Respectful Insolence

Picking up one’s marbles and going home

One of the greatest gifts anyone can give is to donate his body to science after death. Such anatomic gifts contribute to the training of medical students, residents, and other medical professionals as well as being used for research that can contribute to the advancement of medical science. One of the things that makes an anatomic gift such a profound gift is that the donor usually has little control over what their body or body parts will be used for. There is, thus, more than a little trust in medical science involved in these gifts. When the deceased is a child, the donation of a child’s body or part of a child’s body to medical research is an even more amazingly generous gift. Such donations are precious gifts that are difficult enough to persuade people to give. It doesn’t take much to turn a “yes” answer into a “no.”

That’s why an article by Katie Wright at the anti-vaccine crank blog entitled Courchesne Brain Study Not Worth Sacrificing our Children Further really irritated me. Basically, Wright is saying that she used to think she would donate her child’s body to science if he were ever to die but, because she doesn’t like the result of a study that studied the brains of deceased autistic children and compared them to neurotypical controls, she’s now changed her mind:

If Christian’s deceased body could meaningfully contribute to innovative causation research, it would be very, very hard, but I would say yes and donate his body. If his brain were used to accelerate true progress I think it would be a great tribute to his spirit. I am sure most ASD parents feel the same way.

However the recent Courchesne Study made me change my mind about donating Christian’s brain to science. This study represents my nightmare, the worst-case scenario. Children’s brains have been used for politically driven poor quality science. I would rather Christian be buried with his brain intact than used for such abysmal research.


Why is the research so “abysmal”? Wright, who has no qualifications in science, proclaims it so because the results do not fit with her preconceived belief that vaccines cause autism and that her son Christian’s autism is due to “vaccine injury.” It is, in fact, a study that some of my readers sent to me when it first came out a couple of weeks ago. It just so happened to be around the time I was out of town giving a talk; so somehow it slipped through the cracks, as so many other worthy blogging topics often do because I just can’t blog about everything that is of interest to me. On the other hand, sometimes I’m given a chance to revisit one of these topics when someone like Katie Wright decides to go all full mental jacket on it.

This study was described in news articles that appeared around the time of its release, but, as always, I’ll go to the source, an article in JAMA entitled Neuron Number and Size in Prefrontal Cortex of Children With Autism. The study came out of UCSD and presents some provocative findings. It’s a preliminary study, given that it only examined the brains of 13 children, seven autistic boys and six control boys, but its results are fascinating and, best of all, hypothesis-generating. In brief, the authors obtained these brains from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), University of Maryland Brain and Tissue Bank, the Autism Tissue Program at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center, and the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities. As you might expect, young postmortem cases are scarce and difficult to come by for research, again, pointing to the importance of anatomical donations that Wright characterizes in this case as “sacrificing our children further” over.

Contrary to the way Wright portrays the study, which, if you believe her, was barely different from Young Frankenstein using the brain from Abby Normal, investigators were very careful to try to quantify the number of neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in both autistic and normal brains. The brains were analyzed by expert anatomists who were blinded to the group from which the brain came. The findings were simple:

Children with autism had 67% more neurons in the PFC (mean, 1.94 billion; 95% CI, 1.57-2.31) compared with control children (1.16 billion; 95% CI, 0.90-1.42; P = .002), including 79% more in DL-PFC (1.57 billion; 95% CI, 1.20-1.94 in autism cases vs 0.88 billion; 95% CI, 0.66-1.10 in controls; P = .003) and 29% more in M-PFC (0.36 billion; 95% CI, 0.33-0.40 in autism cases vs 0.28 billion; 95% CI, 0.23-0.34 in controls; P = .009). Brain weight in the autistic cases differed from normative mean weight for age by a mean of 17.6% (95% CI, 10.2%-25.0%; P = .001), while brains in controls differed by a mean of 0.2% (95% CI, −8.7% to 9.1%; P = .96). Plots of counts by weight showed autistic children had both greater total prefrontal neuron counts and brain weight for age than control children.

Leading the authors to conclude:

In this small preliminary study, brain overgrowth in males with autism involved an abnormal excess number of neurons in the PFC.

Again, this was a preliminary study with small numbers, which makes it even more surprising that a significant difference in neuronal counts was found. Considering normal variation among humans and the fact that, given the scarcity of postmortem tissue from children, it’s amazing that the investigators found anything at all. Could it be a spurious result? Sure. That’s why it needs to be confirmed with a bigger study; that is, if a bigger study can even be done. It’s also consistent with other lines of evidence implicating brain overgrowth in certain anatomic structures as being somehow related to the development of autism. What this tells us about the pathophysiology of autism remains to be seen, but it’s an intriguing observation that is likely to spur more research into the neurobiology of autism and autism spectrum disorders.

So what does Wright say about it? She doesn’t like it. Because it isn’t consistent with vaccines as a cause of autism (it being very difficult to imagine a mechanism by which vaccines could increase the number of neurons in such a manner, she’s very, very unhappy and assumes that it must be crap science:

What Couchesne’s study actually tells us is that 6 ASD children had more prefrontal cortex neurons than 7 typical children. There were no aged matched controls! 2 of the 7 “ASD” children did not even have an official ASD diagnosis! 5 of the 7 ASD kids were on anti-psychotic drugs. We have idea how these drugs affect developing brain tissue. 1 of the control children had been taking Concerta and klonopin. Another control had had an organ transplant and was on immunosuppressive drugs for lengthy periods of time. There are only 5 controls not, as far as we know, on various prescription drugs. The fact that this study was actually published only proves how low the bar is for ASD genetic and brain research. There are not enough hours this day to list all the incredible, innovative environmental research studies regularly rejected by autism research journals. A 7-person biomedical study would NEVER be published by JAMA, I promise you.

I’m not sure where Wright got the idea that two of the seven children didn’t have an ASD diagnosis. If I missed it somehow even though I read the whole paper and the online supplement, I’m sure someone will point out my mistake in the comments. The autistic cases were chosen primarily for having a diagnosis of autism, and in the text it reads:

No autism case had a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome or pervasive development disorder-not otherwise specified.

As for the rest of the obfuscation that Wright throws out about antipsychotic drugs is just that: Obfuscation. There is a table in the paper that lists all the cases and controls and describes a bit about their medical background; several of the autistic children were on psychotropic medications, which is not uncommon in children with autism. I rather suspect that when Wright wrote “We have idea how these drugs affect developing brain tissue” that she in fact meant “We have no idea how these drugs affect developing brain tissue.” Assuming that’s what she meant, she’s wrong, of course. We actually have a pretty good idea how many of these drugs affect developing brain tissue. At the very least, as the authors point out, none of these drugs are known to affect the number of neurons in the PFC. In essence, Wright’s complaints are all smoke and mirrors, whines designed to cast doubt on the study. In fact, the only points she makes that are semi-reasonable is that this was a small study (which the authors concede multiple times in the paper, pointing out that it is a preliminary study) and that maybe the criticism that including the child who had had cancer and a multiorgan transplant in the control group might not have been the best choice, given the chemotherapy treatment and immunosuppressive medications the child was on.

Not surprisingly, Wright doesn’t know what she’s talking about. It’s the perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, the arrogance of ignorance, at work. It’s not as though the investigators in this study didn’t go to great lengths to try to control for the other confounding factors that she complains about, namely the lack of age-matched controls. Did she not pay attention to the part of the paper that points out how scarce postmortem brains from children that can be used for this sort of research are? Scientists make due with what they have. Wright is, in essence, intentionally making the perfect the enemy of the good and treating this study as though it were more than a preliminary study. She’s basically criticizing it because it is a preliminary study, even though, once again, the authors say right in the article that it’s a preliminary study.

Perhaps one of the most important implications of this study is mentioned in the discussion, and it’s obvious that this is the real reason Wright hates this study:

Also, prefrontal neuron counts in controls did not vary with age, which is concordant with literature that cortical neurons are generated prenatally, not postnatally.

Or, as this news report quotes Dr. Max Wiznitzer:

But since the excess neurons were found in a part of the brain that develops before a child is born, it points to a prenatal problem playing a role in autism.

“This is not consistent with that claims that heavy metals [from vaccines for example] cause the death of brain cells,” says Wiznitzer, because there are too many brain cells not less.

And that’s exactly why Wright is so upset. This study suggests that, whatever causes autism, it probably happens before birth, not after. If true, that rules out vaccines as a cause. Of course, we already have abundant scientific, clinical, and epidemiological evidence that fails to implicate vaccines as a cause of autism. It’s not as though scientists haven’t looked, either. Multiple large, well-designed studies have failed to find a correlation between vaccine and autism. As hypotheses go, the vaccine-autism hypothesis is as dead as dead can be, at least as dead as the famous parrot in a famous Monty Python sketch. Truly, it’s “pinin’ for the fjords.”

But, of course, to Wright, it’s all a huge conspiracy. Note how she writes that a study this small would never have been published in JAMA. Of course, the wag in me can’t help but note that this study is basically the same size as the infamous 1998 Lancet study published by Andrew Wakefield. One wonders whether Katie thinks that study should ever have been published in The Lancet, which is at least as high an impact a journal as JAMA. After all, the studies were basically the same size; so presumably she thinks that Wakefield’s study was no good either. But wait! I spoke too soon. Wright loves Andrew Wakefield because his “research” (such as it is) supports her pseudoscientific belief that vaccines cause autism. She even called the British General Medical Council investigation that led to Andrew Wakefield having his medical license stripped from him a “crime against humanity.” In other words, if a study with 12 or 13 subjects supports her belief that vaccines cause autism, she has no concern about the number of subjects, even when there is no control group.

I’ll take a moment to educate Wright why this study passed muster for JAMA and a study of “biomedical interventions” with only 13 subjects wouldn’t. It’s because it was incredibly difficult to obtain 13 suitable brains from children to study in this manner. Given the difficulties involved, this study was actually rather large. In the case of “biomedical” treatments, scientists would be looking at living children, meaning that there would be no barrier equivalent to what Courchesne et al faced in doing their study to recruiting a more statistically robust number of subjects.

Never mind that, though. According to Wright, this conspiracy is so pervasive that it prevents any scientist from doing anything other than gene-based research:

Families are frequenting told there isn’t enough research money available to address these issues. But guess what there is plenty of money for? Brain and gene research! These “Autism Centers for Excellence” centers blow almost $17 million a year on redundant brain and gene research. It is estimated that 50% of the ACE budgets go to overheard. There is no consumer oversight or public accountability for the money they spend. The NIH doles of autism research money behind closed dollars and without consumer input (they are under no obligation to follow the IACC recommendations), and guess what they love to fund the most? Brain and gene research.

Maybe, just maybe, the reason that the NIH funds brain and gene research is because that is the sort of research that is most likely to illuminate the biological mechanisms that lead to autism and thus point the way to treatments. The “biomedical” treatments that Wright is so enamored of are, by and large, pure quackery with no randomized clinical trial evidence to support their efficacy, much less even a modicum of biological plausibility.

Much like the notion that vaccines cause autism.

None of this stops commenters from dropping bombs of ignorance like:

The deceptive part of the report was the speculation that the increase in pre-frontal cortex neurons happened in utero. This could only be speculative and was probably intended to absolve post utero toxic exposures (e.g., mercury, which can cause abnormal cell growth in the CNS).

Uh, no. It’s not “speculation.” It’s a conclusion based on the known biology of brain development. The prefrontal cortex is already known to develop before birth. The authors even point out that the number of neurons in the prefrontal cortex was independent of age, consistent with completion of its development before birth. Seriously, these people need to learn a bit of neurobiology and actually think.

Even worse than the unrelenting ignorance on display in the article and in the comments, in the end Wright writes that “this Courchesne study has changed my mind” about donating her son’s brain to science. Because a single study doesn’t show what she wants it to show, she’s changed her mind. As if we’re supposed to be impressed. After all, fortunately the deaths of children are uncommon. Fortunately for both her and her son, it’s highly unlikely that wright will ever be called upon to donate her son’s brain to research, and that’s a good thing. No one wants to see a child die. Even though it’s an empty threat, though, Wright’s attitude is very much akin to that of a child who, if he doesn’t get her way, threatens to take all his marbles and go home. The study didn’t show what she wanted it to show; so Wright “changes her mind” about tissue donation. Even if the study to which she objects were crap, her reaction would be akin to tearing up your organ donation card because an alcoholic got a liver, after which he went back to drinking and destroyed the new liver or because Steve Jobs got a liver for a somewhat dicey indication to treat his cancer and his cancer recurred a year and a half later.

One can only hope that she doesn’t persuade other parents.

Comments

  1. #1 lilady
    November 22, 2011

    I read Wright’s latest rant against scientific research, at AoA. She has gotten a lot more strident…and vicious…as of late, because of her devotion to the junk science theory of vaccine-induce autism.

    You are so right Orac, in your appraisal of her deranged thinking processes. She has some sort of educational background in some basic sciences…I believe she has a degree in psychology or social work. Apparently her minimum science education is overwhelmed by her one-track mind.

    It is nothing short of amazing how “she just knows” that Klonopin was prescribed as an anti-psychotic for one of the children whose brain was studied. Katie is too dumb or too devious to acknowledge that Klonopin was originally developed and prescribed…and continues to be prescribed for treatment of certain seizure disorders.

    Katie is J.B.’s tool against the fine research into the preconception, prenatal causes of autism and the genes mutations that have been identified as causing autism. Those breakthrough research studies are being conducted and funded by Autism Speaks, SFARI, NYS-IBR (Institute for Basic Research) and other groups.

    Her fixation on the funding stream that goes into real research and the activities of the IACC is truly pathological. She frequently composes long screeds about these topics for AoA. She (sadly) holds on to her beliefs that studies of genes and the in utero “environment” are dead end topics. She’d much rather cling to the thoroughly debunked theories of her hero Andy Wakefield that claim that kids are “damaged” by vaccines or by other postnatal environmental toxins.

    Katie, you and your friends at AoA are always welcome to post at RI because Orac doesn’t have the “moderation policy” that exists at AoA. So, why not “join us” in a lively discussion of your “interpretation” of the Courchesne Brain Study and your critique of the study?

    I have a special interest in your discouraging parents of deceased disabled children to make anatomic gifts of their child’s tissue for research and to meet the needs of people who are in desperate need of donor organs and tissues to restore their health. I’d also like to discuss the illustration of the toilet, that is pictured above your article.

  2. #2 Jamie
    November 22, 2011

    This tangentially touches on a topic that you might know the answer to. How DO you leave your body to science?

    I’m transsexual and pretty weird in a few ways, so I doubt my body will be fit for organ donation, a fact that actively bothers me. I grew up with a strong family belief in organ donation, and it was always something I took solace in knowing I would die someday; doing so could save someone else.

    With that gone, I’ve floundered, and a few months ago thought of the leaving to science thing. I doubt they get very many post-op trans bodies to poke around in, and I think it’s something probably well needed if we are ever to start learning WHY trans people are trans, and to better deal with them.

    Having realized it is what I want to do, and knowing full well how sudden and unplanned death is when it comes, I find myself at a loss how to even begin doing this. Organ donation is easy; you tick a box, make sure your family knows, and voila. Being a studied corpse seems a lot less obvious!

    I know this doesn’t directly comment on the idiocy abounding in other people’s views, but hey, maybe I can balance them a little. ;)

  3. #3 Stuartg
    November 22, 2011

    Jamie @2

    I’m unsure how donation occurs anywhere apart from my own country.

    I recommend that you approach your nearest medical school, possibly the Anatomy Department, and ask them for advice.

  4. #4 MikeMa
    November 22, 2011

    I have carried an organ donor card for many years. I believe my spouse found a version online valid in the US.

    As for Ms Wright’s aversion to science and reality, it is just another selfish act. She fights hard to waste money searching for a vaccine source depriving more fruitful investigations funding. She advocates skipping vaccinations in favor of real disease for her family and for the immuno-compromised around her. She spreads lies and foolishness like the chickenpox she loves because she cannot accept her son as he is without an external cause.

    Selfish, stupid, credulous and outspoken. Bad combination.

  5. #5 sophia8
    November 22, 2011

    Jami@2: Yes, contacting your local medical school is your best bet. I don’t know how it works in the US, but for those in the UK, here’s the guidelines: Human Tissue Authority – How to donate your body.

  6. #6 blackheart
    November 22, 2011

    This study suggests that, whatever causes autism, it probably happens before birth, not after. If true, that rules out vaccines as a cause.

    I wonder if anyone can work out why vaccines can not be ruled out ?

    Answer A -

    Answer B -

    Answer C -

    Three different reasons (at least) can be elucidated from the study and a broader knowledge base.

    Good Luck I’ll be offering grades in High Distinction 5 answers . Distinction 4 answers Credit 3 Answers Pass 2 Answer Fail 1 – 0

    Bonus marks for clear reasoning and citations.

    A chance to redeem for science and critical thinking.

  7. #7 DLC
    November 22, 2011

    So, basically, this woman has gotten it in her head that vaccines are IT, and no mountain of evidence to the contrary is going to change her mind ?

    Sounds a lot like Global Warming Denialism, 9/11 Trooferism and general conspiracy theory nuttyness.

    Jamie @2 : organ/body donation procedures vary by locality. Assuming you live somewhere in the USA (a big assumption on my part — ORAC has an international following), your state will likely have it’s own laws and rules regarding donation.
    Perhaps the best way to answer your question is to look up your local medical school on the internet and see if they have a section on their website or person to contact.

  8. #8 Caroline
    November 22, 2011

    Last week Katie Wright posted another gem bemoaning the inadequacy of autism research. It seems that she was unhappy because seven studies conducted in the last decade failed to find any evidence that gluten/casein free diets benefit autistic children. First she lists all of the studies and their results. Then whines that the studies were all flawed because she believes they included foods with artificial colors, potatoes, rice, or otherwise failed to include input from a “real” ASD diet specialist.
    Like all of the other bloggers on AoA, Katie thinks she’s being a fierce advocate for autistic children when in reality she’s just deeply frustrated who needs a scapegoat to avoid taking out her anger on her child.

  9. #9 Andreas Johansson
    November 22, 2011

    Hm. I thought I carried an organ donation card in my wallet, but evidently I don’t. Wonder what happened to it and how long I’ve been without it …

    Somewhat less importantly, I also wonder where the SIM card I do carry in my wallet comes from, and how long I’ve been carrying it about.

  10. #10 dt
    November 22, 2011

    Orac, whenever you discuss something from AoA I sadly cannot resist the urge to take a peek. I wish you wouldn’t tempt me – each time I read their tripe I end up apoptosing more of my precious neurones. (In fact I am sure so many of us have had similar experiences that AoA should be cited as the main cause of brain toxicity. Vaccines have nothing to do with it.)

    Their antivax propaganda machine seems to have plumbed new depths. In its sights are the BMJ and their editor, Fiona Godlee. It is also apparent that the AoA minions have flocked to the BMJ site to “vote up” all the comments from their heroic, shiny knights in armor defending Saint Andy of Wakefield and to vote down any reasoned response that conflicts with their warped mindset. http://www.bmj.com/comment/rapid-responses [click on the "sort by" button and select popularity and you'll get my drift]

    AoA are also rallying round their other hero, Judy Mikovits of imagined “XMRV-in-vaccines-causes-autism” fame. Perhaps they will raise enough funds to send her a food parcel while she languishes in jail.

  11. #11 passionlessDrone
    November 22, 2011

    Hello friends –

    Regarding the donation of tissue for the autism research program, this is a big problem, as mentioned by Courchesne in other statements, there is a very real dearth of quality brain tissue from patients with autism. For the people out there that have a child with autism, or have autism, please, please consider learning more about the autism tissue donation program. Here is the url: http://www.autismtissueprogram.org

    The unyielding facts of the matter are that the brain tissue needs to be collected within twenty four hours of death. This is something you have to know about, care about, and be prepared to deal with quickly during the worst of times, but ultmimately is a resource our community really needs.

    Mrs. Wright’s article was a tour de force in dumbness, if anything, we need a lot more study of the brain tissue of children who experienced drastic loss of skills. Sad.

    Regarding the Courchesne study, which I’ve yet to get a copy of myself, (?!!??!), I have seen it stated that the children in question were severely affected by autism, and most (or all) macroencepelatic during infancy, further warranting caution in extrapolating the results. Also, I ran into this the other day, which indicates that there may be some mechanisms by which neurons are created in the prefrontal cortext for a brief period postnatally.

    Corridors of migrating neurons in the human brain and their decline during infancy (Nature 478, 382-386 (20 October 2011)

    Here we find that the infant human subventricular zone and RMS contain an extensive corridor of migrating immature neurons before 18 months of age but, contrary to previous reports8, this germinal activity subsides in older children and is nearly extinct by adulthood. Surprisingly, during this limited window of neurogenesis, not all new neurons in the human subventricular zone are destined for the olfactory bulb—we describe a major migratory pathway that targets the prefrontal cortex in humans. Together, these findings reveal robust streams of tangentially migrating immature neurons in human early postnatal subventricular zone and cortex.

    - pD

  12. #12 dt
    November 22, 2011

    @blackheart
    I’ll bite. Let’s see… reasons vaccines cannot be ruled out…
    A. For the same reason you can’t rule out maternal nose picking as a cause?
    B. Because the epidemic of autism hit at the exact same time every single pregnant woman in the US loaded up with toxic vaccines, without exception?
    B. Because vaccine disposal leads to beyond-Avogadro doses of homeopathic vaccines in the water supply, which pregnant women drink?
    No, wait, that last one would cure autism, obviously.

    Hell, I dunno. Why don’t you tell us. And while you are at it, could you tell us the first word at the top of page 2032, just to prove you have actually read the article?

  13. #13 lilady
    November 22, 2011

    Please ignore the “blackhearted” derailing-the-thread troll.

    It’s beginning to become an AoA Thanksgiving tradition to post tasteless offensive articles and “artwork” at this time of year.

  14. #14 Daniel J. Andrews
    November 22, 2011

    I’m donating my organs, but wasn’t interested in giving parts to medical science. I’d seen too many folks doing disrespectful things to various bodies and body parts. Recently, I’ve been changing my mind. 1. I’m dead, what do I care, and 2. just because someone is disrespectful doesn’t mean they won’t learn something they need to know.

    Sort of ironic that Wright complains about the small sample size used in the study (because there aren’t that many children’s brains donated), and her response is to not donate her child’s brain in the (hopefully very unlikely) event of his death.

    I wonder if part of the resistance to the study is that if the extra neurons occur in utero, they feel they’re at fault as they did something wrong while carrying. ??

  15. #15 Evilcyber
    November 22, 2011

    If the same study supported Wright’s claims, she wouldn’t give a fart about sample size or where it was published.

    I don’t get these people, I really don’t.

  16. #16 Mu
    November 22, 2011

    Orac will cite this thread when he receives his Nobel price. Autism is caused by too many neurons, reading AoA leads to neuron apoptosis, cure found (so it turns out watching a full set of Republican presidential debates is the faster treatment option).

  17. #17 Denice Walter
    November 22, 2011

    I read the article yesterday- without even going into the physio**- I regard AoA as an avenue for mis-education and mis-directed activism that rivals any of the efforts by Mssrs Adams and Null. Awful.

    However,this “think tank” is, in many ways, a support group and network for parents who may feel as if they have nowhere else to go. The tragedy is that the sort of speculation broadcast and discussed actually works against better understanding of autism, SB therapies, reality-based physio, and reasonable coping strategies for parents * by pre-emption*.

    If ( like followers of the aforementioned woo-meisters) a parent puts all of their effort, financial resources, faith,and “heart” into a whimsy-based path towards “cure”-eventually they will be mightily disappointed. How do you feel after you have exhausted yourself in pursuit of a dream fed by un-reality?

    To compare this further: either by website or broadcast, followers recieve “education” on a regular basis, along with a measure of indoctrination against SB research. Because I have, over the years, steeped myself in this nonsense***, I can describe how the pseudo-science is merely window-dressing for the real deal: it’s a cult of personality. You have the Brave Rebel Paradigm-shifter/ Truth-teller or the Brave Maverick Doctor: supporters cluster to bask in their icon’s wisdom. Supporters in turn task a lesson from their masters and emulate them.

    Of course as the material becomes more wildly off-base supporters become more isolated from the mainstream -including friends, associates, and family members- thus they have painted themselves into a corner with like- minded cohorts, re-inforcing each others’ outlandish beliefs, further distancing themselves from the general public. Thus, we have young Jake in pursuit of Dr Godlee and an epi we all know and love as well as his other *betes noires*. And us. All of whom could conceivably *help* him in the world.

    I just shake my head.

    ** check out LONI @ UCLA
    *** @ dt- don’t worry about the neurons, you’ll be fine. I can still do mental computations and follow my investments.

  18. #18 Karl Withakay
    November 22, 2011

    In Missouri, the back of your driver’s license is your organ donation card.

    I’m a little surprised most states don’t do the same. We’re not the most progressive state out there.

  19. #19 passionlessDrone
    November 22, 2011

    Hello friends –

    Regarding the donation of tissue for the autism research program, this is a big problem, as mentioned by Courchesne in other statements, there is a very real dearth of quality brain tissue from patients with autism. For the people out there that have a child with autism, or have autism, please, please consider learning more about the autism tissue donation program. Please google the autism tissue network for more information.

    The unyielding facts of the matter are that the brain tissue needs to be collected within twenty four hours of death. This is something you have to know about, care about, and be prepared to deal with quickly during the worst of times, but ultmimately is a resource our community really needs.

    Mrs. Wright’s article was a tour de force in dumbness, if anything, we need a lot more study of the brain tissue of children who experienced drastic loss of skills. Sad.

    Regarding the Courchesne study, which I’ve yet to get a copy of myself, (?!!??!), I have seen it stated that the children in question were severely affected by autism, and most (or all) macroencepelatic during infancy, further warranting caution in extrapolating the results. Also, I ran into this the other day, which indicates that there may be some mechanisms by which neurons are created in the prefrontal cortext for a brief period postnatally.

    Corridors of migrating neurons in the human brain and their decline during infancy (Nature 478, 382-386 (20 October 2011)

    Here we find that the infant human subventricular zone and RMS contain an extensive corridor of migrating immature neurons before 18 months of age but, contrary to previous reports, this germinal activity subsides in older children and is nearly extinct by adulthood. Surprisingly, during this limited window of neurogenesis, not all new neurons in the human subventricular zone are destined for the olfactory bulb we describe a major migratory pathway that targets the prefrontal cortex in humans. Together, these findings reveal robust streams of tangentially migrating immature neurons in human early postnatal subventricular zone and cortex.

    - pD

    ps: Previous post got held up in moderation w/a single link so re-posting w/out link to autism tissue program. Orac you can nuke the other response. Am I in a special queue for moderation?

  20. #20 brian
    November 22, 2011

    It must really burn Katie Wright that Autism Speaks, the organization founded by her parents, has announced the intention to sequence the genomes of the members of more than 2,000 mulitplex autism families in the next two years:

    http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/autism-speaks-funds-creation-world%E2%80%99s-largest-autism-genome-library

    A project funded by the Welcome Trust has already sequenced the genomes of 400 individuals with ASD, and there are plans to include almost 500 more, plus their parents and controls.

    http://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/conference-news/2011/world-congress-of-psychiatric-genetics-2011/ambitious-u.k.-project-set-to-sequence-10-000-genomes

    The horror!

  21. #21 Denice Walter
    November 22, 2011

    @ Daniel J. Andrews:

    I suspect that one of the reasons some parents fight against genetic/ physio data is because of the imagined *stigma* involved- contributing genes that may be related to ASD doesn’t make you responsible but it might be *inferred* by some people that your genes are “inferior” to the average person’s… that SBM is calling them “lesser beings” or suchlike. Even though conditions may be caused by mutation. Casting aspersion on vaccines relieves them of this burden. It’s what they want to hear.

  22. #22 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 22, 2011

    I just can’t imagine the mental process that would lead to me caring what happens to my carcass after I’m through with it. In Washington, too, your driver’s license is your organ donor card. I checked the box, even though I don’t think it will do much good—my internal organs are barely of any use to me any more. My corneas are OK, though, and that’s one of the biggest benefits of organ donation, so maybe that will help somebody.

  23. #23 trrll
    November 22, 2011

    So a big part of her complaint is that the study is small–so she discourages people from donating brains to autism research?

    In this field 7 brains is doing quite well, particularly at the younger ages. Of course, smaller numbers reduce sensitivity, but the differences were large enough that the results were significant. It doesn’t prove that every autistic child has excessive prefrontal neurons (there was some overlap in the ranges of the two groups), but it certainly supports other evidence that indicates that early brain overgrowth is often found in autism.

    The children all seem to be classically autistic. There have been few studies of Asperger brain, and my understanding is that there is not much Asperger tissue available for research. I hope that this will change in the future, as people with Asperger Syndrome are becoming more organized, and many are interested in science.

    The effects of medications are always a worry in studies of this nature. Most people with autism receive some drug therapy, so researchers who look at postmortem tissue cannot avoid the issue. But there aren’t any obvious commonalities in the medication histories, making it unlikely that this is the cause of the neuronal excess. While it is not impossible that a drug could cause neuronal proliferation, loss of neurons is more likely–it is a lot easier to kill neurons than to make them proliferate–so a similar proliferative effect from different drugs is a big stretch.

    Based upon what I saw at the latest Neuroscience Meeting, and my conversations with autism researchers, it is simply not true that nongenetic causes are not being pursued. It is clear that hardly anybody in the field takes the vaccine or mercury hypothesis seriously anymore, but that does not exclude other environmental causes, such as prenatal exposure to viruses or drugs, and a recent study found a higher concordance of autism among nonidentical twins than previously reported, suggesting a role for shared environment. However, there has been good progress in the genetic area. It is clear that genetic traits play a role in at least some cases of autism, so this is an important direction. Animal models being pursued include both pharmacological and genetic models. A good animal model would be extremely valuable for screening for possible therapies, but at the moment there is something of an embarrassment of models, and their relevance to human autism is unclear. There were a lot of reports describing disruption of rodent social behavior resulting from various pharmacological and genetic manipulation, and the only real conclusion that I was able to draw was that rodent social behavior is fragile, and there are a lot of ways to screw it up. Evaluation of these animal models based upon what can be learned from postmortem human brain is going to be crucial for identifying models that may be relevant to man, so tissue donation remains critical to progress in the field.

  24. #24 Th1Th2
    November 22, 2011

    Finally, a Unit 731 for the autistic. Line them up moms. Orac is waiting.

  25. #25 lilady
    November 22, 2011

    Katie Wright is AoA’s resident accountant/analyst of the funds and resources being devoted to the preconception and prenatal influences, on the brain development of children diagnosed with autism…she is not pleased.

    As “brian” noted, Katie’s parents’ generous support of Autism Speaks has enabled science-based genetic research to go forward.

    Other groups and governmental agencies such as IBR (Institute for Basic Research) funded by NYS are world-renowned for their past research and breakthroughs that add to our knowledge of genetic disorders.

    Why doesn’t Katie and the other “journalists” at AoA, urge their readership to agree to blood tests on their autistic children to determine if these children have gene-based disabilities? What are they afraid of? Could it be that participating is such research would disprove their pet pseudoscience theories of vaccines-causing-autism, post-natal environmental “toxins” causing autism and further damaging the reputation of their heroes such as Wakefield, the Geiers and other snake oil salesmen?

  26. #26 Edith Prickly
    November 22, 2011

    However,this “think tank” is, in many ways, a support group and network for parents who may feel as if they have nowhere else to go. The tragedy is that the sort of speculation broadcast and discussed actually works against better understanding of autism, SB therapies, reality-based physio, and reasonable coping strategies for parents * by pre-emption*.

    This is what bothers me the most whenever Orac posts about autism quackery. I feel so sorry for the children who are saddled with these misinformed parents. Denice, is it possible to tell from the AoA discussions if any of them pursue reality-based treatments (speech and behaviour therapy, ABA, etc.) or is it all quack detoxifying regimens and spurious dietary restrictions?

  27. #27 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 22, 2011

    Thingy knows “Unit 731″ was something bad, but has absolutely no idea what it was.

  28. #28 lilady
    November 22, 2011

    Please don’t feed ignorant, nasty, delusional disease-promoting Thingy troll.

    BTW, Katie lives in NYC and all NYS driver’s licenses have organ and tissue donation boxes that should be checked off, by people who wish to donate their organs and tissues after death.

  29. #29 Orac
    November 22, 2011
  30. #30 David Schilling
    November 22, 2011

    For basic organ donation, you can visit http://www.taylorsgift.org/
    IIRC they can help you set this up in any of the 50 states

  31. #31 BA
    November 22, 2011

    As a researcher on autism treatment who regularly reads outside their particular field, I’ve found Courchesne’s group is prolific, properly tempered in their assertions about their work, and have had their worked independently verified by other researchers. This particular study is a natural extension of their work on structural differences in the brains of persons with ASDs.

  32. #32 Rachael
    November 22, 2011

    Introversion is a near-universal characteristic of autism, though of course not all introverts are autistic. Introversion does not mean you are shy, but it does mean that you have a lower baseline for arousal. Perhaps, it is this personality trait that predisposes some children to be more vulnerable to develop autism. Though, some children may be born with autism, others may develop autism after some sort of stimulation or change to the brain and immune system.

    PET scans reveal that introverts have more activity in the frontal lobes of the brain and anterior, or front, thalamus. Extroverts exhibit more activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus, temporal lobes and posterior thalamus. These variations in brain activity suggest that a lot of our individual differences have an underlying biological cause.

    The brain processes information much differently in introverts, than in extroverts. It could be that this biological difference in the brain is what makes some children more susceptible to vaccine injury. Vaccines are designed to cause an immune-response and the way the brain is wired may very well be a contributing factor as to why some children are biologically more vulnerable to vaccine injury, than others.

  33. #33 Denice Walter
    November 22, 2011

    @ Edith Prickly:

    From what I can ascertain a few of the posters do make use of therapy and state sponsored ed ( Hallelujah!); it appears that the reality-based co-exists along with the whimsical,i.e. GFCF,HBOT, chelation, and supplements. Can I venture a guess as to what set of therapies they would attribute any improvement?

  34. #34 jaranath
    November 22, 2011

    I normally don’t respond to drive-by trolling. But I just read Orac’s summary.

    Holy crap.

    Thingy, that wasn’t just unfunny, it was profoundly disrespectful. I don’t give a damn what you think about Orac or anybody else, that was inappropriate as hell.

  35. #35 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 22, 2011

    It could be that this biological difference in the brain is what makes some children more susceptible to vaccine injury.

    If there was good scientific evidence suggesting that some children were more susceptible to vaccine injury than others, then it would be worth devising hypothesis to explain the difference. However, we do not have good scientific evidence to suggest that autism has ever occured as a result of vaccine injury, so speculating on a possible mechanism by which it might be happening on a regular basis is like trying to build a case for murder before even checking to see if maybe the victim is actually alive and well.

  36. #36 Orac
    November 22, 2011

    @Rachael

    That’s a horrible argument. Basically, what your argument boils down to is: “Behavioral differences between individuals have a biological basis; therefore, vaccine injury can cause autism.” Seriously, that’s how bad your argument is when stripped to its essence. It’s a non sequitur at best, and at the very least, as lawyers say, it relies on “facts not in evidence.” In other words, there’s no evidence that autism is caused by vaccine injury and no compelling evidence of biological differences leading to greater susceptibility to “vaccine injury” that can contribute to autism.

  37. #37 ArtK
    November 22, 2011

    Denice @21

    I think it’s more than the “stigma.” It’s personal. If the genetic hypothesis is correct, then Katie Wright is to blame for her child’s autism. For a parent, that’s a horrifying thought — the idea that you were the cause of your child’s problems. The fact that the AoA crowd regard autism as an unmitigated disaster for a family makes it that much worse.

    She clings to the vaccine idea (not even a hypothesis by this time) is because it shifts the blame onto “them” — the CDC, BigPharma and their many minions in the medical milieu.

  38. #38 Scott Cunningham
    November 22, 2011

    Katie Wright wrote:

    This study represents my nightmare, the worst-case scenario. Children’s brains have been used for politically driven poor quality science.

    I think my irony meter just sublimated directly into a gas.

    A 7-person biomedical study would NEVER be published by JAMA, I promise you.

    But I absolutely know vaccines cause autism because of a 12 person study published in the Lancet that was retracted for fraud. It’s totally been vindicated by a small handful of five and six person studies published in low tier journals, and personal anecdotes. Now that’s convincing!

  39. #39 Rachael
    November 22, 2011

    Brain differences Orac … brain differences. Introverts have more brain activity in general, specifically in the frontal lobes; something that is hardwired in the from birth and can be seen on brain scans. Introverts have a lower baseline for arousal because of a biological difference in the brain.

  40. #40 RAJ
    November 22, 2011

    This study counted neurons in seven brains of children diagnosed with autism and compared them to typically developed brains. All of the children had severe autism, none were ever diagnosed with PDD/NOS or Asperger’s Syndrome.

    In a discussion over at SFARI AUTISM a member of the autism tissue program stated “I know that sample,” says Lange, who is on the advisory board of the Autism Tissue Program, which manages some of the samples in the study. “It’s of varying quality, from poor to acceptable.”

    20% of autism cases have large brains but 20% have abnormally small brains. Its hard to extrapolate to all cases a finding from a very small sample.

  41. #41 lilady
    November 22, 2011

    I see that “Rachael” posted that same specious argument… verbatim…on the AoA website three hours ago.

    Rachael, why don’t you go back to AoA and tell Katie that we are waiting for her to post here? I’m especially interested in her disingenuous argument against organ and tissue donations.

  42. #42 Orac
    November 22, 2011

    One might also note the comment in the accompanying editorial by Janet Lainhart and Nicholas Lange:

    Postmortem brain tissue studies in autism research, and in general, are difficult to conduct due to limited availability of brain samples, non-representativeness of the samples, variable causes of death, potentially long postmortem intervals, and differences in brain extraction, sectioning and tissue processing protocols and cell counting methods. Most if not all case-control tissue sample sizes are small, and representative population-based postmortem reference data, similar to those currently available from large normative samples of in vivo pediatric brain imaging, do not exist.

    Those challenges notwithstanding, the study by Courchesne et al has several unique strengths: some of the brains examined were from very young children and cognitively high-functioning individuals with autism, and only 1 case had a history of seizures. Many of the brains examined in prior postmortem studies have been from older individuals who had severe autism, intellectual disabilities, and seizures. Further, the investigation quantified neuron and glial cell numbers stereologically in a volume of the cerebral cortex much larger than that of many previous tissue studies. These methodological strengths allowed Courchesne et al to examine the relationship of cell number to brain weight and perform the most direct and specific quantitative study to date on the cellular basis of brain size variation in autism.

  43. #43 Evilcyber
    November 22, 2011

    What I see here is a lot of people bringing forward rational arguments. But what you fail to see is that the line of thinking among vaccine critics has nothing to do with rationality. Take this,

    The brain processes information much differently in introverts, than in extroverts. It could be that this biological difference in the brain is what makes some children more susceptible to vaccine injury.

    and note how a far-fetched assumption is put on the same playing field as a small, but scientifically sound study.

  44. #44 Lawrence
    November 22, 2011

    Typical anti-vaxxer thinking – they’ve already convinced themselves that vaccines are the cause, so anything that disproves that idea is immediately discarded.

    Before any of the resident trolls tries to turn that around – at least the pro-vax stance can point to decades of research (including the very beginnings of vaccine science, long before the birth of so-called “BIG PHARMA”) the success of the vaccine program in general, and the continued refinement of the manufacturing process, so that what we have today continues to improve in levels of safety over time.

    So, you have one side firmly based in actual science, with proof to back it up, and on the other, you have nothing but supposition and emotion….and that about sums it up.

  45. #45 Composer99
    November 22, 2011

    Shorter Katie Wright for the TL;DR; crowd:

    I feel ritually impure when confronted with the reality that vaccines are not causal agents of autism.

  46. #46 ...are you so sure?
    November 22, 2011

    “It was incredibly difficult to find 13 suitable brains from children to study.” Funny how 13 ish monkeys was way too few to study in the Hewitson primate study. Because, I guess primates are really easy to obtain and house.
    ” Known biology of brain development” has actually evolved since the mid /90′s so your statement is just that – a statement. It would be like a person in the 1300′s saying okay I think we’re done here with the whole clock idea (pre-pendulum) or, okay I think we’re done here with the Greeks figuring an imbalance between the 4 humors causes illness.

  47. #47 Katharine
    November 22, 2011

    I could never be a physician or psychologist; then I’d be obligated to treat people who are this staggeringly stupid – they cling so much to their favored hypothesis that vaccines cause autism that they plug their ears about how brains work – if they solicited my help.

  48. #48 Katharine
    November 22, 2011

    Research works just fine for me.

    Unsure, you appear to not actually know much about the biology of brain development. The particular aspect of brain development called into question here has survived after repeated testing SINCE the mid ’90s.

  49. #49 ...are you so sure?
    November 22, 2011

    Lilady- how is ?Blackheart de-railing the thread???? He’s bang on topic. Are you a moderator or paid blogger?

  50. #50 Gray Falcon
    November 22, 2011

    The only topic of discussion one can get from blackheart’s post is “How can any human be so mind-blowingly arrogant?

  51. #51 Narad
    November 22, 2011

    The only topic of discussion one can get from blackheart’s post is “How can any human be so mind-blowingly arrogant?

    It is nearly as good as the time MJD decided to give out a reading assignment, though.

  52. #52 Edith Prickly
    November 22, 2011

    I’m not so sure you’ve been reading RI long enough to understand why lilady is calling blackheart a troll. He’s derailed a number of other threads recently with bad arguments and egocentric chest-puffing about his own (woefully overestimated) brilliance.

    Or do I detect a whiff of unwashed socks…?

  53. #53 Narad
    November 22, 2011

    Or do I detect a whiff of unwashed socks…?

    Not enough random multidimensional, multilayered use of boldface.

  54. #54 Gray Falcon
    November 22, 2011

    See what I mean?

  55. #55 Roadstergal
    November 22, 2011

    I’d seen too many folks doing disrespectful things to various bodies and body parts.

    That’s fine with me. I like the idea of some techs playing touch football with my urinary bladder or some other useless bits after the good bits have been harvested. I’m having plenty of fun with my body in life; it’s only fair it should continue to be a source of fun after my death. I won’t be around to care.

  56. #56 eNeMeE
    November 22, 2011

    it’s only fair it should continue to be a source of fun after my death.

    I wanna be a halloween decoration, or a marionette!

  57. #57 Omri
    November 22, 2011

    I’m not a neuroscientist, but I used to maintain computers for one, so here’s what I wonder:

    It should be feasible to scan these brains post mortem in an NMR scanner, using a diffusion weighted scan. With enough samples, one could get a reasonable mapping from a DWI-MRI image to an estimate of neuronal density.

    Once you have that you can start scanning living children and get the same kind of data, at which point you can have data points by the gross.

    Now would be a good time for these kooks to leave the game while they’re behind.

  58. #58 Ken
    November 22, 2011

    The good news I take from this is that medical research is continuing, and may someday identify the factors that actually cause autism. The pseudo-scientific antics of the antivaxers aren’t preventing that research, although they are still dangerous from a public-health standpoint.

  59. #59 Calli Arcale
    November 22, 2011

    are you sure:

    “It was incredibly difficult to find 13 suitable brains from children to study.” Funny how 13 ish monkeys was way too few to study in the Hewitson primate study. Because, I guess primates are really easy to obtain and house.

    First off, yes, monkeys are easier to obtain and house than human beings. Much easier. You can actually buy them. It’s illegal to buy humans, as you may have noticed. (Quite a lot of Americans killed quite a lot of other Americans over that very issue 150 years ago.)

    But that’s not the main problem with the Hewitson study. In addition to the small sample size (a problem, but not an insurmountable one), the control and study groups were imbalanced — only three controls for 13 study animals. By contrast, this brain study had six children with ASD and seven controls. There were also animals unaccountably dropped from the study, and certain data sets were also unaccountably dropped from the final version of the study — perhaps because they weren’t supporting the hypothesis? But the most glaring problem, in my mind, was that even if the study had the power to detect a real vaccine problem, the way they were administering the vaccines in the trial to duplicate the full childhood schedule had a pretty good chance of causing behavioral problems in the animals anyway — they tried to scale the timing of the shots to the animals’ much more rapid development, which meant that they were pulling animals out of the community pretty frequently and then sticking them with needles.

    This study, examining post mortem the brains of children with and without ASDs, is very intriguing. It is not sufficient to explain the cause, or even *a* cause, of autism, and the researchers themselves state that. (Quite a contrast to Hewitson, who was very confident in her rather dubious conclusions.) But the results are provocative, and it provides fertile ground for new research. That’s a good thing.

  60. #60 brian
    November 22, 2011

    @ . . . are you sure?

    Surely you understand that the real problem with Hewitson’s unfortunate macaque study was that she rather desperately misinterpreted the abnormal development in her tiny control group (where the complete results available from, as I recall, only two animals were clearly counter to the published information available regarding the typical development of the amygdala of both human and macaque infants) as normal, don’t you? That’s why she wrongly interpreted the normal development in her vaccinated group as being abnormal. So, yes, the small numbers were a problem, but that issue might not have been so disruptive if she (or the “reviewers” for that obscure Polish journal) had bothered to read the scientific literature that was directly related to her project. Courchesne at least tries to keep up.

  61. #61 Orac
    November 22, 2011

    @…are you so sure?

    Type “Laura Hewitson” into the search box of this blog. Read. Learn. Her study was a horribly designed study.

  62. #62 Vicki
    November 22, 2011

    In New York state, not only is your driver’s license your organ donor card (there’s a red heart icon indicating it) but you can go online if you want to do something more complicated than “take anything usable.” Also, the donor-to-be’s decision is final: with my signup, they won’t need to bother my grieving next of kin (or, conversely, they can’t override my decision). Or so the state told me. I have, of course, discussed this with the people closest to me, but someone without close relatives might be glad that they could be an organ donor even if a second cousin couldn’t be found or their good friend couldn’t find the appropriate power of attorney and such.

    Also, I have relatives upstate who have signed up to donate their bodies to medical research; they did it through the local university.

  63. #63 Composer99
    November 22, 2011

    IMO this black, black heart is about as relevant to the vaccine-autism manufactroversy as blackheart’s contributions to this thread.

  64. #64 WaffleMaster
    November 22, 2011

    @Rachael

    I have no doubt I’m wasting my breath here but here we go anyways.
    You are indeed correct in your basic premise that function follows structure, differences in the brain can indeed form the basis for our behaviors and abilities. Now if you can produce scientifically backed evidence (Backed by good science mind you) that vaccines cause a change in brain structure then you may be onto something. Merely stating, as Orac pointed out, that “Behavioral differences between individuals have a biological basis; therefore, vaccine injury can cause autism.” is not a valid argument. Heck it’s not really much of anything but a waste of space on a discussion forum.

  65. #65 herr doktor bimler
    November 22, 2011

    I wanna be a halloween decoration, or a marionette!
    Pinata possibility!

    the way the brain is wired may very well be a contributing factor as to why some children are biologically more vulnerable to vaccine injury, than others.

    It would be nice at this point to have some evidence that “some children are biologically more vulnerable to vaccine injury” rather than slipping it in as if it were a universally accepted fact.

    The whole “subgroup of children susceptible to vaccines” line of argument is weird. The only reason for postulating that vaccines were EVILZ was to explain a supposed epidemic of autism. Then the epidemiology and the results of removing thimersoral showed that this was bullshit. So the anti-vax campaigners withdrew to a fallback position, the “vulnerable subgroup” claim.

    Obviously this assumption no longer accounts for the purported epidemic so what is the sodding point of assuming it at all? Apart from saving face by making a graceful retreat from one’s original claims rather than an outright admission of error?

  66. #66 MI Dawn
    November 22, 2011

    @ pD: I doubt it was the link in your first posting. Sometimes, I have found, Sciblogs will randomly put a comment into moderation for no apparent reason, and it’s happened to me more commonly in the past few months. I don’t know why. So don’t think it’s you. :-)

    This is an interesting study. Small sample, yes, and the authors admit that and stress this is an area that needs more study. From Orac’s review, it appears to me that they will continue to try and study this, unlike St Andy, who when given the resources and the opportunity never tried to honestly replicate his study.

    I’ve often thought about donating my body to science, and that is what I want done. Organs, if they can be used. Otherwise, give my body to science so that others in the future can have more knowledge.

  67. #67 herr doktor bimler
    November 22, 2011

    I am reminded of the member of the House of Lords years ago, a committed Buddhist and a foe of elaborate funerals that turn into morbid celebrations of death, who wanted to donate his body to the Battersea Dogs’ Home. The Home’s board of directors were forced to reject his offer, stating that they were not questioning his Lordship’s culinary or nutritive qualities, but they were bound by legal constraints.

  68. #68 MD1970
    November 22, 2011

    Lousy study-
    Brain pruning may be halted by vaccines-the immune system does have a role-
    It’s Too Many,Too Soon-
    It’s the vaccines dummies.

  69. #69 Mildly Autistic Guy
    November 22, 2011

    Speaking as a member of the group being talked about, I find the idea of vaccine’s being the cause of Autism just plain stupid.

    I know in my case I was not diagnosed until adulthood(after my symptoms had significantly improved through my own efforts, yay me) because my family have a very strong ‘people with poor social skills and mental illness(s) are bad/inferior’ attitude.

    Reading a bit about family life and social attitudes through the ages suggests to me that the above attitude is fairly common. If so, then it seems reasonable to suggest that in those of us who are vulnerable that being ostracised to any extent would aggravate our symptoms. The question now is, with greater population densities are we required to be more socially adept now? Could this be causing at least some of us to be mildly Autistic in stead of borderline, severe instead of mild, etc?

    Please note: I am not advocating that the above is the cause or even a cause, I am merely throwing a hypothesis to the wind so to speak.

  70. #70 Dangerous Bacon
    November 22, 2011

    Passionless Drone (who has posted here previously, attempting to link vaccination with autism) said (post #11):

    Regarding the Courchesne study, which I’ve yet to get a copy of myself, (?!!??!), I have seen it stated that the children in question were severely affected by autism, and most (or all) macroencepelatic (sic) during infancy, further warranting caution in extrapolating the results.

    Uh, “?!!??!”? That’s a lot of fevered punctuation. Are the same dark forces holding up your previous comment in moderation on this blog responsible for your not yet having read the full JAMA article? And “Seen it stated”…seen it stated by who? Even if the part about macroencephaly was so, why exactly do you think this might invalidate the study? And were you aware that macroencephaly may not correlate with increased numbers of neurons? – in fact, the number of neurons may be decreased in macroencephaly, depending on what factors are involved.

    It would be nice to see acknowledgement by pD (who apparently reads a lot of research papers) that, as Orac noted, what’s bugging Katie Wright (and probably other members of the vaccines-cause-autism alliance) is that the JAMA report flies in the face of assumptions that vaccine “toxins” cause autism, seeing as how the authors’ preliminary results demonstrated significantly more neurons in the brains of autistic children, while you’d expect fewer neurons in the case of actual toxin exposure.

    Good to see that pD at least supports further organ donation to learn more about autism, even if he must cast doubt as quickly as possible on the fruit of that research (if it doesn’t meet preconceived notions about the harmfulness of vaccines).

  71. #71 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 22, 2011

    @68:

    Of all the stupid arguments you antivaxx morons have come up with, “Too many too soon” has to be the absolute stupidest. You could concentrate all the active ingredients from the entire vaccine schedule—even the ridiculously inflated numbers of “shots” you idiots quote, and stick them into a baby before it was all the way out (would that it were possible!), and that wouldn’t be a thousandth part of the antigens they’re going to be exposed to that day! They’re just exquisitely targeted, is all.

  72. #72 MD1970
    November 22, 2011

    @71- citations please-not Offit’s of 100,000 please

  73. #73 Matt Carey
    November 22, 2011

    I have difficulty expressing my reaction to Ms. Wright’s post. One of the key things I learned at IMFAR was the paucity of brain tissue for research and how important this is. Last thing anyone wants is the untimely death of a loved one. But tissue from autistics, children and adults, can help a great deal in furthering autism research.

    Suffice it to say that if Ms. Wright’s article results in 1 fewer brain for research, she has done the community a great disservice.

    Let me instead focus on a tiny detail: “It is estimated that 50% of the ACE budgets go to overheard.”

    I suspect Orac knows more about this than I, but, yes, overhead charges at academic institutions are high. Overhead can be about 50%. Of course, an overhead “tax” of 50% is not the same thing as “50% of the budget is overhead”. If a university has a 50% overhead, that means that if a budget is $100,000, the grant would pay $150,000, 50% of the budget.

    Somehow I doubt this would be a question were a giant grant given to, say, Martha Herbert who is at Harvard, and who is supportive of the vaccine causation idea. Harvard’s overhead (F&A) is about 71%.

  74. #74 lilady
    November 22, 2011

    How quaint that “are you so sure” is defending Wakefield’s apologist…

    Yes I “am so sure” about the validity of the study and yes I “am so sure” about Katie Wright’s totally inept analysis and critique of the study.

    Katie and her fellow “science journalists” at AoA can spin the results of this study all they want…they can even come up with new “theories”, based on junk science, but there is irrefutable evidence that de novo mutations of genes and/or the in utero environment are implicated in the causes of autism.

    The AoA “journalists” and their minions need to get over themselves. They are no longer driving the debate about the causes of autism. They need to understand that sometimes sh*t happens and sometimes sh*t happens to them.

    Isolating themselves within their internet echo chamber of blame and martyrdom does a disservice to their family, their extended family and their disabled children.

    It is very liberating, once you accept your child and move on to the “other” role you will playing…as the parent of a developmentally disabled child.

  75. #75 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 22, 2011

    Idiot @ 71:

    Anybody with a brainstem, who’s ever looked through a microscope, would know that 100,000 is a ridiculous underestimate.

  76. #76 attack_laurel
    November 22, 2011

    I want to be a skeleton in an anatomy class. I fully support the mining of my body for anything that might prove useful, rather than letting it go to waste in the ground (any leftovers can be cremated, and used as fertilizer for my garden).

    Good brain studies are hard to do, and this is a good brain study. Of course, that’s exactly what’s sending the anti-vaxxers into overdrive, because it’s much harder to argue with the truth when the truth is so clearly stated. And the size of the study is actually really impressive.

  77. #77 herr doktor bimler
    November 22, 2011

    citations please
    Posted by: MD1970

    Heh. A random commenter condemns Courchesne et al. as “lousy” without offering a better study; asserts without evidence that “Brain pruning may be halted by vaccines”; then demands citations from other commenters.
    It’s like intellectual jiu-jitsu, as performed by someone who learned the skills by watching a martial-arts movie.

  78. #78 Rogue Epidemiologist
    November 22, 2011

    It’s too bad that Katie Wright is the biggest reason that Autism Speaks still flogs the dead vaccine horse. AS could do so much more for autism with their clout and their funding, but KW’s foot-stamping tantrum-throwing is forcing the group to waste their money and efforts on something so many of their board (past and present) know is a dead end. If it weren’t for KW, we wouldn’t need Autism Science Foundation, Autism Speaks owuld be fulfilling that role!

    NY Times article about KW causing tension at Autism Speaks http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/18/us/18autism.html?sq=autism speaks&st=cse&scp=1&pagewanted=all

    As for her reasons for witholding a body from medical research, that would deprive so many other researchers from having a good specimen for study. What a waste.

  79. #79 Rachael
    November 22, 2011

    @WaffleMaster #64: And I have no doubt that I’m wasting my breath, especially on this forum, but here I go anyway. All I have to go on is the eyewitness accounts of parents who say that their children were completely normal, prior to a vaccination.

    Autism experts say, that they recognize the subtle signs present in infants as young as six months who are at risk for developing autism. but, perhaps those signs were just those of a normal, developing introverted child. Introversion is not an illness, a handicap or a social problem, but introverts do tend to have a lower baseline for arousal and have more brain activity in general, specifically in the frontal lobes. They are usually more sensitive to noise and sounds. There is a statistical correlation between introversion and giftedness. Think of the many children who have developed autism, who have also demonstrated signs of being gifted (artists, musicians, scientists, mathematicians).

    Introversion is a trait born in about a quarter of the population. Seeing as many parents of autistic children have said, that their child’s autism developed after receiving a vaccination and considering that vaccines stimulate the immune system, perhaps, the introverted child may have grown up to be a happy, healthy introverted adult, like many of their parents.

    (PET scans reveal that introverts have more activity in the frontal lobes of the brain and anterior, or front, thalamus. Extroverts exhibit more activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus, temporal lobes and posterior thalamus.)

    “We have to account for the relationship between environmental factors as well as genetics. This is not an either/ or.” Dr. Derrick MacFabe, directorof the Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group at the University of Western Ontario

  80. #80 lilady
    November 22, 2011

    @ Rogue Epidemiologist: There was a time when the Wrights tried to appease their daughter Katie…and they lost the good will of many of their supporters, as well as their extraordinarily competent Executive V.P.-Communications and Awareness, Alison Singer.

    Ms. Singer has a brother who has a severe developmental disability, as well as a daughter who has been diagnosed with autism. She has formed her own foundation (Autism Science Foundation), which, while in its infancy, has the support of parents of children on the “spectrum” as well as scientists involved in research.

    As I stated in a prior post, Katie is being used (a tool) of J.B. and is working out her juvenile oppositional behavior against her parents. She craves the “media” exposure and revels in her “role” as a contributing “journalists” in the cesspool of woo that is AoA.

    I suspect that the Wrights are wondering “where did we go wrong with Katie’s upbringing” and “why does Alison Singer have her head screwed on correctly…while our Katie wallows in the cesspool in la-la land?”

  81. #81 MD1970
    November 22, 2011

    The original research was done 9 years ago. This is merely an update,not
    impressive at all.
    http://www.lookingupautism.org/Articles/EricCourchesne.html

  82. #82 jaranath
    November 22, 2011

    Rachel @ 79:

    Can you not understand how “All I have to go on is the eyewitness accounts of parents who say that their children were completely normal, prior to a vaccination” is indeed, fundamentally, inherently, a waste of breath? Because time and again that’s what this and SO many other pseudosciences and superstitions and woo really seem to boil down to: An inability, from ignorance or miseducation, to know how to know.

