Harold Ramis, Inflammatory Vasculitis and "Rare" Conditions
With the passing of Harold Ramis, I was surprised to learn of the medical condition that led to his death. I remember him as Private Russell Ziskey in Stripes, an unemployed parapsychology professor in Ghostbusters, and as a co-writer in Animal House. Press releases state that the actor, director and screenwriter succumbed to complications from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis (vass-ku-lite-us). According to medical journals, autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis is an acquired disease that causes inflammation of the blood vessels. In Mr. Ramis’s case, it was reported that he had extreme difficulty walking and using his legs and arms.
So how did this horrible disease afflict Mr. Ramis? Dr. Waseem Mir, a rheumatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York told CBS news that only 1% of the US population has this disease, making it extremely rare. However, Dr. Peter Merkel, a rheumatologist and director of Penn Vasculitis Center at the University of Penn medical school told CNN that “Mr. Ramis had one of 15 identified variants of vasculitis. None of these conditions individually affects more than 200,000 people in the US. But if you add them all up together, it’s not rare, and the chances are everybody knows somebody, directly or indirectly, that is affected.”
Now does that last sentence sound familiar? Maybe in discussions about vaccine injury? If two leading rheumatologists cannot agree whether or not this medical condition is rare, why not examine some previous medical cases of vasculitis?
In a paper presented by Tomljenovic and Shaw in 2012 regarding the death of two individuals who were administered the HPV vaccine, tissue samples of the brain led the authors to interpret the results as demonstrating an autoimmune cerebral vasculitis. Now, we can confidently assume that Mr. Ramis did not receive a Gardasil vaccine, but it does bring vaccinations into the question. Another study, published in 2009 by Birck, Kaelsch, et al, titled “ANCA-associated vasculitis following influenza vaccination: causal association or mere coincidence?” did not prove a causal association between influenza vaccine and vasculitis, but it did assert that in rare cases vaccination might induce vasculitic disease. Now we have the possibility that influenza vaccine might, under “rare” conditions, induce vasculitis.
On its website “Living with Vasculitis”, Vasculitis UK posts the following warnings about the influenza and pneumonia vaccines: “Flu and Pneumonia vaccines are not recommended for vasculitis patients.” The website continues with a warning to those with autoimmune disorders not to receive the shingles vaccine. Now how many of you drive by a retail pharmacy such as CVS, Rite-Aid, or Walgreens and see their electronic outdoor signs blasting the message, “Don’t forget about your shingles vaccine”? By the way, the shingles vaccine is not covered in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, so if you do have an adverse reaction to the shingles vaccine, which results in a serious injury, you are SOL.
So that got me thinking about the 15,000+ petitions filed in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program seeking compensation for vaccine injury. There are many petitions filed claiming vasculitis as an injury from several different vaccines. Conducting a very quick search, I found over 20 petitions, most of them compensated and with medical expert testimony stating that the following vaccines contributed to vasculitis:
- Meningitis vaccine causing Retinal Vasculitis (Retinal vasculitis is an inflammatory disease of the blood vessels of the retina that may be associated with primary ocular conditions or with inflammatory or infectious diseases in other parts of the body). The most common systemic diseases associated with retinal vasculitis are Behçet's disease, sarcoidosis, and multiple sclerosis and Bell’s Palsey;
- DTaP and Hep B causing Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis (Leukocytoclastic vasculitis (LCV), also known as hypersensitivity vasculitis and hypersensitivity vasculitis, is a histopathologic term commonly used to denote a small-vessel vasculitis);
- Influenza, HepB, Meningitis, and MMR causing Urticarial Vasculitis (form of vasculitis that affects the skin, causing wheals or hives and/or red patches due to swelling of the small blood vessels); and
- HPV causing Central Nervous System Vasculitis (Central nervous system – CNS vasculitis is inflammation of blood vessel walls in the brain or spine).
Reviewing several vasculitis organization websites, a common message appears. That most causes of vasculitis are unknown, that more research is needed, and according to the Vasculitis Foundation, “vasculitis can cause a weakening and narrowing of the walls of the blood vessels, leading to blockage. Then, affected organs and tissues don’t get the blood they need to function, causing them to die.”
