Science Feed

CDC Issues a Gag Order on CDC Employees

Gag_Order_WideBy Ginger Taylor

Axios has obtained an internal message from the CDC's public affairs officer, Jeffrey Lancashire, dated August 31, to all CDC employees.  His directive to them was to stop talking to the media, “even for a simple data-related question.”

CDC cracks down on communications with reporters

The memo reads:

"Effective immediately and until further notice, any and all correspondence with any member of the news media, regardless of the nature of the inquiry, must be cleared through CDC's Atlanta Communications Office. This correspondence includes everything from formal interview requests to the most basic of data requests."

Axios tried to contact Mr. Lancashire to find out more about the policy; however, he has not responded.

Why is even basic data being treated like state secrets?

It's almost like the CDC has something to hide.

UPDATE:

BREAKING:

THIS JUST IN:

CDC HAS RELEASED A VIDEO EXPLAINING TO THE PUBLIC WHY THEIR NEW STANCE IS NECESSARY:

 


Risk Of ASD 20% Higher For Child If Mother Has Flu Vaccine In First Trimester

Dice no yes maybeNot even Kaiser Permanente have been able to completely fudge the association between the vaccine and autism in this study, after exchanges with Brian Hooker and Donzelli et al. Here is the abstract:-

JAMA Pediatr. 2017 Jan 2;171(1):e163609. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.3609. Epub 2017 Jan 2.

Association Between Influenza Infection and Vaccination During Pregnancy and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Zerbo O1, Qian Y1, Yoshida C1, Fireman BH1, Klein NP1, Croen LA1.

Author information

Abstract

Importance:

Maternal infections and fever during pregnancy are associated with increased risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). To our knowledge, no study has investigated the association between influenza vaccination during pregnancy and ASD.

Objective:

To investigate the association between influenza infection and vaccination during pregnancy and ASD risk.

Design, Setting, and Participants:

This cohort study included 196 929 children born at Kaiser Permanente Northern California from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2010, at a gestational age of at least 24 weeks.

Exposures:

Data on maternal influenza infection and vaccination from conception date to delivery date, obtained from Kaiser Permanente Northern California inpatient and outpatient databases. Influenza infection was defined by the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes or positive influenza laboratory test results.

Continue reading "Risk Of ASD 20% Higher For Child If Mother Has Flu Vaccine In First Trimester" »


Autism, Learn To Live With It.

White-flagNOTE: Seems like since Mrs. Wright's death last year, Autism Speaks has changed its mission from "It's time to listen," to "It's time to give up." What a sin. Let's live with autism. Cancer. Alzheimers. Diabetes. MD. Raise money and live with it. Disgusting in the extreme.

By Ginger Taylor, MS

Just saw a new Autism Speaks commercial. The message...

"Learn to live with it."

I kid you not. 

(Let's just skip past the horrid imagery of a child with autism on a boat in the water with no supervision for the sake of time and trauma.)

For the few people who don't see a problem with this or understand why so many of us are so angry, please contrast compare two possible positions here.  The first has been espoused by our community for more than a decade, the second is espoused by Autism Speaks.

1. Autism is preventable and medically treatable.

2. Autism, learn to live with it.

The first is accurate and appropriate, as there are medical treatments for people diagnosed with autism that will alleviate the symptoms of autism (some of which are life threatening...  re: children in a boat in the water with no supervision). This will make their lives better without them having to spend hours and weeks and years combating a terribly debilitating condition. If there is medical treatment available for a debilitating condition, is ethical to tell people that there is medical treatment available for their debilitating condition.

Continue reading "Autism, Learn To Live With It." »


Autism Research Institute Presents Research Updates: Immunological Issues in ASD - Gestational Influences, with Dr. Judy Van de Water

ARI 50Autism Research Institute is presenting a Webinar tomorrow, 4/12 titled:  Immunological Issues in ASD - Gestational Influences. Register here. From ARI:

Join Judy Van de Water, PhD to learn about gestational influences on neurodevelopment.

Dr. Van de Water joined the faculty in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of California, Davis in 1999. In 2000, she also joined the faculty of the newly formed UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute when she began her research on the immunobiology of autism. Dr. Van de Water’s laboratory pursues research programs pertaining to autoimmune and clinical immune-based disorders including the biological aspects of autism spectrum disorders. The application of Dr. Van de Water’s immunopathology background has been instrumental in the dissection of the immune anomalies noted in some individuals with autism, and in the differentiation of various autism behavioral phenotypes at a biological level. Most notable of these is the investigation of the maternal immune system as it relates to autism spectrum disorders, with particular emphasis on the presence of highly specific maternal autoantibodies to fetal brain proteins.

Continue reading "Autism Research Institute Presents Research Updates: Immunological Issues in ASD - Gestational Influences, with Dr. Judy Van de Water" »


Safeminds Presents an Interview with Autistic Autism Advocate James Williams

Listen to usNOTE: We're pleased to share this interview from our sponsor Safeminds. While many of our own children can not self-advocate, and the term has become tarnished by many in the Neurodiversity movement, it's important and we welcome those with autism who can help our kids to do so. Thanks, Lisa Wiederlight of Safeminds and James. Please visit the Safeminds site here.

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An Interview with James Williams, Autistic Advocate, SafeMinds Communications Committee Member

Last year, SafeMinds Executive Director Lisa Wiederlight, had the privilege of interviewing James Williams, a 27 year-old man with autism. James is a bright, highly-intelligent advocate for and representative of the autism community. The text of the interview follows.

Please tell us about yourself, and provide some information on your background.

I am an adult with autism, age 27, who has lived with autism all of my life. Though my official diagnosis of autism was at the age of three, in 1991, I was filmed extensively as an infant as part of a research project to showcase "normal" child development, and this footage has revealed that my autism emerged at birth.

My diagnosis at the age of three was the product of two things--an "explosion" of autism symptoms that increased at 18-months that included a digression of language, and my parent's belief that my digression was a product of the "terrible two's," a belief that had to be discarded when I turned three and the behavior did not change.

I underwent many therapies and interventions growing up--physical therapy, occupational therapy, theraplay, auditory integration training, and speech therapy--you name it, I had it, with two notable exceptions--ABA therapy and psychotropic drugs. My parents did not believe in ABA or drugs, and refused to give me such interventions.

After a highly-successful early intervention where I regained full language, I began my presenting career at the age of 11, answering questions after a presentation by parent advocate Annabel Stehli that was organized by auditory therapist Terrie Silverman. This led to a full-time career as a traveling presenter that I continue today. I am also the author of three books, Out to Get Jack, The H.A.L. Experiment, When Gary Comes to Play. I have served on the leadership team for Camp R.O.C.K.S., a summer camp for individuals with autism, from 2007 to 2012, and also a professional musician who plays the recorder.

Continue reading "Safeminds Presents an Interview with Autistic Autism Advocate James Williams" »


New Study: Many Cases of Infantile Autism may Actually be Induced by Acetaminophen exposure shortly after birth

Infant tylenolNOTE: Can you think of a product more fraught with injury? From the poisoning scandal decades ago, to heavy metal pieces found in the product, to the actual usage causing a cascade of chemical changes linked to autism.  One day, Tylenol will be viewed like Thalidomide. Soon, we hope.

Jennifer Margulis, co-author of The Vaccine Friendly Plan with Dr. Paul Thomas posted this on Vaccine Friendly PlanFacebook: 

Breaking news: A team of researchers from Duke University School of Medicine and Harvard University have just this morning published a comprehensive review article in the peer-reviewed JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL MEDICINE showing scientifically how acetaminophen is a MAJOR FACTOR in DAMAGING CHILDREN'S BRAINS.

"The use of acetaminophen in babies and young children may be much more strongly associated with autism than its use during pregnancy, perhaps because of well-known deficiencies in the metabolic breakdown of pharmaceuticals during early development. Thus, one explanation for the increased prevalence of autism is that increased exposure to acetaminophen, exacerbated by inflammation and oxidative stress, is neurotoxic in babies and small children. This view mandates extreme urgency in probing the long-term effects of acetaminophen use in babies and the possibility that many cases of infantile autism may actually be induced by acetaminophen exposure shortly after birth," the 9 scientists write.

Please take the time to READ this study and SHARE it with your doctor, nurse practitioner, hospital worker, or other healthcare provider. And please tag any JOURNALISTS you know and encourage them to write about it: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0300060517693423

ABSTRACT

The wide range of factors associated with the induction of autism is invariably linked with either inflammation or oxidative stress, and sometimes both. The use of acetaminophen in babies and young children may be much more strongly associated with autism than its use during pregnancy, perhaps because of well-known deficiencies in the metabolic breakdown of pharmaceuticals during early development. Thus, one explanation for the increased prevalence of autism is that increased exposure to acetaminophen, exacerbated by inflammation and oxidative stress, is neurotoxic in babies and small children. This view mandates extreme urgency in probing the long-term effects of acetaminophen use in babies and the possibility that many cases of infantile autism may actually be induced by acetaminophen exposure shortly after birth


The Microbiome-Gut-Brain Axis in Health and Disease

MicrobiomeFrom Cork, Ireland to Houston, Texas researchers are exploring the MICROBIOME as key to helping the BRAIN.

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2017 Mar;46(1):77-89. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2016.09.007. Epub 2017 Jan 4.

The Microbiome-Gut-Brain Axis in Health and Disease.

Dinan TG1, Cryan JF2.

Author information

  • 1APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland; Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioural Science, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. Electronic address: t.dinan@ucc.ie.
  • 2APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland; Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.

Abstract

Gut microbes are capable of producing most neurotransmitters found in the human brain. Evidence is accumulating to support the view that gut microbes influence central neurochemistry and behavior. Irritable bowel syndrome is regarded as the prototypic disorder of the brain-gut-microbiota axis that can be responsive to probiotic therapy. Translational studies indicate that certain bacteria may have an impact on stress responses and cognitive functioning. Manipulating the gut microbiota with psychobiotics, prebiotics, or even antibiotics offers a novel approach to altering brain function and treating gut-brain axis disorders, such as depression and autism.

Study to investigate connection between antibiotic use and autism symptoms

Continue reading "The Microbiome-Gut-Brain Axis in Health and Disease" »


First Peer-Reviewed Study of Vaccinated versus Unvaccinated Children (Censored by an International Scientific Journal) Now Public

Breaking newsBy Kevin Barry

Today, a groundbreaking new study of the overall health of vaccinated and unvaccinated children has been released to the public for the first time. The critically important new pilot study has been posted on line.

The paper was leaked to journalist and author James Grundvig, who published an article describing aspects of the study on Medium on February 22, 2017.  Grundvig describes how the paper was leaked to him (and others?), and he describes how he authenticated it with the study’s author and with the journal which censored it.

I will list a few of the many reasons why this paper is critically important at this time.

1. The #RFKcommission.

This study provides numerous clues for potential future research. It may help serve as a blueprint for the RFK Commission in the United States and for other countries.

  1. President Trump

    President Trump is the first President to show any interest at all in vaccine safety. This study reaffirms that President Trump’s concerns about vaccine safety are legitimate, and may help him stand firm in forming the #RFKcommission.

    3. Existing vaccine rights are under attack in 30 states.

    Vaccine exemption attacks and vaccine mandate increases in 30 state capitals in 2017.
    Parent advocates nationwide can add the findings of this study to their arsenal when protecting their and their children’s existing rights from the trillion dollar Pharmaceutical industry in state capitals.

