ResearchBlogging.org Oh, let’s go back to the start… –Coldplay, “The Scientist”

A decade ago, a paper by Andrew Wakefield and colleagues was published in The Lancet, detailing the cases of 12 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Anecdotal reports from parents of several of these children suggested that the onset of their condition followed receipt of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Wakefield concluded following this research that the MMR vaccine was unsafe, and could play a causative role in the development of autism as well as gastrointestinal disease–the first volley in the latest incarnation of anti-vaccination fear-mongering that’s as old as vaccination itself. Well, to the surprise of few, a study has been published in today’s PLoS One showing yet again no link between vaccination and autism–and, as in the original Wakefield study, the authors here looked at the presence of measles virus RNA in intestinal tissue. More after the jump.

Originally, Wakefield had suggested that because MMR contains live virus (particularly live measles virus), an inappropriate immune response to the viruses in the vaccine may cause other pathologies, including autism spectrum disorders and bowel disease. The 1998 Lancet paper laid out this link:

We have identified a chronic enterocolitis in children that may be related to neuropsychiatric dysfunction. In most cases, onset of symptoms was after measles, mumps, and rubella immunisation.

Like the original study, this one was fairly small (though notably, still about 4 times as large as Wakefield’s). 47 kids were recruited, and 38 were included in the final analysis. They also used a case-control study design, rather than the original case series (in which the selection of kids was a huge conflict of interest, as Wakefield was actually paid by many of the childrens’ parents to find evidence of a vaccine-autism link).

They then examined the cases and controls using a molecular assay to detect measles virus RNA. Because other investigators couldn’t repeat Wakefield’s finding of measles virus RNA in kids with ASD, this study repeated all the assays in 3 independent labs, which were blinded as to the status of the samples.

So, what did they find? Obviously, no association. In addition:

We found the age at the time of exposure to MMR relative to onset of GI problems in cases and controls and the temporal order of MMR administration, GI episodes, and AUT onset in cases to be inconsistent with a causal role for MMR vaccine as a trigger or exacerbator of either GI disturbances or autism.

It should be noted that there are several of limitations with the study. Most notably, the size was still small, but it’s difficult to do a large study like this because of the rather invasive nature of the sampling (bowel biopsy). However, the investigator blinding and replication of results in three separate laboratories help to offset the size issue.

Do I expect these negative results to make a damn bit of difference with the Jenny McCarthy crowd?

Nope.

Mady Hornig, Thomas Briese, Timothy Buie, Margaret L. Bauman, Gregory Lauwers, Ulrike Siemetzki, Kimberly Hummel, Paul A. Rota, William J. Bellini, John J. O’Leary, Orla Sheils, Errol Alden, Larry Pickering, W. Ian Lipkin, Mark R. Cookson (2008). Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study PLoS ONE, 3 (9) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003140

Comments

  1. #1 Rob Keys
    September 4, 2008

    so if the live measels virus can cause autism how come there weren’t thousands of spotty rain men wandering around circa 1900?

    i know, i know. the obvious answer: they were dead before the virus could give them the disorder.

  2. #2 zayzayem
    September 4, 2008

    Not only will this make little difference to the Jenny McArthy crowd…

    Will any politician to try and broadcast this re-revelation to their public?

  3. #3 Lab Lemming
    September 4, 2008

    So should we go back to the hypothesis that bad parenting is to blame, and tell the anti vaccers that it is their own damn fault?

  4. #4 Info Scientist
    September 4, 2008

    As a scientist and an information scientist, I am always intrigued by what people state as known, as the truth. In this case the posting title stating, based on a study of 38 children (out of how many thousands and thousands with ASD), that there is no association between autism and vaccination (you didn’t even bother to qualify the title by limiting it’s conclusion to just the MMR). In no way do the results of this study state or imply that, scientifically, that is the case. It is just another example of arrogant “scientists” using an incredibly narrow examination (statistically insignificant study) to claim that they were right all along. I cannot understand why it is so hard for some to admit that they DO NOT KNOW what is going on and advocate for decent study design instead of spouting conclusions that cannot be scientifically concluded from research done.

  5. #5 Tara C. Smith
    September 4, 2008

    Info Scientist, as I noted, this is yet another in a long string of studies that have shown no relation between vaccines and autism–a relationship that began to be studied because of Wakefield’s research, which this paper (among others) failed to replicate. How many studies does it take before it becomes something we “know”? 50? 100?

  6. #6 Info Scientist
    September 4, 2008

    That is a very feeble argument from someone who claims to be a scientist. A well designed study has yet to be done. What I am objecting to is you drawing lines of conclusion that do not scientifically exist. You are pointing to this study and saying that it proves that there is no connection between autism and vaccination when the study does not say that – it is not a logical scientific conclusion in this case and in the case of other studies that have been done. You, like many others in the popular media, rely on the public at large not reading or understanding primary research to feel free to tell them what has been found to be true. You are relying on the “sound bite” of conclusion to convince the largest number of people to believe what you believe rather than what is truly known.

  7. #7 trrll
    September 4, 2008

    As a scientist and an information scientist, I am always intrigued by what people state as known, as the truth. In this case the posting title stating, based on a study of 38 children (out of how many thousands and thousands with ASD), that there is no association between autism and vaccination (you didn’t even bother to qualify the title by limiting it’s conclusion to just the MMR). In no way do the results of this study state or imply that, scientifically, that is the case. It is just another example of arrogant “scientists” using an incredibly narrow examination (statistically insignificant study) to claim that they were right all along.

    What a curious complaint! After all, the study that claimed to find an association looked at only 12 children. So is 12 enough for statistical significance when the result is what you wanted to hear, but 38 is too few when the outcome doesn’t fit your prejudices? If 12 was enough for Wakefield to detect an association, how could an even larger study fail to do so? And if the numbers are too few for statistical significance, how is it possible that this new study did detect a statistically significant association between early onset of GI symptoms and later development of autism?

  8. #8 cooler
    September 4, 2008

    Infoscientist,
    You are absolutely right, there isn’t one study that compares unvaccinated people to those that got the megaloads of mercury in 1991.

    There isn’t even a clear date or anyalsis of the vaccines to as when the mercury was removed. Also I’ve never been given the original studies, animal models etc, that showed that it was safe to put thimerosal in vaccines in the first place, because they don’t exist.

    For years the mercury deniers cited the IOM study as their proof that mercury doesnt cause autism, whats even more sad is no one actually read the studies the IOM used.

    They did not conduct any studies of their own, just analyzed old poorly designed studies conducted by drug companies.

    If you actually read them they are totally rigged. The Danish study was a classical example of rigging statistics, they increased the patient pool after mercury was removed and still looked at the absolute count, not %…….totally pathetic that some scientists
    would mindlessly use these corrupted studies. If you look at the % and not the absolute count in the Danish study the autism rate Dropped after thimersol’s removal.

    Funny how Tara also convieniently ignores the recent expirement where monkeys were given the 1991 mercury load in the same intervals and the monkeys developed Autistic symptoms, while the controls didn’t.

    But all is well, according to a poll on Larry King 88% of people think there is a link between mercury and autism, all trust has been lost between the public and scientists who mindlessly peddle the CDC’s line, they’ve already lost all credibility in the publics eyes.

  9. #9 BioinfoTools
    September 4, 2008

    “Info Scientist”: look at the statisical significance of the results.

    Given the work involves colonoscopies, it will be a smaller study.

    Regards how “the popular media” presents science: my impression is that for the most part the media tries, usually meaning well, but make mistakes more often than many scientists would like.

    My impression is that many of those promoting an anti-vaccine stance start with a preset agenda (“its the vaccines”). Where they refer to research findings they appear to frequently not understand them and/or selectively quote or “rework” what they read to fit their agenda.

    For the most, part scientists attempt to summarise for others what they make of peer-reviewed science.

    Three different things. Of the three, none quite fit your description, but of the three, a sector of the anti-vaccine promoters (as opposed to followers) would easily be the closest fit.

    I wouldn’t consider Tara to be “in the popular media”. Me neither.

    If someone responds to research findings with a simple denial, then I think its a fair to question if they anything to argue against the findings with. Its a possibility after all and its more correct to disagree with findings by addressing the science.

    If you think its flawed somehow, why not demonstrate how?

    If you want a media report, try: http://tinyurl.com/68ec8e

  10. #10 Davis
    September 4, 2008

    Info Scientist, precisely how many negative results do we need before dismissing a hypothesis that has no evidence supporting it? At what point can we redirect scarce resources to lines of research which show more potential for positive results?

  11. #11 trrll
    September 4, 2008

    If you actually read them they are totally rigged. The Danish study was a classical example of rigging statistics, they increased the patient pool after mercury was removed and still looked at the absolute count, not %…….totally pathetic that some scientists
    would mindlessly use these corrupted studies. If you look at the % and not the absolute count in the Danish study the autism rate Dropped after thimersol’s removal.

    What a curious complaint! If indeed you “actually read” the Danish study, the y-axis of figure one clearly states “Incidence per 10,000 persons.” Nobody who “actually read” the study could possibly miss it. So tell me, cooler, which is it? Did you “actually read” the story, or are you just parroting some nonsense you got off an antivax website? Or just plain lying?

    And why are you going on about mercury, anyway? Don’t you know that the MMR vaccine that we are discussing never contained thimerosal?

  12. #12 cooler
    September 5, 2008

    “1995 outpatient activities were registered as well, providing the opportunity to examine long-term trends of the occurrence of autism in a total national population. In Denmark, inpatients refer both to children who stay at the hospital overnight and to children who come to the hospital on a daily basis for evaluation and treatment. The proportion of outpatient to inpatient activities was about 4 to 6 times as many outpatients as inpatients with variations across time and age bands”

    “Incidence rates were calculated for each year 1971-2000 using the age and gender specific number of persons in Denmark as a denominator. For each year and age band, we calculated the incidence as the number of people who at that age band and year was diagnosed with autism for the first time divided by the total number of people alive and living in Denmark at that age band and year.”

    Exactly what I said, pre 1995 they only registered inpatients, therafter they accounted for the entire population.

    Then they took the absolute count, From a much smaller pool of inpatients pre 1995, and used the total population as denominator, when they started to include the general population, they still used the total population.

    Its a stats trick. For example if I only report the amount of autism on my city, and say they are 10 cases, but use the entire country population as a denominator ill get
    10/300mil, then if i start reporting the entire country ill get hypothetically 70/300mil, creating the illusion of an increase.