  83. #83 lilady
    November 22, 2011

    @ MD1970: Thanks for the linkage to a completely different study done by Eric Courchesne at UCSD on LIVE children with ASD, whose parents were recruited through an outreach program. The earlier study was a retrospective chart review of autistic live children that plotted the head circumference differences at birth and through the live children’s early years.

    You do know the difference between the two studies, don’t you?

    You do know the difference between measuring head circumference of living children versus microscopic analysis of dead children’s brain tissue, don’t you?

    You do know that Courchesne’s latest study compared the numbers of neurons and weight of the entire brain of dead autistic children and the numbers of neurons and weight of the entire brain of dead “normal” children, don’t you?

    Thanks for the unintended laughs you provided me.

  84. #84 passionlessDrone
    November 22, 2011

    Hi Dangerous Bacon –

    “?!!??!”? That’s a lot of fevered punctuation. Are the same dark forces holding up your previous comment in moderation on this blog responsible for your not yet having read the full JAMA article?

    I get about a 75% response rate from corresponding authors when I request papers from them, and a better rate when it is a ‘big’ paper. Thus far, I have no response from the authors. Would you, (or anyone) be willing to send me a copy? passionlessDrone at yahoo . I will award you (or anyone) +10 karma points.

    And “Seen it stated”…seen it stated by who?

    By RAJ, who also commented here. Specifically on threads on this paper on the Neuroskeptic blogspot, and on Left Brain / Right Brain website. If this is inaccurate (I was trying to indicate I couldn’t validate it), please let me know. Have you read the paper? Can you, or anyone, validate if this information was in the paper?

    Even if the part about macroencephaly was so, why exactly do you think this might invalidate the study?

    Such a stratification would not, by any means, ‘invalidate the study’, it should, however serve to give nuance to our interpretation of the findings. If, indeed, a large percentage (or all) of the children in question were macroencephelatic, then this study really gives us clues towards a phenotype. That’s an important distinction in a condition as heterogeneous as autism; something I thought you wouldn’t have to ask questions about; though I am getting a little less and less surprised that you don’t understand something like this every time we have a conversation.

    And were you aware that macroencephaly may not correlate with increased numbers of neurons? – in fact, the number of neurons may be decreased in macroencephaly, depending on what factors are involved.

    OK.

    It would be nice to see acknowledgement by pD (who apparently reads a lot of research papers) that, as Orac noted, what’s bugging Katie Wright (and probably other members of the vaccines-cause-autism alliance) is that the JAMA report flies in the face of assumptions that vaccine “toxins” cause autism, seeing as how the authors’ preliminary results demonstrated significantly more neurons in the brains of autistic children, while you’d expect fewer neurons in the case of actual toxin exposure.

    Did you see the part where I said that Mrs. Wright’s post was a tour de force of dumb?

    I happen to think that the use of ‘toxins’ by both sides of this discussion is a large over simplification. Certainly almost anything on AOA would fall into this classification. Your shoot from the hip assertion above, that ‘actual toxin exposure’ would necessarily result in fewer neurons is just as simplistic. What if an environmental exposure didn’t result in acute toxicity, but instead, interfered with apoptosis? In this case, we could easily find our way towards an increased set of neurons.

    While the AOA guys don’t seem to understand nuance, that doesn’t mean that we have to follow suit; being smarter than Jenny McCarthy, or indeed, Kathy Wright, isn’t exactly something to take pride in. Something doesn’t have to be poisonous to have an impact you know.

    Good to see that pD at least supports further organ donation to learn more about autism, even if he must cast doubt as quickly as possible on the fruit of that research (if it doesn’t meet preconceived notions about the harmfulness of vaccines).

    I think this is a good study (well, from what I’ve read about it. . . . .) , and Orac did a nice job of detailing its preliminary nature. I’ve yet to read the paper (?!?!?!), but the transcription of the talk by the author hosted on the ‘Thinking Person’s Guide To Autism’ has a nice section on the findings of downregulation of apoptosis and the response to DNA damage.

    What we found is dysregulation of pathways that govern cell numbers, and the functional integrity of cells. To be exact, what we found were pathways that showed dysregulation of the genesis of neurons, dysregulation of the way the cycling of cells that produces more and more neurons operates. Most importantly, we found downed regulation of DNA damage responses, and downed regulation of apoptosis [the process of programmed cell death].

    [Not linking, but a google of Thinking Persons Guide To Autism and courchesne will get anyone interested there. I would recommend it.]

    I’d love to have seen a discussion about that part of the paper instead of the standard dummy bashfest. One can hope!

    Your ability to project your prefab, ready to blow down arguments onto me is rather impressive, but you have again failed to understand my position. I’m curious, how exactly does pointing out that the population cohort contains an over representative physical phenotype ‘cast doubt as quickly as possible on the fruit of that research’? Are we here to have a cheering club, or approach findings with objectivity?

    - pD

  85. #85 MD1970
    November 22, 2011

    It took 9 years to go from measuring head size and brain overgrowth to studying neurons in brain size? That’s a very slow brain.

  86. #86 MD1970
    November 22, 2011

    In 2002 Eric C said: “I’m very optimistic that, in the the span of five to seven years, researchers will have discovered major factors involved in this brain overgrowth, and once they do, I believe research will proceed at a tremendously fast pace.”

    Still waiting……..
    He now says brain overgrowth occurs pre-natally.

  87. #87 herr doktor bimler
    November 22, 2011

    MD1970 @ 84:
    It took 9 years to go from measuring head size and brain overgrowth to studying neurons in brain size?

    Is this a graceful way of accepting that your earlier claim (that “This is merely an update”) was not intended to be factual?

  88. #88 MD1970
    November 22, 2011
  89. #89 W. Kevin Vicklund
    November 22, 2011

    It took 9 years to go from measuring head size and brain overgrowth to studying neurons in brain size?

    I know. I mean, it’s not like he’s been busy conducting 65 other studies since 2002 or anything.

  90. #90 Denice Walter
    November 22, 2011

    It appears to me that scenarios linking autism to either “Hg poisoning”/”toxicity” or “Introversion” are attempts to adroitly circumvent incoming data that suggest genetic and early ( primarily pre-natal) causation of autism: this includes hypotheses that call for genetic susceptibility but also require vaccine “damage”. A long time ago, SMIs like schizophrenia, were attributed to damage that occured *after* the child was born: poor parenting, abuse, lack of love, paradoxical communication- all external events; today a strong hereditarial component is recognised and early environmental influences are examined as well ( e.g. virus infection of mother, month of birth, other variables related to gestation). Interestingly, both autism and schizophrenia might involve gene 22.

    People may find a genetic marker for an SMI or a developmental condition stigmatising: why is that? Why don’t they feel that way about Huntington’s? They are all conditions that are not anyone’s *fault* and involve physiological differences in the brain. I believe that folklore and mis-information from the past still haunt our culture.

    In the past, people with severe forms of the developmental disorders were frequently out of the public eye because they were in institutions: today their care( like those with SMI) often falls upon the parents. In most cases, this is not a job for which they are prepared-actually it’s sort of a new job title. Is it any wonder that these parents- who are suffering, many pushed to their limits- are upset?

    However, like cancer patients who foresee a long uncertain path ahead with SBM and seek out the comforting fictions and “guarantees” of woo, parents may be seduced by the externalising causation presented by anti-vax and encouraged by “cures” that remove the offensive causative agent.

    -btw- I adroitly step around the entire topic of introversion. Because I *can*!

  91. #91 Sick sauce
    November 22, 2011

    Rogue Epidemiologist. Wrong. Katie has already ascertained that the “waste” would be in offering up her “good specimen” for fucking pointless “research.” and Lilady I think speculating on the Wrights preferring Alison Singer over their own daughter has really actually de-railed the blog. Why don’t you try and answer Blacheart’s question @ 6 which was actually on-task.

  92. #92 herr doktor bimler
    November 22, 2011

    Rachael @79:
    Seeing as many parents of autistic children have said, that their child’s autism developed after receiving a vaccination and considering that vaccines stimulate the immune system, perhaps, the introverted child may have grown up to be a happy, healthy introverted adult, like many of their parents.

    If you think that vaccinations can indeed lead to the neural abnormalities reported by Courchesne et al., then rather than waste your time here, have you considered arguing with Katie Wright over at Autism Speaks? She’s the one who seems to think that such a link is impossible, and therefore Courchesne’s research should be stopped because it contradicts her beliefs. Change her mind; she will encourage everyone to cooperate with Courchesne’s research; win-win situation!

  93. #93 Composer99
    November 22, 2011

    Sick sauce:

    If you have any substantial criticisms of Courchesne et al 2011 instead of repeating Katie’s superficial ones, please do share, as we’ve just read an entire blog post on why Katie’s criticisms don’t pass muster. Maybe you missed it?

  94. #94 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 22, 2011

    All I have to go on is the eyewitness accounts of parents who say that their children were completely normal, prior to a vaccination.

    Rachael, I want to deal with your concerns respectfully, and for me to do that the best way I know how risks me going a bit too “analytical” for some people’s tastes. Please forgive me if I come across as cold; I’m not trying to be cold but to explain something as clearly and solidly as possible.

    Your argument seems to be as follows:

    1) A great number of parents all say that their children were developing normally up until a vaccination and then shortly after the vaccination became autistic.
    2) When a large number of people all give eyewitness accounts of similar events, it must means those events happened as described.
    3) Therefore, there are a large number of children who were developing normally up until a vaccination and then shortly after the vaccination became autistic.

    3) as above
    4) When a large number of people all develop the same condition after exposure to the same thing, it constitutes strong evidence for a causal relationship between the thing and the condition.
    5) Therefore, there is strong evidence that vaccines cause autism.

    Okay, have I represented your argument fairly? I hope I have. Now, I have to explain where your argument has significant weak points.

    The first is point 2. The average person thinks of eyewitness testimony as very convincing, perhaps the most convincing kind of evidence. The average person assumes that what happens in front of the average person is what that person will perceive and vice versa. But science tells a far different story: it tells us that what people perceive is only a partial (and biased) selection of what is there to perceive. Want a startling demonstration of just how partial? Look up the “gorilla basketball study,” where study subjects watched a video clip of people in black shirts and white shirts passing basketballs back and forth, and were asked to count the passes made by people wearing one of the two shirt colors. Fully half the study subjects failed to see a person dressed in a gorilla suit who walked in from the side of the screen, stepped into the circle of basketball-passers, faced the camera and beat their chest, and then walked off the other side of the screen. If that many people can miss something as attention-getting as a person in a gorilla suit, then how many parents who had no idea that their child might be autistic missed the early signs?

    Then there’s the issue that we are not really dealing, in most cases, with eyewitness accounts; we are dealing with people’s memories of events usually well after the fact. Why is this distinction important? Because science has shown that memory, like attention, is far less perfect than we like to think it is; our memory of even our own experiences can be severely altered by beliefs we acquired later, not even necessarily consciously, about what “must have happened.” Again, a study illustrates the point: subjects were asked to watch a film of an auto accident, and then later answer questions about what they’d seen. Their memories of what they’d seen were highly swayed by the questions they were asked; if asked “how fast was the car going when it ran into the truck,” people would tell what they remembered of the car running into the truck – even though what the film had showed was the truck running into the car, not the car into the truck. People who were asked “how long after the accident did the ambulance arrive?” frequently produced time estimates – even though the correct answer was “No ambulance ever arrived in the film.” If merely being asked in a certain way was enough to jumble people’s memories of what they’d just seen, how distorted do you think parents’ memories of the course of their child’s autism might get, months or years later?

    The answer is very, and case after case has verified that. Parents have testified that their child was completely normal until their vaccination, and then started showing signs of autism directly afterwards, and surely the parents believe what they’re saying – but the problem is, the actual medical records show the parents bringing the child in because of concern over what turns out to be a symptom of autism, before the vaccination that they now misremember as preceding all appearances of autism. The meme “vaccines cause autism! vaccines cause autism!” floats through the Internet and the media, pushed along by some fanatical believers – I know you’ve been to AoA, you’ve seen how fervently people there believe that vaccines cause autism; do you really think that if just being asked “when did the ambulance arrive?” can cause a witness to misremember a phantom ambulance, that being exposed to antivaccine extremists claiming that autism never happens except because of vaccines can’t make parents’ memories reflect a clear “this happened, and then that happened right after” sequence that didn’t really happen in real life?

    So, in regards to point 2, large numbers of parents may say “My child was perfectly normal, and then right after getting a vaccination, he became autistic!” but even if we assume good faith, that all those parents are trying to tell the truth as they know it, it doesn’t prove that things actually happened the way they’re telling the story.

    So, on to point 4. If a sufficiently large group of subjects exhibited a sufficiently precise response to a particular exposure, that would constitute at least some level of inductive evidence for a possible cause-effect relationship between the two. What does “sufficiently precise” mean? It means that if a small random sampling of autistic children all had their autism develop within, say, two weeks of the same vaccination, we wouldn’t automatically conclude a connection, but we’d certainly take seriously the possibility of one. This is why Wakefield’s study got so much attention, until it was discovered that he’d lied about his small group being any kind of a random sampling and had also lied about when autistic symptoms appeared in relation to the vaccination. Even counting only the children in the study whose vaccinations had happened before their autistic symptoms, some happened within weeks, and some happened six months later, or longer than that. If you’re going to nominate, as a possible cause of an as-yet-of-unknown-cause condition, a vaccination that could be half a year or more in the past, then you should be nominating as a possible cause everything that these kids were exposed to, at any time in the six months before their symptoms showed. Did all of those kids drink milk at some point during that six-month period? There you go, milk has become just as plausible a culprit as vaccines. The often-heard refrain is “It couldn’t just be coincidence!” but the fact is that coincidences – which I’ll define here as “things happening in ways that look meaningful, even though there’s just luck and no meaning behind them” – happen all the time. And they especially happen when you relax your standards for “meaningful” to the point where “X happened, and then Y happened sometime in the next 14 to 183 days!!” is considered meaningful.

    I hope you can see what we’re getting at, now. Between the fact that parents didn’t necessarily see everything that was important to understanding their child’s autism, nor necessarily remember correctly what they did see, and that the association remaining is very weak once you realize just how tenuous the time connections are, there just really isn’t good scientific evidence for the vaccines-cause-autism idea. And, most importantly, there’s serious scientific evidence against it. If vaccines caused autism in some subgroup of children, then the rates of autism should be higher among vaccinated children than unvaccinated children. No reputable study has ever found such a disparity in rates. Until an actual difference is found, there is literally nothing to explain; there is no point in creating hypotheses to explain something that doesn’t exist.

  95. #95 lilady
    November 23, 2011

    @ Sicko: You really need to take some reading comprehension courses…before you post here about your “expertise” in immunology, vaccine-preventable diseases, microbiology and pathology. You know you made a fool of yourself on another blog with your unsubstantiated claims about hepatitis B vaccine’s side effects versus the risks of vertical and horizontal transmission of the virus to neonates and young children.

    Perhaps you could take some basic science courses, so that you don’t make a fool of yourself again by discussing gene expression, de novo gene mutations and the prenatal environment, which is the cutting edge now, of autism research.

    I have every right to comment about Katie Wright’s ability as a “science reporter” and, unlike the sycophant posters at AoA, I find her understanding of basic science and the causes of autism to be woefully lacking. Every time she analyzes a real study done by real researchers, she displays her simplistic one-track mind.

    I’m still waiting for her to post here to defend her junk science article and to defend her latest screed.

    I have a special interest in her discouraging parents of deceased disabled children to make anatomic gifts of their child’s tissue for research and to meet the needs of people who are in desperate need of donor organs and tissues to restore their health. I’d also like to discuss her illustration of the human brain and the toilet, that is pictured above her article.

  96. #96 blackheart
    November 23, 2011

    Courchesne’s research; win-win situation!

    Congratulations on (probably accidentaly) critically thinking. I am surprised.

    For those still struggling here’s some simple clues.

    1. Vaccination Status

    2. Autism

    3. Phenotypes

    4. Co-morbid conditions

    5. Gene Expression

    6. Multi factorial.

    7. Lamarck

    That’s seven differing arguments that could made.

  97. #97 blackheart
    November 23, 2011

    MD1970, Passionless Drome

    Congratulations on really starting the debate rolling.

    Well done for raising the bar here and extra points for the extra information.

  98. #98 blackheart
    November 23, 2011

    Rachel

    Your argument is quite elegant though you may not know the exact biology that underpins it. Apparently Orac doesn’t either so that no biggy.

    I wonder if Orac can figure it out ?

    Now there’s a challenge.

  99. #99 blackheart
    November 23, 2011

    Lilady

    Sorry you’ve failed

  100. #100 lilady
    November 23, 2011

    Funny, how none of the (non-troll) regulars here wanted to compete for “raising the bar” and the “extra points”.

    I guess none of us wanted the dubious distinction of being selected for “special honors” bestowed by the perpetually persistent blackheart.

  101. #101 Chris
    November 23, 2011

    Why does it have to be vaccines?

  102. #102 lilady
    November 23, 2011

    Actually, someone did provide answers to the questions posed by the troll (See dt’s posting at # 12 above). Of course the answers that were given “may” not have been satisfactory for the troll…but then, who cares?

    Prior to his intrusion on this blog, I thought his area of “expertise” was in British law and British administrative law. Using an excuse to derail other blogs, he then touted his “expertise” in histopathology with his brilliant dissertations about the tissue samples taken from the intestines of the subjects of Wakefield’s study. He then defended Wakefield’s “discovery” of “autism enterocolitis”. So, now does he claim “expertise” in all aspects of vaccines, their side effects and the diseases they prevent?

    Of course, the subject of this particular blog is the newly released study of brain tissue formation found in cadaver brains of autistic children matched to the study of cadaver brain tissue of “normal” boys.

    Orac has done a masterful analysis of the cadaver brain study and then did a skillful dissection of Katie Wright”s blog about this study, pointing out the sheer inanity of her analysis of the study as well as her interjecting of “facts” that that are not part of the study. These “elements” led Katie Wright to draw illogical conclusions about the validity of the study.

    Being that most of us are polite, we do try to stay on topic. Were it not for the trolls’ derailing postings, we would have not deviated from the discussion at hand.

  103. #103 MD1970
    November 23, 2011

    Autism Now: Dr. Martha Herbert Extended Interview

    ROBERT MACNEIL: Do you think vaccines have been exonerated by all the epidemiological studies, which say they are not implicated in autism?

    DR. MARTHA HERBERT: Well, with vaccines, what I think is that in the last, let’s say, 10 years, we’ve had such an explosion, particularly of immunology, that we’re learning things about the immune system that we could never even have conceived. We have ways of measuring and studying that we’ve never even conceived. That these things could never possibly have been known when our vaccine system was designed and developed.

    And I think we have a really great opportunity to apply this advanced science to making our ways of protecting the population from devastating, infectious disease really powerful and optimal in a way that was never conceivable before. So I think that we know, at the population level, what the statistics are. What we need to know now is what the biology is for each person.

    ROBERT MACNEIL: Could there be a subset of children with a genetic predisposition to have a toxic reaction to vaccines that, for the rest of the children, have no adverse affect?

    DR. MARTHA HERBERT: I think it’s possible that you could have a genetic subgroup. You also might have an immune subgroup. There are a variety of subgroups. But the problem with the population studies is, they aren’t necessarily designed to have the statistical power to find subgroups like that if the subgroups are small.

  104. #104 Indigo_Fire
    November 23, 2011

    @MD1970

    And your point is…? Posting random snippets of random interviews is NOT the same as making a cogent argument. At the very least you need to explain why you think the interview is important and present some type of logical framework for it. I realize that this isn’t a college writing class, but seriously, it shouldn’t take much more work to come up with something resembling an argument. If you can’t even do that than you really have no business posting anything. Exceptions can be made for jokes or witty comments, but this doesn’t qualify.

    Of course, based on your previous posts I’m probably wasting my breath, but it’s late and I simply can’t help myself.

  105. #105 LW
    November 23, 2011

    The aptly-named blackheart is a lawyer? Well, that explains a lot.

  106. #106 Wow
    November 23, 2011

    “Why does it have to be vaccines?”

    Because illness is God’s punishment?

    Because if someone has a problem it MUST be someone’s fault (preferably someone else’s)?

    Because government is telling you to vaccinate (and every nutcase knows that the government is trying to control the world for nefarious purposes)?

    It could be a whole lot of reasons.

    The base of them all is they’re a nutcase.

  107. #107 Dianne
    November 23, 2011

    Basically, Wright is saying that she used to think she would donate her child’s body to science if he were ever to die

    Is anyone else just ever so slightly relieved at Wright’s decision? Maybe I’m over sensitive, but what parent plans what to do with their child’s body if s/he dies? Don’t most parents expect that their children will probably outlive them? It seems like Wright now has one fewer justifications for allowing her child to do dangerous things, perhaps subconsciously hoping for an accident that would rid her of a child she dislikes. Poor kid.

  108. #108 dt
    November 23, 2011

    @blackheart 103

    Thanks. So I guess you have just provided “evidence” that even IF a genetically “vaccine susceptible” subgroup exists, then even Martha Herbert says it is too small to be statistically identifiable.
    Game over.
    Are you some form of provaccine agent provocateur planted here to make the antivaccine crowd look even stupider than they are?

  109. #109 Mu
    November 23, 2011

    Chris@101, I hope the Indiana Jones reference was intentional, it made my day.

  110. #110 puppygod
    November 23, 2011

    As a sidenote, abnormally high neuron count in autism fits quite nicely in evolutionary context. Maybe genetic factors of autism are some combination of alleles responsible – under normal conditions – for brain growth (and development of intelligence) – which were very strongly selected for. That could explain relatively high incidence of autism despite very strong negative selection for autism itself (and without involving environmental factors).

  111. #111 Narad
    November 23, 2011

    The aptly-named blackheart is a lawyer? Well, that explains a lot.

    I was more thinking a Fellow of the English Association of Estate Agents and Valuers.

  112. #112 Daniel J. Andrews
    November 23, 2011

    @W. Kevin Vicklund @89…

    heh! Good response. insert applause-icon here

  113. #113 lilady
    November 23, 2011

    Not a lawyer and not a doctor…just a troll.

  114. #114 Mu
    November 23, 2011

    MD1970, you can sure claim there are susceptible subgroups. But we’re not talking a rare occurrence here, we’re looking at something that affects 1% of the population. With these large numbers, subgroup analysis can be done with pretty decent statistics. So unless a subgroup susceptibility is only present in 10 percent or less of the cases you would find it quickly with the large number of studies done. If the subgroup is getting that small it’s most likely not a significant contributor to the overall disease picture.

  115. #115 Chris
    November 23, 2011

    Well, Mu, I happen to like snakes. Now trolls are a completely different matter.

  116. #116 jaranath
    November 23, 2011

    Aw, dangit Mu! You stole my thunder! I WAS gonna say: “Well, we tried to get snakes, but Spielberg rented them all.”

  117. #117 Chris
    November 23, 2011

    Sigh. If only we could make this sign a reality.

    (Hmmm, how many folks have seen the Norwegian mockumentary, “Trollhunter”? That could be worth a few laughs.)

  118. #118 Lawrence
    November 23, 2011

    Ah, Trollhunter – great movie!

  119. #119 Th1Th2
    November 23, 2011

    Why does it have to be vaccines?

    Because vaccination is infection promoting. If Jenner is alive today, he would concur.

  120. #120 MD1970
    November 23, 2011

    @114
    1% of the population cannot tolerate the current vaccine schedule for various reasons.

  121. #121 Gray Falcon
    November 23, 2011

    @120
    Do you have any evidence for that claim?

  122. #122 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 23, 2011

    Because vaccination is infection promoting. If Jenner is alive today, he would concur.

    Only if Dr. Johnson were* alive today and you could get him to put your unique definition of the word “infection” in his dictionary. Otherwise not.

    *Note the subjunctive.

  123. #123 MD1970
    November 23, 2011

    @121- do you have any evidence that it’s not?

  124. #124 Gray Falcon
    November 23, 2011

    @123. It’s called burden of proof. If someone accused you of placing a curse on someone, is it up to them to prove it true or up to you to prove it false?

  125. #125 Denice Walter
    November 23, 2011

    @ Chris: Ooooh, now I know why you attract trolls…. Norwegian ancestry. They can sniff you guys out. Big trouble for trolls.

  126. #126 MD1970
    November 23, 2011

    @124- That’s rather a facetious statement for so serious an issue. No one
    wants to do the studies and get pilloried.

  127. #127 Calli Arcale
    November 23, 2011

    MD1970:

    1% of the population cannot tolerate the current vaccine schedule for various reasons.

    That’s fine; they can get medical exemptions and as long as the remaining 99% of us don’t freak out unnecessarily and get ourselves vaccinated, that 1% will be protected by our herd immunity. (For the most part. Tetanus is an exception.) If 1% cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, then honestly, that’s all the more reason for the rest of us to get vaccinated.

  128. #128 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 23, 2011

    @124- That’s rather a facetious statement for so serious an issue. No one
    wants to do the studies and get pilloried.

    Oh, this is a thing of true crank-a-licious beauty! Savor it: No one has done the studies. That means there is absolutely no evidence for this assertion, but nevertheless it’s gospel…well…just BECAUSE!

  129. #129 MD1970
    November 23, 2011

    @127- follow the current schedule and wind up 1 in 6 developmentally disabled?

  130. #130 madder
    November 23, 2011

    Ah, I see: the “MD1970″ troll missed when it aimed for the keys to spell MD2020.

  131. #131 Th1Th2
    November 23, 2011

    That’s fine; they can get medical exemptions and as long as the remaining 99% of us don’t freak out unnecessarily and get ourselves vaccinated, that 1% will be protected by our herd immunity.

    See that? They totally disregarded vaccine-induced outbreaks in a highly vaccinated population. Cranks.

  132. #132 lilady
    November 23, 2011

    “@127- @127- follow the current schedule and wind up 1 in 6 developmentally disabled?”

    Let me fix that fer ya….

    -follow the brain droppings of MD1970 and wind up with major outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases?

  133. #133 Anton P. Nym
    November 23, 2011

    @123; that’s not how it works. Burden of proof always lies upon the claimant, in science and medicine as well as in law.

    Thought experiment; if I stand up and say, “MD1970 is a pedophile” and when asked for proof, say, “Prove he/she isn’t!” exactly how far through the justice system should the charge go? Should you be forced to prove your innocence? If so, how often?

    As for the fatuous claims about developmental disabilities relating to vaccines, how could a 1% sensitivity in population lead to a 1 in 6 (~16%) incidence? Not only do you not have proof, you don’t even have math…

    — Steve

  134. #134 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 23, 2011

    @127- follow the current schedule and wind up 1 in 6 developmentally disabled?

    You really are an imbecile, aren’t you? Even if no pathology ever occurred, 15.9%—close enough to one in six—are going to be more than one standard deviation below the mean in any population, anywhere in the world, ever!

  135. #135 lilady
    November 23, 2011

    Please do not feed delusional, uneducated, disease-promoting health care professional wannabe troll. It needs “terminal disinfection”.

  136. #136 herr doktor bimler
    November 23, 2011

    Were it not for the trolls’ derailing postings, we would have not deviated from the discussion at hand.

    I disagree. I am perfectly capable of launching off into irrelevant asides without the provocation of a troll.

  137. #137 Ritchie Annand
    November 23, 2011

    They’re talking – or should be talking – about people who for immunological reasons, like yeast allergies – cannot take the whole vaccination schedule.

    Now, of course, to take this uncontroversial fact and see what leap of equivocation comes next.

    I know, I know!

    * 1% can’t tolerate the current vaccine schedule
    * That means vaccines are harmful to 1%
    * Autism incidence is close to 1%
    * The numbers are so close!
    * Therefore vaccines cause autism

    QED

  138. #138 Th1Th2bot
    November 23, 2011

    See that? They totally disregarded vaccine-induced outbreaks in a highly vaccinated population. Cranks.

    Don’t use of the same assumption; don’t get infected, it’s embarrassing. That is better, keep saying that kids on their natural at that primarily for absolutely, no? But I am miles away because they don’t you meant by. Your self-recognition for you?

  139. #139 Ritchie Annand
    November 23, 2011

    Wow, it sounded better than “50% of the population are below the mean”…

    …but “more than one standard deviation below the mean are [term for more than one standard deviation below the mean] in a population that has been [something irrelevant to the bell curve]” takes clever dissembling to new heights.

  140. #140 Chris
    November 23, 2011

    Why is it that cranks like MD1970, Robert Schecter, Thingy and others are so clueless about basic math and statistics?

  141. #141 Dangerous Bacon
    November 23, 2011

    pD said:

    I get about a 75% response rate from corresponding authors when I request papers from them, and a better rate when it is a ‘big’ paper. Thus far, I have no response from the authors.”

    Well! Obviously that means They Don’t Want You To Know, at least in pD‘s world. I’ll have to remember that explanation the next time I can’t find full-text of a journal article online without paying for it. Rather than getting it from a medical library, I’ll just speculate as to nefarious motives on the part of the authors, using lots of meaningful punctuation (!!!?!?!?).

    If, indeed, a large percentage (or all) of the children in question were macroencephelatic (note-pD still has no evidence of this), then this study really gives us clues towards a phenotype.

    But that’s not what you said in your previous post. Key phrase:
    “most (or all) (were) macroencepelatic during infancy, further warranting caution in extrapolating the results”
    You were trying to cast doubt on the study’s findings rather than expressing curiosity about an autism phenotype.
    Maybe there’s misunderstanding surrounding your use of the terms “macroencepelatic” and “macroencephelatic”, which I do not recognize as actual English words.

    “I happen to think that the use of ‘toxins’ by both sides of this discussion is a large over simplification.Certainly almost anything on AOA would fall into this classification. Your shoot from the hip assertion above, that ‘actual toxin exposure’ would necessarily result in fewer neurons is just as simplistic.”

    Actually, expecting neurotoxins to kill neurons (via apoptosis or other mechanisms) is pretty standard among neuroscience professionals. You could look it up, starting with the Wikipedia entry on neurotoxins. In terms of autism, valproic acid is a drug thought on the basis of at least some preliminary evidence to be associated with a higher risk of autism when expectant mothers take it, and it has been linked to lower neuron counts.

    “While the AOA guys don’t seem to understand nuance, that doesn’t mean that we have to follow suit…Are we here to have a cheering club, or approach findings with objectivity?”

    “We”?

    For casual readers who may not be familiar with pD‘s posts, pD has previously stated here that he is the father of an autistic child, and has devoted many posts on RI to speculating about vaccines causing autism, typically by blaming “inflammatory cytokines” supposedly induced by vaccines, while having zero evidence backing this alleged mechanism as causing autism, and being unconcerned about such cytokines being produced by vaccine-preventable diseases (i.e. it’s gotta be the vaccines).
    This background doesn’t prevent pD from possibly presenting valid points on occasion. It does make laughable assertions by pD that he is approaching the subject of the etiology of autism with “objectivity”.

  142. #142 MD1970
    November 23, 2011

    @132 your comments are as stupid as your website,Nym.

  143. #143 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 23, 2011

    @132 your comments are as stupid as your website,Nym.

    Says the guy who doesn’t know how a bell curve works.

  144. #144 MD1970
    November 23, 2011

    @140
    Phenotypic expression of autoimmune autistic disorder (AAD): a major subset of autism.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19758536

  145. #145 Roger Kulp
    November 23, 2011

    Denice @90,you probably mean 22q11.2 deletion,or duplication,something that is well associated with not only ASD,and schizophrenia,and autoimmune/inflammatory disease.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1763000/pdf/v086p00422.pdf

    Among other articles.

    I have both an ASD diagnosis,as well as a long history of other medical issues.Among these are systemic vasculitis,chronic pneumonia,diet resistant celiac,and a few metabolic problems besides.The same is true of both of my sisters,one of whom is also on the spectrum,the other was diagnosed as schizophrenic in her teens.

    I have been shown to have applicable mutations on 22q11.2,and am trying to get tested for the deletion or duplication.

    http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/grants/social-cognition-22q112-ds-adolescents-asd-vs-without-asd-imaging-and-genetic-correla

    Those of us who have been following this stuff are aware of the study cited by MD1970 @ 88,especially the part about immune regulation,and inflammation,but I have not seen any follow up,about a possible connection to 22q.It may have been those who had donated the “Autism-A” brains had an undiagnosed 22q11.2 deletion or duplication.I am sure a lot of these “vaccine damaged kids”,whose parents go on and on about their complex medical problems no doubt do.

  146. #146 Sick sauce
    November 23, 2011

    @Callie. The obvious problem here is that the 1% may not even know who they are and we need good quality studies to provide those answers. Not vaccinating babies/children or adults that are sick would also be great.

  147. #147 Chris
    November 23, 2011

    MD1970:

    Phenotypic expression of autoimmune autistic disorder (AAD): a major subset of autism.

    By VK Singh, a friend of Wakefield and also Hugh Fudenberg. He is no longer in academic research, but is part of a transfer factor supplement through a Multi-Level-Marketing company, “4Life.” He is also a crank.

  148. #148 Chris
    November 23, 2011

    Sick Sauce, exactly why would we be interested in your opinions? What makes you qualified to set a vaccination policy?

  149. #149 S s
    November 23, 2011

    What makes Brian Deer qualified to carry out his witch hunt? Even more interesting, what enables him to carry out his witch hunt?

  150. #150 Chris
    November 23, 2011

    Brian Deer is tenacious. He is not alone in criticizing Wakefield. That started in 1999. How are Brent Taylor, Michael Fitzpatrick, Nicholas Chadwick, Ben Goldacre, David Elliman, Helen Bedford and others who wondered why Wakefield was calling for single vaccines without any real data?

  151. #151 Andrew
    November 23, 2011

    ” Even more interesting, what enables him to carry out his witch hunt?”

    There’s this thing called journalism, in which people called reporters investigate corrupt doctors who mistreat children. Parents and other interested parties who like to know about crooked doctors will actually pay money to such reporters. If you’d like to learn more, local elementary schools might be able to help you

  152. #152 Andrew
    November 23, 2011

    And of course, as I forgot to mention, Brian Deer got a certain amount of money from Andrew Wakefield – Wakefield started a lawsuit against Deer, but when the former doctor realized that if the case ever went to trial, it would be very bad for him, so withdraw his suit, and paid Deer’s legal fees.

  153. #153 Denice Walter
    November 23, 2011

    @ Andrew, Chris, Rev, D.Bacon:

    Oh, we will never get through to these people about AJW. I am reminded a play by Mamet in which an exasperated real estate salesman expresses how impossible making a particular sale would be ( paraphrase):” Smith** buy this property? Never. Even though he has 100000 in his mattress. Even if the price were halved. Never. Even if Jesus** came down ,took him by the hand and said, ‘Buy this property’- he’s not going to buy.” It ain’t gonna happen. WE will never get through to them. It’s almost funny.

    -btw- I wonder what does “MD”, as in “MD1970″, stands for? Not “medical doctor” I venture *but* could it be “Michael Something”? MD?

    ** Anglicised because I don’t like ethnic stereotypes. Uh oh… well, you know what I mean.

  154. #154 lilady
    November 23, 2011

    @ Sicko: What do you know about journalism? You certainly don’t think that the dreck screeds that you read at AoA is journalism, do you?

    Perhaps you think that what you post here is quality journalism…your readers here don’t think so.

  155. #155 passionlessDrone
    November 23, 2011

    Hi Dangerous Bacon –

    Well! Obviously that means They Don’t Want You To Know, at least in pD’s world.

    Your inability to understand ‘my world’ continues at breakneck pace. Thus far, each of the posts I’ve written on this thread (three) have gone to moderation before showing up; at least I have gotten the moderation message after posting. I doubt this is normal, but perhaps it is. (?!?!?!?!)

    Rather than getting it from a medical library, I’ll just speculate as to nefarious motives on the part of the authors, using lots of meaningful punctuation (!!!?!?!?).

    While this may surprise you, not all of us have the time to goto a medical library every time they want to read a paper; especially those of us with autistic kids that want to read lots of papers. I’m betting maybe that does surprise you.

    Maybe there’s misunderstanding surrounding your use of the terms “macroencepelatic” and “macroencephelatic”, which I do not recognize as actual English words.

    I’m pretty sure you knew exactly what I meant. The good news is that I have gotten a copy of the paper, (thank you, anonymous benefactor!), and can report that there is no mention of increased head size (or decreased head size) in the autism group. [Thanks, RAJ.]

    Actually, expecting neurotoxins to kill neurons (via apoptosis or other mechanisms) is pretty standard among neuroscience professionals.

    But this only goes to show the disingenuous nature of your argument.

    Here is your initial statement:

    what’s bugging Katie Wright (and probably other members of the vaccines-cause-autism alliance) is that the JAMA report flies in the face of assumptions that vaccine “toxins” cause autism, seeing as how the authors’ preliminary results demonstrated significantly more neurons in the brains of autistic children, while you’d expect fewer neurons in the case of actual toxin exposure.

    In the first place, considering your keen interest in my spelling errors, I’m curious as to your rather sudden change from ‘toxin’ to ‘neurotoxin’ that your argument seems to have evolved. Or, is it that in ‘Dangerous Bacon’s world’, all toxins are neurotoxins?

    But the intellectual dishonesty of your argument goes much deeper. The entire thrust of Orac’s post, one which I largely agree with, is that the guys and girls who post at AOA don’t have the first clue about what they are talking about, immunology, epidemiology, autism, toxicology, or almost anything else. But, when they say they don’t like ‘toxins’ in their vaccines, not only are they adequately versed in toxicology (but just this once), but they also mean neurotoxins. Wow! You don’t get to apply competency towards a group of people when it is convenient to the argument you would like to make, and incompetency towards the same people, on the same issue, every other time.

    In terms of autism, valproic acid is a drug thought on the basis of at least some preliminary evidence to be associated with a higher risk of autism when expectant mothers take it, and it has been linked to lower neuron counts.

    Citation required regarding ‘lower neuron counts’. Do your citations include findings from the prefrontal cortex?

    Lets say, for the sake of argument, that you are correct. In that case, however, what that means is that the current study, which showed higher neuron counts is a different phenotype than a situation wherein prenatal valporic acid resulted in decreased neuron counts. Is this this your way of saying that you think there are different pathways to autism causation, and for that reason, we shouldn’t extrapolate the findings from Courchesne too widely? Maybe we agree on things after all!

    For casual readers who may not be familiar with pD’s posts, pD has previously stated here that he is the father of an autistic child, and has devoted many posts on RI to speculating about vaccines causing autism, typically by blaming “inflammatory cytokines” supposedly induced by vaccines, while having zero evidence backing this alleged mechanism as causing autism, and being unconcerned about such cytokines being produced by vaccine-preventable diseases (i.e. it’s gotta be the vaccines).

    Now here is where I am going to post a link and anyone can see for themselves the intellectual bankruptcy of Dangerous Bacon’s representation of my position. The real masochist can read the entire thread and see if I provided ‘zero evidence’ of this alleged mechanism.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/11/the_strange_science_and_ethics_of_the_an.php

    Check out comment # 75, where I write, specifically to Dangerous Bacon

    But even here, just six posts above I told Calli Arcade that infections during early infancy would have the same functional effect.

    Or later in post 75:

    Natural infection, LPS, and vaccines all trigger the innate immune system, you aren’t getting around that simple, simple fact, and one of the results of that is the creation of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

    Or in post 78:

    You still don’t understand the concept that the effects of an inflammatory response in vivo as an immediate consequence of a vaccination (or natural stimulation of the immune response) are the focus of my concerns, and why a study that involved months old blood stimulated in vitro to measure responses is a very, very different type of measurement.

    Does this sound like someone who is advocating ‘it’s gotta be the vaccines’? Either Dangerous Bacon cannot read, or he is intentionally misrepresenting my positions. [BTW - one of the cases in the autism group in Courchesne was hospitalized for a fever four days after birth. Go figure.]

    Finally, for anyone actually interested in the growing body of literature on the effects of early life activation of the immune system, I would recommend some of the following papers, which have come out recently (most, since the post that I just linked to):

    A Lifespan Approach to Neuroinflammatory and Cognitive Disorders: A Critical Role for Glia

    Or

    Microglia and memory: modulation by early-life infection.

    Or

    Neonatal programming of innate immune function

    All of which have similar shades, the immune system and CNS and very tightly coupled in ways that were black swan unknown just a decade ago, and interventions within the immune system during critical developmental timeframes can have widely varied results on the organism. This is a data stream that is only going to get more inconvenient.

    This background doesn’t prevent pD from possibly presenting valid points on occasion.

    Thank you.

    It does make laughable assertions by pD that he is approaching the subject of the etiology of autism with “objectivity”

    I’m willing to put my objectivity up against your any time.

    - pD

  156. #156 Chris
    November 23, 2011

    Denice Walter:

    -btw- I wonder what does “MD”, as in “MD1970″, stands for? Not “medical doctor” I venture *but* could it be “Michael Something”? MD?

    A very cheap unfortified version of MD2020.

  157. #157 herr doktor bimler
    November 23, 2011

    Even more interesting, what enables him to carry out his witch hunt?

    “Being right” perhaps? Or is that too simple?

  158. #158 tfk
    November 23, 2011

    Orac, I’m late to this post, but earlier comments prompted me to ask you to consider a post on body donation–how it’s different from organ donation. Donating organs is noble in itself, but the brains in this study likely came from full body donors. When I die, my organs will go to people who need them (though I hope to live long enough to wear them out on my own) AND the rest will go to the University of Minnesota Anatomy department (some schools,I’ve heard, don’t allow both, but MN does). To really help science, it’s important to be more than an organ donor. Of course, I’d rather have my skeleton hanging in a high school science classroom, but this is the next best thing.

  159. #159 blackheart
    November 24, 2011

    This study suggests that, whatever causes autism, it probably happens before birth, not after. If true, that rules out vaccines as a cause.

    a) Vaccines – We don’t know the vaccine status of the mother. Therefore we can’t dismiss a role for vaccine either directly or indirectly causative.

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/preg-guide.htm

    b) Autism – This research addresses Autism not the full spectrum of Autism so this type of physiology has not been shown in say Asperger’s.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism_spectrum

    c) Phenotypes – This study does not address differing phenotypes as identified by University of California researchers.

    http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mindinstitute/research/app/

    d) Co-morbid conditions – This study does not identify whether the extra cortical cells are directly causative to autism only or may be part of another pathology that is often seen in patients with autism.(Or indeed whether it could be a protective factor for ‘autism’.)

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110419003648.htm

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19187292

    e) Gene Expression – This study does not elucidate whether the physiology is related to gene expression through ‘insult’ or another mechanism.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22065254

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22030357

    f) Multi- factorial – There is no clarity to the research to elucidate whether this ‘single event’ is causative to autism or whether it is a matter of several factors that have to be in play over time.

    http://www.cell.com/trends/neurosciences/abstract/S0166-2236%2808%2900038-6

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22085436

    g) Lamarck This study does not address the possibility of epigenetic inheritance that has been elucidated by researchers. (One for the real deep thinkers)

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090518111723.htm

    h)Neuroinflammation – This study does not address other physiology such as neuroinflammation and other immune system markers found in CSF autistic patients.

    http://www.neuro.jhmi.edu/neuroimmunopath/autism_faqs.htm

    i)Brain Growth – This study does not address aberrant brain growth found in autistic patients after birth.Or address other anatomical features found in autism.

    http://www.jneurosci.org/content/24/42/9228.full

    http://brainposts.blogspot.com/2010/09/common-brain-anatomy-features-in-autism.html

    http://www.cell.com/trends/neurosciences/abstract/S0166-2236%2808%2900038-6

    j)Regressive Autism – This study does not elucidate the finding by Hornig of 88% regressive autism .

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0003140

  160. #160 Julian Frost
    November 24, 2011

    MD1970:

    [F]ollow the current schedule and wind up 1 in 6 developmentally disabled?

    Hmm, compelling at first glance, but then we look at populations that don’t follow the current schedule. What do we see? Mental and developmental disabilities.
    MD1970, have you ever heard the term “village idiot”? It was common a few centuries ago, and vaccination didn’t exist back then.
    You are assuming that the 1 in 6 rate of developmental disabilities is due to the vaccination schedule. Your assumption is incorrect.

  161. #161 Julian Frost
    November 24, 2011

    Comment of mine in moderation.

  162. #162 blackheart
    November 24, 2011

    dt

    It seems to have escaped your notice …but I didn’t post at #103

  163. #163 T-reg
    November 24, 2011

    A few fine examples of how eyewitness accounts are not always reliable:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbmmM1cLjZ0&feature=related

  164. #164 T-reg
    November 24, 2011
  165. #165 MI Dawn
    November 24, 2011

    Totally OT: happy Thanksgiving to all the RI minions, and to Orac’s, even more!

  166. #166 Rachael
    November 24, 2011

    T-reg: Here’s an example of the eyewitness account of a normally developing child until a vaccine induced autism at 13 months …

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze_Hlkz8dDs

    but, what the heck do parents know about their own child?

  167. #167 Rachael
    November 24, 2011

    and here’s another. Watch all three parts. “Vaccines and Autism: Mixed Signals”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSREwYkF9EI

  168. #168 Militant Agnostic
    November 24, 2011

    Rachael

    but, what the heck do parents know about their own child?

    Given the tendency of anti-vaxxer’s to claim that ineffective biomedical autism “treatments” have worked, often not very much.

    Are you aware that one of the plaintiffs in the autism omnibus hearing presented pre and post vaccination videotapes of their child as proof that autistic behaviour began after vaccination? In fact the pre-vaccination video clearly showed autistic behaviours.

  169. #169 lilady
    November 24, 2011

    @ Rachael: I would “go with” the pediatrician’s diagnosis of roseola rather than measles…based on the doctor’s examination of the child:

    Roseola is a viral disease commonly known as Sixth’s Disease, usually caused by the Herpes 6 virus. The rash is different than a measles rash; it is a flat rash versus the maculapapular rash of measles. The rash after measles vaccination, that occurs in ~ 5 % of vaccine recipients does not appear for at least 3 days (up to 21 days) after the vaccine is given…not 1 day after, as “claimed” in the video. I’m certain that the physician explained to the parents that the absence of chorizo, cough and Koplix’s xanthum spots in the mouth all rule out a diagnosis of measles.

    Thanks however, for your link to the anti-vax videos…it gave me the opportunity to view the hilariously funny “case” of Desiree Jennings.

  170. #170 Rachael
    November 24, 2011

    “In fact the pre-vaccination video clearly showed autistic behaviours.”

    ***************
    Autistic behaviours or signs of introversion? Perhaps, that introverted, intelligent child would have grown up to be an introverted, intelligent adult like many of their parents, if it had not been for the vaccination that induced autism, in the susceptible, sensitive child.

  171. #171 lilady
    November 24, 2011

    Ooops:

    chorizo = spicy Spanish sausage

    **coryza = nasal congestion

    ** It’s been a while since I investigated a measles outbreak.

    Half a “gotcha” awarded to any poster who picked up on my mistake.

  172. #172 ArtK
    November 24, 2011

    Rachael,

    With regards to your videos: So what? Correlation does not imply causation. In easier terms: Just because event B happens kind-of-right after event A, it doesn’t mean that A caused B.

    Another response: Anecdotes aren’t data. Individual stories don’t prove causation either. Larger scale studies on the proposed vaccine-autism link have failed to show any significant correlation.

    That “kind-of-right after” brings in another fallacy: the Texas Sharpshooter. You can show all kinds of “correlation” if you draw the circle big or small enough. In some of the so-called vaccine injury cases, the “kind-of-right after” was something on the order of months. As Militant Agnostic pointed out above, there are cases where “kind-of-right after” was really “some time before.”

    Anecdotes of supposed correlation are the start of the process to find a cause, not the end of the process. From small-scale anecdotes we go to larger, controlled studies. If those show a significant correlation, we work on proposed mechanisms and then we design experiments to validate those hypotheses. So far, the vaccine-autism idea (not even an hypothesis) has failed to show any correlation in larger studies, and has failed to propose a plausible mechanism. Lots of wild speculation, but nothing substantive.

    So, those videos may “prove” a link to you, but to anyone with functioning rational capabilities, they’re just emotional noise.

  173. #173 Denice Walter
    November 24, 2011

    @ Rachael:

    I really think that introversion and autism should be considered separately- yes, I’ve seen speculation about this: I don’t want to go into the whole history of introversion/ extroversion as a concept but here’s a few things to consider- introverts may be very well versed in social cognition- trying to understand other people, thinking recursively, being sensitive to subtle communications like gesture, facial expression, prosody; extroverts are not necessarily as “tuned in”,; then there’s the reflective/ impulsive dimension- I could easily imagine arguing a link in the opposite direction. I personally might test fairly highly on measures of introversion but am painfully aware of non-verbal signals et al and my score on ASQ basically doesn’t register.

    If you like material like this go to sites that are science based or take a course in general psychology at a 2 or 4 year college. AoA, NVIC, NaturalNews, Progressive Radio Network etc do not provide reality-based information in the life/social sciences. I could write a book on this.

  174. #174 T-reg
    November 24, 2011

    @Rachael:
    First of all, I’d like to say that I sympathize with Madison and her parents. It is unfortunate that this has happened.

    However, just by stating that her decline started immediately post vaccination doesn’t prove that the vaccine caused it.

    From a logical perspective:

    1. To a person who does not know what parameters to look for while determining the growth and development of a child (like the parents and the target audience for the video) the child may look like she is developing normally but they may miss subtle signs. The information provided in the video is not adequate to determine that the child was growing and developing normally up until the vaccination. For e.g. only her gross motor skill (sitting without support) has been mentioned with the age (5 months). What about the chronology of other milestones? Other than gross motor skills, what about specific fine motor skills and the age at which they were achieved? What the chronology of the milestones indicative of social development? Obviously, these aren’t questions that the target audience of the video are going to be asking because most would not know that these are important criteria to consider.

    The eye sees only what the mind knows. Which is why an expert maybe able to detect subtle signs (because s/he knows what to look for) which parents may not.

    To illustrate, you have had your heart all your life. But, I’m sure you are not aware of what the normal events during the cardiac cycle are; what their normal duration is; or what the specific pressure changes should be in each chamber of the heart. You also wouldn’t know the molecular mechanisms responsible for contraction of the muscle fibres or how the energy is supplied or how the control mechanisms work. In fact, if you have not been taught or have not taught yourself the anatomy of the heart, you probably are not even familiar with the normal anatomy of the heart, either. Without knowing the normal (even though you have been in possession of it all your life), how do you expect to know the abnormal?
    Similarly, just because they are the parents and have been seeing the child since birth does not mean that nothing unusual will elude them. They have to first know that it is unusual. And as far as subtle signs are concerned, they are after all, subtle.

    2. If the child already had subtle signs OR sub-clinical changes which were eventually going to lead to her decline into clinical symptoms it is still possible that the age around which the (noticeable) decline were to start could be around the same age at which the vaccines are administered. That doesn’t implicate vaccines as the cause. It just means that vaccination is an event which occurred in parallel to beginning of the clinical decline.

    3. The much touted

    immunological mechanisms have been seen to be highly active in autistic brains Immunological mechanisms are responsible for autism” + “vaccines stimulate immunological phenomena” = “vaccines cause autism”

    equation is again fallacious:

    a] Vaccines are not the ONLY triggers for immunological mechanisms. Most foreign antigens that we are exposed to stimulate an immunological reaction to it – why don’t you implicate them? Considering that the vaccines contain the same antigens as (in most cases, lesser antigens than) the pathogen against which it provides immunity, how is it any different from being exposed to the pathogenic strains of the organism? Without MMR vaccination, the child will get measles, mumps and rubella (especially when the herd immunity goes down) and will still be exposed to the same antigens as those in the vaccine. If natural infection with greater antigenic exposure isn’t a trigger for autism, why should the same antigenic exposure (but iatrogenically) cause autism?

    b] Again, just because immunological activity has been found to be high in the autistic brain tissue samples, does not mean that it is the cause. The other possibilities are -

    i) The cause of autism could be a defect in a cellular signalling pathway which causes faulty neuronal migration. The disruption of this same signalling pathway genes could also make the signalling between leukocytes abnormal leading to an abnormal immunological functioning. In that case the, findings would be indicative of two parallel phenomena, NOT “cause and effect”.

    ii) The cause of autism could be a yet unidentified misfolded protein. This misfolding may alter its function probably causing autism. This misfolding may also alter its immunological properties to which the immune system maybe reacting.

    iii) The cause of autism could be a yet unidentified pathogen to which the immune system maybe reacting. Thus the pathogen may be directly responsible or the immune reaction to that pathogen maybe responsible for the development of autism.

    iv) The cause of autism could be an immune reaction against a sequestered antigen in the CNS getting exposed. This exposure again can have so many causes.

    You see, the surety with which you draw your conclusions from the equation above is because of your lack of knowledge of pathophysiology and your inability to consider other possibilities based on it. Yet again, the eyes see only what the mind knows.

    Having spoken of the multiple possibilities which could logically follow from your observations (unlike your ability to see only one logical possibility), let us consider what reality says: 14 years after the “vaccine causes autism scare”, multiple studies have been conducted and no reputable, well designed study has shown that there is a causal link between vaccination and autism. Studies to which the regular posters have frequently posted links on this forum. Please feel free to check them out. If you detect a flaw in those studies (other than that they do not support your notions) please point them out to us.

  175. #175 Militant Agnostic
    November 24, 2011

    Racheal

    Autistic behaviours or signs of introversion?

    The autism experts who actually viewed the tape said Autistic – not introversion. Generally, informed export opinion trumps wishful speculation.

  176. #176 T-reg
    November 24, 2011

    @Rachael:
    First of all, I’d like to say that I sympathize with Madison and her parents. It is unfortunate that this has happened.

    However, just by stating that her decline started immediately post vaccination doesn’t prove that the vaccine caused it.

    From a logical perspective:

    1. To a person who does not know what parameters to look for while determining the growth and development of a child (like the parents and the target audience for the video) the child may look like she is developing normally but they may miss subtle signs. The information provided in the video is not adequate to determine that the child was growing and developing normally up until the vaccination. For e.g. only her gross motor skill (sitting without support) has been mentioned with the age (5 months). What about the chronology of other milestones? Other than gross motor skills, what about specific fine motor skills and the age at which they were achieved? What the chronology of the milestones indicative of social development? Obviously, these aren’t questions that the target audience of the video are going to be asking because most would not know that these are important criteria to consider.

    The eye sees only what the mind knows. Which is why an expert maybe able to detect subtle signs (because s/he knows what to look for) which parents may not.

    To illustrate, you have had your heart all your life. But, I’m sure you are not aware of what the normal events during the cardiac cycle are; what their normal duration is; or what the specific pressure changes should be in each chamber of the heart. You also wouldn’t know the molecular mechanisms responsible for contraction of the muscle fibres or how the energy is supplied or how the control mechanisms work. In fact, if you have not been taught or have not taught yourself the anatomy of the heart, you probably are not even familiar with the normal anatomy of the heart, either. Without knowing the normal (even though you have been in possession of it all your life), how do you expect to know the abnormal?
    Similarly, just because they are the parents and have been seeing the child since birth does not mean that nothing unusual will elude them. They have to first know that it is unusual. And as far as subtle signs are concerned, they are after all, subtle.

    2. If the child already had subtle signs OR sub-clinical changes which were eventually going to lead to her decline into clinical symptoms it is still possible that the age around which the (noticeable) decline were to start could be around the same age at which the vaccines are administered. That doesn’t implicate vaccines as the cause. It just means that vaccination is an event which occurred in parallel to beginning of the clinical decline.

    3. The much touted

    immunological mechanisms have been seen to be highly active in autistic brains Immunological mechanisms are responsible for autism” + “vaccines stimulate immunological phenomena” = “vaccines cause autism”

    equation is again fallacious:

    a] Vaccines are not the ONLY triggers for immunological mechanisms. Most foreign antigens that we are exposed to stimulate an immunological reaction to it – why don’t you implicate them? Considering that the vaccines contain the same antigens as (in most cases, lesser antigens than) the pathogen against which it provides immunity, how is it any different from being exposed to the pathogenic strains of the organism? Without MMR vaccination, the child will get measles, mumps and rubella (especially when the herd immunity goes down) and will still be exposed to the same antigens as those in the vaccine. If natural infection with greater antigenic exposure isn’t a trigger for autism, why should the same antigenic exposure (but iatrogenically) cause autism?

    b] Again, just because immunological activity has been found to be high in the autistic brain tissue samples, does not mean that it is the cause. The other possibilities are -

    i) The cause of autism could be a defect in a cellular signalling pathway which causes faulty neuronal migration. The disruption of this same signalling pathway genes could also make the signalling between leukocytes abnormal leading to an abnormal immunological functioning. In that case the, findings would be indicative of two parallel phenomena, NOT “cause and effect”.

    ii) The cause of autism could be a yet unidentified misfolded protein. This misfolding may alter its function probably causing autism. This misfolding may also alter its immunological properties to which the immune system maybe reacting.

    iii) The cause of autism could be a yet unidentified pathogen to which the immune system maybe reacting. Thus the pathogen may be directly responsible or the immune reaction to that pathogen maybe responsible for the development of autism.

    iv) The cause of autism could be an immune reaction against a sequestered antigen in the CNS getting exposed. This exposure again can have so many causes.

    You see, the surety with which you draw your conclusions from the equation above is because of your lack of knowledge of pathophysiology and your inability to consider other possibilities based on it. Yet again, the eyes see only what the mind knows.

    Having spoken of the multiple possibilities which could logically follow from your observations (unlike your ability to see only one logical possibility), let us consider what reality says: 14 years after the “vaccine causes autism scare”, multiple studies have been conducted and no reputable, well designed study has shown that there is a causal link between vaccination and autism. Studies to which the regular posters have frequently posted links on this forum. Please feel free to check them out. If you detect a flaw in those studies (other than that they do not support your notions) please point them out to us.

  177. #177 lilady
    November 24, 2011

    @ Rachael: Things getting a little “hot” for you here? Why not toddle over to AoA where they have a posting moderation policy of excluding any real science…and including any crank theory about precipitating factors (vaccines) “causing” autism?

    You do know the difference between personality traits and developmental disabilities, don’t you?

    Denice Walter has offered you some good advice about taking some courses at your local community college; I suggest that you register for Psychology 101 to learn the difference between introverted and extroverted personality traits.

    Let us know how you fare in Psychology 101…then we could suggest some other, more advanced courses in normal early child development versus early developmental lags observed in children with developmental disabilities.

