Dean Jones PhD- oxidative stress and the Omnibus Autism hearing

28 May

Dr. Dean Jones testified on the topic of oxidative stress in the morning of Day 9 of the Thimerosal-only portion of the Omnibus Autism Proceedings hearing. Dr. Jones is a professor at Emory University. He received a Nobel fellowship to do research in molecular toxicology in Stockholm. He is currently a peer reviewer for the journals Toxicology, Nutrition, Science, and Nature Methods. He also has been the chair of a “study section” at the NIH, as such it was his job to oversee peer review process of grant applications.

He is the recipient of grants to do research. One of his major grants for looking at oxidative stress in cell nuclei. He is one of the asst. program directors for a $22 million award from the NIH for translational research. Dr. Jones oversees two labs at Emory, one is his own research lab focusing on redox chemistry. He lectures on nutritional biochemistry, pharmacology and metabolism and has written many articles on sulfur metabolism, and he estimates that he has written over 100 original research articles on oxidative stress.

Dr. Jones testified that sulfur is the 5th most common element in biological systems and sulfur is ubiquitous in living systems. All this sulfur beneficially affects how our bodies deal with heavy metals.
The following is more of my rough transcription of what Dr. Jones said as he was examined by Ms. Renzi. Words in parentheses are my summary of what was said, the rest is more of an attempt to get what was said word-for-word. Keep in mind, there is a lot more than this. I haven’t tried to transcribe all the testimony by Dr. Jones wherein he explains a lot about what Glutathione is and details the reasons for his conclusions about Dr. Deth’s hypothesis and the idea that thimerosal in the doses contained in the vaccines given to even the tiniest babies ever could do anything vaguely like harm:

Ms. Renzi: …. Glutathione does more than just detoxify heavy metals, is that correct?

Dr. Jones: Glutathione has a very important role in metabolism. It is the major thiol. (It’s a major) sulfur containing chemical…. maybe 1/3 of the total sulfur (in the body is found in glutathione) the most abundant thiol.

Ms. Renzi: What is the role of glutathione in the body?

Dr. Jones: … The one that has probably received the most attention in the past 50 years is the function of glutathione as an anti-carcinogen. Glutathione is used to counter reactive chemicals that would otherwise cause mutations in the DNA and cause cancer. A little over 50 years ago it was recognized that many chemicals we are exposed to are activated in the body to reactive chemicals, the most central way that the body gets rid of these is by reacting these with glutathione. Glutathione is the most anticarcinogenic chemical we have in our body.

It is also an antioxidant….Hydrogen peroxide is produced in the body all the time, about a pound a day of oxygen consume, about 1% of that is converted to hydrogen peroxide– a large portion of that is eliminated by glutathione.

…there is a coenzymatic function of glutathione. One of the main ways we get rid of formaldehyde is through a catalytic action, involves using glutathione as a catalyst. The glutathione is not used up (in doing that).

Ms. Renzi: Deth’s hypothesis is thimerosal containing vaccines disrupt sulfur metabolism and causes autism. …

And Based upon your knowledge and research in the area of sulfur metabolism and glutathione do you have an opinion as to whether thimerosal at the doses administered in thimerosal containing vaccines can significantly affect sulfur metabolism.

[This is about the 22 minute mark.]

Jones: What the data show is that the dose of thimerosal (under discussion) will not affect in a significant way, sulfur metabolism.

Renzi: Why is that?

Dr. Jones: (He gives the amount of sulfur in a human body. He gives estimated total body glutathione.) 1 millimolar (is) 1000 micromolar. (He gives the amount of sulfur in sulfur containing foods a typical baby would eat: 500 micromoles per kg of body weight.) … We have a huge total thiol content in the body.

Ms. Renzi: (In your scenario that compares sulfur exposure to mercury exposure from vaccines,) how did you calculate the thimerosal dose?