    4. Informed consent

    The international bioethics standard for preventative medical is informed consent. Comparing total health outcomes between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations are an important piece of information to weigh when considering consent.
  1. Censorship or self-censorship?

    Is submitting papers dealing with vaccine safety to the “peer review” process of scientific journals, after years of rejection, a form of self-censorship?

    The paper released today was scheduled to be published in November 2016. Had it been published in the journal it would have been “peer reviewed”.

    Speaking for the 7,484,325,473 billion people on the planet who were NOT peer reviewers of this paper, it’s absurd that this paper is legitimate if the 3 reviewers bosses don’t get spooked, and not legitimate if they do get spooked. I hope the 3 peer reviewers - Amit, Kelly and Linda - would agree that their bosses shouldn’t block important information from the other 7 billion of us.

---

I’ve read numerous beautiful tributes to brilliant, wonderful and fearless Dan Olmsted on Age of Autism over the past month. I’m not nearly as talented a writer as those who have honored Dan on these pages. I didn’t know how I could help honor him … until now. Dan tried for more than a decade to get a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study done, and he pioneered the concept with his series on the Amish.

Please help guide us Dan, and thank you for your dedication to all of our children.
First Freedoms LogoFirst Study of Vaccinated versus Unvaccinated Children - Censored by an International Scientific Journal - Now Public Vaccination and Health Outcomes: A Survey of 6- to 12-year-old Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children based on Mothers’ Reports, was censored by the journal Frontiers in Public Health.

Key Study Findings

Background: The long-term health outcomes of the routine vaccination program remain unknown. Studies have been recommended by the Institute of Medicine to address this question.

Specific Aims: To compare vaccinated and unvaccinated children on a broad range of health outcomes, and to determine whether an association found between vaccination and neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD), if any, remained significant after adjustment for other measured factors.

Continue reading "First Peer-Reviewed Study of Vaccinated versus Unvaccinated Children (Censored by an International Scientific Journal) Now Public" »


Low-dose Thimerosal in Pediatric Vaccines: Adverse Effects in Perspective.

Science post imageFrom PubMed:

Environmental Research Magazine

Vaccines are prophylactics used as the first line of intervention to prevent, control and eradicate infectious diseases. Young children (before the age of six months) are the demographic group most exposed to recommended/mandatory vaccines preserved with Thimerosal and its metabolite ethylmercury (EtHg). Particularly in the less-developed countries, newborns, neonates, and young children are exposed to EtHg because it is still in several of their pediatric vaccines and mothers are often immunized with Thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs) during pregnancy. While the immunogenic component of the product has undergone more rigorous testing, Thimerosal, known to have neurotoxic effects even at low doses, has not been scrutinized for the limit of tolerance alone or in combination with adjuvant-Al during immaturity or developmental periods (pregnant women, newborns, infants, and young children). Scientific evidence has shown the potential hazards of Thimerosal in experiments that modeled vaccine-EtHg concentrations. Observational population studies have revealed uncertainties related to neurological effects. However, consistently, they showed a link of EtHg with risk of certain neurodevelopment disorders, such as tic disorder, while clearly revealing the benefits of removing Thimerosal from children's vaccines (associated with immunological reactions) in developed countries. So far, only rich countries have benefited from withdrawing the risk of exposing young children to EtHg. Regarding Thimerosal administered to the very young, we have sufficient studies that characterize a state of uncertainty: the collective evidence strongly suggests that Thimerosal exposure is associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. It is claimed that the continued use of Thimerosal in the less-developed countries is due to the cost to change to another preservative, such as 2-phenoxyethanol. However, the estimated cost increase per child in the first year of life is lower than estimated lifetime cost of caring for a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder, such tic disorder. The evidence indicates that Thimerosal-free vaccine options should be made available in developing countries.


Safety Concerns and Hidden Agenda Behind HPV vaccines: Another Generation of Drug-dependent Society?

Science post imageSafety concerns and hidden agenda behind HPV vaccines: another generation of drug-dependent society?

ABSTRACT:

Analyses of data and hidden agenda behind repeated failed outcomes of cancer research and therapy, status of American health, safety concerns for HPV vaccines and future research considerations are summarized in this commentary. A closer look at cancer science reveals that highly power structure (system) in medical establishment vs. anti-system and chaos in cancer research (‘medical/scientific ponzi schemes’) is potent recipe for failed therapeutics that kills patients but generates huge corporate profit. American health status ranks last among other developed nations despite the highest amount that USA invests in healthcare. This is a wake-up call to make sure that the evil part of human being does not prevent the health services that the public deserves. Otherwise, ‘it does not matter how many resources you have, if you don’t know, or don’t want to know, how to use them, they will never be enough’. Answer to cancer and improved public health is possible only by switching the current corruptive and abusive culture of ‘who you know’ to a culture of ‘what you know’. Policy makers and professionals in decision making roles are urged to return to common sense and logics that our Forefathers used to serve the public.

Continue reading "Safety Concerns and Hidden Agenda Behind HPV vaccines: Another Generation of Drug-dependent Society?" »


A Black Friday for Those Who Deny the Autism Epidemic - The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism, Dr. James Lyons-Weiler, PhD

ECA JamesUPDATE;  *Purchase a hard copy of The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism now through Black Friday,  November 25, and email a copy of your receipt, along with your full name and mailing address (U.S. only), to digitalmarketing@skyhorsepublishing.com.

Visit the Skyhorse site to shop at your favorite bookseller.

We’ll send you a complimentary copy of Sarah Bridges' A Bad Reaction.   

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Black Friday promotion from

By Lou Conte

Every now and then a book emerges that alters the landscape of scientific, political and societal dialogue.  The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism is that kind of book, from Skyhorse Publishing.

Like Rachel Carson’s seminal on the impact of pesticides on the environment, Silent Spring, Lyons-Weiler’s work will be controversial, and may well anger some of his colleagues in the scientific hegemony. This book directly confronts well-entrenched viewpoints on causality that clings with fervent faith that there is no autism epidemic, and that autism is a genetic disorder.

Lyons-Weiler confronts these topics with over 1,000 studies that scientists have published but which those in position to sway public health policy have, until now, failed, or simply chosen, to not acknowledge.

The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism delves deeply and comprehensively into the full body of past and current research. The work reflects an unbiased perspective on the various molecular mechanisms at work in autism, and it reveals how genetic predispositions and environmental factors can combine and interact to produce the diagnoses of autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  An often-denied wealth of studies showing association of autism with vaccines is also reviewed.

Continue reading "A Black Friday for Those Who Deny the Autism Epidemic - The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism, Dr. James Lyons-Weiler, PhD" »


Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, Pregnancy and Developmental Delays

Science post imageInt J Risk Saf Med. 2016 Sep 17;28(3):125-41. doi: 10.3233/JRS-160726.

Links between serotonin reuptake inhibition during pregnancy and neurodevelopmental delay/spectrum disorders: A systematic review of epidemiological and physiological evidence.

Healy D1Le Noury J1Mangin D2.

Author information

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate possible linkages between neurodevelopmental delay and neurodevelopmental spectrum disorders and exposure to medication with effects on serotonin reuptake inhibition during pregnancy.

METHODS:

We systematically reviewed the epidemiological literature for studies bearing on this relationship in children born with neurodevelopmental spectrum disorder and related conditions, as well as animal studies giving serotonin reuptake inhibitors to pregnant animals and in addition reviewed the literature for proposals as to possible mechanisms that might link effects on serotonin reuptake with cognitive changes post-partum.The epidemiological studies were analysed to produce Forest plots to illustrate possible relations.

RESULTS:

The odds ratio of Autistic Spectrum or related Disorders in children born to women taking serotonin reuptake inhibiting antidepressants during pregnancy in case control studies was 1.95 (95% C.I. 1.63, 2.34) and in prospective cohort studies was 1.96 (95% C.I. 1.33, 2.90).

CONCLUSIONS:

There appears to be a link between serotonin reuptake inhibition in pregnancy and developmental delay and spectrum disorders in infancy leading to cognitive difficulties in childhood. More work needs to be done to establish more precisely the nature of the difficulties and possible mechanisms through which this link might be mediated.

KEYWORDS:

Autism spectrum disorder; antidepressants; neurodevelopmental delay; neurodevelopmental spectrum disorders; pregnancy; serotonin reuptake inhibitors


Science Summary: Adjuvants and Vaccines-Induced Autoimmunity: Animal Models

Science post imageImmunol Res. 2016 Jul 14. [Epub ahead of print]
Adjuvants- and vaccines-induced autoimmunity: animal models.
Ruiz JT1,2, Luján L3, Blank M2, Shoenfeld Y4,5.
Author information

Abstract

The emergence of autoimmunity after vaccination has been described in many case reports and series. Everyday there is more evidence that this relationship is more than casual. In humans, adjuvants can induce non-specific constitutional, musculoskeletal or neurological clinical manifestations and in certain cases can lead to the appearance or acceleration of an autoimmune disease in a subject with genetic susceptibility. The fact that vaccines and adjuvants can trigger a pathogenic autoimmune response is corroborated by animal models. The use of animal models has enabled the study of the effects of application of adjuvants in a homogeneous population with certain genetic backgrounds. In some cases, adjuvants may trigger generalized autoimmune response, resulting in multiple auto-antibodies, but sometimes they can reproduce human autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren syndrome, autoimmune thyroiditis and antiphospholipid syndrome and may provide insights about the potential adverse effects of adjuvants. Likewise, they give information about the clinical, immunological and histologic characteristics of autoimmune diseases in many organs, especially secondary lymphoid tissue. Through the description of the physiopathological characteristics of autoimmune diseases reproduced in animal models, new treatment targets can be described and maybe in the future, we will be able to recognize some high-risk population in whom the avoidance of certain adjuvants can reduce the incidence of autoimmune diseases, which typically results in high morbidity and mortality in young people. Herein, we describe the main animal models that can reproduce human autoimmune diseases with emphasis in how they are similar to human conditions.


INOCULATED: How Science Lost Its Soul in Autism

Type WriterBy Kent Heckenlively, J.D.

About ten months ago I started writing a new book, INOCULATED: How Science Lost Its Soul in Autism, which would utilize the CDC whistleblower story as a way to review the corruption in science regarding vaccines and autism.  I knew Andy Wakefield was working on his documentary, and when I interviewed him for this book he mentioned it, but in my wildest dreams I never imagined VAXXED would explode onto the scene the way it has.  I have been writing furiously to make sure that story is included as well.

In the meantime, I got a powerhouse agent, Johanna Maaghoul of the Waterside Literary Agency, the world's #1 agency for New York Times non-fiction bestsellers.  Johanna has been taking the book around to publishing companies, getting some positive interest, but they are absolutely terrified of the subject.  Publishing companies like to sell books, so that's where you come in.  I want you to read the chapter outline and if this is a book you would like to buy, leave a comment to that effect.  How's that for simple?  That way when my agent is talking to a publisher she can say something like, "Five hundred and seventy two people said they would buy this book immediately!"  Thanks in advance for your comments.

