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Katie Wright on the July IACC: Autism, Abortion, Action?

Frustration_Relief By Katie Wright

July’s IACC’s meeting actually had some wonderful high points. No kidding.  Yes there were insensitive, clueless and unintentionally funny comments- it is the same cast of characters after all. However, IACC had perhaps its best ever scientific presentation in the work of Dr. Isaac Pessah. Thank you very much to whomever made his appearance possible.

The day began with a lengthy lecture by Michael Ganz, PhD about the high cost of autism.

Guess what autism is hugely expensive! Don’t we already know this? There was a heated Q & A between Ganz and Ari Ne’man regarding whether this information would be used to identify ASD fetuses prenatally for abortion purposes. In fairness to Ganz, I don’t think this subject was on his radar screen, but the issue is important for various reasons. Autism is not like Down syndrome. Autism is a wildly heterogeneous disorder. 95% of ASD kids have no chromosomal abnormalities. This crazy idea that we will be able to prescreen fetuses for ASD is asinine.  Would doctors be screening for babies for dairy allergies, or for sub optimal immune systems or babies especially sensitive to environmental pollutants? Pursuing such research would be a colossal waste of money and time.

I think I speak for at least a million Moms when I say that I did not give birth to an autistic baby. Christian did not need to be aborted he needed to be protected from reckless medical policies.

Dr. Pessah presented devastating findings regarding how and why miniscule amounts of mercury cause brain damage in mice as well as how non dioxin compounds commonly found in our environment cause neurological injury. Here is Pessah’s summary:

1) Minute amounts of mercury negatively affect cell structure, amino acids and the metabolism.

2) Mercury is highly toxic to the dendritic cells in the brain and produces “autistic like” (sounds like vaccine court! I love that, not autism but “autism like”) behaviors in mice.

3) Mercury alters T cells and not for the better. This is probably why so many ASD kids are chronically ill.

Naturally we have known all this for some time. It makes no sense now and it never made sense to use Hg as a preservative. Hg damages the brain, and we need to stop using it in all vaccines. Period. End of story.

Don’t forget Hg is the adjuvant we know the most about! How scary is that? How does AL, ammonia sulfate, phenol (from coal tar), AL hydroxide, human diploid cells, benzethonium….affect brain cells? Who knows?  We are literally rolling the dice and finding out as we go along. We just keep combining more and more vaccines with more and more toxic, untested, preservatives. How is that working out for your kids? Not so good for mine.

Pessah also related the recent silly study measuring Hg blood levels of ASD and non-ASD kids. Naturally no differences were found. The likelihood that any of these kids received a flu shot the day their blood was taken is zero. Hg doesn’t stay in the blood it attaches itself to brain tissue!  Measuring random blood levels is a fruitless exercise, like testing ASD kids for grass allergies in the wintertime. Pointless.

But not pointless to Dr. Birbaum! In her testimony to the Senate, Birbaum crowed that recent discoveries have shown  there is no difference in mercury levels between ASD kids and non ASD children. No caveat that it would be virtually impossible to find a difference based on random blood samples. So much bias and such an irresponsible use of power.

Pessah continued by presenting dozens of studies illustrating how commonly found non-dioxin compounds are able to cause brain damage to babies and toddlers. PBAs alter synapse transmission. Pesticides increase excitatory neurons. Flame-retardants can cause decreased dendritic activity. ALL non-dioxin compounds have dramatically negative efforts on fetuses. Non-dioxin compounds have been found to disturb the metabolism, growth structure, the hippocampus and the immune system. Naturally, Pessah found that ASD kids had a weaker immune response compared to children who did not develop ASD. Parents of regressive kids have been saying for decades that a family history of autoimmune diseases is a significant risk factor, an obvious biomarker, for adverse vaccine responses. 