I took the cumulative dose (that) was 180 mcg. I rounded it up (apparently to 200 mcg). (I calculated it as if) that were given all at once to a 1kg child, so that would be a two pound child. This is a very conservative way to look at this, the exposure would probably be six-fold lower than this. If you calculated it this way that would be equivalent to one micromole per kg of body weight. The more realistic would be 0.1 micromole per kg. The cumulative dose of thimerosal is considerably less than that daily intake of sulfur amino acids would be… 2000 fold lower than the total body thiol.

Renzi: Do food items also contain reactive materials that our body use glutathione to deactivate.

Johnson: … if we look at the amount of reactive materials in a 8 oz glass of 2% cows milk that number is 21,700 nanomoles. If you assume that a child would consume 4 oz in a serving would be the equivalent of 10 micromoles. One 4 oz serving would contain more than 10 times as much of the reactive materials (as is in the estimated 200 mcg of mercury from thimerosal.)

Renzi: The amount of reactive materials (in those common foods are) above that cumulative dose in a thimerosal normally administered over a 6 month period.

(1 hour 36 minutes)

Dr. Jones: (summing up) … at 4 critical sites in this scheme the pieces don’t fit together that that’s a plausible hypothesis and plausible mechanism that changes in sulfur amino acid is a cause of autism

Ms. Renzi: So, the data that Dr. Deth presented actually in formulating his hypothesis doesn’t support his hypothesis is that correct?

Yes. … Slide 28 is Dr. Deth’s slide 41… What I think that the data show, uh, you know, to me fairly clearly in, you know, that that there really is not appropriate evidence, this is just not, the data, saying that the dose of thimerosal is enough to alter the sulfur metabolism, this is not, not established by the data. And similarly if you had a perturbation in the sulfur even if a very minor effect happened it really wouldn’t be of a magnitude that one could consider that that is the cause of oxidative stress. I think you have to conclude that this is not established, either, the second point. And finally then if you look at the subsequent aspects of that the variations, the oxidative stress, there’s a normal variation in oxidative stress and that the magnitude of effects are really not appropriate, and in fact the mechanisms that he’s drawn can not account for changes in the methionine synthase activity and the in vitro data he’s provided without in vivo data supporting it, really you have to conclude that this step in the pathway is also not established. That is the oxidative stress to the methionine synthase.

…And so from that summary, from my standpoint there really is no plausibility to this hypothesis at all. It’s what I would consider a, a scaffold without a building. there’s a lot of components to it but it really doesn’t have the strength, solidity of being solid science, of being reasonable or plausible. …

So, this is my final slide, slide 29 … I think in terms of the overall, you know, my overall consideration of this:

I think the point one is the cumulative dose of thimerosal is too low to cause the magnitude of effects on glutathione metabolism that would be required to conclude that there’s any likelihood of effect there. It’s not plausible.

Point two, the natural variations are greater than one would expect from the low dose of thimerosal that are present in thimerosal containing vaccines.

The third point, … if you did have an effect, you’d have to conclude that the low non-toxic dose would probably be protective, because that would be activating protective mechanisms that ubiquitously occur.

Fourth, the in vitro studies show that thimerosal disruption of metabolism is probably occurring under non-specific conditions–ones that were you simply have the cellular conditions set up so that you are going to be disrupting lots of things–that you are not going to be giving any specificity. That’s simply because they are at irrelevant concentrations, irrelevant amounts.

I have to conclude that the data really don’t support this hypothesis that there is an effect on the glutathione system that’s causing oxidative stress and that that’s the cause of autism.

Ms. Renzi: Thank you.

Special Master Vowell (addressing PSC lawyer, Mike Williams): Are you prepared to begin cross examination or would this be a good time for a break?

Mr. Williams: I would very much enjoy a break, if that would be alright with you.

One can only imagine how much Mr. Williams needed that break.

