, or people will feel much more confident in the process. Undoubtedly more will be learned about children who are damaged.

    So let’s look at a few hypothesis:

    A) Thimerosal actually causes minimal harm in all children, and great harm in a minority of children

    B) Thimerosal doesn’t cause harm in any children

    C) Thimerosal causes no harm in most children, but harm in a minority.

    Since you are in Camp #1, let’s review the number of children damaged:

    A) All children damaged from Thimerosal, some severely, some children damaged from vaccine preventable vaccines because they’re scared of Thimerosal and don’t vaccinate

    B) Children damaged from vaccine preventable diseases due to fear of Thimerosal

    C) Some children damaged from Thimerosal, some children damaged from vaccine preventable illness due to fear of Thimerosal

    Now in camp #2, let’s review the outcomes:

    A) On a temporary basis, some harm to children for a temporary period of time due to those who refuse to vaccinate due to fear of damage until safety is tested (a smaller number than under scenario 1). Small group of study subjects are harmed by Thimerosal.

    However, ongoing, the rate of vaccination will rise, and if studies are done, we might even identify at-risk children pre-vaccination reducing overall harm.
    B) Virtually the same as A
    C) Virtually the same as A

    It will cost more.

    NOTE: Those who won’t vaccinate, would also not vaccinate under scenario #1.

    Who do you think will be responsible for less harm and sleep better at night, someone promoting #1 or #2.

  35. María Luján March 15, 2008 at 14:22 #

    AD,
    You said
    I did provide evidence of why we don’t need to fear thimerosal at vaccine doses, it’s all in the transcripts of the Omnibus hearing up until now. I see you are not convinced. I am convinced.

    I am not convinced either. There are no enough information on the impact in immature children/biologically- or inmunologically or biochemically-genetically in terms of collaboration to create even further susceptibilities. The scientific controversy is going to be solved in a lab with a scientific approach in the future, not in a court with the current status of knowledge.

    What you and Maria and others like you leave people with a is a mishmash of plausible LOOKING gobbledeegook that even an expert can’t cobble into helpful advice. You leave them thinking, “well obviously there’s a reason to suspect what my doctor and vaccine experts say, and this guy is surely smart since he can spell most words correct and all… so I think I’ll just skip the vaccines for my kid.”

    I see several groups related to this controversy
    -Pro vaccines as they are- Vaccination is safe for practically all as it is recommended today,including multiple injections at once and thimerosal is safe for all. Adverse reactions are minimal.
    -Anti vaccines –Vaccinations are bad for all – whatever the combination or the dose or the disease. This is what I consider antivaccine.
    beyond these extremisms- that are not helpful – there is a big group of people looking for improvements in the safety aspect. I will include my opinion about what I consider appropiate. I always think that a serious and concerned doctor should be involved in the discussion of all these options with parents:
    – rational approach of vaccination to minimize the risk of potential adverse reactions to vaccines-especially those given in combination
    -the promotion of more care in the evaluation of the prevaccination analysis -consider GI , behaviour, immunology issues to avoid the adverse reactions to vaccinations-including spreading them if time if necessary — reevaluate each time
    -a more adequate look and scientific evaluation to the impact of antibiotics treatments to common childhood problems like otitis media – nonvaccine preventible- and in the reactions to vaccines the first year -because of the impact on the gastrointestinal health- especially if the antibiotics treatments have been many.
    – better research and consideration of preventive methods to adverse reactions to vaccinations ( nutritional support, testing?)- to optimize answer
    – proper detection of asymptomatic/atypical reasons of adverse reactions to vaccines and more research and training of the proper detection and treatment of them , immediately after they take place.
    Of course one should consider the potential genetic component in the adverse reactions to vaccines. And this is why I consider Dr Poling´s points of view balanced.
    I have a profound respect by other parents/- even if they like me or not, even if they have a or scientific background or not, or they have further knowledge. I disagree with many of the views of autism BUT I am very aware of the difference between the disagreement with the idea and the consideration/respect of the person. I disagree strongly with any views that consider my autistic son less by being autistic or is not respectful of him in any way. I have been/am/will be the best advocate I can be for his health, his emotional psycological and sociological needs and for the proper consideration of all his human rights.I refuse to be engaged in wars of personal attacks.