    But what should have been done is make the initial denominator the population of the city say 20k……that would be 10/20k get the percentage, and compare it to 70/300mill to correspond with the increased patient pool in 1995.

    If you do the math, the first example gives the illusion of an increase, will the second more properly done example shows the true decrease.

    Basically why was the denominator always the total population when pre 1995 only inpatients were counted, and post 1995 inpatients and outpatients were counted?

  13. #13 cooler
    September 5, 2008

    “Psychiatric inpatient treatment in Denmark has been reported to the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register since 1969, and since 1995 outpatient activities were registered as well”

    LOL they increased the pool of patients they were surveying, and kept the denominator the same(total population) hahahahahaha.

    A properly designed study would have used the same population throughout the entire study, not adding a whole new population (outpatients) midway while using the same denominator to skew the stats!

  14. #14 Elan
    September 5, 2008

    cooler, I think you’re misreading things. The denominator is always the total population of Denmark. The numerator is the number of “children who from the second birthday up to, but not including the 10th birthday were diagnosed with autism”.

    Besides, even if you were right (which you’re not), look what happens at the trend between when Thimerosal was removed at 1995. The rates of incidence INCREASE!

  15. #15 lylebot
    September 5, 2008

    I’m not an anti-vaxxer (I loathe anti-vaxxers), but Info Scientist is technically correct. A single study that is nonsignificant—i.e. fails to reject the null hypothesis of no link—does not *prove* that there’s no link. Neither do 50 nonsignificant studies, or 100 studies, or 1000 studies. Every study provides more evidence that there’s no link, but no number of studies can prove it.

    At this point it’s pretty clear that there’s no link. But strictly speaking (from an Information Theoretic viewpoint) it has not been proven. Is it worth making this distinction to the public? Personally, I don’t think it is. The public should be told it’s been proven. Info Scientist obviously disagrees.

  16. #16 cooler
    September 5, 2008

    Elan,
    Its pretty simple, pre 1995 the only counted inpatients, then after outpatients and inpatients, increasing the population by 4 to 6 times.

    “Psychiatric inpatient treatment in Denmark has been reported to the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register since 1969, and since 1995 outpatient activities were registered as well”

    “The proportion of outpatient to inpatient activities was about 4 to 6 times as many outpatients as inpatients with variations across time and age bands”

    Its like doing a study on autism rates in San diego, getting a percentage based on total population, then adding Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles and then getting a % based on the denominator still being the total population! Of course the rate will increase if you increase the population you’re studying by 4-6 fold!

    Totally rigged study that shows how low scientific standards are today, and why the public has lost all trust in science.

  17. #17 Info Scientist
    September 5, 2008

    I am expressing my opinion solely as an information scientist with a research background. I, unlike many on both sides of the vaccination choice debate, am willing to admit that I do not know if there is an autism/vaccination link and not knowing will inform my decisions.
    I find the misrepresentations of research results from those who I would like to think know better – the scientists themselves – annoying. Unfortunately, everyone appears to have an agenda – and that agenda can stem from ego, power, research sponsorship… If you have an opinion, based on your personal agenda or perspective, have the honesty to state it as such.
    I am not sure that I wouldn’t consider this blog as a popular media – one thing is for sure – it can present a great deal of confusion for the uninitiated information seeker – is it opinion, is it fact? And then there it the research blogging symbol in this post. That is meant to signify that the blog is about research results. That would imply that those results would be accurately presented, interpreted, “framed” for the reader? Opinions about the research are, of course, open to expression but state them as YOUR OPINION and not what the research really indicates.
    I believe that on this site, it may be especially easy for authors, who know they will be supported in their “interpretations” by sympathetic members of their blogging community, may get sloppy in their presentations of primary research. Not good.
    This original blog entry states that vaccination does not cause autism and that is NOT what the research says. I can understand the confusion when the researchers themselves use overreaching language.

  18. #18 turkey
    September 5, 2008

    Thanx You, Perfect Docs.

  19. #19 Elan
    September 6, 2008

    cooler, I feel like you keep spouting talking points without really understanding:

    1. The denominator is “age and gender specific number of persons in Denmark as a denominator”. That’s the entire population.

    2. Even if what you said is true, look at the damn graph. Before the “singularity” point where they started counting outpatients, and after they removed thimerosal, the incidence rate still climbs!

  20. #20 cooler
    September 6, 2008

    Whatever you are the only one spouting nonsense. They claim in the study that that inpatient cases of autism were also increasing pre 1995 post 1992, but “Data was not shown.” LOL what a joke, they claim that autism rised in inpatients after 1992 but have no data, references to back it up.

    This link debunks this useless study

    http://www.nationalautismassociation.org/library/Danish%20Thimerosal-Autism%20Study%20in%20Pediatrics.pdf

  21. #21 Elan
    September 6, 2008

    Cooler, unfortunately the “National” Autism Association is HARDLY an unbiased science-minded organization. Check out the website, and http://autismdiva.blogspot.com/2007/07/national-autism-association.html. The fact that Jenny McCarthy is associated with them says a lot.

  22. #22 BioinfoTools
    September 6, 2008

    One thing I find that can sometimes be revealing is to look at the website’s mission statements.

    The mission statement of the source of cooler’s link includes: “We will educate society that autism is not a lifelong incurable genetic disorder but one that is biomedically definable and treatable.”

    Given that autism has a well-established strong genetic component to it, are they saying that they wish to ignore evidence pointing to the genetic components of autism–?

    I believe at this point in time there is no treatment for autism, but that existing practices are aimed at managing it. (Not saying it will remain that way, and leaving unsubstantiated “remedies” aside.)

    My understanding is that the biochemistry, molecular biology, etc., of autism isn’t well-defined (yet), so I’m curious to know how they can claim its “biomedically definable”. I believe most, if not all, of the current diagnostic criteria are behavioural, not biochemical.

    This is not to say that there are no biochemical (or molecular biology, etc.) studies–there are–but that I believe none of these claim to make the biochemistry/molecular biology/etc of autism well-defined. For example, recent genome-wide genetic studies point at the role of particular genes, which, in turn, point at the biochemical pathways associated with these genes. These papers give directions to explore further, but they don’t “define” autism in the sense that this sentence from their mission statement would mean.

    Furthermore, ‘lifelong genetic disorder’ (not a quote!) and “biomedically definable and treatable” are not necessarily at odds with eachother. Because something is genetic in origin, doesn’t make it untreatable.

    Personally, I think they might do well to re-word their mission statement if these are not meanings they want (mis)read from it.

    Elan: the URL you’ve given has a period on the end of it–I think this need to be removed to make it correct, e.g. http://autismdiva.blogspot.com/2007/07/national-autism-association.html Might be the blog software’s fault. Well… we can at least blame that for it! ;-)

  23. #23 trrll
    September 6, 2008

    LOL they increased the pool of patients they were surveying, and kept the denominator the same(total population) hahahahahaha.

    No, the denominator changed, because the total population changed. So your claim that they “still looked at the absolute count, not %.” is false. You would have known this if you had actually read the study, instead of just a misleading antivax site.

    I find your refusal to acknowledge this error revealing.

    The total population of Denmark is in fact the only appropriate denominator, because they were looking at diagnoses of autism over the entire country. Now it is certainly reasonable to consider whether some or all of the increase in autism in Denmark, and other countries, is due to improved diagnosis and changes in diagnostic standards. Indeed, it is widely accepted that much, perhaps all, of the so-called “autism epidemic” is illusory, and a consequence of people who once would have been diagnosed as mentally retarded now being diagnosed as autism.

    One thing some antivax sites have seized upon with respect to the Denmark study is that reporting of autism improved after 1995, because after this time the records include children who were not diagnosed in a hospital, but only by a hospital. However, if this is the only factor one would have expected to see a sudden increase in autism diagnoses in 1995, and then a stable level afterwards, whereas in fact diagnoses continue to increase from 1995 to 2000.

    Moreover, even though you claim that “If you look at the % and not the absolute count in the Danish study the autism rate Dropped after thimersol’s removal,” this is also untrue.
    As you would have known if you’d looked at the actual paper rather than a dishonest antivax site, the paper reports

    In additional analyses we examined data using inpatients only. This was done to elucidate the contribution of the outpatient registration to the change in incidence. The same trend with an increase in the incidence rates from 1990 until the end of the study period was seen

    So the actual result is precisely the opposite of what you claimed.

    What is absolutely clear from the Danish data is that the vast majority of the increase in autism diagnoses occurred following the elimination of thimerosal.

    Moreover, it is not just Denmark. Studies in California and Sweden, which eliminated thimerosal at different times, reported exactly the same thing. Diagnoses of autism continued to rise as exposure to thimerosal decreased. If anything, the data are more consistent with the hypothesis that mercury prevents autism than with the notion that it causes autism.

  24. #24 trrll
    September 6, 2008

    Unfortunately, everyone appears to have an agenda – and that agenda can stem from ego, power, research sponsorship… If you have an opinion, based on your personal agenda or perspective, have the honesty to state it as such.

    I always find it revealing when somebody chooses to characterize the opinion of others as an “agenda,” with its dark implication of conflict of interest and personal benefit.

    What kind of “agenda” would one expect from a website called “Aetiology,” dedicated to the accurate identification of the causes of disease? What kind of “agenda” do you expect from the people who frequent such a site?

    For the record, here is my “agenda” — I am a basic scientist with decades of experience studying the effects of drugs and chemicals on the brain. I am involved in medical education. I am concerned with public health and with the accurate dissemination of medical information. I do not profit in any way from vaccine sales or treatment. I am worried that unjustified and irrational fears of vaccine risk may lead to widespread suffering, particularly on the part of children.

  25. #25 Info Scientist
    September 6, 2008

    I think that personal opinions cross the line to agenda when they result a person consciously misrepresenting information, information that others rely on for their health and survival. I do not see agendas as necessarily having “dark implications” but as a continuum of forces that range from conflict of interest/personal benefit to simply believing you are right and wanting others to agree with you. It can cause someone to loose site of what is known, not known, and other possibilities.

    I, too, am a basic scientist with decades of experience who spends a great deal of time educating university students about science, the nature of science information, and the often unfortunate distortion of that information by the media. These students often do not understand that nature of the information that they are encountering on the Internet – such as that presented on this blog. You, as an educator, should keep this in mind.