As Pessah spoke I felt nauseous and horrified yet again because a) insanely toxic substances are in vaccines, b) these substances were injected into my child, c) it is beyond clear that American children are not adequately protected from everyday toxins (remember the last year’s lead toys?) and d) not many people seem bothered by this. So these thoughts are running through my mind as Linda Birbaum raises her hand to speak and says to Pessah, “ Wow! It is always so fun hearing about your work!” I mean, she was so happy, smiling as if all this research was terrific news! As if Pessah just announced, “OK, I’m taking everyone to Six Flags!” Birbaum is the sole IACC environmental scientist and she finds concrete evidence that toxins and vaccine adjuvants cause brain damage and “autism like symptoms” in our kids- “fun.” Is Dr. Birbaum a Grinch? Is her heart 3 sizes too small? I don’t expect federal reps to be emotionally involved but try act like a human being. Imagine if Pessah was talking about your child’s brain damage.

Dr. Landrigan’s presentation was unfortunately superfluous to the work Pessah discussed. Everything about Landrigan’s scientific data was many years old - from his 1 in 150 ASD number, his data citing 70% of ASD kids have MR to his theory that autism is not a single disease and does not have a single cause. Of course it isn’t. Tell us something we don’t know. In discussing why ASD most definitely has environmental triggers Landrigan cited the ancient thalimohyde and valporic acid studies. Not those 2 again! Does anyone know even one Mom who used those drugs while pregnant? Can’t we just deal in the now?

However, Dr. Landrigan did do an excellent job advocating for research into the myriad of untested commonly found household and environmental toxins. Unfortunately, his focus was mainly prenatal exposures. Again, the old way of thinking about autism- as a prenatally determined, largely heritable disorder. Landrigan never addressed why almost 40% of ASD kids develop typically for at least a year or two and then lose all their skills, become chronically ill and then develop autism. This trajectory is not determined prenatally.

The most frustrating part of the Landrigan lecture was his bizarre and unsolicited proclamations that he “knows” vaccines couldn’t trigger autism. Again with the old way of viewing autism. Landrigan cited   a number of “well designed” studies as proof of his theory. These dreadful studies can be more thoroughly examined at The Cochrane Report also expresses a negative view about much of this research. In particular Landrigan argued that because the Japanese removed the MMR from the schedule for 2 yrs ago (about 10 yrs earlier) and there was no drop in autism that proves the MMR couldn’t trigger autism. But haven’t we been over this 1,000 times before? Autism isn’t one disease. Autism doesn’t have one cause. Just one vaccine is not triggering autism. The problem is our insanely aggressive vaccination schedule, the 38 required immunizations and the dozens of toxic adjuvants- not just the MMR.  For my son the DTap produced the worst adverse reaction, for others the flu shot, the list is varied and endless.

At first Dr. Eric Courchese followed in the footsteps Dr. Landrigan, giving a lengthy lecture on what we already know. Guess what, autistic kids heads have big heads. Newsflash, the frontal lobe and social abilities are affected. There was description after description after description of brain cell overgrowth…No discussion of postnatal factors obviously triggering this spontaneous brain enlargement (Courchese says enlargement- I say brain inflammation).

Why not discuss brain and body inflammation and its affect on the immune system rather than this endless tape measure talk about big heads? Instead of saying “I don’t know” what causes excessive head growth 100 times why not read the recent Hewitson publication. She has studied macaque monkeys who have been administered our baby and toddler vaccinations schedule? Guess what? The control monkeys did not experience rapid head growth but the vaccinated monkeys did. Courchese went on and on about autism being determined prenatally. I appreciate what Courchese said about listening to Moms because they know their child best but most Moms do not believe autism is triggered prenatally- not anymore.

Courchese provided an honest evaluation of the limited usefulness of all those expensive multiplex genetic repositories that have been the focus of so much autism research.  I am sure the multiplex obsession naturally evolved out of the belief that autism was 90% genetic and by studying these families we would uncover the gene or genes causing the disorder. Guess what? It is 20 years later and all we have learned is that autism is incredibly heterogeneous and genes cannot account for the vast majority of ASD cases. No kidding? Courchese also discussed why we have hit a wall with all the baby sibs research- the built in genetic bias. This line of study has also eaten up so much money- enough already. Multiplex kids are different from singleton kids. Multiplex family research is not transferable knowledge to the vast majority of ASD kids who are singletons. I don’t even know how the multiplex research is helping the multiplex kids? Courchese also put in a plug to stop the exclusive study of classic autism and the immediate need to research all the various autism subtypes. Thank you!

