Mercury Leaves Its Mark: Autism, Cancer & Neurodegenerative Disease Part 3
“Dirty Medicine: The Handbook”: Martin J Walker’s Guide to 21st Century Medicine

Autism Linked to IT Regions?

Simon baron cohen By Dr Lorene Amet DEA, DipBiotechnol, D Phil, MEd

Simon Baron-Cohen from Cambridge University has a long-standing interest in demonstrating that Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) are more prevalent in populations presenting with high systemizing skills. These are people who like predicting how things function, classifying observations in systems, etc. and who also show less empathy to others. He has focused his work around the issues of male/female brains and has presented autism as being equivalent to an excess maleness. I should clarify for our readers that in fact, this refers to High Functioning Autism (HFA) or Asperger Syndrome (AS) rather than ASC as a whole.  In other words, HFA/AS have a lot more systemizing skills (i.e. some sort of scientific skills) together with a less empathic presentation, and this is essentially what the condition is. He came to this conclusion partly because of how AS/ASF people rate in his Empathy/ Systemizing questionnaire (tests available online, look for Systemizing Quotient and Empathy Quotient). The trouble is that empathy is essentially assessed within a social context and this will confound how AS/HFA people will respond to the questionnaire (and hence be rated). Baron-Cohen elides the quality of empathy with the ability to read, understand, respond to and enjoy social situations, and this a matter of free association rather pure logic or science. For instance, one AS person might empathise very strongly with the frustrations of another for which they have insight, but be oblivious to some other social issues for which they have do not. They do have impairment in socialization, in accordance with their diagnosis, but at no point did Simon Baron-Cohen tease out the empathy from the socialization aspect in his evaluations. AS/HFA people have low empathy quotients because they tend to dislike social settings, not primarily because of their low empathy, i.e. extra maleness according to Simon Baron-Cohen. This means, no accurate conclusion can in fact be drawn on the empathic skills (or excess maleness) of AS/HFA people based on this sort of work.

However, this went on for some years with study after study, digging deeper and deeper into this Autism High Functioning/ Excess maleness question, moving on to molecular /genetic issues and linking this excess maleness to excess testosterone. He went as far as proposing an antenatal screen based on the mother’s testosterone levels, something he later regretted after facing a number of criticisms. High testosterone levels are related to a number of NON-Autistic personality traits, and are not specific or even representative of autism as a whole, something I discussed here. Simon Baron-Cohen also proposed that autism is on the increase because people with high systemizing brains, IT people, scientists are more able to meet nowadays, thanks to the Internet, marry and have children and that as a consequence of these novel mating trends (assorting mating theory), we have the high rates of autism we see today across the western world.

So, it comes as no surprise to see his latest research in the Netherlands, looking at autism rates in three towns of comparable sizes, with one being presented as being the IT hub of the country. The study can be found here.

What are the main findings of this study?

“The prevalence estimates of ASC in Eindhoven [the IT Hub] was 229 per 10,000, significantly higher than in Haarlem (84 per 10,000), and Utrecht (57 per 10,000), whilst the prevalence for the control conditions were similar in all regions.”

This is equivalent to 1 child in 44 in Eindhoven, 1 in 119 in Haarlem and 1 in 175 in Utrecht.

What was the methodology used?

“The schools were asked to provide a count of the total number of children in the school with any of these developmental conditions, specified per diagnostic subtype and by age and gender. The schools were instructed to only include formal diagnoses in their count (i.e. diagnoses made by a clinical professional, e.g. a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist).”

“Since both attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyspraxia are also developmental conditions and have a similar diagnostic process to ASC, the number of cases with a formal diagnosis of ADHD and dyspraxia were also examined as control conditions.”

“Of the 659 schools invited, 369 schools (56.0%) took part, providing diagnostic information on 62,505 children. Response in the Eindhoven region was higher (75.5%) than in the Haarlem (49.8%) and Utrecht regions (45.7%).”

“Negative binomial regression was used to investigate the multivariable effects of region and school type, with an additional model to investigate the differences between boys and girls.”

For clarification, we do not see actual numbers but only estimated numbers.