  178. #178 Rachael
    November 24, 2011

    To all the know-it-alls (with very inflated egos), who really know nothing: I said it once and I’ll say it again … one of the near-universal characteristics of autism is introversion. Introverts tend to be highly-sensitive and many are gifted in math, science, music or art, just like many children who are autistic. Autism experts say, that they recognize the subtle signs present in infants as young as six months and some dispute claims from parents that say, that their children were completely normal, prior to a vaccination, but, perhaps, those signs were just those of a normal, developing introverted child. Introversion is hard-wired in the brain from birth. It is not an illness, a handicap or a social problem, but introverts do tend to have a lower baseline for arousal and have more brain activity in general, specifically in the frontal lobes (seen on PET scans). They are usually more sensitive to noise and sounds. It’s a trait born in about a quarter of the population.

    Seeing as many parents of autistic children have said, that their child’s autism developed after receiving a vaccination and considering that vaccines stimulate the immune system, perhaps the extra sensitive, sometimes, gifted child would have developed into a normal, healthy, happy, intelligent introverted adult like many of their parents, if he/she had not been given that inoculation that damaged their brain.

  179. #179 Mu
    November 24, 2011

    Is that “introvert” meme a Rachel special or is it the new AoA theme?

  180. #180 The Christian Cynic
    November 24, 2011

    I’ve got to speak to the “parents know their kids the best” thing: as the father of two autistic boys, I have to say no to this. I knew plenty about autism before my first son was born – a friend had a severely autistic cousin who I helped watch on occasion, and I had researched autism a fair amount to present information to the special education class I took as an education major – but I didn’t really suspect that he was showing signs of autism until after he had been receiving Early Intervention therapy (DT, OT, speech) for about a year. He did regress: he had a vocabulary of a few words (e.g. “Mama”) that he lost for a while, but there was no noticeable event that we could have linked it to, certainly not any of his vaccinations.

    On the other hand, with our second son (who was about six months old when our oldest was diagnosed), we knew what to look for, and it was evident from a very early age that he was showing signs, and our developmental pediatrician diagnosed him at 18 months.

    So no, I don’t trust – or expect – that the average parent will “know” their child well enough to link regression or signs of autism to any specific event. There’s a reason that it takes a professional to make such a diagnosis, and virtually no parent will have the training or experience to know what it is happening with their child developmentally.

  181. #181 TBruce
    November 24, 2011

    Rachael:

    An anecdote for you.
    I am an introvert, from a family of introverts. All of my parents’ descendents have had the full range of vaccines recommended for the places we live and have travelled. There are introverted children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Not one is on the autism spectrum.

    The only one suspected of having autism was me.
    I was examined by an autism specialist a few years back to see if I had Asperger’s (I won’t go into why). She categorically denied that I was on the spectrum. She thought my symptoms were caused by enormous stress I was going through at the time. The symptoms (and stress) are now resolved.

    The point of this is that anecdotes can be used to “prove” anything. Since my anecdote is as valid as yours, do I get to claim it as “proof” that vaccines have no role in causing autism? No I don’t.

    The answer lies in scientific investigation and methods – epidemiology, experimentation, statistical analysis etc.
    As has been said many times – people are easy to fool – and the easiest person to fool is yourself. Science, done properly, avoids this.

  182. #182 Rachael
    November 24, 2011

    TBruce: And I am also an introvert and a gifted portrait artist. I developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome about 25 years ago; another group of people who are maligned, disbelieved and disregarded by the medical community. I have been researching on my own behalf for many of those years and became very interested in the cross-over “similarities” between autism and CFS. I now believe CFS is an autoimmune illness. Thanks to my own research I have my illness, somewhat, under control.

    While, I am sure some children are born with Asperger’s or autism, I also believe that some children’s autism was induced by an environmental trigger; a stimulation or change in the immune system, in the sensitive, introverted brain of a developing child.

  183. #183 Dangerous Bacon
    November 24, 2011

    pD said:

    “Your inability to understand ‘my world’ continues at breakneck pace. Thus far, each of the posts I’ve written on this thread (three) have gone to moderation before showing up; at least I have gotten the moderation message after posting. I doubt this is normal, but perhaps it is. (?!?!?!?!)”

    This is standard conspiratorial fare from our antivax contingent. I have seen a number of my own posts go to moderation when there is but a single included link, or even sometimes when there is no link at all. pD needs to recognize that there is no plot to silence him or the vociferously loony antivax commenters.
    As for accessibility of the JAMA article under discussion, there are plenty of us who have not had immediate access to it (or other newly published fare), but who’d prefer to make the effort to search it out rather than gripe about how the authors were keeping if from us deliberately, while speculating groundlessly about a physical characteristic of the subjects potentially invalidating the study (congratulations for finally acknowledging that there’s no evidence of this). Seeing as how your specialty on RI has been a Gish-Galloping citation-fest of minimally relevant articles, I’d been under the impression that you had multiple journal subscriptions and a “world-class” article-review service (like the Geier’s “world-class” lab in their basement), but maybe not.

    “Citation required regarding ‘lower neuron counts’. Do your citations include findings from the prefrontal cortex?”

    See, this is an example why it is often fruitless to try to debate with you. You make an assertion, it is contradicted, then you try to weasel around it by creating new conditions. This happened awhile back when you claimed that there was no research investigating inflammatory cytokine production in connection with vaccines. When I demonstrated to you that indeed there was, I got responses on the order of “well, they didn’t look at these cytokines”, didn’t delve as deeply as you thought they should, etc., never admitting that you got caught out in an inaccurate statement.

    This is the poster accusing me of intellectual dishonesty. Irony meters explode.

    What we do agree on currently is that the JAMA study under discussion offers some interesting if limited evidence deserving of further study, and that parents of autistic children shouldn’t condemn and withhold their support of research if it produces findings contrary to their beliefs.

    I’m willing to put my objectivity up against your any time.”

    I’ve never said that I’m “objective”. I think vaccines have provided enormous public health benefits while establishing an excellent safety record, and that repeated attempts to damage public faith in them through specious arguments and bad science need to be counteracted through good evidence and effective public relations. Fairness demands that quality evidence be weighed and accepted even if it runs against long-held beliefs. “Objectivity”, in daily life or reporting in the media, is not a quality we can expect in human beings, and I am especially wary of those who claim to be objective, particularly when they have repeatedly given us examples of why they are not.

  184. #184 Denice Walter
    November 24, 2011

    @ Mu:
    I suspect that their web browsing leads them to many psych topics- I wonder if “risky shift” is next? I do hope so!

    One of the problems with picking and choosing as though you were at a buffet dinner is that there is no overview that comes from in-depth study guided by professionals in the field. I read/ hear this perpetually: we have Mike Adams talking about cognition and Gary Null expounding his own “theories” of personality and counselling – nonsense that is inferior to the comic efforts my undergrad pals would write up for sport. They display their *lack* of understanding- but their adoring audience doesn’t realise it because they themselves *lack* the formal knowledge that would enable them to discern the ineptitude unfurled before them. The mis-information is tailored cargo-cult fashion to resemble “science” and “research”: catch phrases are chosen carefully.

    The funny thing is that science is open to anyone who wants to read and study. Woo-meisters want non-scientists to believe that it is a “closed society” or “secret cult” slamming the door on outsiders- it’s the reverse. Education is costly and time-consuming- there are no short-cuts but free/inexpensive education is available; over 200 years ago there were “coffee houses” where modernists talked and discussed the “new”. We now have the cyber-salon.

    ( Oh Lord! This is supposed to be my holiday week : Wed-Sun… oh well)

  185. #185 herr doktor bimler
    November 24, 2011

    Rachael @177:
    I’m trying to suppress my inflated ego and my natural dismissiveness. Bear in mind that these are actually my introvert strategies for dealing with unwanted stimulation from outside.

    I am happy to accept that the difference between introverts’ and extroverts’ behaviour is accompanied by differences in the patterns of brain activity in functional-imaging studies. It would be a wonder if there was no connection. But these are *subtle* differences; you can’t look at a snapshot of a person’s brain activity and say “She’s an introvert!”

    So when you say “The brain processes information much differently in introverts, than in extroverts”, that’s where I think you’re drawing too long a bow. The neurons are the same, the cortical pathways are the same, the difference in the overall distribution of activity is subtle.

    And crucially, there’s no hint of *any* difference in immune response (if there were, wouldn’t introverts also be more vulnerable to childhood diseases, and therefore more in need of immunisation?). If someone had found a genetic difference between introverts and extroverts that produced an identifiable difference in their neurons — a special allele for one of the neurotransmitter receptors, for instance — *then* there would be some point to wondering if they are more vulnerable to an immune-system response.

    Autism experts say, that they recognize the subtle signs present in infants as young as six months who are at risk for developing autism. but, perhaps those signs were just those of a normal, developing introverted child.

    Serious question here. Has anyone reported infant markers of introversion, i.e. behavioural signs in infants who grow up to be introverted?
    I know there’s a 1999 paper by Schwartz, Snidman & Kagan about ‘reserved’, inhibited, avoidant infants, who tended to be inhibited and reserved when they were assessed as teenagers — but ‘inhibition’ is not the same thing as ‘introversion’.

  186. #186 Th1Th2
    November 24, 2011

    I wonder if passsionlessDrone is or has become an antivaccine. Because I remember him in SBM being a provax. Good to see these bunch of infection promoters have learned their lessons the hard way.

  187. #187 brian
    November 24, 2011

    @The Christian Cynic

    Your experience is not unusual. Prospective studies of children as they develop ASD show that the parents of children with ASD routinely miss the subtle early signs of ASD as the condition develops in their younger children; in fact, even such “experienced” parents regularly miss the development of regression.

    Here’s an example:

    http://imfar.confex.com/imfar/2010/webprogram/Paper7432.html

    Of course, the physical signs associated with ASD can be detected much earlier, since in infants eye movements or muscle tone can be assessed more easily than can behaviors.

  188. #188 Th1Th2
    November 24, 2011

    I would “go with” the pediatrician’s diagnosis of roseola rather than measles…based on the doctor’s examination of the child:

    I’d bet if this child happened to be unvaccinated, the doctor would have diagnosed the child with measles based on clinical whim.

    The rash is different than a measles rash; it is a flat rash versus the maculapapular rash of measles. The rash after measles vaccination, that occurs in ~ 5 % of vaccine recipients does not appear for at least 3 days (up to 21 days) after the vaccine is given…not 1 day after, as “claimed” in the video. I’m certain that the physician explained to the parents that the absence of chorizo, cough and Koplix’s xanthum spots in the mouth all rule out a diagnosis of measles.

    You clearly are ignorant about modified measles induced by live attenuated measles vaccine.

  189. #189 Supero
    November 24, 2011

    Wow……

    My first visit to Orac’s blog in a while, and I see that Th1Th2 still posts here.

    You going to try to back up that last assertion, or do you give up?

  190. #190 Th1Th2
    November 24, 2011

    Supero,

    You going to try to back up that last assertion, or do you give up?

    It’s funny you’re a half-century late.

    Immunizing properties of live attenuated measles virus

    The Journal of Pediatrics
    Volume 57, Issue 1, July 1960, Pages 36-41

    Early clinical trials indicate that it is possible to immunize children with live attenuated measles virus. The susceptible subjects develop either no symptoms at all or a modified measles with fever, leukopenia, and a faint eruption. Koplik spots are uncommon. These children have no catarrhal symptoms and do not appear toxic. All of the susceptible children developed a significant titer of neutralizing antibodies. No complications occurred in any of our cases. The urgent need of a measles vaccine is stressed, and there are indications that measles immunization as a routine procedure may not be too distant.

    Thanks for stopping by and come again.

  191. #191 VikingWarriorPrincess
    November 24, 2011

    “It’s the vaccines dummies.”

    With such an eloquent statement, I’m convinced. Who needs scientifically sound studies and published peer reviewed articles anyway?

  192. #192 Composer99
    November 24, 2011

    Ah, I see Rachael is going with the “parents know their child best”. shtick.

    I’ve got a 2-month old baby. I’m not going to pretend I know his development better than professional pediatricians or nurses who work with hundreds (or even thousands) of children in their careers and who study the literature on child development.

    I know that meticulously-gathered evidence trumps fallible perception every time. Apparently, Rachael doesn’t.

  193. #193 VikingWarriorPrincess
    November 24, 2011

    @ Antaeus Feldspar
    Even if Rachael might not appreciate it I like it when you go analytical.
    I’ve got an anecdote about that gorilla video. When I studied neurobiology our Professor showed us that video. In our class of 32 people I was the only one that noticed the gorilla.
    1/32.
    The gorilla was bleeding obvious and only one spotted it. What does that tell you about eyewitness accounts? And for the record my classmates thought I was totally bonkers when I started laughing and talking about a gorilla.

  194. #194 herr doktor bimler
    November 24, 2011

    The gorilla was bleeding obvious and only one spotted it.

    Some people are just unfocused and inattentive and easily distracted.

  195. #195 Th1Th2bot Holiday Remote Ops
    November 24, 2011

    Do everything he responded. Orac thrive? Unless Orac I just could have any medication whatsoever, unless you then wore gloves again. It’s just like a better idea.

    You’re late. As the next to humans.

  196. #196 Th1Th2
    November 24, 2011

    I’ve got a 2-month old baby. I’m not going to pretend I know his development better than professional pediatricians or nurses who work with hundreds (or even thousands) of [debilitated] children in their careers and who study the literature on child development.

    Your child is more than welcome, otherwise educate yourself. Don’t pretend.

  197. #197 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 24, 2011

    @ Antaeus Feldspar
    Even if Rachael might not appreciate it I like it when you go analytical.

    Thank you for saying so! I have to say, it’s really nice to hear that someone appreciated that post, ’cause it’s kind of obvious Rachael didn’t pay any attention. “See, here’s why eyewitness accounts don’t convince scientists the way that you think they might.” “Oh, yeah?? Well, here’s an eyewitness account! Didn’t expect me to totally crush you like that, did you??”

    I’ve got an anecdote about that gorilla video. When I studied neurobiology our Professor showed us that video. In our class of 32 people I was the only one that noticed the gorilla.

    1/32.

    The gorilla was bleeding obvious and only one spotted it. What does that tell you about eyewitness accounts? And for the record my classmates thought I was totally bonkers when I started laughing and talking about a gorilla.

    1/32? Wow! I have an anecdote, too, but it’s only about a 2/3: me showing the video to my brother and his friend on the computer, and finishing off with “woud you believe, half the people on average don’t see the gorilla?” A pause, and then my brother, half-laughing, half-hesitant: “… what gorilla?”

  198. #198 VikingWarriorPrincess
    November 24, 2011

    @ Antaeus Feldspar
    Even our Prof was slightly surprised at those numbers. Two of the reasons for those numbers could’ve been not wanting to be classified as weird by claiming to have seen a gorilla and the other one being that specific lecture. We were talking about trying to keep track of several things at the same time, and I guess people was totally focused on the ball.

    I like this blog so much, everyday it teaches/show me something new. Reading this one (and a couple of other ones) is one of the reasons I got a very very good grade on an assignment that basically was about implementing critical thinking and not being afraid of criticising even well known researchers.

  199. #199 Denice Walter
    November 24, 2011

    My fellow and sister minions:

    Brave and exquisitely reasoned responses- however any argument provided by our opponents will eventually be reducible to vaccines. Either the vaccines do damage all on their own or in conjunction with a condition that already exists in the child.

    Whether their follow-up shifts into conspiratorial gear ( re AJW) or waxes psychological ( as above), it always boils down to an objection about vaccines. Counsellors often return again and again to the central issue presented: we should do the same.

    brian mentions very early signs : I wonder if when this becomes more general knowledge how *it* will be circumambulated? Perhaps then the new suspect will be the earliest vaccines ( day of birth) or even vaccines that “damaged” the mother during or prior to pregnancy. We have heard that even unvaccinated children suffer from their mother’s childhood vaccine “damage”.

    And whoever points this out or shoots holes in conspiracy theories that prop up the failed vaccine-autism hypothesis will be labelled a pharma shill. I really should start investing in these companies** and claim my well-earned portion of limitless wealth.

    ** I only own pharma via mutual funds that I inherited.

  200. #200 LW
    November 24, 2011

    “Your child is more than welcome, otherwise educate yourself. Don’t pretend.”

    Th1Th2bot Holiday Remote Ops, you put the wrong user name on #194. You accidentally labeled that one as Th1Th2.

  201. #201 Mrs Woo
    November 24, 2011

    (slightly OT) My autistic grandson is visiting us for the weekend. He has improved so much in these past three years. Still lagging verbally, but I was thrilled to hear he likes to play school – what an opportunity to help him with skills!

    (back to the topic)
    I was amused – when I first attempted to try to comment on the article ORAC reviewed AofA had already banned the previously used email address (please, please don’t ban me!). I was rather shocked. I’m pretty sure my last comment over at AofA was very polite and actually in the form of a question, even.

    Regularly, between posts, attitude and evidence I am further assured that the assertion above that there is no “elite closed club” in science-based medicine, but rather, just a big difference between the education levels that allow understanding is a very true thing. Some write more accessible posts than others, but I love what I’ve been learning as I’ve lurked on these blogs.

  202. #202 novalox
    November 24, 2011

    (Off topic) Kinda late, but I hope all the regulars had a good Thanksgiving here.

  203. #203 T-reg
    November 24, 2011

    @Rachael:
    First of all, I’d like to say that I sympathize with Madison and her parents. It is unfortunate that this has happened.

    However, just by stating that her decline started immediately post vaccination doesn’t prove that the vaccine caused it.

    From a logical perspective:

    1. To a person who does not know what parameters to look for while determining the growth and development of a child (like the parents and the target audience for the video) the child may look like she is developing normally but they may miss subtle signs. The information provided in the video is not adequate to determine that the child was growing and developing normally up until the vaccination. For e.g. only her gross motor skill (sitting without support) has been mentioned with the age (5 months). What about the chronology of other milestones? Other than gross motor skills, what about specific fine motor skills and the age at which they were achieved? What the chronology of the milestones indicative of social development? Obviously, these aren’t questions that the target audience of the video are going to be asking because most would not know that these are important criteria to consider.

    The eye sees only what the mind knows. Which is why an expert maybe able to detect subtle signs (because s/he knows what to look for) which parents may not.

    To illustrate, you have had your heart all your life. But, I’m sure you are not aware of what the normal events during the cardiac cycle are; what their normal duration is; or what the specific pressure changes should be in each chamber of the heart. You also wouldn’t know the molecular mechanisms responsible for contraction of the muscle fibres or how the energy is supplied or how the control mechanisms work. In fact, if you have not been taught or have not taught yourself the anatomy of the heart, you probably are not even familiar with the normal anatomy of the heart, either. Without knowing the normal (even though you have been in possession of it all your life), how do you expect to know the abnormal?
    Similarly, just because they are the parents and have been seeing the child since birth does not mean that nothing unusual will elude them. They have to first know that it is unusual. And as far as subtle signs are concerned, they are after all, subtle.

    2. If the child already had subtle signs OR sub-clinical changes which were eventually going to lead to her decline into clinical symptoms it is still possible that the age around which the (noticeable) decline were to start could be around the same age at which the vaccines are administered. That doesn’t implicate vaccines as the cause. It just means that vaccination is an event which occurred in parallel to beginning of the clinical decline.

    3. The much touted

    immunological mechanisms have been seen to be highly active in autistic brains Immunological mechanisms are responsible for autism” + “vaccines stimulate immunological phenomena” = “vaccines cause autism”

    equation is again fallacious:

    a] Vaccines are not the ONLY triggers for immunological mechanisms. Most foreign antigens that we are exposed to stimulate an immunological reaction to it – why don’t you implicate them? Considering that the vaccines contain the same antigens as (in most cases, lesser antigens than) the pathogen against which it provides immunity, how is it any different from being exposed to the pathogenic strains of the organism? Without MMR vaccination, the child will get measles, mumps and rubella (especially when the herd immunity goes down) and will still be exposed to the same antigens as those in the vaccine. If natural infection with greater antigenic exposure isn’t a trigger for autism, why should the same antigenic exposure (but iatrogenically) cause autism?

    b] Again, just because immunological activity has been found to be high in the autistic brain tissue samples, does not mean that it is the cause. The other possibilities are -

    i) The cause of autism could be a defect in a cellular signalling pathway which causes faulty neuronal migration. The disruption of this same signalling pathway genes could also make the signalling between leukocytes abnormal leading to an abnormal immunological functioning. In that case the, findings would be indicative of two parallel phenomena, NOT “cause and effect”.

    ii) The cause of autism could be a yet unidentified misfolded protein. This misfolding may alter its function probably causing autism. This misfolding may also alter its immunological properties to which the immune system maybe reacting.

    iii) The cause of autism could be a yet unidentified pathogen to which the immune system maybe reacting. Thus the pathogen may be directly responsible or the immune reaction to that pathogen maybe responsible for the development of autism.

    iv) The cause of autism could be an immune reaction against a sequestered antigen in the CNS getting exposed. This exposure again can have so many causes.

    You see, the surety with which you draw your conclusions from the equation above is because of your lack of knowledge of pathophysiology and your inability to consider other possibilities based on it. Yet again, the eyes see only what the mind knows.

    Having spoken of the multiple possibilities which could logically follow from your observations (unlike your ability to see only one logical possibility), let us consider what reality says: 14 years after the “vaccine causes autism scare”, multiple studies have been conducted and no reputable, well designed study has shown that there is a causal link between vaccination and autism. Studies to which the regular posters have frequently posted links on this forum. Please feel free to check them out. If you detect a flaw in those studies (other than that they do not support your notions) please point them out to us.

  204. #204 Chemmomo
    November 25, 2011

    @passionless Drone,
    pD, I’m still interested in how you think my son fits into your hypothesis. As a younger sibling, he was exposed to a lot more immune challenges as an infant than my older child. This includes, as we’ve discussed before, his first cold at only three weeks old (we jury rigged raising one end of the pack’n’play bassinet with phone book to elevate his head to help drain his runny nose). He had his first ear infection subsequent to a bad cold at five and a half months. There were numerous colds in between. And he also had the full immunization schedule in 2006-7.

    At five years old, he’s one of the most outgoing people I know. Heck, he has better people skills as a kindergartner than I’ve ever had. While he does have a history of being very routine driven, apart from that he’s pretty much as opposite of autistic as a child could get.

    So, pD, now what? Is my child an outlier, a freak of nature, who by random chance escaped the neurological changes leading to autism in spite of repeated early immune system activation? Or will you consider that your hypothesis might not be as robust as you assume?

  205. #205 adelady
    November 25, 2011

    Parents know their child best?

    Some things maybe. But I recall feeling a fool with my own baby on my lap and the doc pointing out a particular action. Whoops! Absolutely incontrovertible sign of pain in the ear. Thanks very much. I will get that prescription filled pronto.

    And many years later, dealing with other people’s children. Educational not medical, but some clients referred to specialists because of sight and hearing issues.

    People really do _not_ notice that their children exhibit classic signs of illness or distress or disability which are glaringly obvious to a professional. The number of times I’ve had to ring families to ask if something’s gone wrong … and been told grandma sick, pet dog died, house move or divorce in the offing.

    Why did you ask? they say. Well, I noticed that your Johnny/Jenny was having some problems. Varies from child to child, but professionals really can observe things about children that parents haven’t noticed themselves.

  206. #206 Chris
    November 25, 2011

    Parents know their child best?

    Okay, I know this is a second hand story, but take it like all anecdotes:

    The elementary school my kids went to had a deaf/hard of hearing program. It used to be large, but was then down to less than a dozen children (and has since moved to another building).

    One year a pair of twins came into the program as kindergarteners. Which was unusual because children usually enter the D/HH program in preschool (like my son did for his severe speech disorder, a program that was an offshoot of the D/HH program).

    The speech therapist told me that the parents had no clue their twins had a hearing impairment. They had enrolled them in their neighborhood kindergarten, and it was the teacher that noticed the kids were not responding. Also, they do an evaluation of every child who enters kindergarten, and they have caught a few who needed assistance.

    Which is how a preschool classmate of my daughter finally got speech/language services (I had been dealing with my son’s issues for at least five years). I had noticed the child was not quite up to par in verbal communication. So I gave the parents a list of free to low cost speech services in our area, but they never did anything. They just became offended when I kept forgetting he was only a year younger than my daughter due to his small size and delayed language. Well, his speech/language delay was caught by the kindergarten screening program.

    I also have personal experience of parents not discovering an issue with their child. We moved three times when I was in kindergarten, and my Army officer dad was very busy with issues dealing with the Cold War, and getting ready to go to Vietnam. No one noticed that the recurrent ear infections had caused me to slowly lose much of my hearing. It was finally noticed by a first grade teacher in California. It was there that I finally got treated, and received some catch up speech therapy. (that same school district also realized my brother was not learning disabled, and moved him out of the low end track to a regular classroom)

    Then there was the Nanny’s Elbow my daughter had… talk about guilt for realizing she really was in pain (she dislocated her elbow by just sliding off of an armchair using her arms). The doctor just popped the elbow back in place, told us it was common and one thing that could make doctors miracle workers.

    I know these are just anecdotes. But time and time again, there is evidence that parents really don’t see everything, nor understand everything that happens to their child. And a search on PubMed reveals there is ongoing research on young children in video: PubMed search for “autism video infant”.

  207. #207 Chemmomo
    November 25, 2011

    @Rachael:
    Autism is not the extreme end of being an introvert.
    Autism is not starting out as an introvert + vaccine causation. Please see above.
    Yes, some traits or behaviors overlap. Not all.
    In fact, I’d wager there are more traits that don’t overlap than do.
    If you wish to continue the discussion, I will.

  208. #208 Renate
    November 25, 2011

    An outside person can notice things, someone who is around all the time, doesn’t notice. An anecdote:
    My parents had 2 cats, brother and sister. The brother was just nurtured and at some point I saw the sister was gaining volume, so I suggested she was pregnant, something my parents didn’t notice and because the brother just had been nurtured, they thought it couldn’t be. They called the vetenarian, who stated, nurturing the male, didn’t mean he was infertile from day one. The female appeared to be pregnant indeed.

  209. #209 Denice Walter
    November 25, 2011

    People may be motivated to in-attend to certain cues they observe that are *disturbing* to them- the flip side of the coin is seeing what they would prefer to see- it’s feasible that negative signs of development might be ignored as surely as expected improvement would be high-lighted. It’s important for families ( I did some advising way back-not ASD) to keep written- and dated- track of events, interventions, meds, illnesses, appointments. Memories have a way of transforming and melting together. Many people have the mistaken idea that there is some sort of infallible video-like record that can be easily accessed.

    I like that Antaeus discusses the un-reliability of eye-witness testimony ( see Loftus); another illustration involves memory of sentence fragments ( meaningful)- subjects are shown combinations of fragments either alone, two together, and three together. Later they are most confident of having seen *four* together- which never happened! Meaning acts like a magnet and what clumps together often isn’t there because what actually occured but because the meanings “fit” together. I think I just explained woo-ful theory-generation as well.

    Memory can of course be assisted by external aids ( like notes) but that doesn’t control for the emotional factors and lack of experience in observation which professionals provide. Because anti-vax – both leaders and followers- relies upon emotion we shouldn’t expect anyone in that camp pointing this out – parents’ witness always trumps data. andis great ad copy.

  210. #210 lilady
    November 25, 2011

    Another anecdotal story…about my experiences with my son.

    As most of you know, my son was born with many problems, including a huge ASD (Atrial Septal Defect). After 10 weeks in the NICU, he come home to die, because the defect was inoperable.

    Well, he didn’t die. He beat the odds and the huge inoperable ASD closed spontaneously. As Orac has stated about seemingly “miraculous cures”, he was the exceedingly rare “outlier” for this particular cardiac condition.

    At the time, I “reasoned” that if the specialists were wrong about the inoperable ASD, that did in fact close spontaneously, perhaps the other “specialists” were wrong in their predictions about his intellectual capacity and perhaps he would ambulate.

    Was I in denial…yes, of course I was. But, it did help to have those hopes in the beginning and it did help that I was able to eventually deal with his profound and multiple disabilities.

    Once I started dealing with the realities of his disabilities, my friends felt “free” to discuss how concerned they all were, that I would remain clueless in my protective denial state.

    I only share this story of my own personal journey to compare it to those parents who miss very subtle deviations from the norm or deterioration of developmental milestones in their children, who are later diagnosed with autism.

    I still am amazed that my son’s heart valves were found suitable for donation, after his death at age 28.

  211. #211 passionlessDrone
    November 25, 2011

    Hi Chemmomo -

    pD, I’m still interested in how you think my son fits into your hypothesis. As a younger sibling, he was exposed to a lot more immune challenges as an infant than my older child. This includes, as we’ve discussed before, his first cold at only three weeks old (we jury rigged raising one end of the pack’n’play bassinet with phone book to elevate his head to help drain his runny nose). He had his first ear infection subsequent to a bad cold at five and a half months. There were numerous colds in between. And he also had the full immunization schedule in 2006-7.

    I don’t remember this discussion. Can you find a link to it? If you asked this question and I failed to respond to it, I apologize, perhaps it got lost in the tide of posts, or I moved on. In any case, I’ll try to respond now. I would be interested in seeing the original post, to see if I responded previously, and how this response matches up with what I wrote in the past.

    So, pD, now what? Is my child an outlier, a freak of nature, who by random chance escaped the neurological changes leading to autism in spite of repeated early immune system activation? Or will you consider that your hypothesis might not be as robust as you assume?

    I cannot believe that I need to say this on this site, but a single annectode, while a form of data, is generally not considered to be strong data. There is a limitation to what we can understand from single data points. For example, if we consider valporic acid as a potential prenatal cause of autism, there is not a one hundred percent concordance between exposure to VPA and an eventual autism diagnosis, not even close. This is why even though specific children may be exposed to VPA or similar agents in utero and do not receive a diagnosis we do not find that the underlying theory is invalid. Do you think that every child exposed to VPA prenatally who does not have an autism to be a ‘freak of nature’?

    But you raise a more important point, namely, a misunderstanding of my thoughts, something that it would appear is widespread. I am a bit despondent on this, considering the care I’ve tried to take on that kind of thing.

    I am not advocating that vaccines do cause, or even contribute towards, autism based on the findings in papers like the three that I referenced above, only that such a pathway is possible, and the immunological findings within the autism cohort are in alignment with the possibility of a susceptible subgroup. I am not advocating that there is an autism epidemic driven by vaccination and vaccination alone. I do not claim to be able to answer the very problematic questions of the degree of a true rise in autism diagnosis. I believe that genetics play a big part in autism, in some cases, the entire part.

    The fact that your son, and many others, got infections early in their life, and went on not to receive an autism diagnosis does as little towards the robustness of my hypothesis than the fact that another persons child may have been exposed to valporic acid prenatally, and went on to become outgoing. Should the fact that a great many children who have mothers and fathers over forty do not receive a diagnosis of autism affect the robustness of what our studies on older parents have shown, a consistent, but moderate increase in risk? Are all of these children ‘freaks of nature’?

    My worldview is one wherein there ins’t a single ’cause’ of autism, even within a single individual, but lots of little differences. Furthermore, while the prenatal experience is clearly paramount, there is nothing sacred about postnatal life, especially early in the perinatal period, that protects infants from long term effects of envirornmental exposures.

    Here’s the bigger thing, Chemmomo, the findings of developmental programming of the immune system are robust, and they don’t change one iota based on your experience. For example, check out one of the papers that I referenced above:

    Microglia and Memory: Modulation by Early-Life Infection (The Journal of Neuroscience, 26 October 2011, 31(43): 15511-15521; doi: 10.1523/?JNEUROSCI.3688-11.2011). Here is the abstract:

    The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1ß (IL-1ß) is critical for normal hippocampus (HP)-dependent cognition, whereas high levels can disrupt memory and are implicated in neurodegeneration. However, the cellular source of IL-1ß during learning has not been shown, and little is known about the risk factors leading to cytokine dysregulation within the HP. We have reported that neonatal bacterial infection in rats leads to marked HP-dependent memory deficits in adulthood. However, deficits are only observed if unmasked by a subsequent immune challenge [lipopolysaccharide (LPS)] around the time of learning. These data implicate a long-term change within the immune system that, upon activation with the ‘second hit,’ LPS, acutely impacts the neural processes underlying memory. Indeed, inhibiting brain IL-1ß before the LPS challenge prevents memory impairment in neonatally infected (NI) rats. We aimed to determine the cellular source of IL-1ß during normal learning and thereby lend insight into the mechanism by which this cytokine is enduringly altered by early-life infection. We show for the first time that CD11b+ enriched cells are the source of IL-1ß during normal HP-dependent learning. CD11b+ cells from NI rats are functionally sensitized within the adult HP and produce exaggerated IL-1ß ex vivo compared with controls. However, an exaggerated IL-1ß response in vivo requires LPS before learning. Moreover, preventing microglial activation during learning prevents memory impairment in NI rats, even following an LPS challenge. Thus, early-life events can significantly modulate normal learning-dependent cytokine activity within the HP, via a specific, enduring impact on brain microglial function.

    The journal that published this paper, The Journal of Neuroscience, has an impact factor of 8.2, which is quite high. It is but one of dozens of papers that tell us that the immune system is maleable during critical developmental timeframes, and this maleability can manifest behaviorally due to the interconnected nature of the immune system and the brain.

    The quote from Mrs. Herbert earlier in this thread hit the nail on the head; our existing vaccine studies are not approriately designed to detect if we are changing our infants in ways other than protection from disease with vaccination. Unfortunately, research undertaken long after the development of the vaccine schedule indicates that the immune system is playing a much more active part in learning, memory, and behavior than we even thought possible. We are very much in the beginnings of understanding of how the immune system interacts with the formation and function of the brain. That’s OK, it is the reality, but we shouln’t pretend that we understand our actions just because it is comforting and the alternatives are frightening.

    Does that help answer your question?

    - pD

  212. #212 passionlessDrone
    November 25, 2011

    Hi Dangerous Bacon –

    This is standard conspiratorial fare from our antivax contingent.

    Yawn.

    I have seen a number of my own posts go to moderation when there is but a single included link, or even sometimes when there is no link at all. pD needs to recognize that there is no plot to silence him or the vociferously loony antivax commenters.

    Double yawn. [So far, four for four of my comments have gone to the moderation queue, but all have been published.]

    As for accessibility of the JAMA article under discussion, there are plenty of us who have not had immediate access to it (or other newly published fare), but who’d prefer to make the effort to search it out rather than gripe about how the authors were keeping if from us deliberately, while speculating groundlessly about a physical characteristic of the subjects potentially invalidating the study (congratulations for finally acknowledging that there’s no evidence of this).

    As I stated, most times authors will graciously give copies of their papers. I made a single mention of the fact that I was frustruated by my inability thus far to get a copy of the paper, which you proceeded to classify as conspiritorial ranting; it was more like frustruation because it was a paper I really wanted to read.

    Seeing as how your specialty on RI has been a Gish-Galloping citation-fest of minimally relevant articles, I’d been under the impression that you had multiple journal subscriptions and a “world-class” article-review service (like the Geier’s “world-class” lab in their basement), but maybe not.

    Your impressions were, again, incorrect. There is something to be said for consistency.

    I asked:
    “Citation required regarding ‘lower neuron counts’. Do your citations include findings from the prefrontal cortex?”

    To which you responded:

    See, this is an example why it is often fruitless to try to debate with you. You make an assertion, it is contradicted, then you try to weasel around it by creating new conditions.

    If you think that being asked to back up an assertion with proof constitutes a ‘fruitless’ debate, I think the problem list squarely in your understanding of the rules of debate. Imagine if I were to say something like “Chelation cures autism!”, but then refused to submit any proof for this assertion, insisting it was fruitless to do so.

    Pretending that asking if there are spatial differences in neuron numbers is “changing conditions” is pretty rich. Courchesne was looking for alterations in a very specific part of the brain, one involved with a lot of areas known to be functionally impacted by autism, he did not report a general reduction in neuron numbers from any old place. Lets be clear here, you are in a Catch-22 regarding you claim of reduced neuron numbers resulting from VPA exposure. If you were to provide a citation for this, it is nothing less than a complete exhoneration of the fact that at a phenotype level we need to be cautious about extrapolating Courchesne’s results. If you were to provide a link regarding VPA and reduced neuron counts, but from another part of the brain, we are left to conclude that either:

    a) You knew the studies were from different areas, but figured you could slide in another explanation to score an imaginary point on the assumption that you wouldn’t be asked to back up your claim.

    b) You didn’t know the studies were from different areas, but either figured all neurons were neurons, or that such nuances weren’t salient to the discussion.

    The riddle we are attempting to detangle is very complicated, and if we are doomed to fail if we allow ourselves to fall prey to gross oversimplifications such as all locations in the brain are equivalent, or for that matter, that toxin means neurotoxin, Details matter at least they do if you want to understand a condition. I don’t think you do, to be honest.

    This happened awhile back when you claimed that there was no research investigating inflammatory cytokine production in connection with vaccines. When I demonstrated to you that indeed there was, I got responses on the order of “well, they didn’t look at these cytokines”, didn’t delve as deeply as you thought they should, etc., never admitting that you got caught out in an inaccurate statement.

    You are scoring points by bringing this up, but you are putting the ball in your own goal.

    Again, I went to great pains in that discussion that there are very real and meaningful differences between an in vitro study of cytokine production in response to a particular agonist with blood taken months after vaccination, compared to the study of the immediate release of cytokines post vaccination in vivo. I honestly don’t know if you understand the difference, methodologically that I am describing, but trust me, there is one and those differences are relevant.

    Let me ask you a genuine question:

    Do you think there are meaningful methodological differences between an in vivo measurement taken hours or days after vaccination to determine immediate reaction to a vaccine, versus in vitro findings from blood taken a year after vaccination, and subsequently triggered with a specific agonist to determine immune response?

    If the answer is “yes”, then the study you presented has nothing to do with the general innate immune response generated post vaccination. If you answer “no”, then I don’t think you can be helped. What’s your answer?

    What we do agree on currently is that the JAMA study under discussion offers some interesting if limited evidence deserving of further study, and that parents of autistic children shouldn’t condemn and withhold their support of research if it produces findings contrary to their beliefs.

    We are in complete agreement!

    - pD

  213. #213 blackheart
    November 26, 2011

    Parental observation of their children can be problematic at times and some of the anecdotes shared here may show some minor matters, but on the whole parental observations drive medical intervention not the other way round.

    Apparently “eyewitness testimony” usually a single moment in time, quite distinct from parental observations over long periods of time, has been confused in this issue as well.

    Each and every days millions of observations are made by parents that lead to direct medical intervention on the behalf of their children.

    So what are we to then make of the facts surrounding the following -

    1. Parents reporting high levels of regression in their children.Lancet 12 for instance.

    2. Medical authorities report low levels of regression around 20% (Smeeth 2004)

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2804%2917020-7/fulltext

    3. Then when a focused study by Hornig … 88%

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0003140#pone.0003140-Luyster1

    That 88% still not elucidated fully …I would have thought the medical and ethical imperative would have been to investigate further.

    Would it be a food allergy for instance ?

    Perhaps but …unlikely unless 88% of the parents were introducing eggs , peanuts or lobster bisque a child’s diet rarely changes that significantly.

    hmm … perhaps some mechanism that has had an immunostimulatory response on the child’s immune system. In the present or the past. Something that led to a change in gene expression perhaps… virus , bacteria …

    What isn’t a surprise is the amount of literature being developed that indicates a clear immune system dysfunction in autism.

    The one disappointing thing is we’ll probably never know because the opportunity was lost …

    Thus ends the cautionary tale of the skeptik.

  214. #214 Rachael
    November 26, 2011

    Take The AQ Test – Introvertion, Asperger’s or Autism? Are you on the scale?

    “Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues at Cambridge’s Autism Research Centre have created the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, or AQ, as a measure of the extent of autistic traits in adults. In the first major trial using the test, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher. The test is not a means for making a diagnosis, however, and many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger’s report no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives.”

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aqtest.html

  215. #215 Denice Walter
    November 26, 2011

    @ Rachael:

    I’d really like to get through to you – I truly believe that looking at introversion is a roundabout way to invoke the spurious vaccine-autism link- which is not supported by data. The anti-vaccine movement has already tried the ideas of contamination and auto-immunity. I firmly believe that the “information” they provide is a dis-service to the public.

    When you focus on complicated *speculative* avenues of physiological interference with development ( courtesy of AoA and others), you are distracted from the existing data that show no link between autism and vaccines.

    I have absolutely no stake in the debate other than the fact I despise pseudo-scientists mis-leading people for their own gain, either monetary or ego-enhancing.

    Many of the people who comment here are well-educated in science: listen to them. We’re not being paid to write here, we neither sell nor profit from vaccines- we feel it’s the right thing to do.

    Please consider my words: I have to get ready to leave for my excursion. Have a nice day.

  216. #216 Dangerous Bacon
    November 26, 2011

    pD: “I am not advocating that vaccines do cause, or even contribute towards, autism based on the findings in papers like the three that I referenced above, only that such a pathway is possible”

    Virtually all of your myriad posts on RI have been dedicated to the proposition that vaccines must be suspected of causing autism. You’ve promised before to get off that kick and delve into other etiologies, but it always seems to get back to the vaccines. This doesn’t do much for your claims of “objectivity”.

    ” I went to great pains in that discussion that there are very real and meaningful differences between an in vitro study of cytokine production in response to a particular agonist with blood taken months after vaccination, compared to the study of the immediate release of cytokines post vaccination in vivo.”

    Uh-huh. After claiming that cytokines had not been studied in connection with vaccines at all (and having it pointed out to you that you were wrong with appropriate literature citation) you raised objections including the in vitro/in vivo business. You also dismissed existing studies because they didn’t cover the cytokines you felt important. This is known as “changing the goalposts”, and is a common dodge among antivaxers. No matter the large body of research performed on vaccine efficacy and safety and the abundant safety record accumulated in clinical practice, it is never enough and the focus must be on endless additional studies which the antivaxers hope will somehow give them ammunition. Meanwhile promising avenues of research into the etiology and treatment of autism go unsupported and unfunded by those who can’t see past blaming vaccines.

    It’s nice that you’re relatively civil in comparison to most of the antivaxers who post here, pD and can string together coherent sentences. Apart from that, your focus and tactics bear a strong resemblance to those of committed antivaxers in general.

  217. #217 Th1Th2
    November 26, 2011

    Now let’s go back to science Treg,

    Vaccines are not the ONLY triggers for immunological mechanisms. Most foreign antigens that we are exposed to stimulate an immunological reaction to it – why don’t you implicate them?

    Like what foreign antigens other than vaccine antigens?

    Considering that the vaccines contain the same antigens as (in most cases, lesser antigens than) the pathogen against which it provides immunity, how is it any different from being exposed to the pathogenic strains of the organism?

    So you’re saying that after delivery, newborns are normally being exposed to HbsAg? Where in Gangta’s paradise do you live?

    Without MMR vaccination, the child will get measles, mumps and rubella (especially when the herd immunity goes down) and will still be exposed to the same antigens as those in the vaccine.

    MMR vaccination is the fulfillment of primary infection and that is precisely your job as an infection promoter.

  218. #218 anon
    November 26, 2011

    Rachel-
    Thanks for posting the video of Madison. Parents do know!
    Many posters on this blog will absolutely deny any vaccine adverse events
    even when it is staring them in the face. They really cannot see it because
    they are in complete denial.
    It would be traumatic for them to even admit the possibility of vaccine damage;
    part of their identity is the belief in the sanctity of authority, their own authority
    and ego attachments to their own ideas.
    How awful it would be for them to admit they were wrong.
    At least I can say I hope I am wrong as to the extent of vaccine damage. It does
    exist.

  219. #219 lilady
    November 26, 2011

    @ Rachael: Why do you continually post here about anti-vax topics you have just read at the AoA website? Your theory about personality traits and autism have been thoroughly debunked by the “regulars” here…yet you still persist in reworking other “theories” that you have just read about, on AoA.

    Please don’t feed the delusional, uneducated, health-care-professional wannabe Thingy troll. It needs “terminal disinfection”.

  220. #220 anon
    November 26, 2011

    anon:

    “It would be traumatic for them to even admit the possibility of vaccine damage;
    part of their identity is the belief in the sanctity of authority, their own authority
    and ego attachments to their own ideas.
    How awful it would be for them to admit they were wrong.”

    Anon – why is it that this blog allows antivaccine posts, and that antivaccine blogs boast that they ban any pro-vaccine posts? Does this fit your hypothesis that it is the pro-vaccine bloggers that are afraid of the facts, or does it fit the hypothesis that antivax posters are terrified of being wrong?

  221. #221 Th1Th2bot
    November 26, 2011

    MMR vaccination is the fulfillment of primary infection and that is precisely your job as an infection promoter.

    Citation needed, and that records of goalpost? Crap, but it. So-called herd immunity secondary spread of Modern Medicine because there were two weeks after giving me this kid? I don’t expect diagnose yourself a cesspool or sewage. For what? You’re only come again.

  222. #222 lilady
    November 26, 2011

    @Th1Th2bot: Thank you once again, for your excellent translation of Thingy’s inane (and insane) posts.

    I’m working on a business plan to develop and market cheap and effective devices to “terminally disinfect” computer screens…whenever the Thing posts.

  223. #223 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 26, 2011

    Two things, Rachael:

    1) If we went back to colonial Salem we could without a doubt collect multiple “eyewitness accounts” of people being afflicted by a witch giving them the evil eye. Just like the parents you cite can talk about how their child got a vaccination and shortly thereafter started showing signs of autism, so could the parents of Salem can tell how old Goody Harkness gave their child a glare and shortly thereafter the child became sickly. Do you believe that witches curse people with evil eyes and hexes, or do you believe that eyewitness accounts are not always the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

    2) If someone says “I’ve lost so much weight on this diet! I used to be 180 pounds; now I’m down to 180 pounds!” you wouldn’t need to hear their speculations on the mechanism by which the diet helps them lose weight in order to decide that the diet isn’t helping them lose weight. You would conclude that the diet is not having an effect on them just from the fact that there is a difference of zero between the weight they started at and the weight they reached.

    You have voiced your speculations on a mechanism by which some children who might be introverted but who would not otherwise become autistic, who get vaccinated, become autistic after all. If such a mechanism existed, then the population of unvaccinated children would have a certain percentage of children who became autistic obviously because of non-vaccine factors; the population of vaccinated children would have the same percentage of autistic children, plus an additional percentage who became autistic through your suggested mechanism.

    The best scientific evidence, using techniques that have been previously used to find effects happening at rates as rare as 1 in 100,000, fails to show any difference in autism rates between the two populations. If you wouldn’t take seriously a diet plan that results in weight loss of zero, why do you expect us to take seriously a mechanism for causing autism that makes zero difference in autism rates?

  224. #224 Rachael
    November 26, 2011

    Mary Wright and lilady, as someone who was injured by a vaccine and as a gifted, very sensitive (including my immune system), highly intuitive person … you are never going to convince me that a “one size fits all vaccine schedule” is safe for everyone. We are not all immune-compromised carbon copies of one another, as you would like to have us all believe.

    And yes indeed, smart people (those with scientific minds) do have the ability to absorb a great deal of information on a (single/few) subject(s) and are very well versed (knowledgeable) on a few topics. But take that person away from his/her “area of expertise” and often what you find is a fool; incapable of seeing what is staring him/her right in the face.

  225. #225 Rachael
    November 26, 2011

    Antaeus Feldspar: See 224.

  226. #226 Chris
    November 26, 2011

    , as someone who was injured by a vaccine and as a gifted, very sensitive (including my immune system), highly intuitive person ..

    [citation needed]

    Especially the bit about being gifted and intuitive. That implies you have an open mind willing to listen to others, something I have not noticed.

    Oh, one reason why my hearing loss was missed for six months, they thought I was being introspective during all the moves.

  227. #227 passionlessDrone
    November 26, 2011

    Hi Dangerous Bacon -

    Virtually all of your myriad posts on RI have been dedicated to the proposition that vaccines must be suspected of causing autism. You’ve promised before to get off that kick and delve into other etiologies, but it always seems to get back to the vaccines.

    The first post I had in this thread, didn’t have anything to do with vaccines. Primarily I wanted to highlight the time sensitive nature of donating tissue, especially brain tissue, in the event of a tragedy. I happen to think that is important.

    Secondly, I asserted, incorrectly, that I thought there were physical characteristics of the children involved that might be meaningful in terms of phenotypes.

    Lastly, I noted that there was research indicating not all neurons in the prefrontal cortex were created prenatally.

    After that, I also discussed the potential for impairment in programmed cell death as a participatory player in the increased neuron numbers observed. You are the one who jumped up and down about my posting history, assignment of conspiratorial motives based on punctuation, and vaccination.

    You are confusing joining a discussion about vaccines (or having one forced upon you!), with the inability to have a discussion about anything else.

    The unfortunate reality is that nearly all discussions about autism on this site, and many others, involve vaccination. Try out my post on MET at my blog, here, for an example of me ‘delving into other etiologies’.

    http://passionlessdrone.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/autism-alphabet-soup-met-hgf-plaur-serpine/

    You also dismissed existing studies because they didn’t cover the cytokines you felt important. This is known as “changing the goalposts”, and is a common dodge among antivaxers

    I dismissed the existing study because there are meaningful differences between measuring the in vivo response to vaccination in terms of innate immune response and in vitro response to a particular agent, months after the vaccination. You understand this, but can’t get yourself to admit it in public.

    It isn’t changing the goalposts, it is recognizing that because a study has the words ‘vaccination’ and ‘cytokine’ in it, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it provides relevant information towards whether or not we understand the quality and quantity of the innate immune response generated by vaccination. That is something we still do not have observations for.

    My ideas on the possibility of vaccination to affect our infants in ways other than we understand hinges on the creation of an innate immune response at developmentally critical timeframes. Within this context, I think it is important to note that we just don’t have any information on the quality and quantity of the immune response generated from the pediatric vaccine schedule.

    A study wherein children are vaccinated with one vaccine, blood is taken fifteen months afterwards, put in a test tube, and exposed to measles antigen and the resultant immune response is measured doesn’t give us any idea of what happened in the child after vaccination, just what happens in a petri dish when blood from that child is exposed to measles virus fifteen months afterwards.

    Lets admit that you were technically correct; there was a study that measured a cytokine and a vaccination. I was wrong. I am curious, however, if you could help me understand something. Within the context of the animal studies I have been providing as a reference point on varied effects of early life immune activation how much can we understand about the resultant release of inflammatory cytokines in infants following administration of the pediatric vaccine schedule from an in vitro study from blood taken fifteen months previous?

    Perhaps the problem is that I am just too dim to see how we can learn about the immediate, in vivo effects of vaccination from the study you provided. Like many humans, I’ve been wrong about lots of stuff. With that in mind, and considering how much effort you’ve put into insisting that you ‘proved’ something with that study, maybe you could explain to me, here, how we can use your study to understand the innate immune response in an infant following a two month well visit? I’m honestly asking for your thoughts on this. With a little luck, I’ll be capable of following your explanation.

    It’s nice that you’re relatively civil in comparison to most of the antivaxers who post here, pD and can string together coherent sentences.

    Well, that’s something!

    - pD

  228. #228 Julian Frost
    November 26, 2011

    And yes indeed, smart people (those with scientific minds) do have the ability to absorb a great deal of information on a (single/few) subject(s) and are very well versed (knowledgeable) on a few topics. But take that person away from his/her “area of expertise” and often what you find is a fool; incapable of seeing what is staring him/her right in the face.

    Did anyone else’s Irony Meter just explode?

  229. #229 herr doktor bimler
    November 26, 2011

    Rachael at 224:
    you are never going to convince me
    OK, that saves a lot of time.

  230. #230 Chris
    November 26, 2011

    . you are never going to convince me that a “one size fits all vaccine schedule” is safe for everyone.

    The very definition of a closed mind. Now one that is intuitive and gifted.

  231. #231 lilady
    November 26, 2011

    Here is a posting from AoA by “Rachael” when she commented on Kent Heckenlively’s article “XMRV (HGRV) is Not Dead-The Rituximab Story”:

    “David: I actually became sick during strenuous exercise and the consumption on one too many aspartame containing “diet sodas” (a chemical poisoning of sorts). It was the height of the fitness craze and even though I was always was more of a sprinter than a long distance runner, I pushed myself to do aerobic classes. Drinks with “zero calories”, that contained aspartame, had just come on the market and I began drinking way too many of these beverages. I was exercising and downing yet another diet cola, when I suddenly developed severe flu-like symptoms. Those flu-like symptoms have remained with me since that day over twenty-five years ago, although, like I said in my previous post, I have found things that help ease my symptoms, somewhat.

    However, I do believe, like you, that vaccinations are responsible for the development of CFS in many individuals. A series of adult vaccinations about ten years ago made me tremendously ill and it took years to regain what I lost by subjecting myself to those shots. I personally have always been more sensitive that the average person to the effects of prescription medications and I have always had chemical sensitivities; a part of my genetic make-up I guess (sensitivity) being that I am a artist. I believe that just like in autism, the genes load the gun and the environment pulls the trigger.

    Posted by: Rachael | October 29, 2011 at 11:17 AM”

    Rachael also posted in an earlier comment that her “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” was directly caused by ingestion of Aspartame contained in diet soda…not vaccines.

    Yes Rachael, you are bullsh** artist.

  232. #232 Chris
    November 26, 2011

    So she is self-diagnosed, and has a closed mind.

    Well, isn’t that special?

  233. #233 blackheart
    November 26, 2011

    Rachel

    “you are never going to convince me that a “one size fits all vaccine schedule” is safe for everyone.”

    Perfectly fine and sensible reasoning. Which is clearly evidenced in the medical literature.

    Each of our bodies respond in differing ways to differing medications including vaccines.

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/should-not-vacc.htm

    Developmen­­­­t of Newborn and Infant Vaccines

    Guzman Sanchez-Sc­­­­hmitz Children’s Hospital Boston and Ofer Levy Harvard Medical School recently commentate­d

    “Vaccines …their developmen­­­­tal path has been largely ad hoc, empiric, and inconsiste­­­­nt.

    Immune responses of human newborns and infants are distinct and cannot be predicted from those of human adults or animal models.

    Therefore, understand­­­­ing and modeling age-specif­­­­ic human immune responses will be vital to the rational design and developmen­­­­t of safe and effective vaccines for newborns and infants.”

    http://www­.scienceme­dicine.org­/content/3­/90/90ps27­.short

    Paediatricians around the world are concerned with how our food is manufactured and what substances are placed within it.

    Nature magazine is running a special edition on allergies and their impact on health.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/outlook/allergies/index.html

    Once again it seems you have some valuable information to relay in your own personal circumstances that I think some researchers would indeed find interesting.

    That you are able to articulate that gene expression may play a pivotal role in this discussion is an important indicator that you have given this issue some very thoughtful time.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v474/n7351/full/474294a.html

    There is an emerging body of evidence that clearly implicates the immune system in autism and is probably a major ‘group’

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/us-researchers-discovery-promises-answers-on-autism/story-e6frg8y6-1226131763200

    So does your type of personal story make sense to some medical professionals certainly …

    http://napervillesun.suntimes.com/lifestyles/8393890-423/fillers-used-in-medication-can-cause-adverse-reactions.html

    Apologies to you from those of us who like open science discussion

  234. #234 Rachael
    November 26, 2011

    lilady: My previous post #224 – I said:

    “as someone who was injured by a vaccine”

    Where’s the lie? I didn’t say vaccination caused by CFS.

    but I did say, A series of adult vaccinations about ten years ago made me tremendously ill and it took years to regain what I lost by subjecting myself to those shots.

    So, don’t call me a liar! You ignorant fool!

  235. #235 lilady
    November 26, 2011

    @ Chris: Apparently, I used to be a “gifted, very sensitive (including my immune system), highly intuitive person …”, but then I was immunized against polio during my adolescent years. I had to give up a promising career as “an artist” and go for the fall-back career in public health nursing.

  236. #236 lilady
    November 26, 2011

    “So, don’t call me a liar! You ignorant fool!”

    I didn’t call you a liar…I said you are a bullsh** artist.

    Still waiting for your “self-diagnosed” vaccine injury…along with citations.

  237. #237 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 26, 2011

    I threw my back out really badly for the first time a mere three days after I first “specified” sea cucumber in my Happy Family. This cannot be a coincidence!

    Refuse all Happy Family with a “Sea cucumber optional, please specify” label! Buy my book!

  238. #238 Lawrence
    November 26, 2011

    Your set of symptoms sound pretty fishy – have you ever been tested for Lyme? If untreated, it can progress over the years & may be mistaken for CFS.

  239. #239 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 26, 2011

    I do feel a great deal of sympathy for people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome who’ve been told it’s “all in their head”. I had asthma really bad as a kid (say 1959-1968, more or less). That was the era when asthma was all in your head, too.

    That doesn’t mean I accept as a given that CFS is all one thing.

  240. #240 lilady
    November 26, 2011

    @ Lawrence: Please don’t go “there” with Rachael. All the LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctors), now that their “theories” of chronic Lyme Diseases have been thoroughly debunked…have “expanded” their practice to include treatment of autism.

    Rachael has made statements about her vaccine injury, “someone who was injured by a vaccine and as a gifted, very sensitive (including my immune system), highly intuitive person … you are never going to convince me that a “one size fits all vaccine schedule” is safe for everyone. We are not all immune-compromised carbon copies of one another, as you would like to have us all believe.”

    I’m still waiting for citations for all her theories about personality traits linking autism and citations about her “vaccine injury”.

  241. #241 anon
    November 26, 2011

    A review of the Hannah Poling case-

    Vaccines caused her encephalopathy.
    How many other children were similarly affected?

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp0802904

  242. #242 Lawrence
    November 26, 2011

    @anon – and a high fever resulting from any typical infection would have caused here encephalopathy as well….

  243. #243 Lawrence
    November 26, 2011

    I believe, if untreated, Lyme does progress over time – from simple flu-like symptoms, to joint issues, to finally attacking the organs themselves.

    If I am incorrect in that (again, completely untreated Lyme), let me know.