    I take what I say very seriously as I do have a responsibility when conveying information that might help or hinder others.
    I am a student of autism in general and of autism in my son. Autistic adults have been teachers in many aspects. Parents of autistic children also. I have always recommended having a meaningful discussion about the information that I have provided with a serious doctor that is focused in the well-being of the patient, and has the behavior of a scientific and ethical doctor-mainstreamed or not- and with knowledge that there are many subtilities of testing procedures in terms of usefullness and meaning . I invite all the readers to look around the web how I have always stressed the importance of considering my writing as an opinion and to excercise parental responsability , and talking with doctors.Serious , scientific, committed Researchers/Doctors are the ones who should lead changes that I consider necessary in the areas of testing, detection , prevention and or treatment of CMPs in ASD for the full spectrum of ages and also for other aspects of autism.The main problem is that many aspects presented by parents/autistics of all ages have not been properly taken into account given the accepted paradigm about autism as only genetics- and other preconcepts. And observation is the first step of any discover. I consider that only in a fruitful discussion and interaction parents/researchers/doctors- and autistic teen/ adults- more knowledge on all aspects of ASD is going to arise- on CMPs but not only. Cognitive, educational and sociological aspects are also of paramount importance.

    Your citation has a lot of dismissal of the intelligence of many parents. Nobody should consider what is read in the web as medical advice, yours, mine or someone else. We have opinions Information from peer review sources is helpful in terms of having the tools to make informed decisions-in a team with doctors who have a balanced approach. It is also useful to better understand some of the issues.
    Please look here under my name for my approach, for an example of the particular topic of this blog entry
    http://www.autismweb.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14855&start=0

    And Schwartz, if that happens and a child is severely harmed, then you won’t know about it most likely, even if you are really one who had an influence on that particular parent reading your posts. You will sleep at well at night and not know which child is buried where because of your and your little friends’ antivax motivated speculations, that are just oh so satisfying for you to promulgate. And I think that’s a shame.

    All life is precious. As there are children dying or being harmed by vaccine- preventible diseases there are also children dying or being harmed from adverse reactions to vaccines. Both situations should be approached with the needed balance and equilibrium and scientific tools to have proper answers to minimize both problems .Human lives are involved and this deserves calm, respect and balance in the discussion..

    Yes, I consider-that my son had adverse reactions to vaccines- being a severely IgA defficient atypical- that was not checked before vaccination to prevent the harm. I refute your accusations as untrue and I stand up with my scientific- based evidence and objective analysis of the situation-as much as I can in an issue so important to me
    AD whether you realise it or not , you are being utterly unfair. I refuse to be engaged in the kind of counter-productive style you have. I have tried to explain to you publicly and privately many times and have always received the same answer. I will let your words speak for themselves. I have learned from you as I have learned from other autistic adults. I have appreciated your insight on many aspects that were not available as information to me. I am saddened to read your opinion of me . I strongly protest because you are wrong as demonstrated by my behavior and my style of participation here and around in the web , before and now.
    I am not antivaccine-I want all the topics considered above properly analyzed without absolutisms, with scientific approach and care to improve the vaccine program. And the most extremists views of the issue are not helping one iota.
    Now,going back to the topic-this is Kev´s blog and the proposed topic was mitochondrial conditions in ASD-, there is an interesting manuscript published in Dec 2004
    J Autism Dev Disord. 2004 Dec;34(6):615-23.
    Relative carnitine deficiency in autism.Filipek PA, Juranek J, Nguyen MT, Cummings C, Gargus JJ.
    Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15679182?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
    If some of the readers is interested in the further discussion of, please let me know.

  36. bones March 15, 2008 at 18:48 #

    Schwartz, how do you propose the govt. tests the safety/efficacy of a childhood vaccine?

  37. bones March 15, 2008 at 18:53 #

    …and just a follow up.

    Why do you assume they haven’t?

  38. Schwartz March 15, 2008 at 23:35 #

    bones,

    The main issues:

    1) Thimerosal has not been adequately tested for safety — I don’t think it’s ever been tested for safety
    2) Many vaccine safety tests are not done against a real placebo — they use experimental vaccines, or adjuvants and then compare adverse reactions.
    3) Vaccine reaction followup periods are very short, often less than 30 days, sometime far less than that
    4) Vaccine adverse reaction reporting is not mandatory
    5) Vaccine schedule changes aren’t tested for safety — concurrent application of vaccines are not tested for safety

    They should be performing long term tracking studies similar to the ones they performed with HRT.

    There are at least two major Cochrane reviews of specific vaccines (MMR, and Flu) that both conclude that inadequate safety testing was done. This is after reviewing hundreds of studies.