The conclusions reached by the authors are:

“The aim of this study was to test a prediction from the hyper-systemizing theory (Baron-Cohen 2006, 2008) that ASC are more common among children in areas where individuals who are talented systemizers are attracted to work and raise a family. Eindhoven is a candidate region of this kind being the hub for IT and technology in the Netherlands.”

“As predicted, this estimate of the prevalence of school-aged children with a formal ASC diagnosis was significantly higher in the Eindhoven region, compared to the Haarlem and Utrecht region. This is consistent with the idea that strong systemizing in parents could be a risk factor for having a child with ASC, although there are other factors that could relate to the increased prevalence in the Eindhoven region.”

The authors have listed a few possible confounding factors: Possible higher awareness of ASC in Eindhoven (parents and professionals), over diagnosis services in Eindhoven or under diagnosis in Utrecht. Interestingly, it is stated in the discussion: “If the responding schools are representative of the comparable schools in the region, the difference in response should not have confounded our findings.” If, indeed (see below).

What do you think of this?

Let me tell you what I think of this study.

1-First of all, why have the authors not confirmed that parents are indeed in IT technology, if they want to link IT parents to ASD? It would be an obvious factor to capture in their evaluation, and one that is crucial to their main conclusion, I would have thought.

2-Secondly, there are only superficial explanations as to why there is such a high discrepancy in the schools response rates across these three cities. Are there more special needs schools than the responding ones from Eindhoven, or are the numbers the same? No mention of this.  What are the actual ages of the kids covered by the survey in the three towns? Why is there so little information available to define these 3 sample groups? I would guess, it is because they have actually limited information on the children, because of the way the population was screened. We must stress that the main potential explanation to a difference in rates is that the populations have been captured differently- and this has to be fully addressed, with fuller transparency in order to proceed towards any kind of conclusion.

3-Thirdly, are dyspraxia and ADHD really a suitable validation to show that the populations have been captured in similar representative manners? – In my opinion, no they aren’t and the reason is that unlike what the authors claim, Dyspraxia (at least in the UK, and I doubt very much it is different elsewhere) is essentially NOT diagnosed even when the kids have clear motor planning issues. As for ADHD, we also have a huge number of children in schools, who present with hyperactivity that are simply seen as being difficult and challenging without receiving any proper diagnosis. I would estimate that the figures given are well under the actual values for Dyspraxia and ADHD. In other words they are not accurate estimations of numbers and therefore cannot be used as reference points.

4- Fourthly, what else is happening on Eindhoven? A quick look in Wikipedia gives us a good account of the actual high industrial development.

“Philips’ presence is probably the largest single contributing factor to the major growth of Eindhoven in the 20th century. It attracted and spun off many hi-tech companies, making Eindhoven a major technology and industrial hub. In 2005, a full third of the total amount of money spent on research in the Netherlands was spent in or around Eindhoven. A quarter of the jobs in the region are in technology and ICT, with companies such as FEI Company (once Philips Electron Optics), NXP Semiconductors (formerly Philips Semiconductors), ASML, Toolex, Simac, CIBER, Neways, Atos Origin and the aforementioned Philips and DAF.”

“Eindhoven has long been a centre of cooperation between research institutes and industry. This tradition started with Philips (the NatLab was a physical expression of this) and has since expanded to large cooperative networks.”

Do these industries relate in any other ways to the higher Autism rate? This possibility has not been explored in the discussion section. If a quarter of the total work force causes a near 4 fold increase in autism rate compared to the population of Utrecht, that would suggest a 16 fold increase in the likeliness to have children with autism in the IT profession. Surely something that would have been picked up before; other prevalence studies have not found any correlation between autism and social status.

5- Lastly, and I will stop it here, let’s look at what is happening in Utrecht, the town that was found to have the lowest rate

ASC. Again, a look at wikipedia gives a good account of the city development and this is what is found, as you will see there is hardly any industry at all. It is interesting to see that the university is the largest in the country, one would have thought, according to the systematizing brain theory, that it would have foster a large concentration of systemazing brains, apparently not.

The town looks so peaceful that I could not resist including a photo of the Dom Tower above.