  244. #244 lilady
    November 26, 2011

    @ anon: Why haven’t you posted again at Orac’s article on the Burzynski Clinic? Some of the “regulars” there have posted in reply to your “testimonial evidence” about the Burzynski treatment protocol. I asked you for citations from peer reviewed journals regarding the treatment of Stage IV adenocarcinoma lung cancer with Herceptin and Tarceva and you simply “disappeared”…like the troll that you are.

  245. #245 anon
    November 26, 2011
  246. #246 anon
    November 26, 2011

    @lilady-
    Why I haven’t posted? -because you know it all.

  247. #247 Lawrence
    November 26, 2011

    Wow – from three years ago….

  248. #248 The Christian Cynic
    November 26, 2011

    Rachael:

    … you are never going to convince me that a “one size fits all vaccine schedule” is safe for everyone.

    That’s fine, since no one here thinks that people with contraindications should still be required to follow the vaccine schedule. It is, however, safe for anyone who doesn’t have any contraindications. Protestations to the contrary are strictly [citation needed].

  249. #249 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 26, 2011

    Now, see, among adults, an ability to change your mind when you encounter new evidence is considered to be a good thing, a mark of intellectual honesty and emotional maturity. It just boggles me that anyone would come out and say “You’re never going to convince me!” without realizing that they are admitting to a failing.

    I would certainly change my mind about vaccinations being the smart way to go if those who oppose them were able to produce actual evidence for the dire claims they make; do people like Rachael who boast of their inadequacy in that respect think I’m somehow confessing to a failing by saying I could be convinced? Sorry, but clinging on to a belief no matter what and refusing to consider questions because you don’t like the answers they give you – that’s not being “gifted,” or “sensitive,” or “intuitive,” that’s being a fanatic.

  250. #250 lilady
    November 26, 2011

    @ Lawrence: You are correct about “undiagnosed and untreated” Lyme disease.

    Undiagnosed and untreated Lyme disease can lead to arthritic joints–typically the knee, meningitis and 2nd and 3rd degree heart block…that may require a temporary cardiac pacemaker.

    Diagnosis of Lyme disease in its early stages is through a two-step blood test (ELISA and Western Blot). LLMDs diagnose “chronic Lyme disease” that is “diagnosed” with a bogus Lyme Urine Antigen blood test and they “treat” “chronic Lyme disease” with intermittent “pulse” IV antibiotics and continual prolonged IV antibiotics, colloidal silver and hyperbaric oxygen therapies.

    I’m still waiting for citations from “Rachael” about her self-diagnosed CFS and self-diagnosed vaccine injury.

  251. #251 lilady
    November 26, 2011

    @ Lawrence: I posted a comment about “chronic Lyme disease”…and it is stuck in moderation.

  252. #252 c j f
    November 26, 2011

    @Lawrence 243, Maybe someone can explain, but I’m a little confused about Hannah Poling because I thought she got more than the normal number of vaccines in one visit because she had missed some vaccines because she’d had a series of ear infections. Did she have a fever with any of the ear infections? If so, how is it that she didn’t develop encephalopathy with those fevers? What am I missing?

  253. #253 Chris
    November 26, 2011

    c j f:

    Did she have a fever with any of the ear infections? If so, how is it that she didn’t develop encephalopathy with those fevers? What am I missing?

    The medical records that the parents refuse to release. You can find more information here. In short, the award was not for autism, she had an uncommon pre-existing condition, and her parents have been less than open about the whole case (including the father not proclaiming a conflict of interest in a paper he published).

  254. #254 Th1Th2
    November 26, 2011

    and a high fever resulting from any typical infection would have caused here encephalopathy as well….

    So take the goddamn vaccine because like natural infection it causes encephalopathy. Now you’re talking.

  255. #255 blackheart
    November 26, 2011

    “Polarization of immune responses by vaccination may influence the outcome of future infections.

    Epidemiologic studies have shown that immunization with live attenuated vaccines that elicit predominantly type 1 immune responses , such as M. bovis BCG and measles vaccine had a non-specific beneficial effect on childhood survival.

    In contrast, diphtheria-pertussis-toxoid (DPT) vaccine, which primarily elicits type 2 immune responses, had the opposite effect

    (Kristensen et al., 2000; Garly et al., 2003; Shann, 2004; Roth et al., 2005).”

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1462-5822.2005.00653.x/full

  256. #256 herr doktor bimler
    November 26, 2011

    Rachael:
    you are never going to convince me that a “one size fits all vaccine schedule” is safe for everyone.

    OK, let’s try another track. Do you have any ideas about how to distinguish special cases for whom the standard vaccination schedule is unsuitable, from children for whom it is OK?

    “Parental intuitions” do not help here. Even a parent who observes his or her own infant particularly well does not have the same opportunity to observe other children, and so is not in a position to make a “special case” judgement.

  257. #257 Rachael
    November 26, 2011

    Thank you blackheart! Thanks just for listening and thanks for your links. I’ve known for a very long time, that having someone listen to me is not usually the case, when it comes to CFS. The CFS/autism overlaps have intrigued me for a very long time.

    A new study out of Norway adds much to the data that chronic fatigue is an autoimmune disease. If not entirely definitive, it points in the direction that many CFS sufferers and clinicians have argued for decades, that the illness is a disorder of the immune system and is preceded in most cases by some kind of infection, stimulation or change to the immune system.

  258. #258 blackheart
    November 26, 2011

    passionlessDrone

    2011 BCG Vaccination Induces Different Cytokine Profiles Following Infant BCG Vaccination in the UK and Malawi

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3164434/

    “We found difference­s in median responses in 27 of the 42 cytokines: 7 higher in the UK and 20 higher in Malawi. The cytokines with higher responses in the UK were all T helper 1 related.

    The cytokines with higher responses in Malawi included innate proinflamm­atory cytokines, regulatory cytokines, interleuki­n 17, T helper 2 cytokines, chemokines­, and growth factors.”

    Population difference­s in immune responses to Bacille Calmette-G­uérin vaccinatio­n in infancy. 2009

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19434928

    We hypothesiz­ed that Mtb PPD-induce­d IFN-gamma after BCG vaccinatio­n would be similar in infants from these 2 countries. Infants were vaccinated with BCG during the first 3-13 weeks of life.

    Three months after BCG vaccinatio­n, 51 (100%) of 51 UK infants had an IFN-gamma response to Mtb PPD, compared to 41 (53%) of 78 of Malawian infants, in whom responses varied according to their season of birth.

    We conclude that population difference­s in immune responses after BCG vaccinatio­n are observed among infants, as well as among young adults.

  259. #259 blackheart
    November 26, 2011

    Rachel

    No worries. I must admit there bark is worse than their bite.

    Have a look here … 67 odd studies on immune system dysfunction and related research starting at Post #571

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/09/the_fixed_mindset_of_the_anti-vaccine_activist.php

    ————————-

    Interestingly you mentioned before “introversion” …

    Immune-to-brain signaling pathways, CNS cytokine production, and roles of immune signaling in the brain

    http://intramural.nimh.nih.gov/lcmr/sfn/neuroimmun.html

    In another set of projects, we seek to understand how immune-related molecules influence mood and anxiety behaviors in rodents. Our focus is on the role of the NF-kB transcription factor in emotional states such as fear and anxiety.

    We are characterizing anxiety-like behaviors in NFkB1-/- (p50 knockout) mice that show altered emotional states. These mice are normal in most simple tests of appearance and sensorimotor function, but they show altered fear and anxiety-like behaviors.

    Inhibition of NF-κB Signaling as a Strategy in Disease Therapy

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/u01487xrj6034825/

    As described extensively in this issue, NF-κB transcription factors regulate a number of important physiological processes, including inflammation and immune responses, cell growth and survival, and the expression of certain viral genes. Moreover, NF-κB activity is elevated in and contributes to the pathology of several human diseases, including many cancers and chronic inflammatory diseases.

    Psychiatric disorders: The dark side of depression

    http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v12/n8/full/nrn3072.html?WT.ec_id=NRN-201108

    Leonie Welberg

    Depression is associated with disruptions in circadian rhythms, including altered sleep–wake patterns, and with immune system activation, as indicated by increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Monje et al.

    —————

    GO enrichment analysis of the 11 genes shared by Autism, Schizophrenia, and Epilepsy.

    GO: 0032103 Positive regulation of response to external stimulus – Anxiety
    (Any process that activates, maintains or increases the rate of a response to an external stimulus).

    GO: 0031622 Positive regulation of fever – (Any process that activates or increases the frequency, rate, or extent of fever generation.)

    GO : 0031620 Regulation of fever generation

    GO: 0031650 Regulation of heat generation

    GO: 0031652 Positive Regulation of heat generation

    ———–

    Evidence for activation of nuclear factor kappaB in obstructive sleep apnea

    Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a risk factor for atherosclerosis, and atherosclerosis evolves from activation of the inflammatory cascade. We propose that activation of the nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB), a key transcription factor in the inflammatory cascade, occurs in OSA.

    NF-kappaB activation occurs with sleep-disordered breathing. Such activation of NF-kappaB may contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis in OSA patients.

  260. #260 blackheart
    November 26, 2011

    Herr Doktor

    OK, let’s try another track. Do you have any ideas about how to distinguish special cases for whom the standard vaccination schedule is unsuitable, from children for whom it is OK?

    We could use science.

    “There is emerging evidence that some children are immunologically compromised and therefore may respond in an atypical way to vaccinations. We do not currently understand how atypical immune responses might influence the developing nervous system or how commonly such adverse effects occur. Further, we currently have no way to identify those children who might respond adversely to vaccines. Several research projects at the MIND Institute are attempting to find such diagnostic markers. Clearly more research needs to be carried out on the relationship between the immune system and autism. Practically, if your child has clinical indications of an immune system abnormality, such as unusual or difficult to treat infections, or your family has a long and extensive history of immunological problems, we recommend that you consult with your physicians about the safest options for immunizing your children.”

    University of California

  261. #261 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 26, 2011

    I’ve known for a very long time, that having someone listen to me is not usually the case,

    And since you plainly cover your ears and chant “LA LA LA” when you think you might hear something you don’t like, that seems entirely fair.

  262. #262 lilady
    November 27, 2011

    Or, we could look at the 2011 ACIP General Recommendations regarding administering vaccines to the “immune compromised”.

    Altered immunocompetence, a term often used synonymously with immunosuppression and immunocompromise, can be classified as primary or secondary. Primary immunodeficiencies generally are inherited and include conditions defined by an absence or quantitative deficiency of cellular or humoral components or both that provide immunity. Examples include congenital immunodeficiency diseases such as X-linked agammaglobulinemia, severe combined immunodeficiency disease, and chronic granulomatous disease. Secondary immunodeficiency generally is acquired and is defined by loss or qualitative deficiency in cellular or humoral immune components that occurs as a result of a disease process or its therapy. Examples of secondary immunodeficiency include HIV infection, hematopoietic malignancies, treatment with radiation, and treatment with immunosuppressive drugs including alkylating agents and antimetabolites. The degree to which immunosuppressive drugs cause clinically significant immunodeficiency generally is dose related and varies by drug. Primary and secondary immunodeficiencies might include a combination of deficits in both cellular and humoral immunity. In this report, the general term altered immunocompetence also is used to include conditions such as asplenia and chronic renal disease, and treatments with therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (specifically, the tumor necrosis factor inhibitors) (127–132) and prolonged administration of high-dose corticosteroids.

    Determination of altered immunocompetence is important to the vaccine provider because incidence or severity of some vaccine-preventable diseases is higher in persons with altered immunocompetence; therefore, certain vaccines (e.g., inactivated influenza vaccine and pneumococcal vaccines) are recommended specifically for persons with these diseases (28,68). Vaccines might be less effective during the period of altered immunocompetence. Live vaccines might need to be deferred until immune function has improved. Inactivated vaccines administered during the period of altered immunocompetence might need to be repeated after immune function has improved. In addition, persons with altered immunocompetence might be at increased risk for an adverse reaction after administration of live, attenuated vaccines because of uninhibited replication.

    The degree of altered immunocompetence in a patient should be determined by a physician. The challenge for clinicians and other health-care providers is assessing the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for conditions associated with primary or secondary immunodeficiency, especially when new therapeutic modalities are being used and information about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines has not been characterized fully in persons receiving these drugs (Table 13). Laboratory studies can be useful for assessing the effects of a disease or drug on the immune system. Tests useful to assess humoral immunity include immunoglobulin (and immunoglobulin subset) levels and specific antibody levels (e.g., tetanus and diphtheria). Tests that demonstrate the status of cellular immunity include lymphocyte numbers (i.e., a complete blood count with differential), a test that delineates concentrations and proportions of lymphocyte subsets (i.e., B and T lymphocytes, CD4+ T versus CD8+ T lymphocytes), and tests that measure T-cell proliferation in response to specific or nonspecific stimuli (e.g., lymphocyte proliferation assays) (133,134). The ability to characterize a drug or disease condition as affecting cellular or humoral immunity is only the first step; using this information to draw inferences about whether particular vaccines are indicated or whether caution is advised with use of live or inactivated vaccines is more complicated and might require consultation with an infectious disease or immunology specialist.

  263. #263 Dangerous Bacon
    November 27, 2011

    pD: “You are the one who jumped up and down about my posting history, assignment of conspiratorial motives based on punctuation, and vaccination.”

    Your posting history (including “just asking questions” about vaccines in this thread) is relevant to understanding where you’re coming from, protestations of “objectivity” not withstanding.
    I have not assigned conspiratorial thinking to you. You’re the one who sees nefarious activity behind your inability to immediately get a full-length copy of a newly published journal article, and having comments placed briefly in moderation on RI like lots of other posters. Most of us can handle this sort of thing without going all !!?!?!?? about it.
    If you want to be taken seriously it’d be a good idea to ditch the “they’re plotting against me” mindset, as it’s a typical component of the usual antivax herd from which you appear to want to distance yourself.

    “The unfortunate reality is that nearly all discussions about autism on this site, and many others, involve vaccination.”

    That’s because this site has a heavy focus on quackery and pseudoscience, including antivax activities. It is not primarily about autism, although evidence for its true etiology(ies) is touched on. Whatever you do on your own blog is nifty, but when you post here it is typically to try to implicate vaccines in causation of autism, directly or indirectly (by pooh-poohing any evidence that suggests an alternate mechanism, as was the case in this thread).

    “It isn’t changing the goalposts, it is recognizing that because a study has the words ‘vaccination’ and ‘cytokine’ in it, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it provides relevant information”

    Uh, it isn’t “a study”, it’s numerous studies* that have examined cytokines and other molecular aspects of immune response following vaccination (which I alluded to in previous discussion). Apparently none of them satisfy your great concern about the unique threat of the immune response to vaccination (never mind the daily antigenic challenge we all face from myriad antigens from birth onwards, or the antigenic challenge of actual infectious disease which dwarfs that involved in vaccination – because, well, it’s gotta be the vaccines. That probably accounts for the latest pD goalpost shift, demanding comprehensive research into “the innate immune response in an infant following a two month well visit”, otherwise, well, we can’t possibly know enough to recommend vaccination of infants against dangerous infectious diseases.

    *PubMed is your friend here. Beware however – it is possible that some of the articles may not be available to you in complete form for free, either because some journals like paying customers, or because They Don’t Want You To Know (!!?!??!??).

  264. #264 Th1Th2bot
    November 27, 2011

    So take the goddamn vaccine because like natural infection it causes encephalopathy. Now you’re talking.

    Then again, it’s Sunday and return come back to say no wonder if you are reversible, especially for his own question. Superstition, chronic delusion hallucination, yes, or sewage; conceal the operative words.

    There be a disease? Yes: have missed that the whine. Tsk; so you try this is done.

  265. #265 Chemmomo
    November 27, 2011

    @passionlessDrone #212
    pD, thank you for your well thought out response. First, I’d like to say that I appreciate the fact that you do try to follow the science yourself, and your most recent comments here suggest that your position has evolved over time and new data (I haven’t had time to check your blog to see to find out if that is true). I don’t think I can find the other thread; it was probably at least a year ago, maybe two. You didn’t fail to respond – we had gone around and around the same problem I still have with your hypothesis. Clearly, I didn’t make that much of an impression on you.

    So the short version of your hypothesis vs my anecdata (and sorry, since I don’t do medical research that’s all I’ve got) would be is my kid’s an outlier. Or, if you prefer, part of a non-susceptible subgroup.

    I do agree we still have much to learn about how the immune system affects development. The abstract you posted is interesting, but it’s a rat study, and I don’t have access to the journal to read it for myself, so I can’t judge how it translates to research in humans.

    Here’s where we disagree. You concluded:

    Unfortunately, research undertaken long after the development of the vaccine schedule indicates that the immune system is playing a much more active part in learning, memory, and behavior than we even thought possible.

    The vaccine schedule did not significantly increase the number nor the timing of immune challenges an infant faces. Sure, some challenges (i.e., the vaccines) have become regularly spaced, rather than random. But what my anecdote was intended to illustrate is that infants’ immune systems have always been challenged, even in very early life. The current vaccine schedule has not changed that fact. To me, that’s the elephant in the middle of your hypothesis.

  266. #266 Chemmomo
    November 27, 2011

    @blackheart #261

    We could use science.

    Scientists use citations. Your quotation is attributed to

    University of California

    Huh?

  267. #267 herr doktor bimler
    November 27, 2011

    OK, let’s try another track. Do you have any ideas about how to distinguish special cases for whom the standard vaccination schedule is unsuitable, from children for whom it is OK?

    We could use science.
    “Further, we currently have no way to identify those children who might respond adversely to vaccines.”

    Evidently blackheart’s answer to the question is “no”. So we are left with the unpredictive post-facto paradigm of “Oh, this child is old enough to be diagnosed with condition X; this child was vaccinated in the last 6 months; therefore vaccination causes condition X.”

  268. #268 Chemmomo
    November 27, 2011

    Apologies for the extra words in the first paragraph of #265. I still can’t proofread on screen.

  269. #269 blackheart
    November 27, 2011

    herr Doktor

    Obviously you missed … (Patient History)

    “Practically, if your child has clinical indications of an immune system abnormality, such as unusual or difficult to treat infections, or your family has a long and extensive history of immunological problems, we recommend that you consult with your physicians about the safest options for immunizing your children.”

    But such things as biomarkers or perhaps partial wave spectroscopic (PWS) microscopy are being developed.

  270. #270 blackheart
    November 27, 2011
  271. #271 Mu
    November 27, 2011

    There’s a reason blackheart didn’t want to give a citation for his latest statement, alas we might read the whole article:
    http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mindinstitute/newsroom/vaccineposition.html
    It’s not really supportive of his position if put back into context.

  272. #272 Denice Walter
    November 27, 2011

    @ blackheart:

    You know, you’re amongst friends here- whether you realise it or not- and I’ll bet you’d be lots of fun at a Starbucks or in a pub; much of what we regulars say is entirely tongue-in-cheek but we are serious about a few issues- which I’ll get to.

    So why don’t you come clean: it’s the vaccines, isn’t it? There’s nothing about which to be ashamed: anti-vaccination has had a long history having been around since Jenner; I could show you material from the 1950s, courtesy of Prevention Magazine.

    Objections that raise immunological issues, contamination, or suspicions of world-wide plots ( involving governments, professional groups, pharma,and the media all working in synch) are window dressing for the central issue, i.e. a belief that vaccines are dangerous and cause harm that includes autism. This belief has been around and does not stand up to research: I am not saying that no problems *ever* arose from vaccines *but* that injury from the relevant illness is orders of magnitude higher than the possibility of any vaccine injury. There is no research that shows an association of vaccines with autism.

    People who have a strong vested interest in preserving this belief and proselytising about it may either be entrenched for psychological reasons ( despair about a child with autism, strong allegiance to the natural health movement or leader ) or financial ones ( marketting new “cures” or “safer” vaccines- *a la* AJW,or supplements, such as companies advertising at AoA or by general alt med merchants, or selling *themselves*).

    In the long run, beliefs like this can lead to actions that are harmful- less children will be vaccinated and the formerly “covered” illness will spread as they did in the not-so-recent past. Beliefs about the “dangers”of SBM for cancer, HIV/AIDS, or SMI, fall into this same category. There are deeply emotional reasons- as old as our species- that concern the fear of injection/ ingestion of foreign materials- the anti-vax movement utilises that fear as its foundation rather than speaking rationally to it. This manipulation has made quite a few people wealthy.

    Well, Blackie, I hope you will start considering why we feel so strongly about this: we don’t want to see anyone suffer needlessly if there is easily acquired *help*.

  273. #273 Militant Agnostic
    November 27, 2011

    Mu @270

    Colour me unsurprised. Racheal, why are you praising someone (blacheart) who continually demonstrates such dishonesty? This does explain why blackheart admires Wakefield – they are both champions of mendacity.

  274. #274 Denice Walter
    November 27, 2011

    @ minions: my epistle to Blackie – currently in moderation- addresses several of these issues.

    -btw- Th1Th2bot: Do you currently have an agent? Please consider me.

  275. #275 lilady
    November 27, 2011

    I have a comment stuck in moderation. You could also look up the entire ACIP 2011 General Recommendations, “immunization of immune compromised individuals”, instead of the cherry-picked UC-Davis citation provided by blackheart.

    Look especially for the definitions of immune-compromised states (genetic versus treatment related). If it is all too complicated you can check the VIS (Vaccine Information Sheets) to locate instances when a particular vaccine may be contraindicated or delayed.

    Most vaccines are especially recommended for immune-compromised individuals because of the risks of the actual diseases to such people.

    The entire article supplied by Mu makes mention of some instances where a physician may delay or defer a vaccine for a particular individual.

    Rachael should try and read these recommendations and not rely on the crap she reads at AoA or the advice from her new internet BFF blackheart.

  276. #276 Dangerous Bacon
    November 27, 2011

    Chemmomo: “The vaccine schedule did not significantly increase the number nor the timing of immune challenges an infant faces. Sure, some challenges (i.e., the vaccines) have become regularly spaced, rather than random. But what my anecdote was intended to illustrate is that infants’ immune systems have always been challenged, even in very early life. The current vaccine schedule has not changed that fact. To me, that’s the elephant in the middle of your hypothesis.”

    I pointed this out to pD a long time ago with a link to an article about inflammatory cytokine generation resulting from constant, ongoing immune challenge in our bodies (i.e. from antigens traversing our gastrointestinal tracts). I never got a coherent explanation as to why that constant challenge is insignificant in comparison to vaccine antigens, or why vaccines must be focused on in this regard while full-blown disease gets a pass. The pD refrain has always been to lament the absence of hyperspecific studies addressing the particular parameters pD argues are important, now required to be in vivo studies on two-month-olds after well-child visits. It’s gotta be the vaccines, you know.

    How this represents an evolved viewpoint remains to be seen.

  277. #277 Th1Th2
    November 27, 2011

    (never mind the daily antigenic challenge we all face from myriad antigens from birth onwards, or the antigenic challenge of actual infectious disease which dwarfs that involved in vaccination – because, well, it’s gotta be the vaccines.

    So Dangerous Bacon has implied that “daily antigenic challenge” is also “daily pathogenic challenge” like what he described as “antigenic challenge of actual infectious disease”. Now who in their right mind would do something abnormal like going to India just to get a daily challenge with WT poliovirus? Seriously provax have lost the debate every time they use the “antigen gambit”. Ass always they are barking up the wrong tree.

  278. #278 T-reg
    November 27, 2011

    @TrlTrll:

    Like what foreign antigens other than vaccine antigens?

    I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that on Htrae only antigens present in vaccines were foreign to the human body while antigens on pathogens were actually native to the human body. My bad – I’m not traines in Htrae biology.
    Here on earth, we have this funny situation that even the antigens on a pathogen are foreign to the human body and that there are far more of them that the human body is exposed to since birth than the amount contained in all the vaccines put together. Your bad – you are not trained in human biology/medicine/health sciences.

  279. #279 Chris
    November 27, 2011

    Militant Agnostic:

    This does explain why blackheart admires Wakefield – they are both champions of mendacity.

    There is really no point in engaging blackheart. He is just a more verbose version of Thingy. How can you tell blackheart and Thingy are lying: they typed a comment on a blog.

  280. #280 Th1Th2
    November 27, 2011

    Here on earth, we have this funny situation that even the antigens on a pathogen are foreign to the human body and that there are far more of them that the human body is exposed to since birth than the amount contained in all the vaccines put together.

    And that exposure is restricted on the skin and mucosal surface by the physical barriers of the innate immune system. Which goes to show that you have no idea of how many infections are being prevented by the non-adaptive mechanism of the innate immune system alone. Contrast that to vaccination, you knew very well that these are pathogenic yet you insouciantly breach the protective barrier in order to promote an infection. Yes you’re bad infection promoter.

  281. #281 T-reg
    November 27, 2011

    Hmmm… Let’s see…
    Measles virus comes in contact with the mucosa from where it eventually gains entry into the blood and disseminates.
    Ditto polio…
    Oh wait! the mumps and rubella viruses also gain entry into the human host by the same route…
    Diptheria and pertussis toxins also get absorbed from the mucosa…
    MALT (mucosa associated lymphoid tissue) is constantly coming in contact with antigens in the food that we ingest… Infact that is where the body comes in contact with gliadin and reacts to it…
    The oral and respiratory mucosa are colonized by several bacteria including Staphylococci, Streptococci and Haemophilus… Their antigens are continuously in contact with the MALT…
    The Gut is colonized by various species of bacteria including E.coli…
    Yes, our skin and mucosa protect us from several INFECTIONS but they are also continuously acquainting our immune system with the myriads of antigens which we come in contact with in our environment….

    Nope… We don’t get exposed to any antigens because our skin and mucosa protect us…

  282. #282 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 27, 2011

    And that exposure is restricted on the skin and mucosal surface by the physical barriers of the innate immune system.

    See, beings of Thingy’s species never breathe or eat or drink, and never have breaks in their skin. Presumably all of their oxygen (?), (distilled) water, and food are shipped in from their home planet, and they were some protective rubbery garment to prevent exposure to Earthly pathogens. That’s how they can simultaneously be germophobes and germ theory denialists.

    And of course, they believe that only actual disease pathogens cause an immune response and not the millions of other antigens we’re exposed to in our lifetime, most of which we would never know were there if it weren’t for the ham-handed response of the Rube Goldberg contraption we call our immune system. But try to get it to respond appropriately to 10 or 12 that actually cause problems and it’s the crime of the century.

  283. #283 Th1Th2bot Service Center
    November 27, 2011

    yet you insouciantly breach the protective barrier

    Wow, we’ve never heard the bot giggle during an update before.

  284. #284 MD1970
    November 27, 2011

    @Mu- From your link….

    “Does this mean that we can say without a doubt that vaccines do not cause autism in some children? The answer to this question is “no”. There is emerging evidence that some children are immunologically compromised and therefore may respond in an atypical way to vaccinations. We do not currently understand how atypical immune responses might influence the developing nervous system or how commonly such adverse effects occur. Further, we currently have no way to identify those children who might respond adversely to vaccines. Several research projects at the MIND Institute are attempting to find such diagnostic markers. Clearly more research needs to be carried out on the relationship between the immune system and autism. Practically, if your child has clinical indications of an immune system abnormality, such as unusual or difficult to treat infections, or your family has a long and extensive history of immunological problems, we recommend that you consult with your physicians about the safest options for immunizing your children.”
    My question-
    So the prudent thing to do is to continue shooting them up starting from birth with Hep B, refuse to produce a separate pertussis vaccine and give them Dtap then another live vaccine etc for 18 months not knowing whether they are “immunologically compromised.” ????

    http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mindinstitute/newsroom/vaccineposition.html

  285. #285 questioner
    November 27, 2011

    @Mu-
    From your link- quote
    “Does this mean that we can say without a doubt that vaccines do not cause autism in some children? The answer to this question is “no”. There is emerging evidence that some children are immunologically compromised and therefore may respond in an atypical way to vaccinations. We do not currently understand how atypical immune responses might influence the developing nervous system or how commonly such adverse effects occur. Further, we currently have no way to identify those children who might respond adversely to vaccines. Several research projects at the MIND Institute are attempting to find such diagnostic markers. Clearly more research needs to be carried out on the relationship between the immune system and autism. Practically, if your child has clinical indications of an immune system abnormality, such as unusual or difficult to treat infections, or your family has a long and extensive history of immunological problems, we recommend that you consult with your physicians about the safest options for immunizing your children.”

  286. #286 questioner
    November 27, 2011
  287. #287 Chris
    November 27, 2011

    Questioner, who wrote that and why are all of the references more than five years old?

    And, Mady Hornig’s autistic mice study came under severe criticism (the question was “how can you tell if a mouse is autistic?”). So really, why should we care about what was written in an undated anonymous press release?

  288. #288 Sharon Astyk
    November 27, 2011

    Can’t keep up with all the comments, but thanks for this piece, and also for raising the idea of donating my autistic son’s brain if (we hope not, obviously) it ever became necessary. One of the terribly hard parts of being the parent of an autistic pre-teen who wanders, is physically able to get out of the house if he really wants to or over most barriers, is that you do have to deal with the painful reality you may not be able to keep your child safe, despite constant effort. This doesn’t make that any better, but it does require that I think a little bit about our possible response if the worst did happen.

    Thank you,

    Sharon

  289. #289 Gray Falcon
    November 27, 2011

    And, Mady Hornig’s autistic mice study came under severe criticism (the question was “how can you tell if a mouse is autistic?”)

    From what I remember, the signs of autism presented were normal patterns of mouse behavior, such as territorial aggression. That’s just plan sad.

  290. #290 passionlessDrone
    November 27, 2011

    Hi Chemmomo –

    So the short version of your hypothesis vs my anecdata (and sorry, since I don’t do medical research that’s all I’ve got) would be is my kid’s an outlier. Or, if you prefer, part of a non-susceptible subgroup.

    I’d flip that statement on its head. I think that your experience is the norm, but the absolute number of outliers in a population is driven by the absolute number of participants. While some infants got sick very early in life in the past, I doubt very seriously you could point me towards documentation indicating 90+% of them did. With that in mind, we’ve gone from a random distribution to a straight line approaching 100%, and the number of outliers in a population that comprises nearly everyone is much larger than the number of outliers in a population that is only a segment of everyone.

    I do agree we still have much to learn about how the immune system affects development. The abstract you posted is interesting, but it’s a rat study, and I don’t have access to the journal to read it for myself, so I can’t judge how it translates to research in humans.

    There are clearly some big problems with the jump from an animal model to humans, for sure, and I’ll be the first to admit that great caution must be taken with animal models.

    The fact that it is still an animal study, however, points towards the nascent level of our understanding of these processes, we are just starting to perform these types of observations. As has been noted on this thread, obtaining full copies of papers can sometimes be an exercise in frustration. If you are interested, here is a link to a fully available paper online:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2737431/?tool=pubmed

    Early-life programming of later-life brain and behavior: a critical role for the immune system (Front Behav Neurosci. 2009; 3: 14. Published online 2009 August 24. Prepublished online 2009 June 15. doi: 10.3389/neuro.08.014.2009)

    This paper is by one of the same authors I referenced above. Here is a part of the conclusion:

    In summary, there is increasing support for a critical role of CNS immune cells, primarily microglia, and their products such as cytokines, in both health and disease processes within the brain. However, the role of immune factors in homeostatic functions such as synaptic plasticity, and complex behaviors such as cognition, anxiety, and depression remain little understood. We have argued here that the early-life environment of an individual is especially critical in shaping the way that the immune system and hence the brain develop, with significant consequences for brain and behavior throughout the remainder of the lifespan.

    The available data indicate a number of common influences of early-life immune activation on later life brain and behavior, namely mechanisms such as cytokine production and glial activation. Thus, while we have been working specifically with a model of bacterial infection in neonatal rats, we believe the results we have reported likely apply more generally to brain-immune interactions. On the other hand, the data also suggest a number of challenge (e.g., LPS vs. E. coli) and gestational time-point specific influences on later outcomes, a further analysis of which will lead to greater understanding of the mechanisms involved. Finally, just as distinct brain regions exhibit markedly different functions and cell populations, immune activity within each region is likely similarly diverse, and should be considered in relation to the microenvironment in which it occurs.

    [I would note with no small amusement that when I ask Dangerous Bacon for information regarding spatial location of VPA effects on neuron number, I am accused of 'changing goalposts', but if you actually read research written by neuroscientist PhDs, this type of attention to detail is considered critical towards understanding the systems in question.]

    This is a neat paper, and it is important to note that it is a review of a great number of other papers on the field of the result of early life immune activation. The authors are cautious about the large amount still left to understand. While the study I posted above is an animal model, I think it is critical that my thought process is not based on a single study, but rather, a growing body of literature.

    But what my anecdote was intended to illustrate is that infants’ immune systems have always been challenged, even in very early life. The current vaccine schedule has not changed that fact. To me, that’s the elephant in the middle of your hypothesis.

    OK. Your experiences are not unnoted, and in fact, such issues are understood by the researchers undertaking this type of study. From the paper I referenced above:

    It should be noted that there remains considerable debate about this topic, as the majority of individuals that suffer from infections early in life do not develop schizophrenia (Bennet and Gunn, 2006). Nonetheless, it is clear that a link is present in at least a subset of individuals, and these combined data from the schizophrenia literature have in large part set the stage for an ‘immune origins of neurodevelopmental disorders hypothesis’ (Meyer et al., 2005), which extends more broadly to a number of cognitive and affective disorders.

    My ‘part’ of the hypothesis is that vaccination is be something to be considered within the wider range of this type of study. We all understand that vaccinations trigger an innate immune response, after all. Despite all of the thunder and fury about this area having been studied to death, we’ve applied precious little attention towards the act of vaccination as opposed to specific ingredients, or specific vaccines.

    The real world is intruding on a longer response, but I’d be happy to continue in the future if you’d like. I’ve got some other thoughts, but they’d take a while to develop in a well thought out fashion.

    - pD

  291. #291 Chris
    November 27, 2011

    The other unfortunate thing is that we can no longer read what the AutismDiva wrote about Mady Hornig’s “Rain Mice.”

  292. #292 questioner
    November 27, 2011

    @Chris-
    Mu posted that article at #269

  293. #293 herr doktor bimler
    November 27, 2011

    Racael (#258) missed my request for further information (#257) so I’ll repeat it here.
    The argument has been that there is some small subgroup of children — let’s call it X — who should not be vaccinated because it puts them at risk of adverse condition Y. But is there any way of identifying members of group X in advance?
    If the answer is simply that “any child who is diagnosed with Y after vaccination must have belonged to X”, we are not actually any the wiser.

  294. #294 Chris
    November 27, 2011

    Sorry, Questioner. As you can see, he was posting it because the liar, blackheart, quoted it but did not reference it.

    It is still old and crappy.

  295. #295 lilady
    November 27, 2011

    @ Sharon Astyk: It is so nice to hear from you and your opinion about tissue donation after death for research.

    I have been thinking about this article that was written by Katie Wright, in response to this small study and have come to the conclusion, that it will have little or no impact outside of the echo chamber readership of AoA.

    While there is a slight chance that a few parents at AoA understand the value of brain tissue donation for study into the causes of autism, any comments they might submit will never pass “moderation” at AoA. I believe the overwhelming majority of their readership is in lockstep with their “cause” and, I don’t think any of them would ever consider such donations. It would destroy all the theories that are promulgated by this anti-science, anti-vax crowd.

  296. #296 MD1970
    November 27, 2011

    @blackheart-
    Thanks for the links at @160 esp.

    http://www.neuro.jhmi.edu/neuroimmunopath/autism_faqs.htm

  297. #297 Chris
    November 27, 2011

    Ooooh, yet another undated anonymous press release from blackheart the liar!

  298. #298 Chris
    November 27, 2011

    And better, yet! Their publications page has nothing since 2005! I suspect since they claim support from “Cure Autism Now” which merged with Autism Speaks at least four years ago, that group has not done anything new in years.

  299. #299 MD1970
    November 27, 2011

    @Chris
    Re: Refs
    Read the CDC’s on Autism Spectrum Disorders
    http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html

  300. #300 passionlessDrone
    November 27, 2011

    Hi Dangerous Bacon -

    I pointed this out to pD a long time ago with a link to an article about inflammatory cytokine generation resulting from constant, ongoing immune challenge in our bodies (i.e. from antigens traversing our gastrointestinal tracts). I never got a coherent explanation as to why that constant challenge is insignificant in comparison to vaccine antigens, or why vaccines must be focused on in this regard while full-blown disease gets a pass.

    I don’t remember my specific response, but I’d bet it was something like this:

    There is a difference between baseline cytokine values, which we all experience every single day we are alive, and post vaccination. This is why, for example, when an infant get the DTAP they are expected to get a fever 1/4 of the time.

    Now, here’s a question that I’d love to see you provide a ‘coherent’ answer to (for once). Why do you suppose it is that a vaccine is expected to generate a fever one in four times, but the ‘ongoing inflammatory challenge’ in our guts doesn’t produce fevers at anything close to this rate? (or at any detectable rate, at all.)

    Do you have any speculation on why this might be the case, if both things are supposedly equal?

    Or, I might have gone to the literature to show that when we have bothered to measure cytokine release in some populations (i.e., not infants), they clearly show a significant increase, i.e.:

    Effect of influenza vaccine on markers of inflammation and lipid profile (The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine Volume 145, Issue 6 , Pages 323-327, June 2005)

    Curiously, even though the placebo group had the same food and ‘antigens’ raging through their digestive track, the authors were able to distinguish vaccine recipients from placebo recipients.

    Regarding ‘full blown diseases getting a pass’, all you are doing is providing additional evidence that you don’t read my responses. From this thread, post #156.

    But even here, just six posts above I told Calli Arcade that infections during early infancy would have the same functional effect

    The idea that I believe natural infections get a pass is something which exists only in your mind.

    How this represents an evolved viewpoint remains to be seen.

    This is an function of not listening, as opposed to not having been told.

    - pD

  301. #301 Th1Th2
    November 27, 2011

    See, beings of Thingy’s species never breathe or eat or drink, and never have breaks in their skin.

    Well, there are things that a normal reasonable human being would not do to himself and to others–that is, to promote infection. You eat, breathe and drink because it’s a physiological need not because you’re promoting infection. Do you have any better idea of promoting infection other than eating, drinking and breathing? And I don’t know why someone would intentionally inflict injury to themselves and other people just to promote infection, do you?

    And of course, they believe that only actual disease pathogens cause an immune response and not the millions of other antigens we’re exposed to in our lifetime, most of which we would never know were there if it weren’t for the ham-handed response of the Rube Goldberg contraption we call our immune system.

    Well, those millions of antigens we’re exposed to cannot cause diseases unless they are pathogenic. Do you dispute this?

  302. #302 Th1Th2
    November 27, 2011

    I think passionlessDrone is trying to be smart by “demanding comprehensive research into “the innate immune response in an infant following a two month well visit”,”, really? Here’s a thing: They don’t even check baseline antibody titers prior to any vaccination?

    Why don’t you just say you’re an antivaccine. It’s easy.

  303. #303 lilady
    November 27, 2011

    Oh Th1Th2bot…are you still entertaining offers to manage you? If so, I would like to submit an offer. Do you have a trained technician to manage the Th1Th2bot Service Center? Perhaps I could offer the services of my daughter who is trained as a software release manager. (I know, I know, this is the child who must have been “switched at birth”.)

    We may have a need for another “bot” soon…if Dangerous Bacon tires of offering up redundant explanations.

  304. #304 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 27, 2011

    Do you dispute this?

    It’s high-larry-ous that Thingy always ends the most moronic of her statements with “Do you dispute this?”

    “Disease” is what we call it when our immune system acts up in response to some antigen. Fortunately it’s only to a few of the millions of things we’re exposed to in the course of our life. Yes, you, Thingy, the germophobic germ theory denialist, are exposed to untold numbers of bacteria and viruses every goddamn day. Just about every one of them caused your immune system to become activated and begin producing antibodies. 10 or 12 antigens administered over 18 years cannot “overwhelm” your immune system, as you lunatics keep claiming, because they’re not even a drop in the ocean!

    Your “not causing diseases unless they’re pathogenic” is what we call a tautology. Yes, those that cause the immune system to kick up a hissy-fit and cause “disease” are pathogenic. A few of the microorganisms we’re exposed to are so thoroughly naturalized that they cause no problems, at least if they don’t show up in the wrong place—see E. Coli. The vast majority find our bodies such a hostile environment that you might as well throw them in a bucket of Lysol as our bloodstream. Unfortunately, there are a few right in between, and they’re the ones that cause the problem. A few, like tetanus and diphtheria and pertussis, actually do harm on their own. Most only cause problems because of our immune system’s idiotic overreaction.

    Now that you know what “disease” is, and that your immune system is constantly working overtime, ginning up antibodies to thousands and millions of different antigens that you’re exposed to every day, maybe you can stop worrying about a handful of very carefully targeted ones. Your mental health will benefit, I promise you.

  305. #305 Chris
    November 27, 2011

    MD1970:

    Read the CDC’s on Autism Spectrum Disorders

    So what? It is a general information page, not a scientific document. Which is quite a bit different than outdated anonymous press releases from research labs.

    There is a difference.

  306. #306 Th1Th2bot
    November 27, 2011

    And I don’t know why someone would intentionally inflict injury to themselves and other people just to promote infection, do you?

    Neither anything. So hard on a person is always spoil the target: over time, you’re still a long-held superstitious belief; the mother is not getting their inherent nature, is just wait to effectively communicate pathogenic infectious sources to see.

    You’re just fascinated how could still be given any, asking me, and gave always know walk with silly this child and improper and, gums on the blood, brain stem knows that injection, of course. You to the symptoms with clinical assessment and cause harm; take it already, an infection promoters, or maybe he can proceed with clinical assessment?

  307. #307 lilady
    November 27, 2011

    @ Thingybot: Thanks for your usual extraordinary interpretation of Thingy’s brain droppings.

    P.S. My offer still stands for “managing” your bot and your Service Center…just contact Orac, for my e-mail address.

  308. #308 MD1970
    November 27, 2011

    @Chris-
    I wouldn’t call the Neuroimmunopathology Lab at John Hopkins any old
    research lab or don’t you know the difference?

  309. #309 MD1970
    November 27, 2011

    @Chris
    Johns Hopkins

  310. #310 Chris
    November 27, 2011

    So what? What are you trying to prove?

    Is it relevant? Has it been replicated? Is the research ongoing? Does the lab still exist?

  311. #311 Denice Walter
    November 27, 2011

    Recently I’ve quoted a Thomson Reuters NPR poll (Sept 2011) that revealed that 31% of parents of children (under age 18) had worries about vaccination while only 18% of those over age 65 were. This suggests a few things to me:
    let’s assume that the “worried” groups are each normally distributed running the gamut from mild to severe worry,
    and
    there is interaction between the groups ( some in the older group have grandchildren and/or are influenced by their adult children- the younger group)-

    perhaps our job isn’t as mind-bogglingly huge as we might fear because there are not as many die hards in the general population as there are in anti-vax groups- plus older people may be easier to convince because they are old enough (to remember many of the actual illnesses that are now preventable by vaccines) and who may influence younger people, like their own children, nieces and nephews.

    Many people are frightened of being in a plane crash although the risk is extremely minute- although not as rare as a vaccine injury- talking to them about probabilities, addressing their fears sympathetically, *explaining* just *why* air travel *is* so frightening, teaching them to relax, and teaching them about the risk relative to other *daily* risks (car crashes) may help them feel a little better about air travel.

    If alt med is fuelled by fear we can present insight into how that mechanism works and is used to manipulate people.

  312. #312 Th1Th2
    November 27, 2011

    Treg,

    Measles virus comes in contact with the mucosa from where it eventually gains entry into the blood and disseminates.

    I know of an effective route not requiring mucosal contact: the measles vaccine that causes viremia, primary measles infection and immunosuppression. You see a wild-type measles virus must first overcome the innate immune system before it can cause infection.

    Ditto polio…

    Of course, who would forget OPV wherein infection and replication in the GIT is a must.

    Oh wait! the mumps and rubella viruses also gain entry into the human host by the same route…

    The mumps and rubella vaccines would bypass that protective barrier resulting to unrestricted infection.

    MALT (mucosa associated lymphoid tissue) is constantly coming in contact with antigens in the food that we ingest… Infact that is where the body comes in contact with gliadin and reacts to it…

    So you have to switched to antigens, why? I thought we were discussing pathogens?

    The oral and respiratory mucosa are colonized by several bacteria including Staphylococci, Streptococci and Haemophilus… Their antigens are continuously in contact with the MALT…The Gut is colonized by various species of bacteria including E.coli…

    So what? Colonization does not mean infection.

    Yes, our skin and mucosa protect us from several INFECTIONS but they are also continuously acquainting our immune system with the myriads of antigens which we come in contact with in our environment….

    The skin and mucosal surface are there to prevent entry of pathogenic microorganism from causing infection. They don’t need to be “acquianted” because their only purpose is to expel and eliminate foreign and pathogenic microorganisms hence they are non-adaptive a.k.a. innate. But since you’re an infection promoter there is a need for you to breach this innate immunity thus the secondary line of defense, the adaptive immunity, “acquaints” itself from your wrongdoing and tells you not to do it again. It has a memory recall you know.

    Nope… We don’t get exposed to any antigens because our skin and mucosa protect us…

    How many times are you allowed to move the goalpost?

  313. #313 MD1970
    November 27, 2011

    @Denice-
    If alt med is fuelled by fear we can present insight into how that mechanism works and is used to manipulate people.

    Vaccine schedule- How horrid it would be to delay or choose an alt schedule!
    Fear of Heb B, Tetanus,Diphtheria, Rubella,HPV -need I say more

  314. #314 Th1Th2bot
    November 27, 2011

    Of course, who would forget OPV wherein infection and replication in the GIT is a must.

    Haha. Oh, of two examples precious rectum.

  315. #315 c j f
    November 27, 2011

    This article is interesting and it seems like it might be relevant to a discussion of the John Hopkins lab findings.

    Expression Profiling of Autism Candidate Genes during Human Brain Development Implicates Central Immune Signaling Pathways

    Interestingly, there is also mounting evidence at the cellular and tissue levels that more in depth investigation of an immune component is warranted in ASD [46]. For instance, multiple studies have demonstrated altered cytokine profiles in ASD patients [47], [48], and altered TGF-B concentration in serum and CSF correlates with disease severity [49]. Others have described various autoimmune phenomena including autoantibodies to neural antigens and maternal-fetal cross-reactive neural antibodies [50]. There is also indication of altered innate cellular immunity in ASD, such as differences in gene expression and altered response to immunostimlulatory ligands in both natural killer and monocytic cells from ASD patients [51], [52]. Post-mortem brain tissue from ASD patients shows increased microglial density in grey matter, an activated morphology, and secretion of a cytokine profile consistent with a pro-inflammatory state, most prominent in the cerebellum [53], [54]. Moreover, microglia from MeCP2- null mice—a model of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Rett Syndrome—produce a conditioned media that damages synaptic connectivity via a glutamate-excitotoxicity mechanism [55]. While all of this work provides post-hoc evidence for altered immune response in ASD, our results suggest a direct link between implicated genes in ASD and molecular pathways involved in immune signaling.

    This considerable attention to the immune response in previous ASD research has resulted in two prevailing theories: one suggests exogenous factor(s) stimulate neuro-inflammation during development, while the other postulates autoimmune activation causes ASD pathology [56], [57]. However, it is equally possible—as our results support—that the mutations described in ASD result in aberrant signaling regulation of immune cells during neurodevelopment. This could result in cell-autonomous activation and/or improper response to otherwise nominal stimuli, such as occurs in the autoinflammatory syndromes [58]. Alternatively, as glia are increasingly implicated in normal formation of synaptic connectivity [24]—and we have demonstrated a significant proportion of ASD-implicated genes appear to be glial-specific—it is possible that genomic aberrations ultimately funnel through core signaling pathways of glial cells to disrupt formation of neural networks independent of an inflammatory mechanism. In support of this notion, a number of recent reports have demonstrated that these same cytokine signaling pathways are central to proper brain development [59], [60]. Furthermore, signaling through the NFkB pathway has been shown to be important in synaptic plasticity independent of an inflammatory mechanism [61].

    Moreover, two of three genome-wide expression studies in Autism brain tissue conclude that the most prominent transcriptome changes are related to neuro-immune disturbances. In the Garbett et al study, the most significant functional pathway implicated was NFκB signaling [31]. The most comprehensive transcriptomics study of ASD post-mortem brain to date (Voineagu et al) concludes that one of two significant co-expression networks is involved in immune function [32]. While our results are only a first step in linking common molecular interaction pathways to the underlying genetic heterogeneity of ASD, they provide integrated genomic evidence, which is supported by these transcriptomics, cell, and tissue level studies that further investigation into cytokine signaling in ASD is needed.

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0024691

  316. #316 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 27, 2011

    I think it’s time to arrange a Turing Test. Wouldn’t be amusing if Th1Th2bot passed and Th1Th2 itself failed?

  317. #317 MD1970
    November 27, 2011

    From the CDC-Diphtheria
    A confirmed case has not been reported in the U.S. since 2003. Approximately 0.001 cases per 100,000 population in the U.S. since 1980; before the introduction of vaccine in the 1920s incidence was 100-200 cases per 100,000 population. Diphtheria remains endemic in developing countries with low vaccination coverage. During the 1990s, the countries of the former Soviet Union reported >150,000 cases in a large epidemic.

    From the CDC website- adverse events of the DtaP
    Moderate Problems (Uncommon)

    * Seizure (jerking or staring) (about 1 child out of 14,000)
    * Non-stop crying, for 3 hours or more (up to about 1 child out of 1,000)
    * High fever, 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher (about 1 child out of 16,000)

  318. #318 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 27, 2011

    So what? Colonization does not mean infection.

    This, coming from “everything is infection” Thingy. I gotta stop reading these comment threads—I’m literally going to die laughing one of these days….

  319. #319 MD1970
    November 27, 2011

    @Denice
    Comments in moderation-(Trying short version)
    -Incidence of Diphtheria CDC
    A confirmed case has not been reported in the U.S. since 2003. Approximately 0.001 cases per 100,000 population in the U.S. since 1980;

    DtaP Moderate Problems (Uncommon)CDC
    * Seizure (jerking or staring) (about 1 child out of 14,000)
    * Non-stop crying, for 3 hours or more (up to about 1 child out of 1,000)
    * High fever, 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher (about 1 child out of 16,000)

  320. #320 The Christian Cynic
    November 27, 2011

    Of course, who would forget OPV wherein infection and replication in the GIT is a must.

    I have to agree that there is a git involved here.

    So what? Colonization does not mean infection.

    I feel as though we might be at a breakthrough. If only this information could applied to other things…

  321. #321 Chris
    November 27, 2011

    MD1970:

    Vaccine schedule- How horrid it would be to delay or choose an alt schedule! Fear of Heb B, Tetanus,Diphtheria, Rubella,HPV -need I say more

    Well, considering you are actually not saying anything: yes, you need to say more.

    What about meningitis from haemophilus influenzae type b? Neonatal tetanus? Someone returning overseas and spreading diphtheria?

    The MMR is not given until a child is a year old, yet kids under age one have been infected by others (like those in San Diego). And the HPV is not given until age twelve or so… how long did you want this “delay” to be?

    Here is what you need to “say more”:

    Evidence that any alternative vaccine schedule will actually protect children. You must show that diphtheria will not return like it did to several former Soviet countries after the fall of the USSR. You must show that measles and mumps will not return like they have in Japan, UK, Germany, France, etc. Show that children will not get tetanus from scrapes, scratches, bug bites, etc (there is no herd immunity for tetanus).

    And you need to do it with real scientific citations and not undated anonymous press releases.

  322. #322 Chris
    November 27, 2011

    MD1970:

    Fear of Heb B, Tetanus,Diphtheria, Rubella,HPV -need I say more

    Yes, you do. You must present the alternative schedule with evidence that children will be protected from those diseases. The evidence must be real scientific citations that include titles, journals, and dates that show your schedule is actually effective. Links to undated anonymous press releases are not sufficient.

  323. #323 MD1970
    November 27, 2011

    @Chris -Comments in moderation

  324. #324 Chris
    November 27, 2011

    Join the club. I also have a comment in moderation.

    But a hint: Did you know about the return of diphtheria in the Ukraine, Russia and other former Soviet countries after the demise of the USSR? How about the woman in Australia who died from diphtheria? What about the babies infected with measles from the kid who brought it back as a souvenir from his vacation in Switzerland? Or the kids who died in the last few years from haemophilus influenzae type b because of a vaccine shortage? Or the kids who have been infected by tetanus from bug bites and other scrapes?

  325. #325 Mrs. Woo
    November 27, 2011

    I took the test mentioned way up there and scored a 33. Last I knew I wasn’t on any kind of spectrum and never suffered any kind of delay (I was reading before I entered grade school).

    I really suspect the biggest reason that vaccines are often chosen as the culprit is our fear of injury and the unknown (we can’t see all the microscopic ingredients), which is even further exacerbated when we are dealing with our young and our natural protectiveness of them.

    I have to admit that I am curious if resistance to vaccination is any stronger during economic or political turmoil? Since it is usually government-mandated I have to wonder if public distrust increases with dissatisfaction with or lack of trust in those in power?

  326. #326 Chris
    November 27, 2011

    MD1970, here is something for you to read: Philosophic objection to vaccination as a risk for tetanus among children younger than 15 years.

    Do tell us how you would protect the kids from getting into the hospital, especially those that were hospitalized for weeks, and on ventilators for days.

  327. #327 c j f
    November 27, 2011

    I had a comment held up in moderation, as well, and it ended up landing up in the thread @318. It linked to a study that kind of addressed the question about whether the John Hopkins lab research had been replicated. The study doesn’t replicate the John Hopkins work but seems to possibly support it with some related research.

  328. #328 MD1970
    November 27, 2011

    @Chris-
    According to the CDC there were 2,044 cases of tetanus from 1972 to 2009.
    During the time period 2001-2008 233 cases of tetanus were reported- 26 deaths
    90% all over the age of 20- one neo- natal death.

  329. #329 T-reg
    November 27, 2011

    Compare and contrast:

    And that exposure is restricted on the skin and mucosal surface by the physical barriers of the innate immune system. Which goes to show that you have no idea of how many infections are being prevented by the non-adaptive mechanism of the innate immune system alone.

    I know of an effective route not requiring mucosal contact: the measles vaccine that causes viremia, primary measles infection and immunosuppression.

    Flip flop: first she says muscosa protects and so no entry into the host. After I say that it enters via mucosal contact she says but vaccines are an effective route – no refutation of my statement so is it an admission of its valididty of my statement?

    Then flip again:

    You see a wild-type measles virus must first overcome the innate immune system before it can cause infection.

    A statement made with such confidence but yet, horribly wrong! Seriously, you have no idea of how the measles virus causes disease. It enters the mucosal epithelial cells directly on contact by adhering to and then fusing with the epithelial cells. Here it replicates and is laterally transmitted to adjacent cells. It also infects monocytes, T an B cells and NK cells, down regulating their activity producing immunosuppression. It is this immuno-suppression which makes the WT measles virus all the more dangerous as it throws open the doors to other infections. I had mentioned this on a previous thread that the true cost of measles cannot just be judged from mortality and morbidity caused directly by measles because the ‘weakening’ of the immune system that it causes makes the child vulnerable to other infections which also tend to be more severe, if acquired post measles.

    Now flop:

    Of course, who would forget OPV wherein infection and replication in the GIT is a must.

    Now flip:

    The mumps and rubella vaccines would bypass that protective barrier resulting to unrestricted infection.

    So you can’t make up your mind whether the skin and mucosa are impermeable to pathogens or not. You can’t because you don’t know.
    Well, here’s the answer – many pathogens have evolved means to bypass the natural immune barriers. Many have also evolved ways to trick the immune system into not attacking them. That’s precisely why they are such successful pathogens.

    So you have to switched to antigens, why? I thought we were discussing pathogens?

    Well, you thought wrong. I was talking about antigens all through (pathogens came into the picture because they too are a source of the antigens that we are exposed to):
    The part of my post to which you reacted:

    a] Vaccines are not the ONLY triggers for immunological mechanisms. Most foreign antigens that we are exposed to stimulate an immunological reaction to it.

    my post at 279 in response to your reaction:

    I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that on Htrae only antigens present in vaccines were foreign to the human body while antigens on pathogens were actually native to the human body. My bad – I’m not traines in Htrae biology.
    Here on earth, we have this funny situation that even the antigens on a pathogen are foreign to the human body and that there are far more of them that the human body is exposed to since birth than the amount contained in all the vaccines put together. Your bad – you are not trained in human biology/medicine/health sciences.

    So what? Colonization does not mean infection.

    Correct, but, Either ways, there still is antigenic exposure. You don’t have a clue what I am talking about, do you? It is pretty evident that You don’t know what you are talking about.

    The skin and mucosal surface are there to prevent entry of pathogenic microorganism from causing infection. They don’t need to be “acquianted”

    When did I say that the skin and mucosa need to be acquainted with the antigen? is said

    continuously acquainting our immune system

    . You do realize (probably not) that the skin and mucosa do not constitute our immune system, do you? They are only immune barriers. The B-cells an T-cells (MALT, which I mentioned above, is basically sub-mucosal congregations of these) do need to be acquainted with the antigen before the immune system can launch a targettted response to it.

    skin and mucosal surface…. their only purpose is to expel and eliminate foreign and pathogenic microorganisms

    Really? Would you care to elaborate on how they achieve this supposed function?

    How many times are you allowed to move the goalpost?

    I’m sorry, I forgot that you do not understand sarcasm.

  330. #330 Narad
    November 27, 2011

    According to the CDC there were 2,044 cases of tetanus from 1972 to 2009.
    During the time period 2001-2008 233 cases of tetanus were reported- 26 deaths
    90% all over the age of 20- one neo- natal death.

    Gee, I wonder why that might be? Do you want me to save you the trouble and give you the rest of the antivax tetanus talking points, or do you need the exercise?