    In response to your agenda…it is a wonderful agenda, an agenda that I imagine would cause you to be particularly concerned about the widespread suffering of the children being affected by ASD… an epidemic affecting the brains too many children… an epidemic that needs quality studies and accurate reporting of information KNOWN to turn around that tide of suffering.

  26. #26 cooler
    September 6, 2008

    1. Please give me the Data, for example how many inpatients were diagnosed with autism in 1991 vs how many inpatients were diagnosed in 1993 using the same criteria, relying on a graph that does not give you the hard numbers of when and how the data was collected for each year is useless.

    2. The study ignores that after 1992 large austism center that accouned for 20% of Autism diagnosis was added, skewing the results. See link above for refrences.

    3. Also in 1993 psychosis proto inafantalis was renamed autism, further skewering the results. See link above for references.

    4. This study is in totality useless, since even when the Danish children were zappped with 100x the EPA safe amount of mercury, they still did not recieve near the Thimerosal load given to kids in the early 90’s in America, since the schedule in Denmark was totally different.

    A study is useless if it does not disclose its data, collection methods, and hard numbers per year.

  27. #27 trrll
    September 6, 2008

    In response to your agenda…it is a wonderful agenda, an agenda that I imagine would cause you to be particularly concerned about the widespread suffering of the children being affected by ASD… an epidemic affecting the brains too many children… an epidemic that needs quality studies and accurate reporting of information KNOWN to turn around that tide of suffering.

    I am in fact concerned with autism, and have recently begun to do basic research in that area. In the process of learning about autism, I reviewed the literature about the causes and treatments of autism. Coming to the field with no preconceived notions and no agenda other than a general concern for public health, and after examining the scientific evidence, I have come to the conclusion that there is overwhelming scientific evidence that thimerosal and the MMR vaccination do not contribute significantly to autism. Perhaps in recognition of this, some antivaccine spokespeople seem to be shifting to talk about other so-called “toxins” in vaccines, but everything that I’ve seen of this nature has been biologically and pharmacologically implausible. There is insufficient evidence to conclude that there is an “epidemic” of autism, as a substantial portion of the apparent increase in autism diagnoses (possibly all of it) is clearly due to diagnostic substitution. I do not believe that it is possible at this time to exclude an additional component of the increase that could reflect an environmental influence, but it seems to me that vaccinations are far, far down the list of possible suspects–if, indeed, there is any real increase at all.

  28. #28 trrll
    September 6, 2008

    Please give me the Data, for example how many inpatients were diagnosed with autism in 1991 vs how many inpatients were diagnosed in 1993 using the same criteria, relying on a graph that does not give you the hard numbers of when and how the data was collected for each year is useless.

    You first. You stated

    If you look at the % and not the absolute count in the Danish study the autism rate Dropped after thimersol’s removal

    Why don’t you give us the data that you based this assertion upon (in contradiction to the statement in the paper). Or are you prepared to admit that you simply made it up.

    The study ignores that after 1992 large austism center that accouned for 20% of Autism diagnosis was added, skewing the results. See link above for refrences.

    Yes, this might be a valid concern if the increase was only 20%, and occurred immediately after 1992. But that is not the case–I suggest that you look at Fig. 1.

    Also in 1993 psychosis proto inafantalis was renamed autism, further skewering the results. See link above for references

    Yes, we’ve already discussed the fact that the increase in autism diagnoses in recent years is probably mostly, if not entirely, due to diagnostic substitution. So are you now prepared to acknowledge that the increase in autism diagnosis (in Denmark, and presumably everywhere else) has nothing at all to do with thimerosal? After all, virtually all of the increase in autism diagnoses in Denmark occurred after the removal of thimerosal. And how is it that the removal of thimerosal had no impact on autism diagnoses in Sweden or California either, even though the removal of thimerosal occurred at different times?

    By the way, you might want to look up the word “skewer.” I don’t think it means what you think it does.

    This study is in totality useless, since even when the Danish children were zappped with 100x the EPA safe amount of mercury, they still did not recieve near the Thimerosal load given to kids in the early 90’s in America, since the schedule in Denmark was totally different.

    I see. So thimerosal never really caused autism in Denmark, but it did here. So we would surely have seen an effect on autism incidence of the removal of thimerosal in the US, right? Except that the California study showed that it didn’t happen.

    You are just rationalizing here. “The study isn’t perfect (as indeed no study ever is), so that relieves me of the obligation to think rationally about whether the supposed imperfections could have concealed an effect of thimerosal.”

  29. #29 cooler
    September 6, 2008

    Lol oh my god, you’ve just admitted there is no hard numbers/data published year to year in this study! What a pile of sh-t this study is.

    As far as me saying that the autism decreased after, I got that from Dr. Ayoub’s lecture, if he has no hard numbers to back that up, I’ll call him out on it, and admit I was duped, you’ll have to email Dr. Ayoub and see his lecture to find out where he got his stats.

    If he admits he just made up a graph with no references to the hard numbers like what was done in this study, I’ll admit I was duped, will you admit you were duped by this study as well? Doubt it.

    Seeing how flawed and pathetic this study was, yet it was pimped over and over by the mercury lovers to put the nail in the coffin a causal link, I’d be very skeptical of any more recent studies as well.

    The studies are so poorly designed, and the second rate scientists who shamelessly peddled this study in the media without anylazying it shows how low science has sunk. Hell even an 8th grader knows if you make a graph, you need to disclose the year to year hard numbers to correspond with the respective graph, if you don’t you flunk.

  30. #30 trrll
    September 6, 2008

    As far as me saying that the autism decreased after, I got that from Dr. Ayoub’s lecture, if he has no hard numbers to back that up, I’ll call him out on it, and admit I was duped, you’ll have to email Dr. Ayoub and see his lecture to find out where he got his stats.

    So despite your sneering remark, “If you actually read them they are totally rigged,” you now admit that you never actually read the study itself. You just took the word of some guy. And you didn’t ask to see his numbers; indeed, even now that it appears that you have been, in your words, “duped,” you are uninterested in following up with the guy who apparently duped you. In contrast, you refuse to believe the statement of the investigators that

    In additional analyses we examined data using inpatients only. This was done to elucidate the contribution of the outpatient registration to the change in incidence. The same trend with an increase in the incidence rates from 1990 until the end of the study period was seen

    Now you demand to see the actual data. Well, feel free to write them and request the analysis. In my experience, most investigators are fairly forthcoming with that sort of thing. Although if they figure out that you’ve been making false claims about their study, they might be understandably reluctant to share their data with you.

    Of course, to a rational person it is obvious that the inclusion of outpatient data could not be responsible for the increase, because in that case the rates would have taken a bump up in 1995 and remained constant ever since. Even a moment’s glance at Figure 1 makes it obvious that that is not the case.

    What is more, the results of the Denmark study have been replicated in California and Sweden. And since the specific issues that you pick on in Denmark do not apply to California and Sweden, you have to assume that, by pure coincidence, other factors somehow conspired to hide the predicted decrease in autism rates. That’s quite a lot to swallow, but considering the level of bias you’ve exhibited so far, I have no doubt that you will somehow manage it.

    And I notice that you are still avoiding commenting on the obvious point that the Denmark study, like the others, proves that thimerosal could not have been responsible for the rise in autism diagnoses. Rather, you are left clutching the straw that perhaps there is an effect of thimerosal that is so tiny that the effect of a reduction in thimerosal exposure is completely hidden–not just in Denmark, but in Sweden and the US as well–by changes in autism diagnosis and reporting. I find it ironic that you find yourself forced into the position of agreeing with the medical and public health establishment that the so-called autism “epidemic” is largely illusory, a consequence of changes in autism diagnosis and reporting.

  31. #31 cooler
    September 6, 2008

    “In additional analyses we examined data using inpatients only. This was done to elucidate the contribution of the outpatient registration to the change in incidence. The same trend with an increase in the incidence rates from 1990 until the end of the study period was seen”

    How can we even determine if the statistics are significant if they don’t report the hard numbers? They are either incredibly stupid, or hiding something to not report the data. There making a pretty incredible claim, that mercury prevents autism! They should at least show the numbers!

    Remember, an 8th grade honor student would report the graph with corresponding numbers, why can’t these losers? They can’t because the study, and all the scientists that promoted it for the past 4 years, are garbage.

  32. #32 trrll
    September 6, 2008

    How can we even determine if the statistics are significant if they don’t report the hard numbers? They are either incredibly stupid, or hiding something to not report the data. There making a pretty incredible claim, that mercury prevents autism! They should at least show the numbers!

    Why do you suppose reviewers did not demand the numbers? The more comprehensive data set including both inpatient and outpatient data is actually a more significant result, and it is quite obvious that even after outpatient diagnoses began to be included, the numbers continued to rise, despite the elimination of thimerosal. And any reasonable person, looking at the data, can see instantly by inspection that the change in reporting could not possibly account for the result or alter the conclusion. So mentioning that the trend was the same if data from inpatient reporting was excluded was a mere footnote confirming the obvious. It only seems meaningful to you because you are so desperate to explain away the result that you are clutching at conspiratorial straws.

    And what a lame-ass conspiracy you are imagining, at that. For some unknown reason, they are so desperate to hide a decrease in autism that they are willing to sacrifice their professional integrity and risk their careers and reputations by lying about what the data excluding the outpatient clinics shows. But if the numbers excluding the outpatient data would make it so much more convincing, and if they are dishonest enough to lie about the data, why not simply present false numbers and make the lie even more convincing?

    Of course, to a scientist, no single study is absolutely convincing. While scientific fraud of the kind you seem to be imagining is uncommon, people do make mistakes, and sometimes statistical variation can result in a mistaken conclusion. What is compelling is that multiple studies, conducted in different countries, with different timing of thimerosal removal, all led to the same conclusion–no impact whatsoever of a big reduction in mercury exposure.

  33. #33 cooler
    September 7, 2008

    LOL the Danish study was done in part by a vaccine manufacturer, Statins Serum, what a joke! If you read the study the vaccine manufacturers name is there! Like that’s not a conflict of interest.

    No wonder they won’t show any of the Data, ie how many inpatients got Autism in a given year.

    Nevertheless, 956 is the only number that pathetic study gives, and thats the total amount of autism cases from 1971-2000, nowhere near the epidemic in the USA. That’s like 45 cases per year if you used an average or so ( I dont know what the actual amount per year is because they dont tell you), so it’s no way to test the hypothesis of whats going on in the USA, much more Autism when kids here received much more thimerosal than the Danish kids ever recieved.