“Utrecht University, the largest university of the Netherlands, as well as several other institutes for higher education.

“The economy of Utrecht depends for a large part on the several large institutions located in the city. Production industry has a relatively small influence in Utrecht. Rabobank, a large bank, has its headquarters in Utrecht.”

“Utrecht is the centre of the Dutch railroad network and the location of the head office of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways). NS’s former head office ‘De Inktpot’ in Utrecht is the largest brick building in the Netherlands (the “UFO” featured on its facade stems from an art program in 2000). The building is currently used by ProRail.”

Railway industry? Could it be another niche of high concentration of AS/HFA, known to like railways, trains, time schedules… well apparently not. (That was a joke BTW).

Can anyone tell me how the data presented in this paper substantiates a link between Parental IT Hub/ high systemazing brains and Autism?

I appreciate the authors observe some caution in the presentation of their data, none the less, wouldn’t it have been wiser to have more conclusive findings to present for a publication? What are those people living in Eindhoven supposed to make of the news reports that accompanied the publication? And what are all those IT/ scientists parents also supposed to think? Are they really at higher risk to have children with an autism spectrum conditions?

And aren’t the implications as far as the whole spectrum is concerned somehow insulting to all those parents who have reported another side of autism, the regressive autism, with the novel development of severe clinical issues alongside the behavioural changes that characterise autism? Presenting autism as a condition resulting from a specific brain-wiring difference trivialises the distress experienced by affected individuals and their family.


Baron-Cohen, S, & Wheelwright, S, (2004) The Empathy Quotient (EQ). An investigation of adults with Asperger Syndrome or High Functioning Autism, and normal sex differences. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34, 163-175.

Baron-Cohen (2003). The Essential Difference: The Truth About the Male and Female Brain. Basic Books, Perseus Books Group.

Dr Lorene Amet is trained as a neuroscientist (brain development, brain ischemia and epilepsy) and has worked in Edinburgh, Oxford and Princeton Universities before working as the Principal Scientist at the Autism Treatment Trust in Edinburgh. Dr Amet has been involved in several research and clinical projects and has also more recently completed a Masters in Special Education - Autism at the University of Birmingham where her work has already been published. Dr. Amet is also trained in administering the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) one of the main behavioural assessments used for the diagnosis of autism. Dr. Amet works in collaboration with scientists, educators, physiotherapists and medical doctors to assist the life of people affected by autism. She has consulted in autism in several European countries and in North Africa. She has been acting as Expert Witness in several court cases to support the well being of people with autism.




John Stone

Just to mention that SBC finished the month of June 2011 with 7 pub med publications.


Hey Age of Autism, how about a competition for the most useless autism study of the year? With entries such as The Most Useless Researcher (well SBC has no competitors, but would be fun for the runners-up), the Highest Single Amount of Money Spent on Useless Research, the Most Useless Autism Causation Theory etc. I am serious.

The winners to be presented with award plaques that would have engraved on them a few questions asking them to think about things such as: 1. how does your theory link in with the chronic ongoing brain inflammation in autism, as evidenced by post-mortem studies and SPECT scans (e.g. how does working in IT lead to increased NfkB, TNF-a, MCP-1, vasoconstriction, endothelial peroxidation, reduced blood flow in temporal lobes etc). 2. how exactly will $££$$ spent on your research help someone severely affected by autism? 3. how exactly will $££$$ spent on your research help reduce incidence of autism? Etc


The microwave radiation babies and developing fetuses are exposed to is greater in IT regions. That has an effect on their neurological systems. Autism is not a gene inherited from their parents; it is a biological disturbance from their environment.


@Alison: ("You could grab any parent's personality trait or occupation at this point and find a horde of ASD kids. It's how you design the study.")

You're exactly right!

So how hard would it be to design a study that exposes the FACT that the IT workers, the PhD science nerds, the musicians--in short, the most disciplined and most highly educated segment of society-- are XX% more likely to follow the recommended vaccine schedule, and that their kids are XX% of the FULLY vaccinated population--and oddly enough, that percentage EXACTLY matches the rate of autism in that particular population, and, in fact, those highly vaccinated kids are the only ones being diagnosed with severe autism....