  331. #331 MD1970
    November 27, 2011

    ” According to Center for Disease Control (CDC) tetanus vaccine experts, The 1988 to 1991 serosurvey indicated that 20 per cent of children 10 to 16 years of age did not have a protective level of antibody. A 1979 study found that in a sample of 1900 adults over 20 years of age, only 386 per cent were fully immunised. If we extrapolate from that study alone, about 120 million or so citizens (60 per cent of 200 million) were unprotected yet virtually none of them was getting tetanus, let alone dying from it. Walene James, in her book Immunization: the Reality Behind the Myth, points out that in the United States in 1990 there were 25,700 cases of tuberculosis with 1800 deaths, tuberculosis therefore immensely outweighing tetanus as a cause of death. (Mothers of unvaccinated children who might be worried about them contracting tetanus because theyve just joined the pony club, take note!) In the United States, with an average of seven to 10 deaths per year from tetanus, there is a 180 to 260-times greater chance of dying from tuberculosis. In fact, since lightning strikes about 1800 people a year in that country, with an approximate mortality rate of 25 per cent (450 deaths), there is a 45-times greater chance of being killed by lightning than tetanus! “

  332. #332 Narad
    November 27, 2011

    Well, I’ll give you credit for indirectly hitting the bulk of the drooling points with that bowl of copypasta.

    1. A wound that bleeds can not grow tetanus

    2. Tetanus vaccine creates no reaction in the body for 3 weeks while tetanus grows within 10 days (but never in a wound that bleeds!)

    3. The body can not build immunity to the poisons nor the vaccine

    4. Children do not get tetanus. Their circulatory system is designed that way. (Only exception is in Africa where the umbilical stump is covered with mud.)

    Manure? Check. Hydrogen peroxide? Check. It does leave out the “you can just get TiG” card, which is often seamlessly invoked by those who assert that the vaccine cannot work because “there’s no such thing as immunity to poisons,” apparently without knowing where TiG comes from.

  333. #333 Narad
    November 27, 2011

    Oh, and diabetics. It forgot to claim that only diabetics are really at risk.

  334. #334 MD1970
    November 27, 2011

    Should read- In a sample of 1900 adults over 20 years of age, only 38% were fully immunised.

  335. #335 MD1970
    November 28, 2011

    @Narad-
    I am not arguing against vaccines. You didn’t bother to read the previous posts. I am arguing for a separate pertussis but that would be too costly for vaccine
    manufacturers. The Tetanus could be delayed.
    Parents should be able to choose a vaccine schedule they feel comfortable with.

  336. #336 Nara
    November 28, 2011

    I am not arguing against vaccines.

    Then why are you copying and pasting from a barely coherent, error-riddled, and thoroughly obscure antivax babbling from “crunchymomma”? (And make no mistake, playing the tetanus-vax-is-a-sterilization-program card, even indirectly, makes things crystal clear.)

  337. #337 lilady
    November 28, 2011

    Please do not feed any trolls, including the delusional, uneducated, germ phobic, disease-promoting health-care-professional-wannabe Thingy. I recall a thread here where the Thingy managed to “engage” posters with approximately 500 of it brain-dropping posts about tetanus.

    I see that Todd W. at Harpocrates Speaks has released this weeks “Quacktion Figure”…just in time for holiday gifts:

    Friday, November 25, 2011
    Quacktion Figure™ Friday: Faith Healer
    Do you dream of working only one day a week? Have you ever thought how nice it would be to draw crowds of thousands to pack a stadium, all to see you? Ever thought how easy it would be to pay for that private jet, California mansion and the latest Porsche if only you were willing to take advantage of the religious faithful?

    Well, now you can. Harpocrates Speaks brings you Faith Healer!

    Faith Healer

    That’s right. With Faith Healer, you can pack ‘em into the nearest stadium and convince them you can actually speak to God. With the easily hidden radio ear piece, your wife can feed you information on attendees gleaned as they entered, wowing them with your miraculous insights into their lives. Call the believers up on stage and use the lever in back for Miracle Faith Healing action! To drain the pockets of those who couldn’t attend your stage act, just sell them your Miracle Money Incense. Your promises to pray for them when they send you back the ashes and $50 will end their money woes. After all, if they have no money, they have nothing to worry about!

    Faith Healer stands 5¾” tall and comes with:

    * Radio ear piece
    * Miracle Money incense
    * Wad o’ cash

    Wheelchair for “Make ‘Em Walk Again” scam sold separately.

    The Fine Print
    Figure not actually for sale. Figure and text intended as a work of satire. Image copyright Todd W. and Lil Peck. Quacktion Figure™ is a trademark of Todd W. and Harpocrates Speaks.

  338. #338 Narad
    November 28, 2011

    ^ Sorry, the keyboard’s dying. That was me.

  339. #339 Narad
    November 28, 2011

    Ah, OK, I completely screwed that up. The attribution for the text actually quoted goes to one Jason Sanders, so I retract everything aside from the initial complaint. Sorry about the waste of electrons.

  340. #340 T-reg
    November 28, 2011

    Parents should be able to choose a vaccine schedule they feel comfortable with.

    While I am all for choice and free speech, Vaccination isn’t about ordering pizza where you decide the toppings as per your taste.
    How can you expect most parents (who may have no idea about the diseases being talked about or their epidemiology) to completely understand what they are opting for or eliminating in the vaccination schedule?
    And “what they are comfortable with” – considering all the scare-mongering and and misinformation campaigns by anti-vax loons, there really isn’t anything they are going to be “comfortable with” – for instance, “vaccines contain Potassium – oh the horror!” – given that that is cause for discomfort for many, I don’t see how ‘what is subjectively acceptable’ is ‘objectively’ correct…

  341. #341 Chris
    November 28, 2011

    MD1970, sorry I missed it. Where was that alternative schedule with the corresponding scientific documentation to support it? How is your application to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices coming along?

    All I saw was some statements you claim are from the CDC but without a webpage or documentation. And really, what is the risk of seizures from the DTaP compared to diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis? Because I have something like:

    Lack of association between acellular pertussis vaccine and seizures in early childhood.
    Huang WT, Gargiullo PM, Broder KR, Weintraub ES, Iskander JK, Klein NP, Baggs JM; Vaccine Safety Datalink Team.
    Pediatrics. 2010 Aug;126(2):263-9. Epub 2010 Jul 19.

    Encephalopathy after whole-cell pertussis or measles vaccination: lack of evidence for a causal association in a retrospective case-control study.
    Ray P, Hayward J, Michelson D, Lewis E, Schwalbe J, Black S, Shinefield H, Marcy M, Huff K, Ward J, Mullooly J, Chen R, Davis R; Vaccine Safety Datalink Group.
    Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Sep;25(9):768-73.

    Those are known as a peer reviewed papers. Look at them. I included the titles, some of the authors and the journals, dates and issue information. Ooh, look! They even include the page numbers. Now where did you include such details?

    Oh, here is another one!

    Pediatrics. 2010 Jun;125(6):1134-41. Epub 2010 May 24.
    On-time vaccine receipt in the first year does not adversely affect neuropsychological outcomes.
    Smith MJ, Woods CR.

    And really, you did not mind that several children got tetanus? Even the two neonatal cases? And you think that would not happen some more if we delayed tetanus vaccination? Dude, that is cold.

    Here is what happens when you don’t vaccinate for diphtheria, do tell us how your schedule will prevent the following:

    Diphtheria outbreak in Norway: Lessons learned.
    Rasmussen I, Wallace S, Mengshoel AT, H Iby EA, Brandtz G P.
    Scand J Infect Dis. 2011 Dec;43(11-12):986-9. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

    Implications of the diphtheria epidemic in the Former Soviet Union for immunization programs.
    Galazka A.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S244-8.

    Epidemic diphtheria in the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union: implications for diphtheria control in the United States.
    Golaz A, Hardy IR, Strebel P, Bisgard KM, Vitek C, Popovic T, Wharton M.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S237-43. Review.

    Contraindications to vaccination in the Russian Federation.
    Tatochenko V, Mitjushin IL.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S228-31.

    Epidemic diphtheria in the Republic of Georgia, 1993-1996: risk factors for fatal outcome among hospitalized patients.
    Quick ML, Sutter RW, Kobaidze K, Malakmadze N, Strebel PM, Nakashidze R, Murvanidze S.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S130-7.

    Diphtheria epidemic in the Republic of Uzbekistan, 1993-1996.
    Niyazmatov BI, Shefer A, Grabowsky M, Vitek CR.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S104-9.

    Epidemic diphtheria in the Kyrgyz Republic, 1994-1998.
    Glinyenko VM, Abdikarimov ST, Firsova SN, Sagamonjan EA, Kadirova R, Nuorti JP, Strebel PM.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S98-S103.

    Diphtheria epidemic in the Republic of Georgia, 1993-1997.
    Khetsuriani N, Imnadze P, Dekanosidze N.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S80-5.

    Epidemic diphtheria in the 1990s: Azerbaijan.
    Vitek CR, Velibekov AS.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S73-9.

    Epidemic diphtheria in Ukraine, 1991-1997.
    Nekrassova LS, Chudnaya LM, Marievski VF, Oksiuk VG, Gladkaya E, Bortnitska II, Mercer DJ, Kreysler JV, Golaz A.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S35-40.

    Diphtheria in the Russian Federation in the 1990s.
    Markina SS, Maksimova NM, Vitek CR, Bogatyreva EY, Monisov AA.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S27-34.

    Successful control of epidemic diphtheria in the states of the Former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: lessons learned.
    Dittmann S, Wharton M, Vitek C, Ciotti M, Galazka A, Guichard S, Hardy I, Kartoglu U, Koyama S, Kreysler J, Martin B, Mercer D, Rønne T, Roure C, Steinglass R, Strebel P, Sutter R, Trostle M.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S10-22. Review.

    Control of epidemic diphtheria in the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union, 1990-1998.
    [No authors listed]
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S1-248. No abstract available.

    Note: All but the first one are in the same issue of one journal, and I did not include all of the papers. They are also mostly available without going through a pay wall. So your job, MD1970, is to present a vaccine schedule that avoids what happened there, with supporting documentation.

    Come on! If you are going to be so much smarter than the folks on the ACIP, then show it! Produce some evidence that you know what you are writing about. Or just admit that you don’t care if some kids get very sick just because you are scared of needles.

  342. #342 lilady
    November 28, 2011

    Narad…no need to apologize. This particular copy pasta is quoted and re-quoted by alt/cam practitioners on the internet.

    I located this MD1970′s exact posting at the Pure Sante website in an article that appeared last year, “Dispelling the Fears About Tetanus”.

    It’s considered “good form” to credit the article that you rip off in its entirety or when you plagiarize bits and pieces…instead of posting it as your own.

  343. #343 Chris
    November 28, 2011

    MD1970, sorry I missed it. Where was that alternative schedule with the corresponding scientific documentation to support it? How is your application to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices coming along?

    All I saw was some statements you claim are from the CDC but without a webpage or documentation. And really, what is the risk of seizures from the DTaP compared to diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis? Because I have something like:

    Lack of association between acellular pertussis vaccine and seizures in early childhood.
    Huang WT, Gargiullo PM, Broder KR, Weintraub ES, Iskander JK, Klein NP, Baggs JM; Vaccine Safety Datalink Team.
    Pediatrics. 2010 Aug;126(2):263-9. Epub 2010 Jul 19.

    Encephalopathy after whole-cell pertussis or measles vaccination: lack of evidence for a causal association in a retrospective case-control study.
    Ray P, Hayward J, Michelson D, Lewis E, Schwalbe J, Black S, Shinefield H, Marcy M, Huff K, Ward J, Mullooly J, Chen R, Davis R; Vaccine Safety Datalink Group.
    Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Sep;25(9):768-73.

    Those are known as a peer reviewed papers. Look at them. I included the titles, some of the authors and the journals, dates and issue information. Ooh, look! They even include the page numbers. Now where did you include such details?

    Oh, here is another one!

    Pediatrics. 2010 Jun;125(6):1134-41. Epub 2010 May 24.
    On-time vaccine receipt in the first year does not adversely affect neuropsychological outcomes.
    Smith MJ, Woods CR.

    And really, you did not mind that several children got tetanus? Even the two neonatal cases? And you think that would not happen some more if we delayed tetanus vaccination? Dude, that is cold.

    Here is what happens when you don’t vaccinate for diphtheria, do tell us how your schedule will prevent the following:

    Diphtheria outbreak in Norway: Lessons learned.
    Rasmussen I, Wallace S, Mengshoel AT, H Iby EA, Brandtz G P.
    Scand J Infect Dis. 2011 Dec;43(11-12):986-9. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

    Implications of the diphtheria epidemic in the Former Soviet Union for immunization programs.
    Galazka A.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S244-8.

    Epidemic diphtheria in the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union: implications for diphtheria control in the United States.
    Golaz A, Hardy IR, Strebel P, Bisgard KM, Vitek C, Popovic T, Wharton M.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S237-43. Review.

    Contraindications to vaccination in the Russian Federation.
    Tatochenko V, Mitjushin IL.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S228-31.

    Epidemic diphtheria in the Republic of Georgia, 1993-1996: risk factors for fatal outcome among hospitalized patients.
    Quick ML, Sutter RW, Kobaidze K, Malakmadze N, Strebel PM, Nakashidze R, Murvanidze S.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S130-7.

    Diphtheria epidemic in the Republic of Uzbekistan, 1993-1996.
    Niyazmatov BI, Shefer A, Grabowsky M, Vitek CR.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S104-9.

    Epidemic diphtheria in the Kyrgyz Republic, 1994-1998.
    Glinyenko VM, Abdikarimov ST, Firsova SN, Sagamonjan EA, Kadirova R, Nuorti JP, Strebel PM.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S98-S103.

    Diphtheria epidemic in the Republic of Georgia, 1993-1997.
    Khetsuriani N, Imnadze P, Dekanosidze N.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S80-5.

    Epidemic diphtheria in the 1990s: Azerbaijan.
    Vitek CR, Velibekov AS.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S73-9.

    Epidemic diphtheria in Ukraine, 1991-1997.
    Nekrassova LS, Chudnaya LM, Marievski VF, Oksiuk VG, Gladkaya E, Bortnitska II, Mercer DJ, Kreysler JV, Golaz A.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S35-40.

    Diphtheria in the Russian Federation in the 1990s.
    Markina SS, Maksimova NM, Vitek CR, Bogatyreva EY, Monisov AA.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S27-34.

    Successful control of epidemic diphtheria in the states of the Former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: lessons learned.
    Dittmann S, Wharton M, Vitek C, Ciotti M, Galazka A, Guichard S, Hardy I, Kartoglu U, Koyama S, Kreysler J, Martin B, Mercer D, Rønne T, Roure C, Steinglass R, Strebel P, Sutter R, Trostle M.
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S10-22. Review.

    Control of epidemic diphtheria in the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union, 1990-1998.
    [No authors listed]
    J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S1-248. No abstract available.

    Note: All but the first one are in the same issue of one journal, and I did not include all of the papers. They are also mostly available without going through a pay wall. So your job, MD1970, is to present a vaccine schedule that avoids what happened there, with supporting documentation.

    Come on! If you are going to be so much smarter than the folks on the ACIP, then show it! Produce some evidence that you know what you are writing about. Or just admit that you don’t care if some kids get very sick just because you are scared of needles.

  344. #344 Chris
    November 28, 2011

    Sorry for the double post. I had no idea the first went through since the wifi router had crashed.

  345. #345 blackheart
    November 28, 2011

    lilady

    “using this information to draw inferences about whether particular vaccines are indicated or whether caution is advised with use of live or inactivated vaccines is more complicated and might require consultation with an infectious disease or immunology specialist.”

    Compared with … Blackheart UC Davis

    “Practically, if your child has clinical indications of an immune system abnormality, such as unusual or difficult to treat infections, or your family has a long and extensive history of immunological problems, we recommend that you consult with your physicians about the safest options for immunizing your children.”

    Actually it would have been easier to read the vaccine insert … but hey.

  346. #346 Professor Blackheart
    November 28, 2011

    Denice

    I find myself with some time on hand from my rather busy schedule so I thought I’d answer the various errors made in your post.

    it’s the vaccines, isn’t it?

    No … #135 @ http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/09/the_fixed_mindset_of_the_anti-vaccine_activist.php

    But let us continue … for the point of discussion.

    “anti-vaccination has had a long history having been around since Jenner”

    So what you call anti vaccination some call medical safety. If I showed problems with anti-psychotic medications I would be … anti-drug ?

    window dressing for the central issue, i.e. a belief that vaccines are dangerous and cause harm that includes autism.

    This has been already adequately covered here -

    “One of the most important findings was that a new measles vaccine used in low-income countries was associated with a two-fold increase in mortality among girls. This discovery led to the withdrawal of the vaccine. Had it not been withdrawn, it could have cost at least ½ million additional female deaths per year in Africa alone.”

    Peter Aaby Bandim Health Project

    This belief has been around and does not stand up to research: I am not saying that no problems *ever* arose from vaccines *but* that injury from the relevant illness is orders of magnitude higher than the possibility of any vaccine injury.

    500,000 is not an acceptable figure in anyone’s response to children’s safety.

    There is no research that shows an association of vaccines with autism.

    Science rolls on forward we didn’t know there were clear autism phenotypes until 2011.

    http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mindinstitute/research/app/

    Nor have we been able to elucidate the very large evidence of immune system dysfunction in autism or if it has a biological relationship to vaccination that have clear immunostimulatory effects.

    67 odd studies on immune system dysfunction and related research starting at Post #571

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/09/the_fixed_mindset_of_the_anti-vaccine_activist.php

    “Immune responses of human newborns and infants are distinct and cannot be predicted from those of human adults or animal models.”

    Nor the rate of regression in autism Hornig 88%

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0003140#pone.0003140-Luyster1

    Nor the implications surrounding gene expression.

    “Gene ontology enrichment of the 32 highly expressed Autism genes revealed four new GO categories representing two significant processes—immune system regulation and apoptosis

    GO: 0002682 Regulation of Immune System Process

    GO: 0006915 Apoptosis (cell death)

    GO: 0012501 Programmed cell death

    GO: 0031347 Regulation of defense response – (Any process that modulates the frequency, rate or extent of a defense response.)

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0024691

    People like myself just say the science is far from complete in either vaccine negative effects or neurological damage.

    People who have a strong vested interest in preserving this belief and proselytising about it may either be entrenched for psychological reasons ( despair about a child with autism, strong allegiance to the natural health movement or leader )

    Sorry no vested interest, no despair , no strong allegiance, no psychology … just a good healthy scepticism of ‘skeptiks’.

    financial ones ( marketting new “cures” or “safer” vaccines- *a la* AJW,or supplements, such as companies advertising at AoA or by general alt med merchants, or selling *themselves*).

    Not here.

    less children will be vaccinated and the formerly “covered” illness will spread as they did in the not-so-recent past.

    I’m not following the logic of your position or the evidence to support such a claim.

    that concern the fear of injection/ ingestion of foreign materials- the anti-vax movement utilises that fear as its foundation rather than speaking rationally to it. This manipulation has made quite a few people wealthy.

    There’s an interesting hypothesis (pop psych) as they say around these parts …Citation.

    Well, Blackie, I hope you will start considering why we feel so strongly about this

    I have and I find you … interesting. (my own pop psych)

    we don’t want to see anyone suffer needlessly if there is easily acquired *help*.

    Then you probably shouldn’t have subjected people to your post. I’ve been made to suffer needlessly.

    But as I said I’ve got a bit of time on my hands so it’s no biggie.

  347. #347 Professor Blackheart
    November 28, 2011

    Advanced Neurobiology for Skeptiks

    Devin Terhune at the University of Oxford studied the brains of six people with this kind of synaesthesia using a non-invasive technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation.

    He found that neurons in the primary visual cortex were more active than expected. Suspecting that these hyperactive neurons played a role in synaesthesia, Terhune used transcranial direct current stimulation to damp down their activity. Surprisingly, this actually intensified the synaesthetic experience

    (Current Biology, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.10.032).

    ——————————–

    Synaesthesia and autism

    Julian Asher, Donnie Johnson, Carrie Allison, Simon Baron-Cohen

    We identified a chromosomal region linked to synaesthesia that has previously been linked to autism which is the first piece of evidence for a connection between the two conditions. We are now investigating this potential connection and the accompanying implications for our understanding of both conditions. This study is comparing people with autism who also have synaesthesia to people with autism without synaesthesia, and also to synaesthetes without autism.

    References

    416: J. Asher, J. Lamb, D. Brocklebank, J. Cazier, E. Maestrini, L. Addis, M. Sen, S. Baron-Cohen, A. Monaco (2009)
    A Whole-Genome Scan and Fine-Mapping Linkage Study of Auditory-Visual Synesthesia Reveals Evidence of Linkage to Chromosomes 2q24, 5q33, 6p12, and 12p12 American Journal of Human Genetics 84, 279-285

    450: S. Baron-Cohen, D. Bor, J. Billington, J. Asher, S. Wheelwright, C. Ashwin (2007)
    Savant memory in a man with number-shape synaesthesia and Asperger Syndrome Journal of Consciousness Studies 14, 237-52

    326: J. Asher, M. R. F. Aitken, N. Farooqi, S. Kurmani and S. Baron-Cohen (2006)
    Diagnosing and phenotyping visual synaesthesia – a preliminary evaluation of the revised test of genuineness (TOG-R) Cortex :137-146

    4: S. Baron-Cohen (1987)
    Perception in autistic children

    ——————————————-

    “Another interesting find is that three medical conditions – synaesthesia, autism and epilepsy – actually seem to be related in a way, because they all show up in the same regions of a human chromosome, which suggests that they share an underlying forming mechanism. This would also account for why most synaesthesia cases appear in autistic people, and why some autistic individuals have epilepsy as children.”

    http://news.softpedia.com/news/Scientists-Find-Genetic-Cause-of-Synaesthesia-103956.shtml

    Association with “Courchesne Brain Study” above ?

    Found in some autistic people ?

    Not found in some autistic people ?

    Found in people without autism ?

    Found in people with epilepsy ?

    Well that just got confusing. That’s the thing about small studies they just get so problematic.

    Thus endeth the lesson for skeptiks

  348. #348 Th1Th2
    November 28, 2011

    “Disease” is what we call it when our immune system acts up in response to some antigen pathogens

    So who’s germophobic now? You can’t even say the right word. You’re cringing.

    10 or 12 antigens administered over 18 years cannot “overwhelm” your immune system, as you lunatics keep claiming, because they’re not even a drop in the ocean!

    Actually, that would be 36 deliberate infections to some 14 known pathogens in just under two years of age, tough guy. Well, those retards kinda look “overwhelmed” to me, do you think?

  349. #349 Agashem
    November 28, 2011

    Ah, Thing-ding, keeping it classy. Nice going.

  350. #350 Julian Frost
    November 28, 2011

    @Blackheart:

    So what you call anti vaccination some call medical safety. If I showed problems with anti-psychotic medications I would be … anti-drug?

    Nice Strawman. As has been pointed out, anti-vaxxers exaggerate the risks of vaccination.

    One of the most important findings was that a new measles vaccine used in low-income countries was associated with a two-fold increase in mortality among girls. This discovery led to the withdrawal of the vaccine. Had it not been withdrawn, it could have cost at least ½ million additional female deaths per year in Africa alone.

    Hmm, half a million deaths. Would those half a million deaths be due to vaccine injury, or due to the new vaccine not being as effective as the old one?

    People like myself just say the science is far from complete in either vaccine negative effects or neurological damage.

    The supposed role of vaccines in neurological damage has been researched to death (excuse the pun). If you have compelling evidence of harm or a promising hypothesis for a mechanism of damage, please reveal it.

    less children will be vaccinated and the formerly “covered” illness will spread as they did in the not-so-recent past.

    I’m not following the logic of your position or the evidence to support such a claim.

    It’s really simple “Professor” Blackheart. If fewer people vaccinate, then a) more people get susceptible to vaccine preventable diseases, and b) Herd Immunity goes down.
    As to evidence, MMR vaccination rates have fallen in Germany and, oh wow!, rates of Measles have gone up.

  351. #351 Th1Th2
    November 28, 2011

    Flip flop: first she says muscosa protects and so no entry into the host. After I say that it enters via mucosal contact she says but vaccines are an effective route – no refutation of my statement so is it an admission of its validity of my statement?

    There’s no refutation because you’re an infection promoter.  Your method of promoting infection through inoculation is an effective and easy route for vaccine pathogens to gain access in your blood, lymph nodes and other organs by circumventing the mucosal barrier. So thank you for validating that you are in fact an infection promoter. You deserved it.

    Seriously, you have no idea of how the measles virus causes disease.

    Your method is guaranteed to work the same way only easier.

    So you can’t make up your mind whether the skin and mucosa are impermeable to pathogens or not. You can’t because you don’t know.

    It depends. First, there must be a letdown of the immune system (i.e. poor health). Secondly, your method.

    Well, here’s the answer – many pathogens have evolved means to bypass the natural immune barriers. Many have also evolved ways to trick the immune system into not attacking them. That’s precisely why they are such successful pathogens.

    See above.

    Correct, but, Either ways, there still is antigenic exposure. You don’t have a clue what I am talking about, do you? It is pretty evident that You don’t know what you are talking about.

    Colonization occurs at the skin/mucosal surface. Your method exposes the deeper tissues, the blood and other sterile areas.

    . You do realize (probably not) that the skin and mucosa do not constitute our immune system, do you?

    Are you serious? Or is that supposed to be a sarcasm? Where did you study Medicine again?

  352. #352 Mrs. Woo
    November 28, 2011

    MD1970, are you a doctor? If you are, what is your specialty?

    I’m not a doctor. Further, as a patient, I learned the hard way a few years ago that as much as I “know my own body” that I do not know anything about various diseases and their symptoms. A symptom that had alarmed me years ago and not been explained had fallen off of my radar entirely because I had accepted it as “normal for me” and ignored it for so long. It was key to figuring out what was wrong with me and getting an accurate diagnosis. I spent months looking in the wrong systems instead because I no longer paid attention to that one thing.

    I will have to admit that it never occurred to me to question the vaccination schedule. My pediatrician’s advice to try to get my son infected with chicken pox if I could find them made me regret not being able to do that way before he entered school, but since it is now regularly vaccinated for, being vaccinated for it is better than risking getting it much later in life, so I had no arguments about vaccinating him before he entered school.

    However, since my long diagnostic road and consequent illness I have to ask all the “parents should be able to choose their own vaccination schedule and only vaccinate with vaccines they agree with” people where they learned about infectious diseases and epidemiology. How do you know that your schedule and your choices are safe enough for your child?

    Or is it that you never see these diseases anymore (because vaccination prevents them for the most part) and assume that they can’t be all that bad and/or that your child is unlikely to get them (relying on herd immunity)?

    The hard part about that is that the more you convince people to agree with you the more risk you are causing for your child.

    So, MD1970, what is your education, and what is your recommended vaccination schedule?

  353. #353 T-reg
    November 28, 2011

    So now skin and mucus membranes are a part of the immune system and not just passive immune barriers? I suppose so is the HCl in the stomach.
    Where ever I may have studied medicine from, at least I did study medicine. Besides, it is recognized as legitimate and at par with the training in your country. Plus I am gainfully employed in the health care system.

    Thingy, Where did you study medicine from? Oh right… you didn’t.

    The rest of your post is just more nonsense. I’ve already refuted it in my post before.

  354. #354 Denice Walter
    November 28, 2011

    Julian Frost and I are on a similar track-I wonder why that is? Are we both paid by the same masters?

    Blackie and MD1970:

    Here again is the gist of the issue- *true* vaccine injury is lower risk by *orders of magnitude* than are risks of the illness. It’s about the numbers. Anti-vaxx advocates try to get people to believe that vaccines are riskier than they really are ( e.g. they cause autism- 1 person per 100) and toss in other variables to confound their audience. I listen to and read this material: I’ve heard it all before- in order to accept these claims you would have to believe that the governments of the UK and the US are in collusion with pharmaceutical companies, medical associations,the media, Julian and myself, ad infinitum. How likely is that?

    Do not anti-vaxx/ alt med advocates have COIs? I could think of a few.

    Re-read what I wrote above about people’s fears about plane crashes: dying in / or being in a plane crash is an extremely remote possibility. People buy lottery tickets-winning is also highly unlikely. In general, people are not good with probability and this enables woo-meisters to take advantage of them.

    Have a nice day.

  355. #355 lilady
    November 28, 2011

    @ T-Reg: As Dr. Harriet Hall has stated regarding the Thing’s evasiveness and redundancy “it is like trying to nail jello to the wall”. Others have described “engagement” with it as “fighting with a pig…you get yourself dirty…and the pig likes it”.

    Please do not feed delusional etc, etc, etc.

  356. #356 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 28, 2011
    window dressing for the central issue, i.e. a belief that vaccines are dangerous and cause harm that includes autism.

    This has been already adequately covered here -

    “One of the most important findings was that a new measles vaccine used in low-income countries was associated with a two-fold increase in mortality among girls. This discovery led to the withdrawal of the vaccine. Had it not been withdrawn, it could have cost at least ½ million additional female deaths per year in Africa alone.”

    Peter Aaby Bandim Health Project

    Yes, this figure has already been covered here, which is why Blackheart shows himself to be reprehensibly dishonest by citing the “1/2 million additional female deaths per year in Africa alone” figure and not putting it in the context that anyone involved in the previous discussion would have known about.

    What is this context, you ask?  Why, simply that the new measles vaccine was being tested as a possible replacement for the existing measles vaccine, and that’s where the figure of a two-fold increase in mortality among girls was measured.  In other words, what this data shows to be dangerous and harmful is not vaccination but inadequate vaccination.  This would be known by any halfway competent participant in the previous discussion; Blackheart has already admitted that he was a participant in the previous discussion.  Incompetent or dishonest?  Whichever it is, it seems obvious that time spent paying attention to Blackheart’s blather is time wasted.

    (Of course, anyone who saw Blackheart claiming that it’s a completely normal disease process to have the disease show up six months before an encounter with the causative agent already knew that, but…)

  357. #357 Th1Th2
    November 28, 2011

    So now skin and mucus membranes are a part of the immune system and not just passive immune barriers? I suppose so is the HCl in the stomach.

    Bet your house they are. (Hint: Innate immune system)

  358. #358 Chris
    November 28, 2011

    Antaeus Feldspar:

    Yes, this figure has already been covered here, which is why Blackheart shows himself to be reprehensibly dishonest by citing the “1/2 million additional female deaths per year in Africa alone” figure and not putting it in the context that anyone involved in the previous discussion would have known about.

    Yes, I noted that blackeart was a liar quite a while ago. He is just a more verbose version of Thingy. As such, I don’t even read his ignorant and deceptive screeds. Just like I don’t read Thingy’s shorter but just as delusional bits.

  359. #359 Denice Walter
    November 28, 2011

    @ Mrs Woo (# 328)

    I would take test results with a grain of salt ( actually, more like a quarter teaspoon of salt)- the better approach might be looking at how you function in the real world- can you communicate with people, “read” facial expressions, gestures, prosody? My guess is: “Nothing to worry about!

    On a more serious note: you bring up an interesting question- you asked someone if they were a doctor. Formal study enables people to look at the “big picture” as well as understanding the historical track that led to the current situation in a particular field.

    Woo-meisters make use of the fact that non-experts cannot survey everything- they then use actual research as a jumping-off point for their own wild speculations- and it’s a great leap they take. It’s also a *distractor*. Of course they “inform” you about this _after_ their “instruction” about *why* you shouldn’t trust experts like doctors, universities, the CDC, governments, the media, ad nauseum. “Don’t trust *them*, trust ME!”

  360. #360 Th1Th2
    November 28, 2011

    If fewer people vaccinate, then a) more people get susceptible to vaccine preventable diseases, and b) Herd Immunity goes down. As to evidence, MMR vaccination rates have fallen in Germany and, oh wow!, rates of Measles have gone up.

    Although I consider the term “herd immunity” as a myth, I can’t help but laugh at these ignorant infection promoters in their inability to follow a simple logic.

    Eur J Epidemiol. 2000;16(7):601-6.
    Herd immunity and herd effect: new insights and definitions.

    The term herd immunity has been used by various authors to conform to different definitions. Earlier this situation had been identified but not corrected. We propose that it should have precise meaning for which purpose a new definition is offered: “the proportion of subjects with immunity in a given population”.[...]Herd immunity can be measured by testing a sample of the population for the presence of the chosen immune parameter. [...]Herd immunity applies to immunisation or infection, human to human transmitted or otherwise.

    h ttp://www.google.com/m/url?ei=1rLTTtCXJ-ariQLm0wE&q=http://www.jstor.org/stable/3582376&ved=0CBQQFjAD&usg=AFQjCNGCdSMoY-9Y85A1pDy98AUUgJZVVQ

    Considering that definition plus on top of the fundamental principle of naturally acquired active immunity, how could there be a reduction in herd immunity?

    Stupid cranks.

  361. #361 Calli Arcale
    November 28, 2011

    Upthread, someone compared infectious disease (specifically tetanus) to lightning strike, apparently arguing that since one is more likely to be struck by lightning, and this is already a very rare event, we should not worry so much about tetanus. Why risk adverse events from the vaccine, if you’re more likely to be struck by lightning?

    Well, we’re more likely to be hit by a car as a pedestrian than struck by lightning, and even that’s not very common. Yet it’s still a good idea to get out of the shower if a thunderstorm arrives, fishermen are supposed to come in off the lake, and golfers are supposed to stop waving their metal clubs in the air. Just because you will probably be fine doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still take steps to reduce your risk further. One can also extend that thinking into morbidity versus mortality. Most people who get tetanus will live. Some will live even without treatment, though it won’t exactly be a picnic. For the others, they will require anti-tetanus injections and quite possibly ventilation. No fun at all, so do look beyond mortality. Lightning strike can also be survivable — most will, in fact, survive. The mortality rate is about 10%, and there are a number of people who have been struck multiple times. Although most mortalities are direct strikes, these can even be survivable, because lightning follows the path of least resistance, and in some cases this is the outside of the body rather than the inside. (It depends on a lot of things, and the actual events can be quite complicated.) But it being rare and usually survivable is obviously no reason to take it lightly — 80% of victims suffer life-long injuries, and a lot of wildfires and building fires are caused by lightning, which can lead to more loss of life than that caused directly by the lightning itself.

    Tetanus and tuberculosis were compared as well; it’s true that tuberculosis is a bigger threat, and honestly, I wouldn’t be upset if the US started vaccinating against it. I understand the main problem is that while the vaccine is pretty effective against childhood TB, it has poor success against adult TB, and unlike things like measles and chickenpox (traditional childhood diseases), TB is mostly an adult disease. I would not object, however, if the US began vaccinating against it. If nothing else, it would improve our security — right now, our main defense is quarantine, and there is quite a bit of dread of illegal immigrants importing it. (I’m not sure how reasonable that dread is, but it’s still there in any case and is dictating some of our national policy — that can have very big ramifications.)

  362. #362 Gray Falcon
    November 28, 2011

    Th1Th2, you have no right to call others “stupid cranks”. Did that article you quoted claim all forms of immunity are equal and identical? Does anyone claim all forms of infection are equal and identical? Here’s another example of your standards of evidence:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/06/the_cost_of_the_anti-vaccine_movement.php#comment-4125264

  363. #363 lilady
    November 28, 2011

    Please don’t feed cherry-picking delusional etc., etc., etc.

    Eur J Epidemiol. 2000;16(7):601-6.
    Herd immunity and herd effect: new insights and definitions.
    John TJ, Samuel R.
    Source

    Department of Clinical Virology, Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.
    Abstract

    The term herd immunity has been used by various authors to conform to different definitions. Earlier this situation had been identified but not corrected. We propose that it should have precise meaning for which purpose a new definition is offered: “the proportion of subjects with immunity in a given population”. This definition dissociates herd immunity from the indirect protection observed in the unimmunised segment of a population in which a large proportion is immunised, for which the term ‘herd effect’ is proposed. It is defined as: “the reduction of infection or disease in the unimmunised segment as a result of immunising a proportion of the population”. Herd immunity can be measured by testing a sample of the population for the presence of the chosen immune parameter. Herd effect can be measured by quantifying the decline in incidence in the unimmunised segment of a population in which an immunisation programme is instituted. Herd immunity applies to immunisation or infection, human to human transmitted or otherwise. On the other hand, herd effect applies to immunisation or other health interventions which reduce the probability of transmission, confined to infections transmitted human to human, directly or via vector. The induced herd immunity of a given vaccine exhibits geographic variation as it depends upon coverage and efficacy of the vaccine, both of which can vary geographically. Herd effect is determined by herd immunity as well as the force of transmission of the corresponding infection. Clear understanding of these phenomena and their relationships will help improve the design of effective and efficient immunisation programmes aimed at control, elimination or eradication of vaccine preventable infectious diseases.

    PMID:
    11078115
    [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

  364. #364 Mrs. Woo
    November 28, 2011

    @Denice – I found it amusing that I tested so “high,” and didn’t do well enough to suggest tone (hard to do sometimes in print) – I suggested that to point out that an online Cosmo-type “quiz” was hardly a reasonable test for an autism spectrum diagnosis.

    If someone suspects they have an adult autism diagnosis that was somehow missed in childhood, they should consult a qualified educational psychologist for appropriate testing, etc. To the best of my knowledge I have never been diagnosed with Asperger’s, though an educational psychologist a couple of decades ago told me that the way my mind works makes it difficult for me to understand and relate to the majority of people. I don’t process information the way that most people do.

    There is a definite “us against them” manipulation used by alternative purveyors of every stripe, whether it’s the alternative talk radio programs, websites, or alternative medicine purveyors. I keep thinking of Monty Python and “Help! Help! I’m being repressed!” when I listen to altie’s explanations as to why their wonderful cures are not approved by mainstream medicine.

    I’m curious, though – what is the common approval process for vaccines? Is it different than the FDA process for new drugs?

    Also, since “novel therapies” that cause cancer can often be FDA approved with an included black box warning, what level of safety does the FDA require for vaccines?

    This is actually curiosity, not a suggestion that vaccines would do that kind of harm. However, until I worked at a biotech company I never would have believed that the FDA would approve a drug that caused cancer in clinical trials. Now that I know that, I often wonder exactly what levels of safety the FDA finds acceptable.

  365. #365 W. Kevin Vicklund
    November 28, 2011

    how could there be a reduction in herd immunity?

    Because people keep having babies.

  366. #366 Chris
    November 28, 2011

    Mrs. Woo:

    I’m curious, though – what is the common approval process for vaccines? Is it different than the FDA process for new drugs?

    This is the group that approves the schedule, check out their meetings, minutes, etc:
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/acip/default.htm

  367. #367 Th1Th2
    November 28, 2011

    lilady,

    I don’t see any reason why you have to double post. Does that make you smarter?

    Anyway here’s the first page of the original article in PDF.

    h ttp://www.jstor.org/pss/3582376

  368. #368 lilady
    November 28, 2011

    @ Calli Arcale:

    “TB is mostly an adult disease. I would not object, however, if the US began vaccinating against it. If nothing else, it would improve our security — right now, our main defense is quarantine, and there is quite a bit of dread of illegal immigrants importing it. (I’m not sure how reasonable that dread is, but it’s still there in any case and is dictating some of our national policy — that can have very big ramifications.)”

    BCG is very rarely used in the USA for very valid reasons…we simply are not an area of the world which has high TB endemicity.

    BCG provides varying levels of protection in infancy to protect babies who are at high risk for miliary (disseminated) and/or TB meningitis, in countries with high endemicity. The WHO estimates that 2 billion people worldwide are infected with the bacterium (latent TB infection), which can “activate” and cause TB disease.

    Young children are tested for the presence of TB with the Mantoux skin test, which is a requirement in many States before school entry and before entry into pre-school programs. Prior BCG vaccination can interfere by yielding false positive Mantoux test results.

    The “CDC Fact Sheets BCG Vaccine” website provides additional information about the BCG vaccine.

    3-2-1…..Ignore the delusional etc., etc., etc.,…TB and TB skin testing are another area that it has “expertise” in.

  369. #369 Th1Th2
    November 28, 2011

    Kevin,

    how could there be a reduction in herd immunity?

    Because people keep having babies.

    Vaccinated or unvaccinated?

  370. #370 Mrs. Woo
    November 28, 2011

    Thank you very much Chris.

  371. #371 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 28, 2011

    Well, I guess Thingy showed me. I said 10 or 12 antigens were a drop in the ocean compared to the thousands any baby is exposed to their first day, but 14! That’s totally different! I’m an antivaxxer now! </sarcasm>

  372. #372 lilady
    November 28, 2011

    Hi Mrs. Woo: Check out the FDA website under “Vaccines, Blood and Biologicals” for information about pre-licensing testing requirements for vaccines.

  373. #373 Mrs. Woo
    November 28, 2011

    @Chris -

    Thank you very much for the link. From what I understand from a quick overview, that is the committee that oversees the vaccination schedule and recommends new vaccines to be included, changes, etc. They aren’t the ones, though, that would actually determine what safety level the FDA is willing to accept in a vaccine.

    The FDA’s overview of the process didn’t give me any more information than I already know. I have to admit that a few years in the first decade of the 21st century have made me skeptical about the FDA’s concerns for patient safety when it comes to new drugs. They’re more than willing to recall a drug if there is no way to argue against the probability that it is doing harm, but they are very willing to let a drug be marketed which might cause harm if a strong enough argument is made for the drug’s approval.

    Do I guess correctly that annual flu vaccines have some sort of abbreviated process? I would think that full-scale trials would be impossible to finish in the time frame available.

  374. #374 Dangerous Bacon
    November 28, 2011

    In the Dept. of Hilarity Ensues, we have pD, after first lamenting the absence of research on cytokine generation after vaccination (and then dismissing examples of such research as inadequate), now attempting to make a point by linking to research on cytokine generation after vaccination. Wow, for something that’s nonexistent or inadequate, you didn’t have much trouble finding it online.

    pD: “Now, here’s a question that I’d love to see you provide a ‘coherent’ answer to (for once). Why do you suppose it is that a vaccine is expected to generate a fever one in four times, but the ‘ongoing inflammatory challenge’ in our guts doesn’t produce fevers at anything close to this rate? (or at any detectable rate, at all.)”

    You are correct that the DtAP vaccine is expected to cause mild transient fever up to 1/4 of the time. Where did you get the idea that children don’t develop transient fevers (detected or undetected) on other occasions, either through colds or other infections, or other forms of antigenic stimulus? (for someone who supposedly recognizes that “inflammatory cytokines” are generated in infection as well as in response to vaccination, it’s odd that you apparently believe fever is a rarity in kids apart from vaccination).
    Given that you were eager to cite what you thought was a defect (subsequently shown to be nonexistent) in the JAMA study that’s the focus of this thread as well as legitimately pointing out the small size of the study, it’s peculiar (!!?!?!? :) that you didn’t mention the small size of your linked cytokine study, that the study had nothing whatsoever to do with autism or any sort of neurologic dysfunction or that there was no control group. Wait, you did say something about controls:

    “Curiously, even though the placebo group had the same food and ‘antigens’ raging through their digestive track (sic), the authors were able to distinguish vaccine recipients from placebo recipients.”

    Curiously, I don’t see any reference to a placebo group in that paper. They used 22 adult volunteers and measured their responses after influenza vaccination and compared them to baseline (day 0) in the same study group.

    This is an function of not listening, as opposed to not having been told.

    No, in your case I think it’s a function of not reading, possibly in eagerness to make a point that your evidence does not support.

    Back to the drawing board – remember pD, it’s gotta be the vaccines.

  375. #375 Calli Arcale
    November 28, 2011

    lilady:

    BCG is very rarely used in the USA for very valid reasons…we simply are not an area of the world which has high TB endemicity.

    I’m aware of that; I just wanted to state for the record that if the situation changed, I would be happy to start vaccinating my children against it. But thank you for posting all that wonderful information about TB for the benefit of other readers. Currently, we rely on testing and quarantine. Here in Minnesota, we do not require TB testing for entry to school.

  376. #376 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 28, 2011

    Re TB:

    Maybe the disease-promoters just want to prove House wrong:

    It’s never lupus.

    What he means is it’s never lupus erythematosus—maybe if we can bring back lupus, period (tuberculosis of the skin), they can say: “Suck it House, you Commie Lie-beral!”

  377. #377 herr doktor bimler
    November 28, 2011

    Blackheart @270:
    “Practically, if your child has clinical indications of an immune system abnormality, such as unusual or difficult to treat infections, or your family has a long and extensive history of immunological problems, we recommend that you consult with your physicians about the safest options for immunizing your children.”

    This advice is not particularly germane to my question at #257, which was about identifying *objectively* “special cases” rather than assuaging parental anxieties.

    I confess, though, that because Rachael was the one initially concerned about special subgroups of vaccine-vulnerable children, I was and remain more interested in what sheviews as the best way of distinguishing such subgroups.

  378. #378 Prometheus
    November 28, 2011

    Mrs. Woo asks (#376):

    “Do I guess correctly that annual flu vaccines have some sort of abbreviated process? I would think that full-scale trials would be impossible to finish in the time frame available.”

    Influenza vaccine is what is sometimes called a “pre-templated” vaccine. Since the only part of the vaccine that is changed are the specific influenza strains used, it requires (slightly) less testing to ensure safety. Every other part of the vaccine – the vehicle, the adjuvants, even the process for harvesting and inactivating the influenza virus – is unchanged year-to-year.

    The virus strains that will be in the Northern Hemisphere version of the influenza vaccine are chosen in March-April, based on which strains (usually two influenza A and one influenza B strains) are “leading the pack” in the Southern Hemisphere at that time. It’s a bit like picking a horse based on previous performance, but it usually works well, although there have been some spectacular failures, when an influenza strain “came from behind” to become dominant in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Once the vaccine strains are chosen, the production of vaccine gears up and testing begins. The required clincal testing regimen is described (in excruciating bureaucratese) on the FDA website. This site also mentions – but does not spell out – the requirement for post-licensing monitoring.

    In short, the process for licensing each year’s influenza vaccine is streamlined somewhat by the fact that only the virus strains are changed. As you can see on the FDA site, if even an adjuvant or preservative are changed, the vaccine has to go through more extensive testing, which is why the manufacturers don’t “modernise” their influenza vaccines.

    Contrary to “popular” belief, vaccines aren’t a profit center for pharmaceutical companies, especially influenza vaccine, since the uptake is often low (but unpredictable) and this year’s vaccine is obsolete next year. Some companies have taken significant losses on their influenza vaccines, which is why they usually don’t make much more than they sold the previous year (which occasionally leads to shortages) and why even a small disruption or “glitch” in production (as with the 2009 H1N1, which grew much more slowly than most influenza viruses) can lead to major disruptions in vaccine supply.

    Prometheus

  379. #379 Narad
    November 28, 2011

    So, anyway, to try to salvage a bit of this without a load of Benadryl on board, MD1970′s source for the “tetanus, shmetanus” quote, Jason Sanders, is almost certainly this fellow:

    Mr Sanders complained that although Mr Law was invited to participate as a leading critic of the campaign, he was “shut out” by the presenter.

    That would be this Ron Law. Jason Sanders, amusingly, is even concerned about homeopathic vaccines:

    There is one last argument against homoeopathic prophylaxis. It is that, as with vaccines, any induced immunity is almost certainly not going to last into adulthood and certainly not a lifetime. Homoeopathically induced immunity is still artificial. I believe it’s preferable to contract the childhood ailments when young, when they are much more likely to be mild and uncomplicated.

    So, yah, “I am not arguing against vaccines.” It’s just that the accordion folder is full of quotes from those who do to toss out when not doing so. Gotcha.

  380. #380 passionlessDrone
    November 28, 2011

    Hi Dangerous Bacon –

    In the Dept. of Hilarity Ensues, we have pD, after first lamenting the absence of research on cytokine generation after vaccination (and then dismissing examples of such research as inadequate), now attempting to make a point by linking to research on cytokine generation after vaccination. Wow, for something that’s nonexistent or inadequate, you didn’t have much trouble finding it online.

    There are a couple of things I am honestly starting to believe you do not understand:

    1) There are some rather striking differences in physiology and development between an adult and an infant. (Were you aware of this fact?} For example, in post # 228 of this thread, responding directly to you, I said:

    Within this context, I think it is important to note that we just don’t have any information on the quality and quantity of the immune response generated from the pediatric vaccine schedule.

    Do you understand that the ‘pediatric vaccine schedule’ means vaccines given to infants? Is there any reason, in particular, you feel that we can, and should, safely equate infants and adults in terms of the immune response?

    2) I specifically mentioned the vaccine schedule. Again, perhaps this is a function of you simply not understanding that there are more vaccines than just the flu vaccine given to infants, a great deal more.

    As someone who has told me that ‘pubmed is my friend’, I would have thought, by this time, you might have taken the time to understand the most rudimentary aspects of the vaccine schedule for infants. Suffice it to say, the flu vaccine is only one part of that schedule, and in fact, is not added until, at earliest, six months of age, after the shots given after birth, at two months, and at four months.

    I’m genuinely curious, were you aware of any of these things?

    For these reasons, the fact that I found a study measuring the immune response in adults, for a specific vaccine does not therefore mandate that we understand anything about what happens following multiple vaccines given simultaneously to an infant. Your continued inability to discern relatively simple classifications, adults versus infants, or a single vaccine versus many vaccines does not bode well for the rest of your citation free arguments.

    For anyone who would like to believe that we actually do understand the infant immune response, in regards to vaccination or not, I would submit the following paper as evidence that this information is still largely unknown to us:

    Ontogeny of Toll-Like Receptor Mediated Cytokine Responses of Human Blood Mononuclear Cells (Corbett NP, Blimkie D, Ho KC, Cai B, Sutherland DP, et al. 2010 Ontogeny of Toll-Like Receptor Mediated Cytokine Responses of Human Blood Mononuclear Cells. PLoS ONE 5(11): e15041. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015041)

    Here is the abstract:

    Newborns and young infants suffer increased infectious morbidity and mortality as compared to older children and adults. Morbidity and mortality due to infection are highest during the first weeks of life, decreasing over several years. Furthermore, most vaccines are not administered around birth, but over the first few years of life. A more complete understanding of the ontogeny of the immune system over the first years of life is thus urgently needed. Here, we applied the most comprehensive analysis focused on the innate immune response following TLR stimulation over the first 2 years of life in the largest such longitudinal cohort studied to-date (35 subjects). We found that innate TLR responses (i) known to support Th17 adaptive immune responses (IL-23, IL-6) peaked around birth and declined over the following 2 years only to increase again by adulthood; (ii) potentially supporting antiviral defense (IFN-a) reached adult level function by 1 year of age; (iii) known to support Th1 type immunity (IL-12p70, IFN-?) slowly rose from a low at birth but remained far below adult responses even at 2 years of age; (iv) inducing IL-10 production steadily declined from a high around birth to adult levels by 1 or 2 years of age, and; (v) leading to production of TNF-a or IL-1ß varied by stimuli. Our data contradict the notion of a linear progression from an ‘immature’ neonatal to a ‘mature’ adult pattern, but instead indicate the existence of qualitative and quantitative age-specific changes in innate immune reactivity in response to TLR stimulation.

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0015041 [full paper link]

    This was an article published just shy of one year ago, Nov 30, 2010. And note, it doesn’t even have anything to do with vaccines, just the first step in documenting the innate immune response in infants longitudinally. This is supposedly a place where you are expected to back up your assertions with data, if Dangerous Bacon, or anyone else, would like to assert that we have information regarding the innate immune response in infants from vaccination, they are going to have to submit some articles to this effect.

    Where did you get the idea that children don’t develop transient fevers (detected or undetected) on other occasions, either through colds or other infections, or other forms of antigenic stimulus?

    You are the one that submitted the idea that ‘antigens traversing our gastrointestinal tracts’ should be equatable with vaccine challenges, now suddenly you want to talk about colds or other infections? Why? Talk about changing the goalposts!

    And as I’ve repeated again and again, I’m not giving natural infections a pass. If you want to equate colds and other infections, that’s fine, an in fact, we have some evidence that early life infections are a risk factor for autism; i.e., Association of hospitalization for infection in childhood with diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders: a Danish cohort study., and Infection in the first 2 years of life and autism spectrum disorders, both of which found moderate associations with hospitlization for infection during the first year of life and an eventual autism diagnosis, and more infections during the first month of life, respectively.

    No, in your case I think it’s a function of not reading, possibly in eagerness to make a point that your evidence does not support.

    Considering the fact that you do not seem capable of understanding the difference between an adult and an infant, or the difference between a signle vaccine and many vaccines, I’m going to take this accusation with a significant grain of salt.

    For the record, I was actually thinking about this article:

    HPV-16 L1 VLP vaccine elicits a broad-spectrum of cytokine responses in whole blood. (Vaccine Volume 23, Issue 27, 20 May 2005, Pages 3555-3564)

    Here, we evaluated innate and adaptive immune system cytokine responses induced by HPV-16 L1 VLP in whole blood (WB) cultures from individuals receiving the vaccine (n = 20) or placebo (n = 4) before and after vaccination. 11 cytokines were measured: IL-1ß, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, IFN-?, TNF-a, and GM-CSF using multiplex bead arrays. Cytokine profiles from WB samples clearly discriminated between vaccine and placebo recipients and between pre and post-vaccination responses. Significant increases in Th1, Th2 and inflammatory cytokines were observed in WB assays following vaccination. Results from WB assays were compared against parallel PBMC-based assays in a subset of patients. Differences between whole blood assay and PBMC were observed, with the highest levels of induction found for WB for several cytokines. Our results indicate that multiplex assays for cytokine profiling in WB are an efficient tool for assessing broad spectrum, innate and adaptive immune responses to vaccines and identifying immunologic correlates of protection in efficacy studies.

    Unfortunately, for you, this study also does not have infants, nor does it exist in the pediatric vaccine schedule. But, it does have pre and post vaccination cytokine profiles, as well as a placebo group; exactly the kind of study I continue to assert does not exist for the pediatric vaccine schedule. Curiously, despite all of the ‘antigens traversing our gastrointestinal tracts’ in both groups, the researchers were able to discern placebo recipients from vaccine recipients by cytokine profile alone. I’m curious, do you have any idea why this might be the case? I’m sure that this time, for once, you’ll have an answer that doesn’t involve semantics, the inability to discern an infant from a teenage girl, or accusations of conspiritorial thinking! This time, I have confidence you’ll back up your assertions with citations from the literature. Right?

    Keep digging!

    - pD

  381. #381 c j f
    November 28, 2011

    Looks like there’s a new study out today from Dr. Amaral and the MIND Institute:

    Abnormal brain growth starting at four months of age occurs in a type of autism in which toddlers lose language and social skills they once had, according to a US study.

    The brains of boys with regressive autism grew six per cent larger than typically developing counterparts and toddlers who showed signs of autism early in life, a form called early onset autism.

    –snip–

    “The major finding of this study is that a subset of boys with regressive autism have normal head circumference at birth, which diverges from normality around four to six months of age, well before any loss of skills were documented,” say the study’s authors, calling for more research.

    “Thus, rapid head growth beginning around four-six months of age may be a risk factor for future loss of skills.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2011/11/29/3378940.htm

  382. #382 lilady
    November 28, 2011

    @ cjf: Autistic infant’s unusual head circumference growth studies have been reported as early as 2003. I specifically recall reading this study in its entirety when it was published in JAMA…we had subscriptions for the journal at the health department.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer; ABC Australia; Adam Feinstein, 16/07/2003

    SAN DIEGO, California, USA: Head circumference in infants with autism may indicate the disorder before their behaviour does.

    Children who are autistic appear to have accelerated brain growth well before any behavioural indicators appear, an American study has found.

    Dr Eric Courchesne, professor of neurosciences at the University of California-San Diego and director of the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital and Health Center in that city, has found that more than half of autistic children have an enlarged brain by the time they reach 14 months. This is the first time a potential early warning sign for autism has been identified.

    Autism begins very early in life, but is not usually identified until a child shows behavioural signs and symptoms beginning at two or three years of age. These include delayed speech, unusual social and emotional reactions and poor attention to, and exploration of, the environment.

    The study looked at the medical records of 48 children with autism spectrum disorder aged two to five years. The researchers compared head measurements of children with autistic disorder with those from two databases that describe normal growth patterns in infants.

    They found that the children with autistic disorder had a rapid and excessive increase in head circumference measurements, beginning several months after birth. The findings appear in the July 16, 2003, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    “In our study, head size increased from the 25th percentile – based on the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention averages of healthy infants – to the 84th percentile in six to 14 months,” the researchers wrote in their paper. “This excessive increase occurred well before the typical onset of clinical behavioural symptoms.”

    I believe that most, if not all, pediatricians in the U.S. measure head and chest circumferences and body length of infants and young children and plot their growth on a graph in each child’s chart, during every scheduled doctor’s visit.

    Note the name of the researcher on this study.

  383. #383 Professor Blackheart
    November 29, 2011

    Julian Frost As has been pointed out, anti-vaxxers exaggerate the risks of vaccination.

    I’ve seen a very similar exaggeration even by public health officials as well as the ubiquitous skeptik

    Hmm, half a million deaths. Would those half a million deaths be due to vaccine injury, or due to the new vaccine not being as effective as the old one?

    No

    The supposed role of vaccines in neurological damage has been researched to death (excuse the pun).

    I am of course of a differing opinion.

    If you have compelling evidence of harm or a promising hypothesis for a mechanism of damage, please reveal it.

    That’s been discussed previously the underlying mechanism has not yet been uncovered. But we do know that something is having an effect on child mortality.

    If you have compelling evidence of harm or a promising hypothesis for a mechanism of damage, please reveal it.

    It’s being worked on by a range of scientists and researchers. Aaby and his group are represented and London School of Tropical Medicine I believe.

    It’s really simple “Professor” Blackheart. If fewer people vaccinate …

    If you studied the literature and understood the implications of the research, more effective and safer vaccines could effect positive changes to child mortality.We need to understand the mechanisms that are in play and have a greater understanding of the infant immune system and how to tailor vaccination more accurately perhaps to specific cohorts of the population….

    Saving millions of additional lives …

    There’s a simple truth.

