Who Doesn't Vaccinate?

By Chris Mooney | May 8, 2009 12:10 pm

There’s an important paper in the New England Journal of Medicine this week about vaccine refusal, providing some alarming statistics on this growing phenomenon.

Let’s begin with the basics: In the U.S., “vaccine refusal” is more or less tantamount to obtaining a state level exemption from childhood vaccinations for non-medical reasons. Such exemptions are on the rise: According to the paper, “Between 1991 and 2004, the mean state-level rate of nonmedical exemptions increased from 0.98 to 1.48%.” That may not sound like much, but vaccine refusal is concentrated in certain areas, or clusters, where the incidence is much higher, and accordingly much more dangerous. States like Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Michigan in particular are known for having such clusters.

The NEJM also provides some other revealing data about who doesn’t vaccinate. As the paper puts it:

As compared with the undervaccinated children, the unvaccinated children were more likely to be male, to be white, to belong to households with higher income, to have a married mother with a college education, and to live with four or more other children. Other studies have shown that children who are unvaccinated are likely to belong to families that intentionally refuse vaccines, whereas children who are undervaccinated are likely to have missed some vaccinations because of factors related to the health care system or sociodemographic characteristics.

This socio-economic disparity seems to resonate with a quotation from one of the experts in my Discover piece:

“If vaccine rates start to drop, who’s going to get affected?” Peter Hotez asks. “It’s going to be people who live in poor, crowded conditions. So it’s going to affect the poorest people in our country.”

One last intriguing bit of data on vaccine refusers: They self-educate, and use the Internet to do it. To wit:

…parents of exempt children were more likely than parents of vaccinated children both to have providers who offered complementary or alternative health care and to obtain information from the Internet and groups opposed to aspects of immunization. The most frequent reason for nonvaccination, stated by 69% of the parents, was concern that the vaccine might cause harm.

We typically think of self education, via the Internet especially, as a form of empowerment. But is that really what it is, if people are going online to get misinformation,  and on that basis taking actions that can endanger others?

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Unscientific America, vaccination

Comments (259)

  1. Chris:

    So, let me get this straight. The parents most likely to not vaccinate their children are white, well-educated, and wealthy?

    I’m going to say this again a different way: the people with the highest levels of education and the most resources at their disposal are the ones least likely to vaccinate their kids.

    Don’t you think this is interesting? One of two things has to be true:

    A. Rich, well-educated white people are society’s most gullible.

    B. Rich, well-eductaed people understand that vaccines have benefits AND RISKS and have weighed the trade-offs and put their children’s needs first.

    Which is iit, Chris, is it A or B?

    And, while I have you, your piece on the Discover blog was one-sided. I can’t help but think, when the situation is far more complex than you make it out to be, that it is far easier to portray the “anti-vaccine” camp as a bunch of irresponsible websites and the “provaccine” camp as a bunch of good doctors, if you want your readers to reach a certain conclusion.

    The problem with your story is that it doesn’t remotely reflect the reality of how scientifically complicated and still up for debate the vaccine-autism controversy actually remains.

    JB Handley
    Generation Rescue

  2. Erasmussimo

    I realize that vaccine deniers impose risks upon others, but is not the simplest, cleanest solution to this problem Darwinian?

  3. MAR

    Humans are still evolving regardless of if vaccinations are involved or not.

    In the United States in 2009, most people have the luxury of expecting their children to grow into adulthood.

    My younger brother died at 11 months due to a undiagnosed birth defect that destroyed his immune system. David was outwardly healthy on a Thursday and dead on Saturday. I was four. I know my own grief and saw the grief of my parents and sister. The anit-vaccination people have forgotten that children can and do die of illnesses. I cannot comprehend how any adult would let the slight risk of an adverse reaction blind them to the real risk of childhood, killer diseases.

  4. OneHandClapping

    “One of two things has to be true:

    A. Rich, well-educated white people are society’s most gullible.

    B. Rich, well-eductaed people understand that vaccines have benefits AND RISKS and have weighed the trade-offs and put their children’s needs first.

    Which is iit, Chris, is it A or B?”

    Yeah, CHRIS, which one is it? Answer the loaded question already! It CANNOT be for any other reason, we all know that. There is no chance that there may be other factors in why some educated, white, rich people make piss poor decisions. All we have to do is look at the economy. Remember when the DJIA was over 14,000? That was because of those rich white people. The fall since then has nothing to do with that. Rich, white, educated people do NOT make bad decisions!

  5. OneHandClapping

    Doh, now my comment makes no sense.

  6. We seem to have learned a bit of the lingo of science but not to have absorbed the process of thinking scientifically.

    In almost every isseu that I follow, there is a total distrust of mainstream media coverage of science and medicine. It is the same with climate disruption. Maybe it is the way that every new, painfully acquired bit of knowledge gets presented as “the answer” or “the cure” and then apparently contradicted as we peel the onion and find that it is all a bit more complex than GMA can handle in a 2 minute comment on the latest big medical breakthrough announcement.

    The internet may be the place to find reliable information but it is easier to find confirmation of negative opinion on anything.

  7. Well, Mr. Handley, you tell us?

    Who is being taken in by your recent fake “study”? You know, the one where you compare autism rates in the US in 2002 to autism rates in foreign countries 20 years ago and claim that the US has higher autism rates?

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=2299

    You also left out a number of studies that you and your Generation Rescue colleagues are very well aware of–studies that refute your point.

    So, you tell us. Who is being fooled by your lies?

    Were you? That would be a great single example of a rich white person being gullible. Were you taken in by the idea that “autism is just a misdiagnosis for mercury poisoning”…oh, wait, you were. Being Rich and White doesn’t immunize you against being gullible.

  8. Subwlf

    Quakers don’t vaccinate. Interestingly enough, they don’t have autism either.

  9. OneHandClapping, Oh, I get it. Poor, uneducated people should be given positions of responsibility to run all of our companies and government because they are smart enough to follow the CDC’s recommended schedule for vaccines and they aren’t fooled by all these pesky websites that trick parents into not vaccinating. Thanks, OneHandClapping, and so silly of me to think that educated wealthy people choosing not to vaccinate might mean that they better understood the trade-offs rather than blindly following their doctors and the CDC to vaccinate their baby for Hep B, chickenpox, and rotavirus… JBH

  10. JB Handley – there is no controversy. First your kind focussed on thiomersal. So it was removed from vaccines. Yet autism rates have not dropped off. What are you focussing on now?

    Moron.

  11. OneHandClapping

    JBH, I see you completely missed my point. No wonder information from the intertoobz confuses you. I won’t try to restate what I was saying for your benefit, because I believe you are intending to be obtuse.

  12. Ken

    A regular guest appearance on Oprah.

  13. kathleen

    One last intriguing bit of data on vaccine refusers: They self-educate, and use the Internet to do it. To wit:

    We typically think of self education, via the Internet especially, as a form of empowerment. But is that really what it is, if people are going online to get misinformation, and on that basis taking actions that can endanger others?
    -M00ney

    Okay, well I could haev skipped your misinformation, but am choosing to reply.
    David offered you a WEll of information, and you chose to not only ignore it, but to make it a point to shut it out. When did the definition of a journalist change to only represent one side? How shameful your lack of abiltity. How shameful you choose that. This type of “hollow” writing is filler only, not informative, not helpful, just filler.
    We have a schedule of 36 vaccinqtions where I live. This has NEVER been studied. Medication conflict with each other all the time…..”Oh if you are taking that, then don’t take this….”. This is true in medicine and a fact I readily accept. What is not acceptable is that we are giving innocent children many things at the same time and not checking for safety. If the studies have never been done…it is NOT safe. The MSDS states in very clear words, aluminum and mercury cannot be combined together. We give aluminum and mercury together ALL THE TIME with vaccines. Where is the common sense? My children deserve more.
    And yes, apparently rich people get to spread out their shots by choice. Donald Trump has stated that they are following an alternative schedule and spacing out the shots. Funny, I’ll bet NO one gives him a hard time, and I doubt seriously that his pediatrician would belittle him. BUT for everyone else, our choices to spread the shots out has been removed, big pharma will no longer manufacture single dose MMR so families can vaccinate as safely as possible. But believe me, I’ll take my chances with the measles any day compared to the nightmare that becamemy sons life.

    You need to be fair and unbiased-do you need a dictionary?

  14. Stranger Danger

    Given the sense of entitlement most rich, white educated people have, I would fully expect them to blindly follow what the latest medical trend is. Especially because the anti-vaccine camp is now counter-culture and “holistic”.

    This argument is as crazy as the alleged mini-black hole the LHC will create swallowing up the globe.

  15. Callinectes

    Hey boneheads! Enough with the personal smackdowns already. This is not about you.

    You forget one crucial bit of info here, that most parents regardless of their level of education or income will do anything, ANYTHING, to protect their children and that they perceive is in the best interests of their children. And sometimes this involves choosing poorly (whether misled or through misinformation).

    Unless you are a parent it may be hard to comprehend, and therefore easy to underestimate/discount, the emotional aspect of this issue. The prospect of having a “normal” child one day and an autistic one the next is scary. When people are scared, they don’t always act rationally and may be more susceptible to campaigns which prey on such emotion.

    As a parent, I can tell you that the entire baby industry is almost entirely premised on this motivation, from diapers and BPA-free bottles and pacifiers to cord blood banking. Do/don’t do this because it is the best for your child/it will harm your child.

  16. JB,

    I’m pretty well educated. Educated enough to see through the nonsense that you have tried to push out there.

    The real question is, are you?

    Your recent “study” was so bad as to be an embarrassment. Either you posted it to your website knowing you would get caught lying, or you weren’t smart enough to see through your own BS.

    I’d really like to know the answer.

  17. “JB Handley – there is no controversy. First your kind focussed on thiomersal. So it was removed from vaccines. Yet autism rates have not dropped off. What are you focussing on now?”

    Precisely–JB Handley keeps saying “only two vaccines have been tested”

    a) He neglects the testing on thimerosal

    and

    b) he skirts the issue of actually admitting that the studies on MMR show that it isn’t causing autism.

    Rick Rollens was man enough to admit that MMR was off the table. JB Handley isn’t even in the class of Rollens. That’s saying a lot.

  18. Callinectes

    I find this info Chris presents interesting. I don’t interpret this to mean that rich-educated-white folk are smarter or that conversely poor-uneducated-nonwhite folk are dumb. The socio-economics is intriguing to me because I think wealth equates to empowerment and having the means to do something about a threat (whether real or perceived).

    I’ve never thought to ask or look for info on autism’s being associated with socio-economic class – anyone know? If it’s happening in more middle to upper income children, then it makes to me why more of those families are choosing not to vaccinate, irrespective of whether vaccines are really linked causally to autism.

    For the record, I’m white, highly educated, married and my children are vaccinated.

  19. Michael D.

    One thought on the demographic of the “unvaccinated” child/household. Perhaps a household that is white, well-educated and well-to-do (I can probably place myself in that category pretty much my entire life) tends to be so far removed from something bad medically happening to them that the diseases vaccinations are meant to prevent seem like non-issues. The diseases are, in essence, “cured”, so why should they vaccinate? They also probably have heard something about a “problem” with vaccines. I also tend to think that many (most?) of these “well-educated” households are probably woefully un-educated when it comes to science, and probably do not understand concepts such as herd immunity and probably do not understand how to critically consider a scientific study. Also, these children tend to “live with four or more other children”, could this indicative of the beliefs of the demographic as well?

  20. OneHandClapping

    Kathleen,

    I’m afraid that these people won’t listen to you. They have no idea of what is really going on with vaccinations today, and how dangerous they really are. Aluminum and mercury are the least of our problems, believe me. I happen to know for a fact that one of the largest killers directly related to vaccinations is dihydrogen monoxide, a known and highly toxic chemical that has curiously been ignored by “scientists.”

    I do appreciate your points about aluminum and mercury though, I also know that sodium is highly caustic and a very dangerous metal, and that chloride gas is what was (suposedly) used to kill millions of jews in the holocaust (if you believe what the liberal media is feeding you). But every day I find those very chemicals in small amounts in some very scary places.

    Good luck to you in your search for truth.

  21. A simple answer; rich white “well-educated” people are actually not well-education. Degrees don’t always translate to common sense and basic understand of science and statistics.

  22. sarahsam

    Who doesn’t vaccinate? People like me that actually witness their child become ill after getting vaccinated. Only a mindnumbed fool would subject thier child to intentional injury. That is exactly what vaccines do to a growing number of children. Line em up and shoot em down-no testing required. Talk about unscientific! Special courts-vaccine injury funds and a developmental delay epidemic and Mooney couldn’t find a disenting scientific opinion? SHAMEFUL.

    Being educated does not make one smart or more importantly-wise.

    The onesided and dishonest piece on Discover blog is a disgrace.

    Vaccines are not now nor have they ever been the panacia they been portrayed to be.

  23. Interesting demographics. Scary statistics.

  24. OneHandClapping

    Oops, chlorine gas, not chloride gas.

  25. OneHandClapping

    Excellent point, Sarah.

    The facts remain, people get sick from vaccines, plain and simple. I was forced to receive the smallpox vaccine and it made me feel like death warmed over for a while, AND FOR WHAT?!? What has smallpox done? Nothing. It’s a joke disease, like chicken pox or the flu. Sure it killed tens of millions of Native Americans, but whatever, that was then and this is now.

    Vaccines truly haven’t been the panacea that they have been portrayed to be. Unless you count polio. But that doesn’t count. And diphtheria. And haemophilus influenza type b. And measles. And rubella. Those don’t count either.

    Other than that, what the hell have vaccinations done for us? Now we just have more people in the world.

  26. One Hand Clapping–

    A bit like, “what have the Romans ever done for us” from Life Of Brian?

  27. Arielle

    The reason that you can get sick right after a vaccine is because a vaccine is a dead or weakened version of the virus. It forces your body to locate the necessary t-cells and b-cells needed to protect you body cells if that actual living virus entered your bloodstream. Testing every single child that might possibly have a minute chance of getting seriously ill from a vaccine would be unreasonable, time consuming, and costly. It is not unscientific, just rational. Vaccine have saved an unbelievable number of lives and are the reason disease like Polio aren’t prevalent today. While I agree they certainly aren’t perfect, they aren’t horrible poisons.

  28. Quakers don’t vaccinate.

    And Charlie don’t surf. Also, I think you may mean the Amish. That, or you’re just making shit up.

    A. Rich, well-educated white people are society’s most gullible.

    B. Rich, well-eductaed people understand that vaccines have benefits AND RISKS and have weighed the trade-offs and put their children’s needs first.

    C. Rich, well-educated white people are much more likely to believe that rich, well-educated white people have secret knowledge which allows rich, well-educated white people to make “more informed” decisions than the poor, uneducated rabble, while simultaneously being more likely to overestimate the degree to which their education qualifies them to interpret medical research data.

  29. Also, I’ll fix “B” for you:

    B. Rich, well-eductaed people understand that vaccines have benefits AND RISKS and have weighed the trade-offs and put their children’s needs over the needs of society as a whole, despite the fact that the risks to their children are minimal and the potential consequences for society potentially massive.

    So now your options can be boiled down to

    A. Rich, well-educated white people are society’s most gullible.

    B. Rich, well-educated white people are society’s most selfish.

    C. Rich, well-educated white people are society’s most arrogant.

    WELL, Mr. Mooney? WELL? When will you answer the question?

  30. bob

    It is well-known that belief in pseudoscience actually *increases* with education until you get to doctoral-level hard science degrees. College campuses are a breeding ground for BS, and also people with degrees feel like they can understand things better than some silly “experts” can. Of course, this wouldn’t be the first (and won’t be the last) time JB Handley was tragically un- and/or misinformed.

    That’s to say nothing of the simple fact that his argument is nothing but an appeal to authority. I guess he thinks lots of college degrees are more authoritative than one! Makes you wonder about his dislike for a scientific consensus, doesn’t it? Speaking of scientific consensus, let’s talk about his complaint that Chris’ article was “one-sided.” When one of the sides IS a scientific consensus, it’s fair to ignore the other side. Because it’s been proven wrong.

  31. Funklord

    Kathleen, the role of a journalist is to present accurate information. Presenting both sides of an argument, when one is demonstrably wrong, is pandering, not journalism. If Chris writes an article about sailing around the world, does he also have to present the opinion of someone who believes the earth is flat?

  32. Sarahsam claims”Vaccines are not now nor have they ever been the panacia they been portrayed to be.”

    I assume she is reaching for the word “panacea”, meaning “all-healing”.

    That’s an example of a straw-man argument–misrepresenting a person’s position and attacking the misrepresentation.

    #1 — vaccines as “all healing”. No, a given vaccine — is effective against infection by one particular organism.

    Let’s take the case of vaccination against Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).

    http://www.immunizationinfo.org/vaccineInfo/vaccine_detail.cfv?id=5

    Hib can cause a wide variety of serious infections, including pneumonia, severe throat swelling that makes breathing difficult (epiglottitis), and infections of blood, bones, joints, and the covering of the heart. Complications of Hib meningitis include blindness, deafness, mental retardation, learning disabilities, and death. About 5% of children (500 out of every 10,000) with Hib meningitis die despite antibiotic treatment.

    Prior to universal Hib immunization, Hib was the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in infants and preschool-age children, and caused approximately 20,000 cases of invasive disease annually.
    ……

    Since Hib vaccines were introduced, the incidence of invasive Hib disease in infants and children in the U.S. has decreased by 99%.

    I’d say failing to vaccinate your infant against Hib would be exposing the child to a significant risk of illness.

    Sarahsam also alleges there has been “an epidemic” of developmental delay. Well, no, there’s not. Here’s an easy-to-comprehend article that refutes the “epidemic” myth.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1576829,00.html

  33. Callinectes

    Fact: 1 year old is crying.
    Observation: Older sibling is nearby.
    Conclusion #1: Older child hit younger child.
    Conclusion #2: If older child were removed from younger one’s presence, younger child would not cry.

    Silly, isn’t it (except if you’re white, rich and highly educated)? And yet, how many times do parents automatically scold the older child without first obtaining all the facts.

  34. Bob Moffitt

    It amazes me to read the Journal studied the “gender, race, education and socio-economic characteristics of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated….and… didn’t bother to tell us if BOTH vaccinated and unvaccinated children have suffered the same, inexplicable, dramatic increase in chronic autoimmune disorders that were far less common in all previous…less vaccinated…generations.

    Instead of “studying their characteristics”….how about studying their HEALTH.

  35. My son was blue and had a 104 fever within hours of vacines at 15 mo. By 18 mo he had lost all speech, coordination and become withdrawn and remote. As a parent who saw this I must point out that there cannot be only the vacines are safe and just the best darn thing for society since whole wheat toast when my son was lost to me because of them. Fortunately we did not further vacinate my daughters and we can see that with their current symptoms, this would have done the same to them. It is too bad that all the studies quoted by either side rely on flawed data sets and do not honestly prove one way or the other. Way to go big pharm :-)

  36. So, let me get this straight. The parents most likely to not vaccinate their children are white, well-educated, and wealthy?

    I’m going to say this again a different way: the people with the highest levels of education and the most resources at their disposal are the ones least likely to vaccinate their kids.
    Don’t you think this is interesting? One of two things has to be true:

    A. Rich, well-educated white people are society’s most gullible.
    B. Rich, well-eductaed people understand that vaccines have benefits AND RISKS and have weighed the trade-offs and put their children’s needs first.

    Which is iit, Chris, is it A or B?

    JB, JB, JB, you’re very good at the false dichotomy.

    In actuality the reason why the rich, well-educated, white people so easily fall for this nonsense is two-fold. First, it’s the arrogance of ignorance, which you possess in abundance and to which the well-educated and well-off are particularly prone. Basically, because they are well educated in one area, such people tend to think that they can “figure anything out” if they put their mind to it. Unfortunately, the details of medicine and science do not lend themselves very well to being self-taught. Rare indeed is the person who can pull it off, because scientific studies and epidemiological conclusions all depend on context, which requires a deep education. A superficial University of Google education just won’t cut it.

    This is especially true for people who do not have the background in biology, physiology, and medicine (not to mention epidemiology) to avoid the very obvious pitfalls that you, for instance, made with your truly incompetent “study” of vaccination rates in various nations. Truly, that was dumb, even for Generation Rescue. Come on, mixing and matching 20 year old studies with more recent ones? Even a first year epidemiology student wouldn’t make that obvious mistake in formulating a study. Then there was your Fourteen Studies website, chock full of distortions and nonsense.

    However, far more important is a real, in your gut understanding of the scientific method. Such an understanding is driven home in scientists through their professors, their research mentors, by peer reviewers reviewing their manuscripts, and by study section reviewers reviewing their grant applications until it becomes second nature. That is what makes a scientist.

    Indeed, highly educated people who lack an understanding of science do not understand the most important thing about the scientific method: It’s a method that is designed to correct for shortcomings in human perception and cognition that lead us to confuse correlation with causation. It’s also a method designed to prevent as much as possible the biases of the scientist from affecting the conclusions derived from his or her observations. Indeed, the very reason for all those controls in experiments and controls for confounders in epidemiological studies is because it is very, very easy indeed to be misled into thinking, for instance, that vaccines cause autism. The difference between the arrogantly ignorant (like you) and a scientist is that, believe it or not, the scientist is far more humble. The reason I include numerous controls in all my experiments and clinical trials is because, quite frankly, I know how easily I, like any other human being, can be fooled. Non-scientists don’t appreciated that. Certainly you don’t.

    In fact, the highly educated in nonscientific fields (and, trust me, most physicians don’t truly get that in-your-gut understanding of the scientific method unless they go into medical academia and acquire it somehow; medical school doesn’t really teach it) or highly successful in nonscientific fields, tend to be the very ones who absolutely refuse to believe that their own personal observations and anecdotal experience can lead them astray. They think they’re better than that. We scientists know better. Indeed, sometimes even scientists forget that very first lesson of the scientific method: How easily they can be fooled.

    Finally, add to that the fact that the affluent are far less likely to have seen the devastating consequences of vaccine-preventable disease and couple it to the sense of entitlement that they frequently have, and there you have it: A paradoxical antiscience movement among those who should know better. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have propagandists like you spreading fear based on pseudoscience.

  37. Jo

    @OneHandClapping: “dihydrogen monoxide … sodium … chlorine”

    You rock. That was the funniest thing I’ve read all day. Thank you.

  38. sarahsam

    I see the glassy eyed vaccination zealots have arrived attempting to spin away the autism epidemic with sarcasm and bullying tactics and fake “science”.

    Good luck with that since there is a kid with autism in every class is the country.

    What they don’t understand is how they sound to those without blinders on. Those able to produce an original thought.

    Vaccines injure many people and lazy consensus “science” attitudes only further endangers the herd through lower vaccine compliance levels.

    Now please continue to belittle the most educated and informed portion of society-I sure that will work out nicely for you.

  39. OneHandClapping

    Sarah,

    I sure that too.

    I also look forward to the time when people like you (lets call them “kooks”) produce some real evidence to back up their claims. I do not dispute that there are plenty more autistic children now than ever before. Isn’t it possible there is another explanation? Wouldn’t it be worth while to find out what IS going on, rather than raging about what MIGHT be going on (even though current evidence has largely discounted it)? I, for one, would like to know the truth and would rather not jump to conclusions based on some doofus telling me that science is the devil.

    Sincerely,
    Rich, well-educated white person

  40. A simple answer; rich white “well-educated” people are actually not well-educated. Degrees don’t always translate to common sense and basic understanding of science and statistics. For instance there are plenty of lawyers, doctors and MBAs in this country who don’t believe in evolution and global warming. Even fewer know anything about statistical significance and the null hypothesis.

  41. John Gilmore

    In a month of extreme medical hype, we are subjected to even more with this article and the dutiful, unquestioning echoing of it on the internet, which we are told is the source of much bad information about vaccines, health, autism and other topics.

    Even in the numbers cited by the NEJM are correct, and statistically significant, 1.48% of students exempting from vaccine requirements is trivial compared to the overall vaccination rate.

    According to the Center of Health Statistics, in 2007 only 66.5% +/-1.5 of all 19-35 month old children were current on the 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 recommended schedule of vaccines, with the pneumococcal vaccine excluded, which is mandated in only a handful of states, the number rises to 77.4 % +/-1.1.

    http://www.cchd.org/download/fact_sheets/nis-07-vaccines-select-series-age-state.pdf

    The threshold of herd immunity in general is generally given at 90% to 95% so we are nowhere near that number, never have been and never will be without extremely expensive public health measures.

    And scant attention is paid to adults, whose vaccination rates are vastly lower than that for young children. The CDC, for example, after years of attempts to persuade health professionals (physicians and nurses) to get an annual flu shot has never been able to get the reported uptake rate above 33%.

    So I find this report from a group of people who all have financial ties to the vaccine industry according to the conflicts statement in the NEJM, not even newsworthy.

    And Mr. Mooney if you find this NEJM statistic “alarming” are you personally current on the recommended vaccine schedule? And if you are I was wondering if you would prefer to get vaccines that contain mercury or not?

    I, for one, would like to see more science on blogs that purportedly report on science.

  42. sausage

    a few questions sully.
    why do japan NOT use the MMR. is it due to safety concerns in 1988?
    what about the swedish somali “cluster” is that better diagnosis like minisota or just another pesky cluster?

    do you like brian “patholgy” deer or have you no principles when it comes to defending your “faith”

  43. bob

    I refuse to believe that sarahsam is for real. The “glassy eyed vaccination zealots” she’s referring to ARE the “most educated and informed portion of society,” since the negative scientific consensus on the vaccine-autism link came from leading research scientists.

    You just can’t be serious!

  44. Teresa Conrick

    Chris,

    I think some readers would like to be informed on the other side of the debate.

    I hope that you will post this so there can be discussions:

    Harvard (Herbert et al) and Johns Hopkins (Vargas et al) in terms of autistic brain tissue and oxidative stress, chronic neuroinflammation, autoimmunity, microglial activation, etc.
    Herbert has also been looking at the role that glutathione depletion and mitochondrial dysfunction might play in the above symptoms – a new study from Stanford says that glutathione depletion is probably a marker for mitochondrial disorders.

    THE NATIONAL VACCINE ADVISORY COMMITTEE (NVAC)

    On Friday, February 27, a special group convened by The Keystone Center on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Vaccine Advisory Committee Vaccine Safety Working Group (NVAC VSWG) recommended appointing a panel of experts to explore the strengths and weaknesses of conducting studies on health outcomes in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated populations. The group, known as the “Salt Lake City Writing Group,” said it was “desirable” to include autism as one such health outcome.
    As they stated in a draft “consensus statement”:

    “(There is) a strong desire to study the health impact of the immunization schedule, potentially through a ‘vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study’. Outcomes to assess include biomarkers of immunity and metabolism, and outcomes including but not limited to neurodevelopmental outcomes, allergies, asthma, immune-mediated diseases, and learning disabilities. The inclusion of autism as an outcome is desired” Writing Group members who drafted the statement included Federal and State health officials, Federal vaccine officials, CDC officials, and leaders of autism and vaccine safety advocacy groups. They included the following individuals:

    Federal Health Agencies and Panels
    CDC:
    Roger Bernier, Ph.D., MPH, Senior Advisor, CDC
    Elizabeth Skillen, PhD, MS, Policy Analyst, Immunization Safety Office, CDC
    HHS:
    Bruce Gellin, M.D., MPH, Director, HHS National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) and Executive Secretary of NVAC
    Dan Salmon, Ph.D., Vaccine Safety Specialist, HHS – NVPO
    Ben Schwartz, M.D., former Associate Director for Science, HHS and Medical Director for CARE

    NVAC:
    Guthrie Birkhead, M.D., MPH Chair, HHS National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) and member of NVAC Vaccine Safety Working Group, also Deputy Commissioner, Office of Public Health, NY State Dept. of Health
    Andrew Pavia, M.D., NVAC Member & Chair, NVAC Vaccine Safety Working Group and with Dept. of Pediatrics, Utah School of Medicine
    Chris Carlson, Ph.D., NVAC Vaccine Safety Working Group Member, and with Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, Seattle
    Lance Gordon, Ph.D., NVAC and member of NVAC Vaccine Safety Working Group
    James Mason, M.D., DrPH, NVAC Member and member of NVAC Vaccine Safety Working Group, former CDC Director and former Assistant Secretary of Health
    Tawny Buck, member of NVAC Vaccine Safety Working Group, parent of DPT brain injured daughter
    State & Local Public Health Agencies and Organizations
    Anna Buchannan, MPH, Senior Director, Immunization & Infectious Disease, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
    Jim Shames, M.D., Medical Director, Jackson County Health Department, OR
    David Sundwall, M.D., Executive Director, Utah Department of Health
    Collette Young; Ph.D., MS, Surveillance & Training Manager, Oregon Public Health Division, Immunization Program, OR Public Health Division
    Robert Bednarczyk, NVAC Research Analyst, NY Department of Health

    University/Academic
    Joseph A. Bocchini, Jr., M.D., Professor & Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, Louisiana State University
    Margaret Dunkle, Senior Fellow, Center for Health Policy Research, George Washington University and Director, Early Identification and Intervention Collaborative, LA County
    Alan Greene, M.D., Clinical Profession, Division of General Pediatrics, Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford University School of Medicine;
    Heather Zwickey, Ph.D., Dean of Research and Associate Professor of Immunology, National College of Natural Medicine, Oregon
    Autism or Vaccine Organizations
    Peter Bell, Executive Vice President, Programs and Services, Autism Speaks
    Sallie Bernard, Executive Director, Safe Minds
    Vicky Debold, PhD, RN, Director of Patient Safety, National Vaccine Information Center;
    Barbara Loe Fisher, Co-founder & President, National Vaccine Information Center

    Members of Public or Other Child Health Groups

    Tracy Cron, RN and mother who attended the Birmingham public engagement workshop
    Dennis Johnson, MS, Executive VP, Policy & Advocacy, Children’s Health Fund, NYC
    Debbie McCune Davis, Program Director, Arizona Partnership for Immunization, Arizona State Senator
    —————————————
    Meanwhile, there have been many news stories related to this issue coming out of the Federal Court of Claims, Federal agencies, and leading research centers. Many of these stories have not been reported in the media. They include:

    FEDERAL COURT CASES:
    Bailey Banks vs HHS – February 2009 – Special Master Abell found that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine caused brain damage in this child, which led to his diagnosis of Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) an autism spectrum disorder. Bailey will likely receive over $3 million in compensation to cover a lifetime of autism care and treatment.

    Hannah Poling vs HHS – February 2008 – Medical personnel at the Health Resources and Services Administration conceded that this girl’s autism (and epilepsy) was caused by “vaccine induced fever and immune stimulation that exceeded metabolic reserves.” Hannah had a mild case of mitochondrial dysfunction, and received nine vaccines in one day at age 19 months. She now has full blown autism and a very serious seizure disorder.

