NIH director on the lack of trust within the autism community

20 Oct

This video is taken from the Simons Foundation blog. The Simons Foundation was able to get NIH Director Francis Collins to make a statement about the resignation of Story Landis from theIACC .

I am impatient for answers. If there were any good evidence that vaccines were causal in autism, I’d be pushing for research on that subject.

As Dr. Collins notes, we should not assume that there is “just one path” that will get us to the truth. I would assert that it is precisely the vaccine/autism organizations who can’t leave behind their one path. We need to move forward, not spin our wheels in the same place that hasn’t proven fruitful for the past 10 years. It’s time to move beyond vaccines.

6 Responses to “NIH director on the lack of trust within the autism community”

  1. Anne October 20, 2009 at 22:55 #

    Ironically, Sullivan, Dr. Landis would probably disagree with you, as she was clearly willing to poke around in the area vaccines as a cause for autism, even to the extent of performing a vaccinated/unvaccinated study. This truly does seem like an “oops” moment for AoA.

  2. Sullivan October 20, 2009 at 23:15 #


    It does seem like Dr. Landis was open to the idea of studying vaccines.

    The difference between me and the Age of Autism blog is I remain open to listening to people. I voice my opinion. I may be strong in my opinion, but I recognize that it is an opinion. I don’t claim any “Truth”. I’d be willing to listen to Dr. Landis discuss this. If she had been able to put forth a vaccine study in the IACC, I wouldn’t be protesting her presence on the IACC, digging through her trash and trying to smear her.

  3. K October 20, 2009 at 23:16 #

    Sorry this is OT but I thought it would be interesting for you. Makes one wonder of all the damage being done by chelation and lupron. Cornel University found that chelation in absence of acute lead poisoning caused some sort of cerebral damage in mice. Here is some fresh chum:

    (SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — In a large population-based study published online today,
    researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute report that after adjusting for a
    number of factors, typically developing children and children with autism have
    similar levels of mercury in their blood streams. Mercury is a heavy metal found
    in other studies to adversely affect the developing nervous system.

    The study, appearing in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, is the
    most rigorous examination to date of blood-mercury levels in children with
    autism. The researchers cautioned, however, that the study is not an examination
    of whether mercury plays a role in causing the disorder.

    “We looked at blood-mercury levels in children who had autism and children who
    did not have autism,” said lead study author Irva Hertz-Picciotto, an
    internationally known MIND Institute researcher and professor of public health
    sciences. “The bottom line is that blood-mercury levels in both populations were
    essentially the same. However, this analysis did not address a causal role,
    because we measured mercury after the diagnosis was made.”

    The research was conducted as part of the Northern California-based Childhood
    Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) Study, of which
    Hertz-Picciotto is the principal investigator. The CHARGE Study is a large,
    comprehensive, epidemiologic investigation designed to identify factors
    associated with autism and discover clues to its origins. CHARGE study
    participants include children between 24 and 60 months who are diagnosed with
    autism, as well as children with other developmental disorders and typically
    developing controls.

    The study looked at a wide variety of sources of mercury in the participants’
    environments, including fish consumption, personal-care products (such as nasal
    sprays or earwax removal products, which may contain mercury) and the types of
    vaccinations they received. The study also examined whether children who have
    dental fillings made of the silver-colored mercury-based amalgam and who grind
    their teeth or chew gum had higher blood-mercury levels. In fact, those children
    who both chew gum and have amalgams did have higher blood-mercury levels.

    But the consumption of fish — such as tuna and other ocean fish and freshwater
    fish — was far and away the biggest and most significant predictor of
    blood-mercury levels. Data on most possible sources of mercury — fish
    consumption and dental amalgams — were collected by interviews with the study
    subjects’ parents. Information on vaccines was obtained from the child’s
    vaccination and medical records. A few children had recently had a vaccine
    containing mercury, and their blood-mercury levels were not elevated.

    Of the 452 participants included in the research, 249 were diagnosed with
    autism, 143 were developing typically and 60 had other developmental delays,
    such as Down syndrome. At the outset, the children with autism appeared to have
    significantly lower blood-mercury levels than the typically developing children.
    But children with autism tend to be picky eaters and, in this study, ate less
    fish. When adjusted for their lower levels of fish consumption, their
    blood-mercury concentrations were roughly the same as those of children with
    typical development and very similar to those found in a nationally
    representative sample of 1- to 5-year-old children.

    Hertz-Picciotto said the CHARGE study is casting a wide net, addressing an array
    of exposures that originate in the home or the broader environment, as well as
    genes and gene expression. Because so little is known about the causes of
    autism, the researchers plan to look at everything from household products to
    medical treatments, diet and supplements, and even infections. Additionally,
    they will explore interactions among multiple factors.

    “Just as autism is complex, with great variation in severity and presentation,
    it is highly likely that its causes will be found to be equally complex. It’s
    time to abandon the idea that a single `smoking gun’ will emerge to explain why
    so many children are developing autism. The evidence to date suggests that,
    without taking account of both genetic susceptibility and environmental factors,
    the story will remain incomplete. Few studies, however, are taking this kind of
    multi-faceted approach,” Hertz-Picciotto said.

    Other study authors include Peter Green, Lora Delwiche, Robin Hansen, Cheryl
    Walker and Isaac Pessah, all of the UC Davis.

    The study was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences,
    the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Science to Achieve Results
    (STAR) program and the UC Davis MIND Institute.

    Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) is a monthly journal of peer-reviewed
    research and news on the impact of the environment on human health. It is
    published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a part of
    the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    The UC Davis MIND Institute, in Sacramento, Calif., was founded in 1998 as a
    unique interdisciplinary research center where parents, community leaders,
    researchers, clinicians and volunteers collaborate to study and treat autism and
    other neurodevelopmental disorders. More information about the institute is
    available on the Web at

  4. Sullivan October 20, 2009 at 23:21 #


    thanks for the info!

    I didn’t have too much time when I posted the study yesterday:


  1. Tweets that mention Autism Blog - NIH director on the lack of trust within the autism community « Left Brain/Right Brain -- - October 21, 2009

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Joanna Cerazy and Autism Hub, Oral Chelation. Oral Chelation said: Autism Blog – NIH director on the lack of trust within the autism … […]

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