I’m running out of adjectives to describe how thoroughly the dead parrot hypothesis has been demolished by the Department of Justice’s experts up to this point. I would not like to be Dr. Deth or even Dr. Wally. There work in cell cultures was described as basically not worthy of publication and it puzzles experts on how it got past peer review. Even the Petitioner’s Steering Committee’s own experts are doing serious damage to their own hypotheses from my observation, via sloppy testimony, bad evidence, citing what amount to speculative essays by absolute non-scientists “published” in non-peer reviewed magazines, experts with unusual ties to unusual funding sources, shaky sources for “data” in testimony that most would consider plagiarized because the real source was not cited, self plagiarism from previous reports, inflated–bordering on fabricated–credentials, extreme lack of expertise in the area where they are testifying, lack of preparation, and a lack of agreement and coherence between the petitioners own experts’ stories. Oh, and they keep bringing up new stuff, new ideas, new papers at the very last minute, which is just not done.

And … I have to ask, if the PSC lawyers were confident in what they were presenting, would they really need to be insulting to the experts for the DoJ? Seriously. Dr. Jones started to get impatient with the way Mr. Williams was badgering him on the cross examination and acting as if he, Jones, should already know what was in a paper that Mr. Williams just handed to him a minute previously, one of those last minute introductions of “evidence” that is totally out of bounds, normally. What I keep hearing on and off from the PSC lawyers, is a tone of voice that implies, “You’re just an idiot, aren’t you? You don’t know this???” Maybe that’s how lawyers are supposed to talk, but I didn’t hear it coming from the DoJ lawyers on cross examination of the PSC experts. The Special Masters have been very generous. I hope the Special Masters can see what a flimsy structure the arguments are that the PSC has constructed.It's just sleeping!

I hope parents who buy into the whole vaccine/heavy metal causation hypothesis and its accompanying “biomed” insanity are listening to these hearings because they will see how they’ve been led around by the nose by “experts” using big words and “healers” making big promises. I also hope that people don’t ever avoid vaccinating their children just out of fear of autism or vague fears of “toxicity.” The stuff to fear is not the vaccines. The stuff to fear is the sometimes deadly germs that vaccines can help protect their children from.

12 Responses to “Dean Jones PhD- oxidative stress and the Omnibus Autism hearing”

  1. Gmommy May 28, 2008 at 16:22 #

    I’ve been reading your blog quite a bit along with some others. I do not have a child with autism but I do have a child. She is due next week to have her MMR and varicella vaccine. I’m pretty sure that I will have her get them I’ve been researching quite a bit and the neurodiversity crowd seems most logical. My pediatrician does offer the mmr as three separate vaccinations that would be given four weeks apart from eachother at an extra cost to me of course. I wonder if there is no problem with the MMR why do they offer them sparate? I’m just still a little wary. The way some people talk about losing their child how their bright eyed, intelligent child just vanished hours or weeks after the vaccine just frightens me still. Just wanted to share my fears and thoughts and wouldn’t mind more education.

  2. HCN May 28, 2008 at 17:16 #

    Gmommy said “I wonder if there is no problem with the MMR why do they offer them sparate?”

    The doctor is actually running a business. If there is a demand for separate shots, he/she will offer them. Especially (as was the case in the UK), he/she can charge for each clinic visit and each vaccine.

    Since our doctor gets his vaccines through our county’s public health department he does not charge for the available vaccines (like MMR). If you are in the UK, the NHS provides the MMR. You will have to pay for each of the separate vaccines, because there is no public subsidy.

    Not only do you get to pay more, you have about triple the chance of local needle stick infection.

    By the way, the stories you hear are anecdotes. The plural of anecdote is not data. The MMR vaccine has been in use in the USA since 1971, and has never contained thimerosal. For more information there is this online book:
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/pink-chapters.htm

    (There is a version in the UK called “The Green Book”, but since you are talking varicella which is not offered in the UK, I am assuming you are in Canada or the USA).

  3. Ms. Clark May 28, 2008 at 19:53 #

    I would add that besides subjecting the child to extra risk of infection from the extra needle sticks, personally, I’d be more concerned about the aggravation and pain to the child to endure to go through three separate doses.

    Also, say you decide to go first with mumps, then a few weeks later the measles, then the rubella, or whatever scenario you choose, whichever vaccine you delay leaves then the child more open to that disease for that length of time. You might think that there isn’t a big deal difference between getting a child vaccinated for measles in June vs. August, but it could be enough to put your child in extra harms way and for no reason.