    If you read the Simpsonwood transcripts (and I don’t mean anything about any conspiracy) you’ll realize how ignorant the “vaccinologists” are about anything outside of their field. They were pretty much clueless on a number of important topics.

    No assumptions here.

  39. gwynfryn March 19, 2008 at 17:43 #

    Hi Dr Megan (that’s my mother’s name; REALLY!)

    …Dr.Megan Taylor on March 11th, 2008 18:22:29
    Autism is clearly on the rise in the world…

    Actually, no, it isn’t; you can find a description of what the word autism actually means here:
    A THEORY OF PERSONALITY BASED MAINLY ON PSYCHIATRIC EXPERIENCE — ROSANOFF 77 (3): 417 — American Journal of Insanity

    This is the personality type, which many borrowed to label various disorders, both childhood and adult, since at least as far back as Eugene Bleuler’s schizophrenia paper of 1912 (published in both Austria and the USA) a long time before Kanner or Asperger is supposed to have invented the word. Worth noting, too, that worthies such as Carl Jung described disorders which match some within ASD (which has no established link to autism, nor does it resemble a spectrum; trying to do any kind of research while believing this taxonological waste-basket has some scientific relevance, is a waste of time, as I’ve pointed out in previous posts, above). If anything, real autism is in decline, since the end of arranged marriages in the western world (autistic males don’t get on too well with normal women, though autistic women seem to be much sought after).

    …and the global initiative to immunize children early as to not miss the chance may be at fault…

    Autism was around a long time before immunisation programs, as were many disorders now mislabelled as such. I’m not saying that immunisation doesn’t perhaps cause some disorders, but to determine this, one must first tighten up on definitions. The historical evidence shows overwhelmingly that autism is a genotypical variant, and a useful one, being apparent in just about all the great inventors, scientists and philosophers of the past (a personality type which dominated science circles up until about 60 years ago, until mass education began to displace them in favour of seekers of academic success, who measure their self-esteem more by how much they know, not what they understand)

    …I am a physican parent of an autistic child reaching out to have pure Scientists not funded by Vaccine companies to review the data on Immunization…

    Please find my analogue about “Dytch Olm disease” in a previous post, to see how this will serve no purpose, if it’s done by PhDs who got their qualifications by NOT questioning the orthodox view. I could fairly claim to be a “pure scientist” (or even a natural philosopher) but I suspect a mere degree in Mechanical Engineering wouldn’t do? On the other hand, I am autistic (and not the least bit defective) but that in turn means I’m not funded by anyone, nor even considered employable any more.

    …Looking at the Immunologic data, there seem to be 2 major categories of autistic children. These are those that are born with the disease and those that have late onset of problem with regressive symptoms. Scientists have recently found a difference in the NK cells(immune response cells) in the late onset group in that they are highly expressed. Other researchists have found clear immunologic destruction in the postmortem brains of autistic individuals who donated there bodies to science…

    This is all very interesting, but what’s it got to do with autism? A clinical diagnosis is totally unreliable, given no two clinicians can hardly agree on what they mean by “autism”, and all seem to be peculiarly resistant to discussing the historical precedence, or even admitting the existence of able adult autistics like myself. Ask them about the time-proven psychometrics which can so clearly and precisely identify real autistics, and watch how quickly they change the subject: you are right to suspect the establishment take on all things described as autistic, but the way to tackle this is to get back to basics, firm up on definitions, verify assumptions, and whatever it takes to ensure that, when you label any of these disorders, that the labels are both well defined and relevant!

    There can only be ONE category of “autistic child”, and that is a child who’s personality is dominated by the autistic segment, such as Rosanoff described it. Are such children perhaps more sensitive to certain malign vectors, as you and others suggest? It could well be, but the way to determine this is to, firstly, properly identify those who are actually autistic, referenced to others of the general population who are equally autistic, but not clinically diagnosable as such. This would be easily done, but nobody in the research community wants to even talk about this possibility. One thing I can state with very high degree of probability: many of those so diagnosed today are not autistic at all; even the DSM IV Asperger’s Syndrome diagnosis includes groups which are not (and very few who are, though Asperger himself clearly understood what autism really meant). To pursue any kind of research on the basis that all those disparate issues now collectively labeled ASD, are actually related to each other, is a complete and utter waste of time!