In the following few weeks as Harold Ramis’s death will remind many, many more individuals about the dangers of vasculitis, several questions need to be asked by researchers and scientists.
1. Actually how many people in the US and around the world have some form of vasculitis? Are they aware of this condition? This would be very important since there are risks taking certain medications while treating vasculitis.
2. Will there be any honest and independent discussion from scientists and researchers about the possibility that vaccines can contribute to the causation of vasculitis?
Harold Ramis said in an interview several years ago about his career, “My characters aren't losers. They're rebels. They win by their refusal to play by everyone else's rules.”
My hope is that many more people will follow his advice.
Wayne Rohde, Author of upcoming book, The Vaccine Court: The Dark Truth of America’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program – SkyHorse Publishing
Father to Nick Rohde, 16, diagnosed with moderate-severe autism
I received a trio of vaccines at the suggestion of my doctor due to being immunosuppressed from treatment for ulcerative colitis with inflixmab. The day I received the flu shot, hep a, and pneumonia vaccine I had an infection develop causing cellulitis in the arm which received the pneumonia vaccine. The same night dots appeared on my feet that would come and go for several months before full inflammation consumed by lower extremities up to my shins. I was finally diagnosed with Leukocytoclastic vasculitis about 3 months later. It took over my life for 4 years with relief coming just in the last 12 months for no real reason. I read that one person who thought their vasculitis was due to vaccine injury saw improvement as the vaccine left the body over time. This seems to be the case for me. I was vaccinated on December 17, 2013. No doctors will admit that the vaccine caused me injury. I tried different treatment methods for Ulcerative colitis thinking the infliximab was the culprit but after being thrown back into full UC inflammation by changing medication for the UC, I went back to inflixmab and the vasculitis has continued to subside. I continue to look for more information on how I could receive better treatment.
Posted by: Jackie | April 28, 2019 at 07:41 PM
My husband too. But not Wagners - some kind a muscular skeleton stuff that Emory clinic said was a mitochondria issue.
However; the more I look at this the more I think it has to do with gluten sensitivity; and maybe other food allergies.
Five years ago he came to the end of his rope; after years of living with this and his oxygen level plummeted
Gluten free diet and his oxygen levels came back up.
Of course we got into pain clinic and they have stood in our way by giving him way too much morphine and muscle relaxers, and benzos. I had a long two year talk with my husband - cause he is addicted - he ended up with pneumonia this year - I knew he was going to - morphine does not let them breath deep - so after a couple of bouts with that - and my daughter and I both calling the pain clinic complaining and to the neurologist - he is getting off of some of these medicines. And that is how the medical profession kills off 8 million people a year.
Posted by: Benedetta | May 22, 2015 at 02:07 PM
I have Wegener's. I was vaccinated with a tetanus shot following a needle stick. December 12th 2012. I was 29. It was a downward spiral of vague symptoms until March 2013. By summer 2013 I was on deaths door step.
Posted by: Tamika Potts | May 22, 2015 at 10:10 AM
Vasculitis UK actually states:
"Flu and Pneumonia vaccines are recommended for vasculitis patients."
Posted by: John | March 03, 2014 at 11:36 AM
Vaccine Related Nerve Damage, A Toxic Reaction
Posted on February 3, 2011 by Vaccine Injury Lawyer
Nearly every vaccine approved by the FDA as safe and effective contains at least one neurotoxin. A neurotoxin is a chemical that causes permanent damage to cells (neurons) and structures (receptors and mitochondria) of the brain when it enters the human body. Once enough damage occurs, the symptoms of chronic disease develop.
Since the central nervous system controls every single function in the human body, this damage can take on the symptoms of almost any disease or disability. The symptoms depend upon which nerves are damaged. Some conditions related to vaccine nerve damage include:
➢ Brachial Neuritis – characterized by severe shoulder pain, weakness, numbness or paralysis in the arm or hand, lack of muscle control or sensation.
➢ Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIPD) – a progressive weakness and impaired feeling in the arms or legs, characterized by tingling or numbness beginning in the fingers and toes, loss of deep tendon reflexes, fatigue and abnormal sensations.