    There is absolutely no scientific reason, or even regular old common-sense reason, to think that the MMR or any other vaccine ever could cause autism.

    The reality of autism, regressive or not, is that it probably starts in the first weeks of pregnancy. Just because there is a regression, it doesn’t mean that something that happened right before the regression caused it.

    The way brain development works is that as new abilities “come on line” new functions within the brain “come on line”. You can’t necessarily predict beforehand what will happen when the time comes for that ability to come on line. Just as when you look at a toddler you don’t know how he or she will look when hormones kick in adolescence.

    Will Johnny have a deep voice and a thick beard at age 16? Will he have really broad shoulders and a big biceps? Testosterone drives quite a bit of that. You could guess what he will look like then but you don’t know when he’s 2 years old. You don’t know if a girl will become very emotional and cry alot when she’s 14 or not.

    Autism is not the same as adolescence, but in the same way, you can’t predict which babies will regress. And if you look at the fact that almost all babies are vaccinated, then there must be some that will truly regress within a some time after a vaccine.

    The other thing is that babies do not ever just “fall into the abyss of autism” over a period of hours or days. Even in boys being discussed in this case who really do seem to have regressed, their parents point to a period of **months** over which they noticed a change.

    So parents who want to blame vaccines have this huge window during which to claim that their kid regressed following a vaccine.

    I mean, Johnny starts to really flap and stare at fans at age 12 months, slowly at first and then more and more, and he gets an MMR vaccine at 13 or 14 months and arount then the flapping becomes more noticeable, possibly because something changed, like they have a typical kid come over for a visit at age 14 months and notice that that child isn’t flapping…

    And a month later he totally stops talking and he gets an autism diagnosis.

    So was it the vaccine? Why? The kid was flapping before the vaccine, but the parents don’t remember that, either they deliberately minimize it because that information contradicts their newfound belief, or they just forget, since it started out more easily ignorable.

    I know for myself that my memories about what my kids did is not perfect and sometimes photographs or documents I come across can contradict what my memory had told me was so.

    I was manic about keeping developmental history for my kids I still have these charts from their doctor that show when it’s normal for a child to stack two blocks, use a pincer grasp, use 3 words, etc. So some of that for me is documented, and I have their vaccine schedules, but somethings like when they first started to eat ice cream or when they decided they had a favorite flavor, I have no idea.

    Not all parents keep records on development like I did. My ASD kid also had a lot of medical problems so there are mountains of doctors reports (some of which I have copies of). I don’t have that for my typical kid who hardly ever went to the doctor because that kid was stunningly healthy.

    So parents who say that their baby descended into autism immediately following a vaccine (or within days) are saying something that is illogical, with the exception of people whose children really do develop an encephalopathy following a vaccine reaction (which would be an obvious disease). But worrying about that is foolish since the baby would likely develop that same encephalopathy if they ran into the same germ in the wild type which is necessarily a more virulent form of the virus or bacteria.

    You could fear that your baby would develop an encephalopathy following a vaccine and leave him open to encephalopathy, and maybe death from the wild type germ.

    And whether or not encephalopathy really causes autism (as opposed to a generic brain damage that causes mental retardation with autistic traits) is debatable. It depends on your definition of autism.

    Most autism is NOT caused by encephalopathy.

    I hope all that helps and isn’t too much information.

    Seriously, though, you need to trust your doctor. There could be reasons for not vaccinating your baby. I can’t see those from here and I’m not a doctor. It’s just that the reasons for not vaccinating are rare (egg allergy, for instance). Fear of autism is not a good reason to avoid or delay vaccines.

    For a fact, besides all that, autistic children are just as darling and precious as typical children and autism doesn’t represent absolute doom. There are good things about having an autistic kid. I’m thrilled that I have one. I’m also thrilled that I have a typical kid. There’s no reason to fear having an autistic child. They are wonderful people.

  4. Catherina May 29, 2008 at 06:49 #

    Gmommy,

    there is no benefit to the child by getting the M, M and R a month apart each. It only benefits the doctor (financially), while your child has to be pocked 3 times instead of one and you have to pay up. Biologically, that makes absolutely no sense.