  384. #384 lilady
    November 29, 2011

    I have a comment caught (again) in moderation about one of the earliest studies of head circumference percentile growth, published in JAMA in 2003. I remember reading the entire article at the time it was published and be impressed with the dramatic head circumference growth from early infancy until 14 months of age:

    JAMA. 2003 Jul 16;290(3):337-44.
    Evidence of brain overgrowth in the first year of life in autism.
    Courchesne E, Carper R, Akshoomoff N.
    Source

    Department of Neuroscience, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, USA. ecourchesne@ucsd.edu
    Abstract
    CONTEXT:

    Autism most commonly appears by 2 to 3 years of life, at which time the brain is already abnormally large. This raises the possibility that brain overgrowth begins much earlier, perhaps before the first clinically noticeable behavioral symptoms.
    OBJECTIVES:

    To determine whether pathological brain overgrowth precedes the first clinical signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and whether the rate of overgrowth during the first year is related to neuroanatomical and clinical outcome in early childhood.
    DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:

    Head circumference (HC), body length, and body weight measurements during the first year were obtained from the medical records of 48 children with ASD aged 2 to 5 years who had participated in magnetic resonance imaging studies. Of these children, 15 (longitudinal group) had measurements at 4 periods during infancy: birth, 1 to 2 months, 3 to 5 months, and 6 to 14 months; and 33 (partial HC data group) had measurements at birth and 6 to 14 months (n = 7), and at birth only (n = 28).
    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

    Age-related changes in infants with ASD who had multiple-age measurements, and the relationship of these changes to brain anatomy and clinical and diagnostic outcome at 2 to 5 years were evaluated by using 2 nationally recognized normative databases: cross-sectional normative data from a national survey and longitudinal data of individual growth.
    RESULTS:

    Compared with normative data of healthy infants, birth HC in infants with ASD was significantly smaller (z = -0.66, P< .001); after birth, HC increased 1.67 SDs and mean HC was at the 84th percentile by 6 to 14 months. Birth HC was related to cerebellar gray matter volume at 2 to 5 years, although the excessive increase in HC between birth and 6 to 14 months was related to greater cerebral cortex volume at 2 to 5 years. Within the ASD group, every child with autistic disorder had a greater increase in HC between birth and 6 to 14 months (mean [SD], 2.19 [0.98]) than infants with pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (0.58 [0.35]). Only 6% of the individual healthy infants in the longitudinal data showed accelerated HC growth trajectories (>2.0 SDs) from birth to 6 to 14 months; 59% of infants with autistic disorder showed these accelerated growth trajectories.
    CONCLUSIONS:

    The clinical onset of autism appears to be preceded by 2 phases of brain growth abnormality: a reduced head size at birth and a sudden and excessive increase in head size between 1 to 2 months and 6 to 14 months. Abnormally accelerated rate of growth may serve as an early warning signal of risk for autism.
    Comment in

    * JAMA. 2003 Jul 16;290(3):393-4.

    PMID:
    12865374
    [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    Note the name of the researcher on this study.

  385. #385 brian
    November 29, 2011

    Several research projects at the MIND Institute are attempting to find such diagnostic markers.

    Although I missed where you attributed that quotation, blackheart, I did find it. It happens that the most recent reference cited on that page was from 2004.

  386. #386 Professor Blackheart
    November 29, 2011

    Yes, this figure has already been covered here, which is why Blackheart shows himself to be reprehensibly dishonest

    la mort de mœurs

    Why, simply that the new measles vaccine was being tested as a possible replacement for the existing measles vaccine, and that’s where the figure of a two-fold increase in mortality among girls was measured.

    Correct. Two fold increase over standard titre measles.

    In other words, what this data shows to be dangerous and harmful is not vaccination but inadequate vaccination.

    You’ve lost me and Peter Aaby. But perhaps you could pass on your mind boggling argument to the Bandim Health project.

    Perhaps they overlooked it … somehow.

  387. #387 Professor Blackheart
    November 29, 2011

    Herr Doktor

    This advice is not particularly germane to my question at #257

    Individual patient assessment is a major focus area of medicine.

    , which was about identifying *objectively* “special cases”

    Medicos can be subjective but they try their best.

    I was and remain more interested in what she views as the best way of distinguishing such subgroups.

    Perhaps she does not know of an answer at this time … I fail to see the relevancy of that point when we know that there is indeed an answer articulated by others.

    …of course we could always spit on the ipod.

    “HANDHELD gadgets could one day diagnose infections at the push of a button by using the supersensitive touchscreens in today’s smartphones.

    “Many believe that in the future collecting samples of saliva, urine or blood could be performed using a cheap, USB-stick-sized throwaway device called a lab-on-a-chip. The user would inject a droplet of the fluid in the chip, and micropumps inside it would send the fluid to internal vessels containing reagents that extract target disease biomarker molecules. The whole device would then be sent to a lab for analysis.”

  388. #388 Professor Blackheart
    November 29, 2011

    brian

    I did find it.

    Congratulations on your outstanding research abilities re cut / paste / google.

    It happens that the most recent reference cited on that page was from 2004.

    Am I to telepathically read what they may mean to you ?

  389. #389 Professor Blackheart
    November 29, 2011

    c j f

    So the work has now been published … here’s an interview earlier this year. Robert MacNeil

    Amaral

    “But I think what’s clear is that there’s — a reemergence of the idea that the immune system might also be involved in children with autism. But in a subset. We have found, here at the MIND Institute, work by Dr. Judy Van de Water, that about 12 to 14 percent of women who have children with autism have peculiar antibodies that are directed at the blood. And she’s pursuing the possibility that those antibodies, circulating during fetal life, in some way interact with the developing brain and that might be one path to autism.

    We have other folks here that are looking at environmental factors. And again, we haven’t found a smoking gun; one single environmental factor that causes autism over and over again. But I think there’s accumulating evidence that there are a lot of things in the environment that might increase the risk.

    So at this point, I think we’re looking at genetics. We’re looking at the immune system. We’re looking at environmental factors. Not a single one of those are going to be the answer. But there’s more evidence suggesting that all of them may contribute in some complex way.

    ——-

    But over the successive years, as it became clearer and clearer that, first of all, genetics wasn’t the only answer. Something else must but going on. And increasing evidence by a number of epidemiologists showing that there are environmental factors that seem to be conferring risk. That people are taking the environment much more seriously now.

    ———

    ROBERT MACNEIL: You mentioned in a talk in San Diego, that you can’t understand the genes in isolation. You said there are many routes through which environmental factors may exert consequences leading to autism. Like, what routes?

    DR. DAVID AMARAL: Yeah. So, for example, let’s say some of the genes that might be impacted in autism are genes that set up our immune system or allow our immune system to function properly. Well, if you were to have a child that had that gene and they were never to come into contact with something in the environment that would challenge the immune system it may never produce autism.

    But given that our environment is incredibly, increasingly more complex. And that the immune system is actually increasingly more challenged. Both by chemicals that we’re putting into the environment that we’re creating. As well as things like pesticides and whatever.

    That it may be that genes that were defective or perturbed, leading to a perturbed immune system function. Are now actually undergoing more challenges in our environment. And that may be one of the reasons that we’re seeing an increase in autism.

    So again, it’s not the entire answer. But that’s a genes-by-environment interaction. The genetic problem is there. But the genetic problem, in isolation, wouldn’t cause autism. It has to be the genetic problem and then being challenged by something in the environment.

    ——-

    ROBERT MACNEIL: What is your position today on vaccines and autism?

    DR. DAVID AMARAL: So I think it’s pretty clear that, in general, vaccines are not the culprit. There has been enough epidemiological evidence showing that if you look at children that receive the standard childhood vaccines that, if anything, those children are at slightly less risk of having autism than children that aren’t immunized.

    And so, you know, I think it probably is a waste of effort at this time to try and understand vaccines as a major culprit for, or a major cause of, autism. It’s not to say, however, that there is a small subset of children who may be particularly vulnerable to vaccines.

    And in their case, having the vaccines, or particular vaccines, particularly in certain kinds of situations — if the child was ill, if the child had a precondition. Like a mitochondrial defect. Vaccinations for those children actually may be the environmental factor that tipped them over the edge of autism. And I think it is incredibly important, still, to try and figure out what, if any, vulnerabilities, in a small subset of children, might make them at risk for having certain vaccinations.”

    —————

    And I think, more importantly, what the whole vaccine issue has done. Has opened our eyes again to the idea that the immune system is an important component of autism. And I think, at least at the MIND Institute, some of our early parent advocates, who are very concerned about the vaccine issue. And rather than using all of our resources purely to look at vaccines we have — established a fairly extensive immune — analysis of autism.

    Which in myriad differences are found in the in the children who have autism. Not all, again, but a subset. As well as the parents of children with autism. So I think the issue of the immune system and disregulation of the immune system has been an important — outcome of worrying about vaccines. I’d rather put our effort on understanding the immune system and how– beyond the small subset of children that might be damaged by vaccines. Some disregulation of the immune system might be causing autism.

    —-

    It’s a disorder that is incredibly heterogeneous. I already mentioned that there’s not a single autism gene. There’s going to be many, many genes that are involved. And then when you look at the children or at the individuals who have autism. The complexity is mind-boggling.

    30 percent of people with autism have epilepsy as well. But 70 percent don’t. 20 percent or so have big heads. But a large number don’t. And there’s even a small number of people with autism who have small heads and small brains. If you look at other things, like gastrointestinal problems. People say, “Well, what does gastrointestinal problems have to do with autism?” Well, a fair number of individuals with autism, probably more than the general population, certainly more than the general population and arguably, even more than children who have other developmental disorders, have chronic gastrointestinal problems.

    And we’re trying to figure out, you know, is that a chicken or egg? Do the gastrointestinal problems potentially cause autism? Or does the autism cause the GI problems? But why does it only happen in a subset of kids with autism? Often times, when I’m talking to a lay audience, I say, “You know, if you put a pear and an apple and an orange in front of me and said, figure out those fruit,” I could do it. I could look at the genetics of each one of them.

    I’ve talked to clinicians who have been working in autism for the last 30, 40, 50 years. And their view is that there really has been an increase in the number of individuals with autism.

    But regardless it’s 1 percent of the population in the United States now. 1 out of 100 children are being diagnosed with autism. And to me, that’s too many children to lose to this disorder. And it’s not the only disorder that we have to deal with. But it is incredibly prominent.

  390. #390 Dangerous Bacon
    November 29, 2011

    pD: “There are a couple of things I am honestly starting to believe you do not understand:

    1) There are some rather striking differences in physiology and development between an adult and an infant.

    Which makes it a bit strange that you triumphantly referred to the influenza vaccine study as another in your connect-the-dots Gish gallop of why we should distrust vaccines. Seeing as adults were enrolled in the study, it shouldn’t have been worth citing, except that you thought you saw something bad reported, so it was worthwhile*. Talk about trying to have it both ways.

    “Within this context, I think it is important to note that we just don’t have any information on the quality and quantity of the immune response generated from the pediatric vaccine schedule.”

    So you’re back to this again. I thought you’d conceded that there was evidence, just not enough to satisfy you. Maybe in your world all the safety and efficacy (including molecular) data generated on pediatric vaccines can be dismissed entirely because “the pediatric vaccine schedule” remains a mystery in some nebulous fashion, but real world safety and efficacy is well-established.

    “Again, perhaps this is a function of you simply not understanding that there are more vaccines than just the flu vaccine given to infants, a great deal more…the flu vaccine is only one part of that schedule, and in fact, is not added until, at earliest, six months of age, after the shots given after birth, at two months, and at four months.”

    Sounds like a restatement of “too much, too soon.” Add that to the conspiracy-mongering (over comment moderation and failure to get brand-new full-length research papers immediately mailed to you by the authors), goalpost shifting and incessant calls for more and more research without which vaccines must remain under heavy suspicion, and remind us again how you are way different from Katie Wright and other antivaxers?

    “And as I’ve repeated again and again, I’m not giving natural infections a pass.”

    Of course not. You just don’t see a need to focus on studying them or non-infectious immune challenges in relation to cytokines, never mind using such information to develop additional and more efficacious vaccines. We must devote lots of time and money along these lines in trying to implicate vaccines in autism causation however, because, well, it’s gotta be the vaccines.

    By the way, nice sidestep there on the false claim that your linked cytokine study had a placebo group. “I was thinking of this other paper”. ;)

    I have previously, repeatedly cited research studies that measure parameters of the immune response in children, including cytokine generation after vaccination, only to be told by you that you were thinking of something else entirely, that the papers didn’t mention the truly significant molecules etc. etc. I have no desire to evoke yet another denial-fest on your part.

    *It seems to me that the focus of the influenza vaccine paper was on measuring serum parameters including lipids that could be affected by vaccination and thus possibly affect interpretation of lab studies in, say, older adults who are at risk of cardiovascular disease. The paper did not infer Bad Things as resulting from vaccination (they did not postulate any ill effects from the observed changes), just as none of the papers cited by you in this thread fit into the antivax paradigm, except in your usual connect-the-dots fashion. Hint: quantity does not equal quality or relevance.

  391. #391 Dangerous Bacon
    November 29, 2011

    While They are moderating my last posting (!!?!?!??$$), I should mention some “interesting” facts about my influenza vaccination last Wednesday.

    I specifically requested extra thimerosal and adjuvants, and the employee health nurse laughed (!). Immediately after the shot I noticed my arm was very sore. Of course, it had been very sore immediately before the shot (or jab as the Brits call it) because I sprained it somehow while gardening (!@@#). In the last few days it has gotten much less sore, which I attibute to the boost in IL-6, or maybe the extra neurons. Has anyone studied this effect? I don’t think so. Hmmm….

  392. #392 lilady
    November 29, 2011

    @ Dangerous Bacon: Someone (Chris, maybe) came up with the name of the condition caused by an IM injection in the deltoid muscle…after I mentioned that my 3 hepatitis B vaccine “jabs” caused a dull ache for weeks afterward.

    I think we decided that it was not a “vaccine injury” that should generate a VAERS report.

  393. #393 Denice Walter
    November 29, 2011

    @ Julian, brian, c j f, & other minions:
    re: Blackie

    Ever feel like Sisyphus? Oh, I do. It’s almost as though the more material we submit illustrative of autism being “set up” neurologically *prior* to any vaccines, the more weighty contrariness he rolls down upon us.

    I think it might be more productive if – although we might *address* our responses to Blackie- we should *intend* them as messages to the silent and pensive lurkers. At least then we would have a better chance of being heard than does a snowball of lasting in hell.

  394. #394 Gray Falcon
    November 29, 2011

    One of Blackheart’s big problems is that he’s a big believer in guilt by association. One of his first posts talked about how stupid science was because a few scientists made mistakes. I suggest from now on that he make all his posts by clay tablet.

  395. #395 c j f
    November 29, 2011

    @lilady,
    I think the significance of the newer study is that the rapid head growth is found only in a specific subset of kids with autism, boys with regressive autism. They didn’t find larger than normal head circumference for kids who had signs of autism early in life or for girls. Also, they found that the head circumference was normal at birth and the excessive growth began at 4-6 months.

    Previous studies have suggested that clinical signs of autism tend to coincide with a period of abnormal brain and head growth that becomes apparent between the ninth and 18th month of life.

    However this study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to show a difference in brain size between toddler boys with regressive versus early onset autism.

    New finding
    “The finding that boys with regressive autism show a different form of neuropathology than boys with early onset autism is novel,” says lead author Christine Wu Nordahl, a researcher at the MIND Institute.

    “Moreover, when we evaluated girls with autism separately from boys, we found that no girls – regardless of whether they had early onset or regressive autism – had abnormal brain growth.”

    The findings showed that boys with regressive autism had a “pronounced increase” in head circumference beginning as early as four months of age and lasting through 19 months.

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2011/11/29/3378940.htm

    Previous research has found that kids with autism tend to have accelerated brain growth early in life. This study drills down into greater detail about which kids experience that growth and when, said Dr. Joseph Horrigan, assistant vice president and head of medical research at Autism Speaks.

    http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2011/11/28/head-size-tied-to-regressive-autism-in-boys

  396. #396 Chris
    November 29, 2011

    Gray Falcon, I also would suggest that blackheart move to Guinea Bissau with only the average earnings of its population as an allowance. Since he assumes that vaccine studies there are relevant to the UK and USA.

  397. #397 Th1Th2
    November 29, 2011

    Dangerous Patient,

    I specifically requested extra thimerosal and adjuvants, and the employee health nurse laughed (!).

    Since you requested and amenable, the nurse should have given you a Merthiolate shot if it was only available right?

    Immediately after the shot I noticed my arm was very sore. Of course, it had been very sore immediately before the shot (or jab as the Brits call it) because I sprained it somehow while gardening (!@@#).

    Of course that would be a reflection of a dumb patient who having had a pre-existing muscle injury would take another needlestick injury. How wonderful. If that nurse happened to be lilady, she would have injected you on the unaffected arm right?

    In the last few days it has gotten much less sore, which I attibute to the boost in IL-6, or maybe the extra neurons. Has anyone studied this effect? I don’t think so. Hmmm….

    It’s called patient education and you’re certainly lacking in that area.

  398. #398 Julian Frost
    November 29, 2011

    Blackheart:

    Well, a fair number of individuals with autism, probably more than the general population, certainly more than the general population and arguably, even more than children who have other developmental disorders, have chronic gastrointestinal problems.

    Citation needed that the percentage of autistic individuals with chronic gastrointestinal problems is higher than the percentage of people in the general population with chronic gastrointestinal disorders.

  399. #399 Th1Th2bot
    November 29, 2011

    Since you requested and amenable, the nurse should have given you a Merthiolate shot if it was only available right?

    As asymptomatic infection, is evident or Splenda. I don’t even take a fatal candle light; please. I do you refer exposure to become a better analogy. Next topic instead.

  400. #400 passionlessDrone
    November 29, 2011

    Hi Julian Frost -

    Do these help?

    The prevalence of gastrointestinal problems in children across the United States with autism spectrum disorders from families with multiple affected members

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21555957

    Parents reported significantly more GI problems in children with ASD (249/589; 42%) compared with their unaffected siblings (20/163; 12%) (p < .001). The 2 most common Gl problems in children with ASD were constipation (116/589; 20%) and chronic diarrhea (111/589; 19%). Conditional logistic regression analysis showed that having Full Autism (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 14.28, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 6.22-32.77) or Almost Autism (AOR = 5.16, 95% CI 2.02-13.21) was most highly associated with experiencing GI problems. Increased autism symptom severity was associated with higher odds of GI problems (AOR for trend = 2.63, 95% CI: 1.56-4.45).

    Constipation in children with autism and autistic spectrum disorder

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20697898

    Autism spectrum disorders are an order of magnitude more common in the constipation clinic than in the general population. 8.5% of patients who attended our Paediatric Surgical Constipation clinic had autism with or without NDP deficits. Children with autism ± NDP deficits have an earlier onset of symptoms, longer history, and some possess signs similar to those of slow transit constipation. These features may be inborn. A common genetic origin of gut and behavioural abnormalities suggests that specific targeted investigation and treatment for the constipation of ASD may in time be developed.

    Alterations of the intestinal barrier in patients with autism spectrum disorders and in their first-degree relatives

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20683204

    A high percentage of abnormal IPT values were found among patients with autism (36.7%) and their relatives (21.2%) compared with normal subjects (4.8%). Patients with autism on a reported gluten-casein-free diet had significantly lower IPT values compared with those who were on an unrestricted diet and controls. Gastrointestinal symptoms were present in 46.7% of children with autism: constipation (45.5%), diarrhoea (34.1%), and others (alternating diarrhoea/constipation, abdominal pain, etc: 15.9%). FC was elevated in 24.4% of patients with autism and in 11.6% of their relatives; it was not, however, correlated with abnormal IPT values.

  401. #401 lilady
    November 29, 2011

    @ Th1Th2bot: Well done!! I just don’t have patience to attempt a translation of the Thing’s brain droppings…it still needs “terminal disinfection”; Hmmm, where did I leave the bottle of merthiolate?

  402. #402 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 29, 2011

    Since you requested and amenable, the nurse should have given you a Merthiolate shot if it was only available right?

    As asymptomatic infection, is evident or Splenda. I don’t even take a fatal candle light; please. I do you refer exposure to become a better analogy. Next topic instead.

    This is really becoming surreal. If the thread weren’t available for perusal up there, I would be hard pressed to decide which one of these utterances was—supposedly—human and which one was not.

  403. #403 Professor Blackheart
    November 29, 2011

    Julian Frost

    Citation needed

    You’ll have to ask Dr Amaral … they were just having a chat.

  404. #404 Professor Blackheart
    November 29, 2011

    Denice Walter

    Ever feel like Sisyphus? Oh, I do.

    Interesting.

    It’s almost as though the more material we submit illustrative of autism being “set up” neurologically *prior* to any vaccines, the more weighty contrariness he rolls down upon us.

    It must be frustrating not to understand the implications of the various evidence submitted here.

    I suggest you work your way from types of autism and get that clear in your mind.

  405. #405 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 29, 2011
    In other words, what this data shows to be dangerous and harmful is not vaccination but inadequate vaccination.

    You’ve lost me and Peter Aaby.

    Speak for yourself; you have no authority to speak for anyone else.

    The logic is quite elementary, and can be easily understood by any honest, competent person. If the data you have is a comparison of A to B, you cannot announce “this data shows the superiority of C to A,” because your comparison didn’t measure A and C, it measured A and B.

    You offered the extrapolated figure of 1/2 million deaths in Africa to support the proposition “… that vaccines are dangerous and cause harm.” But that figure of 1/2 million deaths represented the superiority of one vaccine over another vaccine. It does not in any way represent a danger that vaccination represents when compared to not vaccinating, because “not vaccinating” was not one of the alternatives compared.

    The old vaccine is A; the new vaccine is B; the Peter Aaby Bandim Health Project said that contrary to expectations, A proved superior to B. Anyone who claims that this means C, not vaccinating at all, is superior to B, or even more stupidly, superior to A and B, is merely spewing idiocy. I have very little doubt that you will continue on your current course, of course.

  406. #406 Th1Th2
    November 29, 2011

    The logic is quite elementary, and can be easily understood by any honest, competent person.

    Yeah, like A is deadlier than B. That’s easy.

  407. #407 Th1Th2bot
    November 29, 2011

    Yeah, like A is deadlier than B. That’s easy.

    Your evidence just suffering from the latter. Is already occurred at what you sound: you are the dry concrete pavement. Next topic instead. Maybe the squirrel to you, by asserting the sidewalk. No solely for no? Myth.

  408. #408 lilady
    November 29, 2011

    @ The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge: If one makes more sense than the other…it is the bot. The bot is a certified translator of Thinglish to English and is easily maintained…(does not crave attention)…by the Th1Th2bot Service Center.

  409. #409 Th1Th2
    November 29, 2011

    Of course, who could ever forget A- the genocidal high-titer measles vaccine.

  410. #410 lilady
    November 29, 2011

    Please don’t feed attention-craving, delusional etc., etc., etc.

  411. #411 Th1Th2bot
    November 29, 2011

    Of course, who could ever forget A- the genocidal high-titer measles vaccine.

    Two is completely harmless: to remain uninfected cause harm. Don’t you deny this thread; is not so that I blame. Hence, the gist of the whole piece of children’s parents on than getting raped instead; hence, the vaccine dunce: nor present. So what, you’re confused.

  412. #412 LW
    November 29, 2011

    “So what, you’re confused.”

    As always, I admire your ability to cut through to the heart of the matter.

  413. #413 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 29, 2011

    Th1Th2bot is becoming more and more intelligent as we watch—how sure are we that this isn’t how Skynet got started?

  414. #414 Denice Walter
    November 29, 2011

    @ The Very Rverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    It sounds a bit like a weekend drinker/stoner grad student** with poetical leanings. I dated a few of those.

    **Probably economics.

  415. #415 Th1Th2bot Service Center
    November 29, 2011

    We have high hopes for the nascent print ad campaign.

  416. #417 Th1Th2
    November 30, 2011

    And then some:
    1. OPV causing paralytic polio and VDPV
    2. DPT causing encephalopathy
    3. M-M-R causing meningitis and encephalitis
    4. Rotavirus vaccine causing intussusception

  417. #418 lilady
    November 30, 2011

    The posting at # 414 is not mine.

    lilady

  418. #419 Orac
    November 30, 2011

    It’s gone now.

  419. #420 Professor Blackheart
    November 30, 2011

    Antaeus Feldspar

    Speak for yourself; you have no authority to speak for anyone else.

    Myself and Peter Aaby are of the same mind and so are other researchers. Fortunately ‘we’ are not so prejudiced when it comes to vaccine safety.

    not vaccinating at all

    …..and there’s where the error lies – with you and your prejudiced assumptions.

    Not once have I said don’t vaccinate.

  420. #421 lilady
    November 30, 2011

    Thanks Orac.

    And then some:

    Reading Thingy’s brain droppings

    Watching it mangle its sentences

    Please do not feed attention craving delusional etc., etc., etc.

  421. #422 Chris
    November 30, 2011

    Oh, wow. Blacky is truly an idiot.

  422. #423 Chris
    November 30, 2011

    To explain why Blacky is a complete idiot: this is Dr. Aaby’s research program. Compare that part of the world to the UK and USA. Or, for fun, actually read his research. It does not even come close what Blacky the Complete Idiot says.

    Of course, Blacky was the same guy who when asked to provide evidence that the MMR vaccine was more dangerous than measles, mumps and rubella proffered up the latest IOM report that actually said there was much less risk to the MMR than the actual diseases.

    Oh, and don’t bother to reason with Blacky the Complete Idiot, because he is also a liar. He does not reference his quotes, and will gladly edit comments from others to change their meaning. Which is why he will try to tell you that Aaby was actually researching a suburb in Wales and not somewhere in Africa.

  423. #424 MD1970
    November 30, 2011

    Oh,wow. Chris is truly an idiot.

  424. #425 Chris
    November 30, 2011

    Sure thing, MD 20/20. Where was that alternative schedule with the corresponding scientific documentation to support it? How is your application to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices coming along?

  425. #426 Narad
    November 30, 2011

    Say, MD1970, just as an epistemological question, how is it that you come to the conclusion (if you do) that you are not an idiot? I mean, have you stumbled across some random blob of text suitable for naked copying and pasting that says so, or something?

  426. #427 lilady
    November 30, 2011

    @ Chris: I was wondering when MD1970 was going to grace us again with his “medical” opinions. I too would like to see the alternative schedule for childhood immunizations from a reputable source.

    Now remember MD1970, that when you “cherry-pick” some sentences from a source and present them as your own…it is plagiarism.

  427. #428 Chris
    November 30, 2011

    lilady, I bet MD1970 thinks Scarlet Fever is no longer a threat. He may not know what kind of bacterial agent causes Scarlet Fever. Perhaps he should join Solomon Grundy on epidemiological evidence.

  428. #429 MD1970
    November 30, 2011

    @Chris-
    Your fear mongering is a threat. Get as many vaccinations as you want. Just
    don’t tell me what to do based on outdated citations. You are ten years behind
    the times.

  429. #430 MD1970
    November 30, 2011

    @Chris
    There is no proof that too many vaccines given in a short period of time in the first two years of life are not screwing up children’s innate immune system and making them
    more susceptible to strep and other bacteria.

  430. #431 lilady
    November 30, 2011

    @ Chris: You must be kidding…everyone knows which bacterium causes scarlet fever.

    I bet he doesn’t even know which bacteria cause secondary severe infections in the poxes associated with varicella infections.

    I wonder if the dull one sent in his CV and application to sit on the ACIP?

  431. #432 Chris
    November 30, 2011

    MD 20/20: Where was that alternative schedule with the corresponding scientific documentation to support it? How is your application to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices coming along?

  432. #433 Organik
    November 30, 2011

    I wanna say, MD1970, just as an epistemological question, how is it that you come to the conclusion (if you do) that you are not an idiot? I mean, have you stumbled across some random blob of text suitable for naked copying and pasting that says so, or something?

  433. #434 leaford
    November 30, 2011

    Faux-fessor Blackheart @422 “Myself and Peter Aaby are of the same mind ”

    Then perhaps you will accept his own conclusion from the paper in question (Differences in female-male mortality after high-titre measles vaccine and association with subsequent vaccination with diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis and inactivated poliovirus: reanalysis of West African studies. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12842371):

    “INTERPRETATION:

    A change in sequence of vaccinations, rather than HTMV itself, may have been the cause of increased female mortality in these trials.”

    IOW, this was not only a less effective vaccine than the previously accepted vaccine, but the mortality rate may have been due to a change in the vaccine schedule. Which serves as an object lesson on the DANGER of making arbitrary changes to the well studied and established schedule, as you keep suggesting parents do. That’s Peter Aaby’s conclusion, anyway.

    Still of one mind with him?

  434. #435 leaford
    November 30, 2011

    Oops, one correction, that was not the same paper Blackheart’s quote referred to, but the later reanalysis of the data by the same researchers. Sorry for the error.

  435. #436 Professor Blackheart
    November 30, 2011

    leaford

    Then perhaps you will accept his own conclusion from the paper in question

    Yes …the important question is do you ?

    Still of one mind with him?

    Yes….and over to you.

    Oops, one correction

    Never mind at least it wasn’t a chorizo.

  436. #437 adelady
    November 30, 2011

    “… compared to the thousands any baby is exposed to their first day…”

    This provoked a memory for me. Some film star or other spent a fair amount of time in Africa – can’t recall which country/ies. She reported that she was invited as one of several village women attend the birth of a baby.

    She had to do some quick thinking after the birth. The baby was handed to each woman in turn – who was expected to spit into the baby’s mouth. She made up some acceptable excuse to not take her turn, because she knew full well that her particular assemblage of bugs, bacteria and other goodies would be so out of synch with the others that she might do the infant harm rather than good.

    But this was obviously one bit of folk medicine/ culture that benefited infants by giving them a small initiation into the exposures expected in that community. Clearly a whole heap more than 14, and all within an hour or so of birth.

  437. #438 Denice Walter
    November 30, 2011

    @ leaford:

    I survey perpetrators of alt med nonsense and often come across a curious phenomenon: while contempuously protraying Mssrs Gates and Clinton as promoters of “dangerous” vaccination policies they neglect telling their audience about the *slight* differences involved when you are discussing *Africa* or other largely-undeveloped parts of the world.

    A quick peek at WHO maps of illnesses would remedy the situation but for some reason they never mention this. I wonder why? Oh, right WHO, CDC, NHS are all NWO.

  438. #439 Julian Frost
    November 30, 2011

    @Not an MD1970:

    There is no proof that too many vaccines given in a short period of time in the first two years of life are not screwing up children’s innate immune system and making them more susceptible to strep and other bacteria.

    There is no proof that the current schedule is “too many, too soon”. You are the one insinuating that it is. You are the one who has to stump up the proof.

  439. #440 Chris
    November 30, 2011

    MD1970, you keep forgetting to answer the following:

    Where was that alternative schedule with the corresponding scientific documentation to support it? How is your application to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices coming along?

  440. #441 Th1Th2
    November 30, 2011

    But this was obviously one bit of folk medicine/ culture that benefited infants by giving them a small initiation into the exposures expected in that community. Clearly a whole heap more than 14, and all within an hour or so of birth.

    Benefited infants with what? You tell me.

  441. #442 Th1Th2
    November 30, 2011

    Not once have I said don’t vaccinate.

    Ooppss, I think you left yourself open there Blackheart. Now face the consequence and answer Chri’s question.

  442. #443 Narad
    November 30, 2011

    Still of one mind with him?

    Yes….and over to you.

    Sounds multidimensional, or egregorian, or something. How does it work? Do you have to trade off with each other, or do you just get the bits that control boldface and laughable posturing?

  443. #444 Stu
    November 30, 2011

    I know, Thingy, right? All they had to do is stay on the sidewalk! Stupid infection-promoters!

  444. #445 Th1Th2
    November 30, 2011

    There is no proof that too many vaccines given in a short period of time in the first two years of life are not screwing up children’s innate immune system and making them more susceptible to strep and other bacteria.

    Again, I think this is a tactical error and you just gave them an idea regarding a better and safer vaccine schedule. You fell trap into “too many, too soon” gambit. Now they’re asking and you should reply.

  445. #446 Denice Walter
    November 30, 2011

    @ Narad: “Sounds multi-dimensional, or egregorian, or something.”

    - or perhaps *shtupped* by the “invisible shlong”

  446. #447 Th1Th2bot
    November 30, 2011

    Again, I think this is a tactical error and you just gave them an idea regarding a better and safer vaccine schedule. You fell trap into “too many, too soon” gambit.

    Many to perform this whole straw man and newborns, children, and at what? How nice to resort to mention that crude science but until then, that since whose antibodies in vaccines? So next time you keep this thread; is pretty obvious the effectiveness.

    However, you’ve fallaciously compared the real life story when you don’t have neither. Anything to intentionally mislead uninformed parents are, so he continued with Hib deaths is essential. Do you go down now? Tsk. But I know a human immunology. Does not associated with label me the nice.

  447. #448 Th1Th2
    November 30, 2011

    I know, Thingy, right? All they had to do is stay on the sidewalk! Stupid infection-promoters!

    Talking to yourself. I see.

  448. #449 Th1Th2bot
    November 30, 2011

    Talking to yourself. I see.

    It’s hideous and parents have to your question is, did not as you? No loitering allowed.

  449. #450 passionlessDrone
    November 30, 2011

    Hello friends –

    This entire ‘counting antigens’ and ‘drops in a bucket’ argument seems like a gross over simplification to me, and is seemingly at great odds with available evidence from the literature.

    Can anyone explain to me the findings from the study I posted in 383 wherein the researchers reported:

    Cytokine profiles from WB samples clearly discriminated between vaccine and placebo recipients and between pre and post-vaccination responses. Significant increases in Th1, Th2 and inflammatory cytokines were observed in WB assays following vaccination

    How is this possible? Why would a drop in the bucket allow the authors to ‘clearly discriminate’ between vaccine and placebo groups?

    Even more troublesome for an attempt to use addition to understand the immune response, the findings in Modulation of the infant immune responses by the first pertussis vaccine administrations. (Vaccine Volume 25, Issue 2, 4 January 2007, Pages 391-398)

    which, amazingly, found that the type of vaccine administered in infancy was capable of skewing cytokine profiles months afterwards:

    These data demonstrate that the cytokine profile of 6-month-old infants is influenced by the type of formulation of the pertussis vaccine they received at 2, 3 and 4 months of life.

    Lets be clear here, these infants were vaccinated, and two months later researchers were able to discern which vaccine they got by evaluating cytokine profiles alone. How is this possible if vaccines are “a drop in the bucket”?

    It is worse than that. If we look at the turd de force by Paul Offit, Addressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Multiple Vaccines Overwhelm or Weaken the Infant’s Immune System? (DOI: 10.1542/peds.109.1.124 Pediatrics 2002;109;124-129 )

    We can see in the masterpiece of antigen counting that the varicella vaccine has 69 scary antigens in it, more than the entire remainder of the vaccine schedule combined! Man, that’s scary! Curiously, however, if we look to the CDC website that reports adverse events, the DTAP, for example, causes fevers far more frequently than varicella, despite having a miniscule 5 antigens in it.

    Considering all of the critical thinking that has gone into the repeated discussion on how many antigens are in vaccines as meaningful that have gone on in this thread, can someone can explain to me how on Earth the DTAP vaccine, with a measly 5 antigens causes more fevers than a vaccine with 69 antigens?

    I’m sure that on a site dedicated to rational discussion and adherence to the scientific literature, someone can point me to some pubmed articles that might address the seeming paradox between the narrative of a ‘drop in the bucket’ and the reality as reported by these studies and the CDC.

    - pD

  450. #451 Th1Th2
    November 30, 2011

    There is no proof that the current schedule is “too many, too soon”.

    Hmmm let’s see….

    36 deliberate infections with some 14 known pathogens in just under two years of age. I don’t know but these little retards looked so “overwhelmed” to me.

    Does anyone know of any other rituals comparable to this?

  451. #452 LW
    November 30, 2011

    In the debate between Thingy and Thingy-bot, Thingy-bot is the clear winner.

  452. #453 Th1Th2bot
    November 30, 2011

    36 deliberate infections with some 14 known pathogens in just under two years of age. I don’t know but these little retards looked so “overwhelmed” to me.

    Signs and indicated important. You are the argument child, muscle.

  453. #454 Th1Th2
    November 30, 2011

    Considering all of the critical thinking that has gone into the repeated discussion on how many antigens are in vaccines as meaningful that have gone on in this thread, can someone can explain to me how on Earth the DTAP vaccine, with a measly 5 antigens causes more fevers than a vaccine with 69 antigens?

    First, get your facts straight. The varicella vaccine is a single-antigen vaccine.

  454. #455 Th1Th2bot
    November 30, 2011

    First, get your facts straight. The varicella vaccine is a single-antigen vaccine.

    Way to realize his order, for someone already an infection control. Varicella when indicated; no indication. Mother is a straw leash on your rectum.

  455. #456 herr doktor bimler
    November 30, 2011

    From the David Amaral interview quoted earlier:

    Often times, when I’m talking to a lay audience, I say, “You know, if you put a pear and an apple and an orange in front of me and said, figure out those fruit,” I could do it. I could look at the genetics of each one of them.

    I’m beginning to worry that the Th1th2bot has escaped from the laboratory.

  456. #457 Th1Th2
    November 30, 2011

    Can anyone explain to me the findings from the study I posted in 383 wherein the researchers reported:Cytokine profiles from WB samples clearly discriminated between vaccine and placebo recipients and between pre and post-vaccination responses. Significant increases in Th1, Th2 and inflammatory cytokines were observed in WB assays following vaccination
    How is this possible? Why would a drop in the bucket allow the authors to ‘clearly discriminate’ between vaccine and placebo groups?

    Wow, I don’t think I would consider that a “revelation” but more like a general information in Immunology. You know the body’s immune response to infection?

  457. #458 Th1Th2bot
    November 30, 2011

    Wow, I don’t think I would consider that a “revelation” but more like a general information in Immunology. You know the body’s immune response to infection?

    May be singing a living reminder for no reason. But until then I can start to see smell fish.

  458. #459 lilady
    November 30, 2011

    Let’s not comment for a little while…I’m enjoying the brilliant comments between passionlessDrone and Thingy.

    Perhaps Thingy and pD would like to take their running commentary back to pD’s blog?

    Thingy…did you read this blurb from pD’s blog? Why don’t the both of you shove off together and become “study partners”?:

    “So what is this all about?

    I am currently seeking self awarded degrees in immunology, neurobiology, gastroenterology, genetics, metabolism, epigenetics, and other areas to try to see how they all work together in the world of autism. Any commentators are welcomed to come along for the ride. Hopefully we can learn something from each other.”

  459. #460 passionlessDrone
    November 30, 2011

    Hi Lilady –

    I’m enjoying the brilliant comments between passionlessDrone and Thingy.

    Are you really “enjoying” having it pointed out that the notion that vaccines are a “drop in the bucket” is at odds with evidence dervied from experiments, and is, in fact, a feebleminded attempt to understand a massively complicated system using elementary grade level heuristics? If you sarcastically term my postings as “brilliant”, why not just show me, and everyone else, the data that actually indicates that the number of antigens in a vaccine are a legitimate metric for determining immune response? This data exists, doesn’t it? Why not link to it?

    Do you think that counting antigens is a valid way to determine anything? What? What has caused you, or anyone else, to come to this conclusion?

    What are your thoughts as to why the varicalla vaccine causes fever so much less frequently than DTAP when it has so many more “antigens” in it? If this isn’t a valid question, if this a question deserving sarcasm, why not just answer it instead of running away from it?

    did you read this blurb from pD’s blog?

    If I understand correctly, you have a background in the medical field, is that not correct? If you find amusement in my desire to learn more, and presumably, feel that this somehow disqualifies my thoughts as unsophisticated, my questions should be simple to answer from the scientific literature. I am trying to learn, and what I’ve learned so far is that there is no literature to defend the notion that counting antigens a valid means to arrive at any conclusions towards the resultant immune response. If you know otherwise, then post it. If you don’t know otherwise, perhaps you might want to question how such a myth has become accepted as valid.

    Let’s not comment for a little while

    The irony is complete! After being asked to rationalize a completely undefendable position that has been repeated again and again on this thread (and site), your biggest idea is to “pick up one’s marbles and go home”. (so to speak)

    Keep digging!

    - pD

  460. #461 Dangerous Bacon
    November 30, 2011

    “I am currently seeking self awarded degrees in immunology, neurobiology, gastroenterology, genetics, metabolism, epigenetics, and other areas to try to see how they all work together in the world of autism. Any commentators are welcomed to come along for the ride. Hopefully we can learn something from each other.”

    Please tell me that’s a joke and not a passage from pD‘s blog.

    Hell, why not award yourself the top job at the NIH*? Then you could hand out all the research money to people willing to demonstrate an inflammatory cytokine-vaccine-autism connection (!!?!?!??).

    *or, second-best — the position of editor at Medical Hypotheses.

  461. #462 Narad
    November 30, 2011

    I am trying to learn, and what I’ve learned so far is that there is no literature to defend the notion that counting antigens a valid means to arrive at any conclusions towards the resultant immune response.

    What is the form of quantification that you would like? (Radios, how do they work?)

  462. #463 Neil B
    November 30, 2011

    “…whatever causes autism, it probably happens before birth, not after. ”
    Uh, I’m sure you’ve heard of how cancer can be caused by radiation, viruses, chemicals, etc? Things can have more than one cause. What if some percentage of those who get the rather sloppy (?) spectrum category of “autism” get it from some environmental influence later, unlike most people with autism? Shouldn’t you and others be aware of such possible complexity?

  463. #464 Chris
    November 30, 2011

    Yes, Neil, sometimes the neurological damage from measles and other diseases can cause autism-like symptoms. Which is why there are vaccines to prevent those diseases.

  464. #465 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 30, 2011

    Nobody can be as stupid as Passionless Drone pretends to be—except Thingy of course…and MD1970, and—oh, never mind.

    Yes, you moron, the results of an immune response can be detected to the few drops representing vaccine antigens, because researchers know what to look for. The results of exposure to the rest of the ocean are not detectable because they aren’t looking and wouldn’t know which of millions of antigens to look for responses to. That doesn’t alter the fact that the 14 antigens people are vaccinated with are A Drop In The Ocean!

  465. #466 Th1Th2
    November 30, 2011

    Rev,

    The results of exposure to the rest of the ocean are not detectable because they aren’t looking and wouldn’t know which of millions of antigens to look for responses to. That doesn’t alter the fact that the 14 antigens people are vaccinated with are A Drop In The Ocean!That doesn’t alter the fact that the 14 antigens people are vaccinated with are A Drop In The Ocean!

    Of course, bozo. Out of the millions of antigens newborns are being exposed to that do NOT cause infections, they have found at least 14 pathogens. And yes these disease-causing agents are made available in the form of vaccines. So hurry up while supply lasts, cranks!

  466. #467 Th1Th2
    November 30, 2011

    Yes, Neil, sometimes the neurological damage from measles and other diseases can cause autism-like symptoms.

    I’ve never heard of that kind of $#!+ before.

    Which is why there are vaccines to prevent those diseases.

    Do I hear vaccine-preventable autism?

  467. #468 Th1Th2bot
    November 30, 2011

    So hurry up while supply lasts, cranks!

    Now before a minor vaccine was joking knew exactly: when using other protective barriers of lies you need just a person. Is because like an infected? That. See? Haha.

    Oh, please revise it to prove that the cellular level OK for all I see. Yeah, you go find it.

  468. #469 lilady
    November 30, 2011

    “It is worse than that. If we look at the turd de force by Paul Offit, Addressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Multiple Vaccines Overwhelm or Weaken the Infant’s Immune System? (DOI: 10.1542/peds.109.1.124 Pediatrics 2002;109;124-129 )”

    Does pD believe that the foremost expert in vaccine preventable diseases and a clinician who is the director of the Infectious Diseases Department of CHOP…and who is a member of the ACIP and the IOM, came by his knowledge accidentally?

    Dr. Offit first learned, and I first learned, the definition of “antigen” in biochemistry classes and we learned that humans are exposed to antigens as soon as they are born…millions of them in infancy.

    We also learned the body’s immune response to antigens that produce antibodies and learned what the difference in the immune response is, when exposed to a virus versus exposure to a bacterium.

    The practical application of what we learned in medical school and nursing school was when we did residencies or rotations through hospitals and where we encountered patients who had infectious diseases.

    I believe that Dr. Offit whom pD labels as authoring “turd de force” articles for the Pediatrics Journal, completed at least a three residency in pediatrics then a post-doc fellowship in infectious diseases.

    I had a lesser education (BSc-Nursing)and was a relative naif when I began working as a public health nurse, doing case surveillance in all communicable/notifiable diseases. Studying vaccines and how they are manufactured, tested, licensed, their efficacy, the contraindications to a particular vaccine, immunizing “special populations” and the constantly changing vaccine schedules for children, adolescents and adults was part of my “learning curve”.

    I was mentored by senior nurses, epidemiologists, ID physicians and the directors of our health department virology and bacteriology laboratories. I attended CDC conferences, hospital grand rounds and regional vaccine seminars. I read every article about VPDs and other communicable diseases that I was responsible to do case surveillance on, in every issue of the JAMA, the NEJM and the Pediatrics Journal, Every time a new vaccine was licensed or a new combination vaccine was licensed, special teleconferences were set up with the CDC and members of the ACIP…including Dr. Paul Offit. Dr. Offit is this generation’s foremost expert on VPDs.

    So, pD comes along and wants to be self-educated and is “currently seeking self awarded degrees in immunology, neurobiology, gastroenterology, genetics, metabolism, epigenetics, and other areas to try to see how they all work together in the world of autism.”

    pD it doesn’t work that way…you need a science background to barely begin to understand immunology, the body’s responses to viruses, bacteria and the toxins they produce and the very different vaccines that prevent these diseases. BTW, Dr. Offit stated there are 5 antigens in pertussis vaccine, but not all pertussis vaccines have that many antigens.

    Try to read the first two chapters of the CDC Pink Book and then go on to the Pertussis chapter and the Varicella chapter. Get a copy of the AAP Red Book and a copy of “Control of Communicable Diseases Manual” (19th edition, published by the American Public Health Association). But first enroll in some college-level classes such as biology, organic chemistry and immunology.

    (Hint) If you don’t want to be classified as a dolt troll…stop behaving that way.

  469. #470 LW
    November 30, 2011

    You know, passionlessDrone, you had seemed surprisingly pleasant compared to the trolls. I would have thought a casual gutter insult like “turd de force” was beneath you.

    Live and learn, I guess.

  470. #471 Denice Walter
    November 30, 2011

    @ lilady:

    As soon as the self-awarded degree-recipients gather their thoughts, assemble their results, and are ready to host their first symposium I will gladly… no, I will *estatically* volunteer to serve as moderator and will promise to *absolutely* refrain from any criticism whatsoever of the material or the manner in which it is discussed but will only preside over introductions and other points of order.

    I have a nice dark suit and speak very well.

  471. #472 herr doktor bimler
    November 30, 2011

    I have a nice dark suit and speak very well.

    Can you enforce speaking times ruthlessly, and stop that one person (and there’s always One Person at every symposium) from dominating every question-&-answer session with longwinded irrelevant questions?

  472. #473 Denice Walter
    November 30, 2011

    @ herr doktor bimler:

    Certainly. I have manners: allowing such impropriety would be extremely rude to the other participants and would probably be really boring as well. We couldn’t have that now, could we?

  473. #474 lilady
    November 30, 2011

    I would depend on Denice to “moderate”…but look what happened to Fiona Godlee when **Boy Wonder Ace Reporter** Jake Crosby posed a question then launched into a long harangue…at a well-moderated conference.

    **We really do have a Boy Wonder Ace Reporter in our science community…Rhys Morgan. He’s an amazing young man.

  474. #475 Denice Walter
    November 30, 2011

    @ lilady:

    But you see, those participants of Jake’s calibre will already be on the stage- where I can keep my eye on them- whatever the questioners do will be mild by comparison.
    And while I have manners that doesn’t mean I’m *nice*.

  475. #476 Dangerous Bacon
    November 30, 2011

    Are we perhaps being too harsh towards the potential self-made pHD in our midst?

    After all, there are lots of people doing “research” at the University of Google. After months and even years of such endeavors, why shouldn’t they award themselves degrees in whatever disciplines they like? Think how many more converts would join the antivax movement if it was presided over by Jenny McCarthy, Doctor of Immunology and Toxicology (in a snazzily tailored white coat).

  476. #477 passionlessDrone
    November 30, 2011

    Hi Lilady –

    Does pD believe that the foremost expert in vaccine preventable diseases and a clinician who is the director of the Infectious Diseases Department of CHOP…and who is a member of the ACIP and the IOM, came by his knowledge accidentally?

    No, but that article is terrible. It is scientifically undefendable in many instances and relies on the same gross over simplification that we see here, namely, that ‘counting antigens’ is a useful metric. It isn’t, and you’ve done absolutely nothing to prove otherwise here. In fact, I’d bet that it is the origin of why so many people seem so enamoured with the fairytale that counting antigens in vaccines is meaningful.

    Dr. Offit first learned, and I first learned, the definition of “antigen” in biochemistry classes and we learned that humans are exposed to antigens as soon as they are born…millions of them in infancy.

    You are making my point for me! Babies are exposed to millions of antigens from the get go. We are in complete agreement on that point. So why does a vaccine with dead bacteria, with just five (or fewer!) antigens in it cause infants to get a fever with such great frequency? Why is it that only the treatment group showed a clear innate immune response to the HPV vaccine? Weren’t both groups exposed to ‘millions’ of antigens in the intervening time period? And yet, only one group showed indications of immune activation. Why? How do you explain this? Can you?

    Why is that that I can get exposed to millions of antigens every day, then get exposed to five from the DTAP, and I can expect those measly five antigens to give me a fever one in four times? I don’t need your personal history to understand this paradox, I need you to explain to me the rationale behind the belief that we can count antigens in vaccines and reach a conclusion about the stimulation on the innate immune response. Can you provide that?

    Studying vaccines and how they are manufactured, tested, licensed, their efficacy, the contraindications to a particular vaccine, immunizing “special populations” and the constantly changing vaccine schedules for children, adolescents and adults was part of my “learning curve”.

    Great! Maybe then, you can provide some actual studies that tell us what the innate immune response looks like for the pediatric vaccine schedule? All we know for sure is that Dangerous Bacon won’t!

    pD it doesn’t work that way…you need a science background to barely begin to understand immunology, the body’s responses to viruses, bacteria and the toxins they produce and the very different vaccines that prevent these diseases. BTW, Dr. Offit stated there are 5 antigens in pertussis vaccine, but not all pertussis vaccines have that many antigens.

    Well, why not use your science background to explain to me why a vaccine with 69 antigens in it causes adverse effects much less frequently than one that contains 5 antigens in it if counting antigens is a useful metric? With your background this should be a straightforward task, even to someone as uneducated and simple as myself.

    If you have the scientific background you say you do, and I bet you do, then you know as well as I do that we can’t just count antigens in the vaccine schedule, count up antigens people are exposed to everyday, perform subtraction and then proceed to a santimonious victory dance. The two things are not equal, and I think you know it. You certainly haven’t provided any data to the opposite, that’s for sure.

    You know your way around pubmed well enough if you want to pepper TH1TH2 with studies over and over, why not just come up with the evidence that tells us that the number of antigens in a vaccine is a meaningful measurement?

    pD it doesn’t work that way…you need a science background to barely begin to understand immunology, the body’s responses to viruses, bacteria and the toxins they produce and the very different vaccines that prevent these diseases.

    Thanks for that. By the way, does this mean that there might be factors other than the number of antigens in a vaccine that are meanignful in understanding the immune response?

    BTW, Dr. Offit stated there are 5 antigens in pertussis vaccine, but not all pertussis vaccines have that many antigens.

    Well then, that makes it even more amazing that the DTAP seems to cause an immune response when all the millions of antigens we all get exposed to everyday don’t. Do you have any idea why this might be?

    If you don’t want to be classified as a dolt troll…stop behaving that way.

    If you don’t want to be classified as someone who will not, or can not, support an argument, . . . provide some data. That’s what I asked from you again and again in my posting to you, and instead trying to actually show me some data, I get a history lesson, a personal biography of whose meetins you attended, a civics lesson, and an education primer. This is a scientific debate, and our currency is studies from the literature. Thus far, you have provided nothing to make the point that we can, or should, perform equivalencies between the number of antigens in a vaccine and everday exposure. If you continue to not provide any data to support such a claim, the lurkers might come to believe that there is no such data.

    An appeal to authority is usually recognized as a fallacy on this site, especially when that authority happens to be yourself.

    - pD

  477. #478 passionlessDrone
    November 30, 2011

    Hi Dangerous Bacon -

    I didn’t see your response earlier.

    Which makes it a bit strange that you triumphantly referred to the influenza vaccine study as another in your connect-the-dots Gish gallop of why we should distrust vaccines.

    Again, this is (apparently) a function of your reading comprehension. I used that study as evidence of the fallacy of your ‘antigens in the gastro intestinal track’ study. It wasn’t posted about why we shouldn’t trust vaccines, but rather, why we shouldn’t trust your arguments.

    Seeing as adults were enrolled in the study, it shouldn’t have been worth citing, except that you thought you saw something bad reported, so it was worthwhile*. Talk about trying to have it both ways.

    It was worth citing within the context of showing that even with food in their stomachs and antigens in their guts, vaccines are still capable of initating an innate immune response. I’m curious, do you have any idea why the miniscule number of antigens in a flu vaccine would be capable of initiating an innate immune response when all of the participants also had a gut full of food and associated antigens?

    Maybe in your world all the safety and efficacy (including molecular) data generated on pediatric vaccines can be dismissed entirely because “the pediatric vaccine schedule” remains a mystery in some nebulous fashion, but real world safety and efficacy is well-established.

    You are attempting a rather predictable shell game. There is a difference between safety and efficacy studies, and the types of studies I continue to assert do not exist. Here is an example, after the Wakefield debacle, there were several very large studies on the MMR and autism. If, ‘safety and efficacy’ studies were all that you’d like them to be cracked up to be, why perform these studies at all? Wasnt autism as an endpoint understood already? Why bother wasting researcher time and dollars on MMR / autism if the existing safety and efficacy studies were sufficient?

    For that matter, perhaps you have an idea why the study I posted in 383 Ontogeny of Toll-Like Receptor Mediated Cytokine Responses of Human Blood Mononuclear Cells was even published at all? If ‘safety and efficacy’ studies gave us an understanding of the innate immune response post vaccination, why on Earth did the authors include in their abstract:

    A more complete understanding of the ontogeny of the immune system over the first years of life is thus urgently needed.

    Why would they do this? Why would they follow infants for two years performing experiments, wasting money, when this information was largely already available from existing safety and efficacy studies? Why would the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation participate? This study was funded, in part, by a grant from that National Institute of Health. Do you have any explanation as to why they would provide precious resources to A more complete understanding of the ontogeny of the immune system over the first years of life if this information was already containted within ‘safety and efficacy’ studies? Are all of the authors, peer reviewers, and funders of this study somehow also unaware of this data you insist exists, but inexplicably refuse to post? Are all of the people involved with this study as dumb as me?

    Sounds like a restatement of “too much, too soon.”

    It was more like trying to get you to understand that there is a difference between the number one, and numbers greater than one. I appear to have failed.

    By the way, nice sidestep there on the false claim that your linked cytokine study had a placebo group. “I was thinking of this other paper”. ;)

    Well, just including those two, that makes two papers I’ve actually referenced to back up my claims, as opposed to the zero you have provided.

    I have no desire to evoke yet another denial-fest on your part.

    But you do, apparently, have a continued desire to tit for tat with me without providing any evidence of your claims at all. Curious desire set, on your end. Hint: there’s a denial fest going on alright, but it isn’t with me.

    quantity does not equal quality or relevance.

    Well, I guess that might give us some insight as to why you continue to feel qualms about providing zero references towards your claims.

    - pD

  478. #479 passionlessDrone
    November 30, 2011

    Hi LW –

    You know, passionlessDrone, you had seemed surprisingly pleasant compared to the trolls. I would have thought a casual gutter insult like “turd de force” was beneath you.

    Fair enough and point taken. I’ll admit to being a little tweaked by the fact that people would actually make fun of me for openly admitting a desire to learn more.

    I’ll try to better.

    That being said, do you think that we can learn anything about the effect on the immune system of a vaccine by counting the antigens up?

    If you think our understanding of the innate immune response following vaccination is complete, or anywhere close, you might try poking around Ontogeny of Toll-Like Receptor Mediated Cytokine Responses of Human Blood Mononuclear Cells. Full paper is freely available online.

    - pD

  479. #480 augustine
    November 30, 2011

    Liladay, you’re going to need some Insolence backup. You’re not going to be able to handle this one by yourself. Oh, please G-d, don’t tell him your just an outdated nurse from the local health department.

  480. #481 LW
    November 30, 2011

    “That being said, do you think that we can learn anything about the effect on the immune system of a vaccine by counting the antigens up?”

    I’ve always found that quite bewildering myself.

  481. #482 Th1Th2
    November 30, 2011

    pD,

    So why does a vaccine with dead bacteria, with just five (or fewer!) antigens in it cause infants to get a fever with such great frequency?

    Actually any dead exogenous bacteria don’t do squat unless they are injected.

    Why is it that only the treatment group showed a clear innate immune response to the HPV vaccine?

    ALL vaccines activate the innate immune response. It’s an innate thing you know.

    Why is that that I can get exposed to millions of antigens every day, then get exposed to five from the DTAP, and I can expect those measly five antigens to give me a fever one in four times?

    Are you aware that the only ones exposed to the millions of antigens are your skin and mucosal surface? Neither your blood, CSF, muscle tissues nor your brain are being exposed to the external environment. And those measly five antigens you’re referring to are pyrogenic toxins derived from the pathogenic D-T-P. Actually there are 6 (4 in aP and 1 each for D and T). Of course, since they are dead, they need to be injected to cause an immune reaction we call fever.

    Well, why not use your science background to explain to me why a vaccine with 69 antigens in it causes adverse effects much less frequently than one that contains 5 antigens in it if counting antigens is a useful metric?

    Get over it pD. Why do you keep repeating the same nonsense? The varicella vaccine is ONLY a single-antigen vaccine.

    Two varicella virus-containing vaccines are currently licensed for use in the United States. VARIVAX® is the single-antigen varicella vaccine and ProQuad®, or MMRV, is a combination vaccine of measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella. Both vaccines contain live, attenuated virus.

    h ttp://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/varicella/vac-faqs-clinic.htm

    Thanks for that. By the way, does this mean that there might be factors other than the number of antigens in a vaccine that are meanignful in understanding the immune response?

    Stop counting the antigens. Count the pathogens instead.

  482. #483 Dangerous Bacon
    November 30, 2011

    Oo, more installments in the continuing pD series, Hilarity Ensues.