    Since the amount of Autism is so low both before and after Mercury, and they won’t share the data, it’s much more likely that any small changes per year were due to coincidence, manipulation etc.

    This great blog exposes how corrupt all these studies were.

    http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2005/08/heres-why-disdain.html

  34. #34 trrll
    September 7, 2008

    LOL the Danish study was done in part by a vaccine manufacturer, Statins Serum, what a joke! If you read the study the vaccine manufacturers name is there! Like that’s not a conflict of interest.

    Wow, you are really getting desperate to find a rationalization to ignore this result!

    Trying to scapegoat the greedy vaccine manufacturers doesn’t work so well in Denmark–socialized medicine, remember? The State Serum Institute is not a commercial vaccine manufacturer; it is part of the Danish Ministry of Health and Prevention. They give the vaccines away for free. As part of the National Danish Health Services, the mission of the State Serum Institute includes monitoring of vaccine safety and efficacy. Indeed, you might want to contemplate why the Danish National Health Service would be promoting vaccination if vaccines caused autism or other expensive diseases, because they are the ones who would end up paying the bill.

    Nevertheless, 956 is the only number that pathetic study gives, and thats the total amount of autism cases from 1971-2000, nowhere near the epidemic in the USA

    Wow, there are fewer autism cases in Denmark than in the US! That is clearly significant, because everybody knows that the population of Denmark is just the same as that US! NOT!

    Weren’t you the guy who was fulminating about the stupidity of reporting an absolute number instead of percentage? I guess it must not seem quite so stupid when you can twist it to support your own argument….

    The numbers, of course, can be easily read off the chart in Figure 1, if you actually know how to read a graph.

    so it’s no way to test the hypothesis of whats going on in the USA, much more Autism when kids here received much more thimerosal than the Danish kids ever recieved.

    So we would expect a big decrease in autism prevalence in the US when thimerosal exposure was reduced. Except that it didn’t happen here, either I guess we’re not all that different from Denmark after all….

    Since the amount of Autism is so low both before and after Mercury,

    Or to state it honestly, the amount of autism increased after mercury was removed, just as it did in California and in Sweden.

    and they won’t share the data, it’s much more likely that any small changes per year were due to coincidence, manipulation etc.

    Who says that they won’t share the data? Can you provide any example of a qualified researcher who was denied access to the data? It’s not their data to deny even if they wanted to do so–the authors merely provided an analysis of numbers from the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register.

    This great blog exposes how corrupt all these studies were.

    http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2005/08/heres-why-disdain.html

    It is hardly a recommendation if it is the source of the idiocy that you’ve been spouting.

  35. #35 BioinfoTools
    September 7, 2008

    Just a quick re-cap for anyone still reading the about the original article.

    The point being made about the recent paper, not just in this blog, is that Wakefield’s original conclusions are not observed when his line of investigation are repeated using a more careful analysis on a somewhat larger sample.

    If his original conclusion were correct, his observations should be able to be repeated by repeating the experiment. That’s part of how science works: conclusions should be upheld on repeating the experiment.

    If you have a first paper that claims a link between “A” and “B” and later, more careful, paper(s) find no link between “A” and “B”, the correct response is to withdraw the original claim of a link between “A” and “B”.

    Wakefield’s conclusions (more accurately speculations!) about a possible MMR vaccine-autism link cannot continue to be claimed (and in fact shouldn’t based on earlier work, too).

    Hey!, I’m allow to waste time repeating things already said! ;-)

  36. #36 BioinfoTools
    September 7, 2008

    ‘allowed’ not ‘allow’ – eaggh. Must remember to proof read…

  37. #37 cooler
    September 7, 2008

    The Statins serum company has been providing mercury laced vaccines for years to the Danish people, if there was any link, they would be held liable by the Danish public, morally and Legally. It would be a public relations disaster so say the least if they found a link.

    That’s not a conflict of interest? It’s pretty embarrasing to explain this to you people. Might as well have the Bush Administration investigate themselves on Iraq, I’m sure that wouldn’t raise any suspicions.

    Thanks for admitting this study is pretty much useless, not one piece of hard data showing us the absolute year to year numbers, just some nebulous graph that doesn’t come near to proving statisical significance,even assuming the graph is accurate, which is pretty doubtful giving the major conflicts of interest at hand, and the shoddy research methods used.

    What if Jenny Mcarthy and Dr. Jay gordon concocted a study where they claimed to find an increase in autism but didn’t show the hard numbers? And their response to the inquiry was the “data is not shown.” They would lose all credibility, the same lack of credibility should be anointed to this study, and the pseudoscientists like you who support it.

  38. #38 Epi Wonk
    September 8, 2008

    Tara,
    Great post.

    Just a quick note to alleviate confusion that must be generated for readers by some of the comments: There is NO thimerosal in the MMR vaccine. Not now — not ever.

  39. #39 trrll
    September 8, 2008

    The Statins serum company has been providing mercury laced vaccines for years to the Danish people, if there was any link, they would be held liable by the Danish public, morally and Legally. It would be a public relations disaster so say the least if they found a link.

    Once again, you are clutching at straws. Since the State Serum Institute is part of the Danish government, they are immune from liability. Moreover, given the lapse of time since thimerosal was abandoned, even if it were found that harm had been caused by thimerosal, it would have been beyond the time limit for compensation, so it wouldn’t even have cost the Danish government money. And since there at the time (and still today) there was no reason to believe thimerosal was harmful, it is hard to see how it would be much of a standard. There are many things that were done medically a decade ago that today are considered to be more harmful than helpful. Thimerosal is not among them. On the other hand, if researchers were found to have lied in the study about the official (and readily checked) figures on autism, that would indeed be a scandal, personal, professional, and probably legal–it would certainly have destroyed the careers of everybody involved. So what you are proposing is that the researchers unselfishly chose to risk, and potentially sacrifice, their professional careers to protect the Danish government from embarrassment over something that happened more than a decade before. Are you really unable to appreciate how crazy that is?

    However, given the fact that the results have been replicated in the US and Sweden, there is no reason to doubt that it is correct.

    Thanks for admitting this study is pretty much useless

    I believe that you are hallucinating here.

    What if Jenny Mcarthy and Dr. Jay gordon concocted a study where they claimed to find an increase in autism but didn’t show the hard numbers? And their response to the inquiry was the “data is not shown.” They would lose all credibility

    Do you really think that even they are stupid enough to lie about official statistics that could easily be checked? As you point out, anybody who did this would lose all credibility (not that they have much to lose).

  40. #40 cooler
    September 9, 2008

    I decided to do some calculations to get the actual cases of Autism in this study.

    The population in Denmark now is appx 5.7 million, in 2000 it was 5.3 million, and in 1990 it was around 5.1 million

    Lets just say in 2000 the population in Denmark was 5 million rounded down.

    This study claims that in the graph that in the year 2000 there were apx 4.6 cases of autism in 2-4 year olds of, 3 cases per 10,000 in 5-6 year olds per 10,000 and 1.4 per 10,000 in Autism per 10,000 people in Denmark.

    Yet the total number of cases they reported was 956 through all of 1971-2000.

    Ok lets do the math of what they graph claims they found in 2000, we’ll round down to give you the benefit.

    Reference= 1 case per 10,000 in a population of 5 million = 500 cases.(5mil/10,000)

    4 cases in 1-2 yr olds per 10,000 in a population of 5 million in year 2000 according to the graph= 2,000 cases

    3 cases in 5-6 year olds per 10,000 in a population of 5 million in year 2,000 in the graph= 1,500 cases of autism

    1 case of autism per 10,000 in 7-9 year olds in a population 5 million in year 2,000= 500 autistic kids.

    So in total in the year 2000 alone the graph states that there were at least 4,000 cases of autism in Denmark in the year 2000.

    But wait they said they only found a total of 956 cases of Autism between 1971-2000. And this is just one year, not counting all the others years! Oh my god what a rigged study and mendacious graph! LOL what a joke this all is! In just one year claim to have 4,000 cases of autism in the graph when the total for all 29 years was 956!

    This graph has no basis in reality! What a joke!

  41. #41 BioinfoTools
    September 9, 2008

    I haven’t read the paper, but I suspect you’re supposed to read that as 4.6 cases of autism per 10,000 persons aged 2-4 years, not 4.6 cases of autism in persons aged 2-4 years per 10,000 people of all ages… ;-)

    And likewise for the other age groups: per 10,000 people of the particular age range, not per 10,000 of the total population.

    Once you do that, you’d also need to know how many are in each age range for each year if you want to work back to how many are in the total population for each year.

    Its easy to think why they would present it this way: done this way, the comparisons between years aren’t affected by different numbers of people at different ages in different years.

    Just a few thoughts… ;-)

  42. #42 trrll
    September 9, 2008

    I haven’t read the paper, but I suspect you’re supposed to read that as 4.6 cases of autism per 10,000 persons aged 2-4 years, not 4.6 cases of autism in persons aged 2-4 years per 10,000 people of all ages…

    Obviously. If you are going to convert incidence in a particular age group into total number, you have to multiply by the total number of people in that age group.

    But cooler is getting increasingly desperate as he flails away trying to find some kind of rationalization, no matter how crazy, to discredit this study.

    Then he can start working on excuses to ignore the studies in California and Sweden, all of which yielded the same outcome: thimerosal exposure greatly reduced, autism up.

    Of course, all of this mercury nonsense is quite irrelevant to the real topic of discussion, the MMR vaccine, since it never contained thimerosal at all.

    By the way, cooler, you haven’t had anything to say about the people who think that the MMR vaccine caused autism. Are they wrong, since it didn’t have mercury? Or do you think that everything in vaccines causes autism?

  43. #43 cooler
    September 9, 2008

    This might be true, that I made a mistake and the study looked at not the entire population and just those in the Age bands, but it is very strange that they don’t show the actual Data from year to year, the hard numbers of Autism cases each year, and their hard numbers of the populations they are studying (too see if it increased etc.) Rendering the entire study useless, how many times does the study say “Data not shown?”

    I dont have access to the other studies, but if they fail to show the hard numbers and hard numbers of the populations they are studying, leaving the door open for manipulation, error and coverup, then they are just as useless as this study.