How hard would it be to design studies the way the pharmaceutical industry designs them, where we already know the true outcome and we don't have to tweak the facts the way they do?


Well my son will be glad to hear he is male in excess?

And when we lived in Michigan more than a decade ago and I sat around reading magazines in doctor's offices (did that a lot). There were lots of articles on autism, and all and I mean "ALL" mentioned at that time the geeks and the silicon valley -Smart people are the ones that had kids with autism. I mean to tell you - it almost made me proud that I might be part of that crowd (almost). So, Kathy Blanco you and your children are the famous geeks from the valley. I am impressed.

I said almost proud, because those magazines convinced me that what I was living was not the form of autism that was part of the smart geeks of silicon valley, nope my autism world was all alone, vaccine injuried, and what in the heck did smart geeks have to do with epilespy and the rest of the whole ball of wax.

Nope, Kathy not a word in any of those articles that mentioned vaccine injury. I wondered about those parents of Silicon Valley, I wondered if they knew? I wondered if perhaps I was wrong and that our form of autism was different???? By the way Kathy none of those magazines mention heart problems, nor epilespy?
Nope, it was more like this team of researchers found a volunteer that allowed them to scramble their brain with an electrical shock and while their brain is still addled they can can do what some of autims kids from silicon valley can do - figure up real quick some rational number of the third power after you pi it or something extrodinary just like a calculator. Those magazine articles also said they were all musical geniuses or really good artist sevants.
Nope, not my kid so I figured Silicon Valley was different. Now I learn after a decade they are just like mine. And this study wants to return to that lie and the good ol'e days when parents were alone and blind with only magazine articles written by paid off people there not to inform but confuse.

Jeannette Bishop (JenB)

The math/music/geek theory fits my situation a little too well, but I can't help thinking about a book I read about how the new environmental restrictions and banning of certain heavy metals, flame retardants, etc. established by the newly formed EU were causing electronics makers to totally redo and rethink many things they do in making their products, at least for sale in that part of the world. If there is a higher rate of ASD in places like Silicon Valley it really could be something in the water, or likely the addition to what is injected into the skin.

J Waugh

I am in the UK and my son was diagnosed with dyslexia ADHD and possibly dyspraxia (he never did get a proper diagnosis for dyspraxia because the waiting list was too long!) I would agree that diagnosis is a problem and that some areas are better than others so results will always be skewed. However the main problem with deciding that autism is related to parental profession etc seems to me to be that autism generally and Aspergers syndrome are then confused in the mind of the general public, leading to the idea that all autistic people are fully capable of not only getting a job, but also earning a lot of money.
This then leads to loss of sympathy when funds are sought for research or therapy. It's only a social problem! We all know the computer guys make megamillions!

John Stone


It's a thought but I fear they are even more likley to be concerned at the by now metaphorical tinkle of the cash register - and clearly this stuff delights governments and state agencies internationally. SBC has so far brought in funding for 21 published studies this year and six this month (with one day to go). There was an article earlier this year in the Times Literary Supplement about gender which regarded Baron-Cohen's work with withering contempt, as did the book it was reviewing. Now, that's kicking them where it hurts but I am not sure that intellectual seriousness is any longer what university is about, or whether they care all that much.

Eileen Nicole Simon

How does analysis of personality/ behavioral traits inform treatment or the cause of autism? Developmental language disorder is the most serious handicap for children with autism. Maturation of brain circuits involved in language acquisition is disrupted, and by all of the etiological factors associated with autism. The "male brain" concept is too imprecise.

I will continue to recommend that everyone read a seminal paper by Seymour Kety (Kety SS. Regional neurochemistry and its application to brain function. Bull N Y Acad Med. 1962 Dec;38:799-812), which is free online at

Look at figure 2 on p802 (p4 of the pdf file). This is an autoradiogram made from a brain slice of a cat 60 seconds following injection of a radioactive tracer into the blood stream. The darkest areas (where the tracer accumulated first) are nuclei in the auditory pathway. Blood flow is higher in the auditory pathway than in any other area of the brain, and is therefore more vulnerable to anything bad that gets into the circulation. The auditory nuclei are also damaged by asphyxia at birth. More is on my website, with references I have gathered over 4 decades of looking for anything relevant to language development.