    …I have more information and feel it is the time to speak up and figure out what is happening. The incidence of the problem is increasing at an alarming rate. Perhaps the children who are immunologically over responsive to vaccines causes this outcome and destruction. In the current world, it wouldn’t be surprising to find an increased incidence of autism in children born to families who are forced to get immunizations like Hep B as an infant. Are we missing the boat and ruining families and impairing our society as we are led blindly by dictums to add vaccines rather than reveiwing our steps. I recently got an answer that it is too late to evaluate vaccines as a source in this case as they are already instituted as a requirement. Who is monitering this and what involvement have they had with vaccine company reimbursement in the past. Why isn’t this being addressed at the level of the Immunologic journals rather than the Neurologic, genome and Psychiatric journlas if this is perhaps a different immune respone. The death rate from many of these diseases is far far lower than the incidence of autism which for some families is a death sentence to their dreams for their children…

    Dr. Megan Taylor
    Allergist and Immunologist-Board Certified practicing clinician
    I am not looking for funding,fame or anything other than someone to engage and help figure this out. Please direct people/MDs with similar thoughts to me. I have the medical literature…

    I’d be more than happy to help, and have been speaking out about the perversion of “autism, presented as science”, for some four years, and in all that time I’ve not found a single autism expert who will engage with me, so expect to be disappointed. This isn’t the first time the establishment have used media propaganda, and their control of funds, to promote profit making; witness how tryptophan, after a century of successful treatment of depression, was deemed to be “unsafe”, just weeks before Prozac became available. Similarly, safe, time-proven, and useful (but not profitable) drugs here in Europe (ginko biloba, nootropics, melatonin etc.) are increasingly becoming prescription only, on the excuse they’ve not been “officially” proven safe (but who’d pay for such testing? It’s a catch 22!) which means they are effectively banned (because no quack in his right mind will prescribe an “unsafe” drug; but Zoloft and co get handed out like candy) and there’s even a restriction on Vit B6, and we get bombarded with “warnings” about the dangers(?) of vitamin and herbal supplements in general.

    This isn’t even the first time (recall Mengele and his predecessors?) they’ve tried to pervert science to “justify” the removal of a defenseless minority, but having learned from history, expect them to be much more circumspect and evasive this time (but just as determined); what you are up against here is a program of eugenics in disguise, which had its beginnings at least half a century ago, no doubt having learned lessons from how Hitler and co. used media campaigns to turn otherwise decent Germans, against Jews, gypsies, and other “defectives”. This time it’s the turn of autistics. No, not kids with disorders; the establishment love kids with disorders, because apart from immunisation, there’s also stuff like Ritalin, which are increasingly being prescribed for any kid who doesn’t conform to today’s ever more homogenous notion of “normality”, and just look at what parents have to pay to have their kids bullied by clueless therapists, who’s efforts make huge contributions to the plan to move money up-hill, from your average tax payer, and into the pockets of those who already have too much.

    The real target is real autistics, who, through no fault of their own, just happen to “unwittingly” get up the noses of the control freaks who run everything, and this, in their eyes, is reason enough to get rid of them. Sure, they’ll have to terminate potentially profitable defectives, once gene technology is advanced enough to identify foetuses who carry “autistic” genes, but they can afford it; to them it’s a price worth paying. You probably don’t want to hear all this Doc, but before you disregard this view completely, think again about how the researchers employed today keep repeating the same statistically erroneous arguments. Note how none will now even discuss the personality aspect, or any pre-Kanner usage of the word autism, which used to be a “given” as recently as the early 90s. Back then, there were plenty of researchers challenging the direction in which autism research was been driven, but you don’t find those guys among today’s “leading autism experts”! While the industry is being steadily expanded by ever more clueless non-scientist, who go round in the same old circles, making zero progress, all those who used to find out useful stuff, and expose how things were steadily getting worse, have now all been weeded out. This is an industry that is being managed to fail: the only “result” the establishment wants from autism research is; “well we can’t cure these disorders, but we have reached the stage where they can be identified during early stages of gestation, so let’s just get rid of them?”. People like you are paying for this.

  40. gwynfryn April 16, 2008 at 21:49 #

    Red letters? Do please tell me why all my comments “must now be previewed”? Who have I defamed? In any case, I accept all responsibility for my comments; let them sue me if they dare!

  41. gwynfryn April 30, 2008 at 22:09 #

    My thanks to whoever runs this blog, but does anyone else out there have even half the balls to address the truth?

    Check my links and you will find historical facts: yes FACTS! not the ravings of a lunatic, not a demented conspiracy theorist; Facts which you can check for yourself, if only you make the effort!

    Let me try again to post a relevant link:

    http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/citation/77/3/417

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