    I would recommend you go for the MMR (combined) – the MMR is one of the best studied vaccines and has very few side effects (under 10% of vaccinated children get a fever 7 to 9 days after the vaccination, about the same number get a rash). Get the varicella on a seperate visit at least a month later.

  5. Gmommy May 29, 2008 at 15:39 #

    thanks so much for your responses. I still just don’t understand that if there is so much evidence why do all these people still believe that vaccines caused their childs autism? Are they just looking for something to blame? Can they not just accept that this is what life is about, that everyone is different? I seem to think that the number of autism cases has gone up because it seems that the diagnostic criteria has become more wide spread…
    @ Ms Clark. Thank you so much for your info. Also if I my child was ever diagnosed with anything be it autism or any other need or disablility I would love her unconditionaly and know that she is precious.
    It also blows my mind that the drs would have the shot separated just so they could make more money. I love my pediatrician but I just can’t get a grip on that.
    @ Catherina Why is it that I should wait to get the varicella a month later?

  6. Ms. Clark May 30, 2008 at 00:31 #

    Gmommy,

    If you do some reading on social psychology and on more general kinds of psychology like memory, you can see that people are sometimes strongly influenced by what they are told. Before the vaccine hypothesis took off, people had children with regressive autism. It’s been happening probably for hundreds of years at least, Dr. J. Langdon Down (who described Down syndrome) among his patients in London in the 1800’s identified regressive autism.
    http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/savant_syndrome/savant_articles/doctor_down

    People used to blame other things for their child’s regression. Really, anything that a parent would think would be likely to cause it could be blamed. Humans are weird. Some might have seen it as a curse or a punishment, some might have thought the fairies came and took their real child and put another look alike in it’s place. Not that long ago parents blamed things like the birth of a baby sibling or a bout with the flu or something like that that would have occurred around the same time of the regression.

    The thing is, say the current belief system is that it’s exposure to too much orange juice or let’s say it’s a certain laundry detergent, then that is what the majority of the population believes is the cause.

    If you don’t have a child that regresses, it might not make much difference to you, but you might fear having “Tide” detergent in the house, just in case your friend brings a baby over and it gets exposed to Tide. And if you have a baby that regresses and you happened to have used Tide (because you didn’t think it was a big deal) then of course you will feel bad that you bought the Tide detergent and caused your baby to regress.

    Even if you didn’t have Tide in your house, you might start thinking, …. “Well… I bet it was that time we were in the laundromat and there were people there who were using Tide…” or you might think, “maybe I did use Tide that one time when the baby was 5 weeks old…”

    Your memory will start to create the reality that your baby was exposed to Tide even if it wasn’t. And if you are skeptical that Tide causes autistic regression, then it won’t matter to you if you used Tide or not, you won’t be trying to sue Proctor and Gamble or Lever Bros, or whoever it is…

    If you are inclined to want to sue people or inclined to look at big corporations with a lot of suspicious you might go on an all out anti-Tide campaign and try to make your friends stop buying Tide by scaring them and saying, “You’re baby is NEXT!”

    If you think Tide causes autism, then if someone says, “it’s the vaccines” then you’ll think they are ill-informed or crazy and ignore them because you already have it figured out that it’s the Tide.

    If you get enough people like this together they start a whole subculture of Tide haters. People will start to out-do each other with tales about how they never had Tide their house at all, but one day when mom and toddler were walking down the detergent isle in the grocery store, they got next to the Tide boxes and suddenly the child had a seizure and fell on the floor and was diagnosed with autism the next day.

    Then another mom says, “My child has never even seen a box of Tide, but one day my mother in law came over with a purse that had the same colors on it as a box of Tide and after seen that my child was never the same!”