It is sickening that silly theories like those of SBC get so much attention. The day will come when he will feel ashamed of what he is putting forth as autism science.

Robin P Clarke

I see numerous people here rightly complaining about the severely negative contribution of Simon Baron-Cohen and his "Autism Research Centre" to the field of autism research. But here is probably not the best place to be expressing these complaints. More productive could be if everyone wrote to Cambridge University (Senate? Council? Chancellor?) about how his low standard of science is bringing their university into disrepute.


Maybe IT/science parents do have more autism because they buy the vaccine science and vaccinate to the hilt and without hesitation.

First Do No Harm

"He has focused his work around the issues of male/female brains and has presented autism as being equivalent to an excess maleness."

"Excess maleness" isn't limited to high functioning people with ASD, and the symptoms of "excess maleness" aren't necessarily IT talent, but sometimes a tendency toward aggression and violence. So Dr. Geier comes along and treats this "excess maleness" when labs indicate very high levels of testosterone in some patients - and what happens? His medical license is suspended.


Well, this research is as valid to me as the autism-caused-by-tv-watching study. The problem is that SBC gets a lot of press and many people today do believe that autism is caused by IT people marrying. This also makes people see autism as an interesting personality type rather than a severe disability and prevents any attempts to find true effective treatments for our children. As a mother of a child in severe discomfort but with above average social skills I am sick of how autism is painted as Asperger's. How can a social skills group help someone who can't talk, can't sleep and screams all day? Autism is a medical condition, not a unique personality!


"You could grab any parent's personality trait or occupation at this point and find a horde of ASD kids. It's just how you design the study."

I couldn't agree more Alison. Even if the study was well supported by the follow-up areas this critique points out. The reasons for such increases would call for more intelligent consideration of factors that could account for it. I would start with all the electromagentic fields IT people are around and then add all the other factors we propose as contributors.

Electomagnetic Radiation and Computers

The Potential Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields and Their Effect on the Enviroment

American Study Links VDU's To Miscarriage

Alison MacNeil

Research like this pisses me off. I've got a kid in serious gut pain and this is how money is spent? More 'smoke and mirrors'.67 kids are diagnosed with Autism everyday in the U.S. Numbers this staggering mean we have kids with parents from every background; technically inclined or not, musical or not, empathic or not. You could grab any parent's personality trait or occupation at this point and find a horde of ASD kids. It's just how you design the study.

I'm a psychotherapist - very empathic field and I'm not very technical, neither is my spouse. My son is Autistic. We have great friends who are IT whizzes, there child is Autistic. Doesn't matter, because it doesn't have a thing to do with it. Environmental damage doesn't care what you do for a living (except of course if you are getting a direct toxic hit at work).

My son is sick and also so empathic that he falls apart at the sound of a baby crying. Perhaps because it mirrors his own pain. Get out of the way SBC, this mad mom has had enough!

kathy blanco

Didn't Temple Grandin say years ago, the fathers are engineers, mothers are creative musician artist types? That certainly fits our family however, I believe, as the first commenter said, the susceptibility to injury because neurons are much tighter packed in the brain, making them more vulnerable to systemic inflammation and toxicity? Another revelation for me personally, was that while we lived in silicon valley (even my husband and me as children), that during this entire time, the Leigh Cement Plant up in the hills of Cupertino, was spewing out TONS of mercury. The levels of autism in the valley there, are incredibly high, probably the highest in California. This is where I had all four of my children, where I had amalgams placed in my teeth as a youth, and where I vaccinatd the hell out of my kids not knowing what I was doing. (no internet thirty years ago). So, there you go.


Well it is no surprise that there are higher rates of autism in areas with scientists and those working in the science fields. This should not shock anyone at all. It's common knowledge since Kanner's work. The only thing that varies is the rates of autism over the years and the dubious explanations for such "surprisingly high" rates that Grinker and his CDC pals come up with.