The committee asked few intelligent questions. Dr. Janvier expressed surprise that there is a big range of brain size and defects differing from child to child. It is a heterogeneous disorder- why is that surprising? Dr. Birbaum, again totally detached from reality, exclaimed “beautiful data!” Where were the questions about postnatal issues? Why did no one ask Courchese to apply his theory towards the 40% of kids who regress into autism?  Why was it only Lyn Redwood who was interested in the inflammatory process? Is the lack of interest in these issues on the part of the board a reflection of the fact that only 1 committee member is a parent of a regressive child/chronically ill child? I think so. Yet again another example about how the lack of parental diversity hurts IACC.

The IACC round table, however, was surprisingly good. Insel again urged the committee members to read all public comments. From the range of the committee’s reaction I would guess that maybe 5 did.  At some length Insel addressed the public’s common complaint about the lack of environmental expertise on the board and the need for an immunologist and toxicologist. Who knows if it has a chance of happening but that was the first time the issue was discussed by someone other than Lyn Redwood. Your public comments do matter. If IACC members talk about your comments, great. If the committee ignores the public comments, send twice as many comments the next time. You might also mention that IACC should try meeting more than a few times a year, maybe once a month. Autism is a public health crisis, time to start acting with a sense of urgency.

Katie Wright is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.


Katie Wright

Hi Kathleen,

I am sorry if you got that impression, that was not my intention at all!

I was trying to point out that many scientists want to provide a prenatal test for ASD. The only point I was trying to make is that such a test for ASD would be impossible. Yes, such a test exists for Downs- only because it is a yes/no chromosomal disorder. I meant to infer no judgements. I absolutely did not mean to place a higher value on ASD children than Downs children. All our kids are equally important and deserve the best possible life.

Sincerely, Katie

Teresa Conrick

Dear Kathleen,

I saw your comment and just wanted to say that I did not get that at all from Katie's post. What I read was that autism does not have a genetic name or number like Down's Syndrome and that screening for it is a bad idea. The amount of time and money going to find a gene or genes is crazy and for what?

The points that I got were that autism is regression for many kids, inflammation, immune dysfunction etc etc...and that there are poisons involved, esp mercury and it has a ton of evidence of injury -- yet it remains..and there are many more toxins with unknown research.


Kathleen, hi. I also have a friend with a child with autism and a child with Down Syndrome. I can't speak for Katie - but I took her to mean that there isn't a genetic test available for autism like there is for Down Syndrome, nor do most of us seek one. We have been vocal at AofA in our disgust for abortion to prevent "inconvenient" children. Thanks. KIM

Kathleen - mom of Daniel and Caroline

I really hope that I misread and misinterpreted something Katie Wright said in this article. Her statement "Autism is not like Down syndrome." is troublesome to me. Did she mean that it is ok to test fetuses for Down Syndrome and abort those babies? And the reason it is ok is because it is easy to test for the extra 21st chromosome, but the myriad causes of autism spectrum disorders would be difficult and costly to test for? Or did she put higher value on the lives of children with ASDs than on the lives of children with Down Syndrome? I beg to differ with either of those. I am a mother of two children. My eldest has Asperger Syndrome and my youngest has Down Syndrome. From our personal experience the child with Down Syndrome has been the easier and cheaper child to raise and she will be a participant in society in ways that her brother will not and cannot.

Elaine HIckey

Thanks, Katie. Keep up the good work on behalf of all the parents who would like to be there, but can't. My daughter is 17 now (low-functioning/non-verbal - 24/7 supervision, etc). I've been waiting for 15 years for the truth to be told . . . maybe in another 15??? (Probably not!)


"Yes, it really is becoming 'us' and 'them'; unfortunately. Find a wholistic practitioner, and stop trying to convert the Powers That Be to your cause, parents."

This hit home.

Also, well said Willie.

The only people we will convert to the cause will be other parents of vaccine injured kiddos unfortunately. Eventually there will be more "us" than there are of "them".