  44. #44 cooler
    September 9, 2008

    Anyways, all of this is moot anyways, a Respected reasearcher Dr. Laura Hewitson and her team gave monkeys the same loads of thimerosal infants were exposed to in the early 90’s and they got autism symptoms while the controls didn’t.

    It was a great debate to have with you guys, but this study proves a causal link, that thousands of kids were brian damaged by autism!

    Dr. Laura hewitson from the University of Pitsburgh and several other scientists injected monkeys with the Thimerosal laced vaccine load given to kids in the mid 90’s and the monkeys developed signs of autism and GI damgage while the controls didn’t.

    It’s over, this proves causality, we have won the debate!

    And here are her findings that prove a causal link.
    http://autism-prevention.blogspot.com/2008/05/sick-monkeys-research-links-vaccine.html

  45. #45 cooler
    September 9, 2008

    Brain damaged by Thimerosal I meant to say.

  46. #46 cooler
    September 9, 2008

    Jesus, even more evidence, Dr. Mark Geier explains how autistic kids are mercury poisoined based on urine tests that have been around since the 60’s and at every lab, while unautistic kids are not mercury poisoned.

    His peer reviewed paper
    http://www.progressiveconvergence.com/Porphyrins%20in%20Autistic%20Disorders1.pdf

  47. #47 cooler
    September 9, 2008

    Here is a speech Dr. Geier gave on how obvious the mercury poisoning is based on these well accepted urine tests, its 5 minutes long, but he explains the truth, it’s much easier to CDC futz epidemilogical studies than toxicology studies.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDY7mst7ytg

  48. #48 trrll
    September 9, 2008

    Anyways, all of this is moot anyways, a Respected reasearcher Dr. Laura Hewitson and her team gave monkeys the same loads of thimerosal infants were exposed to in the early 90’s and they got autism symptoms while the controls didn’t.

    This is really stupid. Autism is specifically a disease that is defined in terms of human communication and relationships. There is simply no way to recognize autism in a monkey, if such a thing even exists. I’d be amazed if a paper that made such a claim were to pass peer review in a reputable journal. The link you cited is not to a journal but to a column by the notoriously unreliable Dan Olmstead. Can you provide a link to a peer-reviewed journal?

    Jesus, even more evidence, Dr. Mark Geier explains how autistic kids are mercury poisoined based on urine tests that have been around since the 60’s and at every lab, while unautistic kids are not mercury poisoned.

    You can tell that somebody is getting desperate when they are reduced to citing the Geiers, who are notorious for misrepresenting themselves and their results. As far as I know, none of their claims have been replicated by any reputable laboratory.

    By the way, cooler, what do you think of the Generation Rescue survey that found that unvaccinated girls with autistic siblings were 15 times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than girls in the general population–and three times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than if they are vaccinated. How does that fit in with your mercury/vaccination notion?

    Is Generation Rescue in the pay of the evil vaccine makers, do you think?

  49. #49 BioinfoTools
    September 9, 2008

    Having made a gaffe cooler makes a non-excuse, then moves off to other things. What’s wrong with just saying that you stand corrected and that the paper is OK?

    In my experience before criticising something, its a good idea to learn how it works first. Or if you don’t know how it works, recognise that and ask. After all, you can’t really criticise something you don’t understand.

    “Data not shown” does not mean the data not available from the authors, nor that they are “hiding” it, it just means that its not in the paper. Journals have limits on the size of a paper and publishing costs quite a bit, often with fees per figure or table included in the paper. Background information that doesn’t directly impact on the results is routinely left out: people who need it are expected to ask the authors.

    Writing a paper that included every data table, etc. used in the work would result in papers the size of a Masters’ thesis, cost something unbelievable and essentially be too much effort to read. The real, practical world uses real, practical solutions :-)

    Modern journals now in supplementary information on-line, which helps to overcome some of these issues, for what its worth.

    In any event, the way they have presented the data (rates per age group) is sensible and the total populations aren’t needed to make their argument from what I’ve seen so far.

    I’d suspect the thinking goes something like this: readers don’t need to know the total population to draw the conclusions if the rates of autism in each age group are given (rates being relative values, e.g. “per 10,000″ values, not “per total”). Since the total population isn’t information that would add to the argument, as its the rates of autism that matter, there is no need to include these figures.

    (To present the results in the manner that your post implied, i.e. per total population, would not be useful as the comparison from year to year wouldn’t be of directly comparable values. Using rates per age group avoids this.)

  50. #50 cooler
    September 9, 2008

    Ttrrl,
    What the hell, people having being using animals as models for disease and safety for years, including neurological diseases.

    Yes animals exhibit symptoms of brain damage and those symptoms have clinical significance, hell if I wanted to prove Alcohol caused changes in Behavior, I could get Scruffy the dog Drunk and he would have observable differences in behavior, proving Alcohol is an intoxicant. One can do the same with mercury.

    Bioinfotools,
    The only gaffe that is being made is by you and your pals, using studies conducted in Europe where the Autism cases were very low before and after Thimerosal, because they were never poisoned with the insane Vaccine schedule of the 90’s that was uniquely American.

    Keep ignoring the toxicological evidence, the higher amounts of Mercury in autistic people’s urine, and the respective brain damage monkeys recieve when given the 1994 vaccine schedule.

  51. #51 BioinfoTools
    September 9, 2008

    State-wide, etc., vaccine schedules are not “uniquely American” (your words). Try checking euvac.net. (e.g. Denmark has had the two-does MMR vaccine on schedule since the late 1980s.)

    MMR never had thimerosal as EpiWonk reminded people earlier: thimerosal has nothing to do with Tara’s article.

  52. #52 BiointoTools
    September 9, 2008

    Whoops. two-dose, not two-does: classical inversion error…!

  53. #53 trrll
    September 9, 2008

    I dont have access to the other studies, but if they fail to show the hard numbers and hard numbers of the populations they are studying, leaving the door open for manipulation, error and coverup, then they are just as useless as this study.

    cooler’s apparent conviction that numbers are somehow “harder” and less “open for manipulation, error and coverup” than data presented graphically or described in words would strike me as charmingly naive if I thought that he was sincere, but I know that for the crank, no evidence is ever strong enough if it goes against his obsession–and no “evidence” is too weak if it appears to support it.

    So he rejects the Danish result, even though it has been replicated in two other peer reviewed studies of autism in Sweden and the US, on the grounds that there aren’t (or at least he thinks there might not be) enough “hard numbers,” yet he is willing to believe, based upon a second-hand account–with no numbers at all–of a non-peer-reviewed, non-replicated study, that it is somehow possible to identify autism in a monkey.

    When it comes to the Danish researchers, he hints that they could be risking their careers by falsely describing public statistics–not for personal profit, but merely to protect the Danish government from possible embarrassment over something that happened a decade before. Yet he then turns around and embraces as definitive a never-replicated study by Mark Geier, who has made over $100,000 testifying for the plaintiffs in vaccine-injury cases, and even more money from insurance reimbursement for dubious “treatments” based on the mercury hypothesis.

  54. #54 eddie
    September 9, 2008

    That autism from vaccines thing is old hat now. The latest craze is coloured light pollution in the water supply;

    http://www.aboyandhiscomputer.com/show.php?ItemID=3872

  55. #55 trrll
    September 10, 2008

    What the hell, people having being using animals as models for disease and safety for years, including neurological diseases.

    In reality, one of the major factors limiting progress on treatment of neurological disease is the absence of good animal models. There are no well-validated animal models for schizophrenia, ADHD, or autism. Animal models of neurological disease have been successfully constructed only when there is clear histolopathology or a known genetic cause. For example, Parkinson’s disease is a consequence of death of dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra, so chemical toxins that specifically kill these cells can be used to simulate the disease, with validity demonstrated both by reproducing the cellular loss and the movement abnormalities associated with the disease. Huntington’s disease is associated with expanded glutamine repeats in the huntingtin protein, and expression of the human mutant huntingtin gene in a mouse reproduces movement disorders associated with the disease. A number of human mutations are known to produce Alzheimer’s Disease, and expression of the mutant proteins in mice can reproduce histological features of the disease.

    In some cases, there are behavioral models that have been useful in identify drugs that are helpful in human disorders. For example, there is an animal model called “learned helplessness” that has been useful in identifying drugs with antidepressant activity, but it is not considered to be an actual model of depression.

    Some mouse models have been developed that reproduce the genetic defects that have been found to be associated with some cases of autism or with other ASDs such as Rett syndrome or Fragile X. I think the jury is still out as to whether these can really be regarded as models of autism and whether they are relevant to cases of autism that are not due to these specific mutations.

  56. #56 cooler
    September 11, 2008

    Keep on burying yourself, Tara included, telling people that injecting infants with hundereds of times the EPA’s safe limit of mercury is good for you and prevents Autism(this is what ttrl says)

    Keep in mind the general public is buying your garbage and according to a poll on Larry king almost 90% of people think you guys are full of it on this issue, not only do we have popular support, we also have the scientific evidence, the animal models and the urine tests, that have been replicated if you bothered reading the study, that prove autistic kids are mercury poisoned.

    You guys have nothing, a bunch of studies from Europe that prove nothing because they never recieved the vaccine load Americans did, and all that leaves you with is the California Study that just came out.

    Guess what? Since there never was a recall on mercury vaccines, there is no telling how many thimerosal laced vaccines were still given, several people have reported that even up to 2004-2005 they asked they read the labels and the vaccines still were being used (of course, they were never recalled, so naturally they would be.)

    It is very enjoyable to see you people make buffoons of yourself and lose all trust from the public on this issue, keep burying yourselves, its really funny!

    Hey, im not one to say that there is a 100% chance that vaccines cause Autism, but I’m smart enough to take precautions and not molest infants with my unproven theory and use them as guinea pigs. It’s pretty laughable to see how sure you are of yourselves………..like I said keep burying yourselves. This debate is getting too boring for me anyways.

  57. #57 trrll
    September 11, 2008

    Keep on burying yourself, Tara included, telling people that injecting infants with hundereds of times the EPA’s safe limit of mercury is good for you and prevents Autism(this is what ttrl says)

    “Safe limits” are calculated based upon the assumption of continuous intake–they do not apply to individual doses.

    You guys have nothing, a bunch of studies from Europe that prove nothing because they never recieved the vaccine load Americans did, and all that leaves you with is the California Study that just came out.