I am actually surprised someone bothered to do some statistical analysis and document that there really are more autistic kids in regions with professional thinkers. It is not something that the CDC seems to want to admit, that autism is crippling the next generation of scientists. Much better to just say it is randomly bad genes than hint that maybe there is an actual biochemical relationship between fast-firing neurons in the thinkers of the world and susceptibility for those neurons to be more easily disrupted by mercury, pesticides, etc. No, that would be bad to admit, since those smart folks would then start to think for themselves and avoid toxins..


Attention Age of Autism: This article has prompted me to recall a friend's conversation regarding Bill Gates and the reason he is giving a trillion dollars to the World Vaccine Mafia. I have not read the book but according to my dear friend the book Not Even Wrong Adventures in Autism by Paul Collins states; 46% of microsoft employees are on ASD spectrum; there is a "special person" at microsoft to create social situations for employees because they cannot function socially and would be slaving for microsoft or sleeping instead; and when the author gave a talk at microsoft about the book he looked at the audience only to see the employees where watching the live lecture on their laptops because they were much more comfortable watching a screen as opposed to a face. I think we now have the link between Comandante Gates and his Pharmaceutical Cartel.

John Stone

With regard to Baron-Cohen's theory it is not clear whether a claim is being made that this could be a driving force behind the rise in autism, although this seemed to be the idea when he originally formulated it, a decade or more ago. If, indeed, there was anything in it you might predict that it would lead to clusters rather than an overall rise, and this seems to be more like what he is saying now.

In fact, it is quite alarming to read the statement in the paper:

"The prevalence of ASC is much higher than previously thought"

This fits in with view that however high the incidence gets within a population it represents some norm: it is an ideological perspective which skirts addressing the possibility of environmental damage, and is completely without scientific basis.

Theodore Van Oosbree

I suspect that SBC has a major source of income via Pharma.


What in the hell is he talking about. Saying someone works in "I.T." is about as granular as saying someone "works with money". People who are considered "information technology workers" cover a wide, wide, range of job responsibilities and backgrounds.

And again you have to ask the question, even if you do find social clusters, how can you possibly separate cause and effect?

More thinking out loud presented as research IMO

SBC missing clues

These companies may have a connection. Philips company has a long history of using metals in their products - (lead and mercury) Lighting/Electron Optics and Semiconductors are good clues. SBC may beat out cousin, Sasha with his comic stories.

"A mercury-vapor lamp is a gas discharge lamp that uses mercury in an excited state to produce light. The arc discharge is generally confined to a small fused quartz arc tube mounted within a larger borosilicate glass bulb. The outer bulb may be clear or coated with a phosphor; in either case, the outer bulb provides thermal insulation, protection from ultraviolet radiation, and a convenient mounting for the fused quartz arc tube.

Mercury vapor lamps (and their relatives) are often used because they are relatively efficient. Phosphor coated bulbs offer better color rendition than either high- or low-pressure sodium vapor lamps. Mercury vapor lamps also offer a very long lifetime, as well as intense lighting for several special purpose applications....The use of mercury vapor lamps for lighting purposes will be banned in the EU in 2015. As this ban is designed to phase out less efficient lamps it does not affect the use of mercury in compact fluorescent lamp nor the use of mercury lamps for purposes other than lighting.[8] In the USA, ballasts and fixtures were banned in 2008.[9] Because of this, several manufacturers have begun selling replacement compact fluorescent lamps for mercury vapor fixtures, which do not require modifications to the existing fixture....More modern metal halide systems do not use a separate starting electrode; instead, the lamp is started using high voltage pulses as with high-pressure sodium vapor lamps. "MetalArc" is Osram Sylvania's trademark for their metal halide lamps; "Arcstream" and "MultiVapor" are General Electric's trademark. Besides their use in traditional outdoor lighting, these lamps now appear in most computer and video projectors. However, Philips' UHP lamp, introduced in 1995, contains only mercury."[t=a,p=/367]|pp=[t=afp,i=367]

Robin P Clarke

The Simon Baron-Cohen "extreme male-brain" would-be-theory of autism in terms of "systemising" v. "empathising" is in its entirety very lacking in any evidential basis. As I explained at .
Dr Baron-Cohen has failed to acknowledge these shortcomings, or ever even mention the unchallenged antiinnatia theory of autism ( ), or to mention any possible involvement of mercury, or the compelling volume of reports of recovery via chelation and diet.