    FEDERAL AGENCIES:
    US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) & US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – January 2009 – These two agencies have just launched the National Children’s Study (NCS), which is now recruiting 100,000 children, among which researchers expect to find 600 to 700 with an ASD by age three. Federal officials will compare these ASD children to controls, to see what impact that vaccines (combined with genetic factors) had on the development of their illness.

    US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Inter-Agency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) & National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) – January 2009 -These two Federal health groups announced their desire to collaborate on research designs and methods for investigating the potential links between vaccines and autism, including the feasibility of doing a large study of vaccinated vs. vaccinated children. The move by these officials grew out the process set forth by the Combating Autism Act of 2006, whose authors, Senators Kennedy, Dodd and Enzi stated that vaccines should be included in research of the causes of autism.

    US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) CADDRE Network – November 2008- The CDC is conducting and planning several vaccine-autism investigations. One such effort is The National CADDRE Study. This 5-year project of the CDC’s Centers for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology (CADDRE) Network will “identify what might put children at risk for autism,” says the CDC, which will study “specific mercury exposures, including any vaccine use by the mother during pregnancy and the child’s vaccine exposures after birth.”

    US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Network – April 2008- The CDC’s CISA Network includes leading autism researchers and America’s health insurance companies. Last April, CISA and the CDC announced support for studying, “Immunization associated with increased risk for neurological deterioration in children with mitochondrial dysfunction,” after learning that mitochondrial disorders are not uncommon in ASD cases. And the CDC also announced that, “CISA has formed a working group to study methods related to mitochondrial disorders and immunization.”

    US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Immunization Safety Office – April 2008- As part of its draft research agenda for vaccine safety, the CDC added a section on studying severe chronic conditions potentially linked to childhood vaccines, including “Autoimmune diseases; central nervous system demyelinating disorders; encephalitis/ encephalopathy; and neurodevelopmental disorders including autism.”

    National Institute of Childhood Health and Human Development (NICHD) – February 2009- Dr. Duane Alexander, Director of the NICHD -an agency of the NIH – recently stated that he supports autism-vaccine research, saying that, “Genetic variations exist that cause adverse reactions to specific foods, medications, or anesthetic agents — it is legitimate to ask whether a similar situation may exist for vaccines.” Why? Because there may be, “subpopulations unable to remove mercury from the body as fast as others, or some adverse or cross-reacting response to a vaccine component, or a mitochondrial disorder increasing the adverse response to vaccine-associated fever.”

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) – December 2008- Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of this NIH agency, told US News & World Report: “If we can show that individuals of a certain genetic profile have a greater propensity for developing adverse events, we may want to screen everyone prior to vaccination (for) undetectable diseases like a subclinical mitochrondrial disorder.”

    LEADING U.S. CENTERS OF RESEARCH:

    Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions – The Kennedy Krieger Institute – January 2009 – The nation’s premiere autism research outfit is sponsor of the Interactive Autism Network (IAN). Its new questionnaire deals with autism and vaccines. Thousands of families are describing their experiences with autistic regression following vaccination. Top scientists will then use this information, “to conduct additional vaccine-focused studies.”

    Cleveland Clinic, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University – November 2008- Some of the nation’s leading experts in autism and/or mitochondrial disorders published a study showing that children with mitochondrial disorders are at greater risk for autistic regression. They found that vaccine reactions could possibly trigger autistic regression in kids with mito disorders, adding that, “There might be no difference between the inflammatory or catabolic stress of vaccinations and that of common childhood diseases.” And these very mainstream scientists wrote that: “Large, population-based studies will be needed to identify a possible relationship of vaccination with autistic regression in persons with mitochondrial cytopathies.”

    University of California, Irvine – Center for Molecular and Mitochondrial Medicine in Genetics – April 2008 – Children with mitochondrial disorders are not only at greater risk for autistic regression, but they are also more likely to suffer from vaccine injuries, Dr. Douglas Wallace, Professor of Molecular Medicine and Director of the Center for Molecular and Mitochondrial Medicine in Genetics at UC Irvine, testified at the National Vaccine Advisory Committee. A member of the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation’s scientific board, and father of a son with autism, he stated, “We advocate spreading vaccines out as much as possible. Each time you vaccinate, you’re creating a challenge for the system, and if a child has an impaired system, that could in fact trigger further clinical problems.”

    University of California, San Diego – 2008- Researchers from this school published a preliminary study in the journal Autism stating that children given Tylenol after the MMR vaccine were several times more likely to develop autism. Tylenol can reduce levels of glutathione – a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier. “Tylenol and MMR was significantly associated with autistic disorder,” the authors wrote. “More research needs to be completed to confirm the results of this preliminary study.”

    University of California, Davis – M.I.N.D. Institute – January 2009- The authors of this new study say that genetics alone cannot explain the ASD rise in California. “We’re looking at the possible effects of metals, pesticides and infectious agents on neurodevelopment,” said Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto, a professor at UC Davis. She had also noted that epidemiological studies done by CDC and in Denmark, showing no evidence of a vaccine-autism link, were seriously flawed. Meanwhile, Dr. Isaac Pessah, Chair of Molecular Biosciences and Director of UC Davis’s Center for Children’s Environmental Health, is also a member of the ASD Strategic Planning Workgroup at the Inter-Agency Autism Committee, where he supports vaccine research into the causes of autism.

    The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation – August 2008 – Mitochondrial disorders are probably not rare in the general population. They were thought to affect just 1-in-5,000 people. But new research suggests that genetic mutations that might confer mitochondrial dysfunction might be found in 1-in-400 to 1-in-50. Another study by the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF) found mitochondrial DNA mutations that might cause disease in up to 1-in-200 people.

    Autism Speaks – 2008 -The world’s largest, most respected and most mainstream autism foundation firmly supports and funds research into possible connections between vaccines and ASD. Autism Speaks recently authorized three studies on thimerosal, vaccines and autism, and the foundation will fund more highly significant research projects on the issue.

    DRAFT CONSENSUS STATEMENT OF THE NVAC WORKING GROUP:
    (SOURCE: The Keystone Center)

    Based in part on data from the community meetings in AL, OR, and IN as well as the IACC request for collaboration with the National Vaccine Program Office the writing group drafted a consensus recommendation to be considered by stakeholders at the March 16th meeting of the NVAC Safety Working Group. This recommended charge is for an expert panel to evaluate study designs for research on the impact of the standard schedule of vaccination on an array of health outcomes of significant public interest.
    Public and stakeholder engagement activities have identified a strong desire to study the health impact of the immunization schedule, potentially through a “vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study”. Additionally, the IACC has requested the NVAC consider the feasibility of such a study. This idea raises a number of methodological, technical and other issues.

    The draft ISO scientific agenda includes several elements of this question, including simultaneous vaccination (e.g. the vaccine schedule) as well as specific outcomes that have been discussed regarding the vaccine schedule and simultaneous vaccination. Well designed studies in this area would add substantially to our knowledge.

    Given public and stakeholder interest in this topic, we recommend an external expert advisory group with broad expertise assess this issue. This expert panel should be convened under the auspices of a well-respected independent body. Particularly:

    • This review should consider strengths and weaknesses, ethical issues and feasibility including timelines and cost of various study designs and report back to the NVAC

    • Consideration should be given to broad biomedical research including laboratory studies, and animal studies.

    • Consideration should also be given to study designs comparing children vaccinated by the standard immunization schedule with unvaccinated children (by parental intention), and possibly partially vaccinated children or children vaccinated by alternative immunization schedules

    • Outcomes to assess include biomarkers of immunity and metabolism, and outcomes including but not limited to neurodevelopmental outcomes, allergies, asthma, immune-mediated diseases, and learning disabilities.

    • The inclusion of autism as an outcome is desired. This review should also consider what impact the inclusion of ASD as an outcome would have on study designs and feasibility, as referenced in the IACC letter to NVAC.

    • This review should be conducted expeditiously, in a transparent manner, and involving broad public and stakeholder input.

    • Specific attention should be paid to the potential roles or synergies with National Children’s Study

  45. Callinectes

    Rather glassy eyes than glass eyes… Plato’s allegory of the cave comes to mind.

  46. Sarahsam,

    “What they don’t understand is how they sound to those without blinders on. Those able to produce an original thought.”

    Let’s hear your “original” thought on vaccinations. One that isn’t being spewed out by Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy. There’s nothing original about anti-vaxers’ thinking. You’re spouting the same nonsense as every other willfully ignorant anti-vaxer.

    Moving on… your phrase (fake “science”). You do know that putting one of those 2 words into quotations turns that phrase into a double negative, right? So what you’re really saying is “real science.” Don’t think too hard about it. Just know you kind of fail at condescension.

    “Vaccines injure many people and lazy consensus “science” attitudes only further endangers the herd through lower vaccine compliance levels.”

    There you go placing science in quotations again. I’ll bet you think you’re clever! In reality, when science comes to a consensus, it’s usually because it’s right. No matter how badly you may want to hang on to your belief that the world is flat, or that obesity doesn’t lead to heart disease (thanks for that “science,” Kate Harding!), consensus science tells us that just isn’t so.

    Now please, Sarahsam, go ahead and continue to belittle the most educated and informed portion of society. Just keep yourself and your children away from us while you do it.

  47. Teresa Conrick

    Orac said-

    “The difference between the arrogantly ignorant (like you) and a scientist is that, believe it or not, the scientist is far more humble”

    How ridiculous and juvenile again. Your little personal stabs at people are your attempts to take everyone off topic.

    and this – “Then there was your Fourteen Studies website, chock full of distortions and nonsense.”

    …”distortions and nonsense.”…does not sound very scientific especially for someone who keeps perseverating on the scientific method–

    you give no evidence for your blasting of the Fourteen Studies other than they are glaring and real science and that must frighten you — but “why” is the question? ….Herd immunity vs career….which might it be?

    I would also like to post this study as an example of what thimerosal will do:

    ” but the concentration increased in the brain after the injection of thimerosal with lipopolysaccharide, even if a low dose of thimerosal was administered.”

    1: Cell Biol Toxicol. 2009 Apr 9.Induction of metallothionein in mouse cerebellum and cerebrum with low-dose thimerosal injection.
    Minami T, Miyata E, Sakamoto Y, Yamazaki H, Ichida S.
    Department of Life Sciences, School of Science & Engineering, Kinki University, 3-4-1 Kowakae, Higashi-osaka, Osaka, 577-8502, Japan, minamita@life.kindai.ac.jp.

    Thimerosal, an ethyl mercury compound, is used worldwide as a vaccine preservative. We previously observed that the mercury concentration in mouse brains did not increase with the clinical dose of thimerosal injection, but the concentration increased in the brain after the injection of thimerosal with lipopolysaccharide, even if a low dose of thimerosal was administered. Thimerosal may penetrate the brain, but is undetectable when a clinical dose of thimerosal is injected; therefore, the induction of metallothionein (MT) messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein was observed in the cerebellum and cerebrum of mice after thimerosal injection, as MT is an inducible protein. MT-1 mRNA was expressed at 6 and 9 h in both the cerebrum and cerebellum, but MT-1 mRNA expression in the cerebellum was three times higher than that in the cerebrum after the injection of 12 microg/kg thimerosal. MT-2 mRNA was not expressed until 24 h in both organs. MT-3 mRNA was expressed in the cerebellum from 6 to 15 h after the injection, but not in the cerebrum until 24 h. MT-1 and MT-3 mRNAs were expressed in the cerebellum in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, MT-1 protein was detected from 6 to 72 h in the cerebellum after 12 microg/kg of thimerosal was injected and peaked at 10 h. MT-2 was detected in the cerebellum only at 10 h. In the cerebrum, little MT-1 protein was detected at 10 and 24 h, and there were no peaks of MT-2 protein in the cerebrum. In conclusion, MT-1 and MT-3 mRNAs but not MT-2 mRNA are easily expressed in the cerebellum rather than in the cerebrum by the injection of low-dose thimerosal. It is thought that the cerebellum is a sensitive organ against thimerosal. As a result of the present findings, in combination with the brain pathology observed in patients diagnosed with autism, the present study helps to support the possible biological plausibility for how low-dose exposure to mercury from thimerosal-containing vaccines may be associated with autism.

    You cannot tell us that this is safe, or good.

  48. mk

    @Teresa…

    This site was put together with you in mind: http://antiantivax.jottit.com/

    Enjoy.

  49. Teresa Conrick

    mk-

    you are a “hit and run” poster—which is a sign of not being able to address the issue of much documented research and current studies examining the how and why to autism via toxins–including vaccines.

    run fast……..

  50. mk

    Oh no, I’m still here. I figured if you’re going to continue to copy and paste the least you can do is have a look-see at Todd’s site. Don’t be afraid, go for it.

  51. Teresa Conrick

    then please comment on the research presented -

  52. Lindsay

    OK, so I just read the paper (Minami et al. 2009). I looked up the dose that is usually given to a kid on the FDA’s website: http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccine/thimfaq.htm, which I hope is a reliable source of information. US limits thimerosal to no more than 1 µg per dose for children under 6 years of age. Now if your one year old is 10 kg, that’s 0.1 µg/kg of thimerosal. The paper shows significant results for 12 µg/kg dosage, but the 0.1 µg/kg dose, dosage that is clinically realistic, is not statistically different than their controls of 10 ml/kg injection of saline. The dosage per kg will of course go down the bigger a kid gets, so really, there is no clinical relevance to the conclusions stated in the abstract.

    Medicines and poisons are all about dosage. So before you jump to conclusions, you should look at results very carefully and try to decide if they are actually testing realistic situations.

  53. mk

    Thimerosal was removed from vaccines in 2001. Autism has not abated at all.

  54. Teresa Conrick

    hey Lindsay-

    I know you from other sites and I know that you try to come off like a very knowledgable person but please know, I mean this sincerely, but that bunch of bs-saline-dosage per kg is not even close to satisfying the question -

    how is this safe?

    “” but the concentration increased in the brain after the injection of thimerosal with lipopolysaccharide, even if a low dose of thimerosal was administered.”

  55. mk

    Hey Teresa. –

    Read this very slowly:

    “Medicines and poisons are all about dosage. So before you jump to conclusions, you should look at results very carefully and try to decide if they are actually testing realistic situations.”

  56. Teresa Conrick

    mk-

    talk about cutting and pasting — yes, I read that and it means absolutely nothing in this regard.

    Have you read the whole study? You cannot make this a study showing safety– do you understand that? It shows that it is unsafe and that -…………….

    “As a result of the present findings, in combination with the brain pathology observed in patients diagnosed with autism, the present study helps to support the possible biological plausibility for how low-dose exposure to mercury from thimerosal-containing vaccines may be associated with autism.”

  57. JHB

    My education level is a doctorate and I chose not to vaccinate my daughter when she was younger and to vaccinate on a more spread out schedule later. SO’s father is a multi-millionaire and he informed us that if we ever had any problem with the school system regarding not vaccinating, he would spend whatever money it took to fight them. There is a reason educated and rich people are not vaccinating or at least vaccinating on a different schedule. Sorry if some of you are too big of lemmings to understand why. It’s the same reason some of you will march in your little lines to get the swine flu vaccination in the fall.

    Did you see the coverage in Maryland where they were putting people in jail when their children weren’t up to date on their vaccinations? (Taking them out of school then charging them with truancy). Anyways, the person in charge of this witch hunt turned out to not vaccinate his own children. Hmmmmm, interesting.

  58. mk

    No thimerosal. No abatement in autism. Get it?

  59. mk

    Oh, and it is clear that for you, nothing will satisfy the question. You are unreachable. You and Jenny. And Jim. And J.B.

    Good luck.

  60. Joseph

    “I’m going to say this again a different way: the people with the highest levels of education and the most resources at their disposal are the ones least likely to vaccinate their kids. Don’t you think this is interesting?”

    Of course it’s interesting. It probably has to do with internet use and access. Rich people have more access to the internet, and tend to have jobs where it’s ok to spend a lot of time online. Additionally, rich people will tend to be more arrogant (no offense) and will feel more comfortable contradicting the advise of pediatricians, and so forth.

    It doesn’t have to do with intelligence, judging by the grasp of the facts and scientific literacy observed in anti-vaxers. I think we can safely discard that hypothesis.

    It’s easy to demonstrate that VAERS reports correlate with media coverage of the autism-vaccine controversy. And who has more access to the media? The rich.

  61. Teresa Conrick

    yes, thimerosal – and in reg dosed flu vaccines and in the manufacturing process of others-

    we are talking low dose causing “brain pathology”

  62. Teresa Conrick
  63. HCN

    Oh, wow, moving more goalposts! The amount is too small to be noticed in the noise of mercury one finds in the environment. You probably breathe in more mercury in a week than what is left in the vaccines after they are finished and put into their single use portions, especially if you live where there are volcanoes like Mt. St. Helens.

    The flu vaccines are also available thimerosal free… and they are not part of the regular pediatric schedule.

    Since the dose of thimerosal has gone down down and even further down over the past ten years, has that made a dent in the number of children being diagnosed with autism? Has the percentage of school age children with IEPs changed much over the past few years? The answer is: no.

    Now for some real fun, check out the analysis done of Generation Endanderment’s, oh sorry “Rescue” post on the 14 studies here:
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?cat=36 (scroll down, there are three articles on those studies, plus some other goodies!).

    Still waiting for someone to give me the actual factual scientific evidence that I can find in a journal at my local medical school library (and “Medical Hypothesis” does not count, if you want to know why, get a dictionary and look up the word “hypothesis”) that:

    1) The MMR is worse than measles (death rate about 1 in 1000), mumps (disability rate about 1 in 1000, recent Japanese study shows deafness is at about 1 in 1000), and rubella (one of the known causes of non-genetic autism is Congenital Rubella Syndrome).

    2) The DTaP is worse than diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (the latter still kills over a dozen American babies each year).

    Come on! Surely Handley has funded some kind of research through his Generation Endangerment club. Isn’t that the one that spent most of its money on advertising?

  64. Joseph

    I fail to see what Teresa’s quoted abstract is supposed to say in terms of actual toxicity. If I eat a tuna sandwich right now, the mercury from the tuna is probably detectable in me after a few hours. That fact doesn’t tell me anything about toxicity. It was already well known that thimerosal is detected in animals after it’s injected. I can see how that might make people uncomfortable, but it doesn’t demonstrate toxicity by any stretch of the imagination.

  65. Teresa Conrick

    You guys are the best they can dish out for a fri night debate?

    both of these responses are unscientific tuna ponderings and cheap shot sarcasm towards GR.

    the only one that is missing now is anb which would then give us all of the stooges.

    Bottom line is that low doses of thimersoal are shown to cause brain pathology-and all of your sarcasm and noisy distractions do not take that fact away.

    “the concentration increased in the brain after the injection of thimerosal with lipopolysaccharide, even if a low dose of thimerosal was administered.”

  66. Jon

    Teresa — And I assume you have multiple peer reviewed citations with a bunch of hard statistics to show that toddlers given flu shots have statistically significant increases in autism rates, and a lack of them refuting that hypothesis?

    Mouse models of effects are quite useful, but they’re not humans, after all. Otherwise medication/medical devices wouldn’t need clinical trials in humans after validation in animals such as mice.

    Even the most skeptical scientist will be convinced by data from well-run, reproducible studies (note: John Lott’s sense of reproducible doesn’t count).

    We’re still waiting for such data.

  67. Lindsay

    Teresa,

    That’s weird because I generally don’t post much on any blog I read and almost never read anti-vaccination stuff. I guess there are a lot of “Lindsay”s in the world though, so I can understand the confusion. I’m a grad student in biology, and my email is dracoud@gmail.com to avoid any more confusion.

    The saline/kg is stuff is just what they reported as their control in the study. Saline is just salt water, so it shouldn’t have any harmful affects, but should provide the same stimulation as what was given with the thimerosal, and therefore, a comparison to figure out what the actual effects of the treatment group are.

    And dosage is very important. It’s like how they said saccharine would give you cancer back in the day (can’t remember when) because it gave mice cancer. Turns out they gave mice like the equivalent of making a person drink three bathtubs a day of saccharine, so I guess that much of anything would give you cancer.

    It is all about the details. Science isn’t just about looking at what you want to see, it’s about look at and understanding everything about a problem. Looking closely at results is the only way you can tell if the conclusions that are claimed are actually real or not. Otherwise, the wool is just being pulled over your eyes, and everyone is confused for a very long time.

    So I agree with the authors, because they have given solid evidence, that a dosage of 12 µg/kg of thimerosal will result in increased expression of MT-1 and MT-2 in two areas of the brain after 2,6,9, and 12 hours of exposure. HOWEVER, they have yet to demonstrate that MT-1 and MT-2 expression levels are correlated strongly with autism or that temporary elevation of these mRNA and protein products lead to significant changes in the areas of the brain they are elevated in. Not to mention they are giving a dose that is 120 larger than that any child would receive in a vaccine.

    It could possibly be that the expression of MT-1 and MT-2 take care of any problems that might arise from heavy metals in the brain to begin with and that’s why they are being expressed, but you’d have to do an experiment with mice incapable of expressing any of the MT products to see how it would affect their brains. That would be a really interesting experiment, actually.

    The support just isn’t in the data, and as a scientist, my conclusions are bound by the data.

  68. Joseph

    “Bottom line is that low doses of thimersoal are shown to cause brain pathology”

    Nope, this has never been demonstrated by replicated studies.

    But more importantly, the cumulative thimerosal dose in childhood vaccines went from about 180 micrograms to close to zero (maybe about 3 total.) That’s a big drop, and there was no discernable effect from it. You can discuss theoretical scenarios all you want, but if there are no real world effects once the rubber hits the road, it’s all meaningless.

  69. Teresa Conrick

    Jon said:

    ” We’re still waiting for such data ” re thimerosal- flu vax- autism

    so then you vote “yes” on a study of vaccinated vs unvaccinated, right?

  70. Teresa Conrick

    Joseph said-

    “Nope, this has never been demonstrated by replicated studies.”

    so I’ll add you to the list of people who want a study of vaccinated vs unvaccinated, too?

  71. Teresa Conrick

    Lindsay,

    If you are a different Lindsay -sorry for the confusion.

    You said ;

    ” HOWEVER, they have yet to demonstrate that MT-1 and MT-2 expression levels are correlated strongly with autism or that temporary elevation of these mRNA and protein products lead to significant changes in the areas of the brain they are elevated in. Not to mention they are giving a dose that is 120 larger than that any child would receive in a vaccine. ”

    where did you gather that-?

    “MT-1 mRNA expression in the cerebellum was three times higher than that in the cerebrum after the injection of 12 microg/kg thimerosal”

  72. Joseph

    “so I’ll add you to the list of people who want a study of vaccinated vs unvaccinated, too?”

    You got your hypotheses mixed there. You were arguing the thimerosal hypothesis. The vax vs. unvax study mantra is part of the new “too many too soon” hypothesis.

  73. ababa

    Teresa, since you obviously know exactly how to do an unvaccinated vs vaccinated study, then maybe you can explain to us exactly how we are able to obtain a placebo group that is not completely aware of exactly who they are? That means the participants must be completely unaware as to whether they have been vaccinated or not. Surely you know how this is necessary for reliable results given human nature to perceive things?

    You can’t simply have parents that select to not vaccinate based on their beliefs comprise the entire placebo group. Nor can you have those that believe vaccines are important comprise the entire vaccinated group. That is, if you expect your results to have any meaning at all.

    Surely since you have this all figured out you can tell us where to find these parents that do not vaccinate that are willing to let their kids have some vaccines in the name of redemption for their cause?

    And of course, once this study is done then you will completely accept the results if they do not support your pre-conceived hypothesis?

  74. Teresa Conrick

    one more for the night-

    Hepatitis B triple series vaccine and developmental disability in US
    children aged 1–9 years
    Carolyn Gallagher* and Melody Goodman
    Graduate Program in Public Health, Stony Brook University Medical Center, Health Sciences
    Center, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York, USA
    (Final version received 14 November 2007)
    This study investigated the association between vaccination with the Hepatitis B
    triple series vaccine prior to 2000 and developmental disability in children aged 1–
    9 years (n¼1824), proxied by parental report that their child receives
    early intervention or special education services (EIS). National Health and
    Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2000 data were analyzed and adjusted for
    survey design by Taylor Linearization using SAS version 9.1 software, with SAS
    callable SUDAAN version 9.0.1. The odds of receiving EIS were approximately
    nine times as great for vaccinated boys (n¼46) as for unvaccinated boys (n¼7),
    after adjustment for confounders. This study found statistically significant
    evidence to suggest that boys in United States who were vaccinated with the triple
    series Hepatitis B vaccine, during the time period in which vaccines were
    manufactured with thimerosal, were more susceptible to developmental disability
    than were unvaccinated boys.

    Conclusion
    This study contributes to answering an unresolved question of the Institute of Medicine’s
    (IOM’s) 2001 Immunization Safety Review (IOM 2001) as well as the same question
    not addressed by the IOM’s 2004 review (IOM 2004), namely, whether there is an
    association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders, in
    general (McCormick 2004). As did the IOM in their 2004 study, Parker et al. (2004) more
    specifically concluded that studies did not demonstrate a link between thimerosalcontaining
    vaccines and autism, and cited supporting evidence from cohort studies
    conducted in the United Kingdom (UK), Denmark, and Sweden. However, unlike the
    United States, past (CDC 1991; CDC 1998) and present (CDC 2006b), these countries’
    vaccination schedules do not recommend universal vaccination of newborns with the
    Hepatitis B vaccine (ECDC 2006a, b). Sweden recommends that Hepatitis B be given
    at birth only to infants of mothers positive for Hepatitis B (ECDC 2006c). In 1998, the UK
    vaccinated newborns with the Hepatitis B vaccine, but again, only to infants of mothers
    positive for Hepatitis B (Ovetchkine and Reinert 1998). Thus, it is reasonable to question
    the applicability of findings from the UK, Denmark and Sweden studies to the US
    immunized pediatric population.

  75. JHB

    “Sorry if some of you are too big of lemmings to understand why.”

    As opposed to the mass amount of people who choose to be willfully ignorant, on an indivual basis? Tell me, you and the rest of the anti-vaxers. How many of you don’t just repeat whatever Jenny McCarthy writes down on paper and leap on whatever piece of faulty, biased, pseudo-research you can get your spotted little hands on? You are lemmings to your own cause.

    You know what the difference is between lemmings who follow science and valid research, and lemmings who follow Jim Carrey?

    Lemmings who follow science know that lemmings don’t actually jump off the cliff and mass suicide.

  76. Joseph

    I read the Gallager study the other day. My first impression was that the claimed result made no sense. Basically what it suggests is that if you were to take away the Hep B vaccine, the special education population (across all disabilities) would be cut to 1/8th of what it is now (at least when it comes to boys.) I’m not sure it’s easy to appreciate how far-fetched this is. Additionally, the authors attribute the risk ratio to thimerosal. So apparently we should’ve seen this drop by now.

    Then I checked their numbers, and I was a bit baffled. If you look at the raw numbers, the risk ratio is nowhere near 8. That’s what the authors claim the RR is after they adjust for confounding. It’s not clear what it is they did to come up with this result, or what the theoretical justification is for the huge increase in the RR due to confounding.

    Finally, they did not control for health-care access or wealth of the child’s state or county of residence. (The NHNES is a US-wide survey.) If you look at immunization coverage data at the state level, you will see that poorer states tend to have lower levels of coverage of most vaccines. Poorer states also have lower special education budgets and so forth.

  77. Twyla

    I can’t believe the arrogant, mean-spirited, pompous tone of most of the comments in defense of vaccines. This does not indicate scientific impartiality, nor scientific curiosity.

    From a spectrum magazine article at http://www.spectrumpublications.com/april/may-2008/rfk-jr.html :

    “In 2006, Kennedy wrote an article for Rolling Stone magazine called ‘Deadly Immunity.’ The response to his piece was overwhelming: following the publication, Kennedy received thousands of letters and emails from all over the world. ‘The astounding thing was how alike all of them were and that people from Mississippi to New Delhi shared such identical experiences. Here is the typical scenario I heard: A mother took her toddler to the doctor where he received a spate of vaccines, became ill that night, often with a fever, sometimes with seizures, then lost the language he had, developed stereotyped behavior and regressed into a looking-glass world of debilitated relationships and social isolation. Essentially,’ Kennedy adds, ‘their lives were plunged into unimaginable agony.’ It seemed imperative to Kennedy to keep getting the story out to prevent the catastrophe from damaging other children.

    ”However, nothing prepared him for the resistance and anger he faced when discussing autism with politicians and the media. ‘The unbelievable thing is how these children’s stories are suppressed by the medical community, big Pharma and the American press. There is a total refusal to have the discussion and derision towards anyone who tries.’”

    As the number of vaccines has increased, the number of adverse reactions has increased. The amount of autism has increased. The amount of other immune system related disorders has increased. (See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/03/AR2008030303200_pf.html )

    Some of you seem to keep asking us parents to come up with the perfect study. The perfect study has not been done. But if we only study what has already been proven we will never learn anything new. While anecdotal evidence is imperfect, it should not simply be discarded. Anecdotal evidence can suggest areas that should be investigated further.

    There are a number of studies indicating that disruption of the immune system is a significant factor in autism. Studies have found in people with autism: inflammation in the brain, inflammatory cytokines in spinal fluid, auto-antibodies against the myelin basic protein coating nerve cells, imbalance between Th1 and Th2 cells, food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, and more.

    With vaccines, it is not an all-or-nothing question. It is a matter of weighing risks and benefits. We cannot adequately weigh the risks and benefits if we are ignoring/summarily dismissing adverse reactions to vaccines and exaggerating the risks of diseases. See http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/12/cbsnews_investigates/main4086809.shtml .

    Two dozen vaccines by the age of two, and another dozen before school starts – this is unprecedented in human history. Do we really know what we are doing to our babies’ immune systems? Yes, vaccines can be effective against serious diseases. But does that prove that it is safe to give 6 to 9 vaccines at once to a baby? We don’t even know what is a safe level of injected aluminum – see http://www.mothering.com/articles/growing_child/vaccines/aluminum-new-thimerosal.html

    For an excellent article about autism, see http://discovermagazine.com/2007/apr/autism-it2019s-not-just-in-the-head

  78. Twyla

    Question: “Why Does the Vaccine/Autism Controversy Live On?”

    Answers:
    1) because more and more children are suffering adverse reactions, and
    2) because more and more science points to factors such as oxidative stress, immune disfunction, and low glutathione as significant factors in autism, which is not just about genes and the brain, and
    3) because people are realizing that the combined vaccine schedule has not been tested for safety, that individual ingredients such as aluminum have not been tested for safety, and that there has never been a study comparing the health outcomes of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children, and
    4) because we have learned more and more about the influence of pharmaceutical company money on our politicians, media, and governmental agencies, and we have learned about pharma companies suppressing data showing problems with prescription drugs. Are we to believe that vaccines are somehow pure and free from conflicts of interest and corporate greed?

  79. Sylvia

    “Why Does the Vaccine/Autism Controversy Live On?”