Chapter Outline

Chapter One: The Call – Dr. Brian Hooker, a university biology professor was working in his office when he got a call from a senior Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientist, Dr. William Thompson. The two worked together years earlier when parent groups were clamoring for the CDC to conduct research into vaccines and autism. Thompson reveals that the CDC found such evidence, but covered it up. Thompson had retained these documents and eventually turned them over to Congressman William Posey. The most explosive of these allegations is that earlier administration of the MMR vaccine is causing a 3.36-fold increase in autism among African-American males. With Thompson’s guidance, Hooker publishes this information in the summer of 2014.

Chapter Two: The Insanely Good Soul of Dr. Andrew Wakefield – British researcher, Dr. Andrew Wakefield first published his findings suggesting the MMR vaccine was linked to autism in The Lancet in 1997, even going so far as to share these results with the CDC prior to publication. In the ensuing years, Wakefield was subjected to unbelievable persecution and his name was vilified throughout the world. Hooker brings the Thompson documents to Wakefield’s attention. Hooker also initiates contact between Thompson and Wakefield, with Thompson apologizing for participating in the cover-up of research that would have vindicated Wakefield’s research. Wakefield accepts Thompson’s apology.

Continue reading "INOCULATED: How Science Lost Its Soul in Autism" »


Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons: Combining Childhood Vaccines at One Visit Is Not Safe Neil Z. Miller

Science post imageJournal of American Physicians and Surgeons
Volume 21  Number 2  Summer 2016

ABSTRACT

Although health authorities including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claim that childhood vaccines are safe and recommend combining multiple vaccines during one visit, a review of data from the Vaccine Averse Event Reporting Sstem (VAERS) shows a dose-dependent association between the number of vaccines administered simultaneously and the likelihood of hospitalization or death for an adverse reaction.  Additionally, younger age at the time of the adverse reaction is associated with a higher risk of hospitalization or death

Read the full article here.


Antipsychotic Prescribing Trends in Youths with Autism and Intellectual Disability

Science post imageDate: May 31, 2016

Source: Elsevier

Summary:

About one in 10 youths treated with an antipsychotic are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or intellectual disability. Conversely, one in six youths diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder has been prescribed antipsychotics. Furthermore, the results suggest that the proportion of adolescents with autism or intellectual disability has increased among youths treated with antipsychotics and that more youths with autism or intellectual disability have received antipsychotics.

FULL STORY

About one in ten youths treated with an antipsychotic are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or intellectual disability. Conversely, one in six youths diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder has been prescribed antipsychotics. These findings are reported in the June 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP). Furthermore, the results suggest that the proportion of adolescents with autism or intellectual disability has increased among youths treated with antipsychotics and that more youths with autism or intellectual disability have received antipsychotics.

Currently, second-generation antipsychotics are the only FDA-approved medications for youth with autism. However, these are approved only for the symptomatic control of irritability and aggression. They do not have an indication for youth with intellectual disability, and they do not seem to affect the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders, such as social and communication difficulties, or the core symptoms of intellectual disability, such as problems with understanding and responding appropriately to information from the outside world.

Performing a meta-analysis of 39 studies and over 350,000 youth with mental illness, a group of researchers led by Christoph U. Correll, MD, of Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, examined the frequency and time trends of antipsychotic prescribing in youth with autism spectrum disorders or intellectual disability, mostly drawing on data from large registry-based studies.

"Although the increased prescribing of antipsychotics in youth with autism spectrum disorders or intellectual disability cannot be judged as appropriate or inappropriate based on database studies, side effects of antipsychotics can be quite problematic, especially in children and adolescents," said Correll. "Therefore, clinicians should perform very careful risk: benefit evaluation before and after starting youth with autism spectrum disorders or intellectual disability on an antipsychotic, always trying to maximize non-pharmacologic interventions as well as pharmacologic or non-pharmacologic treatments for comorbidities, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and sleep disorders."

Based on the study results and the known adverse effects of antipsychotics, the authors concluded that clinicians should consider using psychosocial interventions that are proven to be efficient for behavioral dysregulation such as irritability and aggression, before prescribing antipsychotics to adolescents with autism or intellectual disability. The authors further stressed that when prescribing antipsychotics, it is imperative to regularly monitor both their efficacy and tolerability in patients through body weight, fasting lipids and glucose, extrapyramidal side effects, sedation, and sexual/reproductive adverse effects, and to manage abnormalities appropriately.

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by ElsevierNote: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Su Young Park, Chiara Cervesi, Britta Galling, Silvia Molteni, Frozan Walyzada, Stephanie H. Ameis, Tobias Gerhard, Mark Olfson, Christoph U. Correll. Antipsychotic Use Trends in Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Intellectual Disability: A Meta-AnalysisJournal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2016; 55 (6): 456 DOI: 1016/j.jaac.2016.03.012

Little Things Matter: The Effect Of Toxic Dimunition of IQ on National Success

Science post imagePublished on Nov 11, 2014

We’ve been studying the impact of toxins on children for the past 30 years and reached the inescapable conclusion: little things matter. We’ve discovered that extremely low levels of toxins can impact brain development. We have also discovered that subtle shifts in the intellectual abilities of individual children have a big impact on the number of children in a population that are challenged or gifted. Steps should be taken to reduce children's exposure to toxins or suspected toxins. You can read more about how toxins impact brain development and the supportive documentation for this video here:  The Impact of Toxins on the Developing Brain Annual Review of Public Health


Science Summary: Paradigm Shift in Chemical Risk Assessment of Mercurial Compounds

Science post imageDose-response analysis indicating time-dependent neurotoxicity caused by organic and inorganic mercury-Implications for toxic effects in the developing brain.

Pletz J, et al. Toxicology. 2016.

Show full citation

Abstract

A latency period preceding neurotoxicity is a common characteristic in the dose-response relationship induced by organic mercury. Latency periods have typically been observed with genotoxicants in carcinogenesis, with cancer being manifested a long time after the initiating event. These observations indicate that even a very small dose may cause extensive adverse effects later in life, so the toxicity of the genotoxic compound is dose and time-dependent. In children, methylmercury exposure during pregnancy (in utero) has been associated with delays in reaching developmental milestones (e.g., age at first walking) and decreases in intelligence, increasing in severity with increasing exposure. Ethylmercury exposure from thimerosal in some vaccines has been associated, in some studies, with autism and other neurological disorders in children. In this paper, we have examined whether dose-response data from in vitro and in vivo organic mercury toxicity studies fit the Druckrey-Küpfmüller equation c·t(n)=constant (c=exposure concentration, t=latency period), first established for genotoxic carcinogens, and whether or not irreversible effects are enhanced by time of exposure (n≥ 1), or else toxic effects are dose-dependent while time has only minor influence on the adverse outcome (n<1). The mode of action underlying time-dependent toxicity is irreversible binding to critical receptors causing adverse and cumulative effects. The results indicate that the Druckrey-Küpfmüller equation describes well the dose-response characteristics of organic mercury induced neurotoxic effects. This amounts to a paradigm shift in chemical risk assessment of mercurial compounds and highlights that it is vital to perform toxicity testing geared to investigate time-dependent effects.

Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

PMID

 26945727 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


Decreased Brain Levels of Vitamin B12 in Aging, Autism and Schizophrenia

Science post imageDecreased Brain Levels of Vitamin B12 in Aging, Autism and Schizophrenia


Yiting Zhang,
Nathaniel W. Hodgson,
Malav S. Trivedi,
Hamid M. Abdolmaleky,
Margot Fournier,
Michel Cuenod,
Kim Quang Do,
Richard C. Deth

PLOS

Published: January 22, 2016
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146797

Many studies indicate a crucial role for the vitamin B12 and folate-dependent enzyme methionine synthase (MS) in brain development and function, but vitamin B12 status in the brain across the lifespan has not been previously investigated. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin, Cbl) exists in multiple forms, including methylcobalamin (MeCbl) and adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl), serving as cofactors for MS and methylmalonylCoA mutase, respectively. We measured levels of five Cbl species in postmortem human frontal cortex of 43 control subjects, from 19 weeks of fetal development through 80 years of age, and 12 autistic and 9 schizophrenic subjects. Total Cbl was significantly lower in older control subjects (> 60 yrs of age), primarily reflecting a >10-fold age-dependent decline in the level of MeCbl. Levels of inactive cyanocobalamin (CNCbl) were remarkably higher in fetal brain samples. In both autistic and schizophrenic subjects MeCbl and AdoCbl levels were more than 3-fold lower than age-matched controls. In autistic subjects lower MeCbl was associated with decreased MS activity and elevated levels of its substrate homocysteine (HCY). Low levels of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) have been linked to both autism and schizophrenia, and both total Cbl and MeCbl levels were decreased in glutamate-cysteine ligase modulatory subunit knockout (GCLM-KO) mice, which exhibit low GSH levels. Thus our findings reveal a previously unrecognized decrease in brain vitamin B12 status across the lifespan that may reflect an adaptation to increasing antioxidant demand, while accelerated deficits due to GSH deficiency may contribute to neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Read more Decreased Brain Levels of Vitamin B12 in Aging, Autism and Schizophrenia.


To: Rob Ring, Subject: Vaccine Autism Research

Consultingdemotivator_1024x1024

By Ginger Taylor

So, yesterday I posted an email I had written to Dr. Tom Insel, head of IACC. You can read it Ring AShere.  I asked if someone could please send me Autism Speaks' Rob Ring's email. And someone kindly obliged. Here's the email I sent to Rob Ring.  Both of the emails are a response to the post Katie Wright ran on Thursday regarding the complete and total and seemingly purposeful disregard both Ring and Insel have for meaningful autism research.


Subject: Vaccine Autism Research
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2015 16:36:37 -0400
From: Ginger Taylor
To: Rob Ring


Mr. Ring,

As you might understand, it is quite frustrating for parents who are reading the research on autism, and who see its links to vaccines over and over again, to hear Autism Speaks claim there are no links between the two. 
I am sure that in the cloistered circle in which you operate, the line that vaccines are not linked to autism works just fine, as everyone's paycheck depends on toting that line.  However, you need to understand, out here in the real world, where we actually live, that claim is absurd.  Because parents can read.  You sound silly.

So I am sending you a list I have complied of research papers that show the links between vaccines and autism, and the mechanisms by which it is happening.  The document of the 101 abstracts is attached, and I keep a current list online here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/220807175/86-Research-Papers-Supporting-the-Vaccine-Autism-Link

Now you can finally get started on THE most promising lines of inquiry on ways to prevent and treat most cases of autism!

But let's be honest, you won't.  If you wanted to, you would have done so a long time ago.

In fact I have it on good authority that you don't even bother responding to emails of this nature, even from struggling parents, because you care so little about making any difference in the actual live of families struggling with these complex and burdensome medical issues.  Because again, talking about the real research does not further your cause.  I mean Pfizer's cause.

So I feel perfectly comfortable in sending you grandstanding emails like this, that call you out on being a phony who does not even remotely begin to fulfill Autism Speak's mission statement, because I have the utmost confidence that you will simply continue to ignore me, the research,  the Thorsen scandal, the Thompson scandal, the Merck MMR Mumps scandal, Verstraeten's first draft, Boyle's emails, DeStefano's admission that no one has ever looked to see if vaccines can cause autism in individual cases, #GarbageCan, #VAXwhistleblower, Unanswered Questions, Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, the willful ignorance of the entire medical establishment of vaccine induced encephalopathy, as well as the reports on VICP by Stanford Law, American University Law, The Associated Press, and the US GAO.