A benetta,,,
I think they changed all the qualifications in their big book so they can sit him on the panel and pretend



"Wellllllll then all I have to say if it is PCBs, angel dust, or some molecule similiar substance like bisphenol --- then how come they are putting it in the vaccines???"

And speaking of molecule similar substances: The Autism Community should be asking 'them' why they put aborted fetal tissue into vaccines.

LifeSiteNews has reported on the temporal link between the introduction of aborted fetal DNA, when the MMR vax switched from using animal cells to human cells, and the rising rates of autism. ( for June 3, 2010)

I wonder if this issue, of using aborted tissue, and hence the interface with the issue of abortion, is behind the silence of the liberal likes of Amy Goodman??...

In any event: It needs to be addressed. Along with the likes of 'their' putting glutamate in live-virus vaccines, which will cause an inflammatory reaction whenever the body meets this substance, in the diet, and esp. in the inflammatory context of vaccines. And along with the likes of 'their' putting food oils, like peanut oil, in vaccines...the list of toxins, and rendered toxins, goes on.

Yes, it really is becoming 'us' and 'them'; unfortunately. Find a wholistic practitioner, and stop trying to convert the Powers That Be to your cause, parents. They are beyond being interested in your report from the coal face (a little irony there, given the Hg from coal-fired power plants). They have their interests. Those interests are not yours. Leave them to heaven, and get on with the job right in front of you. And blessings on your journey. You take it for us all.


Ari must have the special kind of autism. I've never seen that kind of autism. That's the special politically connected kind of autism. Meanwhile, people with autism don't have friends, let alone any political savvy. What a joke


Bisphenol A, is what they are blaming it on.
Even obsesity.

Wellllllll then all I have to say if it is PCBs, angel dust, or some molecule similiar substance like bisphenol --- then how come they are putting it in the vaccines???

Yeah, if if is bispenol then it had to be in the DPT shot.
Because if was right after the DPT shots we had trouble ---with a capitol T.


I just watched the IACC meeting.
Gantz could have just gone and asked the vaccine injury compensation courts, because according to them, they have the cost of taking care of an individual with autism for life all figured out.

Other people's thoughts please???

Is Ari Ne’man really on the spectrum???

I mean he is light years ahead of my son, I mean ??? Is he really on the spectrum?


Okay I listened to most of it.
Katie I really, really appreicate you sitting through this entire meeting. You have more determination than I will ever have.

Economics of autism? - Why did they not go to the vaccine Court and ask how they come up with their figures? Because I have read a great deal about them and they say they have it all figured out what the life time cost will be for a person with autism. What a horrible boring way to start a meeting.

And now I want to know other people's thoughts on Ari Ne’man? There is no way, no way he has autism???!!!!

If he is on the spectrum??? Is he really???

Maurine Meleck

Thanks, Katie. Your AOA pieces are addictive.
BTW, you can now buy vaccine gift cards. I kid you not. They are available for use at Rite Aide, CVS and Walgreens for a flu vaccine. What great stocking stuffers.



Nothing like tiptoeing around the 10,000 lb elephant in the room.

Please tell this comittee and anyone else talking about "environmental triggers" and "better diagnosis" and "older parents (men) having babies" and especially the genius that declare " He knows Vaccines couldn't cause autism" to stand directly behind this elephant so he can take a dump on them and possible wake them up to the reality that this vaccine mediated autism sh-- really does stink and the other diseases like obesity and asthma that are also destructive really are the result of this contrived need for vaccines which is just a transparent way to get money and create a pharma cash cow out of the entire world


ps just send the next committee members a note that says that from me so we can stop wasting all this money on false flagg research and start trying to figure out how to make are kids better.