    Guess what? Since there never was a recall on mercury vaccines, there is no telling how many thimerosal laced vaccines were still given, several people have reported that even up to 2004-2005 they asked they read the labels and the vaccines still were being used (of course, they were never recalled, so naturally they would be.)

    I suspect that you don’t even realized how much you are contradicting yourself here. Even without a recall, many patients are going to be receiving the fresh vaccine, so fewer people are going to be exposed to less mercury. One of the key criteria for a genuine toxic effect is that it must obey a dose-effect relationship: less mercury, less effect. Indeed, you have appealed to this very principle to explain away the the European results, arguing that mercury exposure just a bit less than what Americans were getting prior to the discontinuation of thimerosal was not enough to cause autism. But with thimerosal vaccine no longer being manufactured, fewer people should have been exposed to lower doses of thimerosal. Based upon the same principle of dose-dependent effect that you yourself appealed to, this should have resulted in a massive decrease in autism. Only it didn’t. How do you explain that?

    And while we are on the subject of questions you don’t seem to be able to answer, here are some more that you keep evading:

    What do you think of the Generation Rescue survey that found that unvaccinated girls with autistic siblings were 15 times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than girls in the general population–and three times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than if they are vaccinated. How does that fit in with your mercury/vaccination notion?

    You have suggested that because one of the Danish researchers worked for the branch of the Danish government in charge of vaccines, that the results might have been subject to “manipulation” and “coverup.” Now that you know that Dr. Mark Geier has been making big bucks from his mercury/autism business, do you think that his results also were likely subject to manipulation and coverup?

    Are the people who think the MMR vaccine caused their children’s autism wrong, since MMR never had mercury? Or do you think that everything in vaccines causes autism?

  58. #58 cooler
    September 13, 2008

    Growing desperate, you now cling to one study published California……of course like before, this study is useless because it does not specifically say how much Thimerosal was injected into the kids.

    For all we know the children could have gotten the same thimerosal as before because there was never any recall, because there was no law banning Thimerosal until 2006, and there isn’t even a clear date when Thimerosal was removed, the IOM reccomended Drug companies stop making it in late 2001, did anyone bother to check?

    It wouldn’t be suprising if Doctors used older vaccines with earlier expiration dates that contained thimerosal much more often simply to not let them go to waste, while using newer supplies later, if there were really any significant amount of newer thimerosal free vaccines used in clinical practice.

    Again there is no study of an audit of say 10 doctors offices in 2002, 2003, 2004 etc to check the ratio of Thimerosal containing and Thimerosal Free vaccines being administred.

    Add to that the thimerosal containing flu vaccine was added for pregnant women further increasing the load.

    Unless you can supply me with the data of exactly how much thimerosal each child in this study took, then it’s useless, and relies on amibigious data taken on faith.

    Also, the Epa does set daily limits on mercury intake, which the infants in the early 90’s got hundereds of times in excess of, of course the CDC justified this by saying if you divided it over 6 months it would be close to the normal intake, well then Using that logic its ok to take all your Valium in one day, all 3000 mg because over 6 months it will average to the normal daily dose.

    No wonder you guys are being laughed at according to polls. Again I’m not sure if there is a link, but keep burying yourself by saying mercury is good for you and prevents autism.

    Whats next, Tobacco prevents Cancer? Banging your head against the wall cures Brain Damage? LOL

  59. #59 Theron
    September 13, 2008

    What amazes me is that there are people who actually believe that thousands, if not tens of thousands, of scientists and doctors around the world are actively engaged in a giant conspiracy to HIDE THE TRUTH. Oh please. Have any of these anti-vaxxers ever met actual, real live human beings? You know, the kind that can’t keep secrets, the kind whose careers would be made if they could actually prove that vaccines were the cause of autism? Conspiracy theorists drive me nuts. They act like they come from another planet – I wish they really did.

  60. #60 trrll
    September 14, 2008

    For all we know the children could have gotten the same thimerosal as before because there was never any recall, because there was no law banning Thimerosal until 2006, and there isn’t even a clear date when Thimerosal was removed, the IOM reccomended Drug companies stop making it in late 2001, did anyone bother to check?

    So to explain the fact that elimination of thimerosal from vaccines in California (just like in Denmark & Sweden) had failed to reduce incidence of autism, you are assuming that nobody received the new vaccines without thimerosal? All doctors used old vaccines (it has to be all because if even some doctors used new vaccine, then their patients should be Do you seriously believe that is remotely plausible? And you’ve already argued that the slightly lower thimerosal exposure in Sweden was sufficient to prevent thimerosal from causing autism, so it based on your own argument that it wouldn’t take much–even a small reduction in the amount of thimerosal (so that it was comparable to the amount in Denmark) should completely eliminate the risk. So even if some doctors used a little bit of the new vaccine, the rate of autism should have dropped. So why didn’t it?

    Unless you can supply me with the data of exactly how much thimerosal each child in this study took, then it’s useless, and relies on amibigious data taken on faith.

    Unless you can supply me with unambiguous data showing that no doctors used the new vaccines, your argument is entirely based on faith.

    Add to that the thimerosal containing flu vaccine was added for pregnant women further increasing the load.

    Flu vaccine has been used for many years. Not everybody gets the flu vaccine, and many doctors do not administer the flu vaccine in pregnancy. So even if you shift to blaming maternal vaccination, there would still be a big reduction in the number of children being exposed to thimerosal, which should translate into fewer cases of autism. Only there were more cases, not fewer.

    Also, the Epa does set daily limits on mercury intake, which the infants in the early 90’s got hundereds of times in excess of

    A daily limit is an exposure that is so tiny that it is safe to receive on a daily basis. That’s why it is called a “daily” limit. So that might be relevant if the kids were getting vaccine injections every single day. Only they weren’t.

    And let me once again remind you of the questions that you are still evading:

    What do you think of the Generation Rescue survey that found that unvaccinated girls with autistic siblings were 15 times (!) more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than girls in the general population–and three times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than if they are vaccinated. How does that fit in with your mercury/vaccination notion?

    You have suggested that because one of the Danish researchers worked for the branch of the Danish government in charge of vaccines, that the results might have been subject to “manipulation” and “coverup.” Now that you know that Dr. Mark Geier has been making big bucks from his mercury/autism business, do you think that his results also were likely subject to manipulation and coverup?

    Are the people who think the MMR vaccine caused their children’s autism wrong, since MMR never had mercury? Or do you think that everything in vaccines causes autism?

  61. #61 DT
    September 19, 2008

    Trrll, the deafening silence demonstrates there are no credible answers to your questions. The antivaxers have melted away before your onslaught of common sense, logic and evidence, and will no doubt reappear elsewhere until their moles are whacked senseless again.

  62. #62 cooler
    September 19, 2008

    There is no deafening silence, I just chose to end the debate because it pointless debating people that ignore evidence, the monkeys that that Lewitson et al inoculated with the same and Thimerosal load at the same intervals and that developed brain damage while the controls didn’t.

    The urinary porphyrin test thats been around for decades that proves autistic kids are mercury poisoned, while controls are not. This study has been repilicated by Nataf et al.

    All you do is cling to one study that doesn’t even show the data, because there is no telling the difference between Thimerosal free and Thimerosal containing administered between 2002-2005, got a random sample that checks this ratio from the Doctor’s offices in California? Of course not because there never was a recall, or enforcement of the CDC’s reccomendation in 2002.

    A study that doesn’t disclose it’s data is useless. As for conflicts of interests, what about Offit, the vaccine peddler, or Fombonne, the expert witness?

    Do you realize this is why the public at large is laughing at you people according to polls?

    Do you realize this is why I didn’t respond to your weak arguments for so long, not because I was blown away by your fallacies, but because I have better things to do than argue with cranks.

  63. #63 trrll
    September 20, 2008

    The urinary porphyrin test thats been around for decades that proves autistic kids are mercury poisoned, while controls are not.

    And who told you this, Mark Geier? Let me remind you of one of the questions that you have still failed to answer: Now that you know that Dr. Mark Geier has been making big bucks from his mercury/autism business, do you think that his results also were likely subject to manipulation and coverup? As it happens, the “evidence” that porphyrins are elevated in autism comes from papers by Dr. Geier, who has patented this test and stands to make substantial profits if it comes into common use. That’s quite a conflict of interest, wouldn’t you say?

    By the way, porphyrins aren’t mercury. In fact, elevation of porphyrins isn’t even particularly specific to mercury–it is seen in a variety of genetic and toxic conditions.

    All you do is cling to one study that doesn’t even show the data

    There are three studies, and all of them show the data in one form or another. The Danish study shows it in chart form.

    Do you realize this is why the public at large is laughing at you people according to polls?

    Perhaps we should take a poll to determine the value of pi….

    A study that doesn’t disclose it’s data is useless. As for conflicts of interests, what about Offit, the vaccine peddler, or Fombonne, the expert witness?

    Yet despite your avowed concern for conflicts of interest, you take at face values the claims of Mark Geier, who has made huge sums of money testifying in autism lawsuits, who collects medicare reimbursement for medically and ethically questionable treatments for autism, and who stands to make big profits if his patented porphyrin test is adopted. Doesn’t this seem a bit inconsistent to you?

    And let me remind you again of the other questions you are still evading:

    What do you think of the Generation Rescue survey that found that unvaccinated girls with autistic siblings were 15 times (!) more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than girls in the general population–and three times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than vaccinated girls with autistic siblings. How does that fit in with your mercury/vaccination notion?

    Are the people who think the MMR vaccine caused their children’s autism wrong, since MMR never had mercury? Or do you think that everything in vaccines causes autism?

  64. #64 DT
    September 22, 2008

    Cooler:

    “I have better things to do than argue with cranks.”

    Oh…..! The delicious irony…..
    Cooler, I have read your whackjob ideas here on just about every ridiculous conspiracy it is possible for someone to buy into – 9/11, vaccines, germ denial, HIV denial, conspiracy theories, mycoplasmas, global warming, big pharma etc. You have really made my day with that one little phrase – I haven’t laughed so much in weeks.

  65. #65 cooler
    September 23, 2008

    Porphyrinuria in childhood autistic disorder: implications for environmental toxicity.Nataf R, Skorupka C, Amet L, Lam A, Springbett A, Lathe R.
    Laboratoire Philippe Auguste, Paris, France.