    In the case of vaccine reactions, it is possible that the child got sick after a vaccine, but it’s very likely that the horrific tales of never-ending diarrhea that was never there before the vaccine and stared within minutes of the vaccine and went on for years until they met a DAN! doctor… are embellished. Some people are lying, and some people are just playing, ‘yeah, well can you top this?’ Some are building up cases because they intend to sue and need a good story. Some are just wrong. They’ve heard the same thing over and over again and they just come to believe that everything bad happened to their child right after a vaccine. And even if they say that it was 3 months later, they still blame the vaccine because everything evil in the world in now distilled into vaccines.

    There is a real thing called mass hysteria where people get other people all upset over things and people believe things that are not true. In the cases that have come before the vaccine court what you can see is that the documentation does not uphold the parent’s view of horrific changes that happened only following the vaccine.

    Some parents are lying about what happened to their child, some have just come to filter everything through this vaccine-blaming lens and they can’t see, for instance, that their child was also exposed to …. Tide… and they can not believe that a regression could just happen. But regressions do just happen. They don’t need a external “trigger” they can be preprogrammed. The evidence is that they are preprogrammed, like adolescence is preprogrammed into a baby’s brain, when the time comes the brain starts putting out hormones and the child because an adolescent.

    Remember there are parents whose kids are vaccinated, and that regressed, who don’t blame vaccines. You just don’t hear from them because they aren’t having hysterics and screaming about how someone poisoned their baby.

    There are also unvaccinated kids that have regressed, you don’t hear so much about them, either.

  7. Gmommy May 30, 2008 at 02:44 #

    Poor tide, just kidding. I totally understand the logic. I think it just amazes me that there are actual people in the world who can be so brain washed or so unaccepting. Why don’t the individuals with unvaccinated children come forward? You would think that they would like to help prove the case. It is possible that there simply is not a cause. There are plenty of people born with disablities learning, physical, emotional and there aren’t causes just the way the cards were dealt. So why are people so desparate to find a cause?
    In reference to the vaccinations why are there so many more today then 10 years ago? How can people believe that the government would be out to poison America’s children. I know we may not live in the brightest, safest environment but I don’t think there would be intentional harm on our children?
    Also still curious why I should wait a month between the MMR and the varicella since they are usually given at the same time. Also I don’t think my daughter has ever been given more than two jabs at a time, how is it that some of these children or the parents of the children are saying that they’ve recieved 9 jabs in one day, who would do that, even if your pediatrican recommended it. I just don’t see why you would allow it. That seem overwhelming for anyone.
    Thanks again.

  8. Gmommy May 30, 2008 at 02:45 #

    Poor tide, just kidding. I totally understand the logic. I think it just amazes me that there are actual people in the world who can be so brain washed or so unaccepting. Why don’t the individuals with unvaccinated children come forward? You would think that they would like to help prove the case. It is possible that there simply is not a cause. There are plenty of people born with disablities learning, physical, emotional and there aren’t causes just the way the cards were dealt. So why are people so desparate to find a cause?
    In reference to the vaccinations why are there so many more today then 10 years ago? How can people believe that the government would be out to poison America’s children. I know we may not live in the brightest, safest environment but I don’t think there would be intentional harm on our children?
    Also still curious why I should wait a month between the MMR and the varicella since they are usually given at the same time. Also I don’t think my daughter has ever been given more than two jabs at a time, how is it that some of these children or the parents of the children are saying that they’ve recieved 9 jabs in one day, who would do that, even if your pediatrican recommended it. I just don’t see why you would allow it. That seem overwhelming for anyone.
    Thanks again.

  9. Ms. Clark May 30, 2008 at 04:15 #

    If your question is why don’t parents of unvaccinated children with autism come foreward, the answer is: they do, they have. Some of them are mercury parents who are like the mom who said her mother-in-law came to visit with a purse that looked like a box of Tide and that caused the child to regress. They start casting about for other ways to link autism to vaccines…. or heavy metals, so they’ll say, “I lived 2 miles from a mercury mine when I was 15” or “I had 3 fillings in my mouth when I was pregnant.” If you view every heinous thing on the planet as having mercury as it’s cause, that might make sense, but they totally refuse to consider that it might be just random genetic mutations(they do happen, and they aren’t caused by living 2 miles from a mercury mine, they happen to everyone because we are exposed to radiation from the son, and there are a whole world of “toxins” besides the ones they are obsessing on. There are a whole world of “toxins” that were not made by Monsanto or Dow chemical, but made by nature).