Kendra Pettengill

Several years ago I wanted to speak to Amy Goodman about this very subject. Since Free Speech TV was running a fundraiser campaign that if you gave $1,000 you and a guest could have dinner with Amy Goodman, but, you pay your own way to New York.(It's now $2,000 for the same thing). I put out the word and ARI actually funded my trip.
I went to New York and John Gilmore and I went to dinner with Amy Goodman. Along with some research and writings that I had brought, I also had one of David Kirby's books with a personal message to Amy from Davod on the front cover and inspiring her to look into this. John and I presented her with these along with our own personal stories through dinner. She seemed fascinated and even asked some good questions.
She has never done a single story on this subject, nor ever followed up in any way. I promised her I could get guests for her show, David Kirby, Andrew Wakefield, Jenny McCarthy, along with many doctors, parents, etc. Nothing! I do not even have any assurances that she ever looked at any material we gave to her. I admire what she does, but I am severely disappointed that she has never followed up on this story. Maybe if Katie hit her again with some of her writings and info it might shake her up into acting, but so far no luck.


I volunteer my son to be the other end of the spectrum member of the committee. While I pray we are done with the feces smearing, he will let them know right away when he needs to "Go teetee! Go teetee!"


Bummer re: Dr. Birmbaum. Thanks Katie for being there for all of us (and cataloging and remembering all of this).



Anne said, "We can't continue the pretense about autism. I taught history for years and I can say positively that no nation can prosper if a huge sector of its children are chronically ill and disabled. The day is swiftly coming when we will have to provide for hundreds of thousands of adults with autism---people who don't exist now.
Autism the eternal mystery will become autism the economic nightmare and health care emergency."

Rhetorical as well as literal question. When "they" finally figure out what is coming and it cannot be sustained, what do you suppose is going to happen? Our country cannot possibly "take care" of these numbers, especially with alzhiemers and parkinson's on the rise as well. What do you suppose will be done to eliminate this overwhelming problem that is getting bigger and bigger?

Mr T

I thought the Simpsonwood liars had this problem figured out many years ago.


I just remember where I've seen Dr. Birbaum before:

The one thing interesting about the mention of Depakote (valproate) is not the universality of exposure (there is none-- it's only involved in rare cases), but that the drug has about a dozen overlaps with the effects of mercury on the brain, nervous system and immune system. Valproate-induced autism is not a competing theory; the mechanism of cause supports research on vaccine-induced and mercury-induced autism. If I remember, the overlaps between VPA and Hg as well as other vaccine toxins are damage to mitochondria, damage to glutamate feedback, damage to tubule cells, cytokine activation, alzheimer's type-II astrocytosis, elevated ammonia and a host of other things. In fact I'm shocked that opponents of vaccine cause theory even bring up Depakote without worrying that it could be turned back on them.

Katie Wright

For those interested in seeing the meeting, please go to IACC and click meetings. The recent meeting is available for downloading and viewing.

I do not want to leave the wrong impression. Ari expressed concern that the end game of all this genetic research and rehashing of how expensive ASD is would be abortions. Ari is clearly against that. Ganz had not considered the issue. However, I think a prenatal test, as stupid and unworkable as it is, is certainly something that interests many scientists.

Birbaum has not been a strong advocate at all for our kids. Every step of the way she has done as little as possible and expresses no sense of urgency, only detached puzzlement. Naturally her filter could be off, sure no one is perfect. We all say dumb things. However, never once has Birbaum connected w/ families and the specifics of autism. When recounting the research done at her center she was astonished that 40% of kids were regressing into autism. This is 2010. Birbaum has disregarded the concerns of every single parent who linked the regression to multiple vaccines. It is so disturbing that as IACC sole environmental scientist Birbuam has unilaterally decided to take this issue off the table.

It was also politics as usual w/ Birbaum as she pressed the bogus recent study as "proving" ASD kids and typical kids have similar levels of mercury. Never does she acknowledge that it would be impossible to find any differences unless the children were all vaccinated that day.

Maybe I am wrong about Birbuam but so far I have not been impressed.

Thank you so much to everyone who sent in their IACC comments. You are helping all our kids have a voice at the table.

Heidi N

Katie: Thanks so much for using your advocacy talents towards ridding autism and having the guts to speak the truth. We do need to keep sending in our comments. I guess a tiny amount of interest into researching toxins is an improvement. I wish they would step into the now and talk to parents of recovered children, but oh well, that's just a fantasy for now.


So now they hope to abort babies in order to save the vaccine program. I guess that's the ultimate example of, "Too big to fail."