    To address a possible environmental contribution to autism, we carried out a retrospective study on urinary porphyrin levels, a biomarker of environmental toxicity, in 269 children with neurodevelopmental and related disorders referred to a Paris clinic (2002-2004), including 106 with autistic disorder. Urinary porphyrin levels determined by high-performance liquid chromatography were compared between diagnostic groups including internal and external control groups. Coproporphyrin levels were elevated in children with autistic disorder relative to control groups.

    Elevation was maintained on normalization for age or to a control heme pathway metabolite (uroporphyrin) in the same samples. The elevation was significant (P < 0.001). Porphyrin levels were unchanged in Asperger’s disorder, distinguishing it from autistic disorder.

    The atypical molecule precoproporphyrin, a specific indicator of heavy metal toxicity, was also elevated in autistic disorder (P < 0.001) but not significantly in Asperger’s.

    A subgroup with autistic disorder was treated with oral dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) with a view to heavy metal removal. Following DMSA there was a significant (P = 0.002) drop in urinary porphyrin excretion. These data implicate environmental toxicity in childhood autistic disorder.

    PMID: 16782144 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    This study proves the abnormal values went away after chelation, and also specific subsets of values specific to mercury toxicity were elevated, nice try guys, but this study seals the deal on mercury denialists.

  66. #66 cooler
    September 23, 2008

    For some reason it wont print all of the abstract properly, so here is the entire study

    http://www.generationrescue.org/pdf/porphyrinuria.pdf

  67. #67 cooler
    September 23, 2008

    Jeez group of Australian researchers just replicated all these results!

    An Investigation of Porphyrinuria in Australian Children with Autism
    Authors: David W. Austin a; Kerrie Shandley a
    Affiliation: a Swinburne Autism Bio-Research Initiative (SABRI), Faculty of Life and Social Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

    DOI: 10.1080/15287390802271723
    Publication Frequency: 24 issues per year
    Published in: Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A, Volume 71, Issue 20 January 2008 , pages 1349 – 1351
    Subjects: Environmental & Ecological Toxicology; Environmental Health;
    Formats available: HTML (English) : PDF (English)
    Article Requests: Order Reprints : Request Permissions

    Abstract
    Two recent studies, from France (Nataf et al., 2006) and the United States (Geier & Geier, 2007), identified atypical urinary porphyrin profiles in children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These profiles serve as an indirect measure of environmental toxicity generally, and mercury (Hg) toxicity specifically, with the latter being a variable proposed as a causal mechanism of ASD (Bernard et al., 2001; Mutter et al., 2005). To examine whether this phenomenon occurred in a sample of Australian children with ASD, an analysis of urinary porphyrin profiles was conducted. A consistent trend in abnormal porphyrin levels was evidenced when data was compared with those previously reported in the literature. The results are suggestive of environmental toxic exposure impairing heme synthesis. Three independent studies from three continents have now demonstrated that porphyrinuria is concomitant with ASD, and that Hg may be a likely xenobiotic to produce porphyrin profiles of this nature.
    view references (22)

  68. #68 Pharfel
    September 24, 2008

    I’m not a scientist, however i see there is two camps at play here -the ‘it’s O.K. to use thimerisol in your sensitive human body types/ it shouldn’t cause any side effects, even though we’re all warned never to touch a broken thermometor (due to skin contact poisonings).

    Versus
    The it’s only logical not to include lead poison(-oops, MERCURY POISON) in any amount regardless of the supposed ‘need’ by BIG PHARMA’S to increase audacious shelf life for toxic dead vaccines.

  69. #69 Heraclides
    September 24, 2008

    Cooler,

    Both the studies you cite apparently have issues, to be polite.

    The first is published by DAN! proponents and I’ve read elsewhere that apparently that one of the authors has admitted it has limited value. (At least that author is honest about that.)

    The second has a bizarre issue: it has no local control set! Instead populations studied elsewhere have been used as controls, in particular including studies from the Geiers. I haven’t time to look into the details (that’s your job anyway really), but I’d point out that using data from discredited studies as controls, would also discredit their own study. Its a very odd thing regardless because it would mean that their study isn’t really an independent study.

  70. #70 cooler
    September 25, 2008

    There are 3 studies, all published in peer reviewed journals, that all show a specific pattern of abnormlities seen in mercury poisoning.

    A scientist named Dr. James Woods found a specific pattern of mercury poisoning that he published on years ago. This was present in 3 studies, and not in controls.

    You guys are suddenly so worried about conflicts of interest? 2 of the studies had no conflicts of interest, that leaves you with The Geier study, but if you throw out that study than you have to throw out Gallo’s original papers on HIV( because he made millions on the tests) and The original papers that were provided by the company Chiron that failed all of Kochs postulates that were said to prove Hepatitis C’s pathogenicity, because they made millions of their hypothesis.

    Can you see the hypocrisy here?

  71. #71 Heraclides
    September 25, 2008

    cooler,

    You have avoided what I wrote. If these papers lean on the Geier and other discredited works then, they get the same rub. That’s discredited on the basis of their science not “conflicts of interest”: you’re evoking conspiracy theories or a cop-out to avoid my point.

    Yes I can see hypocrisy: your’s ;-)

  72. #72 cooler
    September 25, 2008

    The Geier study and the Nataf et al study all use original data, The Latest study from Australia used controls as values from four seperate sources.

    “the authors compared the levels of porphyrins of the Australian sample with the control samples (typically developing kids) used by the two previous studies as well as to ‘normative’ laboratory ranges obtained from a French laboratory and the normative ranges published in a 1996 European study (Minder and Schneider-Yin, 1996).”

    I don’t see a problem with the data from any of the three studies, I’m sure if they showed no correlation Mercury Denialists would tout these studies Ad Nauseum.

  73. #73 Heraclides
    September 25, 2008

    You’re still side-stepping my point. You’re just digging yourself into a hole.

  74. #74 trrll
    September 27, 2008

    This study proves the abnormal values went away after chelation, and also specific subsets of values specific to mercury toxicity were elevated, nice try guys, but this study seals the deal on mercury denialists

    Rationalizing is a bit like lying–it is easy to paint yourself into a corner. The problem, of course, is that rational thought needs to be consistent–you aren’t allowed to seize onto an explanation when it supports what you want to believe, but reject it when it is not.

    To deal with the fact that autism rates did not decline when thimerosal was eliminated in Denmark, you offered the following explanation:

    kids here received much more thimerosal than the Danish kids ever recieved

    OK, so maybe the amount of thimerosal given to kids in Denmark was not enough to cause autism. But if you are going to offer that as an explanation, you are stuck with it. Unfortunately, that gives you a big problem if you want to claim that the French study “seals the deal.” You see, France never used much thimerosal at all–the maximum exposure that a child could have received is 25 ug. This is one-fifth of the thimerosal that kids received in Denmark before thimerosal was eliminated.

    So if you are going to be rational and consistent, you are left with only a few possibilities.

    1) Porphyrins are not mercury. So increase in porphyrins in the autistic population could be real, but be a consequence of autism itself, and have nothing to do with thimerosal. This is of course quite plausible. There is strong evidence that autism is mostly, perhaps entirely, genetic, and there are known genetic conditions that can lead to increased urinary porphyrins. For example, porphyrins are increased in GI disorders, which are more common in the autistic population. There are also drugs and toxic agents other than mercury that can increase porphyrins.

    2) The French investigators made some sort of methodological or statistical error. Low levels of porphyrins are difficult to measure accurately. Or they could have just been unlucky (statistically, there is a chance that even a “statistically significant” result is wrong, and they only had 12 control subjects, which is small for a study of this kind), and porphyrins are not actually increased in the autistic population.

    You guys are suddenly so worried about conflicts of interest?

    You are the one who brought up conflicts of interest, arguing that the Danish study “lacks credibility” because one of the authors worked for the Danish equivalent of the CDC, and that the results therefore might have been subject to “manipulation” and “coverup” (even though there is no financial impact, since the Danish government is immune from liability, and they eliminated thimerosal over a decade previously). So we are exploring whether you are willing to be consistent in judging the impact of conflicts of interest: Now that you know that Mark Geier has been making big bucks from his mercury/autism business, and stands to make substantial profits if his patented porphyrin test comes into common use, do you think that his results too are likely subject to “manipulation?”

    And let me remind you again of the other questions that you keep evading:

    What do you think of the Generation Rescue survey that found that unvaccinated girls with autistic siblings were 15 times (!) more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than girls in the general population–and three times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than vaccinated girls with autistic siblings. How does that fit in with your mercury/vaccination notion?

    Are the people who think the MMR vaccine caused their children’s autism wrong, since MMR never had mercury? Or do you think that everything in vaccines causes autism?

  75. #75 cooler
    September 29, 2008

    Denialism and woo together….. This has nothing to do with the evidence, it has to do with certain people’s OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY. It’s a sociological phenomona, not a scientific one.

    Could a rational person ever convince a die hard Bush sycophant that their weren’t WMD’s in Iraq? Some people are obsequios to different authorities, for the hillbilly sector of society it’s the Bush administration, for many of Seed’s science regulars it’s the CDC.

    Anyways, first you said the Geier study hasn’t been replicated, now that I showed you it was replicated twice you further extend the goalpoasts.

    The Nataf et al study used chelation, and the abnormal values went down markedly afterwards, proving they were not genetic in nature, but the result of heavy metals. Also specific markers of mercury posioning were elevated

    “The most prominent targets for heavymetal inhibition are the uroporphyrin decarboxylase (UROD)(Woods and Kardish, 1983) and coproporphyrinogen oxidase(CPOX) (Woods et al., 2005) reactions (Fig. 1), resulting inspecific elevations of coproporphyrin and pentacarboxypor-phyrin in urine. A causal relationship between heavy metal in-hibition and porphyrinuria has been demonstrated: both in ratsexposed to mercury (Pingree et al., 2001) and in humans exposedto lead (Rosen and Markowitz, 1993) heavy metal removal withchelating agents (dimercapto-propanesulfonic acid, DMPS, andethylenediamine tetraacetic acid, EDTA, respectively) reducedurinary porphyrin levels towards control values. Although non-metal agents targeting the heme pathway can also elevate urinaryporphyrin levels (Daniell et al., 1997), precoproporphyrin (alsoknown as keto-isocoproporphyrin) is produced by in vivo con-version of pentacarboxyporphyrinogen under pressure of heavymetal interference (Woods et al., 2005; Heyer et al., 2006), pro-viding a specific porphyrin marker of heavy metal (particularlymercury) toxicity”

    ” In contrast, there was strong evi-dence of COPRO excess in two disorders (autism and the separatecategory of autism + epilepsy), where the means of COPRO levelsexceeded the control group mean value plus twice the standarddeviation (Fig. 2). The extent of the rise (mean increase 2.6-foldfor COPRO) was comparable to the rise seen in arsenic (1.9-fold)and mercury (3.2-fold) exposure”

    Oh and you lied again, they did use an external control group of 107 people along with their internal control group.