    Because the link is true. And no matter how much money and influence is thrown around to cloud the issue, the truth is still the truth.

  80. Not vaccinating your children can lead to their getting illnesses or dying. It can also lead to other people in your community who are unable to be vaccinated due to various medical conditions getting illnesses or dying.

    For more information go check out http://www.JennyMcCarthyBodyCount.com

  81. Teresa Conrick

    Derek,

    Do you realize that many children who have an autism diagnosis also have a medical condition that may have played into vaccines causing the adverse reaction thus their subsequesnt diagnosis? Mitochondria and glutathine issues have been shown to cause the downstream health issues of children with autism and for many, vaccines were the cause.

    For you to demand that these children be vaccinated puts them at risk, which is why we parents object.

    Instead of displaying such contempt for parents who witnessed their child’s health decline into autism and only want to stop this from happening to other children — why don’t you use your anger and obvious drama queen behavior (Jenny McCarthy body count. com –give me a break…) to get the government and private vaccine industry to develop tests to determine who will be hurt by vaccination (as you already mentioned) –

    “people in your community who are unable to be vaccinated due to various medical conditions”

    if not, you are a shill who could care less about those body bags from vaccines or increased numbers of autism diagnoses.

  82. Craig B

    Teresa and other parents,

    I can assure you that no one thinks parents of children with autism are not strugging with incredibly difficult issues. The problem is that, naturally enough, when suffering happens we look for someone to blame. For whatever reasons, many people have decided for no good reason to blame vaccines. There is no evidence that any vaccine has caused any cases of autism, downstream or otherwise. There is a great deal of evidence to the contrary. I don’t doubt your sincerity, but sincerity does not equate to accuracy. Even “seeing” the illness develop after a vaccine is no evidence; many other things, visible and invisible, happen in that time frame as well. There is no correlation between event and effect in this case.

    There are two reasons that this is important to all of us. One is that the anti-vaccine “movement” puts others, including my children, at risk from illnesses that can be fatal and which, in most cases, we have all but eradicated thanks to vaccines.

    Second, and less commonly talked about, is the sad waste of time and energy of this “movement.” Your passion, commitment, seriousness are impressive and vital. It makes me sad to think of the thousands of people who could be doing important social good (about autism or otherwise) with such time and energy wasting it on make-believe. It’s like creationism: wishing it doesn’t make it so, and those who spend lifetimes arguing against evolution are wasting valuable time and energy in their lives.

    I hope that science soon discovers the causes and treatments for autism. When it does, it will be despite the interference and waste of resources and time that scientists have to spend dealing with this sort of nonsense, however well intended. And, fortunately for all you who struggle with autism in your families, science will provide you the information and help you need just as it will for everyone who supports science and reason.

  83. Joseph

    “In 2006, Kennedy wrote an article for Rolling Stone magazine called ‘Deadly Immunity.’ ”

    When it comes to that, Skeptico’s conspiracy debunking is a must-read.

    http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2005/06/robert_f_kenned.html

    http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2005/06/lies_damn_lies_.html

  84. Joseph

    “because more and more children are suffering adverse reactions,”

    And the evidence of this is what? Actually, I hate to break this to you, but autism-related submissions to VAERS peaked in 2002.

  85. …”distortions and nonsense.”…does not sound very scientific especially for someone who keeps perseverating on the scientific method–

    “distortions and nonsense” is a perfect term to describe the “Fourteen Studies” website.

    you give no evidence for your blasting of the Fourteen Studies other than they are glaring and real science and that must frighten you — but “why” is the question? ….Herd immunity vs career….which might it be?

    You obviously didn’t click on the links provided, where I provided copious evidence for the nonsense behind the “Fourteen Studies” website. However, for your benefit, I’ll repeat the one I did use and include two more:

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=451
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=459
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=466

    Try actually reading them before trying to defend the pseudoscientific pontificating mass of nonsense that is “Fourteen Studies.”

  86. I can’t believe the arrogant, mean-spirited, pompous tone of most of the comments in defense of vaccines. This does not indicate scientific impartiality, nor scientific curiosity.

    Give me a break. J.B. Handley accuses scientists, the government, and big pharma of a massive conspiracy. His site regularly lays the hate down on Paul Offit and anyone who has the temerity to challenge the antivax line. Civility is not the anti-vaxer’s strong suit. It’s irrelevant anyway. You can’t refute the science; so you throw ad hominems instead.

  87. Question: “Why Does the Vaccine/Autism Controversy Live On?”
    Answers:

    1) because more and more children are suffering adverse reactions, and
    2) because more and more science points to factors such as oxidative stress, immune disfunction, and low glutathione as significant factors in autism, which is not just about genes and the brain, and
    3) because people are realizing that the combined vaccine schedule has not been tested for safety, that individual ingredients such as aluminum have not been tested for safety, and that there has never been a study comparing the health outcomes of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children, and
    4) because we have learned more and more about the influence of pharmaceutical company money on our politicians, media, and governmental agencies, and we have learned about pharma companies suppressing data showing problems with prescription drugs. Are we to believe that vaccines are somehow pure and free from conflicts of interest and corporate greed?

    1. Not true, as pointed out by Joseph
    2. Exaggerated and distorted by the antivaccine movement.
    3. Quite simply not true.
    4. Mindless conspiracy mongering without a hint of evidence.

    Is that all you have?

  88. My education level is a doctorate and I chose not to vaccinate my daughter when she was younger and to vaccinate on a more spread out schedule later.

    A doctorate in what? Surely not a medical science field; that much is obvious.

    You expect me to be impressed? The arrogance of ignorance strikes again.

  89. Teresa Conrick

    Orac-

    Don’t think I didn’t take notice of your not answering my question -

    herd immunity vs career?

  90. Lindsay

    Teresa-

    I got that from trying to understand their hypothesis about how the ethyl-mercury in thimerosal would cause autism. Their basic logic goes like this:

    1.Ethyl-mercury in thimerosal penetrates the brain tissues associated with autism and causes changes in gene-expression (including the MT mRNAs), damages tissues, etc.
    2. These changes lead to long-term structural changes in the brain tissues (brain pathology).
    3. This pathology is responsible for autism-spectrum disorders.

    So they were investigating part 1, looking for a connection between thimerosal exposure and changes in brain chemistry associated with heavy metal poisoning (increased expression of MT mRNA’s).

    What they showed that MT mRNA expression increases with “low doses” of thimerosal, defined apparently as 12 µg/kg since doses as high as 5 µg/kg are not significantly different from the control. I pointed out earlier that this is 120 times the dose that would be given in a child’s vaccine (0.1 µg/kg), but even assuming changes in the expression of MT’s happen at this low of a dose, they have yet to demonstrate parts 2 and 3 to make a solid argument for their case.

    There is another paper referenced that says this “low dose” of thimerosal causes brain pathology, but since their low dose is still 120 times the amount a child would ever see as the result of a vaccine, part 1 is on very shaky ground to begin with.

    Don’t let a single sentence in this paper define the results, because if you look at the data impartially, it just doesn’t support the sentence. If I were a reviewer of this paper, I would have insisted that conclusion be changed. The support is just not there.

  91. Teresa Conrick

    Lindsay,

    I appreciate your wanting to use your masters level Biology education here on a blog about vaccines but please contact the authors of the study as your conclusions do not match theirs and since they are pubished and you are not, their conclusion appears to be more peer reviewed, thus correct.

  92. Teresa Conrick

    Joseph Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 11:59 am
    “because more and more children are suffering adverse reactions,”

    And the evidence of this is what? Actually, I hate to break this to you, but autism-related submissions to VAERS peaked in 2002.

    Please post the url of that information–thanks.

  93. Lindsay

    Teresa,

    It’s a Ph.D. level Biology education actually, and I feel like science outreach (in any form) is an important part of my job as a scientist. That’s why I’m taking the time to respond.

    Peer-review is a process that is fallible, like any other human endeavor. It is also happening continuously with papers being published that contain corrections, challenges, and evaluations of ideas published in previous papers. Peer-review is not an absolute ruling, more like refereeing a conversation between lots of scientists. It can be a pretty crude filter sometimes, and speculative comments often slip through.

    It is my job as a scientist, when reading an article, to evaluate the evidence for the claim, they way they conducted the experiment, and any logical holes remaining in a hypothesis that could allow an alternative hypothesis to also be supported. That’s what graduate school teaches you, not just specific facts about your field, but how to be a critical researcher.

    Right now, that paper did not address several problems which I’ve already pointed out. The point is, if it doesn’t make sense, I’m not going to believe it. Neither will other scientists if they look carefully and have no emotional investment in the topic.

    We’ll have to see who cites this paper and what they have to say about it. My prediction is that there will be several scientists in this field who will take issue to the same comments that people seem to be latching onto with a blind death-grip. Or perhaps I am wrong, they won’t take issue but interest in the results as being a valid conclusion. Certainly it will spawn several more experiments to evaluate the other parts of their thimerosal-autism hypothesis, as it should if valid evidence has been presented.

    However, it is not appropriate to grab one sentence in an entire paper in a complicated field with complicated results and wave it like a victory flag. That is simplifying a clearly complex issue that deserves everyone’s respect and attention. I feel as if it is disrespectful to people with the disorder to argue in this manner, wasting energy fighting amongst each other, instead of working together to find some kind of treatment for what is a very debilitating condition.

    I’m not really on the vaccination or anti-vaccination side. I’m on the autistics’.

  94. Mark

    I appreciate your wanting to use your masters level Biology education here on a blog about vaccines but please contact the authors of the study as your conclusions do not match theirs and since they are pubished and you are not, their conclusion appears to be more peer reviewed, thus correct.

    Translation: Their conclusions support my worldview, so I will continue to believe them, regardless of any evidence to the contrary.

    Appearance in a peer-reviewed journal is not a guarantee of being right. All scientists know that a publication in a peer-reviewed journal is only the first step of peer review. The additional steps of peer review come when the broader (at least in that field) scientific community reads the paper and tests the ideas. Some peer-reviewed papers turn out to be wrong. Even some of Einstein’s peer-reviewed papers turned out to be wrong!

    Lindsay has pointed out a devastating critique of the application of the results of that study to autistic children: the dosage to the rats in that study was many times higher than the mercury level in vaccines. And many people have pointed out that thimerosal was removed from most vaccines in 2001.

  95. mk

    Teresa demands:

    Please post the url of that information–thanks.

    I wonder why. No matter the source, it will be ignored.

    By the way, Teresa, have you forgotten how to do your own searches? Try the CDC.

  96. Teresa Conrick

    Well for any readers here who need for me to clarify my position, I am also on the side of the autistic because I have a child severely affected and saw her decline into autism and the health issues that thousnads of others report. That is the anecdotal report.

    On the science report, she has severe GI, immune,and neurological issues. Mitochondria and glutathione are severely impaired.

    You can read Megan’s story here-
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/03/mother-warrior-the-bitter-sweet-16.html

    and you can read about her first seizure 2 weeks ago here-
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/05/autism-and-seizures—will-gene-research-save-the-day.html

  97. Teresa Conrick

    mk Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 2:24 pm
    Teresa demands:

    Please post the url of that information–thanks.

    I wonder why. No matter the source, it will be ignored.

    By the way, Teresa, have you forgotten how to do your own searches? Try the CDC.

    mk-

    This is a joke right? I asked “please” for the url and you come back with “demand”. This is a typical ploy when you cannpt produce informatin that is fallacious (neat word, huh)…

  98. HCN

    Ms. Conrick said “And the evidence of this is what? Actually, I hate to break this to you, but autism-related submissions to VAERS peaked in 2002.”

    Perhaps it had something to do with lawyers pushing clients to submit reports. VAERS is a self selected survey of raw data, the very worst form of statistical data. See:
    PEDIATRICS Vol. 117 No. 2 February 2006, pp. 387-390 (doi:10.1542/peds.2004-2687)
    “Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System Reporting Source: A Possible Source of Bias in Longitudinal Studies”

    Orac first wrote about on his old blog early in 2006, it is repeated on his new blog under the title: “How Vaccine Litigation Distorts the VAERS Database”

    I had better things to do with my Friday evening, and I shall not be here much longer, but I see there is no answer to either of my questions. But there never is, especially since I require better data than VAERS, a random website or a news article. And in the mean time measles is returning and more and more American babies will die from pertussis.

    I dare not post any URLs… since that is automatic for moderation, but I encourage everyone to download and listen to the last two podcasts from the Australian “skepticzone.tv” site, and listen to Dr. Raichie. It is about a death of a baby from pertussis and the actions of the Australian anti-vax lobby. Incredible stuff.

  99. Teresa Conrick

    Here’s an interesting thing I just noticed- whether it is a Discover blog component or if Chris did it in moderation but my post with the Age of Autism url posted is still in moderation yet one without just got posted.

    Are urls not ok here?

  100. Teresa Conrick

    Wait, I see they are permitted as some of you have posted them.

  101. Sandy

    “Teresa Conrick Says:
    Do you realize that many children who have an autism diagnosis also have a medical condition that may have played into vaccines causing the adverse reaction thus their subsequesnt diagnosis? Mitochondria and glutathine issues have been shown to cause the downstream health issues of children with autism and for many, vaccines were the cause.”

    Wrong. Mitochondria is a hereditary issue and if vaccines played a part in making that disorder worse, than so could many other things that child would come into contact with. Also, in relation to Mitochondria, assuming you’re getting that info from a court case, Poling had a way over-jab of vaccines due to being behind on the schedule. Any child who had that many vaccines in one day for catch-up would probably had a reaction, Mitochondria or not. That is not a reflection of a vaccine schedule, but one bad Peds Doc over-jabbing a child.

    Some people are blind followers of JB Handley and Mccarthy just as those who are accused of following herd immunization. Generation Rescues ads have for years now displayed incorrect scare tactic information, and then they hire a lady who ingests her own child’s medicine. I call that blind followers, not self educators. For 20 years there has been trendy blind followers for every new autism treatment, yet there is still autism. Not one person can pin point any contents of a vaccine that causes autism. Any one bother to read the contents of VAERS? I can pick that apart as well. Obvious flaws are in there.

  102. Teresa Conrick

    Sandy-

    Your entire post is a series of ramblings that originate from your own mind. I think anyone here who is truly reading this blog for news worthy or scientific information will bypass your name from now on.

  103. Teresa Conrick

    Here’s the post with the urls omitted- hopefully Chris will allow them from Age of Autism, but meanwhile I will just post them from the website- I am thinking moderation will be permanent as there is a blog on AoA about Chris Mooney and his apparent bias with his reporting on ““Why Does the Vaccine/Autism Controversy Live On?”–I imagine he would prefer that not be visible to unbiased readers here or maybe his boss?

    Teresa Conrick Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    May 9th, 2009 at 2:35 pm
    Well for any readers here who need for me to clarify my position, I am also on the side of the autistic because I have a child severely affected and saw her decline into autism and the health issues that thousnads of others report. That is the anecdotal report.

    On the science report, she has severe GI, immune,and neurological issues. Mitochondria and glutathione are severely impaired.

    You can read Megan’s story here-

    Mother Warrior: The Bitter Sweet 16
    By Teresa Conrick

    Sixteen years ago today, I gave birth to a beautiful and healthy daughter. Life was good and I was grateful — but that was not to last.

    In the Spring of her second year, my daughter, Megan, began to change. It was subtle things at first, shyness and lack of eye contact but that then spiraled into her losing the ability to speak and understand speech, develop extreme sound sensitivity, refusal to eat many foods while beginning to have bouts of diarrhea and reflux, and not wanting any human contact—including mine. Her tiny and sweet voice saying, “bubbles”, “cookie”, “cake”, vanished. My memory of this loss is encapsulated in a backyard bubble blowing afternoon when my Meg, no longer smiling or laughing, could not name those transparent circles. Her word for “bubble” became “emul” and she would say it over and over and over some more. She also began to have a compulsive need to carry two letters from the magnetic alphabet board, one in each hand, constantly. I knew something was very wrong and feared it was going to be devastating news. I was about to be right.

    Working in a psychiatric hospital as a special education teacher was probably the worst place to be employed as I was learning my sweet child had autism. The days of the so wrongly accused, refrigerator mothers were not officially over yet and a cloud of shame began to follow me. The renowned neurologist whom we met with made his diagnosis based on a 20 minute observation. His parting words, “Try putting her in a nursery school as being around “normal” children may help her”, showed just how dormant the science of autism was in 1995. I did enroll Meg in school but it was a special education program where all the children had some special needs issue. Meg though, stood out from all of the other children, and the team of teachers and therapists knew very little about autism or what actually to do to help my poor, lost child.

    Over the years as autism has gone from an obscure, orphan diagnosis to the fastest growing special ed classification in every state school system, I have learned much about autism and Megan. It is often by looking back historically that pieces come together, that the dots connect. A prime example are the symptoms that Megan exhibited. Not one professional back then delved into why my child stopped eating, stopped talking, stopped wanting human contact, and stopped progressing as a 2-year-old. “Autism” was the answer to it all but the science and research now shows those symptoms to be the result of the true nature of her condition, a neuro-behavioral-gut-brain-illness, not co-morbid but the roots to the devastation of normal functioning. Thank you Dr. Rimland/Autism Research Institute, Dr. Wakefield, and DAN! (Defeat Autism Now), for researching and treating this complex and historically misunderstood illness.

    In 2000, I first went on-line and my life forever changed. Megan had begun to exhibit bizarre and worsening behaviors. She began to hit and bite those around her, rip up paper everywhere, throw breakable glasses onto the ceramic floors, and dump gallon containers of milk and soap on the carpet. She had no language now and I was losing her more each day. The worst though were horrible, loose and smelly stools that she would often leave all over her bedroom. I needed help desperately but there was no one, including our pediatrician, who knew what to do except suggest behavioral interventions. We had already done 2 years of ABA in our home and Megan had currently started in a wonderful school for children with autism. None of that could make the horrible stools, pain, and lack of sleep better. On the internet I met parents who had the same stories, same symptoms, and same teams of professionals who could not answer why their children were so sick. A metamorphosis was happening as parents began to research medical literature, explore environmental sources, gather and report on data and labs, form organizations and internet groups, plan and attend conferences, educate their politicians, reach out to the media, and start meaningful and hopeful website blogs to change the history and future of autism (thank you, AOA!). A very big piece was emerging. A piece that overlapped from anecdotal family stories, to labs, to research, to a need for more research — and that piece was vaccines.

    Looking back at those confusing and “autistic” symptoms that Megan began to show in 1995 with the knowledge of 2009 is both helpful and heartbreaking. We now know that Megan and many other children have mitochondria issues/defects in oxidative phosphorylation, which can be a genetic issue worsened by vaccination or brought on by that very process causing a regression of functioning; zero or low levels of glutathione that make excretion of lead, mercury, and aluminum almost nonexistent (the toxic metals most seen in our kids and the two latter ones are found in vaccines though thimerosal has been decreased in recent years, it was in high amounts in most of the vaccines for Megan and her peers in the 1990′s), as well as increasing mercury levels in the environment; visual/auditory/touch/taste/vestibular dysfunction are symptoms of poisoning, ie toxins such as mercury, lead and aluminum as well as bacteria and viruses (again, the two latter ones are found not only in the environment but in vaccines, too); chronic inflammation in both gut and brain due to the immune system not working properly — ie, microglial activation (bacteria, viruses, metals), inflammatory bowel disease (an association between the presence of measles virus and gut pathology in children with developmental disorders, ie a new form of inflammatory bowel disease – ileocolonic lymphonodular hyperplasia ); impaired intestinal permeability ie-”leaky gut”, reflux, gastritis, candida and clostridia overgrowth. All of these can produce pain and that is the one symptom that Megan had pervasively for years until we began to see a light at the end of the long and torturous tunnel — biomedical treatments.

    As the year 2000 became unbearable, I searched the internet trying to find what to do for Megan. I discovered a nearby doctor who had been trained to help children with autism. Through urine, blood, and allergy testing, he saw that Megan had many things not right with her. She had huge reactions with gluten, casein, and other foods, and even bigger issues with gut parasites, yeast, bacteria, and heavy metals. Eliminating the offending foods, removing the bacteria and yeast while supplementing her nutrient-starved body brought decreased behaviors — the pain was dissipating. Her stool began to normalize as there were less and less of them with the notorious undigested foods present. It was at that time that I learned about thimerosal and the many vaccines that Megan had with it. I also went through her health history with this new doctor and cried as I saw how she became progressively sicker after each vaccine: ear infections, antibiotics, mysterious rashes especially after her MMR, fevers for weeks (though now she rarely runs a fever), horrible nosebleeds, reflux/vomiting and then the start of the green and chronic diarrhea. As those early years of treatment progressed, Megan was finally able to use the toilet. A gluten-casein-soy and corn free diet, digestive enzymes, and supplements were key. She was nine and just coming out of diapers but regardless of her age, it was a huge success. .

    At age 16, Megan is still nonverbal. Her place on the autism spectrum is on the very impaired side. She is though, able to communicate her wants with a talking device, express love when not too overwhelmed, and is happy more than not though a recent eating episode of wheat and soy in an accidental exposure put her back in pain, reflux, diarrhea, irritability, poor sleep, self-injurious behavior (biting her wrist) and a deja vu of what life was like before science and autism met. Our current knowledge of what can reduce pain and increase functioning –detoxification, diet interventions, reduction of inflammation– is the road to healing for many and to others, recovery from autism completely. But for some like Megan, who began the biomedical road later as it was not yet ready when she was young, or those who are possibly more injured and more susceptible, there are still biomedical pieces that need to be explored to make their healing complete. High strep levels in her gut and blood two years ago showed us why Megan began to have tics, repetitive movements very similar to Parkinson’s and also to Tourette’s, with acute, obsessive-compulsive behavior. Treating it biomedically brought those blood levels to normal and eliminated the bacteria in her stool (gut). All behaviors lessened then disappeared and shows how the DAN! approach can help these children, especially when antibiotics cannot be used or only temporarily kill the bacteria. Thank you, Dr. Usman for researching and treating Megan in the special way that you do as her physical and vocal tics were so debilitating! This is the type of research needed, metals, bacteria and viruses, as well as a study of children who were vaccinated compared to those who were not.

  104. Teresa Conrick

    and here is my blog about her 1st seizure 2 weeks ago:

    May 04, 2009
    Autism and Seizures – Will Gene Research Save the Day?
    By Teresa Conrick

    On Monday, 4/28/09 at 8:49 a.m. Central Time, I became a member of a group that I hoped I would never have to join, the “parent of an autistic child with seizures” group.
    I was at my desk preparing for the day when the phone rang. It was Meg’s teacher who spoke quietly as he said those words any parent would doubt, would hope was wrong — he said, “Meg’s having a seizure.” My shocked response was ,”Oh no..are you sure?..she was just fine…?” But she was not fine now as he described a vivid picture of my sweet, 16-year-old, hunched over in her seat on the little yellow school bus, drool coming from her mouth and not responding to her name. I would find out later from the bus aide that before I had even received the call, Meg’s eyes rolled back, the universal sign that this is a SEIZURE and has the ability to damage or kill its victim. To describe all that happened from that moment forward is a blur of actions and feelings: fear – driving – crying – bargaining – fear – anger – questioning – fear – hoping…..

    We called the ambulance when I finally made it to her as Megan’s eyes and body were still not her own. She looked scared, confused and unable to move well. It was all a bad dream and soon I would wake up to Meg laughing and running to me. But I never woke up. Our four hour odyssey in the ER included blood work, a cat scan, EKG, and an anti-nausea IV. There was nothing abnormal in the results — nothing that would explain why a 16-year-old with an autism diagnosis, who had never had a seizure, would have one now, at this age, and with such intensity.

    The ER nurses were great and didn’t question my concerns with red dye #40 in their popsicles or sugar-free, Nutrasweet treats that they gave to kids like Megan. It was a nice idea but the lack of knowledge about basic neuro-chemical consequences seemed absurd in the present surroundings.

    The doctor on duty was young and a bit arrogant. He kept asking if she had a fever or infection and if her behavior was “as good as it gets.” I attempted to explain to him that Megan rarely had fevers and that her immune system did not work properly. He looked at me like I had broken the unspoken ER rule of not kissing his feet and saying, “YES”, she did have a fever and how brilliant he was for figuring it out.

    Instead I explained that she was nonverbal and her stimming on the rubber bands in her hands was not abnormal for her. That was his signal to say, “goodbye and good-luck,” as he handed me a prescription for an anti-seizure medication with a referral to a neurologist and then fled for the safety of the nurses’ station. It was eerily familiar.

    The drive home gave me some time to digest this new incident and its meaning to our understanding of Megan and her autism. Her diagnosis of autism was over a decade ago and the word on the report then was “Idiopathic”, meaning, “of unknown cause.” I peeked at the discharge papers from the ER and sure enough, the “I” word was there, too. In actuality, these doctors did not want to search for Meg. They did not want to delve into the “why” she has so many abnormal labs of metals, bacteria, and viruses or the myriad effects they produced. They also did not seem to care or wonder if something in puberty is sparking a reaction and causing sick children to become sicker, especially seizures.

    I have often looked to the past to explain the present. In 1943, Dr. Leo Kanner wrote his historical paper, “Autistic Disturbance of Affective Contact”, in which he described
    “a number of children whose condition differs so markedly and uniquely from anything reported so far.” One of those children, Elaine, reminds me of Megan. They both were born healthy and walked before 12 months. Speech and language issues began and deafness was suspected but then ruled out. Both had fears of loud noises and ran when the vacuum cleaner came out of the closet, covering their ears. Meg’s is so bad still that she chooses construction headphones instead of an Ipod. Both girls had normal EEGs in their younger years.

    In his follow-up paper on these children in 1971, Elaine had sadly, spent most of her life thus far in state hospitals. What stood out is this statement by Kanner, “She has epileptic seizures occasionally of grand mal type and is receiving antiepileptics and tranquilizers.” That sounds familiar – not having seizures as a child and then developing them post-puberty. Why has no large, ivy-covered institution or large autism organization investigated this? It has become an increasing incidence that children with autism are developing seizures. How is it possible that the medical symptoms observed in children of the 1930′s are still occurring today, yet major medical organizations and federal health agencies are not examining them, nor are they examining the actual children in the trenches of the autism epidemic?

    Why is Dr. Paul Offit and his newly formed autism organization not looking into the issue of the immune system, fevers, and seizures in autism especially since he is Chief of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia? Why is he and many others hunting for a gene(s) (HERE) to blame for this epidemic of cases? For years the search has been empty yet that theme continues. Why is he saying,” ‘The natural history of mild to moderate autism is that it does get better over time. You’re worse between 2 and 5, and you tend to get better between 5 and 10. You mature, and you get better.” Developing seizures as a teen or older is not getting better. Is it because it will avoid the vaccine issue, provide money for marketing prescription medications or worse, a “screening” tool? Many of the children have lessening of their “autism” symptoms as they develop a fever. Why isn’t Dr. Offit exploring why this is as it is part of the bacteria-virus-metal (mercury & aluminum)-infection-inflammation-gut-brain issues that many of the children have? Why does my daughter rarely run a fever and could this dysfunctional suppression of fevers cause seizures? Where do mitochondria issues figure into all of this?

    I believe that the warning signs in the children, observable on labs, in blood, urine, and stool, represent the suspect in this man-made illness, and Dr. Offit has not investigated why as it brings us all back to the scene of the crime — vaccines. Fortunately, history also shows us that often times a suspect protests too much and attempts made to obstruct the solving of the crime often indicate that the suspect is no longer a suspect, but a guilty party.

  105. Joseph

    “Please post the url of that information–thanks.”

    My VAERS observation is not published anywhere, not even on my blog. It’s just something I noticed once. You’re free not to believe me. However, anyone can do go and do VAERS searches by submission date range. You can then see the pattern of annual reports with “autism” in the symptoms field. It will probably take 5 minutes.

  106. Joseph

    Ok, I’ve posted the chart of annual autism VAERS reports here:

    http://files.filefront.com/vaers+autism+annualJPG/;13733016;/fileinfo.html

    You’ll note 2008 was a good year for anti-vaxers, with Jenny McCarthy and the Hannah Poling case, but in terms of effect it didn’t even surpass 2005, much less 2002. If it weren’t for the new publicity efforts, I think the hype would’ve continued to drop.

    There’s a specific and clear reason for the pattern of VAERS reports, but I won’t tell you what it is :)

  107. Teresa Conrick

    Joseph-

    Your analysis has nuch to be desired but more importantly-

    your url got through!? How interesting and telling…..Chris must be biased in his moderations here, too…….

    and here I am still in moderation:

    Teresa Conrick Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    May 9th, 2009 at 2:35 pm

  108. Sandy

    Teresa Conrick~ as if anyone is reading your lengthly rambling comments that are coming for your own mind?? If anyone wanted to read your blog, we’d go there but nobody cares to read your blog here.

  109. Joseph

    “your url got through!? How interesting and telling…..Chris must be biased in his moderations here, too…….”

    Not everything is a conspiracy, Teresa. The way messages are held up for moderation is automatic, controlled by an algorithm, which probably not only looks at the number of URLs, but other aspects of the comment. Spam filters typically use Bayesian filtering, which means they are trained to identify certain words as “spammy” and other words as “hammy.” It really has nothing to do with the blog owner. Approving of the comment is another matter, though.

    I’ve had about 3 or 4 comments held up for moderation in this thread.

  110. Teresa Conrick

    Sandy,

    You miss the point, again.