I believe it was Dr. Birbaum who stated a few weeks ago in answer to a Minnesota Senator,

That the 1 in 28 Autism rate of the Minnesota Somali children might be due to a vitimin D deficiency.

Shizamm ! Let's all go to six flags.

Anne McElroy Dachel

Good to know that my public comments meant something.

Both the recent Senate hearing and the IACC meeting had a lot in common. We're no longer totally clueless about autism. I've found it incredible that for so many years the best and the brightest have been willing to admit they have no answers.

I feel like everyone is tiptoeing around now. They can admit that the increase is real and that autism is linked to exposure to toxins---but they'll do it without ever bringing up the "V word." Mercury may be toxin in fish, but it's miraculously safe when injected into babies.

From the sound of things, scientists have no idea which among the 80,000 unregulated toxins children are exposed to are responsible for the development of autism. Is the future now endless years of studies like the one that watches children grow for 21 years to see if they develop autism or ones looking at pesticides and cleaning products?

The answer is NO.

We can't continue the pretense about autism. I taught history for years and I can say positively that no nation can prosper if a huge sector of its children are chronically ill and disabled. The day is swiftly coming when we will have to provide for hundreds of thousands of adults with autism---people who don't exist now.
Autism the eternal mystery will become autism the economic nightmare and health care emergency.

Then there will be a deafening cry for the truth. All the red herrings will be gone. People will demand to know: Where did all these autistic Americans come from? How do we get this to stop?

In the words of Katie Wright:
"I think I speak for at least a million Moms when I say that I did not give birth to an autistic baby. Christian did not need to be aborted he needed to be protected from reckless medical policies."

And, in the words of Dr. Bernadine Healy on CBS News in 2008, we need to study the kids who got sick and regressed into autism. Something no one is willing to do--yet.

Anne Dachel


Twyla, exactly,,, why haven't these people been ordered to follow a kid through recovery?

Media Scholar

Insel addressed the public’s common complaint about the lack of environmental expertise on the board and the need for an immunologist
Sounds like a job for Paul Offit. He'll fit right in.


If Ari's there, they should also have on the committee someone with severe full blown autism -- nonverbal, disruptive, feces smearing -- just to give another example on the spectrum.

During the IACC meeting some behavioral experts could be working with this member trying to get him to sit in his chair, pay attention, stop screeching, and stop biting.

Then they could put him on GFCF diet and supplements and treatment for GI issues, and see whether the committee notices a difference in a month or two.


Thanks so much, Katie, for another excellent article summarizing the important issues so well and letting us know what went on at this meeting.

Yay for Dr. Pessah, a great great researcher on toxicology and autism.


Katie, Please try to speak to Amy Goodman from Democracy Now. She is independent news at it's best. Have you tried... She's right there in NY


These folks are light years ahead of the bunch at They are running around in circles over there.

"....Not all the answers, however. Together, the three effects [better diagnosis, greater awareness, older parents with bad genes] account for roughly half the extra cases. So what is behind the other half? "I wish we knew," says Rosanoff. "There are many factors being explored, but not one leading theory." Childhood vaccines, which some parents blame for the increase, have been ruled out by epidemiological studies.

Insel says that environmental factors are most likely to be behind the rise, although research to pin down which are to blame will take years.

But other researchers caution against this assumption. Autism used to be highly stigmatised, in part because it was thought to be due to poor parenting. The removal of that stigma has made doctors and parents more willing to recognise the disease, which will have contributed to [some of] the extra cases, says Roy Grinker, an anthropologist at George Washington University in Washington DC.

This and other social causes, together with uncertainty in the number of cases that can be attributed to the factors already studied by Bearman, could account for much or all of the unexplained half, says Grinker."


Thanks for the excellent report. Is there some place we can access Dr. Pessah's presentation? I would very much like to read exactly what he had to say. It sounds like progress that he was able to present and said what he did. Hopefully all those in attendance were actually listening and paying attention--and will start to actually think. Very disappointed in Landrigran's input--I would have thought he was a better analyst.


Thanks Katie! I also watched some of the meeting. I thought Pessah was great. His information current, solid science about the immune system, the rise is not due to genetics or diagnostic criteria changes, it's environmental, toxins, etc. I was in Love for a moment until it moved onto Landrigan.