Because when the research list reaches 200, or 300, or 400 citations, you still will ignore it.  Until the day that it is no longer simply our children's health and functioning on the line, but your paycheck and your career.

But do get in touch if you decide to change your mind and stop looking like the CEO of a Tobacco company trying to deny that their products cause cancer 40 years after we knew they did.

--

Ginger Taylor, MS
Autism Mom
Adventures In Autism
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Vaccine Epidemic

And Now the Truth: Environmental Toxins "Not a Good Fit" for NIH Autism Research

Science denialBy Dr. Mary Catherine DeSoto

Background.

This is in the context of  broad disapproval and frustration within the autism community over NIH funding priorities.  The general level of concern was documented by a 2008 letter signed by eleven major autism organizations (including Autism Speaks, Autism Research Institute, Safeminds, Autism Society of America, Generation Rescue, National Autism Association). The letter stated, "Research on the environment, gene-environment interaction and treatment are underrepresented...." There seems to be great frustration among these groups and others that regardless of acts of Congress, directives or calls for serious investigation into how the environment triggers persons predisposed to autism, there is too much research focused on genetics to the detriment of studies of environmental triggers. 

The Inter-Agency Autism Committee (IACC) developed a plan that included serious research spending on investigating  autism's environmental causes. Their strategic plan was published.  In 2009 there was a program to increase federal spending (the "ARRA" funds related to the need to stimulate the economy out of recession and into recovery) and NIH announced a multitude of new funding opportunities as a result.  There was a long "Research Funding Announcement" (RFA) which is a call for scientists to submit proposals to spend available grant money on their research interests.

My experience.

Persons who get their PhDs in a scientific field learn how to get grants to support their research interests. One thing that is often done is to send an initial, short letter of inquiry, to get some feedback on how to pitch a full application for grant monies. Full applications are big long documents, sometimes 100 pages or more. 

Like many researchers employed at a university, I receive emails from my university's grant office calling my attention to new funding opportunities that might be a good match, and I was encouraged to consider the ARRA grant opportunities from NIH. I noted there were a lot of RFA's (the full document was 181 pages!).  I searched for calls with the word Autism in the announcement: there were ten. Eight clearly did not match the environmental intent of the strategic plan; they were about developing registries or comparing treatments. One was about gene and environment interactions but mentioned determining specific genetic variations and seemed to require genotyping. Only one mentioned the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) Strategic Plan and measuring biomarkers.  This one looked good. 

It was the only RFA on the NIH website posted (out of 181 pages of short postings) that mentioned the IACC strategic plan or seemed to be a fit for measures of Autism's environmental triggers or exposures. The NIH document included available grant opportunities for all branches of NIH (including NIEH, NIMH etc).  I then looked up the IACC strategic plan and read it carefully.  It seemed like a great fit.  The RFA I inquired about read:

04-MH-101* Autism: Addressing the challenge. Target research gap areas identified by the Inter-Agency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research, including biomarkers, novel interventions, and new tools for screening, among other topics. Contact: Dr. Ann E. Wagner, 301-443-5944, awagner@mail.nih.gov [Note: Ann E Wagner is currently a branch chief at NIMH, the part of NIH directly that houses the IACC]

-


My plan was to measure toxic levels in the environment, and then directly measure the levels in children with autism and controls (biomarkers of), and correlate levels to symptoms. In this way, I could establish norms for measured biomarkers based on measured environmental exposures among typical children, and then compare those with ASD to the norms. Possibly (this is what I hoped to check), if levels were higher than expected based on similar exposure in autistic children, this would point towards vulnerability to exposure and efforts could be made to limit toxic exposures in vulnerable children. It was a good match to the strategic intent of the IACC plan because I planned to measure biomarkers of exposure, which could lead to a novel intervention. I took the time to look at the IACC strategic plan (since it was directly mentioned in the funding announcement I was interested in pursuing). I located it and read it carefully to see if my aims were congruent. They were. To wit, the IACC website strategic plan on USA's Health and Human Services website (HHS.gov) included these key statements

Initiate studies on at least five environmental factors identified in the recommendations from the 2007 IOM report.

Identify and standardize at least three measures for identifying markers of environmental exposures.

Determine the effect of at least five environmental factors on risk for subtypes of ASD.

From my read, out of the 181 page NIH document and hundreds of their RFA's, this was quite clearly the only possible match for what I wanted to do, which was to measure environmental exposure both environmentally and via biomarkers, among children with and without autism, and compare to symptom expression which could suggest strategies for intervention. However, I also had a specific methodological question about the possibility of including initial testing of a brand new technology being developed by some physicists to measure toxins. This prompted me to send a short inquiry via email. This is what I wrote.

> -----Original Message-----

> From: Cathy DeSoto [mailto:cathy.desoto@uni.edu]

> Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2009 5:25 PM

> To: Wagner, Ann (NIH/NIMH) [E]; Rob Hitlan

> Subject: 04-MH-101 Autism: Addressing the challenge

> We are interested in applying for the grant referred to below and will

> be submitting an application in early April. I have read the Interagency

> autism committee strategic plan and believe our aims would be a good match.

> The overall goal will be to investigate environmental risk factors,

> primarily via sources of pollution/toxic emissions from the perspective

> of genetic susceptibility for toxins having neurological effects,

> although we do not intend to measure genotype in anyway. We intend to

> propose direct measures of toxins among those with an ASD and controls

> (blood, hair or both) as well as measures of toxins in the environment

> relating to prevalence patterns, all of which will be elaborated upon in

> the actual proposal, of course.

> My reason for writing is to inquire if it would be appropriate to

> include a relatively small portion of the budget for testing of new

> spectroscopy instrumentation for the purpose of quantifying

> environmental toxins. Because we will already be proposing measures of

> toxins (for example soil samples via a grid layout in pockets of high

> prevalence) and because the new spectroscopy technique would be expected

> to allow easier and more highly accurate measures than is currently

> available (which would be explained in the full proposal), it would be a

> cost effective way to validate the method. Once validates, it is

> possible the new technique would be highly useful in relating toxins to

> health outcomes such as autism.

Continue reading "And Now the Truth: Environmental Toxins "Not a Good Fit" for NIH Autism Research " »


Non-publication and Delayed Publication of Randomized Trials on Vaccines: Survey

Science post imageConclusions Most vaccine trials are published eventually or the results posted in ClinicalTrials.gov, but delays to publication of several years are common. Actions should focus on the timely dissemination of data from vaccine trials to the public.

 BMJ 2014;348:g3058 doi: 10.1136/bmj.g3058 (Published 16 May 2014)

OPEN ACCESS

Lamberto Manzoli associate professor 1 2, Maria Elena Flacco resident physician 1 3, Maddalena D’Addario resident physician 4 5, Lorenzo Capasso PhD student 1 Corrado De Vito assistant professor 6, Carolina Marzuillo assistant professor 6, Paolo Villari professor 6, John P A Ioannidis professor 7 8 1Department of Medicine and Aging Sciences, University of Chieti, Via dei Vestini 5 66013 Chieti, Italy; 2CeSI Biotech, Via Colle dell’Ara, Chieti, Italy; 3Local Health Unit of Pescara, Italy; 4Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland; 5Division of International and Environmental Health, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland; 6Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy; 7Stanford Prevention Research Center, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA; 8Department of Health Research and Policy, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA

Abstract
Objective To evaluate the extent of non-publication or delayed publication of registered randomized trials on vaccines, and to investigate potential determinants of delay to publication.

Continue reading "Non-publication and Delayed Publication of Randomized Trials on Vaccines: Survey" »


Science Summary: The Familial Risk of Autism

  Science post imageThe Familial Risk of Autism

Sven Sandin, MSc; Paul Lichtenstein, PhD; Ralf Kuja-Halkola, MSc; Henrik Larsson, PhD;
Christina M. Hultman, PhD; Abraham Reichenberg, PhD

IMPORTANCE Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) aggregates in families, but the individual risk
and to what extent this is caused by genetic factors or shared or nonshared environmental
factors remains unresolved.

OBJECTIVE To provide estimates of familial aggregation and heritability of ASD.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS A population-based cohort including 2 049 973
Swedish children born 1982 through 2006.We identified 37 570 twin pairs, 2 642 064 full
sibling pairs, 432 281 maternal and 445 531 paternal half sibling pairs, and 5 799 875 cousin
pairs. Diagnoses of ASD to December 31, 2009 were ascertained.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The relative recurrence risk (RRR) measures familial
aggregation of disease. The RRR is the relative risk of autism in a participant with a sibling or
cousin who has the diagnosis (exposed) compared with the risk in a participant with no
diagnosed family member (unexposed).We calculated RRR for both ASD and autistic disorder
adjusting for age, birth year, sex, parental psychiatric history, and parental age.We estimated
how much of the probability of developing ASD can be related to genetic (additive and
dominant) and environmental (shared and nonshared) factors.
|

Continue reading "Science Summary: The Familial Risk of Autism" »


A Key Role for an Impaired Detoxification Mechanism in the Etiology and Severity of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Science post image A Key Role for an Impaired Detoxification Mechanism in the Etiology and Severity of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Behavioral and Brain Functions 2014, 10:14 doi:10.1186/1744-9081-10-14

Altaf Alabdali (aalabdali93@hotmail.com)
Laila Al-Ayadhi (ayadh2@gmail.com)
Afaf El-Ansary (elansary@ksu.edu.sa)

Abstract
Background
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is a syndrome with a number of etiologies and different
mechanisms that lead to abnormal development. The identification of autism biomarkers in
patients with different degrees of clinical presentation (i.e., mild, moderate and severe) will
give greater insight into the pathogenesis of this disease and will enable effective early
diagnostic strategies and treatments for this disorder.

Methods
In this study, the concentration of two toxic heavy metals, lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg), were
measured in red blood cells, while glutathione-s-transferase (GST) and vitamin E, as
enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants, respectively, were measured in the plasma of
subgroups of autistic patients with different Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) and
Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) scores. The results were compared to age- and
gender-matched healthy controls.

Continue reading "A Key Role for an Impaired Detoxification Mechanism in the Etiology and Severity of Autism Spectrum Disorders" »


Science Summary: Response to Predicting the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder Using Gene Pathway Analysis

Science post imageLetter to the Editor

Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication 22 October 2013; doi: 10.1038/mp.2013.125

Response to ‘Predicting the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder using gene pathway analysis’
Open

E B Robinson1,2,3, D Howrigan1,2,3, J Yang4,5, S Ripke1,2,3,6, V Anttila1,2,3,6, L E Duncan3,7,8,9, L Jostins10, J C Barrett10, S E Medland11, D G MacArthur1,2,3, G Breen12, M C O'Donovan13, N R Wray4,5, B Devlin14, M J Daly1,2,3,6, P M Visscher4,5, P F Sullivan15 and B M Neale1,2,3,6

    1Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    2Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
    3Medical and Population Genetics Program, Broad Institute for Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA
    4The University of Queensland, Queensland Brain Institute, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
    5The Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
    6Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Broad Institute for Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA
    7Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
    8Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, Massachusetts, General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    9Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
    10Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK
    11Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
    12Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Center, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK
    13MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics & Genomics, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff, UK
    14Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    15Department of Genetics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Correspondence: BM Neale, E-mail: bneale@broadinstitute.org

In a recent paper published online in Molecular Psychiatry, Skafidas et al.1 report a classifier for identifying individuals at risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Their classifier is based on 267 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were selected from the results of a pathway analysis using cases from the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE).1 Using within-sample cross-validation, the authors claim a classification accuracy for ASDs of 85.6%. They subsequently applied their classifier to ASD cases from the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) and controls from the Wellcome Trust Birth Cohort (WTBC) and report ASD classification accuracy of 71.7%.