    As far as your obsession with the Danish study and what I stated about it, there are 2 possibilities, one they were never exposed to the toxic doses of mercury here, or 2) they were damaged by Thimerosal, but it couldn’t be picked up by an epidemilogical study, simply because epidemilogical studies are very difficult in determining rare enviromentally induced events. There were only 956 cases of autism in a 29 year period!

    To figure out what happened to these people they need to rely on more direct methods, Toxilogical etc, like animal models and urinary tests, thats been done, and proved a link.

    If there were 956 cases of “Second hand smoke” induced cancers in the past 30 years, it would be difficult to prove this in an epidemilogical study, and much more easier by using animal models and examining the patients for specific signs of tobacco poisoning.

    And Finally, you harping about the generation rescue study, I have not read it yet, but you guys have thrown out that study because it could have alot of bias, I agree, and a properly designed study on unvaccinated populations needs to be taken on to see if Autism exists there.

  76. #76 cooler
    September 30, 2008

    “Do I expect these negative results to make a damn bit of difference with the Jenny McCarthy crowd?”

    This is really funny. It shouldn’t make any difference with the Jenny Mcarthy crowd, since this study wasn’t even designed to test the Thimerosal causes autism hypothesis. It was designed to test if the live virus in the Thimerosal free MMR vaccine causes autism.

    How unscientific is it to draw conclusions that were never even intended by the authors?

    On an even greater note of Irony, Tara uses this study to debunk the Thimerosal causes Autism link when it wasn’t designed to test that, and furthermore more one of this studies main authors is Mady Hornig, who beleives there is a link between Thimerosal and Autism!

    From Mady Hornig’s wiki bio!

    “In the 1990s, Hornig helped to develop an infection-based model of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism, based on neonatal rat infection with Borna disease virus.[1] In a 2004 study, Hornig and her coworkers took different strains of mice, one strain predisposed to autoimmune disorders, and exposed them to ethylmercury-preserved vaccines — at the approximate schedule children were receiving around 1990. Two of the three mouse strains suffered no harm, but the autoimmune-sensitive strain developed signs consistent with autism. The onset of behavioral and brain abnormalities was associated with the appearance of autoreactive antibody deposits in the brains of the sensitive mice.[2]”

    “According to Hornig, certain genetic markers may indicate children could be at increased risk for neurological impairment from mercury toxicity.[5″

    Tara, why are you misrepresenting what the authors conclusions are?

  77. #77 cooler
    September 30, 2008

    Mady Hornig, Thomas Briese, Timothy Buie, Margaret L. Bauman, Gregory Lauwers, Ulrike Siemetzki, Kimberly Hummel, Paul A. Rota, William J. Bellini, John J. O’Leary, Orla Sheils, Errol Alden, Larry Pickering, W. Ian Lipkin, Mark R. Cookson (2008). Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study PLoS ONE, 3 (9) DOI

    These are the authors of this MMR study that is what we are discussing, note the first author is Mady Hornig!

  78. #78 Tara C. Smith
    September 30, 2008

    How do you figure I’m misrepresenting anything? I didn’t even mention thimerosal in the post, and the Jenny McCarthyites are certainly against more than just thimerosal.

  79. #79 trrll
    October 2, 2008

    Anyways, first you said the Geier study hasn’t been replicated, now that I showed you it was replicated twice you further extend the goalpoasts.

    This is not a replication, since the study was done in a country where thimerosal exposure was much, much lower–too low, by your own argument–to affect incidence of autism. So this is evidence against, not for, your thimerosal hypothesis. Indeed, the authors don’t even mention thimerosal as a possibility, probably realizing that the idea of significant mercury exposure from thimerosal in France is ridiculous.

    If you actually look at their data, you see that the great majority of their autistic patients had porphyrin levels in the same range as controls, and that the higher averages are due to a small number of cases with higher levels. So IF the increase in porphyrins is due to toxic exposure, a plausible explanation is a few autistic kids with pica–a behavior frequently observed in autistic children in which the child eats dirt and other inappropriate things, likely to increase risk of exposure to lead and other environmental contaminants.

    Oh and you lied again, they did use an external control group of 107 people along with their internal control group.

    A valid control must be taken from the same population as your experimental group and analyzed in parallel. So their external “control” (children in Switzerland) does not qualify. Their genuine control group was 12.

    As far as your obsession with the Danish study and what I stated about it, there are 2 possibilities, one they were never exposed to the toxic doses of mercury here, or 2) they were damaged by Thimerosal, but it couldn’t be picked up by an epidemilogical study, simply because epidemilogical studies are very difficult in determining rare enviromentally induced events.

    So what you are arguing is that thimerosal induced autism is rare–too rare for it to have any impact on autism rates (i.e. the great majority of autism cases have nothing to do with thimerosal). But if it is that rare in Denmark, then wouldn’t it be much rarer in France, where usage of thimerosal was much less?

    To figure out what happened to these people they need to rely on more direct methods, Toxilogical etc, like animal models and urinary tests, thats been done, and proved a link.

    You can’t study autism in animals because there is not way to identify an autistic animal, if such a thing even exists. And a porphyrin study is not a direct method, because it does not measure mercury levels. Many diseases, genetic conditions, and other toxins can elevate porphyrins.

    If thimerosal plays a non-negligible role in autism, then reducing thimerosal should reduce autism. Yet in 3 out of 3 countries in which that was done, there was no impact on autism incidence.

    If there were 956 cases of “Second hand smoke” induced cancers in the past 30 years, it would be difficult to prove this in an epidemilogical study, and much more easier by using animal models and examining the patients for specific signs of tobacco poisoning.

    In reality, the evidence that convinced public health experts of the dangers of second hand smoke was epidemiological. Nobody exposed to second hand smoke has ever exhibited any symptoms of tobacco poisoning, which is mainly associated with tobacco harvesting or exposure to nicotine-based insecticides. The harmful effects of second hand smoke are not thought to be related to tobacco poisoning.

    And Finally, you harping about the generation rescue study, I have not read it yet, but you guys have thrown out that study because it could have alot of bias, I agree

    So you haven’t bothered to look at it, even though I’ve pointed it out repeatedly. Seems like you aren’t interested in anything that you can’t use to rationalize your preconceived notions. But even though you haven’t looked at it, you “agree” that is has a lot of bias. I find it revealing that you are reject accepted medical consensus when it doesn’t support your obsession, but embrace it, sight unseen, when it provides you with a rationalization to ignore results that challenge your beliefs.

    One certainly must take potential biases into account in evaluating a study. One might reasonably expect that a survey that asks about vaccines and autism would tend to attract responses from people who believe in such a connection, and might therefore overestimate autism rates. And of course, Generation Rescue is known to harbor antivaccination sentiments, so they might handle the data in such a way as to exaggerate an autism-vaccination link. But what sort of bias would be expected to lead to higher risk of autism in unvaccinated siblings of autistic kids? Any suggestions?

  80. #80 cooler
    October 7, 2008

    -the generation rescue study didn’t find a statistically significant difference between vaccinated vs unvaccinated girls, even your debunking link states this, but did for boys.

    -What are you all of sudden, an expert in Primate behavior? Sorry, I’ll side with the 12 scientists who did the study, and I’m sure they have read and have much more experience on the topic than you.

    -Eating dirt? You must be kidding. Thats funny. The poryphrin’s were significantly elevated in 3 studies, and went down with chelation, read the data, for example in the Nataf study Coproporyphrin was double at least. Now your an expert on how Autistics eat dirt, maybe you could write a book called “Autistics love to eat dirt” It will be a bestseller LOL.

    -You’re so worried about controls all of a sudden! Have you ever bothered reading the Durban Declaration where the babble about SIV and Macaque monkeys, read the references, none of the studies they posted had any control animals, so using your standards the Durban declaration should be thrown out, all these studies I posted had internal/external control values.

    -all the studies you cite are epidemiological, there are better ways to detect susceptible populations, in the labratory, Toxiclogical, you guys love epidimiology bc its easy to hide the data and draw some nebulous Graph and make sweeping conclusions like you did in the Danish study.

    -I tried to look for any evidence that French kids were barely exposed to Thimerosal, can’t find it. Nevertheless there are many sources of Mercury, food, Pregnant women who have Dental Amalgams which has been proven to the highest source of mercury exposure today, read Dr. Donald Millers “Mercury on the mind.”
    Thimerosal is just another load of mercury that has a possible contributing factor to Autism and other learning disorders.

  81. #81 ScienceBlogs Admin
    January 14, 2009

    testing

  82. #82 mehmet
    February 5, 2009

    thank you

  83. #84 Lynnredbug
    October 20, 2009

    I’m autistic and proud of it. My autism didn’t come from vaccination, it came from my dad. My paternal grandfather and his brother were never vaccinated and never diagnosed with autistim while they were alive. They both liked to work with things and not people. They made a living being mechanics. They didn’t like talking to people and when they did they looked at the ceiling instead. My two uncles are the same way. My dad isn’t but that’s because he takes after his neurotypical mother. My cousins from my dad’s side are all programmers or accountants, typical geek jobs. My mom’s neurotypical. The cousins from this side are all neurotypical. The vaccination argument is not based on facts but emotions. It ticks me off to no end when the parents try to make their child neurotypical. We will never be neurotypical but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a job and lead a successful life. Let me ask you this, you won’t train a dog the same way you train a cat, right? Because a dog is different from a cat. An autistic child is different from a neurotypical child. Quit blaming anything but your own genes and stop trying to make a dog a cat or vice versa.

  84. #85 Heather Goodman
    June 13, 2011

    My 6 year old son has autism. All of the information I have, shows that mice have a parasitic viruse from mites. This is passed to the family cat. Cats help thin the mice population, and so, are needed. The mites transfer a parasitic virus. This causes blood, brain, and liver harm. Research on.

Current ye@r *