The cytokine study was released to pubmed sometime this weekend and I've been dying to see some sort of write up from a mainstream paper. Nothing, nada...All "google autism" results bring up is "new study leads to earlier detection", ummm my son did not have any autism until he had autism after illness and regression, there was ZERO seeing it earlier......

And then there are the reports every other month on a new gene or set of genes found!! Reported in every major newspaper ad nauseum with tiny tiny possiblities of association to autism, effecting less than 1% of cases. But when a study like this comes out and speaks for itself it's ignored by media.

Linked to regressive autism specifically and much higher in autism than controls overall.. Why isn't such information made available for the general public? Why isn't ABC, NBC, CNN and CBS all announcing "UC DAVIS Mind institute has found huge correlations to dysfunctional immune systems in those with autism compared to controls and linked to their behavior.."?

Brain Behav Immun. 2010 Aug 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Elevated plasma cytokines in autism spectrum disorders provide evidence of immune dysfunction and are associated with impaired behavioral outcome.
Ashwood P, Krakowiak P, Hertz-Picciotto I, Hansen R, Pessah I, Van de Water J.

Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology,, Davis, CA; The Medical Investigation of Neuodevelopmental Disorders (M.I.N.D.) Institute, UC Davis Health System, Sacramento, CA.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by impairment in social interactions, communication deficits, and restricted repetitive interests and behaviors. A potential role for immune dysfunction has been suggested in ASD. To test this hypothesis, we investigated evidence of differential cytokine release in plasma samples obtained from 2-5 year-old children with ASD compared with age-matched typically developing (TD) children and children with developmental disabilities other than autism (DD). Participants were recruited as part of the population based case-control CHARGE (Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment) study and included: 97 participants with a confirmed diagnosis of ASD using standard assessments (DSM IV criteria and ADOS, ADI-R), 87 confirmed TD controls, and 39 confirmed DD controls. Plasma was isolated and cytokine production was assessed by multiplex Luminex(TM) analysis. Observations indicate significant increases in plasma levels of a number of cytokines, including IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-12p40 in the ASD group compared with TD controls (p < 0.04). Moreover, when the ASD group was separated based on the onset of symptoms, it was noted that the increased cytokine levels were predominantly in ASD children who had a regressive form of ASD. In addition, increasing cytokine levels were associated with more impaired communication and aberrant behaviors. In conclusion, using larger number of participants than previous studies, we report significantly shifted cytokine profiles in ASD. These findings suggest that ongoing inflammatory responses may be linked to disturbances in behavior and require confirmation in larger replication studies. The characterization of immunological parameters in ASD has important implications for diagnosis, and should be considered when designing therapeutic strategies to treat core symptoms and behavioral impairments of ASD. Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Inc


Sounds like Ari's purpose is to distract with throwing out the word abortion any chance he gets to just use up time. Shameful. Those are his marching orders though.

They have known for a LONG time that mercury is toxic. Why are they acting like it's news.


Ari Ne’man does need to be there! Oh, yes! I think we need a few more on the committee too. I volunteer my son - I will have to fight him to get him to go to these meetings. Since he does not want to go, he will wear what he wishes which will be a T-shirt turned wrong side out, baggey sweat pants that is soft and loose so it won't touch him.

I will admit there will not be an interesting discussion about fetuses, but if he speaks at all he will let them know the importance of video games, especially all those that have story lines about the myths of Roman Gods, and medevil knights.

I am sure that he could actually lecture about heavy armour on knights, what looks good, and what is its purpose for protection other than looks.

Not a bad thing really - maybe there could be an armour suit designed for small children to protect them from needle yielding medical professionals.

Now that would be getting somewhere in these meetings.


Thanks for sitting through this meeting and reporting on it.

I have to say I did get a chuckle about the exchange between Ganz and Ari Ne’man. Really Ganz might as well discussed this with Ari Ne'man, he and the rest of the clueless on this committee might get just a tiny bit of understanding of what autism is in it's most mildest form.

So, the comments matters, well - well -well - so perhaps we still do live in a republic!!!! Who knew?