We believe that the claims made by Skafidas et al.1 are inconsistent with current knowledge of the genetics of ASDs,2 and inconsistent with the expected precision of risk predictions for complex psychiatric disorders. Further, as classification accuracy depends on the size of the discovery sample, the results are also inconsistent with the size of the sample they employed (only 123 controls were included in the discovery set).

Continue reading "Science Summary: Response to Predicting the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder Using Gene Pathway Analysis" »


AofA Science Summary: A Review of Traditional and Novel Treatments for Seizures in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Findings from a Systematic Review and Expert Panel

Science post imageWe would like to thank our friends at AutismOne for providing this paper to Age of Autism and supporting this type of scientific progress

A review of traditional and novel treatments for seizures in autism spectrum disorder: findings from a systematic review and expert panel

(Click HERE to download the pdf.)



Richard E. Frye1*, Daniel Rossignol2, Manuel F. Casanova3, Gregory L. Brown4, Victoria Martin4, Stephen Edelson5, Robert Coben6, Jeffrey Lewine7, John C. Slattery1, Chrystal Lau1, Paul Hardy8, S. Hossein Fatemi9, Timothy D. Folsom9, Derrick MacFabe10 and James B. Adams11
1Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Little Rock, AR, USA
2Rossignol Medical Center, Irvine, CA, USA
3University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA
4Autism Recovery and Comprehensive Health Medical Center, Franklin, WI, USA
5Autism Research Institute, San Diego, CA, USA
6New York University Brain Research Laboratory, New York, NY, USA
7MIND Research Network, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA
8Hardy Healthcare Associates, Hingham, MA, USA
9University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN, USA
10University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
11Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

Despite the fact that seizures are commonly associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the effectiveness of treatments for seizures has not been well studied in individuals with ASD. This manuscript reviews both traditional and novel treatments for seizures associated with ASD. Studies were selected by systematically searching major electronic databases and by a panel of experts that treat ASD individuals. Only a few anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) have undergone carefully controlled trials in ASD, but these trials examined outcomes other than seizures. Several lines of evidence point to valproate, lamotrigine, and levetiracetam as the most effective and tolerable AEDs for individuals with ASD. Limited evidence supports the use of traditional non-AED treatments, such as the ketogenic and modified Atkins diet, multiple subpial transections, immunomodulation, and neurofeedback treatments.

Although specific treatments may be more appropriate for specific genetic and metabolic syndromes associated with ASD and seizures, there are few studies which have documented the effectiveness of treatments for seizures for specific syndromes. Limited evidence supports l-carnitine, multivitamins, and N-acetyl-l-cysteine in mitochondrial disease and dysfunction, folinic acid in cerebral folate abnormalities and early treatment with vigabatrin in tuberous sclerosis complex.

Continue reading "AofA Science Summary: A Review of Traditional and Novel Treatments for Seizures in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Findings from a Systematic Review and Expert Panel" »


Science Summary: Ischaemic heart disease, influenza and influenza vaccination: a prospective case control study

Science post imageFrom Heart and Education in Heart, An international peer-reviewed journal for health professionals and researchers in all areas of cardiology. Read the full study HERE.

Competing interests Professor CR Macintyre has received grant funds and/or support for investigator-driven research from GSK, CSL, Sanofi Pasteur, Merck and Pfizer. Dr Anita Heywood has received grant funds for investigator-driven research from GSK and Sanofi Pasteur. Dr Holly Seale has received grant funds for investigator-driven research from GSK, CSL and Sanofi Pasteur. The other authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Abstract

Background Abundant, indirect epidemiological evidence indicates that influenza contributes to all-cause mortality and cardiovascular hospitalisations with studies showing increases in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and death during the influenza season.

Objective To investigate whether influenza is a significant and unrecognised underlying precipitant of AMI.

Design Case-control study.

Setting Tertiary referral hospital in Sydney, Australia, during 2008 to 2010.

Patients Cases were inpatients with AMI and controls were outpatients without AMI at a hospital in Sydney, Australia.

Main outcome measures Primary outcome was laboratory evidence of influenza. Secondary outcome was baseline self-reported acute respiratory tract infection.

Results Of 559 participants, 34/275 (12.4%) cases and 19/284 (6.7%) controls had influenza (OR 1.97, 95% CI 1.09 to 3.54); half were vaccinated. None were recognised as having influenza during their clinical encounter. After adjustment, influenza infection was no longer a significant predictor of recent AMI. However, influenza vaccination was significantly protective (OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.85), with a vaccine effectiveness of 45% (95% CI 15% to 65%).

Conclusions Recent influenza infection was an unrecognised comorbidity in almost 10% of hospital patients. Influenza did not predict AMI, but vaccination was significantly protective but underused. The potential population health impact of influenza vaccination, particularly in the age group 50–64 years, who are at risk for AMI but not targeted for vaccination, should be further explored. Our data should inform vaccination policy and cardiologists should be aware of missed opportunities to vaccinate individuals with ischaemic heart disease against influenza.

Autism Free Brain
Putting an End to Autism
by Fighting Brain Immunity Storms™

The science category is sponsored by AutismFreeBrain, Inc. was created to fund innovative research to develop a cure for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Our studies have identified inflammatory processes in the brain, we called Brain Immunity Storms, that are much like an allergic reaction, releasing surges of molecules that disrupt areas of the brain responsible for emotion and language.

Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine and Primary Ovarian Failure

Science post imageAm J Reprod Immunol. 2013 Jul 31. doi: 10.1111/aji.12151. [Epub ahead of print]

Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine and Primary Ovarian Failure: Another Facet of the Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants.

Colafrancesco S, Perricone C, Tomljenovic L, Shoenfeld Y.
Source

Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel; Rheumatology Unit, Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialities, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
Abstract

PROBLEM:

Post-vaccination autoimmune phenomena are a major facet of the autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA) and different vaccines, including HPV, have been identified as possible causes.

METHOD OF STUDY:

The medical history of three young women who presented with secondary amenorrhea following HPV vaccination was collected. Data regarding type of vaccine, number of vaccination, personal, clinical and serological features, as well as response to treatments were analyzed.

RESULTS:

All three patients developed secondary amenorrhea following HPV vaccinations, which did not resolve upon treatment with hormone replacement therapies. In all three cases sexual development was normal and genetic screen revealed no pertinent abnormalities (i.e., Turner's syndrome, Fragile X test were all negative). Serological evaluations showed low levels of estradiol and increased FSH and LH and in two cases, specific auto-antibodies were detected (antiovarian and anti thyroid), suggesting that the HPV vaccine triggered an autoimmune response. Pelvic ultrasound did not reveal any abnormalities in any of the three cases. All three patients experienced a range of common non-specific post-vaccine symptoms including nausea, headache, sleep disturbances, arthralgia and a range of cognitive and psychiatric disturbances. According to these clinical features, a diagnosis of primary ovarian failure (POF) was determined which also fulfilled the required criteria for the ASIA syndrome.

CONCLUSION:

We documented here the evidence of the potential of the HPV vaccine to trigger a life-disabling autoimmune condition. The increasing number of similar reports of post HPV vaccine-linked autoimmunity and the uncertainty of long-term clinical benefits of HPV vaccination are a matter of public health that warrants further rigorous inquiry.

© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Autism Free Brain
Putting an End to Autism
by Fighting Brain Immunity Storms™

AutismFreeBrain, Inc. was created to fund innovative research to develop a cure for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Our studies have identified inflammatory processes in the brain, we called Brain Immunity Storms, that are much like an allergic reaction, releasing surges of molecules that disrupt areas of the brain responsible for emotion and language.

Trends in Hospitalizations of Children With Inflammatory Bowel Disease Within the United States From 2000 to 2009

Science post imageBackground: The incidence and prevalence of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) seems to be increasing in North America and Europe. Our objective was to evaluate hospitalization rates in children
with IBD in the United States during the decade 2000 to 2009.

Methods: We analyzed cases with a discharge diagnosis of Crohn disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) within the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids’ Inpatient Database, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Results: We identified 61,779 pediatric discharges with a diagnosis of IBD (CD, 39,451 cases; UC, 22,328 cases). The number of hospitalized children with IBD increased from 11,928 to 19,568 (incidence, 43.5Y71.5 cases per 10,000 discharges per year; P G 0.001). For CD, the number increased from 7757 to 12,441 (incidence, 28.3Y45.0; P G 0.001)and for UC, 4171 to 7127 (15.2Y26.0; P G 0.001).

Overall, there was a significant increasing trend for pediatric hospitalizations with IBD, CD,
and UC (P G 0.001). In addition, there was an increase in IBD-related complications and comorbid disease burden (P G 0.01).

Conclusion: There was a significant increase in the number and incidence of hospitalized children with IBD in the United States from 2000 to 2009.  Read the full text at American Federation for Medical Research.

New Video: How Mercury Triggered The Age of Autism

By Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill. Motion design by Natalie Palumbo. With Special Thanks to Teresa Conrick. View YouTube Link How Mercury Triggered The Age of Autism here.  We will be discussing this video and more this morning at 8:30 at Autism One in the Louvre Room.


New Study by Dr. Martha Herbert & Dr. Julie Buckley in Journal of Child Neurology on Autism and Dietary Therapy

Dr martha herbert
Dr. Martha Herbert
Managing Editor's Note: Thank you to Dr. Martha Herbert and Dr. Julie Buckley.
Dr. Julie Buckley
Dr. Julie Buckley
Of special significance is that we have an academic researcher working in conjunction/cooperation with a practicing physician in order to publish academically rigorous case studies that may have an immediate impact on patients. Sure beats another eye gaze study in Amazonian water rats, eh?  :)

Journal of Child Neurology

Autism and Dietary Therapy

Case Report and Review of the Literature

Martha R. Herbert, PhD, MD1⇑
Julie A. Buckley, MD, FAAP2

1Pediatric Neurology and TRANSCEND Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

2Pediatric Partners of Ponte Vedra, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

Martha R. Herbert, PhD, MD, Pediatric Neurology, TRANSCEND Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02129, USA. Email: marthaherbertmd@gmail.com

Author Contributions MRH and JAB contributed equally to this work.

ABSTRACT:


We report the history of a child with autism and epilepsy who, after limited response to other interventions following her regression into autism, was placed on a gluten-free, casein-free diet, after which she showed marked improvement in autistic and medical symptoms. Subsequently, following pubertal onset of seizures and after failing to achieve full seizure control pharmacologically she was advanced to a ketogenic diet that was customized to continue the gluten-free, casein-free regimen. On this diet, while still continuing on anticonvulsants, she showed significant improvement in seizure activity. This gluten-free casein-free ketogenic diet used medium-chain triglycerides rather than butter and cream as its primary source of fat. Medium-chain triglycerides are known to be highly ketogenic, and this allowed the use of a lower ratio (1.5:1) leaving more calories available for consumption of vegetables with their associated health benefits. Secondary benefits included resolution of morbid obesity and improvement of cognitive and behavioral features. Over the course of several years following her initial diagnosis, the child’s Childhood Autism Rating Scale score decreased from 49 to 17, representing a change from severe autism to nonautistic, and her intelligence quotient increased 70 points. The initial electroencephalogram after seizure onset showed lengthy 3 Hz spike-wave activity; 14 months after the initiation of the diet the child was essentially seizure free and the electroencephalogram showed only occasional 1-1.5 second spike-wave activity without clinical accompaniments. (see the pdf of the abtract HERE.)