    But glad you posted as it reminded me that you objected to the fact that mitochondria could be injured by vaccines (and that would mean ingredients and componenets of vaccines)- I am taking this opportunity to post some research that shows that it can happen:

    Int J Mol Med. 2005 Dec;16(6):971-7.
    Thimerosal induces neuronal cell apoptosis by causing cytochrome c and apoptosis-inducing factor release from mitochondria.
    Yel L, Brown LE, Su K, Gollapudi S, Gupta S.
    Department of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA. lyel@uci.edu
    There is a worldwide increasing concern over the neurological risks of thimerosal (ethylmercury thiosalicylate) which is an organic mercury compound that is commonly used as an antimicrobial preservative. In this study, we show that thimerosal, at nanomolar concentrations, induces neuronal cell death through the mitochondrial pathway. Thimerosal, in a concentration- and time-dependent manner, decreased cell viability as assessed by calcein-ethidium staining and caused apoptosis detected by Hoechst 33258 dye. Thimerosal-induced apoptosis was associated with depolarization of mitochondrial membrane, generation of reactive oxygen species, and release of cytochrome c and apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) from mitochondria to cytosol. Although thimerosal did not affect cellular expression of Bax at the protein level, we observed translocation of Bax from cytosol to mitochondria. Finally, caspase-9 and caspase-3 were activated in the absence of caspase-8 activation. Our data suggest that thimerosal causes apoptosis in neuroblastoma cells by changing the mitochondrial microenvironment.
    PMID: 16273274 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    Neurotoxicology. 2005 Jun;26(3):407-16.
    Mitochondrial mediated thimerosal-induced apoptosis in a human neuroblastoma cell line (SK-N-SH).
    Humphrey ML, Cole MP, Pendergrass JC, Kiningham KK.
    Department of Pharmacology, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University, Huntington, WV 25704-9388, USA.
    Environmental exposure to mercurials continues to be a public health issue due to their deleterious effects on immune, renal and neurological function. Recently the safety of thimerosal, an ethyl mercury-containing preservative used in vaccines, has been questioned due to exposure of infants during immunization. Mercurials have been reported to cause apoptosis in cultured neurons; however, the signaling pathways resulting in cell death have not been well characterized. Therefore, the objective of this study was to identify the mode of cell death in an in vitro model of thimerosal-induced neurotoxicity, and more specifically, to elucidate signaling pathways which might serve as pharmacological targets. Within 2 h of thimerosal exposure (5 microM) to the human neuroblastoma cell line, SK-N-SH, morphological changes, including membrane alterations and cell shrinkage, were observed. Cell viability, assessed by measurement of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity in the medium, as well as the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, showed a time- and concentration-dependent decrease in cell survival upon thimerosal exposure. In cells treated for 24 h with thimerosal, fluorescence microscopy indicated cells undergoing both apoptosis and oncosis/necrosis. To identify the apoptotic pathway associated with thimerosal-mediated cell death, we first evaluated the mitochondrial cascade, as both inorganic and organic mercurials have been reported to accumulate in the organelle. Cytochrome c was shown to leak from the mitochondria, followed by caspase 9 cleavage within 8 h of treatment. In addition, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) was cleaved to form a 85 kDa fragment following maximal caspase 3 activation at 24 h. Taken together these findings suggest deleterious effects on the cytoarchitecture by thimerosal and initiation of mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis.
    PMID: 15869795 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE

    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.
    Cellular and Molecular Immunology Laboratories, Division of Basic and Clinical Immunology, University of California, Irvine 92697, USA.
    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.
    PMID: 12140745 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE

    Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2005 Nov;34(6):674-7.
    [Effect of aluminum on neuronal mitochondria of rats]

    Zhang QL, Niu PY, Niu Q, Wang LP.
    Department of Occupational Health, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan 030001, China.
    OBJECTIVE: To observe and explore the effect of aluminum on mitochondria in nerve cells of rats. METHODS: Nerve cells of new born rats (1-3 days) were cultured. Ultrastructure of mitochondria, cell death rate (CDR), reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and MTF were performed to investigate the alteration of mitochondrial structure and functions in cultured nerve cells. RESULTS: Aluminum can impair the ultrastructure of cultured nerve cells of rats. Increased CDR, enhanced ROS, decreased MMP, and decreased activity of enzyme in mitochondria were investigated in the group of Al3+ 100 micromol/L and Al3+ 500 micromol/L. CONCLUSION: The present study shows that the alteration of mitochondrial structure and functions have played important roles in neurotoxic mechanism induced by aluminum.
    PMID: 16535833 [PubMed - in process]

  111. Teresa Conrick

    Joseph-you wrote:

    “Spam filters typically use Bayesian filtering, which means they are trained to identify certain words as “spammy” and other words as “hammy.” It really has nothing to do with the blog owner.”

    that is too funny! trying to sound all scientific to defend Chris.

  112. Joseph

    Again, those old cell culture studies don’t tell us much. Note they are from a time when people were in a “wait and see” mode in regards to removal of thimerosal from vaccines.

    Dr. Offit has described that as doing “science in reverse.” They are trying to determine how thimerosal might produce neurological impairments, before it has been established that it does.

    The same thing could no doubt be done with methylmercury, at low concentrations, and you’d find it causes neuron death and so on. Does that mean an occasional tuna sandwich is dangerous?

  113. Joseph

    “that is too funny! trying to sound all scientific to defend Chris.”

    OK, if you want to assume that Chris is sitting there watching all comments as they are posted and deciding which ones should be held up for moderation and which ones shouldn’t, that’s your prerogative, although it’s obviously crazy.

    FWIW, I’ve written a spam filter. That’s how I know about Bayesian filtering algorithms. It’s more software engineering than science.

  114. Teresa Conrick

    “Bayesian filtering algorithms”-

    How exciting.

    Using Paul Offit as some expert on autism and thimerosal research is really a bizarre approach.

    And your attempt to dismiss the research as “old studies” is not too creative but here is a more current one to add to what we are learning about mitochondria, thimerosal and autism:

    FASEB J. 2009 Mar 23. Cellular and mitochondrial glutathione redox imbalance in lymphoblastoid cells derived from children with autism.
    James SJ, Rose S, Melnyk S, Jernigan S, Blossom S, Pavliv O, Gaylor DW.
    *Department of Pediatrics; andDepartment of Biostatistics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.

    Research into the metabolic phenotype of autism has been relatively unexplored despite the fact that metabolic abnormalities have been implicated in the pathophysiology of several other neurobehavioral disorders. Plasma biomarkers of oxidative stress have been reported in autistic children; however, intracellular redox status has not yet been evaluated. Lymphoblastoid cells (LCLs) derived from autistic children and unaffected controls were used to assess relative concentrations of reduced glutathione (GSH) and oxidized disulfide glutathione (GSSG) in cell extracts and isolated mitochondria as a measure of intracellular redox capacity. The results indicated that the GSH/GSSG redox ratio was decreased and percentage oxidized glutathione increased in both cytosol and mitochondria in the autism LCLs. Exposure to oxidative stress via the sulfhydryl reagent thimerosal resulted in a greater decrease in the GSH/GSSG ratio and increase in free radical generation in autism compared to control cells. Acute exposure to physiological levels of nitric oxide decreased mitochondrial membrane potential to a greater extent in the autism LCLs, although GSH/GSSG and ATP concentrations were similarly decreased in both cell lines. These results suggest that the autism LCLs exhibit a reduced glutathione reserve capacity in both cytosol and mitochondria that may compromise antioxidant defense and detoxification capacity under prooxidant conditions.

  115. Sandy

    No Teresa, you miss the point and about attack every commentor here. Pretty soon you’ll be debating with only yorself. You even debate a spam filter/ moderation. I have a family, how about you? Got better things to do than read paragraph upon paragraph upon paragraph upon paragraph…. some where in there I fell alseep reading upon paragraph upon paragraph upon paragraphPeople will either be a follower, or one who researches for themselves which the latter is a better informed option. Now we know you’re a frequent pubmed reader.

    Not aquired from pubmed: mitochondrial disease is an inherited condition that runs in families (genetic). An uncertain percentage of patients acquire symptoms due to other factors, including mitochondrial toxins. One thousand to 4,000 children per year in the United States are born with a type of mitochondrial disease.

    Did any see that?? Born with <—-
    disease is an inherited condition <—-

    Wonder what else vaccines will be blamed on. Maybe Acne is next.

  116. Teresa Conrick

    Sandy-

    I am so sorry that you do not like the truth but that is not my issue.

    Kids lives are on the line and it is important for these issues to be discussed and not ignored, denied, or blatantly lied about.

    Evidence of Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Autism and Implications for Treatment Daniel A. Rossignol, J. Jeffrey BradstreetInternational Child Development Resource Center, 3800 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Suite 105,Melbourne, FL 32934Abstract: Classical mitochondrial diseases occur in a subset of individuals with autism and are usuallycaused by genetic anomalies or mitochondrial respiratory pathway deficits. However, in many cases of autism, there is evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction (MtD) without the classic features associatedwith mitochondrial disease. MtD appears to be more common in autism and presents with less severe signs and symptoms. It is not associated with discernable mitochondrial pathology in muscle biopsy specimens despite objective evidence of lowered mitochondrial functioning. Exposure to environ-mental toxins is the likely etiology for MtD in autism. This dysfunction then contributes to a number of diagnostic symptoms and comorbidities observed in autism including: cognitive impairment,language deficits, abnormal energy metabolism, chronic gastrointestinal problems, abnormalities in fatty acid oxidation, and increased oxidative stress. MtD and oxidative stress may also explain thehigh male to female ratio found in autism due to increased male vulnerability to these dysfunctions.Biomarkers for mitochondrial dysfunction have been identified, but seem widely under-utilized despiteavailable therapeutic interventions. Nutritional supplementation to decrease oxidative stress alongwith factors to improve reduced glutathione, as well as hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) representsupported and rationale approaches. The underlying pathophysiology and autistic symptoms ofaffected individuals would be expected to either improve or cease worsening once effective treatmen tfor MtD is implemented

  117. Twyla

    I went to a picnic today. Meanwhile, a lot of comments were posted! Now I have to make dinner. More later.

    Go, Teresa! What she said!

  118. Sandy

    I’m not there to believe any one’s ‘truth’ just because they think it is the truth. It’s obvious some people’s agenda here is to convince other’s of their own beleifs. It’s that same old “no one can have an opinion other’s than yours” deal. Typical behavior and it get’s old and many get sick of it.

  119. mk

    Well, it’s been fun watching the deeply ignorant Teresa have her ass kicked all over the place… but now time for bed.

    Cheers.

  120. Teresa Conrick

    mk Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 10:06 pm
    Well, it’s been fun watching the deeply ignorant Teresa have her ass kicked all over the place… but now time for bed.

    Cheers.

    mk-

    Your anonymity may make it easier for you to be a truly sad example of a pro-vaccine zealot, who has a disdain for ethics and morals, and uses sarcasm and personal attacks to try and prove vaccines do not harm.

    None of these worked and you are left looking a fool.

    and if this getting my ass kicked why are you the one running away…?

  121. Teresa Conrick

    Well, what do you know? Chris put these through now-

    Teresa Conrick Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 2:35 pm
    Well for any readers here who need for me to clarify my position, I am also on the side of the autistic because I have a child severely affected and saw her decline into autism and the health issues that thousnads of others report. That is the anecdotal report.

    On the science report, she has severe GI, immune,and neurological issues. Mitochondria and glutathione are severely impaired.

    You can read Megan’s story here-
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/03/mother-warrior-the-bitter-sweet-16.html

    and you can read about her first seizure 2 weeks ago here-
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/05/autism-and-seizures—will-gene-research-save-the-day.html

  122. Teresa Conrick

    Well, Chris put the urls through but I can’t post them again as I just did and they went to moderation again..so they’re back at 2:35 this afternoon.

    how interesting.

  123. Joseph

    “Evidence of Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Autism and Implications for Treatment”

    Any paper that lists Bradstreet as an author is not easy for me to take seriously. (Google “Bradstreet omnibus autism.”) But if you look at that paper, it’s not really a study. It’s a review of other studies, full of speculation.

    There might be an association between mitochondrial disorder and autism. It’s entirely plausible. However, the evidence so far is lacking. There’s not a single case-control study positively associating autistics and non-autistics for mito markers.

    I see there’s one that fails to find an association: Kent et al. (2008): “An investigation of mitochondrial haplogroups in autism.”

  124. HCN

    Bradstreet? Difficult to take him seriously considering the torture he put one kid through as noted in the Autism Omnibus testimony, it is sadistic:
    “A nursing note reflected that C. became very agitated and noncompliant five days after chelation, but that his behavior was back to normal by August 14, 2000. On August 16, 2008, Dr. Bradstreet’s records reflected that C. was experiencing myclonic jerks at night. Dr. Bradstreet recorded temporary setbacks with the chelation and decreased C.’s dose that same day.

    “The second round of chelation did not go nearly as well. A nurse’s note dated August 21, 2000, reflected that, upon restarting the Chemet on August 20, C. was going “beserck.” He was described as aggressive and noncompliant, with repetitive behaviors and tantrums.”

    (from the neurodiversity weblog, “Autism Treatment in the Evidence Gap · 2009-02-16 09:45″)

    Also, remember that VAERS data is self-selected raw data that can be heavily influenced by outside factors. As noted in the paper:
    PEDIATRICS Vol. 117 No. 2 February 2006, pp. 387-390 (doi:10.1542/peds.2004-2687)
    “Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System Reporting Source: A Possible Source of Bias in Longitudinal Studies”

  125. Twyla

    I highly recommend the book “Changing the Course of Autism” by Dr. Bryan Jepson. Dr. Jepson says, “I wrote this book to show mainstream physicians that we need to change our view about autism. It needs to be understood as a medical illness, not just a behavior disorder. It’s a disease of disordered biochemistry and metabolism that affects multiple organ systems, and it is treatable. Sound medical research has been published in mainstream medical journals that document these issues, and this information should be shared with families. I have compiled here as much of this medical literature as possible to show that what might seem a confusing miscellany of information on the surface is in fact integral components of a comprehensive disease model… At the very least, the doctors who read this book should be willing to acknowledge that the viewpoints expressed here have scientific validity and are backed by the research literature.”

    Dr. Jepson writes in the introduction that after his son was diagnosed with autism, his wife got on the internet and learned about biomedical treatments. She started their son on the GFCF diet, DMG, antifungals, and probiotics. He thought this seemed like a waste of money, but thought that it was a small price to pay for her need to do something. “But,” he said, “when she told me about the possible link to vaccines, I could no longer be impartial. After all, this was striking at one of the few areas of preventive medicine that physicians are passionate about. Vaccines are good! They eliminate life-threatening disease! I have seen first-hand how vaccines have successfully turned fairly common serious illnesses into rare, interesting cases. Wasn’t autism just one more of those coincidental childhood illnesses that the crazy anti-government people were opportunistically using as an excuse to push their agenda?

    “I looked at the research, largely to prove to my wife that the theory was unfounded. The further I looked, the more interested I became. And before long, I realized that this theory of a vaccine-autism link wasn’t driven by the whims of angry activists or the wallets of vitamin manufacturers. Rather it was based on real science with a strong foundation of biological plausibility, led by knowledgeable and motivated physicians, research scientists, and parents of autistic children, all of whome weren’t afraid to question dogma.”

    I don’t think I am capable of doing this subject justice, and in this crowd anything I write will be met with derision, so I will just say: read this book. In goes into depth regarding the immune system, digestion, detoxification, and more.

    I have no doubt that there will come a time when this new paradigm of autism will be widely accepted.

    I know people whose kids have recovered from autism with biomedical treatments. This is real, and deserving of more attention.

    It’s getting pretty tiresome to keep hearing mainstream doctors and scientists say that they have no idea what causes autism but that they are quite sure of what doesn’t cause it.

    The forward to this book is written by Katie Wright, daughter of the founders of Autism Speaks. She describes quite eloquently how she took her autistic son to many prominent doctors and did not receive any helpful treatment until finding doctors who offered biomedical treatments such as those described in this book.

    Go ahead and make all the snide comments you want. The fact is, doctors such as Dr. Jepson and Dr. Kartzinel are making progress on understanding and treating autism.

    And calling us “anti-vaxers” over and over again evades the issue of vaccine safety. This is not a question of all-or-nothing. We need to do a better job of weighing the risks and benefits of each vaccine and the combined schedule, understanding the causes of vaccine reactions, and treating adverse reactions.

  126. Joseph

    “The fact is, doctors such as Dr. Jepson and Dr. Kartzinel are making progress on understanding and treating autism.”

    The fact is that you are making what is called “argument by assertion.” There’s no evidence they are making any progress at all. If there were, it would not be very difficult to demonstrate in a convincing way. Anecdotes do not suffice, especially considering that good outcomes in autism were well known since Kanner.

  127. Sandy

    One has to determine the differnece between snide and facts, and that all things do not pertain to all people/ children with autism.

    I think it violates copyright laws to post to the web portions of a book. Isn’t this the book that caused so much grief with Autism Speaks?? When it was first published, the cover did say “Foreword by Katie Wright of Autism Speaks”. I have a copy of it. All those books were trashed and the cover was re-written, and there after a big blow-out with Katie, her parents and Autism Speaks.

    The thing with this “crowd” is not every ones child with autism is going to benefit from bio medical treatments and not every child needs to be detoxed. Most people who provide such bio medical, it’s not covered under medical insurance.

    Why people are called the ‘anti-vaxers’ is because they assume everyone should think as they do, based on their children and assume what is going on with their children will happen to the rest. They are called this because most times they are pushing their beliefs unto others and they don’t even do it in a polite manner. They dominate any topic to push their beliefs, as seen here. Happens every where. They are not talking to you, they are yelling at you and talking down to you. They send death threats to others. They always say “we” including every one than allowing any to make a educated choice on their own, and they never take any part of responsibility in their allowing their child to be vaccinated. If my mom researched her choices in the 1960′s, so coul dnay one else thereafter. If anti vaxers would change their attitude and approach, maybe people would listen to what they have to say, but keep in mind, your child is your child and it has nothing to do with my child, their autism or any one else’s. You can not inflict your theory to all with autism.

  128. Blimey, does anyone actually read all those posts?

    “If anti vaxers would change their attitude and approach, maybe people would listen to what they have to say.”

    Doubtful. You have to take the red pill first.

  129. Teresa Conrick

    Sandy,

    You claim attitude and approach from parents who have seen their children descend into illness/autism…. yet the ammout of mean, sarcastic, and uncaring attitude is so evident from your camp.

    I posted that my daughter had a seizure 2 weeks ago — first time at age 16 and a very scary experince — and not one of you offered even the slightest hint of understanding or support.

    If anything the attitude and lack of humanity from your group shows somethiong is wrong with this picture —you claim to care about babies, children and human life — yet your actions speak louder.

  130. Teresa Conrick

    Joseph-

    You said-

    “There might be an association between mitochondrial disorder and autism. It’s entirely plausible. However, the evidence so far is lacking.”

    This also could be a good componenet to the comparison of the vaccinated and unvaccinated study as it would be good to see if there is a difference in the 2 groups. Thank you for seeing that this may be a factor and especially regarding vaccines.

  131. Sandy

    Teresa~ most of your comments are by-passed by me. No one wants to read your blog entries posted to another person’s blog. If your 16 year olds seizure wasn’t related to this topic, then it was off topic and if you’re looking for some kind of sympathy, this isn’t a support group, it’s a blog which you’re not the owner of. I didn’t see one comment about your inappropriate blog entry comments from any one, so it seems it also run in your ‘camp’ too?

    Don’t accuse people of being what you know nothing of. Your own printed words speaks well enough for you.

  132. Joseph

    “I posted that my daughter had a seizure 2 weeks ago — first time at age 16 and a very scary experince — and not one of you offered even the slightest hint of understanding or support.”

    I was sorry to hear about that. It’s fairly common for autistics to start to have seizures in late adolescence. Some autistics also become more aggressive at this age. Yet others start to socialize and speak more. Mid to late adolescence is a apparently a key period for autistics (see Kanner, 1972 and Szatmari et al., 1998). It’s not easy to predict.

    I’m fully aware my son could go through all these things. I try to keep up to date with the literature on adult outcomes to see if anything new has been learned.

    If my son (who is not high functioning) starts to have seizures at some point, I will seek professional help from actual doctors. One thing I probably won’t do is talk about it on the internet so people have pity on us. That’s just not my style.

  133. Sandy

    If I read the Kent study correctly, the mothers of boys with autism share autistic traits, raising the possibility of a maternally inherited factor. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is almost exclusively inherited down the maternal line.
    Interesting study Joseph, thanks for sharing.

  134. Joseph

    BTW, I generally don’t like to talk about personal stuff, but since Teresa brought it up, I had a big seizure myself almost 20 years ago. I was about 20. I had a mild seizure a few years later. I haven’t had any more of those. They were probably what they call psychogenic seizures. EEG and MRI were normal.

  135. Teresa Conrick

    Joseph and Sandy,

    Your comments speak volumes about bitterness, fear of the truth, and contempt for those who speak up for the vulnerable who have been injured by vaccines.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all and I will check back later.

  136. Teresa Conrick

    Joseph-

    Sorry to hear that but glad you are ok. Thanks for sharing that as I hope Meg’s EEG will be normal too and it will be a similar situation.

  137. Sandy

    I have never called names of any one here, or assumed anything or anyone as certain people do, which also is typical behavior of those pushing their beliefs unto others. I also have not tried to gain sympathy through my child nor would I try and gain attention via my child in that manner. If I did comment directly about my child, I would not fault those who chose not to comment. They fail to allow other’s to contribute meaningful conversations. They dominate the conversation, and they accuse others of ‘fear of their truth’ with no regards to all the children who wouldn’t apply to their beliefs.
    I am not a follower, nor do I believe everything I read on a blog and no one should just because some one tells you to. My truth only applies to my child. McCarthy’s truth only applies to her child. If not vaccinating prevented all autism, we’d all not vaccinate however we know children have autism who have never had one toxic vaccine. We know children often show signs before a vaccine. We also know that if one autism treatment worked for all with autism, we’d all be doing it and autism wouldn’t be such a big deal, would it?. We also know childhood diseases are dangerous and so dangerous, other countries threaten it’s use in Bio Warfare. These are personal family choices that should be made without name calling, not assuming people don’t care about other’s, and attacking other’s. No one should be pushed into an important choice for their families when regardless, any reputable organization will tell you the causes(s) for autism are still unknown.

  138. Twyla

    Sandy, I certainly am not trying to impose one view of autism on everyone.

    I agree with you that autism is very diverse and may actually be a group of syndromes. Autism is defined by behaviors, not by etiology or biological markers. Autism may have very different causes among different individuals.

    Even among those whose autism is caused by vaccine, there may be a variety of underlying susceptibility such as mitochondrial disorder, hyperactive immune system, underactive immune system, inability to detoxify metals… And babies may react to a variety of components in vaccines, such as multiple viruses (e.g. MMR plus varicela) or aluminum or various types of proteins. Direct injection is different from our usual exposures via the lungs, skin, or digestive system.

    This biological variation is one reason why it is difficult for large epidemiological studies to tease out causes and effects. Individual children need to be studied.

    If you wanted to do a study on whether skiing causes broken legs, and you did a statstical analysis which lumped together downhill skiers and cross country skiers in one group, and people who did a variety of other physical sports in another group (including sky diving, hang gliding, mountain climbing…) you might find that the statistics do not answer your question. It would make sense to study individuals who broke their legs skiing in order to determine what factors seemed to contribute to broken legs on ski slopes.

    Among doctors who use biomedical treatments for autism, the better doctors look at the individual child carfully and individualize the treatments based on factors such as lab tests, the child’s medical history, and the child’s response/reaction to treatments. Individualized medicine and biological diversity are key in the DAN! approach to treatment.

    I never ever tell people not to vaccinate. Vaccinations have risks, and not vaccinating has risks. Whether to vaccinate is a personal medical decision.

    Vaccine defenders constantly call us “anti-vaxers”. This is a smoke screen. Most of us those criticizing the vaccine program DID vaccinate their children, and saw serious adverse reactions. Now we are saying that our doctors and government agencies are not doing an adequate job of understanding and addressing the down side of vaccines. The risks of vaccines must be weighed in relation to the risks of diseases, rather than more and more vaccines being added with the assumption that all babies have an unlimited capacity for absorbing numerous vaccines — Dr. Offit said 10,000 to 100,000 vaccines at once, which should pretty much demolish his credibility.

  139. Twyla

    Joseph said, “If my son (who is not high functioning) starts to have seizures at some point, I will seek professional help from actual doctors.” Good luck with that. Read Jenny McCarthy’s account of her son’s response to the various meds prescribed by doctors. Her son did not begin to improve until she started getting to the sources of his problems via DAN! biomedical treatments. Similar stories are told by many parents.

    Oh, but I know — that’s “anecdotal”. Somehow all of human experience is totally inconsequential until put into a peer reviewed article in a scientific journal — thus putting us at the mercy of doctors and scientists who are ignoring these “anecdotes” and not using them as the basis for research, so in the meantime we are supposed to just sit on our hands and wait.

    Sandy said, “We know children often show signs before a vaccine.” Certainly not all autism is caused by vaccines. But, most babies start receiving vaccines on the day of birth (Hep B) or at least by age 2 months, way before signs of autism could be evident. So it would be hard to say that signs of autism occurred before vaccines, except in unvaccinated babies/children.

    Sandy said, “If I read the Kent study correctly, the mothers of boys with autism share autistic traits, raising the possibility of a maternally inherited factor. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is almost exclusively inherited down the maternal line.”

    I’ve got some Aspie tendencies myself, but I am able to read, write, speak in complete sentences, drive a car, go grocery shopping, cross the street safely, get married, raise children, and hold a job. Would that this generation of kids with autism had those skills.

    Often one hears of the idiosyncratic undiagnosed uncle or grandfather, but the level of disability was much less severe than in the children with autism in the family today.

    Hannah Poling’s parent gave her her genes, but they are both healthy and fully functioning professionals. Her mitochondrial disorder did not show pronounced symptoms until after she received 9 vaccines in one day.

  140. Brad H

    Chris -

    Unfortunately people become beholden to certain beliefs and no amount of fact is going to change their mind. The discussion above is a wonderful display of that. While we need people out there continually fighting against the mis-informers, it isn’t enough. Until scientists are able to discover the true cause of autism rates, we need away to protect ourselves from the zealots in the same way we guard against Islamic zealots.

    Calling someone a terrorist isn’t something I do lightly but the anti-vaccine crowd is intentionally subjecting our children to unnecessary harm for their own personal beliefs. You mention Washington State as one of the areas where the anti-vax movement is strong. I live in Washington, how do I know if I live in one of those pockets? Is there anything like the sex offenders list that I can check to see if live in a hotbed of viral terrorists? If not, can we start a movement to pressure politicians to start such a list?

  141. Gaythia Weis

    The New England Journal of Medicine paper, and much of the debate above seems predicated on the idea that vaccine acceptance is an all or nothing decision.

    But the conclusion to the NEJM article has the following paragraph, which I think many of us scientifically oriented parents would agree with:

    “If the enormous benefits to society from vaccination
    are to be maintained, increased efforts will
    be needed to educate the public about those benefits
    and to increase public confidence in the systems
    we use to monitor and ensure vaccine safety.
    Since clinicians have an influence on parental
    decision making, it is important that they understand
    the benefits and risks of vaccines and anticipate
    questions that parents may have about
    safety.”

    Many of us can acknowledge that vaccines have given our society wonderful freedom from such former scourges such as polio. But at some point very soon, it would make much more sense to devote the world’s resources to eradicating this disease in the 4 or 5 places where it still occurs than to continue to vaccinate everybody else.

    Vaccinations in this country are a marketing decision as well as a medical one.

    Just because a vaccine is available, it does not follow that it is irrational or unscientific to have serious reservations or to be skeptical.

    We do not necessarily have full confidence in the systems used to monitor and evaluate vaccine safety. Certainly this is an area with room for improvement.

    Frequently, even in order to procrastinate for a bit, one needs to profess a full denial of vaccination, even if one has already vaccinated one’s child for many other diseases. This may be skewing the statistics shown in the research paper.

    Procrastinating allows time for the new vaccine to be tested on a much larger sample space, and therefore allows for a much better analysis of overall effectiveness and pitfalls. And many of the age of vaccination standards are arbitrary, or aimed at an overall population base, not that of an individual.

    The current practice of many medical doctors is to administer infants many vaccines at once. The doctor may be uncertain that the child will return. The insurance company may not want to pay for multiple visits. And maybe the medical staff doesn’t like having a office full of screaming babies, all of whom have learned to associate the doctor with the shots.

    But from an immune system perspective, this doesn’t make sense. It would be better to be able to sort out the effects of one immunization from another, and to be sure the injections are building an individual child’s immune structure up and not tearing it down.

    This fall, or perhaps a little later, we are likely to face a debate over a yet to be invented H1N1 vaccine.

    I think it would be excellent if we were able to have a debate on the science of such a vaccine that included some intelligent evaluation as to who should get it and when.

  142. Sandy

    Hannah Poling had many things going on prior to the day she had 9 vaccines, that’s why she was getting catch up vaccines to begin with. There is no denying 9 vaccines in one day would cause many complications, however most children do not get 9 vaccines in one day to begin with and those that did, have complications. The Hannah Poling case really is a poor case to site and use to verify anything about vaccines. The only real important thing we can learn from that case is if a doctor comes at your kid with 9 vaccines, you do not go to jail if you take your child and run out the door. That doctor should be sued for malpractice, not the CDC.

    Most babies can have the vaccine schedule without any side effects, we can see that through out history and even with todays schedule, or the autism rates would be even greater than what they are. The thing with vaccines is you cant ask for greener when no one knows which content is the culprit. That is asking to blindly change something that does not effect the majority. There should do more genetic testing at birth however, that is one thing people should be advocating for. Most potentially deadly genetic disorder isn’t known until the child shows symptom’s. Doctors/ insurance, due to the cost of testing, only test when signs/ symptoms present themselves. It is impossible to know every human beings bio makeup to know which may have reactions or not. Zillions of bio makes this impossible, and that is why there are recalls. No one study will ever be able to accurately depict every single reaction, however since the beginning of vaccines, there has always been a risk of side effects. Almost every medication has a risk of side effects and parents shouldn’t only be worried about vaccines, you can have a side effect from over the counter as well. The side effect for many kids taking liquid Benadryl is they get sleepy, but it doesn’t effect my child that way.

    My child did not have any vaccines at birth, nor did I have any medications during childbirth. My baby showed signs of autism right in the hospital, the nurses were just dumbfounded at his behavior as an infant. So don’t assume signs cant be seen at birth. It just so happens those signs become far more debilitating and noticeable to others when that child is a toddler.
    because of this manner of thinking, even doctors today are missing very early signs of autism. Your child has to about miss all the milestones and not be speaking before any will consider autism. The DSM doesn’t even pertain to a child unless they are at the age to speak.

    I never used the term ‘anti vaxers’, the first time I read it was in a post by Twyla. I have never really stated what ‘camp’ I am on. All I’ve offered is the facts surrounding childhood diseases, pointing out genetic disorder’s, and it being clear who the angry pushy people are, and that is not me.

  143. Twyla

    Thank you, Gaythia Weis, for your very sensible comment.

    Sandy if you go to http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/downloads/child/2009/09_0-6yrs_schedule_pr.pdf you will see that on the standard CDC schedule a baby can receive between 8 and 13 vaccines. Keep in mind that the DTaP is three vaccines in one (diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis) and the MMR is also three in one (mumps, measles, and rubella).

    Hannah’s mother is a nurse (as well as an attorney) and her father is a neurologist — both very wel educated in health fields. But it did not occur to them to question the prevailing belief that it is safe to receive many vaccines at once. It would not have occurred to most parents to question their doctors on this, until recent publicity from sources such as Jenny McCarthy raised awareness of potential pitfalls.

    You appear to be assuming that vaccine side effects are very low, but you have no way of knowing this. At this point monitoring/tracking is not adequate. For example, my daughter had a febrile seizure several days after receiving the MMR vaccine at the same time as the varicela vaccine, but it did not occur to me until years later that this was a vaccine reaction, and neither my pediatrician nor I reported this to VAERS.

    At last count by the CDC, 1 in 150 8-year-olds in 2002 were on the autism spectrum. Many school districts are reporting higher rates such as 1 in 100. In England a study recently reported 1 in 60. One report stated that 1 in 6 students has a learning disorder. The incidence of severe allergies, auto-immune diabetes, asthma, and ADHD has increased. It is quite possible that vaccines are affecting a sizable portion of children today.