    “…after the Wakefield debacle, there were several very large studies on the MMR and autism. If, ‘safety and efficacy’ studies were all that you’d like them to be cracked up to be, why perform these studies at all?…Why would they follow infants for two years performing experiments, wasting money, when this information was largely already available from existing safety and efficacy studies?”

    Hmmm…could it possibly be because antivaxers such as yourself keep hammering away at public confidence in vaccines with invented “toxins” and other imaginary dangers?

    What a classic argument – on the one hand, research is manifestly insufficient to establish safety of immunization, yet when research is performed that repeatedly demonstrates vaccine safety, it’s an ominous sign because gee, if vaccines are so safe, why do they need to keep studying their safety?

    You’re a real piece of work, pD.

  483. #484 Chris
    November 30, 2011

    Sorry, I don’t bother to read what pD and Thingy write anymore. It startles my family when the headdesks, facepalms and laughter are so frequent. One reason is the quest to find out how vaccines cause autism, when there really isn’t any real evidence that vaccines do cause autism. It is just so spectacularly bizarre.

    Because no matter what the science says, it just has to be the vaccines. Nothing else. Because that is how it is on Htrae.

  484. #485 passionlessDrone
    November 30, 2011

    Hi Dangerous Bacon –

    Hmmm…could it possibly be because antivaxers such as yourself keep hammering away at public confidence in vaccines with invented “toxins” and other imaginary dangers?

    Sure, sure. You can beat up on whatever fantasy facsimile of me you’d like. You know, if you were actually concerned about public confidence, there are lurkers reading this thread, why not post some of the ellusive data you insist exists; I’m sure that they’d rather see that, as opposed to your truly worrying concerns of initiating a ‘denial fest’ out of me. The public is smart enough to make up their own minds, given the data. In what possible way have you arrived at a conclusion that it serves the public confidence better to allow me to keep on hammering you on a refusal to produce studies?

    Regarding motives for undertaking research, however, what about the Corbett paper, funded by the National Institute of Health? Here is their stated intent:

    A more complete understanding of the ontogeny of the immune system over the first years of life is thus urgently needed. Here, we applied the most comprehensive analysis focused on the innate immune response following TLR stimulation over the first 2 years of life in the largest such longitudinal cohort studied to-date (35 subjects).

    Why would such a study be necessary if we had innate immune response information over the first years of life from our ‘safety and efficacy’ studies of vaccination? They aren’t responding to Wakefield, or Kathy Wright, or me, but rather, they claim, towards a goal of obtaining pure knowledge, something I think that even we can agree is a worthwhile endeavor. If only they’d known what you claim to know!

    But why bother with such a study at all? Seriously? Why on Earth would the authors insist that their very small study, of only thirty five infants, was the largest such longitudinal cohort studied to-date? I’m sure that if this statement is incorrect, you should move straight away towards adding a comment to the study on the PLOS link that I included above. Considering your concern for the public well being, I think it is important that you let everyone know that, in fact, this study was not the largest study run to date. At this point, I’d think that it is incumbent on you to set the record straight. But you’ll have to provide some data for your claims!

    Even more confusing is this was an expensive study (well, it’s confusing to a simpleton like me, anyways). It included more than a dozen authors and followed infants for two years. I haven’t attended any talks hosted by the world experts on infectious diseases, but it seems to me that the funding agencies like the NIH, and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation should have balked at throwing money at a project that took two years just to collect the data if the infant immune response was already understood. Do you have any ideas why they might have committed so many resources to learn something that was already known?

    I wonder, why did these researchers go through the rather considerable effort and time to get an IRB drawn up for pulling blood from infants repeatedly if such information was already readily available? Getting IRB approval to work with infants is difficult, you’ve got to have a good reason to draw blood from them repeatedly. You have to coonvince edgy parents that what they are agreeing to is for the larger good, you have to be very careful. Do you have any ideas why the IRB board that approved this study didn’t disallow it based on pre-existing knowledge? That sounds like a pretty terrible job by the IRB to me. What about you?

    Do you really believe that all of the authors of this paper, all sixteen of them, are so incompetent that also failed to find the data you insist exists on the infant immune response? I mean, its one thing to blast Some Jerk On the Internet as clueless and conspiritorially minded, but are all of these researchers also just as dim as me? Are they all in on the conspiracy, and along the way, they fooled the NIH into thinking that this data didn’t exist?

    No doubt you’ll use this opportunity to set the record straight with some actual data. So that’s a relief!

    - pD

  485. #486 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 30, 2011

    pD -

    I think the problem here (besides the fact that both sides are a bit too eager to jab at the other) is that you are dismissing a valid rebuttal to a commonly proposed argument, solely because it’s not your argument.

    If no one at all was out there suggesting that children could be experiencing health problems purely because the amount of antigens they were exposed to through vaccines were “too many, too soon,” then you’d be correct that calculations of how the antigenic challenge of the vaccine schedule compares to the antigenic challenge of daily life would be a pretty dumb approach to defending vaccines.

    But you’re not ignorant, pD. You’re not stupid, or unaware. You know that every day people out there are indeed claiming that the number of antigens in the current vaccine schedule constitute “too many, too soon.” Are you suggesting that no one can be allowed to refute the “too many, too soon” argument, unless their refutation also happens to address all other means by which vaccines might be postulated to do harm? Because that seems to be the implications of the way you’re attacking Offit’s work. Offit isn’t sneakily giving an answer that sounds like it addresses your concerns when in fact it’s calculated to leave crucial issues unexamined – he’s just answering someone else’s question.

  486. #487 T-reg
    November 30, 2011

    @pD:
    You would agree that the antigens present in the MMR vaccine are the same as the antigens that are present on the corresponding pathogens. Also, the said diseases widely prevalent prior to vaccination. So why do you suppose that antigenic exposure from pathogenic strains wouldn’t cause autism but a similar exposure to antigens but on non pathogenic strains would cause autism?
    Also, let us suppose that exposure to antigens related to Measles, Mumps and Rubella can cause autism in the susceptible. Then in that case the un-vaccinated population would still be exposed to the antigens via pathogenic strains and thus may have the same risk of developing autism, making it possible that on comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, one may find no difference in the incidence of autism. However, in that case, vaccines would be better as they decrease the risks associated with getting measles, mumps or rubella.

  487. #488 Chris
    December 1, 2011

    T-reg:

    So why do you suppose that antigenic exposure from pathogenic strains wouldn’t cause autism but a similar exposure to antigens but on non pathogenic strains would cause autism?

    Which is a central premise in my other bit of confusion. If some children are too sensitive to vaccines, why would they fair better with the actual diseases?

    Take for instance this paper that uses some politically incorrect wording: Impact of specific medical interventions on reducing the prevalence of mental retardation.. Which says:

    Approximately 1 in 1000 children with clinical measles develops encephalitis.36,39 Although most children with encephalitis recover without sequelae, approximately 15% die and 25% of survivors develop complications such as MR.39 We assumed that approximately 1 in 5000 cases of measles leads to MR.

    And that is only one disease, which before there was a vaccine a child was practically guaranteed to get before age fifteen. So exactly why would the MMR vaccine be worse? It just does not make sense.

    Of course Wakefield claimed the MMR was dangerous in 1998, but failed to identify which MMR vaccine (the UK was using more than one) and failed to realize the USA had been using one since 1971. He also made the claim in a video when the now retracted and infamous Lancet paper did not contain any evidence.

    By the way, the main difference between the MMR vaccines used in the UK before 1992 was that a couple used the Urabe strain of mumps (which caused some meningitis, but not as much as actually getting mumps). So after 1992 they switched to one that used the Jeryl Lynn strain of mumps, which has been used in the USA since 1971. Wakefield never mentioned that. And here is the really silly bit: because Wakefield, without any actual evidence, told parents to use single vaccines many ended up getting single mumps vaccine of the Urabe strain! From MMR vaccine—worries are not justified:

    A few years after MMR was introduced, several vaccines were in use from different vaccine manufacturers. It became clear that two MMR vaccines containing a particular type of mumps virus, Urabe, were causing a small increased risk of meningitis.29 This was carefully investigated and these MMR vaccines were withdrawn. However, some children having the separate vaccines have been given the Urabe single mumps vaccine.

    This is worth a few face palms.

  488. #489 Narad
    December 1, 2011

    It is scientifically undefendable in many instances and relies on the same gross over simplification that we see here, namely, that ‘counting antigens’ is a useful metric.

    Again, what sort of “metric” do you envision? You seem to want to count something, given that you assert that the detectability of one signal somehow applies a semiotic multiplier.

  489. #490 Professor Blackheart
    December 1, 2011

    Chris

    This is worth a few face palms.

    1.”Both authors have received funding from vaccine manufacturers as well as other sources, to attend educational meetings and conduct research.”

    2. “However, some children having the separate vaccines have been given the Urabe single mumps vaccine.”

    This was unreferenced

    3. “It became clear that two MMR vaccines containing a particular type of mumps virus, Urabe, were causing a small increased risk of meningitis.”

    a) The UK government had been given prior evidence that these two MMR vaccines were unsafe and had been withdrawn by several other countries.

    b) “The triple jab was banned in Japan in 1993 after 1.8 million children had been given two types of MMR and a record number developed non-viral meningitis and other adverse reactions.”

    * Note Elliman – “In Japan, there were similar problems with the MMR vaccine containing the Urabe, or similar, mumps virus. Unfortunately the Japanese did not have an alternative MMR vaccine and so they have continued to use single measles and rubella vaccines given on the same day.

    c) “The government reconsidered using MMR in 1999 but decided it was safer to keep the ban and continue using individual vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella.”

    d) “An analysis of vaccinations over a three-month period showed one in every 900 children was experiencing problems. This was over 2,000 times higher than the expected rate of one child in every 100,000 to 200,000.”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-17509/Why-Japan-banned-MMR-vaccine.html#ixzz1fGFlzmwq

    “Dr Hiroki Nakatani, director of the Infectious Disease Division at Japan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare said that giving individual vaccines cost twice as much as MMR ‘but we believe it is worth it’.”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-17509/Why-Japan-banned-MMR-vaccine.html#ixzz1fGGyNBdt

  490. #491 Dangerous Bacon
    December 1, 2011

    And the Hilarity Ensues Chronicles continue, with pD presenting a study that provides further information on pediatric immune response to vaccines as evidence that we don’t know anything about the subject. The “lurkers” that pD imagines are eagerly following this thread as it approaches 500 comments might also notice the 36 references at the end of the paper which include numerous previous studies relating to this topic (which of course is more evidence we don’t know anything about it in pD-World).

    The Vast Lurker Army might also notice the purpose and findings of the paper pD triumphantly cites have nothing to do with demonstrating a vaccine-autism connection. The authors want to use vaccines and other tools to combat dangerous infectious diseases. From the abstract:

    As innate instructs adaptive immunity, deciphering the role of innate immune function during early life is paramount to design effective interventions–such as vaccines–for this highly vulnerable age group.”

    The authors do not claim that vaccines are unsafe. They view them as essential to improving pediatric health.

    Chris may be right that it is futile to engage pD further, given the flood of antivax tropes one is subjected to, and the fact that his posts increasingly contain self-contradictions that make further rebuttal unnecessary.

  491. #492 Chris
    December 1, 2011

    I also don’t bother to read what Blacky the complete idiotic liar writes.

  492. #493 Th1Th2
    December 1, 2011

    Which is a central premise in my other bit of confusion. If some children are too sensitive to vaccines, why would they fair better with the actual diseases?

    How did you arrive in the conclusion that some children “fair better with the actual disease? For someone who talks a lot about vaccine-preventable deaths, Chris had an option other than getting vaccinated.

    And that is only one disease, which before there was a vaccine a child was practically guaranteed to get before age fifteen. So exactly why would the MMR vaccine be worse? It just does not make sense.

    Is there a reason as to why it doesn’t make sense to you Chris? Is it because they didn’t die from measles like what you always wished for? Sorry to disappoint you Chris the Grim Reaper.

  493. #494 passionlessDrone
    December 1, 2011

    Hi T-reg –

    You would agree that the antigens present in the MMR vaccine are the same as the antigens that are present on the corresponding pathogens. Also, the said diseases widely prevalent prior to vaccination.

    Sure. Please check out my response to Dangerous Bacon above, in post #383 , where I showed two studies that seemed to indicate increased risk of autism in infants with hospitilizations for infection during the first year, and reports of increased risk for infants with infections during the first month of life.

    So why do you suppose that antigenic exposure from pathogenic strains wouldn’t cause autism but a similar exposure to antigens but on non pathogenic strains would cause autism?

    The critical difference I think missing from your analysis is the possibility of a time dependent effect, something that shows up with great regularity in the animal studies on early life immune activation. (For an example of this, check out the link to the article I posted to Chemmomo above, for Early-life programming of later-life brain and behavior: a critical role for the immune system Full paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19738918) There is a big difference, developmentally between a two month old, and a one year old, so we should tread carefully in trying to equate our knowledge about the MMR towards what happens much earlier in an infants life. Now, if 90%+ of infants had gotten hib, and diptheria, and pertussis, and tetanus, and polio, hepatitis b, and rotavirus by two months of age, then you’d have a point. But this didn’t happen in the past.

    Also, let us suppose that exposure to antigens related to Measles, Mumps and Rubella can cause autism in the susceptible. Then in that case the un-vaccinated population would still be exposed to the antigens via pathogenic strains and thus may have the same risk of developing autism, making it possible that on comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, one may find no difference in the incidence of autism. However, in that case, vaccines would be better as they decrease the risks associated with getting measles, mumps or rubella.

    Sure. However, I think our concerns need to exceed just the MMR. I understand that most of the vocal critics of vaccination are talking about the MMR. I’m not. I am not particularly concerned with reports of drastic developmental loss, I’m sure it happens, but it is a very, very tiny fraction of the autism cases. I am a lot more concerned about the possibility of introducing subtle change earlier in life. Most of the vaccine schedule is given long before the MMR, shortly after birth, and again and two, four and six months (at least in the US).

    Please understand, I’m not making the case that exposure to specific antigens can cause autism, but rather, that a general innate immune response can have a programming effect on the immune system which ultimately can permeate into behavioral changes. Again, for literature supporting this possibility, check out Postnatal programming of the innate immune response. Full Article: http://icb.oxfordjournals.org/content/49/3/237.long

    Snipped abstract:

    The postnatal period represents a malleable phase in which the long-term behavior and physiology of the developing organism, including its immune responses, can be influenced. Postnatal challenge of the immune system by introduction of live replicating infections, or administration of bacterial and viral mimetics, can result in a multidomain alteration to the defenses of the adult host.

    From Introduction:

    However, increasing evidence now also suggests that neuroimmune stress resulting from exposure to a bacterial or viral challenge at crucial times during development can permanently alter some aspects of the innate immune response, and this phenomenon will be the focus of the present review.

    If your handle is indicative of your knowledge set, I’d bet you would find this review interesting. It isn’t specific to one particular antigen, it is the result of getting an innate immune response, which happens regardless of the pathogen. None of the animals represented in this review actually got sick, they were just administered bacterial of viral mimics, but they still had profound differences in physiology. It isn’t about the pathogen, it is the immune response being maleable during critical developmental timeframes. As we can see from Corbett above, that entire area, the infants immune response, is still largely mysterious to us.

    Finally, just stating that there might be a problem doesn’t mean I’m advocating not vaccinating. I’m not advocating that at all. But we might consider being more intelligent about our actions, the first step is ackonwledging what we know, what we don’t know, and refusing to accept bogus arguments, regardless of their conclusion.

    I hope this helps clarify my thoughts. I appreciate your tone.

    - pD

  494. #495 passionlessDrone
    December 1, 2011

    Hi Antaeus Feldspar –

    Your note regarding eagerness to exchange jabs is noted.

    If no one at all was out there suggesting that children could be experiencing health problems purely because the amount of antigens they were exposed to through vaccines were “too many, too soon,” then you’d be correct that calculations of how the antigenic challenge of the vaccine schedule compares to the antigenic challenge of daily life would be a pretty dumb approach to defending vaccines.

    I will definitely agree that an ‘overwhelming of the immune system’ is a commonly proposed argument, and one that has no underlying support from the data. It is a terrible argument. But that’s no reason that I also have to agree with the validity of the dismissal of it, that because the number of antigens in a vaccine is relatively small compared to the outside world, that therefore, vaccines cannot be having any unrecognized effects on the immune system. Why can’t both arguments be wrong? There is no reason to counter a bad argument with one equally lacking in supporting data.

    My position is that we should be worrying about the possibility of vaccines modifying the immune system in ways that we don’t understand, not overwhelming it, but rather, changing it. This isn’t controversial if we consider the function of vaccines, generation of antibody recognition. But if you ask if other parts of the immune system might be susceptible to changes, the innate arm of the immune system, suddenly people want to talk about the number of antigens in the vaccine as if it is meaningful. It isn’t. I think the lack of scientific based response on this thread should be evidence of that.

    You know that every day people out there are indeed claiming that the number of antigens in the current vaccine schedule constitute “too many, too soon.”

    You are applying far more sophistication to the people who claim vaccination ‘overwhelms’ the immune system than I do. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen the usual complainers using the word antigen; they just think thats a lot of shots / diseases to vaccinate against.

    Are you suggesting that no one can be allowed to refute the “too many, too soon” argument, unless their refutation also happens to address all other means by which vaccines might be postulated to do harm? Because that seems to be the implications of the way you’re attacking Offit’s work.

    I’m suggesting that the refutations provided by our regulatory agencies, often quoted physicians on vaccines, and resident experts, are inadequate to answer the right questions, and instead, appear to be little more than sciency sounding whitewash. We deserve better. This is what truly scares me about this discussion, Mr. Offit doesn’t have good data to support the idea that reduced antigen counts in vaccines are meaningful, there isn’t any, he used the only data he has to make an argument. We shouldn’t be patting ourselves on the back because an argument, of some flavor, was made, we ought to be asking ourselves why a more scientifically defendable argument wasn’t made in its place?

    Offit isn’t sneakily giving an answer that sounds like it addresses your concerns when in fact it’s calculated to leave crucial issues unexamined – he’s just answering someone else’s question.

    Yes, he’s answering other peoples questions, but with intellectually bankrupt data points. And those same undefendable data points have seemingly taken a life of their own, even here, in a den of spepticism, where again and again we see the notion pushed that counting antigens is a meaningful measurement. When I ask for some type of evidence to support this claim, I’m called a moron, and mocked for openly stating me desire to learn more about a variety of systems seemingly altered in people with autism. Isn’t this exactly the type of behavior this site is supposed to be fighting against? Isn’t the point of this thread, ‘picking up ones marbles and going home’ that when belief systems are challenged by contradictory data that the appropriate response is not to resort to name calling, but instead, provide evidence to support those beliefs, and failing that, perhaps, re-evaluate if those beliefs should be modified?

    Your words regarding me not being stupid are very kind. Thank you.

    - pD

  495. #496 Dangerous Bacon
    December 1, 2011

    At times during this thread, I feel that certain posters have lost track of the fact that it’s about taking your marbles and going home – not about losing your marbles (or what’s left of them).

  496. #497 herr doktor bimler
    December 1, 2011

    Responding to Chris, I feel obliged to speak out in Prof. Blackheart’s defense. Yes, he is annoying (though annoying people can sometimes be a worthy cause), but he doesn’t seek to dominate threads or shut them down with disruption; he jokes; he takes everything in good humour.
    I’m not trying to encourage him or anything but I can recognise his better points.

  497. #498 Professor Blackheart
    December 1, 2011

    pD

    “However, increasing evidence now also suggests that neuroimmune stress resulting from exposure to a bacterial or viral challenge at crucial times during development can permanently alter some aspects of the innate immune response, and this phenomenon will be the focus of the present review.”

    This is reflected in our current understandings of ecology as applied to natural environments.

    For instance the simple explanation of the ‘old view’ was that after a brush fire environments would seek to return to the balance that was evident before the conflagration.

    This is not so – change institutes change which is permanent.

    A simple observation that took a long time for one man to elucidate fully.

    Even more complex is the new understandings of epigenetic inheritance and the generational ‘change’ that has yet to be fully explored.

    An interesting question would be does a vaccine like smallpox have an effect not only on the recipient but the following generation ?

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090518111723.htm

    You would then apprecitae the complexity of the task before us.

  498. #499 Chris
    December 1, 2011

    Fair enough.

  499. #500 Chris
    December 1, 2011

    (except he is either a slow learner or has a completely closed mind, because we addressed the daft Daily Fail articles a while ago, so there is no point really going over that again)

  500. #501 Chris
    December 1, 2011

    (just a reminder that he cannot learn here)

  501. #502 Dangerous Bacon
    December 1, 2011

    In the face of continued slams against Paul Offit from pD like this:

    “Mr. Offit doesn’t have good data to support the idea that reduced antigen counts in vaccines are meaningful, there isn’t any”

    First off, is there is some reason you found it necessary to refer to “Mr Offit” instead of Dr. Offit, seeing as he is a pediatrician (and a professor of vaccinology) and you are referring to a paper he had published in a professional journal? I realize Dr. Offit is a hated figure among antivaxers (of whom you are not one, of course ;) but it doesn’t seem like it should be difficult to refer to him by his proper title in this context, especially since you apologized before for crudely insulting his work, and promised to do better.

    Secondly (and more importantly) your belief that the number of antigens people are exposed to in vaccines is irrelevant is not supported by the science. It has long been known that it is desirable to develop effective vaccines using as few antigens as possible because high antigen loads may be associated with a higher chance of side effects. Dr. Offit’s paper (to which you so strongly object) has a table illustrating this:

    ht_p://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/109/1/124/T2.expansion.html

    This demonstrates that the number of antigens children are exposed to in routine vaccinations has fallen since 1960 from well over 3,000 to approximately 125 as of 2000. That’s a tremendous reduction. The two vaccines most responsible for the 3,000-plus antigen figure in 1960 (smallpox and whole-cell pertussis) were also associated with a considerably higher incidence of side effects than today’s vaccines. Modern pertussis vaccine (with a much lower antigen level) is viewed as considerably safer than the old whole-cell vaccine.
    Much continuing work on vaccines involves similar developments to reduce antigens, not only for safety but to minimize cost and potential interference between antigens in a multipurpose vaccine.

    pD: “Finally, just stating that there might be a problem doesn’t mean I’m advocating not vaccinating. I’m not advocating that at all.”

    So which of the following are you advocating?

    1) Continue to vaccinate children against serious infectious diseases using the best available knowledge.

    2) Do something different.

    If your answer is 2), please specify what that is and how you justify it. If your answer involves vaccinating less and/or delaying vaccines, what science supports that concept? And why would a heightened risk of contracting full-blown disease due to suboptimal vaccination be preferable (in terms of potential immune system damage and other health consequences) to continuing to provide children with full vaccine protection?

  502. #503 passionlessDrone
    December 1, 2011

    Hi Dangerous Bacon –

    I thought you wanted me to take my marbles and go home? I was thinking about it, but then you keep asking for more.

    First off, is there is some reason you found it necessary to refer to “Mr Offit” instead of Dr. Offit, seeing as he is a pediatrician (and a professor of vaccinology) and you are referring to a paper he had published in a professional journal?

    Well, this is the first thing you’ve said so far that indicates to me that you might actually be in the medical profession, an egotistical obsession of titling. If I refer to you as ‘Dr. Dangerous Bacon’, will you consider providing citations for any of your arguments? Changing his title doesn’t do anything about the ridiculousness of the arguments laid forth in the paper.

    It has long been known that it is desirable to develop effective vaccines using as few antigens as possible because high antigen loads may be associated with a higher chance of side effects.

    As has become my necessary routine when responding to your claims, citation required.

    This demonstrates that the number of antigens children are exposed to in routine vaccinations has fallen since 1960 from well over 3,000 to approximately 125 as of 2000. That’s a tremendous reduction.

    Hm. Well, according to The Battleaxe, and Lilady and several others on this thread, we are all exposed to millions of antigens. Here is lilady:

    Dr. Offit first learned, and I first learned, the definition of “antigen” in biochemistry classes and we learned that humans are exposed to antigens as soon as they are born…millions of them in infancy.

    I’m curious, then, why is going from 3000 to 125 defined as a ‘tremendous reduction’? I mean, if I’m exposed to, 999,875 other antigens during infancy (assuming, only, a million), why is the reduction from 3000 to 125 ‘tremendous’? I understand that we’ve disagreed previously about numbers, with our disagreement on if the flu shot comprised the entire pediatric vaccine schedule or not, but I’m still pretty sure that a million is a bigger number than three thousand. While I understand my attempt at furthering my knowledge set amuses you, I would humbly ask for clarification on if there is a difference between a million and three thousand?

    You are in a curious position; if you try to defend the reduction from 3000 to 125 as ‘tremendous’, it means that vaccine exposure is, in fact, not a ‘drop in the bucket’ as claimed by so many here. It would mean that the claim by Lilady that infants are exposed to millions of antigens, while technically true, is functionally illiterate in terms of understanding the effects of vaccination.

    In any case, thanks for pointing out the table to everyone. It’s very informative. By the way, did you notice that the varicella vaccine has more antigens in it than the entire remainder off the vaccine schedule combined? Considering the wealth of ‘long known’ knowledge you have on antigen counts in vaccines, perhaps you could use the opportunity to explain why this antigen heavy vaccine causes fewer adverse reactions than the DTAP, which has only 5 antigens in it? Shouldn’t it produce adverse reactions at a much more frequent rate? My ‘What is this all about’ on my blog was real, accurate text written by me, I’m trying to learn more. I’m willing to read, so why not give me a citation that could explain this apparent paradox?

    I asked Lilady for some data on this, but she has, apparently decided to keep that information to herself.

    Also, it occurs to me that after the switch from DTP to DTAP, when we added the varicella vaccine, we more than doubled the antigenic load of the vaccine schedule. Would you consider this a ‘tremendous increase’ in the antigens in the vaccine schedule?

    1) Continue to vaccinate children against serious infectious diseases using the best available knowledge.

    I am advocating that our ‘best available knowledge’ is no longer sufficient based on findings made on the interconnectedness of the immune system and the CNS since the development of the current vaccine schedule. An honest, dispassionate discussion of what can be learned from our existing types of studies should be had. These discussions should leave behind inane arguments that hinge on the number of antigens in a vaccine, the rather difficult to overstate simplicity of thinking that a one year old infant is developmentally equal to a two month infant, and similarly intellectually void notions. We should have the courage to admit that our existing studies are very good at detecting acute changes, and relatively poor at detecting subtle changes. Finally, we should admit that our ignorance far outstrips our knowledge. We can do all of these things while simultaneously celebrating the great good that vaccination has brought to humanity. Vaccines clearly work, but what we do not understand is if they might be doing something else.

    - pD

  503. #504 The Christian Cynic
    December 1, 2011

    pD:

    I’m curious, then, why is going from 3000 to 125 defined as a ‘tremendous reduction’?

    I suspect that DB simply meant that the reduction is tremendous relative to previous levels of antigens in vaccines, not writ large. That is, (3000-125)/1,000,000 is a fairly small percentage (0.2875%, although the specific percentage isn’t relevant here since the million figure is very imprecise), but (3000-125)/3000 is much higher (95.83%).

  504. #505 lurker
    December 1, 2011

    @pD
    Thank you for your excellent summary. Unfortunately several posters here
    don’t even want to admit there is an adverse event to a vaccine.
    I posted “Just to remind everybody what a vaccine reaction looks like” several blogs back- I also posted this question – Why did they choose to give Ian the Hep B shot after being discharged from the NICU with a known history of a prior infection?
    Not only did lilady deny an adverse event, she gave a new diagnosis as to
    what really happened to Ian. Chris also argued against the fact that the Hep B shot caused any problem.
    Here is the link- http://iansvoice.org/default.aspx

  505. #506 Dangerous Bacon
    December 1, 2011

    pD: “I thought you wanted me to take my marbles and go home?”

    Sorry, never said that.

    “Changing (Offit’s) title doesn’t do anything about the ridiculousness of the arguments laid forth in the paper.

    It’s a matter of civility, which you lay claim to but has been notably absent in this discussion, especially in regard to Dr. Offit. This contempt towards Offit is typical of the sort of antivaxers from which you attempt to dissociate yourself.
    There are a number of physicians who regularly post at RI besides myself, none of whom have usernames beginning with “Dr.” and don’t care to be addressed that way, which a longtime poster like yourself should have noticed by now.

    DV: “It has long been known that it is desirable to develop effective vaccines using as few antigens as possible because high antigen loads may be associated with a higher chance of side effects.”

    pD: “As has become my necessary routine when responding to your claims, citation required.”

    I regret that it is necessary to provide you with an obvious example, namely pertussis vaccine.

    ht_p://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=827

    C’mon pD, you’ve got to know this stuff, it’s an essential part of at least one of the advanced degrees you plan to award yourself.

    “…if I’m exposed to, 999,875 other antigens during infancy (assuming, only, a million), why is the reduction from 3000 to 125 ‘tremendous’?

    It’s a great reduction in terms of vaccines – you know, that dread intervention you obsess about while pooh-poohing the impact of actual infectious disease. I am glad to see, however, that you are beginning to comprehend the concept of daily and lifetime exposure to immune system challenges.

    “1) Continue to vaccinate children against serious infectious diseases using the best available knowledge.”

    Good to hear. I hope you will come to realize that “the best available knowledge” is that obtained through rigorous work by individuals trained and experienced in the appropriate disciplines – as opposed to undocumented speculations by University of Google attendees, including those who plan on awarding themselves advanced degrees to aid in further online pontification.

  506. #507 Chris
    December 1, 2011

    Lurker:

    Chris also argued against the fact that the Hep B shot caused any problem.

    Why is it that the only way you can try to make a point is by lying? That abandoned site was discussed in detail and it still does not prove what you wanted to prove. In the end if it went the way you described it would have been a malpractice suit, not the more lenient vaccine court.

    I really hate liars.

    And it still does not change the fact that you cannot show how vaccines cause autism when there is no real evidence that vaccines are casually associated with autism.

  507. #508 Chris
    December 1, 2011

    Dangerous Bacon:

    Good to hear. I hope you will come to realize that “the best available knowledge” is that obtained through rigorous work by individuals trained and experienced in the appropriate disciplines – as opposed to undocumented speculations by University of Google attendees, including those who plan on awarding themselves advanced degrees to aid in further online pontification.

    For those who wish to continue to denigrate Dr. Offit, here is a blurb about him at the CHOP Vaccine Education Center:

    Dr. Offit is Chief of Infectious Diseases at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of virology and immunology and was a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Offit has published more than 130 papers in medical and scientific journals.

    I believe that beats any University of Google degree.

  508. #509 lurker
    December 1, 2011

    @Chris-
    You really amaze me….
    Show evidence of lying please…..

    Autism was not mentioned but since you brought it up..it appears there are
    subgroups affected by vaccines.

  509. #510 Chris
    December 1, 2011

    Lurker, the blue letters indicate the link in my comment (I actually use a little thing called HTML to change the link to a word, like this). That is the thread in question, which you have totally mis-characterized. I linked to the vaccine court settlement, and you are told several times by several people the story does not support what you think it does, and you whinge on that the baby should not have been given the vaccine… which would have been a malpractice suit. If you are not lying, then you need to work on your memory problems.

    Autism is not mentioned? Excuse me? Did you read this article? It is specifically about “a study that studied the brains of deceased autistic children and compared them to neurotypical controls,”… and pD has been trying for ages to explain how autism is caused by vaccines, even though there is no real evidence that vaccines are associated with autism. For all I know he is trying to explain the large number of neurons in autistic children by some kind of cytokine reaction to vaccines. I stopped reading his screeds ages ago, because with pD it is always going to the vaccines. Please try to keep up.

  510. #511 lilady
    December 1, 2011

    @ Lurker: Still lying, eh? You again post about a child whose mother kept a diary, complete with pictures, of the short life of her son. Here again, is my original posting, in reply to another one of your postings:

    “We are still waiting for your actual citations. Why are you lying about my comment on the other blog. Here is what I stated on November 16th (#319):

    “lurker” still has not provided REAL citations about the infants actual medical history, including the induced labor and the infection from meconium aspiration that he was treated for, with antibiotics.

    From the pictures on the website it appears he suffered DIC septic shock and major organ failure from bacteremia or from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome from the antibiotics or anti-convulsants he was given.

    Posted by: lilady | November 18, 2011 11:25 PM”

    Dumb Troll, I’ve actually seen kids being treating in the hospital for invasive HIB and meningococcal diseases.

  511. #512 T-reg
    December 1, 2011

    @pD:-

    I too appreciate your wanting to take a cautious approach to medical interventions. True, there is a lot we do not know about how the immune system functions and its relation (developmentally) to other organ systems.

    However, I also believe that unless concrete evidence exists, it isn’t justifiable to halt all vaccination or even specific vaccines just because there is a theoretical possibility of risk. Also, if there is concrete evidence of risk, Vaccines have proven to be immensely beneficial and this risk has to be quantified and weighed against the benefits of the vaccine.

    Regarding your premise that early activation of the innate immune response may have some impact on the developing nervous system – there exists a theoretical possibility of that being true. But, without concrete evidence, again it is not justifiable to change established protocols. Vaccines are not the only antigens that children are exposed to at an early age. Is there evidence that infants who survive neonatal sepsis or other neonatal infections have a higher risk of developing autism than those who do not?

    There are a lot of unanswered questions. Even the theoretical possibility has not been concretely defined. On such flimsy basis we cannot change established protocols. I have not exactly gone through all the studies linked here but one thing struck me while making the last comment that: if the previous studies were comparing vaccinated populations with largely un-vaccinated populations (i.e. if both groups were more or less equally exposed to the antigens, regardless of whether through vaccination or natural infection) then there may not be any significant difference between the two populations in terms of incidence of autism. However, it doesn’t rule out that the antigen exposure can not cause autism. That can be established, I believe, only if a study is done comparing vaccinated populations, largely un-vaccinated populations and persons neither vaccinated nor exposed to natural infection (protected by herd immunity, perhaps?). I don’t know if any such studies have been done – I haven’t gone over all the studies presented by posters here.

    Yet, the bottom line is that theoretical possibility and flimsy evidence are no grounds for changing established protocols.

  512. #513 lurker
    December 1, 2011

    @lilady-
    You still haven’t answered my question- Why did they give him the Hep B
    shot knowing the prior history? He was being discharged from the NICU,
    ready to go home. It’s all in the history on the link provided.
    No infant with a prior infection should be given a Hep B shot. There was a severe reaction to the shot.

  513. #514 Narad
    December 1, 2011

    There was a severe reaction to the shot.

    You have repeatedly failed to demonstrate this. Is there any particular reason you decided to exhume the failure here all of a sudden?

  514. #515 Chris
    December 1, 2011

    lurker:

    Why did they give him the Hep B
    shot knowing the prior history?

    Again, you are the one bringing that up, so it is up to you to pull up the medical records. We do not have the medical records, since they are not included the link (and much has been removed from that website with its defunct blog and dead links).

    You keep saying: “There was a severe reaction to the shot.” But you don’t realize there is no evidence for that. So unless you have those medical records, I suggest you stop trying to drag up that baby’s very short life to make a point.

    Please stop hijacking this thread with this off-topic subject. It is morbid how you persevere on it, and refuse to even read the comments in the other thread.

  515. #516 lurker
    December 1, 2011

    @Chris
    I am not hijacking the thread-I am merely showing your and lilady’s utter denial
    of an adverse event from a vaccine.
    I quote lilady- “From the pictures on the website it appears he suffered DIC septic shock and major organ failure from bacteremia or from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome from the antibiotics or anti-convulsants he was given.”
    My quote-From the pictures on the website it appears he broke out in a rash after getting the Hep B.
    Quote from the blog-”Day 8″
    “Fact: After receiving the hepatitis B shot these symptoms appeared within hours: platelet count dropped from 248,000 to 131,000, rash appeared, seizure-like posturing noted, irritable and non-stop crying, stopped eating, viral-like symptoms.

  516. #517 Chris
    December 2, 2011

    You are still lying, going off topic and using a strawman argument. We have not denied there are adverse reactions after vaccines (yes, they exist, but at a much smaller rate than injury from disease). All we did was explain repeatedly that the website you keep dredging up is not proof of a vaccine injury. Here is the discussion again to refresh your memory.

    Stop lying.

    Stop off topic diversion.

    Stop using strawman arguments.

    Stop dredging up that abandoned website.

  517. #518 Narad
    December 2, 2011

    I am not hijacking the thread

    OK, where was anybody talking about this before you popped in to simply start repeating yourself?

  518. #519 Th1Th2
    December 2, 2011

    lilady,

    Perhaps the mother omitted the fact that Ian’s in utero distress and distress after birth was a result of exposure to maternal GBS (Group B Strep) infection which can lead to septicemia and the cascade of events that was reported in the diary and shown in the the pictures on their website.

    Wow, septicemia and the  “The doctor on rotation said he was confident Ian would be discharged that day (Day 2)”.

    Nice diaper diagnosis there public health nurse.

  519. #520 Chris
    December 2, 2011

    On a more appropriate thread, lurker, you may show us that vaccines are more dangerous than diseases. But there are some rules of evidence: a peer reviewed paper that details how the vaccine is more dangerous than the disease. No random webpages nor news reports, just real science.

    Now those do exist, and have helped to change the vaccine schedule. That is why the smallpox vaccine is not on the pediatric schedule anymore, and why the OPV has been replaced by the IPV. Dr. Offit’s book, Deadly Choices, has the story of a father whose son was injured by the OPV. But that father took real action, and helped change the vaccine schedule.

    So find that real evidence for the present pediatric vaccine schedule. But do it on a different thread, where it is actually on topic.

  520. #521 Sensei Blackheart
    December 2, 2011

    Chris

    (just a reminder that he cannot learn here)

    Is this on of those telepathic puzzles again. You have the floor…let us all know why you think the mumps strain is important ?

    Simply stating that there is a difference does not define your point , if there is one.

  521. #522 lurker
    December 2, 2011

    @Chris- You are a hypocrite. You deny VAERS reports.

  522. #523 Narad
    December 2, 2011

    Time to divert to an even less coherent yammering point?

  523. #524 lilady
    December 2, 2011

    Please don’t feed delusional, uneducated, disease-promoting troll…it craves attention…and needs “terminal disinfection”.

    “lurker” needs to stop quoting blogs that state “fact…” and come up with some real information about the vaccine schedule and his “suggestions” to change the schedule, based on citations from peer-reviewed journals. (hint) Dr. Jay Gordon’s blog or blogs written by Dr. Sears, Dr. Tenpenny or Dr. Mercola are not reliable. Nor are the Generation Rescue or the NVIC websites reliable.

    “lurker” might want to post a comment on the iansvoice.org website which has links to the aforementioned doctors and the aforementioned anti-vax websites. You might also inform Ian’s parents that pimping Ian’s pictures while in the NICU, to safevaccines2, the producer of an anti-vax video “Are Side Effects Worth It?”, is tacky.

  524. #525 Narad
    December 2, 2011

    Oh, and lurker, if you’re going to be on about Ian Gromowski and VAERS, perhaps you’d like to tell everyone what the relevant ID is. (Otherwise, I can do it.)

  525. #526 lilady
    December 2, 2011

    Here’s another example of the CDC using VAERS reports, information from the Vaccine Safety Data Link, the FDA, local and State health department to monitor the safety of vaccines and to change the vaccine schedule

    What action did CDC take when cases of intussusception were reported to VAERS?

    CDC, in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and state and local health departments throughout the United States, conducted two large investigations. One was a multi-state investigation which evaluated whether or not rotavirus vaccine was associated with intussusception. Based on the results of the investigation, CDC estimated that RotaShield® vaccine increased the risk for intussusception by one or two cases of intussusception among each 10,000 infants vaccinated. The other was a similar investigation in children vaccinated at large managed care organizations. When the results of these investigations became available, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) withdrew its recommendation to vaccinate infants with RotaShield® vaccine, and the manufacturer voluntarily withdrew RotaShield® from the market in October 1999. (Source CDC Rotavirus vaccine (Rotashield)and Intususseption)

    The “problem” with some VAERS reports is that anti-vax sites urge parents to report minor post vaccine symptoms and serious illnesse that have no plausible links to a particular vaccine or a series of vaccines. I mean seriously, does a child’s drowning death or death in a motor vehicle weeks or months after a vaccine was given, warrant a VAERS report?

  526. #527 Lawrence
    December 2, 2011

    At one time, VAERS could have been a good tool for tracking down potential adverse reactions to vaccines. Unfortunately, the anti-vax crowd has created so much “background noise” that it is impossible to use the site for its intended purpose.

  527. #528 Professor Blackheart
    December 2, 2011

    Based on the results of the investigation, CDC estimated that RotaShield® vaccine increased the risk for intussusception by one or two cases of intussusception among each 10,000 infants vaccinated.

    What one should be investigating is not the 1 in 5000 but why a vaccine that is supposed to target a specified disease only has this biological effect.

  528. #529 Chris
    December 2, 2011

    And Lawrence, it has improved a bit since the failure of many of the vaccine court cases. The lawyers are no longer pimping it has much as they were five or so years ago: Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System Reporting Source: A Possible Source of Bias in Longitudinal Studies.

    Lurker, you are also using another strawman argument. I don’t think you understand how self-reported surveys are just very poor sources of data, even without the lawyers gumming up the works. I think you need to read this lesson On Using Vaers.

    (Note: Lurker can you see the two sets of words in a different color of text? Those are links. When you move your mouse over the blue words the little arrow turns into a little pointing hand, that is when you click the mouse button to switch to the other web page. Do you understand?)

  529. #530 Chris
    December 2, 2011

    (have comment in moderation)

    lurker, what part of the following do you not understand?…

    Stop lying.

    Stop off topic diversion.

    Stop using strawman arguments.

    Stop dredging up that abandoned website.

    In addition, here is some friendly advice: It is registration time for many community colleges. Go find your nearest community college to sign up for a basic statistics course. That would go a long way to explain why self-selected surveys like VAERS are worthless in their raw form. Also take your time when taking the COMPASS tests. While taking an Adult Basic Literacy class may be helpful in teaching how to read these comments, it will cause you to delay taking the statistics course.

  530. #531 Th1Th2
    December 2, 2011

    One of the greatest gifts anyone can give is to donate his body to science after death. Such anatomic gifts contribute to the training of medical students, residents, and other medical professionals as well as being used for research that can contribute to the advancement of medical science.

    Be afraid of the walking zombies. Be afraid. But it was too late. The poor and helpless newborn was clearly overmatched by the walking zombies. What a waste of a perfectly healthy liver. How do you like it Orac? Minced, sliced or diced? Do you want blood on top or on the side?

  531. #532 dedicated lurker
    December 2, 2011

    ThBot, you posted under the wrong name. Not that your new contribution isn’t poetic in a way.

  532. #533 T-reg
    December 2, 2011

    I dunno about Orac, but I’d prefer mine with finely minced Th1Th2 on the side…

  533. #534 Denice Walter
    December 2, 2011

    Do you have a hypothesis about autism? Have you a self-awarded degree? Come to the Symposium!

    I am proud to announce that I will serve as moderator at the first Alternative Symposium on Autism for the Self-Awarded (ASASA). I do not take this responsibility lightly and therefore, I promise- so help me, God – that I will absolutely refrain from any and all criticism of the material or the manner in which it is presented and will enthusiastically establish and maintain the rules of order and strictly enforce time-limits to within a second of your respective lives.

    Although the symposium will be virtual, we are limiting participation to the first 10 applicants ( a waiting list will also be compiled should there be drop-outs). And yes, bots are welcome! I shall be wearing the proverbial nice, dark suit while displaying my charm and finely-honed social graces.

  534. #535 Chris
    December 2, 2011

    Vaccine. 2007 Mar 30;25(14):2742-7. Epub 2006 Jan 31.
    A comparative study of the incidence of aseptic meningitis in symptomatic natural mumps patients and monovalent mumps vaccine recipients in Japan.

    Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Mar 15;165(6):704-9. Epub 2007 Jan 4.
    Risks of convulsion and aseptic meningitis following measles-mumps-rubella vaccination in the United Kingdom.

    Vaccine. 2006 Nov 30;24(49-50):7037-45. Epub 2006 Jul 5.
    Mumps vaccine virus strains and aseptic meningitis.

    J Infect. 2005 Nov;51(4):294-8. Epub 2004 Nov 5.
    Comparative efficacy of Rubini, Jeryl-Lynn and Urabe mumps vaccine in an Asian population.

    Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2002 Oct;12(4):240-6.
    An evaluation of the adverse reaction potential of three measles-mumps-rubella combination vaccines.

    Acta Paediatr Jpn. 1996 Jun;38(3):205-11.
    Adverse events associated with MMR vaccines in Japan.

    Lancet. 1993 Apr 17;341(8851):979-82.
    Risk of aseptic meningitis after measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine in UK children.

    MEDICINES CONTROL AGENCY TO OBJECT TO IMPORTATION OF UNLICENSED SINGLE URABE STRAIN MUMPS VACCINE

  535. #536 lurker
    December 2, 2011

    Article from Medscape

    Most Pediatricians Accept Alternative Vaccination Schedule
    Specifically, more pediatricians were willing to consider ACISs for hepatitis B vaccine (87%), varicella vaccine (76%), and inactivated poliovirus vaccine (74%) than they were for Hib vaccine (36%), DTaP vaccine (39%), and PCV (42%).

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/754419

  536. #537 Th1Th2bot
    December 2, 2011

    Be afraid of the walking zombies. Be afraid. But it was too late. The poor and helpless newborn was clearly overmatched by the walking zombies.

    CDC, the easiest way; if this child inoculated with, that means the toy looks OK. This on the number mother does, that is. So that was still the rash muscle. You moving the squirrel.

    This Church ICU which happen to be worried about those insane assertion therefore vaccine that, your questions, I’d like I witnessed a newborn. The would order. This whole time.

  537. #538 Chris
    December 2, 2011

    lurker, appeal to popularity and some authority. Still off topic, and I doubt you actually read it with full comprehension. Now go read my comment that is now out of moderation. Be sure to read the links, you can tell what they are because they are words in a different color.

    Ms. Walter, I think that will be an interesting symposium to observer, as I am not awarding myself a degree.

  538. #539 Vicki
    December 2, 2011

    It’s not at all clear what “accept” means here, though:

    When asked whether they would follow the recommended vaccination schedule if they were to become a new parent themselves in 2010, 96% of pediatricians said yes.

    In other words, almost none of the pediatricians surveyed thought that the “alternative” vaccination schedule was actually a good idea. So is this “think it’s almost as good” or is it closer to “doctors are tired of arguing with parents, and would rather be sure the kids get at least DTaP and Hib than have the parents walk out altogether”? I don’t know, you don’t, and the researchers don’t. The article states explicitly the study couldn’t distinguish between doctors who were comfortable with delayed vaccination and those who felt that a delayed vaccine is at least better than no vaccine at all.

    Never mind the limits of surveys, this isn’t even “four out of five dentists surveyed recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum,” it’s closer to “four out of five dentists surveyed would like you to at least see a dentist once in a while.”

  539. #540 lurker
    December 2, 2011

    @Chris
    Follow your own advice-stop posting off topic.
    I will.

  540. #541 Chris
    December 2, 2011

    Oh, grand. It is back to the rather sticky issue of donating the bodies, especially the brains, of children who have died way too soon.

  541. #542 lilady
    December 2, 2011

    Lurker, references a small mail survey of practicing pediatricians in Washington State, yet fails to comprehend the comments contained in the link about following the recommended schedule for maximum benefit to the child.

    Here is an article from the Seattle Post Intelligencer website about the overall childhood immunization rate in the state of Washington:

    Washington has highest vaccine opt-out rate in country
    VANESSA H, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Copyright 2011 Seattle Post-Intelligencer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    By VANESSA HO, SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF
    Updated 01:48 p.m., Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Washington has the highest rate in the country of students exempted from school-required vaccines, a federal report released Thursday has found.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 6.2 percent of Washington kindergartners had a parent waiver for at least one required vaccine last year.

    That rate has more than doubled in the last 10 years. The average national exemption rate was about 2 percent, state officials said. Mississippi and Tennessee had the lowest exemption rates of less than 1 percent, the study found.

    Vaccines are a major concern for health officials, who are trying to meet vaccination goals while containing the country’s largest measles outbreak in 15 years. Washington is among the states involved, with two recent measles cases in Clark County and one in Kitsap County.

    The CDC does not show which state has the lowest overall vaccination coverage. Relying on data from the last school year, it shows that immunization of Washington kindergarteners ranged from 88 percent to 93 percent for required vaccines. They include polio, whooping cough, measles, hepatitis B, and chickenpox.

    Those rates fell in the middle of vaccination rates of other states. They also fell below a state and national goal of 95 percent of all kindergarteners to be vaccinated.

    Washington has long been known for its big pockets of unvaccinated people, such as in Vashon Island, but the federal report was the first to rank vaccination waiver rates of all states.

    “All parents want their kids to have a healthy start,” state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky said in a statement Thursday.

    “Making sure they have all of their immunizations before going to school is one of the best ways to keep them healthy. Kids who aren’t fully immunized aren’t fully protected.”

    Last month, the state began targeting the large number of unvaccinated kids, with a new law requiring parents who want a vaccination waiver to show proof that a health provider gave them information on immunizations.

  542. #543 lurker
    December 2, 2011

    @Chris

    Ditto.

  543. #544 lilady
    December 2, 2011

    @ Vicki: I have a comment stuck in moderation about the linked mail-in survey of Washington State pediatricians referenced by “lurker”.

    (I don’t think “lurker” will be pleased with your comments…or mine)

  544. #545 liady
    December 2, 2011

    @ Th1Th2bot: Thank you again for your excellent translation of the odious Thingy’s brain droppings. It still needs “terminal disinfection”.

  545. #546 Prometheus
    December 2, 2011

    Sorry to continue an off-topic discussion, but I had some unanswered questions – I hope everyone will indulge me for a moment.

    lurker (#519):

    “Fact: After receiving the hepatitis B shot these symptoms appeared within hours: platelet count dropped from 248,000 to 131,000, rash appeared, seizure-like posturing noted, irritable and non-stop crying, stopped eating, viral-like symptoms.”

    The hepatitis B vaccine is (since 1990) made from recombinant (in yeast) hepatitis B surface protein (antigen) adsorbed onto aluminium hydroxide. It is incapable of causing an infection, as it contains only one of the many “pieces” needed to contruct an infectious virion.

    What I’d like to ask “lurker” is this: how could a subunit protein of a virus, administered to a child who had no previous exposure to this protein, cause the reaction described?

    Having done a fair bit of medical microbiology, the description of the child’s medical course and the pictures look a lot more like Group B Strep (GBS) than hepatitis B (which could not have come from the vaccine, in any case). Allergic reactions seem highly unlikely, since the child had never before been exposed to hepatitis B.

    Group B Strep, back before routine monitoring, when we saw a lot more of it, followed a course similar to that of this poor child. A lot of the cases were in otherwise healthy babies, many of whom had already gone home after delivery before they started to show symptoms. Children with prolonged rupture of membranes and/or respiratory distress from meconium aspiration were especially at risk.

    I also notice that “lurker” – and others – make a great deal about the caution against giving the hepatitis B vaccine to children with “moderate or severe acute illness”, found in the vaccine package insert. It might be illuminating to read the part after the warning heading (in this case, from Engerix-B):

    “To avoid diagnostic confusion between manifestations of an acute illness and possible vaccine adverse effects, vaccination with ENGERIX-B should be postponed in persons with moderate or severe acute febrile illness unless they are at immediate risk of hepatitis B infection (e.g., infants born of HBsAg-positive mothers).”

    In other words, the reason to not give the vaccine isn’t because it might make an acute illness worse, but that the illness might be confused with a vaccine reaction or vice versa. I hope that puts “lurker” at ease.

    Thank you for your indulgence.

    Prometheus

  546. #547 Narad
    December 2, 2011

    Follow your own advice-stop posting off topic.
    I will.

    So it was a brief derailment simply to emphasize that all you have is mindless repetition? Where’s that VAERS ID for your item of expertise?

  547. #548 Chris
    December 2, 2011

    And to show that he really needs to take an Adult Basic Literacy class. The irony of all of this is that scarcity of brains from dead children is because fewer are dying from actual diseases like measles, diphtheria, tetanus, Hib, etc.

  548. #549 lurker
    December 2, 2011

    @Chris
    The real irony is that with the increase of vaccines in the schedule, there was an increase in autism.

  549. #550 Chris
    December 2, 2011

    lurker:

    there was an increase in autism.

    Please read the article on this page. It shows that there is a physical difference in the children, and the paper under discussion says: “Also, prefrontal neuron counts in controls did not vary with age, which is concordant with literature that cortical neurons are generated prenatally, not postnatally.”

    Now, go to a dictionary and find out the difference between these two words: prenatally, postnatally. There is a difference in those two words that you will perhaps learn in an Adult Basic Literacy class.

    It is because the evidence points away from vaccines that Ms. Wright is very upset.

  550. #551 lurker
    December 2, 2011

    @Chris-
    With such a small sample it means nothing. Other studies have shown
    differences in brain sizes. See above.

  551. #552 lurker
    December 2, 2011

    @Chris

    Corridors of migrating neurons in the human brain and their decline during infancy (Nature 478, 382-386 (20 October 2011)
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v478/n7369/full/nature10487.html

  552. #553 Chris
    December 2, 2011

    Now it is up to you to connect that paper to the one under discussion. Because, you are kind of reaching. I can only see the abstract, and I don’t think it means what you want it to mean.

    As of yet there is no real evidence that vaccines are casually associated with autism. Using the search box on the upper left part of this page you will find many articles on the lack of that evidence. Often with titles that include “bad day for antivaccinationists.”

  553. #554 lurker
    December 2, 2011

    @Chris,
    I see you refuse to further your education and read studies posted that don’t
    agree with you.
    RE: Prenatal development of prefrontal cortex.
    “Surprisingly, during this limited window of neurogenesis, not all new neurons in the human subventricular zone are destined for the olfactory bulb—we describe a major migratory pathway that targets the prefrontal cortex in humans. Together, these findings reveal robust streams of tangentially migrating immature neurons in human early postnatal subventricular zone and cortex. These pathways represent potential targets of neurological injuries affecting neonates.”

  554. #555 Narad
    December 2, 2011

    I see you refuse to further your education and read studies posted that don’t agree with you.

    Perhaps you’d like to quote some of the actual non-abstract text to demonstrate your study-readin’ bona fides. I’d hate to think you were just casting around for abstracts that cause a vague “yum” reaction, reposting them, and pretending to be edumacating people.

  555. #556 Denice Walter
    December 2, 2011

    @ Chris:
    Well, thank you so much for your kind words. There is a flotilla of hypotheses (about autism from the self-degreed) adrift on the waters like so much flotsam and jetsam that I thought someone should just gather them up and put them on display. And why shouldn’t that someone be me?

    However because I know that first-time theoreticians can often be shy creatures I will probably need to recruit nominations. Do you or any other SB commenters here know of any worthies who fit the bill?

  556. #557 Chris
    December 2, 2011

    Funny words, lurker, since that is only an abstract and it really does not say what you want it to say. You did not even do what I asked you to do, connect the dots of that entire paper with the one that is discussed on this page.

    And I believe that it is you who needs to further your education if you actually think raw VAERS data is relevant.

  557. #558 Chris
    December 2, 2011

    Well, on this very thread you can see the theories put forth by both lurker, Rachael (introverts?), pD and blackheart (if you can ever figure out what he is saying).

    Too bad “Smarter Than You” has disappeared. He has missed his deadline for submitting his research that would definitely show us how vaccines cause autism by over a year. He never did tell us what it was all about.

    Oh, and back on subject: about twenty years ago my son’s neurologist suggested that the speech/language disability had a very good chance of being related to his fetal development, and not necessarily to his history of seizures.

    Neurology is still a very murky subject, and it even boggles real neurologists. Which is why I sincerely doubt that lurker actually understands the abstract of the letter he posted.

  558. #559 Chris
    December 2, 2011

    Before I leave for a bit, I should post a paragraph from the article above that lurker has refused to read, emphasis added:

    And that’s exactly why Wright is so upset. This study suggests that, whatever causes autism, it probably happens before birth, not after. If true, that rules out vaccines as a cause. Of course, we already have abundant scientific, clinical, and epidemiological evidence that fails to implicate vaccines as a cause of autism. It’s not as though scientists haven’t looked, either. Multiple large, well-designed studies have failed to find a correlation between vaccine and autism. As hypotheses go, the vaccine-autism hypothesis is as dead as dead can be, at least as dead as the famous parrot in a famous Monty Python sketch. Truly, it’s “pinin’ for the fjords.”

    Let me repeat: you cannot find out how vaccines cause autism, when there is no real evidence that vaccines actually cause autism

  559. #560 Narad
    December 2, 2011

    And I believe that it is you who needs to further your education if you actually think raw VAERS data is relevant.

    Speaking of which, lurker seems to have been too busy pointing at other things to come up with the damning Gromoski VAERS entry. It’s 309085.

    I don’t claim to be competent to intelligently interpret it (and it is truncated at 2029 characters), but at least I’m not so slothful as to allude without even spending the requisite five minutes to actually find the thing.

  560. #561 Narad
    December 2, 2011

    ^ Gromowski

  561. #562 Sensei Blackheart
    December 2, 2011

    Chris

    Multiple large, well-designed studies have failed to find a correlation between vaccine and autism

    I’m still trying to find these multiple well designed studies. Couldn’t the IoM only find 4 / 22 ?

    ———————————————–

    Institute of Medicine Review of Vaccines 2011

    The following studies were rejected by the Institute of Medicine in investigating MMR and Autism: some on serious methodological grounds others on poor study design / implementation.

    “The committee reviewed 22 studies to evaluate the risk of autism after the administration of MMR vaccine.

    Chen et al., 2004 (Fombonne co authored)
    Dales et al., 2001 (California paper)
    Fombonne and Chakrabarti, 2001 (Fombonne again)
    Fombonne et al., 2006 (Fombonne again)
    Geier and Geier, 2004 (Thimerosal)
    Honda et al., 2005; (* This is the Honda / Rutter paper)
    Kaye et al., 2001 (Boston Collaborative Drug Surveillance)
    Makela et al., 2002 (Finland Study)
    Mrozek-Budzyn and Kieltyka, 2008 (Poland)
    Steffenburg et al., 2003 (Sweden)
    Takahashi et al., 2001 (Japan)
    Takahashi et al., 2003 (Japan)

    were not considered in the weight of epidemiologic evidence because they provided data from a passive surveillance system lacking an unvaccinated comparison population or an ecological comparison study lacking individual level data.”