    The parents who don’t vaccinate their kids and who have autistic kids are busy raising their families and aren’t concerned about what the mercury parents think. One parent who used to believe that his/her child was made autistic by mercury in vaccines is the blogger called, “Not Mercury.” S/he had a second child that was not vaccinated up to the point when that child was diagnosed as being on the spectrum (at age 2 or 3).

    One reason “Not Mercury” remains pseudonymous is fear or being harassed or worse by the mercury malicia. This is likely a reason why other parents don’t come forward. Members of the mercury malicia have been known to make death threats.

    Another thing is that there is still a large portion of the populace who thinks the vaccine hypothesis is nonsense. They aren’t wasting time worrying about it.

    There was a phone survey funded by one of the mercury parents and it found a large number of people who claimed to have children on the autism spectrum that were unvaccinated. None of the numbers in that survey make sense but the mercury parents hold it up as evidence of something or other and the numbers include a bunch of these unvaccinated autistic kids.

    Like I said, they see everything through a “Vaccines are EVIL!” sort of lens so any information that contradicts what they believe is just tossed aside. Like the people who believe that Tide causes autism in my illustration, if you come along and offer another equally silly hypothesis, they ignore it. If you come along with a well grounded hypothesis they ignore it. Only stuff that sounds scary and is about vaccines and mercury gets through.

  10. Ms. Clark May 30, 2008 at 04:41 #

    Also…
    Gmommy wrote:
    “There are plenty of people born with disablities learning, physical, emotional and there aren’t causes just the way the cards were dealt. So why are people so desparate to find a cause?”

    My own autism spectrum child has multiple obvious problems. Some of them are really odd/unusual. I want to know what caused this odd collection of problems that includes ASD. Because of that I’ve taken this kid to multiple geneticists over the years and as of today I’m waiting for results from a microarray test (that wasn’t available when we went to geneticists in the past – my kid is approaching 30 years old).

    I don’t want to know because I need someone to blame. I want to know, #1 because I love genetics and I just want to know, and #2 because sometimes knowing the exact cause of a problem enables one to accurately treat problems.

    In my ex-husband’s family there are relatives with seizures, I suspect that their seizures MIGHT be caused by the same gene(s) my kid has that MIGHT have contributed to my kid’s ASD. If that was true, say then we’d be watching more carefully for seizures in my kid… though it doesn’t seem really likely that s/he’d get them at this age it could happen.

    If they find something that looks like it might be associated with autism in my kid in this new test, then maybe I could have the same test done and we’d know if my kid got it from me or maybe from my ex-husband.

    Facts like that can be shared with relatives who might want to know. That’s not just so they can worry about having autistic kids in the future, but so they’d know the specifics of what kind of ASD their kid has. Once upon a time, no one knew what Fragile X was. Now they know a lot about it and they know that there are specific health problems connected with it.

    There is always a “cause” of mental retardation, physical disability and autism. It’s not always knowable what the cause is, at least up until now. To me, it’s natural that people want to know the cause, the problem is that in this litigious culture, some people start thinking about suing someone from the very second any negative thing happens to them. Get a bad perm? Sue the beautician. Got a bad boss? Sue the company.

    Of course, suing can be an appropriate recourse, but it’s not always a sensible one and people do sue innocent entities for things that those entities did not cause, and even win in those suits sometimes.

  11. Catherina May 30, 2008 at 09:45 #

    Gmommy,

    I don’t know how old your child is, but varicella vaccine has been shown to work a little better when given after 15 months of age and also when given seperate from MMR.

    “Live” viral vaccines have to be seperated by a month (the reason being that the first vaccination would cause the body to turn on defenses that include cytokines inhibiting viral proliferation, so if the second live viral vaccine is given to early after the first, say, a week later, the second vaccine virus might not proliferate so well and you don’t get decent antibodies).

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