Friday, November 30, 2012

Autism Congressional Hearings: Bingo, vaccines, and some baby steps forward


  1. Thank you for this. It was a frustrating thing to watch, I agree.

  2. Honestly, it really depresses me how much time and money is spent chasing dead ends (the various possible "causes" of autism) when so many of us on the spectrum and/or raising kids on the spectrum need support NOW--not when some mythical cure is discovered.

  3. plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

  4. Emily, the fact that you call yourself a scientist make me shudder.

    "Oh, too many vaccines now, too soon! The fragile infants! They can't take it!" Actually, yes, they can. And what no one bothered to point out is that today's children might receive more individual shots, but that's not what the immune system is counting. The immune system counts particles called "antigens," chemical signals that tell the immune system an invader is present, kicking the response into action. For a couple of decades now, children have been exposed to antigens in vaccines at numbers an order of magnitude (10 fold) lower than children in, say, my mother's generation or even mine. Based on how the immune system counts these things, children today are getting far less and not too soon compared to children of previous generations.

    Do you understand that those antigens are combined with over 200 micrograms of aluminum per shot and other excipients like tween 80 in the recombinant vaccines? Tween 80 is known to destroy the integrity of the blodd-brain-barrier and it is patented in cancer drugs exactly for that reason to deliver them into the brain. Tween 80 is also known to cause leaky gut syndrome.
    You can keep your head in the sand but please stop promoting nonsense!

    1. You might be interested in recent research that finds no significant health risks from aluminum in vaccines (which is only an adjuvent in some, not all, vaccines):

      You might also be interested to know that aluminum is found naturally in much of the water we drink and many foods we eat.

      Polysorbate 80 (aka "Tween 80") is also used in a number of foods as an emulsifier (most notably ice cream!) and is not merely limited to use in vaccines. We eat more of it in a given day in foods (80 to 100mg) than we get in a vaccine dose (~25micrograms). It has not been found to be carcinogenic (see the Carcinogenic Potency Database). Some folks, particularly those with Crohn's, are sensitive to it, but people are also sensitive to things like shrimp, pet dander, and chocolate.

      Crossing the blood-brain barrier is not necessarily an indicator that something is dangerous. Insulin and ethanol are two examples substances that are consumed with the intention of crossing the blood brain barrier, for example. Tween 80 does not "destroy the integrity of the blood-brain barrier," by the way, it disrupts it, like solvents do to any cell membrane.

      Before you accuse someone of promoting nonsense, please take a moment to educate yourself on some of these issues. Avoid sensationalist and chemophobic language. Give someone with a PhD in biology and a significant amount of background and experience in autism research the benefit of the doubt. Read what they have to say with an open mind; you might learn something.

  5. Have you tried a warm blanket or sitting by the fire? That might help with the shuddering.

  6. Jacquelin, You should know the difference between injecting and ingesting. Even the smallest quantity injected can sensitize you for later exposures. The problem is exactly that all these compounds are around us, and kids become sensitized and allergic to everyday products in their environment. I happen to be a bench scientist with a PhD who actually uses these compounds, and would never ever suggest them to be injected into any human being. Our body has no use for aluminum either in any form. It is a known neurotoxin.

    1. I don't have to know the difference between ingestion and injection, because I rely on the FDA and peer-reviewed literature to do that for me-- like the studies I've posted. It's easy to make chemophobic claims about "sensitization" and "allergy," but what you then need to do is follow that up with research, or at least take into account the research that has been done.

      But you know what? Emily has a really good point here. The research has been done -- scads of it. And that's not the problem. The problem is that there are people out there with autism who have real needs, and by derailing this conversation to be about chemophobia and biology, you reinforce that point. Millions of dollars are spent debunking claims about the causes of autism, and meanwhile, plenty of autistic people go without basic resources and services, and get to hear all sorts of nasty things said about how they're a problem and a burden and a catastrophe and a tragedy that need to be prevented. They're PEOPLE, and they deserve our recognition and resources-- arguably more than those hypothetical "kids" who might be "sensitized" to substances in our environment.

    2. Jacquelin, I have all the empathy for kids who are autistic. I have a nephew on the spectrum and I am determined to do everything to help him to become a happy and healthy adult. You and many with autistic kids are falling for this notion that those who want the epidemic to be stopped are against autistic kids. I am sorry if that is how you feel. It is not true.
      If you look at it carefully, most of the autism research money is going to genetic research, very little is going to environmental research, even less to vaccines. It is a myth that vaccine research is taking away from services.

    3. Money going to either could be going into research addressing the educational and therapeutic needs of autistic people, children and adults, which, if met, would give them tools to become productive and independent members of society. Research toward a better understanding of autistic people instead of pursuit of the many, many etiologies of autism would benefit autistic people enormously, far more than running down a thousand threads of possibility. And we've spent a decade researching vaccines with a huge body of resulting evidence showing no link between the two. That's enough of that.

      Given that every day, new studies come out with results claiming a correlation between autism and some environmental factor, some of them research in need of a hypothesis, seems to me there's sufficient money going around for the environment side of things.