Exhibit A why Ne'eman doesn't belong on any decision making body. Shame on Obama's folks and Ne'eman's enablers for promoting this individual to a position of supposed responsibility.

Jill Fenech

Katie - Thanks again for reporting on the latest and greatest from the IACC. I don't think I could sit through even one of these meetings. I would want to throw things. So, I am cheering you from my computer and slightly hopeful at the good news presented (ha ha - you know the FUN data) and just gnashing my teeth at the brain measuring info. Man, don't you just want to fast forward that guy? We are 15 years into this and I can't believe it has taken this long to get this far, but it is progress. The urgency to help our kids will not happen until more people are pushed out of their comfort zone. One indicator that some of our message is getting heard is watching how many people line up for the flu shot this fall. Can we get Wakefield on Oprah? Keep Pushin' On!


Thank you Katie - Fabulous post.

Like you, I have similar reactions to these types of talks, nausea just like yours (your list paraphrased here): A) horrified, B) my child!, C) our children are not protected from toxins, D) people not bothered.

But in defense of Dr. Birbaum, I also have her reaction as well, so reaction E)... I LOVE IT! In a very, very big way. I love it. I mean it. I eat this up. Every time I see these talks (and these are the only ones I'm interested in)... I could give a hoot to see an ABA talk... every time I see one of these talks, I'm figuratively pumping my fists hooray. I live and breath ASD/toxicity/trying to convince young women/especially relatives to be toxic free/have their children's lives be toxic free. Every talk like Dr. Pessah's is one step closer to people listening/maybe just maybe, policies getting changed/at a minimum, attitudes getting changed. I LOVE talks like Dr. Pessah's.

So, I'm a strange combo of all of your reactions A-D, then capped by a big E - and I'm actually excited at the end. Maybe, I'm a Pollyanna still - as maybe, just maybe, they'll listen; maybe, just maybe, my family will listen this time (I'm the one related to a gazillion Amanda Peets); maybe, just maybe policies will get changed; maybe, just maybe, I'll have more tools in my tool basket to influence just one young mother out there. These talks, while making me nauseous, give me so much hope.

I am very thankful that Dr. Birbaum is an IACC environmental scientist and that "she finds concrete evidence that toxins and vaccine adjuvants cause brain damage and “autism like symptoms” in our kids- “fun.” "

"Is Dr. Birbaum a Grinch? Is her heart 3 sizes too small? I don’t expect federal reps to be emotionally involved but try act like a human being. Imagine if Pessah was talking about your child’s brain damage." Nope, I wasn't there and you were, but I think her heart is in exactly the right place (she just doesn't have a good filter and wouldn't be very good at marketing... lol). I am soooooo thankful that she is excited about environmental/ASD research - her filter may not be on - but that she is excited is a very, very good thing.

She may be "traity" you know. Many scientists are... overly focused, lack of filters, etc. Likely, the glutamate receptor in spades :). Back to the theory that THEY need to understand right now... our kids genes are VERY normal, I'm terrified that if the other THEY (the 100% genetic crowd) win - they'll be aborting everyone with these genes - and then WE are all really screwed.

So - I LOVE presentations like Dr. Pessah's (while being sickened all at the same time). I am very, very thankful that Dr. Birbaum is excited. If she is, she is one of the good THEYs and not one of the evil THEYs. Our IMFAR type doctors have an ample supply of both, but unfortunately more of the evil THEYs - so the more good THEYs, the better. Let her be excited. I am so thankful she is. She might make a difference.

JIm Thompson

"We are literally rolling the dice and finding out as we go along."

Thank you Katie!


"Christian did not need to be aborted"

No baby needs to be aborted.

TannersDad Tim Welsh

Thank you Katie. I appreciate your extensive review. The frustrations you relay are so true. If you ever get the chance to tune in for even 15 minutes.... you will be banging your head and saying why.

We must hold their feet to the flame of the fire. The heat will be turned up in September when The Age of Autism Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-Made Epidemic is released.

I am thankful I am back to work but as an advocate & Father warrior I wish I could join you on the front lines at those meetings again. Our voices will be heard. TannersDad Tim

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