➢ Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) – severe burning pain, pathological changes in bone and skin, excessive sweating, tissue swelling and extreme sensitivity to touch.
➢ Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) – usually begins with symptoms similar to CIPD (above), gradually spreading to the arms and upper body sometimes resulting in total paralysis, or death.
➢ Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – can exhibit a wide range of symptoms, including vision problems, weakness, paralysis, jerking or twitching muscles, loss of sensation or extreme sensitivity, coordination or balance problems, cognitive dysfunction (brain fog, memory loss, etc..), and seizures.
➢ Opsoclonus-Myoclonus Syndrome (OMS) – characterized primarily by brief, shock-like muscle spasms and irregular rapid eye movement. May also experience difficulty speaking or be unable to speak.
➢ Trigeminal Neuralgia – sudden, severe stabbing or electric shock-like pains usually in the head or neck area and lasting several seconds.
➢ Transverse Myelitis – typically starts with sudden lower back pain, muscle weakness, or unusual sensations in the feet. It can rapidly progress to more severe symptoms including paralysis, urinary retention problems and loss of bowel control.
The chronic disease symptoms caused by nerve damage listed above is by no means exhaustive. Although any one of the neurotoxins in vaccines can cause them, not everyone who receives a vaccine will experience adverse reactions due to nerve damage. If you are in good health, have little or no environmental exposure to neurotoxins, and are not genetically pre-disposed to any of the above conditions, there is a good chance you will survive vaccination with no problems. However, that is not the case with everyone.
There are at least 1178 chemicals officially listed as neurotoxins. Many of these neurotoxins are vaccine ingredients including aluminum, aluminum hydroxide, potassium chloride, neomycin, thimerosal (mercury), polymyxin, sodium deoxycholate, squalene, and formaldehyde, just to name a few. You are exposed to neurotoxins every day through a variety of sources. The effects of exposure to neurotoxins are cumulative and permanent.
There is no way to determine in advance which neurotoxin will push you, or your child over the edge into chronic disease. Remember, vaccines are only one source of neurotoxin exposure.
Posted by: Victor B | March 03, 2014 at 03:05 AM
Dear Friends, To understand vasculitis, just spend an hour watching the youtube piece of N. Paranandi speaking on the topic of "vascular disease" In this piece he is talking about vascular effects of mercury, (as seen in his research ) but I think he would also agree that similar effects could take place as a result of other causes of irritation of the lining of the blood vessels also. Believe, me , this piece is really worth watching. You may not understand all the science, but you sure will understand how mercury, even in very low concentrations causes heart attacks and strokes and other vascular disease. You can also understand the gut problems of the autistic kids by watching his youtube piece in which he addresses the IAOMT convention on the topic of leaky gut syndrome and other effects of mercury on the human gut. N. Paranandi is a professor at Ohio State.
Recently there was a large article in our Times of India newspaper describing the large number of children and infants suffering from strokes. Apparently I must be one of a handful of people in India that would understand that this is due to our vaccine schedule full of mercury and the mothers who eat fish and feed it to their kids. Like autism - its all a mystery.
Posted by: Cherry Sperlin Misra | March 02, 2014 at 03:56 AM
the first time i heard of ischemia was from dr. moulden...there is no difference between vasculitis and ischemia and it is related to autism http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/06/a-tale-of-autistic-blood.html
Posted by: josie muller | March 01, 2014 at 01:14 AM
I was on the same wave-length as the rest of you...
Posted by: Michelle B | February 28, 2014 at 08:59 PM
Which list is shorter, chronic health problems that involve an undesirable provocation of the immune system or chronic health problems that don't? From my very non-professional understanding with only a little digging here and there, I'm not sure I can place any condition in the latter and the former is quite disturbing in length.
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | February 28, 2014 at 03:12 PM
Our local supermarket has a list of all the vaccines they recommend all adults get at their pharmacy: flu, shingles, pneumonia, hep A and B, meningococcal, Tdap. They wouldn't have them if there weren't a lot of uninformed adults getting them. I know four people who have peripheral neuropathy, three of them went to Mayo's, and one of them told me that Mayo's is doing a study of its increasing frequency. I had to learn to walk again after a crippling MS attack caused by a tetanus booster. All vaccines cause inflammation, which has to become chronic in order to maintain "immunity." There's no question but that it causes encephalitis and neurological crippling. People just don't know.