    Interestingly, the rate of SIDS has decreased since thimerosal was decreased in vaccines. The authorities credit the “back to sleep” movement publicizing that it is better for a baby to sleep on the back. But in the prior generation babies used to routinely sleep on their tummies without getting SIDS.

  144. Sandy

    The CDC schedule states right on recommended. Everyone should be aware there are 3 in 1 vaccines, but it sounds much more scarier to the public to hear 9 vaccines in one day, wouldn’t you say?

    As for Poling’s parents, it just goes to show it doesn’t matter what profession you happen to have, and Poling’s parents filed long before McCarthy ever showed up on the autism scene. I believe the compensation courts would had pre dated McCarthy’s child’s birth. All parents should be asking questions of any vaccine given to their child, research it prior, and research any RX prior to giving it to their child. Many never do, yet blame the doctor and CDC thereafter. The blame is 50/50 shared.

    Interestingly that the UK is brought up. That is where the vaccine rejection started, yet they report 1:60. The UK also has high rates of Measles outbreaks which also resulted in deaths. In the state where I live, the rates are 1:88 but do you know where those autism rates are obtained? Did you know in most states if the child doesn’t have a medical diagnosis the IEP is termed DD? Not where I live. The educational system can term an IEP without the child having a medical diagnosis. A very controversial practice in this state, since a public school should not be able to term a medical condition. It’s also a conflict of interest, since federal funds follow a child with an IEP and who here hasn’t had to fight for services for their child via the school? And of course within those rates, it doesn’t count home schooled children, or children who graduated, and it doesn’t determine which had vaccines or a waiver.

    Did you know statistically, Afria American’s have the highest rates of Sudden Infant Death? There’s recent studies where the SIDS babies had over twice as many serotonin-releasing neurons originating in the medulla, and another the SIDS babies had bacterial infections Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. There has been a drop in SIDS’s deaths, in some ethinic groups but this decline did start prior to the removal of Thimerosal in vaccines however one must keep in mind, not all vaccine makers used Thimerosal to begin with. It all depended on where your doctor order their vaccines from. You would need the manufacturer and lot numbers to know if the vaccines ever had Thimerosal.

    Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) is a genetically-linked, hereditary autoimmune disorder.
    Many things can be blamed on vaccines and out of fear, we could change alot of the things we choose and do. Then we can get into our cars and be in an accident and all be brain dead the next day. People shouldn’t make choices upon guesses and fears. McCarthy and Generation Rescue still spill out the 36 vaccines a child gets, listing them as single jabs and including optional vaccines most people wouldn’t choose, like HEP A vaccines and the Flu vaccine. It is recommended pregnant woman get the Flu jab, which GR also includes to make their fear number larger than life. Who had a Flu vaccine pre natal? I never did, nor did any of the parents I know who has a child/ children with autism. I only know one family who chose the HEP A vaccine due to Katrina. Sites like GR don’t give the true facts, or the true facts related to autism and vaccines yet people continue to site info to others from that mis- information site. People are smarter than GR thinks they are, anyone can look at a current vaccine schedule and their full page ads is a waste of good money that could be used for real research.

  145. Lindsay

    There seems to be common themes that runs through a lot of the comments about vaccines, and I would like to comment on them.

    First is an intense emotional component, probably stemming from a lot of person experience and suffering from knowing a person with autism, usually the commentor’s child. Living and caring for an autistic child is no doubt an amazing and difficult task to undertake day-by-day. I can’t appropriately describe it because I don’t have an autistic child and wouldn’t want to lessen what people go through by attempting to understand just how difficult it must be. I sympathize with these people, and I think it would be a good thing for more people who don’t have the personal experience with autism to keep in mind when they make comments to prevent misunderstandings and vitriol.

    Second, there is a strong sense of being wronged in some way. This is a very natural human reaction, and I think that people can feel this way when anything bad happens to them, whether they blame the driver of the other car or the maker of the vaccine or just God when there is no one else to hold responsible for their predicament. This is probably good for people to keep in mind as well.

    Third is the mistrust that people seem to have for science and medicine. This is also understandable, to a certain extent, when science has told them they don’t know what autism is or what causes it. When desperate people find alternatives and science shuns them, it somehow invalidates their suffering by withholding treatment that seems to work. This makes them distrust other people as well, and probably build up a pretty thick skin to people tell them they are stupid, irrational, or naive for doing things to their child or even harmful for telling other people not to vaccinate their children.

    All of this seems to work against having an informative conversation between two people on the opposite side of a debated topic. Also, they are preventing solutions and forward movement on this problem. Science people certainly have their issues with communication, but it would be good for anti-vaccinationists to realize a few things as well.

    Science relies heavily on impartiality. Removing bias from experiments and conclusions demand an extreme amount of energy from people who don’t even have intense emotional investment in the outcome. So to add all of this emotion makes coming to a sound conclusion impossible for anyone, trained or untrained as a scientist. No one can think clearly with all of that pressure, and when you mix in how incredibly easy it is to fool yourself, I don’t see how anyone could. This, of course, does not make you stupid, naive, or a bad person because you care too much. However, it does make you bad at coming to conclusions that are in line with reality. It takes a very intelligent and wise person to say, “this is too close to me, I can’t think clearly about it anymore. I’ll have to rely on someone who can.” Doctors don’t operate on their children not because they are bad doctors, but because their emotions affect them too much.

    There are a lot of people who would be happy to calmly and non-condescendingly explain why they don’t believe vaccines are linked to autism (me including). Going through papers one-by-one explaining the problems or merits of each and trying to think about the consequences each have on the debate. This helps both of us learn more about each other’s position, which I think is a worth-while use of time. However, when comments such as these are ignored, or responded to in a highly emotional way, it makes people such as me extremely frustrated. That’s when people start name-calling and unpleasantness and the conversation breaks down. I think everyone would appreciate being acknowledged in a lot of ways and being given a chance with their arguments.

    I guess that’s all I have to say about that. No one hates autistic children, no one wants a bunch of people to die of measles. That’s why we should leave emotion out of it, and just look at the evidence and the arguments to get to the bottom of it.

  146. Sandy

    Even for those who do not have a child with autism, wanting to be part of that conversation is a good thing. Autism, vaccines, the whole thing really effects all of the public. It also doesn’t really matter how or why a child has autism per what the family goes through. Autism is autism and each child is an individual with different levels of abilities. No one person with autism will be the same as another, yet we all know autism is hard regardless of cause. Not all mainstream doctors are bad, and they shouldn’t be given a bad wrap. Autism wasn’t so well known not that long ago and we have it better than generations past which blamed the mothers. People have to look back and appreciate what those parents paved for us. Blame isn’t so much human nature as it is conditioning. People want to sue, some one should pay for the results they live with. Not all people feel this way. I don’t blame anyone for my child’s autism and if I did, I’d have to look at myself and my son’s father. Blame is hurtful and a way heavy load to carry every day, and mainly it is non productive. Communication can go a long way when some one isn’t carrying the blame, and can look aside themselves and know their experience doesn’t have to be the same as another’s and as for vaccines, it still could be a very genetic link which effects more boys than girls and be it vaccines are antibiotic, could be the trigger. Either way, the blame should be lost because eventually it’ll come back and fall upon the parents genetic make-up. Many people wont test for Fragile X because they just couldn’t live with the fact they contributed to gene.
    People need to loose the blame so they can just move forward.

  147. mk

    @Teresa…

    “Running away”? Really? even after it was clear I said I was going to sleep? You’re really that lame? Ah well, guess so. Anyway, the painful truth is this… you’ve got nothing. Nuh–thing! You’ve been schooled repeatedly by several in here and you don’t even know it. Seriously… you are completely unaware of this. That’s kind of funny, but in the end… not really. Mostly sad.

    You are the worst of your type… sanctimonious and rude on top of being uninformed. Willfully uninformed. In short, there is little difference between you and the most venal pro disease morons who infect these forums. Sad, lame, pathetic and ultimately dangerous. Christ, please educate yourself. Stop allowing your emotions to get the better of you.

  148. Sylvia

    mk: didn’t your mother teach you not to call people names?

    That is the clearest signal that Teresa’s comments have allowed YOUR emotions to get the better of YOU.

  149. Twyla

    Lindsay, the fact that you call us “anti-vaccinationists” shows that you are not listening, not reading with an open mind, and don’t understand what we are saying.

    You talk a lot about people being emotional, but my posts have not been emotional. I have written quite calmly. And Teresa has posted a lot of information. Instead of addressing the information we have posted, you are just calling us emotional and telling us that we should leave the health of our children in someone else’s hands — in the hands of people who so far have not come up with effective medical treatments for people with autism, and who are not listening to the many reports of vaccine injuries.

    Save us your concescending psuedo-sympathy and instead learn more about these topics. Read “Changing the Course of Autism” and “Evidence of Harm” for starters.

    mk, your post is very rude and says more about you than Teresa.

  150. Twyla

    Sandy said, “All parents should be asking questions of any vaccine given to their child, research it prior, and research any RX prior to giving it to their child. Many never do, yet blame the doctor and CDC thereafter. The blame is 50/50 shared.” Fact is, in most states you cannot send your child to school without getting all the vaccines on the state’s list, which generally conforms with the CDC schedule — unless you have a medical exemption from a doctor or a religious exemption. A minority of states allow a philosophical exemption. In New Jersey even the flu shot is required.

    And you can’t blame parents for following the CDC’s recommendations. In one breath you’re putting down Generation Rescue for raising awareness and providing information on vaccine risks and alternative schedules, and in the next breath you’re saying that all parents should be aware of those risks and not blindly comply with their doctor’s and the CDC’s recommendations.

    Sandy also said, “People need to loose the blame so they can just move forward.” The main motivation of parents is not finding someone to blame but understanding autism and related medical conditions better in order to find better treatments for autism and to prevent future cases. A 1 in 100 autism rate is a national emergency. What will become of these children when they grow up and we their parents die? If the rate of autism keeps increasing, will our society survive with a rate of 1 in 50? 1 in 25?

    When we gave far fewer vaccines during the 1960′s and 1970′s there was not a catastrophic amount of serious harm from communicable diseases to justify disregarding the effects of a vaccine schedule that contributes to such high rates of autism, ADHD, asthma, severe allergies, diabetes, and other immune system related disorders.

    What is so difficult for our medical establishment to acknowledge has already been acknowledged by many veterinarians and pet owners, who have found that overvaccination of pets can cause something they call “vaccinosis” which includes many of the same health conditions reported by parents of children with autism such as seizures, inflammatory bowel disease, and eczema. Major veterinarian organizations have divided vaccines into three categories — core vaccines for more serious prevalent diseases, another category for vaccines that may be recommended depending on the animal’s breed and lifestyle, and vaccines that are not as recommended. See http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/05/veterinarian-wi.html

  151. Jeremy

    Just a word about the very first post (JBHandley) on this comments site. He states:

    Chris:
    So, let me get this straight. The parents most likely to not vaccinate their children are
    white, well-educated, and wealthy?
    I’m going to say this again a different way: the people with the highest levels of
    education and the most resources at their disposal are the ones least likely to
    vaccinate their kids.
    Don’t you think this is interesting? One of two things has to be true:
    A. Rich, well-educated white people are society’s most gullible.
    B. Rich, well-eductaed people understand that vaccines have benefits
    AND RISKS and have weighed the trade-offs and put their children’s needs first.

    Handley’s original rhetorical statement is incorrect, leading to a series of faulty, and poorly put, outcomes. Parents who are the least likely to vaccinate their children’s being white, wealthy and well-educated is NOT the same (“said again in a different way”) as saying “the people with the highest levels of education and the most resources at their disposal are the ones least likely to vaccinate their kids.” The first statement puts a filter to people who don’t vaccinate their children; the second puts a filter to those types of people. I would bet that far more of the second statement’s people vaccinate their children than not!

    Wow, bad at science AND logic!

  152. Sandy

    Generation Rescue does not and never has displayed the actual recommended vaccine schedule. Any awareness they offer is not fact however it is still true, one shouldn’t allow any one site or Org. to make choices for you. The risks I was talking about with vaccines are known risks that have been known since the invention of vaccines, which no one seems to ever mention. Aside from the theory of autism, any one who didn’t know vaccines had known risks were not doing their home work. My mother knew this in the late 1950′s and 60′s. Generation Rescue assumes every parent out there is doing pre natal flu, then giving their children the flu jab thereafter, and assumes parents are giving the HEP A. All 36 looks impressive until one actually looks at it and realizes a child can enter school w/o a HEP A or flu jab other than NJ and even then that’s that state which decided that, not the CDC. Then again, people die from the highly contagious flu every year, but we’ve only ever had one flu jab in our life.

    Also, one has to consider not just themselves. Some children and adults have other medical issue’s that would make having the Measles deadly for them. people and children on chemo could also die if exposed. The reason why they came up with that childhood schedule has a lot to do with children being more at risk because they do not wash hands, cover their noses and mouths since well, they are children. To get a real life perspective, go to South Dakota and visit the Deadwood cemetery, children’s section. We don’t have that horror due to vaccines.

    Blame does not find better treatments, it does not prevent anything unless one of you can actually pinpoint specifically the cause.

    No one has any idea what contributes to higher rates in anything, all that is, is from some site which assumes many things are related to vaccines. But one over-looked finding is what was in the plastics of baby bottle and sippy cups, and plastic in general and the era of it being widely used. Another finding is all the RX content found in drinking water. Fact is, ADHD was a 1970′s epidemic which most people simple ignored but sure talk a lot about it and reference it today. Asthma has been on an up word increase since the 1960′s and can be genetic. Allergies alone can be heredity, also factors are exposure to diseases during early childhood, pollution, allergen levels, and diet changes. The increase of industrial can account for higher rates of both allergies and asthma. As for diabetes, being pregnant can cause gestational diabetes, not vaccines. It is hereditary more so for type 2 and they know the genes for this, less hereditary for type 1 but it does happen, as it did for my sister who was born with it. Inflammatory bowel disease theory is that it’s caused by an over active immune system, not under active. Interestingly, the number of people being diagnosed with it has increased as the number of infections by parasites known to cause it dropped. I wonder where those darn bugs went?? It is also shown in many studies that genetics play a crucial role.

    Pets are not effected by many human childhood diseases. Why anyone would compare humans to pet vaccines is beyond me. Pets also do not get the exposure as people do, nor are they as often exposed to contagious pets during their day. Of course vaccines for pets can be recommended. Distemper is a viral disease, if you don’t plan to have a social dog, don’t give them that vaccine. Maybe the same for Parvo. However just as people, once you seen a pet suffering you’d think carefully the choices. Since the list of symptom’s of vaccinosis pretty much mimic the already list provided of inflammatory bowel disorders, seizures, encephalitis, auto-immune issues, hypothyroidism, eczema, susceptibility to infections, chronic ear infections, and behavioral issues, is there a DSM of autism for pets, too?

  153. Joseph

    “Read Jenny McCarthy’s account of her son’s response to the various meds prescribed by doctors.”

    FYI – Jenny McCarthy’s son had a major seizure not long before she started to claim he was recovered. Reportedly, he couldn’t walk or talk for a month after the seizure. They had to put in a comma for four days.

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=864

    Do you think a DAN! doctor put him a comma? Do you think she just upped the dose of the antifungals and the vitamins? When the rubber hits the road, and it’s a life or death situation, McCarthy no doubt relied on actual doctors who know what they were doing.

  154. Joseph

    “Generation Rescue does not and never has displayed the actual recommended vaccine schedule.”

    Exactly. Generation Rescue has not spent one cent on research that would make vaccines actually safer. It’s all talk, no results. GR spends the vast majority of its funds on publicity campaigns, full page newspaper ads, that sort of thing. They have carried out a couple research efforts, but they are not really science-based efforts. They were designed (poorly I might add) like publicity campaigns to convince the public that vaccines are bad.

  155. Sandy

    That seizure McCarthy’s son had, by her own accounts in interviews, was no where around having a childhood vaccine, either. The child stopped breathing as well and later was diagnosed with
    epilepsy. While taking anti seizure meds, McCarthy decided to see what they were like and after she ingested his dose which made her feel like “Ozzy Osborne” she decided he did not have
    epilepsy and decided to go else where for a diagnosis. People bashed the Travolta’s about anti seizure meds and here this person is doing the same thing. McCarthy’s child’s symptom’s was probably related to that one severe seizure and him not breathing for minutes. Her child had no symptom’s until that seizure and lack of oxygen causes what?? Any one have any family members who suffered this?? That is not autism, looks a lot like it but it is not. People of the autism community blindly follower without actually reading or listening her interviews.

    Any organization that hires such a person, allows their name removed from their site and puts hers in it’s place and expects the public to take anything she says seriously is sadly mistaken. The general public is smarter than that. My own neighbor stay at home dad who has no association to the autism community pays attention to McCarthy’s past and cant believe anyone would pay attention to her relating to autism. Her kind of awareness isn’t doing much good in the general public, and for the rest of us in the autism community, for years we already knew about bio medical treatment options, GF/CF diet and chelation. Those options just didn’t show up when she showed up and decided her child didn’t have epilepsy but autism. Also the choice not to vaccinate wasn’t due to her awareness either, that’s been going on since the 1990′s. Any one who gives her credit takes away from those previous who did a lot more work and good for the autism community than McCarthy ever did. She’s here because there’s a market to sell a book, which in her books and in interviews she cant even keep her language clean. Maybe we should all follow that example too.

  156. Teresa Conrick

    Sandy,

    It is tiring reading your passages. Lke so many who do not look at the facts, you instead rely on anger, sarcasm, and attacks.

    You do not help your cause.

  157. Sandy

    Your comment is a typical response, a short and sweet misinterpreting and attack without purpose but to gain a reaction from me. One would think you’d back that up with a little something more. Here comes the reaction.

    I have no anger at all. If you think any that’s anger, your mistaken and cant interpret comments well. They are not attacks, it can easily be found by anyone. If you’re OK with McCarthy ingesting an RX belonging to her son and the street language used while advocating for autism, that wouldn’t anger me, it would make me worry about you. Many sites have the actual interviews on video that you can watch. Anyone can look up dates as well. And as for sarcasm, everyone has it including you. it’s not a crime and it does serve a purpose.
    Have great day.

  158. Gaythia Weis

    In reading through the information on the Two Cultures conference cited by Sheryl above on the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies website, it dawned on me that the group of parents that the NEJM paper is talking about with regard to vaccines is a group of people not likely to accept information BY AUTHORITY.

    In checking out the current CDC vaccine schedule I note that many vaccines that were invented, and thus introduced, later in my children’s lives are now given to infants. In fact the 2 month schedule now calls for 5 vaccines to be administered plus the DPT, for a total of 8. The CDC’s own information sheet for the Hib vaccine, for example, clearly states that if an severe allergic reaction is observed after the first dose subsequent doses should not be administered. How are parents and doctors supposed to sort that out? This virus really does attack infants, so early administration would seem advisable.

    The protocols call for Hepatitis B vaccine to be administered starting at birth. It seems to me that babies in this country could be divided into categories: 1. Babies whose mothers have been tested for Hepatitis B. If the mothers are found to be positive, obviously extra precautions at birth are necessary. 2. Babies whose mothers wandered into a hospital emergency room in labor about whom nothing is known. These babies should be handled the same as category 1, just to make sure. 3. Babies whose mothers might be currently exposed to hepatitis B either through drug use or sexual contact. These again should be handled as in category 1. These “at risk” babies probably need focused intensive extra layers of medical care. Hepatitis B is associated with a lot of other negative medical issues. These groups are where our medical resources regarding Hepatitis B control in infants ought to be devoted.

    However, there are a large group of mothers who have had excellent prenatal care, whose blood has been well studied, and who are absolutely positive that they are not exposed to Hepatitis either via sexual contact or dirty needles or such.

    Hepatitis B is not going to cause a major epidemic at the local elementary school. To force parents who wish to procrastinate a bit on a vaccine such as this one to lump themselves into the same “religiously opposed” group as parents who oppose vaccines overall merely builds skepticism about the entire process.

    It is wrong to frame the question as: “To vaccinate or not to vaccinate” as opposed to evaluating what works best for both a healthy individual child and a healthy society overall.

  159. Sandy

    Do you think you cant walk out of the hospital without a child getting the Heb B vaccine at birth or two weeks later? Has any one ever heard of a parent going to jail for walking out? Do you think midwives carry vaccines with them to home births? The only real time vaccines matter is when the child enters a public school or day care, and if one never sends their child to public day care or school and home schools, there you have it. My sister by no choice of her own other than no insurance never had her child vaccinated and started when he was age 4. happens all the time, more so when America is so lacking in medical insurance. The key word with the CDC schedule is right on it “recommended”. It does not say mandatory.

  160. Teresa Conrick

    mk-

    You said-

    ” you’ve got nothing. Nuh–thing! ”

    Obviously I’ve got something or you wouldn’t be carrying on…..

  161. Twyla

    Joseph -
    I’m not advising against seeing doctors. I’m just saying that they don’t have all the answers. Anti-seizure drugs are not panaceas. We also need to look at addressing problems at the source and restoring balance in the immune system etc. Jenny has said that her son still has seizures. But he has come a long way — no longer autistic, and far fewer seizures than before.

    Sandy, some of what you say is nonsensical and self-contradictory. But I don’t have time to respond to all of it right now.

    Hope you all enjoy attacking this comment.

    Gaythia Weis, thanks for being a voice of reason.

  162. Teresa Conrick

    Brad H-

    you said-

    “Until scientists are able to discover the true cause of autism rates, we need away to protect ourselves from the zealots in the same way we guard against Islamic zealots.”

    Last I checked, here in the USA there are ethics, morals,and liberty behind the ideals of our nation.

    Children have been, and are currently being harmed from a medical procedure. You cannot force that procedure until that procedure is checked, evaluated, and detrmined –on an individual basis — to be safe and who can receive that treatment.

    The message that you mistakenly are giving (or is it intentional? ) is that like Islamic terrorists, harm will come to these families…..and that again shows the almost frenzied and dangerous ideology that you align with.

    Get a grip.

  163. As both a father of three, and a scientist, I decided to wade through these posts because the issue of vaccinations is an important one. My two older daughters (ages 13 and 11) were fully vaccinated on the CDC schedule as it stood for their ages. They are healthy, at least in that they have not been diagnosed with any ailment that is currently “linked” to vaccines. My six week old, likewise, is healthy, but we’re obviously just beginning to dive into the current CDC schedule.

    We walked out of the hospital in Buffalo with an unvaccinated daughter, but only after signing paperwork that we were going to visit our selected pediatrician in Maryland and get her vaccinated. We did have her receive the HiB at her one week appointment. She was a bit fussier then usual the next day, but so far is free of any other complications.

    Why do I write this? To illustrate a point. Based on three experiences with three different children (from two mothers) as a scientist I could conclude that there is no causative link between vaccines and any medical condition. In biological statistics its easy to draw the proverbial straight line between two points. With three or more points, however, drawing that line should get harder and harder.

    Much of the sceince that has been banded about above (and much of what is written is NOT science based), is not being presented in context. Like it or not, scientists are NOT taught to make absolute definitive statements about their work. So, when the NEJM articles are quoted, they contain a lot of “may” and “plausible links” and other similar qualitative language. To scientists that means “we think these things might be related or even causing one another, but we’ve uncovered whole new questions we need to ask to be more certain.”

    Laypeople reading science often disregard this crucial linguistic difference between “science English” and “regular English.” And that leads to people on both sides of the issue making definitive statements about the science, when in fact, the science is no where near definitive.

    So what then, is a parent to do in this situation? How do I make informed, “right” decisions? How does anyone? First I suggest that you lay off the CDC. They are actually tracking a lot of disease science rather well, and have often been on the vanguard of delineating the real dangers from emerging diseases, and reoccurences of diseases long thought dead. I won’t say they always get it right, but judged by the standards of the scientific method, peer review, and medical ethics, I think they do a good job.

    Second, recognize that while there are concerns about the effects of vaccines, the reality is that the vast majority of people in the U.S., including modern children, are vaccinated without consequence to theindividual. Good epidemiological science is always about the group, not the individual. So make sure, if you choose to research the numbers, you know what they really mean. 1 in 150 sounds like a lot of kids, but how many of them were diagnised as autistic as the sole result of vaccine administration?

    Third, I have to ask why so many who advocate not vaccinating talk about autism as if it is a great tragedy? Sure, there are many children who loose (or never gain) many motor, social and linguistic skills as a result of this syndrom. My first wife was and still is a teacher of autistic kids, so I’ve seen it first hand. But in my experience, each of the autistic kids I was exposed to through her brought unique gifts to the world as well. Perhaps focusing on those gifts, instead of the perceived loss, would be better for all children involved.

    Finally, correlation (the occurence of two things in sequence or at the same time) doesn’t imply causation. I may witness a man fall on the side walk and begin bleeding and hear a gunshot at the same time, but unless a bullet comes out of his body, or I see the gun pointed at him at close range, his condition may be caused by something else entirely – like an internal rupture of a surgical wound. With the removal of nearly all the mercury based thimerisol from vaccines, I have to ask what else in our environment could be causing such high rates of autism? Seems to me there are many potential environmental triggers but none of them is being studied either. It also seems to me that the increased diagnosis rate could represent better diagnostic tools, and not a real uptick in the disease.

  164. mk

    @Teresa…

    Nothing.

  165. Sandy

    “You cannot force that procedure until that procedure is checked, evaluated, and determined on an individual basis”
    Exactly where misinformation comes from. Who ‘forced’ any medical procedure on you? most medical procedures require a signature. Not too many medical procedures are checked, evaluated, and determined on an ‘individual’ basis and for many things there isn’t even a test for it prior. It’s almost impossible to do that of the whole human population.
    CAT scans use a dye, some people are allergic to that dye but the majority is not. They do not test to see if you’re allergic to the dye prior to the scan. They know you are allergic for the first sign from injection is you sneeze instantly. If you are allergic, there’s really no other good option to view what the doctors are looking for.
    5 to 15% will get a fever and rash from the MMR vaccines, there is no test prior to determine who those percentages will be. There is no test prior to determine in relations to vaccines, who will have autism and which will not. They do not test for allergies prior to the use of antibiotics either. Every persons chemistry is not the exact same as another’s.

    There’s a lot of They Should but reality is They Don’t.

  166. Jeremy

    Exactly, Sandy, but I would add “They can’t!”

  167. sarahsam

    Here’s a good read for those interested in a more thoughtful examination of the issue.

    HOW SCIENTISTS THINK

    It is characteristic of modern science to always look for one central cause of a problem rather than explore additive effects or even synergic toxicity of many agents.

    Yet the science of toxin synergy is growing and finding some surprising effects caused by combing two or more weak toxins. For example, it is known that when two weakly toxic pesticides are used alone, neither cause Parkinson’s syndrome in experimental animals, but when combined, they can cause full-blown Parkinsonism very rapidly. The same is true with fluoride. We know that both fluoride and aluminum individually are brain toxins, but when combined, as we see in fluoridated water, the mix constitutes an extremely powerful brain toxin, destroying numerous neurons in the part of the brain associated with memory and emotional functions.

    It is rare that the government agencies test potentially toxic chemicals or even food additives together; instead, they are tested alone. As in the examples above, we are seeing more instances of combinations of chemicals causing devastating injury yet when used alone are either mildly toxic or even non-toxic. Few laymen realize that vaccines contain many chemical additives in addition to the infectious organism being targeted. These include aluminum, mercury, hydrolyzed proteins, monosodium glutamate, oils and many complex molecules known as immune adjuvants. Several of these (aluminum, mercury, hydrolyzed protein and MSG) are known to be directly toxic to the brain.
    http://www.rense.com/general67/vacc.htm

  168. Joseph

    “But he has come a long way — no longer autistic, and far fewer seizures than before.”

    Has this been measured? How autistic was he? What has his CARS score at what age? How many seizures was he having then, and how many now?

    It’s impossible to evaluate subjective statements like that.

    First of all, Sandy might be correct that Evan’s autism seems to be secondary to a severe seizure disorder. The fact that he stopped talking after the last big seizure that we know of is indicative of this.

    Second, a lot of kids outgrow their seizures.

    Third, one thing Jenny McCarthy seldom acknowledges is that Evan was on intensive ABA (a type of behavior modification therapy). I don’t have the exact figure but she might have been spending in the neighborhood of $100,000 a year on ABA.

    I’m not convinced that ABA works, and even if it’s effective, effective is not the same as “a good thing.” The evidence is simply not there, with the only randomized trial showing unimpressive results. There are zero adult outcome studies of ABA treated groups. But it needs to be acknowledged that the kid was being trained full time to not behave like an autistic kid. McCarthy spent a lot more money on ABA than on anti-fungals, obviously.

  169. OneHandClapping

    sarahsam,

    Thank you for that link! I took a look at rense.com and it opened my eyes to a lot of things: the New World Order, how the Jews are working to take over the world, etc. This site is a valuable source of knowledge for all things.

    If I may make a suggestion? Please take out your local phone book and look up “psychiatrist”, find one that has a non-jewish name, call and make an appointment, and get medicated. Something heavy- a sedative, if possible.

    Best of luck to you.

  170. Sandy

    Interestingly, for that fluoride and aluminum theory, we’d need a study of who had city water and who had a well. For those who have a well, each well would have to be tested to determine what levels of what are in it from run-off. For those who had city water, we’d have to determine which area had the highest concentrate of RX’s found in it. I believe Fluoride started being added to water supplies in the 1940′s, while aluminum salts were always in vaccines prior to even Thimerosal. So evidence of the combination mixed would had been seen much sooner than today. Then you have tooth paste which contains fluoride, which I think started in the 70′s. What kid didn’t suck out of that tube?? I did however I was not the best brusher in the world when I was a kid. Then we’d have to determine why, children in the same city having the same vaccines and water supply were not effected the same as another.
    I’d be guessing that fals under “The Cant”.

  171. Lindsay

    Twlya -

    I would be happy to call y’all anything you’d like, but realized that was the only name I knew for people from your standpoint, having never seen it corrected. I apologize for my ignorance, and I hope you can set me straight. Really, I am. I realize it’s easy to infer sarcasm when reading comments, but I can only promise that I’m not trying to be a jerk.

    However, this is why I get frustrated trying to talk to people who oppose my viewpoints. Even coming from a neutral standpoint, it is difficult for me to express any criticism without getting either blasted or ignored.

    My very first comment was addressing a paper put forth by Teresa about thimerosal toxicity. I gave a reasonable argument about how it isn’t applicable in clinical situations because of the dosage.

    I was attacked by various people from a purely emotional standpoint (how is this safe?? etc). The logic itself was attacked which was fair, and I responded to outlining my logic more clearly. No one ever specifically replied with more pointed information. (In fact, I think it was completely ignored from that point on.)