Professional Opinion on the Question of Changes in Autism Incidence

Science post image"...Results suggest that among professional psychologists with a terminal degree (n = 88), the majority believe that diagnostic changes can not fully account for the observed increase; 72% reported either the true rate may have, or definitely has, increased..."

Professional opinion on the question of changes in autism incidence

PDF (Size:162KB) PP. 61-67   DOI: 10.4236/ojpsych.2013.32A010
Author(s)

M. Catherine DeSoto, Robert T. Hitlan

ABSTRACT

The question of whether the prevalence increase observed in autism due to an actual increase in the incidence of autism is a matter of concern to professional psychologists, and has been a matter of debate. As professionals trained in diagnosis and research methodology, the opinions of psychologists are of interest. We report the results of what we believe to be the first survey of professional opinion on the topic. Results suggest that among professional psychologists with a terminal degree (n = 88), the majority believe that diagnostic changes can not fully account for the observed increase; 72% reported either the true rate may have, or definitely has, increased. In this sample, the professionals who are certain about the occurrence of a real increase (n=20) are five times as many as those who do not think the increase has occurred (n=4). These results are not meant to document whether or not an increase has or has not occurred, but instead speak to the question of consensus opinion among professional psychologists. What experts believe is an empirical question, and statements about what experts believe should be empirically based.

KEYWORDS

Counselor Attitudes; Professional Opinion; ASD; Autism Prevalence; Autism

Cite this paper

DeSoto, M. and Hitlan, R. (2013) Professional opinion on the question of changes in autism incidence. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 3, 61-67. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2013.32A010.

Continue reading "Professional Opinion on the Question of Changes in Autism Incidence" »


Polish Study: Neurologic Adverse Events Following Vaccination

Science post imageProg Health Sci 2012, Vol 2 , No1 Neurologic adverse events vaccination
129

Neurologic adverse events following vaccination

Sienkiewicz D.*, Kułak W., Okurowska-Zawada B., Paszko-Patej G.
Department of Pediatric Rehabilitation of the Medical University of Bialystok, Poland

The present review summarizes data on neurological adverse events following vaccination in the relation to intensity, time of onset, taking into account the immunological and non-immunological mechanisms. The authors described the physio-logical development of the immune system and the possible immune system responses following vaccination. Toxic property of thimerosal - a mercury-containing preservative used in some

vaccines was presented. The neurological compli-cations after vaccination were described. The role of vaccination in the natural course of infectious diseases and the current immunizations schedule in Poland was discussed.

Read the study Neurologic Adverse Events Following Vaccination.

Autism Linked to Increased Genetic Change in Regions of Genome Instability

Science post imageRead the full report at Science Codex.

Children with autism have increased levels of genetic change in regions of the genome prone to DNA rearrangements, so called "hotspots," according to a research discovery to be published in the print edition of the journal Human Molecular Genetics. The research indicates that these genetic changes come in the form of an excess of duplicated DNA segments in hotspot regions and may affect the chances that a child will develop autism -- a behavioral disorder that affects about 1 of every 88 children in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Earlier work had identified, in children with autism, a greater frequency of rare DNA deletions or duplications, known as DNA copy number changes. These rare and harmful events are found in approximately 5 to 10 percent of cases, raising the question as to what other genetic changes might contribute to the disorders known as autism spectrum disorders.

The new research shows that children with autism have -- in addition to these rare events -- an excess of duplicated DNA including more common variants not exclusively found in children with autism, but are found at elevated levels compared to typically developing children. The research collaboration includes groups led at Penn State by Scott Selleck; at the University of California Davis/MIND Institute by Isaac Pessah, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Flora Tassone, and Robin Hansen; and at the University of Washington by Evan Eichler.

Continue reading "Autism Linked to Increased Genetic Change in Regions of Genome Instability" »


Research: From the Superb to the Questionable

Polio vaxBelow is an article that ran in Vaccination News.  Thank you to VN for allowing us to excerpt it here.

By  F Edward Yazbak MD

It is safe to say that in the last few years, researchers who dared question a vaccination policy or only mention vaccination and autism in the same sentence were certain to get a public and unrelenting flagellation.

I was therefore overjoyed when the accomplishment of a distinguished researcher in that venue was recognized. It was certainly wonderful to hear that the Briloff Committee at Baruch College very recently awarded The Briloff Prize for 2012 to Dr. Gayle DeLong for her magnificent exposé titled “Conflicts of Interest in Vaccine Safety Research”. In the citation, the Committee described Dr. DeLong’s publication as “an excellent exposition of ethical issues and biases in the examination of conflicts of interests related to vaccine safety research. The main thrust of this paper is the questioning of the ethics of industry sponsorship of vaccine use.”

 The abstract of Dr. DeLong’s article  on PubMed summarizes the extensive document quite clearly:

“Conflicts of interest (COIs) cloud vaccine safety research. Sponsors of research have competing interests that may impede the objective study of vaccine side effects. Vaccine manufacturers, health officials, and medical journals may have financial and bureaucratic reasons for not wanting to acknowledge the risks of vaccines. Conversely, some advocacy groups may have legislative and financial reasons to sponsor research that finds risks in vaccines. Using the vaccine-autism debate as an illustration, this article details the conflicts of interest each of these groups faces, outlines the current state of vaccine safety research, and suggests remedies to address COIs. Minimizing COIs in vaccine safety research could reduce research bias and restore greater trust in the vaccine program.”
Dr. DeLong’s previous publication (2011) titled “A positive association found between autism prevalence and childhood vaccination uptake across the U.S. population”  was, I thought, just as remarkable.  Its PubMed abstract was also an informative and clear summary of the author’s extensive research:

Continue reading "Research: From the Superb to the Questionable " »


Science Summary: Higher levels of several toxic metals found in children with autism

Science post imageIn a recently published study in the journal Biological Trace Element Research, Arizona State University researchers report that children with autism had higher levels of several toxic metals in their blood and urine compared to typical children. The study involved 55 children with autism ages five to 16 years old compared to 44 controls of similar age and gender.

The autism group had significantly higher levels of lead in their red blood cells (+41 percent) and significantly higher urinary levels of lead (+74 percent), thallium (+77 percent), tin (+115 percent), and tungsten (+44 percent). Lead, thallium, tin, and tungsten are toxic metals that can impair brain development and function, and also interfere with the normal functioning of other body organs and systems.   Read the full study Toxicological Status of Children with Autism vs. Neurotypical Children and the Association with Autism Severity.


Toxic Metal Burdens May Epigenetically Play Principal Roles as Environmental Factors in Autistic Disorders

  Science post image Estimation of autistic children by metallomics analysis

Scientific Reports 3, Article number: 1199 doi:10.1038/srep01199
Clarification of the pathogenesis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders is one of the challenges today. In this study, we examine scalp hair concentrations of 26 trace elements for 1,967 children with autistic disorders (1,553 males and 414 females). Five-hundred and eighty-four (29.7%), 347 (17.6%) and 114 (5.8%) subjects was found deficient in zinc, magnesium and calcium, respectively, and 2.0% or less in the other essential metals. The incidence rate of mineral deficiency was highly observed in infants aged 0-3 year-old. In contrast, 339 (17.2%), 168 (8.5%) and 94 (4.8%) individuals was found suffering from high burden of aluminium, cadmium and lead, and 2.8% or less from mercury and arsenic burden.

These findings suggest that infantile zinc- and magnesium-deficiency and/or toxic metal burdens may epigenetically play principal roles as environmental factors in autistic disorders and that metallomics approach may lead to early screening and prevention of the neurodevelopment disorders.

Michael Pichichero's Reasoning on Mercury for Global Treaty

PichicheroBy Jim Thompson

Dr. Michael Pichichero is an industry scientist and he endorses a mercury-based compound called Thimerosal as a “safe” and “effective” preservative in vaccines worldwide. 

In a recently published report “Perspective – Report to WHO: No New Concerns About Thimerosal” he acknowledges that his “institution has received research grants from GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Pasteur, Pfizer, Novartis, and Crucell for new vaccine and product development.”  Also he states in his report that “The evidence suggests the 2008 endorsement of the use of thimerosal as a safe and effective preservative in vaccines for children worldwide should remain.” 

In addition he alludes to his remote presentation to the United Nations Negotiating Committee Meeting on April 3-4, 2012 which was made for “their consideration and vote” regarding the continuation of mercury in vaccines used worldwide.   And it was in that same time frame that the World Health Organization's (WHO's) Strategic Advisory Committee (SAGE) in Geneva recommended that “Thimerosal, a preservative used to prevent contamination in multidose vaccine vials, be exempted from a pending international treaty aimed at reducing global health hazards by limiting exposure to mercury.”  (See WHO Weekly Epidemiological Record).

Now it is possible that this industry scientist’s reasoning is based on an unfounded presumption that mercury leaves the brain faster than mercury from fish.  He states “[a] total of five studies of blood and hair mercury in children have now been published, and all show that the foundational presumption of similar pharmacokinetics between methylmercury and ethylmercury was incorrect.”  But do these studies really indicate what happens in a child’s brain? 

To answer that one cannot rely solely on human studies reporting reduced mercury content in blood and hair.  It is also important to recognize the fact that an animal study clearly shows that Thimerosal vaccine preservative injections result in inorganic mercury levels in brain tissue in infant monkeys at higher levels and longer time frames than from exposure to mercury in fish.  

Continue reading "Michael Pichichero's Reasoning on Mercury for Global Treaty" »


Autism Science Digest: Aluminum Toxicity in Mitochondrial Dysfunction and ASD

ASD coverThank you to our friends at Autism Science Digest magazine for allowing us to excerpt this article. 

Aluminum Toxicity in Mitochondrial Dysfunction and ASD

By Nancy Mullan, MD, and Amy Yasko, PhD, AMD, FAAIM

Currently, there is intense interest and discussion surrounding the high incidence of mitochondrial disease and/or dysfunction in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). This interest is fueled at least in part by the 2008 Hannah Poling decision.1,2 In this landmark case, the federal government’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) agreed to award damages to the Poling family when their daughter Hannah, who had an underlying mitochondrial disorder, developed autism-like symptoms after receiving a series of vaccines in a single day. Because Hannah Poling’s father is a medical doctor who was in the department of neurology at Johns Hopkins Hospital at the time that his daughter’s vaccine injury occurred, her case carried great weight. The Poling case, therefore, served to draw a great deal more attention to mitochondrial disorders within autism than these disorders had previously received.