Posted by: cia parker | February 28, 2014 at 01:43 PM
Harold Ramis as Dr Egon Spengler gave us rules to live by.
It is cool to collect molds, spores and fungus.
Don't cross the streams.
My sons and I watched Ghost Busters a few weeks ago and we all had a great time.
Thank you Wayne for getting us to pause and think about this. I bet that would make Mr. Ramis smile.
Posted by: Louis Conte | February 28, 2014 at 12:01 PM
Joe's Kawasakis website all say to get those vaccines.
No problem -- except maybe delay the vaccines a bit the reason being: after recovering from Kawaskais kids were given a lot of IgGs and other steroid type meds and the medicine that would keep the body from building an immunity -- no use is wasting a perfectly good vaccine.
Posted by: Benedetta | February 28, 2014 at 11:48 AM
Good article - darn right the whole sorry mess involves inflammed blood vessels.
Including Kawasakis disease and atypical Kawasakis diseaee.
That little disease goes undignosed for the most parttoo.
Posted by: Benedetta | February 28, 2014 at 11:41 AM
Back in the 1970s, Harold Ramis was also a writer and actor for the Second City Television (SCTV) comedy series.
I wonder whether researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Vasculitis Center find any investigations into vaccine causality censored due to their promixity to vocal vaccine industry promoters working at U-Penn and CHOP.
I read that at one point, Ramis had to re-learn how to walk. I wonder what was in his medical records... but HIPAA means few people will ever know. And of course, after a person is dead and buried, nothing more can be learned about the cause of death. Only the mystery remains... along with the next round of victims.
The other day a smiling Walgreens pharmacy tech asked me if I'd had the shingles shot yet. I replied that I'd had an adverse reaction to a vaccine. She asked me to repeat myself, which I did. Her smile never wavered as she handed me a sheet announcing my insurance company would pay for the shingles shot (though it's only 50% effective), with no co-pay.
Posted by: nhokkanen | February 28, 2014 at 11:34 AM
The CDC is working hard to promote more vaccines for adults. Soon we will be hearing that any apparent increase in vasculitis is just better diagnosis.
Posted by: Twyla | February 28, 2014 at 11:14 AM
When I read things like this I can't help but constantly ponder the yet unknown but growing benefits of fecal microbial transplants and how it may have helped.
Posted by: Lola | February 28, 2014 at 10:30 AM
hmm..seems the law knows? Isn't that how it goes? The medical community denies, as with tobacco and vioxx, it takes a court? http://www.vaccineinjuryhelpcenter.com/wegener%E2%80%99s-granulomatosis-2/
Posted by: barbaraj | February 28, 2014 at 10:25 AM
My mother in law died on Thanksgiving a few years back, she received the first shots in her life,TD's over a three month span ending with flu vaccine on Oct.13, Oct.14th was her birthday, she called said she was too ill for a get together,her health declined quickly ..died of Wegener's vasculitis. Vaccine and drugs stand as causing 15% of this disease..with more than 50% left in the "unknown cause column".
Posted by: barbaraj | February 28, 2014 at 10:17 AM
Re. Narrowing of blood vessels- would this not be another bio- marker or effect that could be studied PHYSIOLOGICALLY in either animals (vaccinated vs unvaccinated) or in some kind of human study that parents would allow??
Posted by: jen | February 28, 2014 at 10:15 AM
Narrowing of small blood vessels- a friend's daughter had Reynaud's soon after her Gardasil series...
Posted by: jen | February 28, 2014 at 10:12 AM
So glad you wrote this Wayne. I was hoping for more info about the "rare" inflammatory auto-immune disorder Harold suffered with and succumbed to.
From what I read he was first diagnosed in 2010 and had to learn how to walk again! Wonder if he got regular flu shots? Wonder if there was any precipitating event?
Posted by: Andrea | February 28, 2014 at 07:57 AM
I thought the same thing, Wayne when I heard of his tragic death. Thanks for writing about this.
Posted by: Teresa Conrick | February 28, 2014 at 06:58 AM