    My credentials were attacked which was incredibly rude and condescending and also pretty odd considering I have a much higher education in this field that many of the people commenting, therefore have at least a deeper understanding of how conceptually complicated a problem like this is. I corrected this, which I feel like I have the right to do, but never rubbed it in anyone’s face. I even offered my 10+ years of directed training in biology for people to take advantage of if they wished, apparently to go unnoticed or appreciated.

    And then, somehow my conclusions were written off as “not as correct” because they haven’t gone through peer review. If they make sense, it’s only a matter of time before they do show up in the literature from someone else, but until then, forgive me for not having the time and money to conduct and publish my own study.

    The bottom line that I was trying to make, without being condescending although I apparently failed miserably, was that I would like to have a conversation about this issue with people. I would like it to be about the literature, and not emotion, credentials, or who is more smug than who. If I didn’t, why else would I have bothered? Because I want to impress the two other people who have read 150+ comments on this thread that share my viewpoints?

    So, if you’d like to have a conversation, I still would like to, even though I’m kind of frustrated. If you offer up a single paper at a time (maybe cause it takes me awhile to get a handle on them, and I’m really suppose to be grading term papers), we can talk about the merits and problems of each to see if these thing work out. This is because I am interested in why people are so against vaccines, not because I want to change anyone’s mind.

  172. Lindsay

    Oh, and considering this thread is getting pretty long, if someone wants to email me directly, feel free to: dracoud@gmail.com Thanks.

  173. mk

    This seems to be an appropriate blog post from over at Pharyngula: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/05/idiot_america_new_and_expanded.php

  174. Sandy

    Actually Lindsay brings up good points, regardless of educational level. If parents are asking questions and bringing up points that they feel are important to the vaccine issue, how is being attacked or ignored helping these parents? Many parents do need more than ‘she said he said’ to make good choices. No body should be here to impress anyone with their info, their info should be offered only to help and when those who disagree with it, they should be approached in a manner not that they are in denial, or uninformed, they should be able to contribute to the conversation because their points are as important as any else’s here. Belittling someone is no way to approach anyone who is offering to a topic.

  175. Teresa Conrick

    OneHandClapping Says:

    “the New World Order, how the Jews are working to take over the world, etc. This site is a valuable source of knowledge for all things.

    If I may make a suggestion? Please take out your local phone book and look up “psychiatrist”, find one that has a non-jewish name, call and make an appointment, and get medicated”

    A perfect example of …sarcasm and ..what? How is this helpful? It verges on offensive.

  176. Lindsay

    Well, I can’t control other people’s behavior on the interwebs. I wish more people were polite. I come from NC, and everyone is ridiculously polite there. My boyfriend always berates being polite as a waste of time, but it sure helps when you’re trying to talk to someone you don’t know! That way, no one gets mad and stops the productivity of the conversation.

    And some people are kind of jerks, but I bet they are also pretty frustrated. Maybe we should just all take a deep breath…?

  177. Sandy

    Let’s see, post a site titled “Vaccines, Autism and Gulf War Syndrome” in relation to expressing the fluoride and aluminum theory, makes one wonder just where people are actually reading their info from.

  178. Lindsay

    Sandy-

    I thought your comments about fluoride and aluminum were really interesting. I haven’t heard of the aluminum or fluoride thing until I checked out one of the links in the comments. It seems speculative to me, and I really really wish the guy had in text citations so I wouldn’t have to spend 13 years finding where each fact came from (sigh). Maybe I’ll have time to look into it later.

    It’s fun to think about all the different things that would have to be taken into consideration when designing an experiment or epidemiological study. (Haha, I think experimental design is fun, does that make me a freak??) But there is a lot to consider. My guess is, if these haven’t been investigated yet, it’s a matter of not having enough money to do a really good job of collecting the data.

    Perhaps these are the kind of studies Generation Rescue or like organizations that gather research funds could help fund? I mean, if they are serious about getting to the bottom of this problem with science, that’s exactly what they should be doing! I mean, it seems like it does deserve attention, unless it absolutely doesn’t make sense. I don’t know enough about it to make that judgment.

    There was also some talk about vaccines revving up the immune system too much. A hypothesis that people are researching right now concerning auto-immune diseases is actually the very opposite; since we live in such a relatively clean world now (compared to 100 or 200 years ago even), our immune systems aren’t challenged enough and kind of “get bored” or “anxious” (warning: non-scientific language! :) ) and attack our own tissues or over-react to allergens. This makes sense evolutionarily because up until now, we’ve had to deal with tons of parasites and viruses that are good at hiding from our adaptive immune systems, and now we get rid of those with medicine. I know that they were treating people with severe allergies by giving them roundworms (common pet intestinal parasites), giving the immune system something to stay busy with. It was getting good results, but I don’t know if they are still doing it or not.

  179. OneHandClapping

    Teresa, I certainly don’t have to defend my actions to you. It was sarcasm, with a heavy dose of snark. Don’t like it? Don’t read it. That’s what I do with your very long cut and paste posts. That’s one of the beauties of the internet! Kind of like TV – if you don’t like what’s on, change the channel.

  180. Teresa Conrick

    Lindsay,

    I saw your post to Twyla but saw that your comments were either to me or about me.

    I presented some other studies and they never got feedback, but let’s look at some of the factors and a few others-

    Harvard (Herbert et al) and Johns Hopkins (Vargas et al) in terms of autistic brain tissue and oxidative stress, chronic neuroinflammation, autoimmunity, microglial activation, etc.
    Herbert has also been looking at the role that glutathione depletion and mitochondrial dysfunction might play in the above symptoms – a new study from Stanford says that glutathione depletion is probably a marker for mitochondrial disorders.

    ” cerebral white matter showed a trend towards being disproportionately larger in autistic boys, while cerebral cortex and hippocampus-amygdala showed trends toward being disproportionately smaller.”

    Brain. 2003 May;126(Pt 5):1182-92. Dissociations of cerebral cortex, subcortical and cerebral white matter volumes in autistic boys.
    Herbert MR, Ziegler DA, Deutsch CK, O’Brien LM, Lange N, Bakardjiev A, Hodgson J, Adrien KT, Steele S, Makris N, Kennedy D, Harris GJ, Caviness VS Jr.
    Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA. mherbert1@partners.org

    High-functioning autistic and normal school-age boys were compared using a whole-brain morphometric profile that includes both total brain volume and volumes of all major brain regions. We performed MRI-based morphometric analysis on the brains of 17 autistic and 15 control subjects, all male with normal intelligence, aged 7-11 years. Clinical neuroradiologists judged the brains of all subjects to be clinically normal. The entire brain was segmented into cerebrum, cerebellum, brainstem and ventricles. The cerebrum was subdivided into cerebral cortex, cerebral white matter, hippocampus-amygdala, caudate nucleus, globus pallidus plus putamen, and diencephalon (thalamus plus ventral diencephalon). Volumes were derived for each region and compared between groups both before and after adjustment for variation in total brain volume. Factor analysis was then used to group brain regions based on their intercorrelations. Volumes were significantly different between groups overall; and diencephalon, cerebral white matter, cerebellum and globus pallidus-putamen were significantly larger in the autistic group. Brain volumes were not significantly different overall after adjustment for total brain size, but this analysis approached significance and effect sizes and univariate comparisons remained notable for three regions, although not all in the same direction: cerebral white matter showed a trend towards being disproportionately larger in autistic boys, while cerebral cortex and hippocampus-amygdala showed trends toward being disproportionately smaller. Factor analysis of all brain region volumes yielded three factors, with central white matter grouping alone, and with cerebral cortex and hippocampus-amygdala grouping separately from other grey matter regions. This morphometric profile of the autistic brain suggests that there is an overall increase in brain volumes compared with controls. Additionally, results suggest that there may be differential effects driving white matter to be larger and cerebral cortex and hippocampus-amygdala to be relatively smaller in the autistic than in the typically developing brain. The cause of this apparent dissociation of cerebral cortical regions from subcortical regions and of cortical white from grey matter is unknown, and merits further investigation.

    Ann Neurol. 2005 Jan;57(1):67-81.
    Neuroglial activation and neuroinflammation in the brain of patients with autism.
    Vargas DL, Nascimbene C, Krishnan C, Zimmerman AW, Pardo CA.
    Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.

    Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired communication and social interaction and may be accompanied by mental retardation and epilepsy. Its cause remains unknown, despite evidence that genetic, environmental, and immunological factors may play a role in its pathogenesis. To investigate whether immune-mediated mechanisms are involved in the pathogenesis of autism, we used immunocytochemistry, cytokine protein arrays, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to study brain tissues and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from autistic patients and determined the magnitude of neuroglial and inflammatory reactions and their cytokine expression profiles. Brain tissues from cerebellum, midfrontal, and cingulate gyrus obtained at autopsy from 11 patients with autism were used for morphological studies. Fresh-frozen tissues available from seven patients and CSF from six living autistic patients were used for cytokine protein profiling. We demonstrate an active neuroinflammatory process in the cerebral cortex, white matter, and notably in cerebellum of autistic patients. Immunocytochemical studies showed marked activation of microglia and astroglia, and cytokine profiling indicated that macrophage chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and tumor growth factor-beta1, derived from neuroglia, were the most prevalent cytokines in brain tissues. CSF showed a unique proinflammatory profile of cytokines, including a marked increase in MCP-1. Our findings indicate that innate neuroimmune reactions play a pathogenic role in an undefined proportion of autistic patients, suggesting that future therapies might involve modifying neuroglial responses in the brain.

    ( in the last thimerosal study, “Induction of metallothionein in mouse cerebellum and cerebrum with low-dose thimerosal injection”, you never commented on the cerebellum and the cerebrum—”the induction of metallothionein (MT) messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein was observed in the cerebellum and cerebrum of mice after thimerosal injection, as MT is an inducible protein. MT-1 mRNA was expressed at 6 and 9 h in both the cerebrum and cerebellum, but MT-1 mRNA expression in the cerebellum was three times higher than that in the cerebrum after the injection of 12 microg/kg thimerosal”

    and so then this small but nonetheless significant study-

    LAURENTE, Jonny, REMUZGO, Fany, AVALOS, Betthina et al. Neurotoxic effects of thimerosal at vaccines doses on the encephalon and development in 7 day-old hamsters. An. Fac. med., Sept. 2007, vol.68, no.3, p.222-237.

    Conclusions: The administration of thimerosal in doses equivalent to vaccines content was associated with low corporal weight, low encephalon weight and smaller stature in postnatal hamsters. Neurotoxic effects were also produced at encephalic level, at hippocampus (regions CA1, CA3, DG), cerebral cortex and cerebellum (Purkinje cells and granuloses cells) with decrease in neuronal density, neuronal necrosis, axonal dismyelinization and gliosis. In addition, risk increase in developing any of these alterations was high in the animal group receiving thimerosal.

    connecting dots from cerebellum to cerebral cortex from study to study…

    ” cerebral white matter showed a trend towards being disproportionately larger in autistic boys, while cerebral cortex and hippocampus-amygdala showed trends toward being disproportionately smaller.”

    Brain. 2003 May;126(Pt 5):1182-92. Dissociations of cerebral cortex, subcortical and cerebral white matter volumes in autistic boys.
    Herbert MR, Ziegler DA, Deutsch CK, O’Brien LM, Lange N, Bakardjiev A, Hodgson J, Adrien KT, Steele S, Makris N, Kennedy D, Harris GJ, Caviness VS Jr.
    Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA. mherbert1@partners.org

    High-functioning autistic and normal school-age boys were compared using a whole-brain morphometric profile that includes both total brain volume and volumes of all major brain regions. We performed MRI-based morphometric analysis on the brains of 17 autistic and 15 control subjects, all male with normal intelligence, aged 7-11 years. Clinical neuroradiologists judged the brains of all subjects to be clinically normal. The entire brain was segmented into cerebrum, cerebellum, brainstem and ventricles. The cerebrum was subdivided into cerebral cortex, cerebral white matter, hippocampus-amygdala, caudate nucleus, globus pallidus plus putamen, and diencephalon (thalamus plus ventral diencephalon). Volumes were derived for each region and compared between groups both before and after adjustment for variation in total brain volume. Factor analysis was then used to group brain regions based on their intercorrelations. Volumes were significantly different between groups overall; and diencephalon, cerebral white matter, cerebellum and globus pallidus-putamen were significantly larger in the autistic group. Brain volumes were not significantly different overall after adjustment for total brain size, but this analysis approached significance and effect sizes and univariate comparisons remained notable for three regions, although not all in the same direction: cerebral white matter showed a trend towards being disproportionately larger in autistic boys, while cerebral cortex and hippocampus-amygdala showed trends toward being disproportionately smaller. Factor analysis of all brain region volumes yielded three factors, with central white matter grouping alone, and with cerebral cortex and hippocampus-amygdala grouping separately from other grey matter regions. This morphometric profile of the autistic brain suggests that there is an overall increase in brain volumes compared with controls. Additionally, results suggest that there may be differential effects driving white matter to be larger and cerebral cortex and hippocampus-amygdala to be relatively smaller in the autistic than in the typically developing brain. The cause of this apparent dissociation of cerebral cortical regions from subcortical regions and of cortical white from grey matter is unknown, and merits further investigation.

  181. Teresa Conrick

    “The most extensive pathologic studies of the brain in mercury poisoning followed methyl mercury exposure resulting from contaminated seafood in Japan and from contaminated bread in Iraq. Microscopic findings in these brains included decreased numbers of neurons and increased numbers of glial cells and macrophages throughout the cortex, as well as loss of granule cells and irregularity of the Purkinje cell layer in the cerebellum.”

    Choi BH, Lapham LW, Amin-Zaki L, Saleem T. Abnormal neuronal migration, deranged cerebral cortical organization, and diffuse white matter astrocytosis of human fetal brain: a major effect of methylmercury poisoning in utero. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol.1978; 37 :719 –733

  182. Casey

    Gaythia had an interesting observation, and one that I’d like to single out.

    “But at some point very soon, it would make much more sense to devote the world’s resources to eradicating this disease in the 4 or 5 places where it still occurs than to continue to vaccinate everybody else.”

    This is a common misconception, I think. Just because vaccines have been successful in preventing diseases from taking root, doesn’t mean that we’ve eradicated them. The germs continue to exist in nature, and barring an evolutionary changes to humans that would prevent their infecting us, vaccines will continue to be necessary. This brings it back to a strong sentiment among those that would take their chances without a vaccine. They must assume that since they no longer see the disease in people around them, it must be gone. Unfortunately, it’s not, and these illnesses are still an ever-present danger.

    I googled “measles-related deaths 2008″ for a quick bit of info (strictly to show that there are some, actually), and found some amazing news on the WHO website:

    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2008/pr47/en/index.html

    Measles deaths are down! Fabulous news! But this should highlight what was enabling all of this: the hard work of dedicated health-workers and vaccines. It’s easy to forget what used to be so prevalent and crippling to our population, but out of sight, out of mind. Along that line, this data shows the effects of lowered herd immunity in certain communities:

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/300/18/2111

    That is, the highest level of measles outbreaks since 1996. We can’t afford to be complacent in the face of deadly threats. Please immunize, for everyone’s sake.

  183. Casey

    While I’m here, I’d like to relate a story from my education abroad in Japan.

    I was stricken by the number of people wearing those breathing masks on the subway. It wasn’t till I got sick and my friends suggested I buy some masks to wear to protect everyone else that I realized the obvious fact- those people on the subway were attempting to keep the germs in, not out! What I had assumed was a bit of paranoia was actually a fairly selfless gesture to protect others. Ultimately I think that the experience relates- sure, you vaccinate to make sure you stay healthy, but every shot is also protecting those around you. Getting vaccinated is our civic duty.

    Certainly there are risks of adverse reactions with vaccines (no one citing science would say they are without risk), but there is conclusive evidence that the vaccine-autism link is bunk. All I want is for people to assess the true costs of their actions. In this case, you put yourself (and/or your charges) at risk, as well as those in your community, all to dodge a disproved bogeyman.

    At least take solace in the fact that Big Pharma will happily sell you more drugs when you fall ill.

  184. OneHandClapping

    Why are you still pointing at mercury when they have stopped using thimerasol in vaccines? But then this was pointed out earlier, wasn’t it? Huh, funny.

  185. carykoh

    Lindsay, your patience is truly amazing. Teresa, these studies you point out are interesting, but not a single one correlates vaccines or mercury to autism. In fact the actual studies that look at this issue show no connection. You can’t just take these studies and connect them as you have into some sort of narrative that fits your beliefs. That’s just not how it works. And for all of Lindsay’s patience and time, you still haven’t addressed a single one of her criticisms of these studies, you just keep posting them. At least address her criticisms in some reasonable fashion.

  186. Sandy

    You know, some parents can become over whelmed with all the pubmed info, and it all looks impressive upon a glance. Further looking into it, there is a large difference between ethylmercury and methylmercury. If people don’t know the difference of what they’re are reading, all it does is confuse the parent of a child with autism. What parents need to know is Thimerosal (mercury) is no longer in childhood vaccines today and haven’t been for a few years now. At the time McCarthy’s son was born, Thimerosal probably was already weaned out of all vaccines.

    Also, anyone should read the copyright laws. you can not copy and paste such content.

  187. Sandy

    Yep, November, 2002 expiration date for thimerosal-containing HepB, Hib, and DTaP vaccines. McCarthy’s son was born in May, so depending on the stock where she took her child for medical care, there may had been some of those vaccines still around but until one knows the manufacturer and lot numbers, no one can assume what vaccine was given.

  188. mk

    Still with the thimerasol?

    Was it Orac who said something about the arrogance of ignorance?

  189. Sandy

    Lindsay~ there’s been many studies over the years, and over the years about everyone argues over them. I often wonder why all that energy isn’t put to better use, than arguing between the people who are living pretty much the same lives with autism, why not advocate for educational issues and medical coverage? What keep me posting any where is some new parent is out there reading all of this, and if a topic was one-sided, who’d need the topic at all? That’s how this topic and many like it always try to take that turn to one-sided. I am not here to convince anyone of anything, take what I contribute with a grain of salt, in the end it is not I nor you who makes the choices for them. But the info offered should be well balanced, and other’s should allow for that balance. When one doesn’t allow balance, one has to wonder why.

    To better help parents of today and those of future children, Thimerosal is of the past.

    Also, some people need to gain a sense of humor. Some of these comments are funny, and not every one is trying to be a jerk, but maybe to lighten up the anger. I have to say, I have not come across much street language while reading! I couldn’t spend my whole life resenting autism, I have one cool kid, autism and all. School is hard, daily life is hard but my son will never get a feeling from me that I am not happy for who he is. These days he’s well aware he is different, and I advocate for accepting his differences.

    Not every single study out there is going to apply to every single person. The one thing that does apply to everyone regardless is when autism was added to IDEA, and when doctors became more educated upon presenting symptom’s and a site called First Signs helped with that, not McCarthy. It’s funny how within the autism community, many forget the hard work of past people and what they have done foe us as soon as Hollywood walks in. This is not being sarcastic at all, but it is the truth. Autism treatments have become a fad/ trend. Any time some new thing comes out, parents run. I didn’t spend my time running, I spent it with my child and I have to say for myself and all the hard work my child did, it was well worth not running.

  190. Teresa Conrick

    mk-

    Quoting Orac — that explains your purpose here and also your inabilty to have open discussions ( without sarcasm, hostility, and attempts to hinder real analysis)on autism research.

    Your lack of real input into the causative factors is a sure sign that you are just a speedbump in real and honest progress.

  191. OneHandClapping

    No, Teresa, the speed bump in progress is in posting and positing relationships that no longer apply. What was the point of that post, really? Why don’t you specifically address the posts that attempt to engage you with the actual studies rather than trying to find correlations yourself (and remember, correlation doesn’t equal causation)? Now you’re just being intellectually dishonest.

  192. mk

    Serious question Teresa…

    Are you aware that mercury is no longer present in the vast majority of vaccines? That you receive more mercury from a tuna fish sandwich? That ethyl mercury and methyl mercury are different; have different effects?

    From all you are posting, it appears you are unaware of this. Yet you post this stuff with arrogant comments added in. Thus the term arrogance of ignorance. Don’t like it? Stop practicing it.

  193. mk

    That would be questionS… plural.

  194. Teresa Conrick

    carykoh Says:
    May 11th, 2009 at 9:10 pm
    Lindsay, your patience is truly amazing. Teresa, these studies you point out are interesting, but not a single one correlates vaccines or mercury to autism.

    carykoh

    I’m not sure where you came from but each studies correlates to mercury-thimerosal and brain injury via the reults- they paint a picture- fil in the puzzle- how ever you want to phrase it.

    Why you are complimenting Lindsay on her patience is baffling. It’s a bit odd that Lindsay, a stranger to you all, who is a student of PHD biology, has somehow become your spokesperson–Not one of you can comment on this and instead are asking me because you know darn well that there is evidence of harm…

    Any reader can see the outcomes from autism brain research and then looking at thimerosal research…let’s see if Lindsay will help you all out. Dismissing these studies is a sure sign of FEAR rather than honest appraisal and realizations that what thimerosal can do is strikingly similar to the brains of these children.

    If she is objective, she will find this all very interesting AND will see that these connections definitely beg more research…like M. Herbert states…”merits further investigation”.

    not comments like this-

    “posting and positing relationships that no longer apply” (these relationshiops apply and it is obvious from your reply either an ignorance or a denial to all of the chldren of the 1990′s and into the 2000′s who had enormous levels of thimerosal- are you just able to turn your back on them?)

    “Why are you still pointing at mercury when they have stopped using thimerasol in vaccines” (This is a blatant lie- thimerosal is used in the manufacturing process for many as well as in large and toxic doses for flu vaccines– fetuses (pregnant women, infants and babies)

    “And for all of Lindsay’s patience and time, you still haven’t addressed a single one of her criticisms of these studies” (I never posted these studies until now–did you actually read them? They are important and deserve true understanding and further research.)

    and the best–the most obvious….to stop honest dialogues… that you cannot deny damage is this lame excuse-comical really…

    “read the copyright laws. you can not copy and paste such content”

  195. Teresa Conrick

    mk

    not sure your role here–parent, or other? but your lack of manners may indicate your lack of education on these matters.

  196. carykoh

    Again, I’ll try to point this out to you, Theresa. These studies ‘paint a picture – fill the puzzle’ is as I said, you’re taking these studies, out of context mind you, and putting them together as a puzzle, or as I stated earlier, a narrative to fit your beliefs. I did read the studies, I find them interesting, but none point to a connection of autism and vaccines. They do show that mercury is toxic at a certain dose, and that neuronal injury may be a contributor to autism (though I think the studies do a poor job of even this), but not one, not a single one makes a compelling argument that mercury causes autism. I can lead you to the studies, large, epidemiological studies, that show no connection between vaccines and autism, if you wish. You can’t just take studies, pick out words that connect and draw conclusions, that’s not how it works.

    As to my praise of Lindsay, I suspect some of her patience comes from teaching undergrads, but truly, trying to have a debate with someone who will not respond to your criticisms is infuriating, and I do admire that she has been so patient, and frankly, kind to you in her posts. I don’t see her as a ‘spokesperson’, but she certainly makes excellent points and is worth responding to, Theresa.

    However, you seem incapable of taking on her points. Not surprising, when logic and science are not on your side, best to keep posting as you have.

  197. Teresa Conrick

    I need to call it a night but I’ll leave you with one more to ponder or to deny, depending on your honesty and your purpose here -

    Blood Levels of Mercury Are Related to
    Diagnosis of Autism: A Reanalysis of
    an Important Data Set
    M. Catherine DeSoto, PhD, and Robert T. Hitlan, PhD

    Journal of Child Neurology
    Volume 22 Number 11
    November 2007 1308-1311

    The question of what is leading to the apparent increase in
    autism is of great importance. Like the link between aspirin
    and heart attack, even a small effect can have major health
    implications. If there is any link between autism and mercury,
    it is absolutely crucial that the first reports of the question are
    not falsely stating that no link occurs. We have reanalyzed the
    data set originally reported by Ip et al. in 2004 and have found
    that the original p value was in error and that a significant
    relation does exist between the blood levels of mercury and
    diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder. Moreover, the hair
    sample analysis results offer some support for the idea that
    persons with autism may be less efficient and more variable at
    eliminating mercury from the blood.

    Keywords: autism; mercury; environmental health; neurotoxin;
    neurodevelopment; blood

  198. Jay Lacklen

    Vaccine suspicion has also arisen from the military anthrax shot program where the unapproved adjuvant, squalene, was used in 10% of the vaccine lots. Squalene is not approved because it caused autoimmune disorders in animal experiments. The anthrax vaccine manufacturer lists ailments arising coincidentally with the anthrax shot in its Product Insert and they are all both horrendous and autoimmune related.

    For a full explanation, go here: http://www.militarytimes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1306

    To see a video of the Air Force surgeon general lying to his troops on squalene, go here:
    http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp?PID=885054&t=6975

    Squalene (MF59) is the adjuvant in Chiron’s bird flu, so you may all get to enjoy autoimmune disorders in the future as the military already has.

  199. OneHandClapping

    Teresa you have proven your intellectual dishonesty and I am sick of you insisting on correlations that have already been scientifically debunked. They have cut thimerosal out of MOST of the vaccines out there, with only a few exceptions, and somehow that hasn’t changed autism rates! So what is it now? You keep pointing at thimerosal, saying “Look at the evidence! Just look and you’ll see!” well we’ve looked (as have countless others), and there’s NO EVIDENCE THERE. Why you cannot accept that is beyond me.

    Then you feel personally attacked by any poster that doesn’t agree with you. I’m afraid that your paranoia also doesn’t prove anything except that you may not be rational.

    Lastly, you post long cut and pastes, insist on correlations, and that’s your evidence. I’ll say it again because it bears remembering CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION. Allow me to put it in perspective for you – I eat fish. I will die. However, the fact that I eat fish does not necessarily have anything to do with my eventual death. The correlation between fish eating and death does not equal causation.

    With that, I am finished with you. You have been proven to be intellectually dishonest and then say you want a real discussion, but it’s clear that you have made up your mind based on your own presuppositions. That isn’t how science works. I hope you find answers, but I can make a prediction that you won’t find any the way you are going about it.

  200. carykoh

    Well, Theresa, you can’t just read the abstract if you want to really understand a paper. I almost feel a little embarrassed that I missed the fact that not one of your ‘citations’ was more than an abstract. So, as you quizzed me, how many of the articles have you actually read? I don’t mean the abstract, but the whole article. This last paper cited is, again, interesting, but, again, proves nothing. They even say it, ‘results offer some support for the idea’, I mean, how much more vague can that be. I offer you, some ‘support’ for the ‘idea’ that the Earth is flat, the horizon looks flat.

    So, please link me to some full articles that show a correlation, I’d be very interested.

  201. Sandy

    Since Thimerosal has been removed, the question would still remain: Who Doesn’t Vaccinate and one more, why? And why would someone continue to debate with only abstracts about something parents don’t need to worry about? Sure, we can talk about the Heb B. That is a valid concern regardless but Thimerosal is not part of that concern.

    Because the topic has been dominated by Thimerosal, the real topic has been avoided and distracted. If people are basing their choices off of this, than one has to wonder where the motive/ aganda is, and it’s not to accurately inform anyone, but to debate a dead horse. This is a great example as to why autism discussions go array, and why many are driven away.

  202. Sandy

    Actually, the M. Catherine DeSoto, PhD, and Robert T. Hitlan, PhD
    Journal of Child Neurology Volume 22 Number 11 November 2007 1308-1311, page one was very interesting. I’m sure just reading the abstract resulted in missing the ‘genetic’ part of it. This of course has nothing to do with “ponder or to deny, depending on your honesty and your purpose here”, it’s right there on the first page of that study provided by the person who already pre-determined everyone’s honesty and purpose.

  203. Lindsay

    Alright, so there are quite a few articles here, so I’ll try to get to them when I can. Go easy on me.

    The first (Herbert et al. 2003) seems pretty straight forward. You’d expect that a brain disorder might present differences in overall structure, and that’s exactly what this paper says. The only thing I was surprised about was that they didn’t use a principle components analysis with their morphometric data, but maybe that’s not common in human morphometrics (??). PCA determines basically what “direction” most of the change is in, usually being a combination of different parts of the anatomy. Principle components can be a little hard to interpret, though, and it looks like their factor analysis is a proxy for PCA.

    The discussion is really great. I’m learning so much about autism, and it sounds very complicated. They describe it from the literature as mostly a developmental problem, but not degenerative and also not focal, so spread out over lots of the areas of the brain. The authors think this points to a systemic problem that targets neural systems, not specific areas of the brain, which makes sense considering the very wide array of symptoms and abnormalities associated with autism spectrum. Their study, combined with other brain measurement studies in the past, seems to support this conclusion.

    However, the authors are clear to point out that, even though children appear normal at birth and have changes later on, they believe that it is 1) highly heritable and 2) likely is present prenatally. They do point out several possible causes for these changes that have precedence in the literature, including in utero drug exposure, infection, and metabolic disturbances (I guess this is where mitochondria disorders come in).

    It doesn’t mention thimerosal, vaccines (unless possibly they are given to the mother while pregnant), or even a cause that is post-birth. The authors are of the opinion that something happens to autistic children before they are born and that the symptoms become present after development. This is plausible because our brains undergo a huge amount of development after birth, with changes occurring through puberty. So what seems like a rather sudden onset at a certain time could possibly be symptoms becoming apparently at a certain stage of development.

    That’s what I took away from this paper.

  204. Lindsay

    Sandy -

    I totally agree that perhaps with limited time, money, and researcher talent resources, it is probably better to focus those resources on more promising avenues of possible causation, instead of rehashing old ideas from a different angle to find support for a conclusion that you’ve already come to without the data. It’s not the way I would do things, but then again, I’m not the ruler of the universe and no one should listen to me anyway. :)

    However, people do seem to be scared that these things are affecting their children, so as long as they are doing good science and coming to reasonable conclusions based on the data, I think that’s good. If that’s the kind of research they want to spend their money on, great I think they should fund science. You never know who is going to benefit the most from the results and data you publish; someone ten years from now looking at a totally different disorder could find the data extremely valuable.

    I would just hope that if the studies are done, and no support is found for their ideas concerning these things, that they would reconsider their position based on the results. A good researcher will decide on some sort of criteria for dismissing a favorite hypothesis, criteria that make the likelihood of the hypothesis being true so small that it is no longer reasonable to consider it. It’s an important thing to draw lines for yourself because otherwise you end up tilting at windmills, the fate of many scientists with pet theories.

  205. mk

    Since copy and paste is the only way the Pro-Disease Teresa is capable of communicating… here’s one for ya!