  7. For anyone interested in some facts about aluminum in vaccines, which has nothing to do with what I said about antigens, here are a couple of links of use:

    Elimination is rapid and ultimately "virtually" complete. Ultimately, we accumulate aluminum at milligram levels in various tissues by adulthood, most of it from food. Whether by injection or ingestion, the entry of aluminum into tissues occurs via the bloodstream. What gets into the bloodstream via injection is minuscule compared to what gets into the bloodstream via, for example, eating (including breastfeeding, formula feeding). According to the CHOP information, there is no detectable change in aluminum values in the bloodstream following vaccination, so small is the amount that might enter the blood.

    Most childhood vaccines do not contain aluminum; the ones that do are the DTaPs, Prevnar, HiB/Hep, pneuomococcal. Ones that don't are MMR, varicella, rotavirus, inactivated polio, influenza.

  8. Hugh! Injection vs ingestion makes all the difference in the world!

    "Most childhood vaccines do not contain aluminum.."
    Well, except the ones that are given in rapid succession at birth (HepB) then at 2, 4, and 6 mo.(DTaP, Hib, HepB).

    I am done here because it is clear that you just want to keep your head in the sand.

  9. Who is Hugh?

    The total dose of aluminum in all aluminum-containing vaccines, if given in that time period, would still not add up to dietary intake. To my knowledge, we don't give HPV at birth or in infancy. And yes, in the case of aluminum, ingestion or injection go to the same place--the bloodstream, and from there, to tissues. Injection doesn't magically send it straight to tissues, bypassing bloodstream and renal filtering.

    My head's not so deeply buried in the sand that I haven't managed to see that you've offered not an iota of scientific evidence to back up your claims that aluminum in vaccines is harmful in the short or long term.

    Try to find a place to get warm now.

  10. Maybe Charles Richet (winner of the Nobel Prize in 1913 for discovering anaphylaxis) was not part of your studies but you don't have to be a toxicologist to understand that the route of administration makes a huge difference. But why bother to think when we can rely on the FDA? Except, how many drugs have been approved by the FDA that later had to be withdrawn for serious side effects!?

    As for aluminum toxicity and its role in autism and autoimmunity search on Pubmed for the works of Yehuda Shoenfeld, Chris Shaw, Chris Exley, Romain Gherardi.

    1. Funny, because many of my studies were toxicological studies.

      The search you mention doesn't make sense. But the hits I get on this search,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&biw=1097&bih=541

      are enough to tell me where you're coming from and what the spin is here. AoA? Alrighty then.

      Here's some commentary on Shaw's work:

      At any rate, I did the search you recommend. All fields for each term:
      Exley aluminum autism: No hits
      Shaw aluminum autism: Paper referenced above and one other along the same lines
      Gherardi aluminum autism: no hits
      Schoenfeld aluminum autism: no hits

      Tried with the British spelling of aluminum, too. Same thing.

  11. It is your problem if you look at the spin sites instead of the published research. Here are some papers from the past 3 years for you to start:

    The spectrum of ASIA: 'Autoimmune (Auto-inflammatory) Syndrome induced by Adjuvants'.
    Agmon-Levin N, Hughes GR, Shoenfeld Y.
    Lupus. 2012 Feb;21(2):118-20. No abstract available.
    PMID: 22235040 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    Infections and vaccines in the etiology of antiphospholipid syndrome.
    Cruz-Tapias P, Blank M, Anaya JM, Shoenfeld Y.
    Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2012 Jul;24(4):389-93. Review.
    PMID: 22617823 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    Autoimmunity following hepatitis B vaccine as part of the spectrum of 'Autoimmune (Auto-inflammatory) Syndrome induced by Adjuvants' (ASIA): analysis of 93 cases.
    Zafrir Y, Agmon-Levin N, Paz Z, Shilton T, Shoenfeld Y.
    Lupus. 2012 Feb;21(2):146-52.
    PMID: 22235045 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    Long-term persistence of vaccine-derived aluminum hydroxide is associated with chronic cognitive dysfunction.
    Couette M, Boisse MF, Maison P, Brugieres P, Cesaro P, Chevalier X, Gherardi RK, Bachoud-Levi AC, Authier FJ.
    J Inorg Biochem. 2009 Nov;103(11):1571-8. Epub 2009 Aug 20.

    A role for the body burden of aluminium in vaccine-associated macrophagic myofasciitis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
    Exley C, Swarbrick L, Gherardi RK, Authier FJ.
    Med Hypotheses. 2009 Feb;72(2):135-9. Epub 2008 Nov 11.
    PMID: 19004564 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    Mechanisms of aluminum adjuvant toxicity and autoimmunity in pediatric populations.
    Tomljenovic L, Shaw CA.
    Lupus. 2012 Feb;21(2):223-30.
    PMID: 22235057 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism?
    Tomljenovic L, Shaw CA.
    J Inorg Biochem. 2011 Nov;105(11):1489-99. Epub 2011 Aug 23.
    PMID: 22099159 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    1. I clearly described in my previous comment the PubMed search I did on each author you suggested, using "autism" and "aluminum" and the results I got. PubMed is not a "spin site," last I looked. What you've listed here fits exactly with the hits I got. Two for Shaw. That's it.

      I'm done with this "discussion." If you have anything relevant to say about autism that doesn't have to do with vaccines or a "no true Scotsman" evasion about vaccine contents, please feel free to post further. Otherwise, that's it for this.