A carefully executed review and meta-analysis of mitochondrial dysfunction in ASD by Rossignol and Frye discerned that the prevalence of full syndrome mitochondrial disease in children with ASD is significantly higher than it is in children in general.3 Their analysis also revealed that many children with ASD have findings on laboratory tests that indicate some degree of mitochondrial dysfunction, although not full syndrome mitochondrial disease. Together, these findings indicate a high degree of abnormal mitochondrial function in children with ASD, which other research has corroborated.2,4-9

Continue reading "Autism Science Digest: Aluminum Toxicity in Mitochondrial Dysfunction and ASD" »


Best of AofA: Brian Deer's Second Award - As Meaningless As The First

Dumb deerAuthor's Note: This post originally ran in 2011, after the vaccine lobby's hired gun Brian Deer received his second "Press Award," to explain why his second such award is as meaningless as his first. Later that same year, Deer won another "award" from the UK pharma front group "HealthWatch." Then just a few days ago, another front group in the UK run by pharma-backed "science" writer Simon Singh gave Dr. Andrew Wakefield - whose Lancet paper was vindicted by colleague Prof. John Walker-Smith's successful appeal earlier this year - a mock award for "quackery." In response, we are re-running this piece to remind readers that Brian Deer's "awards" are just as farcical. 

By Jake Crosby

The UK’s “Press Awards” are not nicknamed the “Hackademy Awards” for nothing, especially in the case of Brian Deer. He has been given not one, but two such awards. The claim, made by Brian Deer, that the UK Press Awards are like the Pulitzer Prize is laughable and absurd.

The UK’s Society of Editors runs the Press Awards. Sitting on the Editors’ advisory council is Les Hinton, who recently resigned as CEO of Dow Jones in the wake of the Murdoch phone hacking scandal. Also on that committee is Rebekah Brooks, who resigned as senior executive of News International - which publishes The Sunday Times - and was then arrested.

For over a decade,  Brian Deer's only award was based on a faulty premise. It was called “Specialist Reporter of the year.” The judges said Deer was “the only journalist in Britain that polices the drug companies.” However, during the year for which he won his award, 1998, Brian Deer wrote an article alleging that patients who suffered neurological injury from the DTP vaccine were not really injured and should therefore not have received legal compensation for their injuries. That is the exact opposite of “policing” the drug companies, but is instead harrassing the victims of defective drug company products. In 2004, Glenn Frankel reported in the Washington Post that one of Brian Deer’s specialties “was tracking down false claims of damage from vaccines.

Weeks after the bogus premise behind his first award was reported on Age of Autism, Brian Deer was nominated for “News Reporter of the Year” and also for “Specialist Reporter of the year,” the latter of which he won at the ceremony in London’s Savoy Hotel on April 5th, 2011. That award was given to Deer for his smear campaign against Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

The measure of any great or even good journalist must be his independence. Journalism awards are supposed to be based on independent assessments of reporters’ work, otherwise they are meaningless. Furthermore, it seems too perfect that Brian Deer was nominated for a Press Award (that he would later win) mere weeks after Age of Autism revealed he had only won one award.

How surprising can this really be given that the Academy of Judges for this year’s awards ceremony included Richard Caseby, managing editor of The Sunday Times? Caseby became notorious for his exchange with Rosemary Kessick – one of the few parents of the Lancet 12 children that Brian Deer actually interviewed.

Following a 6-hour interrogation of Kessick by Deer in 2003, during which he falsely gave his name as “Brian Lawrence,” she complained to The Sunday Times executive editor John Witherow. The exchange is detailed by Dan Olmsted in his article,  An Elaborate Fraud, Part 2: In Which a Murdoch Newspaper’s Deceptive Tactics Infect the British Medical Journal.

Unfortunately, Kessick might as well have been complaining to GlaxoSmithKline, the board of which has retained News International boss, James Murdoch, since 2009. John Witherow recently wrote in a self-congratulatory piece about The Sunday Times’ investigative journalism on July 17th:

There have, of course, been many other investigations, including Brian Deer's outstanding work on exposing the doctor behind the false MMR scare.

This sentence exposes a clear desire to try and shift the arguments off the ground of the Sunday Times and GSK and into a more general arena so showing that what happened to Wakefield was a result of universal investigating and popular will. In fact one of the most staggering things about the Wakefield case was that Deer carried sole responsibility for it prior to lodging it with the GMC; no other investigative journalist in the world uncovered or wrote anything original critical of Wakefield besides Deer. 

Instead of Witherow responding to Kessick’s complaint, Richard Caseby wrote back:

Continue reading "Best of AofA: Brian Deer's Second Award - As Meaningless As The First" »


No Increase in Criminal Convictions in Hans Asperger's Original Cohort

Science post imageJ Autism Dev Disord. 2010 Jun;40(6):774-80. doi: 10.1007/s10803-009-0917-y.

No increase in criminal convictions in Hans Asperger's original cohort.
Source

Department of Clinical and Applied Psychology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. kathrin.hippler@meduniwien.ac.at

Abstract

Hans Asperger originally used the term "autistic psychopathy" to describe his patients on the autism spectrum, leading to a possible confusion with psychopathic disorder and delinquent behaviour. We conducted a penal register search for 177 former patients of Asperger's clinic with a childhood diagnosis of "autistic psychopathy" or features of the disorder in Austria. The mean percentage of registered convictions was similar to that in the general male population of Austria over the studied time period. A qualitative assessment of offence types in Asperger's former patients suggests that the nature of offences does not differ from that in the general population. In this original cohort of Asperger's patients, convictions were no more common than in the general male population.


Age of Autism Science Summary: Death after Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination

Science post imagePharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs: Open Access

Research Article            Open Access

Death after Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination: (Read the full study  HERE.

Causal or Coincidental?

Lucija Tomljenovic1* and Christopher A Shaw1,2,3

1Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia, Canada 2Program in Experimental Medicine, University of British Columbia, Canada 3Program in Neuroscience, University of British Columbia, Canada

Abstract

Background: The proper understanding of a true risk from vaccines is crucial for avoiding unnecessary adverse reactions (ADRs). However, to this date no solid tests or criteria have been established to determine whether adverse events are causally linked to vaccinations.

Objectives: This research was carried out to determine whether or not some serious autoimmune and neurological ADRs following HPV vaccination are causal or merely coincidental and to validate a biomarker-based immunohistochemical (IHC) protocol for assessing causality in case of vaccination-suspected serious adverse neurological outcomes.

Methods: Post-mortem brain tissue specimens from two young women who suffered from cerebral vasculitis- type symptoms following vaccination with the HPV vaccine Gardasil were analysed by IHC for various immuno- inflammatory markers. Brain sections were also stained for antibodies recognizing HPV-16L1 and HPV-18L1 antigen which are present in Gardasil.

Results: In both cases, the autopsy revealed no anatomical, microbiological nor toxicological findings that might have explained the death of the individuals. In contrast, our IHC analysis showed evidence of an autoimmune vasculitis potentially triggered by the cross-reactive HPV-16L1 antibodies binding to the wall of cerebral blood vessels in all examined brain samples. We also detected the presence of HPV-16L1 particles within the cerebral vasculature with some HPV-16L1 particles adhering to the blood vessel walls. HPV-18L1 antibodies did not bind to cerebral blood vessels nor any other neural tissues. IHC also showed increased T-cell signalling and marked activation of the classical antibody-dependent complement pathway in cerebral vascular tissues from both cases. This pattern of complement activation in the absence of an active brain infection indicates an abnormal triggering of the immune response in which the immune attack is directed towards self-tissue.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that HPV vaccines containing HPV-16L1 antigens pose an inherent risk for triggering potentially fatal autoimmune vasculopathies.

Practice implications: Cerebral vasculitis is a serious disease which typically results in fatal outcomes when undiagnosed and left untreated. The fact that many of the symptoms reported to vaccine safety surveillance databases following HPV vaccination are indicative of cerebral vasculitis, but are unrecognized as such (i.e., intense persistent migraines, syncope, seizures, tremors and tingling, myalgia, locomotor abnormalities, psychotic symptoms and cognitive deficits), is a serious concern in light of the present findings. It thus appears that in some cases vaccination may be the triggering factor of fatal autoimmune/neurological events. Physicians should be aware of this association.


Science Summary: Maternal Vitamin D Levels and the Autism Phenotype Among Offspring.

Science post imageJ Autism Dev Disord. 2012 Oct 16. [Epub ahead of print]

Maternal Vitamin D Levels and the Autism Phenotype Among Offspring.
Whitehouse AJ, Holt BJ, Serralha M, Holt PG, Hart PH, Kusel MM.

Source

Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia, 100 Roberts Road, Subiaco, West Perth, WA, 6008, Australia, awhitehouse@ichr.uwa.edu.au.

Abstract

We tested whether maternal vitamin D insufficiency during pregnancy is related to the autism phenotype. Serum 25(OH)-vitamin D concentrations of 929 women were measured at 18 weeks' pregnancy. The mothers of the three children with a clinical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder had 25(OH)-vitamin D concentrations above the population mean. The offspring of 406 women completed the Autism-Spectrum Quotient in early adulthood. Maternal 25(OH)-vitamin D concentrations were unrelated to offspring scores on the majority of scales. However, offspring of mothers with low 25(OH)-vitamin D concentrations (<49 nmol/L) were at increased risk for 'high' scores (≥2SD above mean) on the Attention Switching subscale (odds ratio: 5.46, 95 % confidence interval: 1.29, 23.05). The involvement of maternal vitamin D during pregnancy in autism requires continued investigation.

AofA Science Summary: Are systemizing and autistic traits related to talent and interest in mathematics and engineering?

Science post imageProfessor Simon Baron Cohen's research includes the theory of the extreme male brain: "Research on relatives of people with Asperger syndrome and autism has found that their fathers and grandfathers are twice as likely to be engineers as the general population. Natural science students have more relatives with autism than humanities students. Asperger syndrome is found more often in mathematicians and their siblings than in the general population. Both mothers and fathers of children with Asperger syndrome tend to score high on systemizing. Both mothers and fathers of children with autism or Asperger syndrome often have father who worked in systemizing occupations. Both mothers and fathers of children with autism have a strongly masculine pattern of brain activity when doing systemizing activity.*"  The study below found otherwise.

Item 1 of 1 (Display the citation in PubMed) 1. Br J Psychol. 2012

Nov;103(4):472-96. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.2011.02089.x. Epub 2011 Dec 22.

Are systemizing and autistic traits related to talent and interest in mathematics and engineering? Testing some of the central claims of the empathizing-systemizing theory.

Source

School of Psychology, University of Plymouth, UK Department of Psychology, University of Florence, Italy.

Abstract


Testing some of the central claims of the empathizing-systemizing theory. Morsanyi K, Primi C, Handley SJ, Chiesi F, Galli S. Source School of Psychology, University of Plymouth, UK Department of Psychology, University of Florence, Italy. Abstract In two experiments, we tested some of the central claims of the empathizing-systemizing (E-S) theory.

Experiment 1 showed that the systemizing quotient (SQ) was unrelated to performance on a mathematics test, although it was correlated with statistics-related attitudes, self-efficacy, and anxiety. In Experiment 2, systemizing skills, and gender differences in these skills, were more strongly related to spatial thinking styles than to SQ. In fact, when we partialled the effect of spatial thinking styles, SQ was no longer related to systemizing skills.

Additionally, there was no relationship between the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) and the SQ, or skills and interest in mathematics and mechanical reasoning. We discuss the implications of our findings for the E-S theory, and for understanding the autistic cognitive profile. ©2011 The British Psychological Society. PMID: 23034108 [PubMed - in process]

*The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, Edited by Robin Dunbar and Louise Barret, Oxford University Press, 2007, Chapter 16 The evolution of empathizing and systemizing: assortative mating of two strong systemizers and the cause of autism, Simon Baron-Cohen.

AofA Science Summary: Reversible blindness in bilateral optic neuritis associated with nasal flu vaccine.