    From Dr. Anti-pro-diseasers himself:

    “Silly Kirby. I can’t believe he’s citing that paper. It’s the same paper that Representative Dan Burton (R-Indiana) tried to ram down the Special Masters’ throats and that Deirdre Imus gloated about as “evidence” that mercury causes autism that is being “ignored.” In reality, the DeSoto and Hitlan paper is nothing more than a bit of post hoc statistical fiddling with the dataset of study by Ip et al on hair and blood mercury levels in autistic children compared to non-autistic controls to create a “statistically significant difference” between hair and blood mercury levels in the autistic and non-autistic groups. For all the attention given to DeSoto and Hitlan by the mercury militia and that their sycophants trumpeting their reanalysis of the data as if it were God Himself delivering the proof from on high that mercury causes autism give to this dataset, you’d think it was the California Department of Developmental Services database or the dataset used in the recent New England Journal of Medicine study that failed to find a relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and adverse neurodevelopmental events.

    It wasn’t. It was a decent study, but certainly nothing earth-shattering. If it weren’t for the mercury militia, it would have long ago faded into the mass of other workman-like but not outstanding studies that make up the bulk of the biomedical literature.

    Dad of Cameron and Interverbal have teamed up to analyze the Hitlan and DeSoto study. Suffice it to say, Hitlan and DeSoto used some rather dubious assumptions (for example, assuming that the data must go in one direction), leading them to choose a statistical test for their reanalysis that was probably not appropriate. They also cited some rather dubious papers to support their analysis. In response, Hitlan and DeSoto in essence went ballistic, so much so that they published a highly indignant FAQ about their study. It’s rather interesting reading, if only for the self-righteous defense of citing articles in Medical Hypotheses. In any case, D’oC and Interverbal have responded to the FAQ in not one, but three, parts (part one, part two, part three). Prometheus has also weighed in. Suffice it to say, they all leave Hitlan and DeSoto not looking so good.”

    Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

  206. Twyla

    It’s interesting how the same people who say that there may not be an increase in autism — it may just be better diagnosis — say with such certainty that thimerosal has been proven safe since the rate of autism has not decreased. So, which is it — do we know how the current rate of autism compares with prior rates or not? The last official stats stated by the CDC were on children who were 8 years old in 2002.

    Regarding thimerosal, it has not been completely removed from vaccines.
    – Thimerosal is still present in most flu shots as a preservative. Flu shots are recommended annually for children beginning at age 6 months, and for pregnant women.
    – Thimerosal is also used in the multi-dose meningococcal vaccine, which is recommended for “certain high risk groups”.
    – In addition, thimerosal is used in the manufacturing process for DTaP, DTaP/HIB, DT, Hep B (Energix-B) and Hep A/Hep B (Twinrix), and then is supposedly removed through a “purification process”. The FDA says that it only tests the efficacy of this purification process at the time the vaccine is licensed. After that, it is up to the manufactuer to police itself on whether the purification process is consistently working.

    At the same time as the level of thimerosal has decreased in vaccines, the level of mercury in our environment has been increasing.
    – Both the L.A. Times and N.Y. Times have written articles about the mercury emissions from Chinese coal buring power plants which waft over the Pacific Ocean at high altitudes and rain down on the U.S.
    – We constantly hear warnings about not eating too much fish due to the mercury content.

    So, mercury — both in vaccines and in our environment — is definitely of concern.

    See the paper “Autism, A Novel form of Mercury Poisoning” at http://www.generationrescue.org/pdf/bernard.pdf for a comparison of symptoms of mercury poisoning and autism.

    Studies have shown that even tiny “nanomolar” concentrations of mercury can harm nerves cells and immune system cells. For example, see http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/7973 for a study on how mercury at a concentration as low as 20 parts per billion disrupts calcium signals in dendritic cells of the immune system.

    Studies have shown that mercury and aluminum have a synergy — the two together are more toxic than either alone.

    And aluminum by itself can cause encephalopathy. For example, see http://professionals.epilepsy.com/page/renal_aes.html .

    Thimerosal is not the only problematic vaccine ingredient. Many vaccines contain aluminum, which is used as an adjuvant. When several vaccines containing aluminum are given at once (as on today’s standard schedule), the dose of aluminum is that much higher. See Dr. Robert Sears’ article at http://www.mothering.com/articles/growing_child/vaccines/aluminum-new-thimerosal.html

    Injection bypasses the body’s normal digestion and detox mechanism which help ameliorate the usual exposures which occur via the skin, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract.

    For an interesting 1913 article by Charles Richet, nobel prize winner, regarding injections and anaphylaxis, see http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1913/richet-lecture.html. This scientist found that tiny amounts of injected substances could sensitize the immune system. He observed that, just as we have individual psychological personalities, so also our immune systems have individual personalities. The three possible reactions to injections were desensitization, no reaction, or hypersensitization. He said:

    “We are so constituted that we can never receive other proteins into the blood than those that have been modified by digestive juices. Every time alien protein penetrates by effraction, the organism suffers and becomes resistant. This resistance lies in increased sensitivity, a sort of revolt against the second parenteral injection which would be fatal. At the first injection, the organism was taken by surprise and did not resist. At the second injection, the organism mans its defences and answers by the anaphylactic shock.

    “Seen in these terms, anaphylaxis is an universal defence mechanism against the penetration of heterogenous substances in the blood, whence they can not be eliminated.”

    I know you will ask, what does this have to do with autism? The point is, exposure by injection can have a big impact on the immune system.

    Gotta go — more later.

  207. carykoh

    Twyla, not sure the point of your post. First article published in a journal called Medical Hypothesis, a truly worthless publication, and a poorly written paper. The aluminum encephalopathy paper discusses a recognized and very rare disorder seen in kids with renal failure that take aluminum agents for years, hardly a sign that the trace amounts in vaccines is unsafe. The Sears article didn’t even get published in a journal, so hard to take that too seriously, and besides that, is essentially just speculation without a shred of evidence to back it up. Interesting hypothesis by Sears, just not supported by the data or studies he cites. Then citing an article on anaphylaxis from 1913, not even sure how to respond to that. Yes, I agree, small doses of antigens in susceptible individuals can cause allergic reactions, you win on that one. Not sure the point, but yes, you are correct in that. I will point out that you can also get anaphylaxis from multiple ‘natural’ sources, including foods, which, also if ingested naturally, not injected, can in small amounts trigger the dreaded immune response described here. So, let’s recap, not a single article to show a correlation between vaccines and autism. If you are concerned that antigens can cause an immune response and that response could be dangerous, well good luck with that, since everything not ‘you’ is seen by the body as a foreign antigen and causes an immune response.

  208. Sandy

    My point again, just as Generation Rescue doesn’t point out flu vaccines comee Thimerosal-free for children, and there is no account for just who gives their family flu jabs for that to even be a considering factor. Other than the ordinary known side effects of the flu jab, rarely is it reported a person or child acquires autism after a jab.

    Meningococcal vaccine is a vaccine for ages 11 to 12 and generally is the last childhood vaccine. Rarely has it been reported onset of autism at that age. depending on the maker, SOME meningococcal vaccines may have Thimerosal while others may have trace amounts. No one should assume all vaccine makers even used Thimerosal, some never did.

    Another myth is Thimerosal still being used in the production of any childhood vaccine. People keep spewing these untrue things. When Vaccine makers “removed” Thimerosal on a voluntary bases, they could not disassemble their processing machines to clean them out, which is where that ‘trace” amount comes from. The more and more vaccines were produced, the less and less that trace amount becomes and eventually will be none at all..

    Mercury emissions and food would again be a different source of mercury than vaccines. Aluminum hydroxide and sucralfate is also not the same as the contents of vaccines.

    Did you know the soda people drink out of is an Aluminum can? Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust?
    Did you know Mercury as an element is heat conductive and is in many things in your home as we speak? How many people carelessly toss away a broken clothes iron?

    Does it appear at all that there is a fixation on Thimerosal and mercury in general??

    MK~ I enjoyed your copy and paste the most so far.

  209. mk

    Hi Sandy. Thanks.

    I was embarrassed to do it, but it seems to be the thing to do… for some people! ;^}

  210. Lindsay

    I’ll have to agree with MK’s copy and paste comments. I just read the paper and wasn’t impressed by their choice of a one-tailed test. And even their significance is really just barely there, so while it probably isn’t helping things out, it’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for mercury being an underlying cause of autism.

    I pulled the data from their Excel graphs (ugh, seriously DeSoto and Hitlan, get a real graphing program and pretend you spent more than 10 minutes on it) and am trying to figure out how to statistically compare two measured regression slopes, but can’t remember. (Anyone know?) I have a couple more places to look fro the name of this test, then I am going to give up and grade some more.

    Add on to that, it is not the ethyl-mercury found in thimerosal, but methyl-mercury more associated with environmental exposure. Different from inorganic or elemental mercury, of course. Keeping these straight is a nightmare, no wonder people get confused.

  211. Lindsay

    Teresa -

    Please be patient as I work my way through these papers. There are a lot of them, and I really need about an hour or two hours with each one to understand it well enough to comment on it. They are very hard to read. But in the mean time, you are welcome to comment on the 3 I’ve gone over already. Thanks.

    carykoh -

    Thanks for your kind words. Actually, I do attribute my patience to teaching undergrads. :) I don’t really mean to be a spokesperson, just interested in having a conversation.

    However, I do think it’s fair to copy and paste the abstracts of papers, since they are meant to be a short summary of the paper and appear in many searchable databases. Although they are unnecessary because to understand the paper, you really need to read the whole thing. A reference would be fine.

  212. mk

    Lindsay,

    You are an impressive person. Very understanding, giving, fair, and yes patient. My hat is off to you.

    Good luck in doing good and helping to maybe clarify some things for certain people. I’m out now. It’s been… um, interesting.

    Cheers.

  213. Lindsay

    mk – The powers of procrastination can truly do wonders for anyone.

    *sigh* I hate grading.

  214. Sandy

    The problem with copy/ pasting abstracts is there are copyrights, which shouldn’t be ignored since sites get shut down due to the actions of other’s however if some one was really wanting to offer info via a study, they’d offer the link directing you to it in order to fully be informed than just a simply portion of it. Why bother only going through half the trouble if it’s not to only half inform you.

  215. Teresa Conrick

    Lindsay said

    “I’ll have to agree with MK’s copy and paste comments’

    and those would be -

    “Silly Kirby. I can’t believe he’s citing that paper. It’s the same paper that Representative Dan Burton (R-Indiana) tried to ram down the Special Masters’ throats …….”

    How sad….this is an orac job and you are all involved with him on some level..and even “lindsay” who tried hard to come off in her act as an objective “PHD” student with papers to grade. Any PHD who would agree to the paste job of orac is dishonest on so many levels.

    I instead will go to the Huffington Post and leave Chris a comment there-

    I’s sure you all will be there –same sarcasrm, same lies but just different names-

    “The following letter was sent to the editors at Discover Magazine last week, regarding a recent article on vaccines and autism. The magazine claimed that the debate is over, but ignored the fact that federal and private support of research into a possible association continues.

    I have seen a number of online postings and comments from readers of Discover Magazine who are wondering why freelancer Chris Mooney did not interview doctors and scientists who believe that more vaccine-autism research is warranted in his recent article, “Why Does the Vaccine/Autism Controversy Live On?”

    Chris contacted me in mid-March to ask if he could interview me for the piece. When I wrote back to say that was fine, I added that I hoped he would consider “doing an honest examination of this controversy…”

  216. Lindsay

    Teresa,

    I meant the criticisms surrounding the paper, not the language itself. I have been super patient and careful to minimize any sort of offensive language in my posts, so I assumed that people would take that to mean “I agree with the criticisms” in the comment. I guess that makes an ass out of me and umption (or however that saying goes).

    I agree that they used dubious statistical tests, I think it needs to be a two-tailed test, not a one-tailed test (which basically doubles the p value and makes the results non-significant). Also, I agree that it wasn’t a slam-dunk either. Weak correlation coefficients and p values don’t point to mercury as being substantial. Additionally, the literature they cite is not of the highest caliber, very speculative and rabble-rousing.

    And I am a Ph.D. student with papers to grade, and I really do hate grading. It’s super boring and frustrating (although, the commenting thing is catching up on that). OK that’s not completely true, they are lab notebooks and reports. If you need some more conformation of who I am, I would be happy to send you information via email.

    I don’t think it’s dishonest to agree with someone who’s said something that makes sense, even if they feel the need to piss everyone off doing it.

    Why would you rather attack me personally than respond to my criticisms of the literature? After all, I’ve put 5 or 6 hours into addressing your articles specifically. It would nice for you to acknowledge the time I’ve put into this conversation so far.

  217. Mark

    Lindsay,

    I am a college professor, so I know about the tedium of grading. Let me add to the props for you. You are an impressive person, both in the way you have represented yourself professionally and personally on this blog. Thank you for taking the time to wade through these papers and analyze them. I pointed out to Teresa many posts ago that just because a peer-reviewed paper appears in a journal, that doesn’t mean it’s correct. Even Einstein got some things wrong. Teresa did not respond to that. She has built up her reasoning based upon these papers that support her conclusion, rather than taking them as part of a broader picture. Consequently, when you and others point out flaws in those papers, she attacks you personally (“and even “lindsay” who tried hard to come off in her act as an objective “PHD” student with papers to grade. Any PHD who would agree to the paste job of orac is dishonest on so many levels.”)

    Lindsay, you will probably never change Teresa’s mind. The good you are doing is to those who read these blogs (many of whom don’t comment) who are not experts in the field but who can understand the importance of well-designed studies and critical analysis of the data. You are doing much good, Lindsay. Keep it up.

  218. Gaythia Weis

    I agree with Casey. Polio vaccination is needed at this point in time.

    Detailed information about the World Health Organization Polio Eradication project can be found at: http://www.polioeradication.org/

    It is resistance, in many ways analogous to some of that above in places like Nigeria and Afghanistan that have been partly responsible for prolonging this process. These resistance issues do need to be addressed, and sometimes that process is extremely difficult. Some issues can be resolved by changes made by the medical establishment. It is wrong to think that modern medicine is some sort of out to get people conspiracy, but also wrong to think that improvements to the process can’t be made by medical authorities at the instigation of a concerned public.

    I agreed with the conclusion of the NEJM paper cited by Chris Mooney above. I actually believe that it ought to be possible to have intelligent discussions about various vaccines and when and why they may need to be administered. And I believe that, overall this will increase peoples understanding, engagement with, and thus comfort with, the vaccination process.

  219. Teresa Conrick

    Mark-

    I know that any who read this blog have already figured out the theme. For any of those readers,the ones who actually don’t put a charade on these blogs, who understand the ramifications of a huge increase of autism and the environmental issues (including vaccines and the mercury preservative, thimerosal), the data is showing us the correct direction to go in research.

    And I want to submit this excellent appraisal of what has gone on here- Mark Blaxill wrote this for Age of Autism dot com (where the best, honest research and news is presented daily about autism)and I think it sums up this blog quote well: You can put the title in the search box there.

    AUTISM, SERIOUS SCIENTISTS AND THE WACKOSPHERE

  220. Ditto what Mark just said!

    To paraphrase the words of Inigo Montoya, I’m not sure all that pasting means what you think it means. Copying and pasting ad nauseum (or are we post nauseum now?) mean you are either
    too lazy or truly incapable of thinking/analyzing/articulating for yourself.

  221. Lindsay

    Well, I don’t really know what to say. I feel like my life and my name aren’t a charade, and taking the time to go over science with people doesn’t make me a wacko. Teresa must have caught some pretty harsh abuse from people to be this paranoid; it’s been my experience that people can be mean and hateful on both sides. I’m not going to perpetuate it, because it doesn’t really seem to do any good other than making the person spitting poison feel better momentarily.

    Mark, thanks for the really nice words. They are greatly appreciated. I am really trying to make my communication skills better, so it’s nice to hear that you think I’m doing a decent job.

    Gaythia, I think you have a very level-headed position in this matter. I totally think it is important for people to be well-educated in the risks associated with vaccines to their child but also the public at large. I don’t think anyone should hear that they aren’t smart enough to understand the risks, from a doctor or a scientist or anyone. If you don’t understand it, it’s because someone hasn’t explained it well enough.

    And I definitely think that a rational and calm discussion is possible, if that’s what people want. But there are a lot of people, on both sides of this debate, that wish only to polarize. That’s what makes this whole thing so unfortunate, I guess.

  222. Teresa Conrick

    Lindsay,

    If you are an honest researcher you will explore this list of studies, researchers, and their work. You will then have a real education on autism and its environmental and vaccine involvement. I brought this up on Saturday and not one of you made a comment…but instead kind of avoided it, so I am posting it for those who accidentally may have missed it and any who intentionally missed it.

    The amount of energy that so many of you have used in attempting to dismiss any of this research is perplexing. You spend much time here and it appears to not about discussing why children with autism have cerebellum entargement or packed neurons, or mitochondria disorders, or low glutathione. etc. Instead you have fallen over each other attempting to change the outcomes,make the autism-vaccine conection go away, and you have been unable to do it.

    I am here to let any readers know that there is hope for autism as biomedical treatments are showing that these environmental injuries can be treated and children are responding — some to the point of recovery.

    So here is David Kirby on the Huffington Post. No paranoia. No lies. Research and hope for the many families devastated by autism.

    “I also urged Chris before, during and after our 90-minute interview to not just listen to me, but to speak with several scientists and clinicians who do not feel like the vaccine-autism question has been thoroughly answered.

    Chris and Discover Magazine have every right to craft an article as they see fit, and I would not tell another journalist how to do their job. Nor am I complaining about how I was personally portrayed in the piece. I am writing this simply for the record.

    Among the things I mentioned to Chris was that Department of Health and Human Services’ National Vaccine Advisory Committee Vaccine Safety Working Group (NVAC VSWG) had just recommended appointing a panel of experts to explore the strengths and weaknesses of conducting studies on health outcomes in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children, and they said it was “desirable” to include autism as one of the health outcomes.

    I suggested he might want to contact some of the mainstream doctors who supported the measure, which is still moving forward, even if they didn’t personally believe in a connection. I sent him the names of many of these doctors, including Bruce Gellin, M.D., MPH, Director of the HHS National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) and Executive Secretary of NVAC, Andrew Pavia, M.D., an NVAC Member and Chair of the NVAC Vaccine Safety Working Group, and James Mason, M.D., DrPH, an NVAC member and member of the Vaccine Safety Working Group and a former CDC Director and former Assistant Secretary of Health.

    I suggested Chris speak to researchers doing some interesting work coming out of Harvard (Herbert et al) and Johns Hopkins (Vargas et al) in terms of autistic brain tissue and oxidative stress, chronic neuroinflammation, autoimmunity, microglial activation, etc. I also mentioned that Martha Herbert had been looking at the role that glutathione depletion and mitochondrial dysfunction might play in autism symptoms — and that a new study from Stanford said that glutathione depletion is probably a marker for mitochondrial disorders. Other people I mentioned were Dr. Jill James et al at the University of Arkansas and Dr. Thomas Burbacher at the University of Washington.

    I brought up the court cases of Hannah Poling and Bailey Banks, and suggested that Hannah’s father Dr. Jon Poling might have some interesting perspectives on mitochondria, vaccines and autism. I also said that Bailey Banks’s lawyer could attest that the previously normal boy developed acute brain damage after an MMR shot, which then turned into PDD-NOS, for which he will be compensated.

    (As an aside to those who still don’t think that PDD-NOS is an autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, the new autism report from the State of California’s Department of Developmental Services states, “ASD includes Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, Rett’s Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD NOS), and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.”)

    I also mentioned that researchers at HHS and the EPA working on the National Children’s Study, in which federal researchers expect to find 600 to 700 kids with an ASD by age three and will compare these outcomes to genetic and environmental factors, including vaccines.

    I spoke about the CDC program called the CADDRE Network, whose five year goal is to “identify what might put children at risk for autism,” including “specific mercury exposures, including any vaccine use by the mother during pregnancy and the child’s vaccine exposures after birth.”

    I suggested that Chris contact scientists at the Cleveland Clinic, Harvard University, and Johns Hopkins University who wrote in a recent study that “There might be no difference between the inflammatory or catabolic stress of vaccinations and that of common childhood diseases” and that “Large, population-based studies will be needed to identify a possible relationship of vaccination with autistic regression in persons with mitochondrial cytopathies.”

    Among the authors of that paper were Dr. Richard I. Kelley of the Department of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center and Division of Metabolism at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Dr. Margaret L. Bauman of the Department of Pediatrics and Learning and Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Rehabilitation Services (LADDERS) at Massachusetts General Hospital. I said that Dr. Bauman, in particular, might have some interesting perspectives, given that she withdrew her name as a witness for the government in the Autism Omnibus Proceedings in federal vaccine court.

    Along those lines, I also suggested that Chris might want to speak with Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a pediatric neurologist and research scientist at Kennedy Krieger Institute and Associate Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Zimmerman also withdrew his name as a government witness in vaccine court, and recently published a groundbreaking book titled “Autism-Current Theories and Evidence,” According to the publisher, Zimmerman’s goal is to “show how the scientific method is revealing the biological bases of this spectrum of disorders, thereby leading the way to their treatment and prevention using evidence-based medicine.” The book is divided into 6 sections, including one on immunology and another on environmental mechanisms and models.

    I also told Chris he might enjoy speaking with Dr. Douglas Wallace, Professor of Molecular Medicine and Director of the Center for Molecular and Mitochondrial Medicine in Genetics at UC Irvine. A member of the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation’s scientific board, and father of a son with autism, he testified that children with mitochondrial disorders are not only at greater risk for autistic regression, but they are also more likely to suffer from vaccine injuries. And, he told the NVAC: “We advocate spreading vaccines out as much as possible. Each time you vaccinate, you’re creating a challenge for the system, and if a child has an impaired system, that could in fact trigger further clinical problems.”

    There were other prominent researchers I that thought could contribute to the article, such as former NIH Director Dr. Bernadine Healy, and Dr. Geraldine Dawson, Scientific Director of Autism Speaks, which currently supports and funds vaccine-autism research.

    I also mentioned Dr. Duane Alexander, Director of the National Institute of Childhood Health and Human Development, who supports autism-vaccine research and who said that, “Genetic variations exist that cause adverse reactions to specific foods, medications, or anesthetic agents — it is legitimate to ask whether a similar situation may exist for vaccines.” He added that there may be, “subpopulations unable to remove mercury from the body as fast as others, or some adverse or cross-reacting response to a vaccine component, or a mitochondrial disorder increasing the adverse response to vaccine-associated fever.”

    Finally, I brought up Dr, Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who recently said that, “If we can show that individuals of a certain genetic profile have a greater propensity for developing adverse events, we may want to screen everyone prior to vaccination (for) undetectable diseases like a subclinical mitochondrial disorder.” Chris said he was interested in the idea of small groups of children being genetically vulnerable to vaccine injury, and in researching ways to identify them and, as I suggested, create an alternative vaccine schedule for them.

    Perhaps Chris did contact some of these experts but did not find their remarks as compelling as mine, which seems doubtful.

    I am sure that he and Discover Magazine have their reasons for not including comments from any of these professionals. Also for the record, I also spent over an hour on the phone with a factchecker at Discover, discussing much of the above information. Perhaps the magazine will let us know why their reporter chose not include any comments from Doctors Gellin, Pavia, Mason, Herbert, Vargas, James, Burbacher, Poling, Kelley, Bauman, Zimmerman, Wallace, Healy, Dawson, Alexander or Fauci.”

  223. mk

    OK folks. I don’t mind being the one to say it.

    It has become more and more clear that Teresa is a bit of an irrational lunatic. I know, that sounds mean and rude. But really, can anyone here read Lindsay’s calm, cool, rational responses, her serious attempts at an honest discussion and then read anything Teresa has to say (or cut and paste!) in response and not come to a similar conclusion? Seriously.

    I think we can all be done with her.

    Peace.

  224. Teresa Conrick

    mk-

    Your comment is laughable. Since you cannot begin to attack the science, you instead attack me. Anyone reading these posts has witnessed your avoidance of the facts and erratic behavior.

    Unfortunately, since autism is a serious illness, your comments do little to advance any meaningful discussion as all you can do is spin your wheels and avoid talking about the data presented and the sick children who deserve your compassion instead of sarcasm and irrelevant outbursts.

  225. mk

    The children deserve a great deal of compassion… no doubt.

    You on the other hand deserve nothing but scorn. You pro-disease creep.

  226. Sylvia

    I last checked on this conversation days ago to find mk hurling insults. Nothing has changed, except maybe his blood pressure. I guess vaccine bullies run out of argument and resort to their old stand-by, mud slinging.

    “pro-disease creep”? How ridiculous.

    Ladies and gentlemen, if mk is the type of “rational mind” you want making your childrens health care decisions for you, then go right ahead. But people like him have no business telling me what pharamceuticals have to be forced on my children.

  227. Sandy

    I actually do not consider my child a sick at all child or having an illness. Any child can have the many different medical things a child with autism may also have. Having autism and certain other medical conditions do not only occur with those with autism. They can and do occur with many children. People kind of in my opinion look at autism, and then those medical issues seperately. I consider my child as having a treatable ‘disorder’ that effects his language, expressive and receptive, social issues and learning issues. My child also has other medical issues however there is no way any doctor can directly say it’s related to his autism. What they can say is his autism makes those medical issues much more difficult.

    Any who have been around a while do learn a few things. The more you respond back, the more you’re feeding into it. Sometimes people like MK dare to be bold enough to speak true opinions and that’s all it is, their opinion and every one has one. You can be as nice as sugar but as long as you do not out right agree with certain types of people, this is what you get. I’m sure if everyone agreed with Teresa, her demeanor towards many would surely be different. You’re simply not allowed to disagree. Funny thing is with all those studies presented, wouldn’t you think if anything was concrete it’s be national news? Wouldn’t you think we’d be alot farther in this autism stuff than we are, knowledge wise as to why autism occurs?

    One day we all may know why autism has happened for our children and the people we know who have ASD, and no matter what side you’re on, we’ll all have to be prepared for those answers. I don’t know about the rest of you but as 200 plus comments go on and on, the fact is my kid still has autism, still direct help, still improves here and there (and all kids do progress at their own rates) tomorrow my kid will still have autism. Since Thimerosal was removed, kids tomorrow don’t have to worry so much about that and really, neither do I. No child tomorrow will be diagnosed tomorrow at age 2 or 3 and that being related to Thimerosal.

    There should be a topic “why DO parent vaccinate”. Vaccines have always been a major issue in my family. Since my child showed signs prior to any vaccines, I am glad I did make the choice to vaccinate. Autism and chickenpox would be miserable, or the autism and the measle’s. Bug bites and autismis miserable. Some kids with autism have a very difficult time with medicine and when they have fevers or need antibiotics, getting them to take it can be impossible, and dangerous if you can get those meds in a child.

    Choices are not so simple, are not so black and white. Any who thinks these choices are one size fits all is sadly mistaken.

  228. Twyla

    I found this interesting:
    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/july-dec02/offit_smallpox.html

    In this show, Dr. Paul Offit, prominent vaccine defender and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, discussed the potential effects of the smallpox vaccine.

    ****
    DR. OFFIT: Right. The healthy individuals who are receiving the vaccine for the first time are at risks of a number of things. And the risks are small, and they’re in the sort of 1-2 per 100,000 vaccinee rate for the first vaccinee.

    But they can get an infection of the brain, called encephalopathy or encephalitis. If they have eczema, they can have sometimes a severe and occasionally fatal disease called eczema vaccinatum. And this is very common that one can inadvertently touch the site that was inoculated and then touch the eye and have an infection of the eye, which can rarely be quite severe. In patients who have decreased capacities to fight infection, there is a disease called “progressive vaccinia” where in fact the disease is overwhelming and it is the cause of death.

    So, there are side effects which are quite severe, which when you start to immunize as many as 500,000 people you’re going to see. And what I think is sobering is that this is a vaccine which has eliminated disease, that was probably one of the most important causes of death in this world. Probably about 300 million people have died of smallpox. This vaccine has eliminated it.

    When the disease occurs, either in epidemic or endemic fashion, this vaccine is a godsend. But we don’t have smallpox disease anymore in this world. We haven’t seen a case on the face of this earth in 25 years. And I guess my sense of this is that arguably one could wait until there’s at least one case that’s documented as being smallpox anywhere, frankly, on the face of the earth before we move forward to inoculate so many people with a vaccine that can do harm.

    People hear the word, “vaccine” and they think “safe and effective.” And that’s true for the vaccines that we have today. But this vaccine has some serious side effects, and I’m not sure people are truly aware of that.

    ****

    For some reason, Dr. Offit is able to apply to the small pox vaccine exactly the analysis that we are saying should be applied to all vaccines: weigh the risks and the benefits. He acknowledges that the smallpox vaccine has some risks, but says that when smallpox was prevalent these risks were justified. Now that smallpox is not prevalent, there is not a justification for exposing people to that risk.

    He mentions “encephalopathy or encephalitis” and “eczema” – exactly what has been reported in among kids with autism who reacted to other vaccines such as MMR.

    Measles, mumps, rubella, and varicela viruses are not as dangerous as the smallpox virus, but the MMR can cause encephalitis, and the rate of problems such as encephalitis and seizures is increased when varicela is added to the mix.

    See Dan Olmsted’s articles about Proquad, which combined the MMR and varicela vaccines.
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/02/what-does-proqu.html
    http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/486623/the_age_of_autism_pox__part_3/
    http://www.richardgwhite.com/autism/060516_age_of_autism_pox_part_5.shtml

    Also, refer to the Bailey Banks decision at http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/Abell.BANKS.02-0738V.pdf for a description of MMR-induced acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), which is “an acute or subacute 3 encephalomyelitis or infiltration and demyelination”.

    The point is, there is a long history of a link between encephalitis and vaccines, supported by Dr. Offit’s comments in the above story as well as by VAERS reports and other sources. And, there is a link between inflammation of the brain and autism, supported by research such as the Vargas study.

    When we are faced with serious prevalent diseases some degree of risk from vaccines is acceptable. But in order to evaluate that risk, the risk cannot simply be denied and swept under the rug. The stories of vaccine injury are plausible and need to be fully investigated for the purpose of prevention and treatment. The rates of immune system problems among today’s children are too high to be ignored. And epidemiology is not the only kind of science.

    And, we have not done one of the most important epidemiological studies: a comparison of health issues in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children.

    I do not see any evidence that today’s children who receive 36 vaccines before school starts are healthier than children 30 years ago who received 10 vaccines, or children from European countries who receive 10 vaccines.

    I am not anti-vaccine. I believe in the importance of vaccines in fighting serious diseases. But I also believe we are giving too many too soon without sufficient understanding of serious adverse effects.

  229. Twyla

    Personally, to me Lindsay seems insincere. Some nice words, some convincing scientific jargon, cloaking complete and total bias against the admission of any link between vaccines and autism.

    Thanks, Sylvia, for your comment about mk. Enough said.

    This post will probably post before my other that I just wrote, which contains web sites and so is awaiting moderation.

  230. Casey

    I’m still puzzled by the presumption that once these viruses are “eradicated” we will magically stop having to vaccinate. The reason for their eradication will be our vaccination. Remove that and we’re just sick again.