    DeStefano et al., 2004 (CDC Atlanta)
    Richler et al., 2006 (University of Michigan)
    Schultz et al., 2008 (Paracetemol)
    Taylor et al., 2002 (Brent Taylor , Elizabeth Miller North London)
    Uchiyama et al., 2007 (Japan)

    Five controlled studies had very serious methodological limitations that precluded their inclusion in this assessment.

    Taylor et al. (2002) inadequately described the data analysis used to compare autism compounded by serious bowel problems or regression (cases) with autism free of such problems (controls).

    DeStefano et al. (2004) and Uchiyama et al. (2007) did not provide sufficient data on whether autism onset or diagnosis preceded or followed MMR vaccination.

    The study by Richler et al. (2006) had the potential for recall bias since the age at autism onset was determined using parental interviews, and their data analysis appeared to ignore pair-matching of cases and controls, which could have biased their findings toward the null.

    Schultz (2008) conducted an Internet-based case-control study and excluded many participants due to missing survey data, which increased the potential for selection and information bias.”

    The IoM found the following five studies …

    Taylor et al., 1999 ( Brent Taylor co -authors Farrington, Miller North Thames as above Taylor 2002 rejected)

    Farrington et al., 2001 ( co authors Miller, Taylor using data from 1999)

    Madsen et al., 2002 ( Denmark)

    Mrozek-Budzyn et al., 2010 (Poland rejected see below)

    Smeeth et al., 2004 ( Fombonne co author)

    ———————————-

    Mrozek-Budzyn et al., 2010

    “This study was rated as having serious limitations because it did not provide information on medical conditions among the controls and relied on medical
    record abstraction for immunization dates
    and autism diagnosis dates.” IoM

    That leaves 4 from 22

    ————————————-

    Taylor et al., 1999 ( Brent Taylor co -authors Farrington, Miller North Thames as above Taylor 2002 rejected)

    Farrington et al., 2001 ( co authors Miller, Taylor using data from 1999)

    Used the same data so that leaves 3

    ———————————————

    So in the end after culling you have 3 studies.

    * Farrington / Taylor

    * Masden

    * Smeeth

    Not very convincing is it ?

  562. #563 Chris
    December 2, 2011

    Wow, you are really a complete idiot. And you still don’t make any sense.

    Measles is still more dangerous than any of the several versions of the MMR. And the evidence is still autism is determined before birth, and really has nothing to do with vaccines.

  563. #564 novalox
    December 2, 2011

    Well, just to stay back on the topic at hand, I am an organ donor, and if something ever were to happen to me, (which I hope won’t come for a long, long time) I definitely would want someone to benefit from the use of my organs, whether it be for the use of donation, or failing that, to be of use in science. It’s not like I’d be needing to use them after death anyways.

  564. #565 herr doktor bimler
    December 2, 2011

    Sensei Blackheart, I need to notify you that other people are using the phraseology of your comment #565 — and sometimes even the same style of boldface — in a flagrant theft of your intellectual property. There’s a “John Smith” commenting on a Nature.com thread and on Austisticland.blogspot.com, both on Nov. 4th; and an “Open Opinion”, on a Childhealthsafety.wordpress.com thread, way back on September 4th (almost a monthly cycle).

    Can’t you stop them stealing your words?

  565. #566 Narad
    December 2, 2011

    “Sensei”? Is this an invitation to play Dharma combat with the former Professor Blowhard?

  566. #567 herr doktor bimler
    December 2, 2011

    He is always scrupulous about addressing me with my choice of title so the least I can do is return the courtesy.

  567. #568 lilady
    December 2, 2011

    Thanks Narad for providing the VAERS report. I think the all caps medical conditions listed in the left column of the report “might” be the symptoms that presented themselves chronologically (birth to death) from the infant’s chart.

    Note the progression downward of the baby’s liver and kidney function tests, the abdominal ascites and the “purpura” as well as the diagnosis of “major organ failure” just prior to death. Cause of death is listed as “Pseudomonal sepsis”.

    The mother had a history of gestational diabetes as well as being positive for vaginal GBS (Group B Strep) infection which was reported as being treated before the onset of labor.

    Here is what I stated two weeks ago when “lurker” linked to the mother’s internet diary…based on the pictures of the infant that the mother posted on her blog:

    Did you read the parent’s “diary” (Ian’s Life) on the website? Baby was in trouble before birth, after experiencing aspiration of meconium in utero. Baby was also treated for MAS (Meconium Aspiration Pneumonia) which is treated by antibiotics in the NICU and did not receive the vaccine until he was 7 days old.

    So, we have pictures of this infant who most probably had a severe case of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome from one of the antibiotics that he received or possibly an anti-convulsant that he received in the NICU. S-J Syndrome rarely can lead to septic shock and the resulting major organ failure and DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation) that the infant experienced that resulted in his death.

    Perhaps the mother omitted the fact that Ian’s in utero distress and distress after birth was a result of exposure to maternal GBS (Group B Strep) infection which can lead to septicemia and the cascade of events that was reported in the diary and shown in the the pictures on their website.

    Get a life, lurker, real doctors and nurses have treated children and adults with septicemia and septic shock.

    Posted by: lilady | November 16, 2011 11:58 AM

  568. #569 lilady
    December 3, 2011

    @ novalox: Getting back to the subject at hand. My only two children were the recipients and donors of cadaver tissues.

    My daughter received a donor anterior cruciate ligament from an 11 year old boy and my son’s eyes and heart valves were donated after his death. My daughter, my husband and I have all signed the back of of our driver’s licenses for post death organ and tissue donations. I also underwent HLA blood typing as a prospective bone marrow donor and I am listed in the National Bone Marrow registry.

    There is a desperate need for organ donations and organs can only be harvested if the donor is brain dead and on life support, and the organs are being perfused.

  569. #570 Narad
    December 3, 2011

    He is always scrupulous about addressing me with my choice of title so the least I can do is return the courtesy.

    Oh, I’m not complaining about that at all.

  570. #571 Professor Blackheart
    December 3, 2011

    herr Doktor

    Is this a new theme on menstrual cycles or conspiracy theories ? Or another complaint about the lack of use of the Harvard referencing system, which is apparently required for this blog. Chris and I have already covered this previously.

  571. #572 Sensei Blackheart
    December 3, 2011

    Chris

    Measles is still more dangerous than any of the several versions of the MMR.

    It is …there’s a great insight. I must admit though that HTMV seems to have been giving it a run for it’s money with an estimated 500,000 premature deaths per annum.

    Are you of the opinion that no such evidence exists of harm ?

    And the evidence is still autism is determined before birth

    The latest studies show a 55 to 45 favour for environmental causes.

    and really has nothing to do with vaccines.

    The fact that we have substantial increases in child mortality clearly associated with vaccinations such as measles (HTMV) and DTap suggest that our knowledge of how vaccines operate is rather limited.

    Put together with an increasing evidentiary base that shows immune system physiology in autism then I think it is still quite reasonable grounds to continue to investigate these matters.

    Or are you of the opinion that autism pathology and aetiology has been completely elucidated ?

  572. #573 Dangerous Bacon
    December 3, 2011

    As a postscript to the bizarre revelation that one of the posters here (pD) is planning to award himself multiple advanced degrees in the pursuit of scientific truth about vaccine harmfulness – there is an interesting (and disturbing) article in today’s (12/3) Wall St. Journal about “citizen scientists”.

    The article describes a trend in which small groups of people collect specimens (i.e. blood), get them tested at outside labs for various markers and do “research” on the findings. Or in another example, seven people with high homocysteine levels (favoring an increased risk of heart disease and stroke according to some evidence) went out and bought different vitamin B supplements to test which was best at lowering homocysteine, and posted the results online. The article touched on the obvious problem with drawing conclusions from such small sample sizes. Some of these people are so suspicious of the scientific community that they reject any trappings of mainstream science in conducting their projects (for example, one group turned down their leader’s proposal for going through an institutional review board).
    Some of these “citizen scientists” are collaborating with (I suppose there’s no other way to put this) real scientists on projects and articles, in return for open sharing of data.

    I can see this trend growing increasingly popular among the vaccines-cause-autism crowd. Why waste time tearing down all those studies with inconvenient and irritating negative findings, and weaving conspiracy stories about their authors, when you can generate your own pseudo-research and get it published in top-flight journals* like Medical Hypotheses, JPANDS etc.?

    *sarcasm intended.

  573. #574 Chris
    December 3, 2011

    Dangerous Bacon, haven’t they also created at least one journal? I am thinking of “Medical Veritas” with the editor who prefixes his name with “Dr.” and writes about vaccines, even though his PhD is in Computer Science.

  574. #575 Denice Walter
    December 3, 2011

    @ Dangerous Bacon:
    This has been going on for years in NYC courtesy of Null and others: they do their own “research” with “protocols” in “health support groups”- which treat people with many far flung often serious conditions. Recently this method was advocated for school children and parents at a Newark NJ charter school ( ADHD, diabetes). Results sometimes mentioned at the idoit’s eponymous website ( e.g. “Hair Study”)

  575. #576 lilady
    December 3, 2011

    @ Dangerous Bacon: That was a real scientific study they conducted based on cycling on and off a name brand B vitamin and el cheapo generic B vitamins.

    Perhaps they want to receive “credit” on scientific papers as their esteemed leader who “owns” the patent on a gene implicated in the PXE genetic disorder…who received an honorary doctorate degree. Of course, there have been many court cases about the owning of single genes and the limitations of developing genetic tests and conducting research by non-patent holders…notably the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes, that are presently being heard in U.S. Courts.

    I don’t think that pD is looking for valid research, rather he is a collector or meaningless minutiae to validate his pre-conceived notion of vaccines being implicated in autism.

  576. #577 Th1Th2
    December 3, 2011

    The two faces of Chris

    Measles is still more dangerous than any of the several versions of the MMR.

    Which is a central premise in my other bit of confusion. If some children are too sensitive to vaccines, why would they fair better with the actual diseases?

    Oh yeah.

  577. #578 Th1Th2bot Service Center
    December 3, 2011

    Oh yeah.

    Like the current ad art isn’t taking up enough of our time, now we have do Th1Th2 as Kool-Aid Man.

  578. #579 lilady
    December 3, 2011

    @Th1Th2bot Service Center: Make certain you do “terminal disinfection” as you wade into the brain droppings of the Thingy.

  579. #580 Niche Geek
    December 3, 2011

    I’m sorry, but I simply must know. Th1Th2: Why do you find Chris’ question at odds with her other writings? “If some children are too sensitive for vaccines…” is a premise, not an assertion of fact. “…why would they fair better with the actual diseases” is not *her* conclusion. Rather she seems to be saying that given the premise, the conclusion is illogical. Whether you agree or disagree with her, asking this question does not contradict her assertion that “Measles is more dangerous than any of the several versions of the MMR”.

  580. #581 lurker
    December 3, 2011

    @Blackheart
    @pD

    Thanks for posting those links-incredible information-better than outdated
    postings of the regulars.

  581. #582 Narad
    December 3, 2011

    Th1Th2: Why do you find Chris’ question at odds with her other writings?

    I doubt that it was getting at any sort of internal contradiction. Janus is a unity; comparisons between vaccines and diseases are Th1Th2-invalid, because these are the realm of the infection promoter and germ denier. Only purity is valid.

  582. #583 Narad
    December 3, 2011

    Thanks for posting those links-incredible information-better than outdated postings of the regulars.

    A little allogrooming: that’ll show ‘em!.

  583. #584 Chris
    December 3, 2011

    Niche Geek:

    I’m sorry, but I simply must know. Th1Th2: Why do you find Chris’ question at odds with her other writings? “If some children are too sensitive for vaccines…” is a premise, not an assertion of fact. “…why would they fair better with the actual diseases” is not *her* conclusion.

    One reason to ignore Thingy is her inability to decode basic English sentences. It is obvious that her home planet, Htrae, does not include the words “if” or “why” in the native vocabulary.

  584. #585 Krebiozen
    December 3, 2011

    DB,

    The article describes a trend in which small groups of people collect specimens (i.e. blood), get them tested at outside labs for various markers and do “research” on the findings.

    You just reminded me – a couple of years ago I came across a Yahoo Group owned by a self-proclaimed expert on autism with a half-baked biochemical theory and dietary treatment (that included OSR#1 industrial chelator). This “expert” encouraged parents of autistic children to get their children’s blood and urine tested and to post the results so she could interpret them (with no training or qualifications in this, of course). Since I spent 25 years working in clinical biochemistry and am very familiar with these kind of results and their interpretation I was curious. I was horrified to see her completely misinterpret the results that were posted, using adult ranges to interpret children’s results, and telling their parents they had acidosis and kidney failure based on perfectly normal results, and recommending bizarre dietary restrictions, including a low calcium diet – in growing children!

    She claimed that normal alkaline phosphatase results were elevated – children have much higher results than adults because they are growing. She interpreted a raised BUN/creatinine ratio due to a low creatinine, with a low normal BUN as indicating renal failure, and a normal blood bicarbonate towards the bottom of the range as indicating renal tubular acidosis. Normal results at the top or bottom end of the normal range were interpreted as abnormal. I could go on. I tried to post this to her Group, but she censored me, and though I wrote to her privately explaining how horribly wrong she was, it didn’t stop her. I wasn’t sure who to report this to, if anyone, and quit in disgust. She’s probably still at it.

  585. #586 Dangerous Bacon
    December 4, 2011

    The idea of “citizen scientists” probably appeals to the Wall St. Journal as an end-around on issues where the Journal editorially has lambasted researchers – notably regarding climate change and the use of Avastin for breast cancer.

    The Journal has almost comically lashed out at “consensus science” in favor of iconoclasts, treading close to the Galileo Gambit. I suspect they’d welcome a group of “citizen scientists” uploading a collection of temperature readings to the Internet to disprove the consensus on warming, or having breast cancer patients report their symptoms on Avastin as proof of its efficacy.

    The idea of recruiting breast cancer patients for studies to determine if there actually is a subgroup that might benefit from Avastin is a good idea of course. Getting a dozen patients together to do their own study published in a third-rate journal without proper peer review and using it to pressure the FDA, not so much.

  586. #587 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 4, 2011

    pD, I still say you’re confusing two different arguments and the rebuttals to them.

    Argument A: The volume of antigens contained in the current vaccine schedule are enough to overwhelm an infant’s immune system and cause permanent health problems.

    Argument B: The specific antigens contained in the current vaccine schedule have qualities that provoke an infant’s immune system to overreact and cause permanent health problems.

    Now, I think we are in agreement that a comparison of the volume of antigens in the vaccine schedule to the volume of antigens encountered in everyday life pretty much demolishes Argument A. So let’s forget Argument A.

    Where we part ways after that, first, is that you claim to see vaccine defenders regularly presenting the comparison of antigen volumes as a rebuttal to Argument B. Frankly, I think that if this happens, it’s due to miscommunication: the vaccine questioner doesn’t express themselves as clearly as they think they’re doing, and the vaccine defender thinks they’re hearing Argument A, where the vaccine questioner meant to present Argument B.

    But let’s address Argument B. Is comparison of antigen volumes a meaningful rebuttal to Argument B? No. Is there any meaningful rebuttal of Argument B that’s as simple as volume comparison? No. Is there evidence suggesting Argument B could be true? Well, if particular vaccine antigens regularly provoke fevers from the immune system, that certainly suggests that vaccine antigens could provoke strong and harmful immune reactions. So … does that make Argument B a strong argument, that should dominate our discourse on vaccines?

    No, for several reasons. First of all, in its stated form, Argument B is not falsifiable. Unfalsifiable arguments often look like they’re very strong, when what they really are is too vague or open-ended to be meaningful. There’s no way to absolutely rule out any immune system overreaction that could possibly be triggered by vaccine antigens, but the same argument could be applied to bloodletting – we can’t absolutely rule out the idea that it might have some benefit – witchcraft – we can’t absolutely rule out that there are some ills which befall us because we’ve been given the evil eye – and so on and so on.

    Second, even if we limit the discussion to more falsifiable forms of Argument B, such as “Vaccine antigens can cause the immune system to overreact and cause autism,” the burden of proof is still on those who believe such a thing does happen to provide evidence for it. There might once have been a time when the burden of proof was on the other side – but it was met when the epidemiology studies came in, showing no relation between vaccination and increased rates of autism. The burden of proof is on those who support forms of Argument B.

    Third, Argument B is often made as part of what we might call Argument B2: “Vaccine antigens might cause immune system overreactions and health problems; therefore we shouldn’t vaccinate.” The unstated premise missing from this argument is “the danger from immune system overreactions to vaccine antigens is worse than the danger from the antigens encountered out in the wild.” Not only is the burden of proof firmly on anyone who would argue that, but it’s a very high burden of proof to meet, because we know how dangerous these diseases are in the wild. You might prove that a particular vaccine antigen will give every child who receives it a fever, each and every time, and yet that might still be a far, far better fate than the results of catching that disease from the wild, which might bring not just fevers but blindness, deafness or paralysis.

  587. #588 herr doktor bimler
    December 4, 2011

    The idea of “citizen scientists” probably appeals to the Wall St. Journal as an end-around on issues where the Journal editorially has lambasted researchers

    It seems to be a regular feature of the Murdoch press. I think it started in Australia a while ago when the editors of the Melbourne Age decided to promote a couple of “citizen historians” and the new version of Australian history they had invented (in which genocide against the Aborigine population never happened). Actual historians were not impressed but the Age dismissed them as a closed-shop trade guild trying to quell competition.
    Rightwing politicians picked up on this revised history as more congenial than the old fact-based version, and the whole pick-your-own-experts ethos has been mainstreamed now.

  588. #589 Professor Blackheart
    December 5, 2011

    Left wing / Right Wing Clinton / Bush

    Even so called “good intentions” have ended in Genocide ….

    500,000 Child Deaths

    http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/102/32796.html

    That’s an interesting figure 500,000.

    Surely no one could argue against investigating and alleviating these types of mortality figures

  589. #590 Dangerous Bacon
    December 5, 2011

    Antaeus: “Well, if particular vaccine antigens regularly provoke fevers from the immune system, that certainly suggests that vaccine antigens could provoke strong and harmful immune reactions.”

    A defect in this type of argument (and I realize Antaeus is paraphrasing pD) is that it assumes that the existence of even a mild side effect of vaccines that can be traced to the immune system, means that we should be suspicious that major derangements of the immune system occur due to vaccines and are damaging health, even when there is no good evidence that the disease in question is caused by immune dysfunction (i.e. autism). In this way pD and Michael Dochniak are arguing in a similar fashion. pD thinks that vaccine-induced fever is an argument for a vaccine-autism connection; Dochniak believes the existence of latex allergies which could conceivably be linked to vaccines is an argument for a vaccine-autism connection. Similar arguments, both fallacious. One could point out that aspirin can have various side effects; aspirin modulates the immune system (through prostaglandin synthesis); some researchers think Alzheimer’s disease has an immune/autoimmune etiology – ergo, we should be very very suspicious that aspirin use causes Alzheimer’s disease and do lots of research into that angle*.

    Weirdly, we have antivaxers who claim that vaccines cause problems through immune system overstimulation, while at the same time there are antivaxers who claim that vaccines cause harm because they result in immune system understimulation, resulting in asthma and other chronic diseases. I suppose this isn’t really a conflict, as long we we recognize that it’s gotta be the vaccines one way or another.

    *there are conflicting studies on whether regular aspirin use may decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s, but knowing the immune angle we probably should spend a lot more research dough to determine whether it causes the disease, even if that lessens the money available to study more rational and promising avenues of research.

  590. #591 Narad
    December 5, 2011

    Weirdly, we have antivaxers who claim that vaccines cause problems through immune system overstimulation, while at the same time there are antivaxers who claim that vaccines cause harm because they result in immune system understimulation, resulting in asthma and other chronic diseases. I suppose this isn’t really a conflict, as long we we recognize that it’s gotta be the vaccines one way or another.

    Have you met the militant intactivists?

  591. #592 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 5, 2011
    Well, if particular vaccine antigens regularly provoke fevers from the immune system, that certainly suggests that vaccine antigens could provoke strong and harmful immune reactions.

    A defect in this type of argument (and I realize Antaeus is paraphrasing pD) is that it assumes that the existence of even a mild side effect of vaccines that can be traced to the immune system, means that we should be suspicious that major derangements of the immune system occur due to vaccines and are damaging health, even when there is no good evidence that the disease in question is caused by immune dysfunction (i.e. autism).

    I’m sorry, DB, but I think you’re mistaking me agreeing with some of pD’s beliefs, for me paraphrasing pD.

    The fact is that vaccines are supposed to have a profound effect upon the immune system – a benign effect, but still profound.  If we had just arrived from Mars and an Earth scientist had explained to us only the principle on which vaccines work, and shared with us none of the accumulated data of what the actual results are when vaccines are administered in a general population – it would be a reasonable thing to accept that one possible outcome of vaccine administration might be provoking a reaction from the immune system that’s too strong.* It would only seem more reasonable if we learned that they can provoke a reaction from the immune system such as fever that causes great discomfort, even if it rarely has permanent sequelae.

    But as I’ve said before about antivax and other wooish beliefs, they often confuse opening the door to a possibility with sailing right through that door.  It’s not inherently unreasonable to suppose vaccine antigens might be triggering health problems; it is wholly unreasonable to assert it without even an attempt to meet the burden of proof that such a thing is happening!  Trying to name it as a cause of autism is especially unreasonable, since there is no known link between immune system and autism and numerous epidemiological studies looking for a link between vaccination and autism failed to find any correlation.

    * I’m referring of course to the proposition that this is happening on any sort of systematic basis, as opposed to in rare cases.

  592. #593 Chris
    December 5, 2011

    Perhaps this might help: trying find out how vaccines cause autism when there is not evidence that vaccines and autism are casually connected, is like trying to find out how owning a television causes drowning.

  593. #594 Dangerous Bacon
    December 5, 2011

    Antaeus: “I’m sorry, DB, but I think you’re mistaking me agreeing with some of pD’s beliefs, for me paraphrasing pD.

    The fact is that vaccines are supposed to have a profound effect upon the immune system – a benign effect, but still profound.”

    I don’t believe vaccines are supposed to (or have) a “profound effect” on the immune system; unless you define “profound” as “getting the immune system to do its usual job for you, without the attendant risks of full-blown infectious disease”.

    And I’m still not sure how citing any vaccine side effect related to immune stimulation, however minor, supports the concept of subtle but major derangements producing diseases that are not known to have an immune basis. But at least I think we agree on that point.

  594. #595 passionlessDrone
    December 5, 2011

    Hi Antaeus Feldspar –

    I’ve gotten pretty bored with this discussion, but there are a few things here that are so wildly at odds with the data that it is difficult to believe they are still being stated or believed. It’s no wonder you think my ideas are unreasonable, you are completely unaware about the highly robust immunological findings in autism!

    Trying to name it as a cause of autism is especially unreasonable, since there is no known link between immune system and autism

    This is a difficult to believe it is still being made, childlishly simple to prove as false, statement. I mean, I know that Orac does all that he can to try to ignore this inconvenient data set, but seriously, where in the hell did you get this idea? Where?

    Do you know there are no less than eight post mortem studies showing signs of an ongoing immune reaction in the brains of people with autism? Now, not all of the below carry the same weight as a news release from a university, but a great number of them are available in full online to see how they stack up.

    Transcriptomic analysis of autistic brain reveals convergent molecular pathology [Published in Nature]

    The genome-wide analysis performed here significantly extends previous findings implicating synaptic dysfunction, as well as microglial and immune dysregulation in ASD by providing an unbiased systematic assessment of transcriptional alterations and their genetic basis. We show that the transcriptome changes observed in ASD brain converge with GWAS data in supporting the genetic basis of synaptic and neuronal signalling dysfunction in ASD, whereas immune changes have a less pronounced genetic component and thus are most likely either secondary phenomena or caused by environmental factors. Because immune molecules and cells such as microglia have a role in synaptic development and function26, we speculate that the observed immune upregulationmay be related to abnormal ongoing plasticity in the ASD brain.

    Expression profiling of autism candidate genes during human brain development implicates central immune signaling pathways [Full free paper available online]

    Here we report an in silico study of the gene expression profile from ASD-implicated genes in the unaffected developing human brain. By implementing a biologically relevant approach, we identified a subset of highly expressed ASD-candidate genes from which interactome networks were derived. Strikingly, immune signaling through NF?B, Tnf, and Jnk was central to ASD networks at multiple levels of our analysis, and cell-type specific expression suggested glia—in addition to neurons—deserve consideration.

    Aberrant NF-KappaB Expression in Autism Spectrum Condition: A Mechanism for Neuroinflammation [Full free paper available online]

    In summary, NF-?B is aberrantly expressed in orbitofrontal cortex in patients with ASC, as part of a putative molecular cascade leading to inflammation, especially of resident immune cells in brain regions associated with the behavioral and clinical symptoms of ASC.

    IL-6 is increased in the cerebellum of autistic brain and alters neural cell adhesion, migration and synaptic formation [Full version available online]

    Our results provide further evidence that aberrant IL-6 may be associated with autism. In addition, our results suggest that the elevated IL-6 in the autistic brain could alter neural cell adhesion, migration and also cause an imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory circuits. Thus, increased IL-6 expression may be partially responsible for the pathogenesis of autism

    Elevated immune response in the brain of autistic patients

    Conclusion: ASD patients displayed an increased innate and adaptive immune response through the Th1 pathway, suggesting that localized brain inflammation and autoimmune disorder may be involved in the pathogenesis of ASD.

    Immune transcriptome alterations in the temporal cortex of subjects with autism [Full version available free online]

    Expression profiling of the superior temporal gyrus of six autistic subjects and matched controls revealed increased transcript levels of many immune system-related genes. We also noticed changes in transcripts related to cell communication, differentiation, cell cycle regulation and chaperone systems. Critical expression changes were confirmed by qPCR (BCL6, CHI3L1, CYR61, IFI16, IFITM3, MAP2K3, PTDSR, RFX4, SPP1, RELN, NOTCH2, RIT1, SFN, GADD45B, HSPA6, HSPB8 and SERPINH1). Overall, these expression patterns appear to be more associated with the late recovery phase of autoimmune brain disorders, than with the innate immune response characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases.

    Elevation of tumor necrosis factor-alpha in cerebrospinal fluid of autistic children.

    Elevation of cerebrospinal fluid levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha was significantly higher (mean = 104.10 pg/mL) than concurrent serum levels (mean = 2.78 pg/mL) in all of the patients studied. The ratio of the cerebrospinal fluid levels to serum levels averaged 53.7:1. This ratio is significantly higher than the elevations reported for other pathological states for which cerebrospinal fluid and serum tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels have been simultaneously measured. This observation may offer a unique insight into central nervous system inflammatory mechanisms that may contribute to the onset of autism and may serve as a potential clinical marker.

    Neuroglial activation and neuroinflammation in the brain of patients with autism

    . Immunocytochemical studies showed marked activation of microglia and astroglia, and cytokine profiling indicated that macrophage chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and tumor growth factor-beta1, derived from neuroglia, were the most prevalent cytokines in brain tissues. CSF showed a unique proinflammatory profile of cytokines, including a marked increase in MCP-1. Our findings indicate that innate neuroimmune reactions play a pathogenic role in an undefined proportion of autistic patients, suggesting that future therapies might involve modifying neuroglial responses in the brain.

    And that’s just in the CNS! There are probably five times that many from the periphery. If you have, somehow, gotten the idea that “there is no known link between immune system and autism” from a site on the Internet (this one?), I would recommend that you honestly question whether or not the purveyors of that site have the faintest clue, or maybe, the faintest interest in an honest discussion about autism findings.

    Usually this is the time that someone starts pathetically bleating ‘correlation does not equal causation’, which, while technically true, gives us precious little insight into the problem. We dont’ know what causes almost any of the cases of autism, but clearly researchers are doing a lot of work to try to find that out, and coincidentally, they just happen to keep on finding immunological abberations in the autism group. And again and again, in their texts, they mention the biological plausibility of a pathogenic role of a state of ongoing neuroinflammation in autism. So while I can’t prove that autism disturbances cause autism, I can, easily, prove that such a discussion falls well within the realm of the established literature, and the opposite claim, that “there is no known link between immune system and autism”, is so discordant with the reality, it beggars belief.

    You might be interested in knowing that similar findings are being reported for lots of neurological disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disease, and depression. It all goes back to the wisdom of Ms. Hebert’s statement, we’ve learned so much about the interactions between the brain and immune system in the past ten years, our existing study methodologies are inadequate.

    numerous epidemiological studies looking for a link between vaccination and autism failed to find any correlation

    You seem to be unable to discern the difference between:

    1) epidemiological studies between thimerosal and vaccination (there is a difference, you know)
    2) epidemiological studies between a single vaccine, the MMR, and the act of vacciation. There is a big difference between a one year old infant and a week old, or two month old infant. you know.

    Unbelievable.

    The fact of the matter is that the animal studies tell us that immune disturbances early in life have the capacity to persistently dysregulate immune function, the neuroimmune environment, and utlimately, behavior.

    Peripheral immune challenge with viral mimic during early postnatal period robustly enhances anxiety-like behavior in young adult rats

    Inflammatory factors associated with immune challenge during early brain development are now firmly implicated in the etiologies of schizophrenia, autism and mood disorders later in life. In rodent models, maternal injections of inflammagens have been used to induce behavioral, anatomical and biochemical changes in offspring that are congruent with those found in human diseases. Here, we studied whether inflammatory challenge during the early postnatal period can also elicit behavioral alterations in adults. At postnatal day 14, rats were intraperitoneally injected with a viral mimic, polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (PIC). Two months later, these rats displayed remarkably robust and consistent anxiety-like behaviors as evaluated by the open field/defensive-withdrawal test. These results demonstrate that the window of vulnerability to inflammatory challenge in rodents extends into the postnatal period and offers a means to study the early sequelae of events surrounding immune challenge to the developing brain.

    - pD

  595. #596 Dangerous Bacon
    December 5, 2011

    Poor Antaeus. Our resident “I’m not antivaccination, but look at all these studies that show we should be very very very worried about vaccination” literature scholar has left Gish-Gallop hoofmarks all over your silly and probably deceptive suppositions (shared by Orac himself for some strange reason (!!?!?!?).

    How can you compete with someone who can reel off a molecular barrage like “BCL6, CHI3L1, CYR61, IFI16, IFITM3, MAP2K3, PTDSR, RFX4, SPP1, RELN, NOTCH2, RIT1, SFN, GADD45B, HSPA6, HSPB8 and SERPINH1″?

    Didn’t you realize that immune damage in early life is the answer to the etiology of autism? Well of course it isn’t, there are numerous competing theories including far more convincing and evidence-based genetic links, but still…

    All those papers pD cited, don’t you realize how many implicate vaccines? Wait, no they don’t, but still…

    To quote a once popular comedienne: “It could happen!”

    Betcha you don’t have a single self-awarded PhD, Antaeus.

    pD: “I’ve gotten pretty bored with this discussion”

    This ranks right up there with “I have far more important things to do” as a debate dodge.

    While this discussion has not gotten us any closer to establishing the Rampaging Vaccine-Cytokine-Autism Connection, it has at least revealed something about sham civility (accusing those with whom you disagrees of conspiracies to silence you, aiming crude insults at a distinguished figure in vaccinology and referring to critics as “pathetically bleating” about the giant holes in your antivax theory, have a way of stripping off the facade of faux politesse).

  596. #597 alison
    December 5, 2011

    Erm, I know I am a bear of very little brain (& most of that is grey fluffy stuff, & no cheap shots from you, Herr Doktor!) – but, why would only exposure to antigens via vaccination cause neurological inflammation? Wouldn’t you expect the same from exposure to the millions of other antigens a child is exposed to from the moment of birth?

    & stands up to offer afterthought: as the good Herr Doktor has asked previously (& I don’t think he’s been answered) – why would one take results from a non-social mammal with a small brain & extrapolate those to a highly social mammal with (relative to its body mass) a larger brain???

  597. #598 herr doktor bimler
    December 5, 2011

    I’m worried about my cats. They all have poor social skills and no “theory of mind”, and they exhibit repetitive grooming behaviour. Was it the vaccinations?

  598. #599 Narad
    December 6, 2011

    I’m worried about my cats. They all have poor social skills and no “theory of mind”, and they exhibit repetitive grooming behaviour.

    Surely they know “other.” That’s halfway to Hegel.

  599. #600 Justin
    December 6, 2011

    Hi pD,

    I have been following the conversation and couldn’t help but mention that I was thinking the exact same thing. It’s a matter of ignorance that is causing such a massive disconnect between what you are trying to get across and the response you are getting. The growing body of literature interrogating the immune connection to autism is literally impossible to miss. You would have to be purposely trying to avoid this research to miss it. Furthermore, ignorance of this is not the only thing that we seem to be observing. There is also a large gap between, say your understanding of various neuroimmulogical mechanisms and Db, Lilady, antaneus, etc’s understanding. I am getting the feeling they don’t have the foggiest idea of how the immune system is interconnected to the brain and nervous system and how it is integral in modifying behavior. What you are so eloquently trying to communicate is going right over their heads, for lack of a better phrase. The funniest/saddest part is that they continue to come back for more and then heroically claim victory by putting you down (the black knight comes to mind…)

    I want to mention that while reading the comments on your blog post entitled:

    “The Interconnectedness of the Brain, Behavior, and Immunology and the Difficult to Overstate Flaccidity of The Correlation Is Not Causation Argument”

    I noticed that one of the foremost experts on the link between immune system dysfunction/normal function and autism/behavior (respectively), Paul Patterson, left you an encouraging post. This is a testament to the level of knowledge that you have accrued via your own faculties, bravo sir, a true critical thinker. WRT your self- awarded degrees in various sciences and the backlash that has received, I have one thing to say. Evaluate what pD is saying based on the evidence and data. If you are having a hard time getting over the hump that pD doesn’t have any formal training in the sciences then hopefully the fact that an expert in the field says:

    “Your topics are amazingly similar to those covered in my book that was just published by MIT Press:”

    “And your blog and my new book blog also have some key overlaps:”

    Lends enough credibility to pD’s argument that you drop the irrational thinking and start learning.

    For those positing that there exists no evidence of an immune autism link, please for all of us to witness, pop on over to Paul Pattersons blog and post these thoughts in the same manner that you have here. With the amount of confidence and the pats on each others backs for what is clearly a bad case of arrogance of ignorance, you should have no problem doing this and backing up your position. If you are not up to this task please let us know why you are not (valid excuses only).

    Ok, now onto the other argument that always pops up in this forum and others, regarding vaccines and the number of antigens. I think we have to go back to basics and so here is a brief immunology primer:

    The first thing is to understand the difference between an antigen and immunogen. All immunogens are antigens, but not all antigens are immunogens. The definition of an immunogen is an antigen that stimulates the innate immune system sufficiently resulting in a memory immune response (adaptive immune system). We are exposed to millions and millions of antigens upon entry into the world and every waking second thereafter. Of course it varies from person to person and his/her particular environment, but the large majority of these antigens are non-immunogenic (do not stimulate immune response), which is good because otherwise we would be dead within a short while from septic shock if all antigens we encountered stimulate the immune response.

    Now, here is the big important difference, vaccines only contain immunogens (antigens that stimulate an immune response). They have to stimulate a pro-inflammatory immune response, otherwise they wouldn’t work, in other words, there would be no adaptive immune response.
    So, with this basic understanding (this is what you learn in first semester immunology at any university)of the difference between the majority of antigens that we encounter on a daily basis and the antigens in a vaccine, the argument that the number of antigens in a vaccine somehow means something falls flat on its face. The fact that a reputable immunologist/vaccinologist would promulgate this misleading idea is perplexing to me. The actual number of distinct antigens that constitute a vaccine formulation has nothing to do with the resultant immune response, what matters is the particular structure of the antigens and how they interact with eachother and host immune landscape (epigenetics, genetics, many other factors) to elicit an immune response.

    Technically, one highly immunogenic antigen could elicit a much more robust immune response, than multiple slightly immunogenic antigens. Just counting numbers cannot tell the story, it’s much more complicated.

  600. #601 Professor Blackheart
    December 6, 2011

    pD

    “The fact of the matter is that the animal studies tell us that immune disturbances early in life have the capacity to persistently dysregulate immune function, the neuroimmune environment, and utlimately, behavior.”

    This is the complexity of the matter at hand and we have just a small window into this world provided by researchers like Peter Aaby. Where the sequencing of various vaccine and other health initiatives like micronutrients effect immune systems that are currently poorly understood.

  601. #602 lurker
    December 6, 2011

    @Justin
    Bravo, well said!
    @pD
    Thanks again!

  602. #603 T-reg
    December 6, 2011

    @pD:
    The articles that you cite do indeed hint that there is an abnormal immunological activity associated with autism.
    But why do you think that “association is not necessarily causation” is a weak argument here?

    None of the studies you cite firmly establishes that immunological phenomena cause autism.
    Sure, it IS one possibility that autism could be an auto-immune phenomenon.
    But the other possibility is that the signalling pathways which appear to be aberrant maybe normally responsible for both, neuro-development as well as immunological signalling. Thus an aberration in these pathways could be responsible for both, aberrant neuro-development as well as aberrant immunological activity. They could be two parallel phenomena, not necessarily cause and effect.

    Secondly, assuming that autism is an auto-immune disease why do you think that “vaccine related antigens are responsible” is the only possibility?
    It could be one possibility (let’s ignore the epidemiological evidence for the time being).
    The other possibilities are -
    1) Exposure of sequestered CNS antigens leading to an auto-immune response.
    2) Emergence of aberrant epitopes on proteins normally exposed to the CNS, leading to an auto-immune response.

    There’s also the question of why you believe the exposure to the antigens on the pathogenic strains of the disease cannot cause autism but the same antigens when exposed through vaccination cause autism?

    Also, your assertion that early activation of the immune system is responsible for aberrant neuro-develpoment: do you have any studies to prove that neonates recovering from neonatal sepsis or other neonatal infections have a greater risk of developing autism than those who have not experienced such antigenic challenge at such a young age?

    There are too many unknowns yet and epidemiological data doesn’t seem to support your assertions. Just because there exists a theoretical possibility (that too one that is very weak, going by current knowledge and epidemiological evidence) it isn’t enough to change established protocols.

  603. #604 Krebiozen
    December 6, 2011

    Justin,

    We are exposed to millions and millions of antigens upon entry into the world and every waking second thereafter. Of course it varies from person to person and his/her particular environment, but the large majority of these antigens are non-immunogenic (do not stimulate immune response), which is good because otherwise we would be dead within a short while from septic shock if all antigens we encountered stimulate the immune response.

    Just how many pathogens or other immunogenic proteins are we exposed to daily? How many pathogens is a baby exposed to during its first years? How many are transferred to them by their parents, and other people coughing and sneezing near them, touching them, and their mother sticking possibly contaminated nipples, teats or pacifiers in their mouths?

    I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I would make an educated guess that it is a lot. Potentially pathogenic viruses, such as rhinoviruses, Epstein Barr, HHV-6, Coxsackie B, cytomegalovirus, parvovirus B19 are very common. Potential pathogenic fungi such as candida and aspergillus are ubiquitous. Then there are very common but potentially pathogenic species of bacteria; streptococcus, staphyloccus, E. coli, pseudomonas to name but a few, and before vaccination the common childhood diseases, varicella, measles, rubella, pertussis were also ubiquitous.

    We know that people with immunodeficiency are vulnerable to all these diseases – even brewer’s yeast has been known to cause infection – so the immune systems of immunocompetent people must surely have at some time developed an adaptive response to these pathogens, presumably when they were first exposed, in childhood. Mustn’t they?

    If so, is there a qualitative or quantitative difference between the immune response to these pathogens, and that to vaccinations?

  604. #605 Chris
    December 6, 2011

    A couple of things Justin (and others for whom the answer always has to be “vaccines cause autism!):

    Before you can figure out how vaccines cause autism, you must determine if there is an epidemiological relationship. Well, there have been several of those studies done in several countries including Japan, Finland, Denmark, UK and USA… with others in Italy, etc. There does not seem to be a correlation.

    And then, you have to ask yourself: If vaccines are only a few antigens of either dead or attenuated pathogens (or just a protein from some other microbe), how can they cause more of a response than the fully alive and active pathogen? How exactly does a protein from a yeast cause more harm than a real active hepatitis b virus? It does not make any sense.

    It is seriously like trying to find out how sitting in an easy chair watching television causes drowning.

    But for you guys it will always be the vaccines. As discussed with new Orac essay on the anti-vaccine fantasy.

    For the rest of us in the real world:

    The science has been done, the link between vaccines and autism does not exist. It is a dead link… “It’s not pinin’! ‘It’s passed on! This link is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it’d be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now ‘istory! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-LINK!! ” (hat-tip to Monty Python and the dead parrot sketch)

  605. #606 passionlessDrone
    December 6, 2011

    Hi T-reg –

    The articles that you cite do indeed hint that there is an abnormal immunological activity associated with autism.

    We are in complete agreement.

    But why do you think that “association is not necessarily causation” is a weak argument here?

    Because it is a last ditch effort to misdirect attention after the ridiculous notion that there is no association between immune dysregulation and autism has been discarded. Because of the animal studies that tell us that immune dysfunction in early life can drive behavior differences into adulthood. Because we are learning that a host of neurological disorders, such as bipolar, schizophrenia, and depression also have immune components, and therapies involving immunomodulation are showing efficacy. Because of we don’t know what causes autism in almost any case. My position is OK with uncertainty; the opposite position, the one taken by Anteaus, that ‘there are no known links between the immune system and autism’ cannot withstand these findings. There seems to be an amazingly persistent ability to assign certainty towards the noisiest of science (thimerosal/MMR epidemiology) and great uncertainty towards fine grained knowledge. I don’t get it.

    Also, because I was a little bored, I only bothered to present data that showed evidence of an ongoing immune response in the CNS. If we look in the periphery, we’ve got a lot more data points to evaluate, and a bunch of them have a curious profile; namely that as indices of the immune response increase so too, does autism severity.

    For example. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor and autism spectrum disorders. found that as circulating levels of MIF increased, so too did the severity of the disease; i.e.,

    There were genetic associations between known functional polymorphisms in the promoter for MIF and autism spectrum disorder-related behaviors. Also, probands with autism spectrum disorder exhibited higher circulating MIF levels than did their unaffected siblings, and plasma MIF concentrations correlated with the severity of multiple autism spectrum disorder symptoms.

    Now, sure, this could a coincidence, bogus data, or as you say, associated data points. (If asked, I could provide four or five other papers that associated increased innate immune response biomarkers with autism severity.) But, we also have data that indicates that as the ability to attenuate the immune response decreases, autism severity increases.

    Decreased transforming growth factor beta1 in autism: a potential link between immune dysregulation and impairment in clinical behavioral outcomes

    Children with ASD had significantly lower plasma TGF beta 1 levels compared with typically developing controls (p=0.0017) and compared with children with developmental disabilities other than ASD (p=0.0037), after adjusting for age and gender. In addition, there were significant correlations between psychological measures and TGF beta 1 levels, such that lower TGF beta 1 levels were associated with lower adaptive behaviors and worse behavioral symptoms. The data suggest that immune responses in autism may be inappropriately regulated due to reductions in TGF beta 1

    This is a tricky one. We have data that tells us that modifications to either end of the immune resopnse, initiation or regulation, are associated with behavioral severity, but both associations point in the same direction; over overzealous, or under regulated immune response, is associated with worse behavior. If you want to argue for dual purpose, that’s fine, but we need to find a mechanism by which we can coincidentally correlate behaviors and both ends of the immune response. While such a thing is possible, the fact that coincidences happen every day doesn’t mean that everything is a coincidence.

    None of the studies you cite firmly establishes that immunological phenomena cause autism.

    OK. But again, the animal studies I present, do show behavioral changes as a result of immune disturbances. There aren’t very many studies that firmly establish anything as a cause of autism.

    But the other possibility is that the signalling pathways which appear to be aberrant maybe normally responsible for both, neuro-development as well as immunological signalling. Thus an aberration in these pathways could be responsible for both, aberrant neuro-development as well as aberrant immunological activity. They could be two parallel phenomena, not necessarily cause and effect.

    I don’t believe that an argument hinging on the pleiotropic nature of of cytokines is very damaging to my position; but it is very problematic for the idea that what happens in the immune system doesn’t affect the brain, and ultimately, behaviors. These very interactions, immune crosstalk with the brain are very new concepts in a relative sense. If there is an underlying genetic, epigenetic, or environmetnally mediated difference in these pathways before birth, that doesn’t mean we can interferre with these pathways further without affecting change.

    Secondly, assuming that autism is an auto-immune disease why do you think that “vaccine related antigens are responsible” is the only possibility?

    In the first case, I’m not hung up on ‘antigens’ in vaccines, that’s the purvey of some of the other respondents here. I’m curious, where in my postings, as opposed to someone else’s paraphrasing, have led you to believe this is my position? I am genuinely curious how you came to this conclusion.\

    Secondarily, I would suggest you re-read my response to you in #493, where I addressed this concern specifically:

    Sure. Please check out my response to Dangerous Bacon above, in post #383 , where I showed two studies that seemed to indicate increased risk of autism in infants with hospitilizations for infection during the first year, and reports of increased risk for infants with infections during the first month of life.

    I’m open to lots of things.

    It could be one possibility (let’s ignore the epidemiological evidence for the time being).

    What epidemiological evidence? As I’ve stated again and again, the epidemiological data is on:

    1) thimerosal
    2) the MMR

    Nothing else. Just saying there is more data than this doesn’t make it so.

    Exposure of sequestered CNS antigens leading to an auto-immune response.

    OK. But that doesn’t explain the repeated studies in animals that tell us the maleability of the immune response can manifest as behaviors.

    Emergence of aberrant epitopes on proteins normally exposed to the CNS, leading to an auto-immune response.

    I particularly like a lot of the studies on antibodies to fetal brain proteins from the MIND guys in California, where approximately 10% of mothers with autism show reactivity to very specific fetal brain proteins. Immunoglobulin transfer from human mothers positive for antibodies to pregnant rhesus monkeys resulted in extreme behavioral differences in the treatment group offspring. You might find that data of interest. My idea set is not tied to vaccines, or immunology, or away from genes, or anything other than an honest evaluation of what we know and what we don’t know.

    There’s also the question of why you believe the exposure to the antigens on the pathogenic strains of the disease cannot cause autism but the same antigens when exposed through vaccination cause autism?

    Please see my response to DB #383, and my response to you at #493 for why this is an inaccurate understanding of my position.

    Regarding sepsis, this study speaks somewhat towards your question, though the inclusion of preterm infants is very problematic, as this in off itself is a risk factor for autism and/or developmental delay.

    Adverse neurodevelopmental outcome in preterm infants: risk factor profiles for different gestational ages

    which found associations between sepsis and developmental delay. The preterm data point is problematic, as this in off itself is a risk factor for autism/developmental delay, but it is better than no data at all.

    Just because there exists a theoretical possibility (that too one that is very weak, going by current knowledge and epidemiological evidence) it isn’t enough to change established protocols.

    I do not believe that I have advocated changing any established protocols, just an honest discussion. See my response to DB on #506 for more on this.

    - pD

  606. #607 passionlessDrone
    December 6, 2011

    Hi Krezbiozen –

    If so, is there a qualitative or quantitative difference between the immune response to these pathogens, and that to vaccinations?

    Great question! One that actually leads me not to be bored. And, coincidentally, one that I’ve been asking someone, anyone to provide some evidence of. Dangerous Bacon keeps on insisting we have data to this point, but just can’t bring himself to post it, for some reason. My continued assertion is that we do not have any information to speak to this (i.e., innate immune response following vaccination in a pediatric cohort), and until we have measurements of the infant immune response to the vaccine schedule, we cannot begin to answer this question. You may be able to find some studies I’ve been unable to find, but please remember that as shown by Corbett above, the infant immune response is qualitatively different than that of the adult, so we should avoid using adults as proxies for this.

    That being said, we do have some good reasons to think that there may be qualitative differences between normal infection, and vaccination immune response. Unfortunately, as we have no measurements in the infant innate immune response post vacciation, what we have left is largely speculative.

    Here is a neat study that came out a few months ago that speaks tangentially towards this point:

    LPS elicits a much larger and broader inflammatory response than Escherichia coli infection within the hippocampus of neonatal rats (Neuroscience Letters Volume 497, Issue 2, 22 June 2011, Pages 110-115)

    An immune challenge during the neonatal period can significantly affect the development of the nervous and immune systems, such that long-term abnormalities in immune function and behavior persist into adulthood. Given that immune activation and individual cytokines have been linked to the etiology of many developmental neuropsychiatric disorders, a complete characterization of the neonatal immune response within the brain is warranted. In this study, rats were treated peripherally on postnatal day (P) 4 with either a live Escherichia coli (E. coli) infection or lipopolysaccharide (LPS), two common models of neonatal immune activation. Inflammatory gene expression was measured within the hippocampus 2 and 24h later. We determined that E. coli and LPS produce very distinct inflammatory profiles within the brain. Infection with E. coli produced a robust, yet relatively IL-1 pathway focused activation of the neonatal immune system within the brain, while LPS produced a very broad and robust immune response within the brain. This analysis also identified common inflammatory genes up-regulated by both E. coli and LPS treatment.

    So, what we can see here is that just giving an animal something to provoke an immune resopnse (i.e., LPS), generates a different profile of neuroinflammation than infecting them with e-coli. The authors speak towards what might be driving this in the discussion section.

    The differences in the immuneresponse produced by E. coli and LPS may also be due to differences in the concentration of LPS molecules available for recognition by peripheral immune cells and/or CNS microglia.If true,then the differences in gene expression between LPS and E. coli may involvea critical difference in mechanism downstream of antigen presentation.Moreover, E.coli infection may recruit multiple microglial pattern recognition receptors and pathogen-associated molecular patterns involved in phagocytosis and the inflammatory response beyond just LPS and TLR4 alone(e.g.TLR9,CR3,MHCII,andFc (Fcg) immunoglobulin receptors Fcgr1 adFcgr3a) [41]. These questions remain to be explored in further studies.

    Clearly, LPS and vaccination are different things, but at the heart, this experiment bears much resemblance to your question; the immune response from a pathogen versus an intentional provocation of the immune system without the pathogenic effects of an organism. In vaccines for bacterial pathogens, we are not including the entire organism, just pieces of it, the pieces we want our immune system to remember. But the immune system is highly conserved evolutionarially, we evolved responding to bacterial organisms, not just specific pieces parts of them. Regulation of the immune response is just as important as turning it on, but this requires a chemical cascade that is still largely mysterious to us. Here the authors speculate that actual infection ‘may recruit multiple pattern recognition receptors and pathogen-associated molecular patterns involved in phagocytosis and the inflammatory response beyond LPS and TLR4 alone’. So, while the exact mechanisms as to why there appears to be a qualitative difference in the immune response following LPS or e-coli infection, it does seem clear there is a difference. I’d also like to point out, that in this case, the animals were infected / challenged peripherally, with subcutaneous injections, and subsequent inflammatory responses were observed in the hippocampus. The fact that external immune activation results in CNS immune activation is a relatively new realization.

    Secondarily speaking towards your question, you have to remember that vaccines also come with adjuvants to insure the immune resopnse is sufficiently robust to insure protection. The only approved adjuvant in the US is an aluminum salt, alum, and without this alum, vaccines have a decreased success rate (when success is defined as subsequent antibody generation). If we want to believe that there are no qualitative differences between vaccination and infection, we’d need to think that somehow, our bodies immune system has evolved to generate an immunological response to aluminum in the same way that it evolved to respond to e-coli, or pertussis, or any other pathogen. Does that sound like a plausible scenario to you? Of course, if we had any data, it would help us in this discussion. I can’t prove that the observations don’t exist, but anyone with the desire, and data, could prove that the studies do exist.

    We know that people with immunodeficiency are vulnerable to all these diseases – even brewer’s yeast has been known to cause infection – so the immune systems of immunocompetent people must surely have at some time developed an adaptive response to these pathogens, presumably when they were first exposed, in childhood.

    We should try not to confuse childhood, with infancy. They are very different timeframes, and the animal studies tell us that time dependent effects are an important metric to incorporate.

    - pD

  607. #608 Professor Blackheart
    December 7, 2011

    Trends Immunol. 2009 Mar;30(3):109-16. Epub 2009 Feb 21.

    Linking allergy to autoimmune disease.
    Valenta R, Mittermann I, Werfel T, Garn H, Renz H.
    Source

    Division of Immunopathology, Department of Pathophysiology, Center for Physiology and Pathophysiology, Medical University of Vienna, A-1090 Vienna, Austria. rudolf.valenta@meduniwien.ac.at
    Abstract

    Type I allergy is a classical Th2-driven hypersensitivity disease based on IgE recognition of environmental allergens. Exposure of allergic individuals to exogenous allergens leads to immediate type inflammation caused by degranulation of mast cells via IgE-allergen immune complexes and the release of inflammatory mediators, proteases and pro-inflammatory cytokines.

    However, allergic inflammation can occur and persist in the absence of exposure to exogenous allergens and might paradoxically resemble a Th1-mediated chronic inflammatory reaction.

    We summarize evidence supporting the view that autoimmune mechanisms might contribute to these processes.

    IgE recognition of autoantigens might augment allergic inflammation in the absence of exogenous allergen exposure. Moreover, autoantigens that activate Th1-immune responses could contribute to chronic inflammation in allergy, thus linking allergy to autoimmunity.

  608. #609 Krebiozen
    December 7, 2011

    pD,
    In the absence of any solid evidence that there is a qualitative or quantitative difference between the immune system’s response to pathogens and vaccines in humans, this is really just speculation, isn’t it? The possibility that our immune systems react differently to single antigens than to a whole organism is intriguing, but that’s about it, as far I’m concerned anyway. Evidence of elevated cytokines in autistic brains suggest an ongoing inflammatory process, perhaps an autoimmune response, lasting for years or decades, and I find it hard to see how vaccination could cause this. I enjoy a bit of speculation beyond the data as much as the next person, but it’s important not to lose sight of what it is.

    You point out that there is data linking immune dysfunction with autism, but there is no evidence, as far as I am aware, that vaccination causes immune dysfunction. The close links between the immune system and the nervous system (which I first became aware of from the other end – psychoneuroimmunology) suggest that the behavioral and immune phenomena associated with autism are likely to have a common cause. Of course it is possible that immune dysfunction plus vaccination can sometimes lead to autism, but that brings us back to a difference in response to pathogens and vaccines. What does vaccination do today that a series of infections with childhood diseases didn’t do a few decades ago, assuming that the underlying immune dysfunction existed then?

    If we want to believe that there are no qualitative differences between vaccination and infection, we’d need to think that somehow, our bodies immune system has evolved to generate an immunological response to aluminum in the same way that it evolved to respond to e-coli, or pertussis, or any other pathogen. Does that sound like a plausible scenario to you?

    Yes, well, sort of. Soil is very rich in aluminum salts, so any wound that is contaminated with soil will have its own aluminum adjuvant added to it. An exaggerated immune response to soil, which contains many potential pathogens, might well bring a survival advantage. Speculation I know, but it is plausible.

  609. #610 Professor Blackheart
    December 8, 2011

    Proinflammatory and regulatory cytokine production associated with innate and adaptive immune responses in children with autism spectrum disorders and developmental regression

    We determined innate and adaptive immune responses in children with developmental regression and autism spectrum disorders (ASD, N=71), developmentally normal siblings (N=23), and controls (N=17).

    With lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a stimulant for innate immunity, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 59/71 (83.1%)

    ASD patients produced >2 SD above the control mean (CM) values of TNF-α, IL-1β, and/or IL-6 produced by control PBMCs. ASD PBMCs produced higher levels of proinflammatory/counter-regulatory cytokines without stimuli than controls. With stimulants of phytohemagglutinin (PHA), tetanus, IL-12p70, and IL-18, PBMCs from 47.9% to 60% of ASD patients produced >2 SD above the CM values of TNF-α depending on stimulants.

    Our results indicate excessive innate immune responses in a number of ASD children that may be most evident in TNF-α production.

  610. #611 blackheart
    December 8, 2011

    Selected Quotes

    “epidemiological data doesn’t seem to support your assertions”

    Epidemiological data doesn’t support any aetiology of vaccine.

    “In the absence of any solid evidence that there is a qualitative or quantitative difference between the immune system’s response to pathogens and vaccines in humans, this is really just speculation, isn’t it?”

    Randomized trials show that measles vaccine has strong nonspecific effects. So does DTaP.

    Evidence of elevated cytokines in autistic brains suggest an ongoing inflammatory process, perhaps an autoimmune response, lasting for years or decades, and I find it hard to see how vaccination could cause this.

    Epigenetics

    You point out that there is data linking immune dysfunction with autism, but there is no evidence, as far as I am aware, that vaccination causes immune dysfunction.

    “worrying evidence that whole-cell diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine (DTP) may increase mortality from infections other than diphtheria, tetanus, or pertussis in high-mortality areas”

    If vaccines are only a few antigens of either dead or attenuated pathogens (or just a protein from some other microbe), how can they cause more of a response than the fully alive and active pathogen?

    “When DTP was first introduced into Guinea-Bissau, despite the absence of herd immunity, mortality was 5.1 deaths per 100 person-years among children who did not receive DTP but 11.3 deaths per 100 person-years among children who did receive DTP”

  611. #612 Beamup
    December 8, 2011

    Epidemiological data doesn’t support any aetiology of vaccine.

    Not relevant to the point for which you are offering it as a response.

    Randomized trials show that measles vaccine has strong nonspecific effects. So does DTaP.

    If you read carefully (or at all) you might notice that the key word was DIFFERENCE. That there is a response to vaccination, certainly. They wouldn’t work otherwise. That does not establish that there is a DIFFERENT response than that to the actual pathogens, much less that said difference is harmful.

    Epigenetics

    Throwing out a buzzword does not a mechanism make.

    As to the other two, [citation needed].