His "Autism Research Centre" thus fails to acknowledge any of the real key science of this gigantic catastrophe, while misdirecting taxpayer/donator money into not-even-half-baked diversions instead.


One of the near universal traits of autism is introversion. There is a statistical correlation between introversion and giftedness. The way the brain is wired may have a lot to do with many anecdotal reports describing the sudden onset of autism; the introverted brain and the vaccine trigger. As Dr Derrick MacFabe director of the Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group at the University of Western Ontario said, "But genes can't tell the whole story. We have to account for the relationship between environmental factors as well as genetics. This is not an either/ or."

John Stone

Interesting to note the widespread sponsorship of this paper by public institutions:

Acknowledgments This study was conducted in association with the NIHR CLAHRC for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. This work was supported by grants to SBC from the Medical Research Council UK, Target Autism Genome, and the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation. During this work, MTR was supported by scholarships from the Erasmus fund, the Bekker la Bastide fund and the
University of Amsterdam and RAH was supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO Rubicon). FM is also supported by the MRC UK (MRC.MC_US_A030_0031.). We gratefully acknowledge the schools for their participation in this project,
Geertje Anderson for her contribution to the data collection, and Patrick Wiercx, Marjolijn Weijmans, Ger Maassen, Annelies Spek and Rutger Jan van der Gaag for valuable discussion.

But for all their valuable discussions that do not seem to have been able to come up with a credible design.

Perhaps equally remarkable is that this is one of six new Baron-Cohen publications so far this month, and 21 since the beginning of the year. What it is to be really popular!


I stopped reading at Simon Baron-Cohen. Nothing worth reading has those three names.


Well, really, it's too risky to allow smart people to continue having children since they are the one's actually taking the time to logically think through this environmental disease. Hey, I know! Let's scare them about themselves so they don't propagate! If they don't propogate there will be less of them having children with autism, so there will be less of them interested in investigating the situation. Who can we get to do a study? No - Poul's out for now. . . Oh right, spot on! Hermione, dear, can you get me Simon on the line . . . Simon? Have I got a project for you . . .

Theresa O

Re: point #1, this is a classic obfuscation: the researcher makes a claim about cause and effect based on generalized data about two populations, despite the fact that more specific data is available (but ignored). Kind of like here:

The gist of the article is that kids who live in Texas counties with high vaccination rates against hepatitis B have a lower incidence against cancer than kids in Texas counties with lower vaccination rates against hepatitis B. Therefore, our esteemed medical friends conclude, the hep B vaccine prevents leukemia. Did they look at the vaccination status of the individual children (those with cancer and those without)? No. Given that they had these individuals' medical records, it's kind of a glaring omission. I mean, weren't they curious? No possibility for the confounding effect of money here ... no chance that a wealthy county, where more people have health insurance and take their kids to well-baby visits (where they'd get their hep B shots), would also be a county where kids would eat better, not live under power lines, etc. No chance at all...

Good to know that funding is available for crucial studies like these!


If I may say so, Simon Baron Cohen always seemed to me as much of prankster as his more famous cousin Sasha...

Maurine Meleck

Only a hop, skip and jump behind the freeway theory.


Simon Baron-Cohen from Cambridge University, I have heard of them and I am not even - unknowledgable about who is who in the psych world, except I took psych 101 in college.

Oh, and I have meet with a number of them since my son's vaccine injury wondering how come I was sent to them instead of a medical doctor with someone suffering seizures and all.

But still these are the the psych's world - go to guys!

So they are suppose to be reasonabally intelligent -well actually smarter than most and yet they have this silly paper.

The only thing that makes sense to me is that the British government is working very hard to cover this up reaching into all the educated minds and places. Simon Baron-Cohen from Cambridge University have sold their souls and their science to the devil.

victor pavlovic

Thank you Dr. Lorene, I agree another useless study, and if it was me I would be embarrassed to publish something like this.

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