    Most of all, and this doesn’t just apply to vaccinations, I’m puzzled by how many people want to take steps back. We’ve made tremendous progress in food production, medicine, energy, you name it! And yet on many fronts people are saying they would willingly take steps backward. Science is what separates us from apes- we are able to reason and make logical choices, leading to technological advancement. The answer to our salvation in every case lies in forging ahead, make no mistake.

  231. HCN

    Wait, why should we care what Olmsted wrote? This is the man who could not find the Clinic for Special Children while he was wandering around Pennsylvania without a clue!

    Where is the real actual factual evidence that the DTaP is worse than diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis (over a dozen American babies die from whooping cough each year)? Or that the MMR is worse than measles, mumps or rubella (measles and mumps each can cause serious neurological problems in one in a thousand cases, and congenital rubella syndrome is a known cause of autism)? Where are the journal articles with this evidence that I can find in my local medical school library?

    And in case someone tries to pull the silly VAERS card (self selection makes the worst survey data!), may I remind you again of this article, again for the third time:
    PEDIATRICS Vol. 117 No. 2 February 2006, pp. 387-390 (doi:10.1542/peds.2004-2687)
    “Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System Reporting Source: A Possible Source of Bias in Longitudinal Studies”

    Casey, you should be interested in the “John Snow Society”… especially the 2007 lecture on polio eradication. As before, I will not post a URL, but just look for johnsnowsociety, and download the mp3 for the 2007 lecture and look at the pdf of the slides by Dr. Henderson (I just listened to it today, and he does not have nice things to say about the World Health Organization!). By the way, I found out about it by wandering through Ben Goldacre’s BadScience blog. He apparently ranted about bad science reporting by certain radio programs (Jeni Barnett) in front of the location that a very important pump handle is kept… the date is March, 11, 2009 — it is titled “Christ I need a haircut”.

    Otherwise, about the comment here: I’ll get more popcorn tomorrow.

    (oh, I know about seizures… my kid got them as a newborn before any punctures and while infected with a now vaccine preventable disease, but I guess that doesn’t count!).

  232. Sandy

    That was an interesting article, and Dr. Offit is talking about in the event of a smallpox attack, which has been threatened for bio warfare. Dr. Offit is honest about this vaccines because the smallpox virus mutated and the vaccine that we once had is not effective on this virus, So Dr. Offit is talking about the new vaccine created. That is where the ‘for some reason’ comes from and wouldn’t apply to all vaccines but this one. Now if other viruses mutated, we’d be in big trouble. The threat of bio warfare is very real. Interestingly, smallpox has ben around since at least the 18th century and continued to have a huge mortality rate which 80 percent were children, there after until a vaccine was created. Millions of people could still be dying had there been no vaccine.

    Encephalitis can happen with out without a vaccine and can happen if you contract the measles virus as well. Anyone can have eczema with or without a vaccine too.

    Again, most children do not get 36 vaccines before they start school. People who keep repeating GR blown out of proportion ad hasn’t really looked at that ad well enough. For starters, GR full page ad includes the 11/12 year old vaccine, prenatal flu vaccine, and the flu vaccine after birth which are not mandatory for schools but in one state (in that state, you wouldn’t have to give the flu vaccine yearly until school started for a child), and it also includes the Hep A vaccine which is not required to enter school either in any state. making a statement of “children who receive 36 vaccines before school starts” is totally giving misinformation, period. All that ad was, was a great big fear/ smear propaganda tactic against the CDC presented to the public and the only people who ever quote it is those related to the autism community. Some one also needs to look carefully at the European vaccine schedule. in the left column if you only are counting there, it only appears to be 10. Try counting the right side of actual vaccines. Regardless of their vaccine schedule, they still have high rates of autism as well and that area has the highest rate of MMR vaccine rejection. They also have a high rate of measles outbreaks.

  233. Twyla

    Sandy said, “Encephalitis can happen with out without a vaccine and can happen if you contract the measles virus as well. Anyone can have eczema with or without a vaccine too.” Yeah, and concussions & broken bones can happen without car accidents but we still try to prevent car accidents.

    As far as the number of vaccines, as I said before here is the CDC schedule http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/downloads/child/2009/09_0-6yrs_schedule_pr.pdf . Count them for yourself, and stop splitting hairs.

    Bottom line, there are a lot more than 25 years ago. Here is the 1983 schedule: http://www.generationrescue.org/pdf/cdc1983.pdf

    Maybe for some of these additional vaccines the risk of the disease outweighs the risk of the disease, but definitely not for all of them. For example, most babies are not at risk for Hepatitis B. Babies are only at risk for Hep B if the mother is infected with this virus. And I have never known any American baby to have a problem with Rotavirus. Most babies in the U.S. simply fight off this virus without serious illness. Even a case of severe diarrhea resulting in dehydration with hospitalization (which is very rare) generally ends in full recovery.

    Furthermore, where the benefit of a vaccine is greater than the risk for most people, there may still be susceptible groups for whom the risk of the vaccine is greater. Susceptibility to vaccine injury must be better understood.

    And, when vaccine injuries occur, treatment must be better understood. Vaccine adverse events cannot simply be accepted as collateral damage to the war on germs. If vaccines can cause harm, that harm must be understood, not simply cavalierly dismissed.

    When we say, “Our vaccine program has problems and some children are being seriously harmed,” the response we are getting from many is, “It’s irresponsible to not vaccinate.” That is a nonsequitor.

    Also, Sandy, you said that the reason why some vaccines have “trace” amounts of thimerosal is only because there is still a bit of thimerosal on the manufacturing equipment which will wear off in time. What is your source on that? I have never heard that before. Are you claiming to have insider information? The FDA told me that thimerosal is used in the manufacturing process of those vaccines, and is then removed via a purification process.
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2007/12/emails-from-cdc.html
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/04/more-emails-fro.html

    Regarding Dan Olmstead and the oft repeated bulloney that he “could not find the Clinic for Special Children” see
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/05/olsted-the-amis.html
    and
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/05/olsted-the-am-1.html
    and
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/02/attacking-my-am.html

  234. Mark

    You’re welcome, Lindsay. The best way to improve communications skills is through practice! And don’t let Teresa or Twyla get to you.

    Thank you, Casey, for making the point that I was going to make: That the germs still exist and the reason people don’t get sick from those diseases is because of the vaccinations. It’s baffling that some people think that because essentially nobody in the US gets polio, for example, that means the germs no longer exist.

    Teresa, yes the people who read the blog can figure out what’s going on in this thread. People have made scientifically based critiques of the research you post, and you continually post the same things, as if repeating it makes it true. In my opinion you are trying to find answers to the heartbreaking question of why autism strikes, which is a noble cause. In my opinion you are misguided, but you have gone through tremendous suffering. God bless you and your family.

  235. Twyla

    Initially I was not going to respond to mk’s comments such as
    “It has become more and more clear that Teresa is a bit of an irrational lunatic. I know, that sounds mean and rude… I think we can all be done with her.” and “The children deserve a great deal of compassion… no doubt. You on the other hand deserve nothing but scorn. You pro-disease creep.” Sylvia’s response to mk was right on the mark.

    But after skimming through these posts one more time, I must mention that all of mk’s comments are brief scornful insults almost completely devoid of information. In contrast, Teresa presented a whole lot of information including a number of interesting studies and her own moving informative stories about her experiences with her daughter. She is clearly an intelligent and rational person, no raving lunatic.

    Another thing I noticed is that at 2:34 a.m. on May 10 I said, “And calling us ‘anti-vaxers’ over and over again evades the issue of vaccine safety. This is not a question of all-or-nothing. We need to do a better job of weighing the risks and benefits of each vaccine and the combined schedule, understanding the causes of vaccine reactions, and treating adverse reactions.”

    At 6:35 p.m. on May 10 Lindsay referred to us as “anti-vaccinationists”, in the midst of a very condescending post about how parents are overly emotional and therefore should leave everything in the hands of the experts.

    At 11:38 p.m. on May 10, I said, “Lindsay, the fact that you call us ‘anti-vaccinationists’ shows that you are not listening, not reading with an open mind, and don’t understand what we are saying.”

    At 4:41 p.m. on May 11 Lindsay replied, “I would be happy to call y’all anything you’d like, but realized that was the only name I knew for people from your standpoint, having never seen it corrected.” Either Lindsay did not read my 2:34 comment, did not really listen, or is being disingenuous, using the term even though she knows that it is propaganda.

    In her May 10 6:35 p.m. Lindsay also described parents as having an “intense emotional component,” a “strong sense of being wronged in some way,” that there is a “mistrust that people seem to have for science and medicine” and that “desperate people find alternatives and science” and “they are preventing solutions and forward movement on this problem,” and all of this “does make you [parents] bad at coming to conclusions that are in line with reality. It takes a very intelligent and wise person to say, ‘this is too close to me, I can’t think clearly about it anymore. I’ll have to rely on someone who can.’” All of this is extremely condescending, insulting, and dismissive of the many parents who, in the face of little to no help from mainstream medicine, have worked hard to treat their autistic children’s medical problems. Lindsay, you have been praised for being so rational and calm and kind, but that is not how I see you. You are skillfully inserting the knife and giving it a little twist, figuratively speaking, and engaging in subtle slurs and propaganda.

    For some information on recovery, see:
    http://www.generationrescue.org/testimonials.php
    and
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/04/autism-is-preventable-and-reversible-watch-autism-yesterday-here.html

    Lindsay, if you are really interested in dialogue, don’t be so close-minded to the experiences of parents. Parent see how their children are every day, what makes them worse and what helps to make them better. Parental observations should not be so readily dismissed. Empirical observation is science at its most basic level, which should be built upon rather than disregarded.

    A growing amount of research links autism witn immune disfunction, and vaccines with immune disfunction. This combined with parental accounts of vaccine injuries is deserving of much more attention and research, not dismissal.

    See http://www.ageofautism.com/2007/10/the-semmelweis-.html#more

  236. Sandy

    Think about it. Thimerosal was used as a preservative. What then would be the point of a purification process to then remove the Thimerosal? That doesn’t even make sense. It’s also hard to know the validity of your CDC letters.
    In any event- via the FDA, Thimerosal has been “removed from or reduced to trace amounts”. November 2002 is when the expiration dates expired for Thimerosal-containing HepB, Hib, and DTaP vaccines. If you want to scrabble about trace amounts, have at it.

    I’ve already given my views on the Hep B vaccine. Just say no. Even if you have never known any child to have rotavirus, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. No one should base choices because you have never known anyone. My child contracted Rotavirus (yes, I live in America) as well as RSV which has a vaccine too but not at the time my child was young. He contracted them both from day care. Either can be deadly for a child and require hospitalization. Even if a child recovers, it is then no different than vaccine injury since regardless of long term effects, the child did survived. You either have to look at injury as injury no matter what and give it all the same attention, not down play injury from contracting something but then promote awareness of injury only to vaccines. One could also then down play vaccine injury but stating “they didn’t die”, “vaccine injured kids often don’t require hospitalization, either”. But some due. Seems to me of either children who contract the virus(s) or have a vaccine, there is less chance of severe consequences for those who get the vaccines compared to the virus of at least the 2 I mentioned.
    RSV damaged my child’s lungs. Severe dehydration can damage organs including the brain, seizures, permanent brain damage. Try having Rotavirus along with another virus. Viruses just don’t have manners to choose to infect people or children one at a time.

    “Furthermore, where the benefit of a vaccine is greater than the risk for most people, there may still be susceptible groups for whom the risk of the vaccine is greater. Susceptibility to vaccine injury must be better understood.” Key word “may be” sub groups and I am betting there is. I am betting some have a genetic issue that makes them more susceptible not only to vaccines, but to any other medicine as well. Until scientist’s come up with a test prior, it’s a choice parents will have to make for themselves since no one can simple guess who would be part of that sub group.

  237. mk

    @Twyla,

    Sorry, the most fitting appellation is probably The Pro-disease Anti-vax Copy & Paste Brigade. ;^}

  238. HCN

    Also, there should be a corollary to Scopie’s Law about the Age of Autism webpage. It is a pretty silly place, I understand today their resident lawyer/science teacher is claiming that bugs make metal! This is his explanation of why Doctor’s Data test show high aluminum, it does not occur to him that Doctor’s Data is a crappy lab that will something even if it is not there! (Scopie’s Law is “In any discussion involving science or medicine, citing Whale.to as a credible source loses you the argument immediately …and gets you laughed out of the room.”)

    Sandy said “Even if you have never known any child to have rotavirus, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. ”

    My son got rotavirus, and became so dehydrated that he had a grand mal seizure and was transported by ambulance to the hospital. It is a horrible disease, especially since I also got it from him while I was dealing with stuff multiple diapers could not contain. I would put a cloth diaper, cover it with a plastic diaper and then cover it with plastic pants. I also could not get him to drink enough fluids. For myself, I placed a cloth diaper with my underwear and could not be far from the bathroom.

    What is really weird is that all my symptoms disappeared when my son had his seizure.

    We are also not sure if it was his seizures as a newborn or the last one from the rotavirus caused his severe communication and learning disabilities.

    Though perhaps in the Age of Autism/Generation Endangerment world seizures that occur from the actual diseases don’t really count.

  239. Lindsay

    (Whew, finally done with that grading.)

    I’m saddened that you and Twyla have given up on me as being disingenuous. I don’t know at this point how I can change y’alls minds about that. I will just have to accept my failure and learn from the experience.

    As far as the comments I made that were condescending (or insulting), they weren’t meant to be (which I guess you won’t believe). They were meant to be a criticism, however. I don’t think anyone here is stupid, uneducated, or otherwise incapable of evaluating evidence surrounding the vaccines and autism, but I think that any human being on the face of the planet can be so affected by emotions as to prevent rational thought. That’s not insulting or condescending, it’s acknowledging that parents are human beings that love their children more than they love themselves!

    However, I do think that people can spin scientific information to paint a picture that make just enough since to convince people of a conclusion. People often decide on a conclusion based on circumstantial, anecdotal, or poor information, and then become not open to criticisms of their position, whether through the research or personal circumstances. Then the attitude becomes not “evaluating evidence” but “supporting my conclusion.”

    As far as my position on the matter, I am a scientist. With this or any other claim, my default position is going to be the one supported by scientists who have studied and researched this topic for more years than I’ve been alive. I do implicitly trust science as a process, so that’s going to be my baseline.

    But, I know that science as a process is all about change and development of new ideas with the inclusion of supporting evidence. So I’m completely open to have my mind changed. A good example of how my mind was changed about the safety of chemicals was a set of brilliant and meticulous studies performed by Tyrone Hayes on the effects of atrazine (a common pesticide). I was initially extremely skeptical of the general results, that atrazine is an extremely potent endocrine (hormone) disruptor. But in reading the studies (many of which can be found on atrazine’s wikipedia page), it became irrational to continue believing in my previously held beliefs about the safety of this startlingly common chemical. I encourage everyone to look into it; very important to be aware of!

    It’s precisely because I give people the benefit of the doubt regarding being rational and logical that I have taken my time to read as many papers as I can (in a short period) and evaluate some of the papers posted. All of my comments are perfectly fair and not beyond the scope of my understanding of biology or scientific research.

    No one has yet commented on my evaluations of the papers that I’ve spent time with, including ideas that put the heart of the vaccine-autism hypothesis in jeopardy, such as the idea supported by researchers of the Herbert et al. (2003) paper that autism is a set of highly heritable developmental disorders and begins before birth. This is also mirrored by a paper that came out today in Nature: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v459/n7244/full/nature07868.html (Klin et al, Nature 459, 257-261 (14 May 2009)) that finds disturbances in visual-auditory processing that might be apparent (although they haven’t yet tested this) in babies as young as two days.

    So, I have not yet run across any evidence that these links exist that can’t be explained by either faulty experimental design and/or questionable statistics. I have found plenty of evidence that alternative hypotheses, such as autism being a developmental disorder that’s most severe symptoms appear at the same time as children are being vaccinated.

    Is this a simple and rudimentary understanding of what science knows about autism? I should hope so. I’m not an expert. Does it seem more in line with the people who do know autism in and out, who are on the bleeding edge of researching the causes and effects of this disorder to develop new ways to test, treat, and cure it? Yes, and because I don’t know any more, I will trust them.

    I guess that’s all I have to say about it. I’ll continue reading the references in the comments to explore the science. I promise that I will be the first person to be trumpeting from the rooftops if I find damning evidence that links autism to childhood vaccines.

    Thank you, everyone, for what I consider a very valuable interaction! I really do feel like I know much more about this issue and autism than I did a couple days ago. Now that I am done grading, I have to get back to my own research.

  240. Twyla

    Lindsay said, “As far as the comments I made that were condescending (or insulting), they weren’t meant to be…” Regardless of whether they were meant to be condescending, they were very condescending.

    Lindsay said, “I have found plenty of evidence that alternative hypotheses, such as autism being a developmental disorder that’s most severe symptoms appear at the same time as children are being vaccinated.” It is not possible for a purely genetic syndrome to have increased so much in a 25 year period. There has to be some change in the environment — such as the increased number of vaccines and/or environmental toxins — to account for such a large increase. The mantra of “no increase just better diagnosis” is unrealistic in relation to research such as that at UC Davis, the statistics kept by school districts, the experiences of professionals working in educational and other fields for several decades, and the memories of everyday people.

    Lindsay said, “Does it [the developmental disorder hypothesis] seem more in line with the people who do know autism in and out, who are on the bleeding edge of researching the causes and effects of this disorder to develop new ways to test, treat, and cure it? Yes, and because I don’t know any more, I will trust them.” DAN! doctors know autism inside and out and are on the bleeding edge of treating autism and figuring out cause and effects. I encourage you to read Dr. Bryan Jepson’s book “Changing the Course of Autism — A Scientific Approach for Parents and Physicians”.

    I cannot access the Nature article you mention. However, given your reluctance to consider any evidence that is not totally proven, it seems odd to me that you would say, “that finds disturbances in visual-auditory processing that might be apparent (although they haven’t yet tested this) in babies as young as two days…” Might be apparent though not tested yet??

    No doubt there is a genetic component to autism. But so far the genetic aberrations found to be more common among people with autism are also found in people without autism, such as for example MET. This would indicate a vulnerability — a susceptibility factor — rather than a purely genetic cause.

    I truly hope that you are sincere and that you continue to learn about these issues with an open mind. Alas, it seems that for the most part the people who pay attention are those who witnessed vaccine reactions in their own children. Most others are hypnotized by the “just a coincidence” chant:

    - Just a coincidence that the rate of autism has increased dramatically at the same time a the number of vaccines has increased dramatically.

    - Just a coincidence that thousands of parents have told independently of vaccine reactions followed by loss of speech and social skills, often accompanied by immune system disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease.

    - Just a coincidence that these vaccine reactions are consistent with reactions reported to VAERS over the years. (Unfortunately our agencies have not been tracking these reactions to monitor how many resulted in autism*.)

    - Just a coincidence that thousands of children with autism have gotten better with biomedical treatments — some to the point of losing the autism diagnosis.

    - Just a coincidence that pet owners and veterinarians have reported “vaccinosis” in over-vaccinated pets including many of the same health issues reported in children with autism such as IBD, seizures, thyroid disorder, eczema…

    That is an awful lot of coincidences. The role of science should be to get at the truth, not to cause paralysis by analysis, or paralysis by prejudice and smoke screens and sophistry.

    *”The branch of the government that handles vaccine court told CBS News: ‘Some children who have been compensated for vaccine injuries… may ultimately end up with autism or autistic symptoms, but we do not track cases on this basis.’” See http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/12/cbsnews_investigates/main4086809.shtml

  241. HCN

    Twyla said “- Just a coincidence that the rate of autism has increased dramatically at the same time a the number of vaccines has increased dramatically.”

    It is more closely associated with redifinition of autism in the DSM, plus changes in IDEA.

  242. Sandy

    It depends on which theory one is looking at. Some say it was the MMR, which was started in 1979 I think. One would also have to determine the meaning of “vaccines has increased dramatically” since the actual vaccines and dates of when they started wasn’t included in the statement.

    You can not solely look at autism rates to find coincidence or cause. At the same time of those few vaccines added, so was autism added to IDEA. 20 years ago, autism rates were not counted at all.

    No one commented on the study where behavior therapy helped 10 percent of children with autism to loose their diagnosis. Even if biomedical helped children, that does not prove cause to vaccines, just as behavior therapy does not prove cause. All it proves is an intervention that helps some kids.

  243. HCN

    Sandy said “It depends on which theory one is looking at. Some say it was the MMR, which was started in 1979 I think”

    Actually it was 1971, it was introduced in the UK at about 1992 (after issues with their version of the MMR), and it has never been used in Japan (the version they used for a while used a different mumps strain). Paul Offit’s book on the man responsible for the bulk of the MMR, Maurice Hilleman, is a very good read.

  244. Twyla

    To read more about Dr. Martha Herbert’s work, you may be interested in visiting her web site at http://www.marthaherbert.com/index.html .

    Dr. Herbert says, “After much thought, I have come to the formulation that autism may be most inclusively understood and helped through an inclusive whole-body systems approach, where genes and environment are understood to interplay.”
    and
    “Brain changes in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders are due to an interaction of ‘hardware’ (structural changes) and ‘software’ (functional
    changes) that are influenced by body physiology. Behaviors defining autism and other conditions can come from various versions of these interactions. Treatment depends on a) identifying biologically distinct subgroups and b) identifying ‘software’ that we can modify when it makes sense to increase constructive options. We are interested in alleviating the components of suffering of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders so the creativity can more fully express itself. Some children are significantly improving their quality of life; this mandates studying and optimizing treatments now.”

    When I saw Dr. Herbert speak at a DAN! conference, she spoke compellingly about how what she was seeing in studies of brains appeared to be “downstream” from the biochemical, digestive, and immune system issues described by DAN! practitioners.

    Does she specifically say that vaccines can cause autism? I’m not sure. But what she does say strongly is that autism is not only about genes and the brain. Autism is related to environmental exposures and the whole body. And some people with autism are showing improvement with medical treatments.

    She does NOT say, Lindsay, that autism is simply a genetic developmental disorder that happens to appear when vaccines are given because for some unknown internal reason genes are turning on or off at that age. If, as you say, “my default position is going to be the one supported by scientists who have studied and researched this topic for more years than I’ve been alive,” you may be interested in reading more about her work. I don’t know how long you have been alive, but I know she has been researching the brain for many years!

    And her professional qualifications are substantial “Dr. Martha Herbert is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, a Pediatric Neurologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, a member of the MGH Center for Morphometric Analysis, and an affiliate of the Harvard-MIT-MGH Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. She is director of the TRANSCEND Research Program (Treatment Research and Neuroscience Evaluation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders).”

    Vaccines are one of our children’s environmental exposures. They are of course not the only exposure, which is one of the reasons why it can be difficult for epidemiological studies to pinpoint causation.

  245. Twyla

    Here is a description of a wonderful example of mainstream medical practitioners, CDC representatives, DAN! doctors, and parents coming together to learn from each other, at a conference in Maine:

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/05/the-maine-event-cdc-and-dhha-hosts-groundbreaking-autism-conference-for-doctors.html#comment-form

    There is no reason why the debates over autism causes and treatments should be acrimonious.

  246. Twyla

    Another issue of concern — mercury in the environment. Per a May 5, 2009 article in the New York Times, “They sampled Pacific Ocean water from 16 sites between Honolulu and Kodiak, Alaska… Their sampling showed 2006 mercury levels were approximately 30 percent greater than mid-1990s levels.”

    See http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/05/05/05greenwire-federal-study-opens-new-avenues-for-mercury-po-12208.html

  247. I first want to say that those who think that the government cares about your health more than their fattening wallets are STUPID!!! Think of it like this. They make money on something that is dangerous to some, but they do not personally see any of the dangers; it is hard to feel guilty when the dangers are out of sight and out of mind. When will the govt. care about autism? When a senator’s grandchild is diagnosed as such. Before that, the dollar will rule their hearts on this issue.

    I posted this on the other blog about this:

    I record conferences for my job and one of them that meets twice yearly is all about autism.

    I have not studied the data or circumstances, but I can tell you what I see at this conference.

    Twice a year I see 1000 different parents of a newly diagnosed autism child stand (literally) to make the claim that they think that their child got autism from a vaccine infusion.

    Mr. Mooney seems to be one of those kinds of guys who completly trusts the government and thinks the masses are ignorant of everything, even the things that are right in front of them like their autistic child.

    One of these previous comments said that this article was appearently a good example that Google searchs do not make you a journalist. That sounds about right. And it seems that he really only searched one side of the controversey. Argh!

    Anyway… I did not post for that.

    The conference is called Defeat Autism Now! or DAN! for short [ http://www.defeatautismnow.com ]. Jenny McCarthy has spoken there twice. It works in conjunction with the Autism Research Institute (ARI) [ http://www.autism.com ].

    Check out my company’s website http://www.instatapes.com/DAN where you can purchase previous conferences on DigiVision which is slides and video synced together.

    We also have free lectures at http://www.instatapes.com/freelectures about two or three of thirty will be about autism.

    And finally, we have some previews of lectures from the DAN conference on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/AutismConference There are only a few up there now but it will be more in the future. Please remember that they are previews not the whole thing.

    Consider researching Bernard Rimland (deceased 2006). He founded the ARI and is called by many ‘The Father of Modern Autism Research.’ He wrote many books on the subject and was incredibly smart. Also get more names from the http://www.instatapes.com/DAN pages; most of them are very smart.

  248. I first want to say that those who think that the government cares about your health more than their fattening wallets are STUPID!!! Think of it like this. They make money on something that is dangerous to some, but they do not personally see any of the dangers; it is hard to feel guilty when the dangers are out of sight and out of mind. When will the govt. care about autism? When a senator’s grandchild is diagnosed as such. Before that, the dollar will rule their hearts on this issue.

    I posted other stuff that is in moderation. We’ll see if it goes.

  249. I also want to say this about shooting vaccines all at once.

    That is the DUMBEST THING EVER.

    In math we say that 1+1+1=3. So we think that the child will not be affceted anymore than 3. Anyone with a descent understanding of Biochemistry knows that, with the right chemicals, 1+1+1 can equal 300. Or in other words… It is impossible to make an account for all 30 something vaccines and each child’s individual biochemistry. Anything can happen.

    Your playing russian roulette and the outcome for you might be flu symptoms for a week, a slight coma, autism, or even DEATH!

    As I like to say sometimes … Danger, Will Robinson.

  250. Anonymous

    Chris -

    If you’re interested in getting this tiny war started again, there is an interesting PLoS article investigating this exact interaction between scientists and a wary public:

    http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1000114

    Citation is :

    Gross L (2009) A Broken Trust: Lessons from the Vaccine–Autism Wars. PLoS Biol 7(5): e1000114. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000114.

    I found it extremely interesting after following the comments on this thread.

    Cheers.

  251. Twyla

    For a comprehensive four-part review of current science on “Metals, Myelin & Mitochondria Pathways to Autism”, see http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/05/david-kirbys-autism-one-presentation-metals-myelin-mitochondria-pathways-to-autism.html , where David Kirby’s presentation from the recent Autism One conference is available in full.

  252. marie campbell

    Why is no one talking of the dangers that are posed to those who come in contact through diaper changing a newly vaccinated baby??? My healthy 31 year old daughter has ADEM: ACUTE DISSEMINATED ENCEPHALOMYELITIS FROM COMING IN CONTACT WITH A MESSY DIAPER FROM HER INFANT!! SHE HAS LESIONS IN HER BRAIN AND SPINE. SHE LOST HER SPEECH AND NOW HAS LOST THE ABILITY TO WALK. WE DONT KNOW IF SHE WILL EVER RECOVER. SHE IS COVERED WITH A RASH ON HER FACE AND UPPER CHEST. THE BABY ALSO HAS A RASH. THE DOCTOR SAID THEY HAVE SEEN PEOPLE WITH LESS EVIDENCE THAN THIS WIN THEIR CASES AGAINST VAERS: VACCINE ADVERSE EPISODE REPORTING SYSTEM…WHY IS NO ONE ELSE TALKING ABOUT THE DIAPER CHANGING OF THESE INFANTS TO THEIR CARETAKERS??? I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS IS THE ONLY TIME THIS HAS EVER TAKEN PLACE….MY DAUGHTER IS ONLY 31, WAS HEALTHY, SHE HAS 3 SMALL SONS. WHO IS SUPPOSED TO HANDLE HER HOUSEHOLD AND BOYS NOW THAT SHE IS WHEELCHAIR BOUND??? WHO ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS??? THIS EVENT TOOK PLACE IN PA. HAS ANYONE ELSE HEARD OF THIS??? SHARE YOUR STORY….THIS IS HAPPENING…IT HAS BEEN OVER TWO MONTHS NOW….WE ARE PRAYING FOR RECOVERY. ALL CARETAKES WHO CHANGE DIAPERS OF NEWLY VACCINATED INFANTS MUST WEAR GLOVES. IT IS RARE…BUT IT ISNT RARE TO US ANYMORE. THANK YOU FOR READING…

  253. peggy

    Marie, Yes I have heard of this. It should be common knowledge to disinfect your hands after coming in contact with any feces for exposure to this and also to ecoli etc. which cna cuse paralysis. I hope your daughter has recovered. Unless someone is conducting scientific studies in a lab with human participants, they are NOT doing ‘research’ and not making an informed decision. These diseases are deadly and preventable through vaccinations. To put your child at risk is unconscionable. Just because you have a choice does not mean that you are making the right one. Who would actually prefer to have their child vulnerable to say Pertussis than to be under the weather for a day or two from the vaccination for it? It is ignorant to say the least. Google some of these diseases!! I am sure mothers in Africa would be lining up to save their infants from these diseases that still run rampant around them. Google Tetanus and tell me what are going to say when you take litte Johnny to emerg after he cuts his foot and the doc says when was the last time Johnny had a tetanus shot and you say ‘never’. omg are you going to take the chance he gets tetanus???? If you do, well I don’t even know how to reason that one.

    edited because I can’t type :)

  254. Katie

    I have not vacinated my daughter. A few things many people don’t talk about in these debates that informed my decision:
    1. The scientific studies I was able to find were very limited in scope and difficult to understand. None of them reassured me that my daughter would not be harmed by the vaccines. They did prove that vacines do work to prevent the diseases they are made to prevent.
    2. I read so many accounts of children being hurt by vacinations. My husband had a terrible reaction to his childhood vaccinations. My sisters son had a mild rection. Just becuase it isn’t a scientific study doesn’t mean that data isn’t valid. Observations of their children by parents is data I trust and value.
    3. I think the mainstream medical community is misreporting/ underreporting the harms of vaccines becuase they know parents won’t vaccinate their children if they believe the vaccines aren’t safe. I believe the rational for this by the mainstream medical community is that, yes, some people will be harmed from the vaccines, but if the rate of vaccination compliance gets too low, many more will be hurt from the diseases. I don’t agree with this “the greatest good” ethical philosophy. More reachearch needs to be done on why some kids/people have reactions to vaccines. I’m not anti vaccine, I just don’t want to hurt my child.

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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.

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