Science post imageBinocul Vis Strabolog Q Simms Romano. 2012;27(3):171-3.

Reversible blindness in bilateral optic neruritis associated with nasal flu vaccine.

Crawford CGrazko MBRaymond WR 4thRivers BAMunson PD.

Abstract BACKGROUND:

Various case reports have shown possible associations between optic neuritis and different vaccines. Some of the vaccines include influenza, hepatitis B and anthrax

PURPOSE:

To present evidence for a causal relationship between optic neuritis and Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV), administered as nasal flu vaccine.

METHODS:

Case Report. In a 13-year-old male with bilateral optic neuritis, detailed clinical history, neuro-ophthalmologic examination, magnetic resonance imaging, stereo-disc photos, visual field testing, ocular coherence tomography, blood tests and cerebral spinal fluid analysis were performed.

RESULTS:

Exam findings on presentation: BCVA: 20/CF OD; 20/LP OS. Positive relative afferent pupil defect OD. Unremarkable anterior segment and posterior segment exam. No papillitis or papilledema. Global visual field defect OU based on Humphrey 30-2. MRI: diffuse enlargement of Optic Chiasm with inflammation of distal optic nerves bilateral. Blood cultures and CSF were negative. Patient received 3 divided doses of methyl prednisone with mild improvement of vision upon hospital discharge and marked improvement of vision at 2 month follow up.

CONCLUSION:

In this child, no infectious, vascular, granulomatous, viral or immune-related cause of optic neuritis was identified. This case provides compelling evidence that supports the nasal flu vaccination as a cause of optic neuritis.

PMID:


Age of Autism Science Summary: Anxiety, Sensory Over-Responsivity, and Gastrointestinal Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Science post imageJ Abnorm Child Psychol. 2012 Aug 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Anxiety, Sensory Over-Responsivity, and Gastrointestinal Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Mazurek MO, Vasa RA, Kalb LG, Kanne SM, Rosenberg D, Keefer A, Murray DS, Freedman B, Lowery LA.

Department of Health Psychology and Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, University of Missouri - Columbia, 205 Portland Street, Columbia, MO, 65211, USA, mazurekm@missouri.edu.

Abstract

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) experience high rates of anxiety, sensory processing problems, and gastrointestinal (GI) problems; however, the associations among these symptoms in children with ASD have not been previously examined. The current study examined bivariate and multivariate relations among anxiety, sensory over-responsivity, and chronic GI problems in a sample of 2,973 children with ASD enrolled in the Autism Treatment Network (ages 2-17 years, 81.6 % male). Twenty-four percent of the sample experienced at least one type of chronic GI problem (constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and/or nausea lasting three or more months). Children with each type of GI problem had significantly higher rates of both anxiety and sensory over-responsivity. Sensory over-responsivity and anxiety were highly associated, and each provided unique contributions to the prediction of chronic GI problems in logistic regression analyses. The results indicate that anxiety, sensory over-responsivity and GI problems are possibly interrelated phenomenon for children with ASD, and may have common underlying mechanisms.


Free Two Day Event As Talk About Curing Autism Philadelphia Chapter Welcomes Dr. Richard Frye to Speak

Dr. Richard Frye**FREE EVENT** Save the date! TACA 160

Don’t miss this special two-day event where you can hear the latest on Autism research and treatments from one of the top ASD specialists in the country! Come with questions and hear Dr. Frye speak on…

Location:
Saint Alban’s Episcopal Church
3625 Chapel Road
Newtown Square, PA 19073Dr. Richard Frye is coming to TACA PA!!
www.tacanow.org

Friday, August 3, 2012, 7:00 - 9:00 PM

• Neurological Abnormalities in ASD

Children with autism have been found to have many neurological abnormalities. These include differences in brain function, structure and connectivity, neurotransmitter and metabolic abnormalities and electrical disturbances in the brain including seizures. This talk will review some of the important aspects of these neurological abnormalities and their treatments.

Saturday, August 4, 2012, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

One Talk Covering Two Common Issues

• Mitochondrial Disorders in Autism Mitochondria

There is strong evidence that many children with autism also have a mitochondrial disorder, which means that the mitochondria produce less fuel for the body and for the brain. This talk will discuss the challenges of how to test for mitochondrial disorders, as well as the current treatments available for them.

• Seizures in Autism

A New National Survey on Treatments: Approximately 25% of children and adults with autism have seizures, and another 50% have sub-clinical seizures that are often undetected but may affect their intellectual functioning. This presentation will briefly review seizure issues in autism, and then present the new results of a national survey of over 500 children and adults with seizures, with a comparison of the benefits and possible side effects of many medical, dietary, and nutritional treatments.

Dr. Richard Frye, M.D., Ph.D., who is the Director of Autism Research and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, speaks across the country on pediatric neurological disorders. He specializes in pediatric neurology disorders including learning disabilities and dyslexia, autism and developmental delay, speech and language delay, attention deficit, tics and Tourette’s syndrome, sleep disorders, and epileptic encephalopathy. Dr. Frye is board certified in Pediatrics and in Neurology and completed fellowships in behavioral neurology and psychology.
Nationally Renowned Speaker from Autism One, ARI & more!

Lee Silsby logo 09 The treatment category is sponsored by Lee Silsby, the leader in quality compounded medications for autism.


Gene Expression Profiles of Inflamed Bowel Biopsy Tissue in ASD Children Consistent with IBD

BowelGene Expression Profiles of Inflamed Bowel Biopsy Tissue in ASD Children Are Consistent with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

IMFAR Saturday, May 19, 2012
S. J. Walker, J. Fortunato, A. Krigsman
http://imfar.confex.com/imfar/2012/webprogram/Paper10859.html

Gene Expression Profiles of Inflamed Bowel Biopsy Tissue in ASD Children Are Consistent with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sheraton Hall (Sheraton Centre Toronto)

9:00 AM

S. J. Walker1, J. Fortunato2 and A. Krigsman3, (1)Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, (2)Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston Salem, NC, (3)Pediatric Gastroenterology Resources of New York, Far Rockaway, NY

Background: Chronic gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are common and not well understood. It is unclear if GI symptoms and intestinal mucosal inflammatory changes seen in children with ASD represent a variant of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) versus non-specific colitis or “normal” mucosal cellular composition. Some studies have demonstrated histochemical and immunohistochemical features of the bowel mucosa, lamina propria and mucosal basement membrane which may be unique to children with ASD. The recent emergence of gene expression profiling as a valid methodology for distinguishing various forms of IBD potentially adds a further tool in defining the characteristics of ASD-associated intestinal inflammation.

Objectives: The goal of this study was to use a molecular approach to evaluate gene expression profiles in both histologically inflamed and non-inflamed ileocolonic biopsy specimens from ASD children with chronic GI symptoms and to compare them to gene expression profiles in ileocolonic tissue of neurotypical children with Crohn’s disease. Significant overlap of gene expression in these two groups would suggest that ASD-GI represents an IBD variant; differences in the ASD-GI gene expression profile would highlight the nature of its distinction from Crohn’s disease.

Methods: Study tissue consisted of ileocolonic biopsies from two groups: (1) children with an ASD undergoing ileocolonoscopy for active gastrointestinal symptoms and, (2) neurotypical children diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.  All tissue specimens were collected under appropriate IRB approval. For each individual (seven per group; fourteen in total) two biopsies were used: one from the terminal ileum with active inflammatory changes and one from the colon demonstrating normal mucosa (control).  Total RNA was isolated from the individual tissue biopsy specimens and used to query whole genome DNA microarrays. For each of the two groups, ASD-GI and CD, differential gene expression was determined by comparing the inflamed tissue within a group to the control tissues from the same group. Next, differential gene expression was compared between the ASD-GI and CD groups to evaluate similarities and differences.  

Results: In each group there were ~2000 transcripts differentially expressed between inflamed and control tissue. Within the 900 differentially expressed genes shared by both ASD-GI and CD, two highly relevant biological functional groups represented by these transcripts were gastrointestinal disease (including CD [p = 0.001] and IBD [p = 0.001]) and inflammatory response [p = 0.000003]. In the 912 differentially expressed transcripts unique to ASD-GI, the most significant biological functional group represented was gastrointestinal disease (including IBD and CD). In contrast, there were 1200 genes uniquely differentially expressed in CD and the primary biological functions represented by these transcripts were immune response [p = 6.6 x 10-14] and autoimmune disease [p = 4 x 10-7].    

Conclusions: These results demonstrate that ASD-GI presents a gene expression profile significantly overlapping with Crohn’s disease and consistent with the larger category of inflammatory bowel disease.


AofA Science Summary: Psychoactive pharmaceuticals induce fish gene expression profiles associated with human idiopathic autism.

Three eyes fishPLoS One. 2012;7(6):e32917. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Psychoactive pharmaceuticals induce fish gene expression profiles associated with human idiopathic autism.

Thomas MAKlaper RD.

Source

Department of Biological Sciences, Idaho State University School, Pocatello, Idaho, United States of America.

Abstract

Idiopathic autism, caused by genetic susceptibility interacting with unknown environmental triggers, has increased dramatically in the past 25 years. Identifying environmental triggers has been difficult due to poorly understood pathophysiology and subjective definitions of autism. The use of antidepressants by pregnant women has been associated with autism. These and other unmetabolized psychoactive pharmaceuticals (UPPs) have also been found in drinking water from surface sources, providing another possible exposure route and raising questions about human health consequences. Here, we examined gene expression patterns of fathead minnows treated with a mixture of three psychoactive pharmaceuticals (fluoxetine, venlafaxine & carbamazepine) in dosages intended to be similar to the highest observed conservative estimates of environmental concentrations. We conducted microarray experiments examining brain tissue of fish exposed to individual pharmaceuticals and a mixture of all three. We used gene-class analysis to test for enrichment of gene sets involved with ten human neurological disorders. Only sets associated with idiopathic autism were unambiguously enriched. We found that UPPs induce autism-like gene expression patterns in fish. Our findings suggest a new potential trigger for idiopathic autism in genetically susceptible individuals involving an overlooked source of environmental contamination.


Age of Autism Science Summary: The Name Game?

Nutty professorYou can call us speechless on this one....  it's just nutty.

Psychopathology. 2012 May 22;45(4):215-219. [Epub ahead of print]

Are Names of Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder More 'Hyperactive'?

Source

Child and Adolescent Division, Psychiatry Department, Geha Mental Health Center, Petah Tiqva, Israel.

Abstract

Background: The role of the meaning of given names has been noted in psychotherapy as well as in everyday life. This study aimed to investigate the possible association between the nature of given names of children and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis. Sampling and Methods: A total of 134 given names of children and adolescent patients diagnosed as having ADHD were compared with those of an age- and gender-matched randomly chosen control group from the general population. The first names of the two cohorts were compared with regard to the following: the literal meaning of their names, whether the name constitutes a verb, the prevalence of each name and their length (number of syllables). Results: The meaning of first names of children and adolescents with ADHD combined type were rated by referees as expressing significantly more activity and containing less syllables than the names of controls. In addition, the prevalence of their names was significantly lower than that of names used in the general population. All findings remained significant following Bonferroni adjustment. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate an intriguing relationship between children's given names and ADHD diagnosis. Given names may serve as a possible predictor of later diagnosis of ADHD. Clinicians should be more attentive to given names in the context of child psychiatric evaluation and therapy.

Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.