AutismOne 2013: A quackfest just as quacky as ever

Well, April is over, which means that Autism Awareness Month is almost over. While antivaccinationists are saying goodbye to April and whining about the very concept of "autism awareness," I can't help but realize that the autism quackfest known as AutismOne is less than a month away. Yes, every year around Memorial Day weekend, the glitterati of the autism quackery and antivaccine world descend upon an airport near Chicago's O'Hare airport (what a drag, given that it can take an hour to get to downtown from there at rush hour) in order to spin conspiracy theories about big pharma and the government, learn about the latest quackery (or simply regurgitate long-existing quackery), and in general think of new ways to subject autistic children to the risk of being unprotected against vaccine-preventable diseases and subjecting them to whatever the quackery de l'année is. (Last year, it was bleach enemas, promoted by a woman named Kerri Rivera. Remembering last year's quackfest as one of the quackiest that I can recall, I thought I'd take a look at what sort of quackery we can expect in the 2013 AutismOne quackfest.

Before I get to that, I can't help but point out something that totally cracked me up. I rather suspect it will make you crack up too. Just take a gander at this session, Challenging the Consensus Through Effective Advocacy. Now take a look at who's giving the talk. That's right. I kid you not (and apparently the organizers of AutismOne aren't kidding either). It's Jake Crosby, and here's a description of what he's going to talk about:

This talk will answer questions about how you can become a more effective advocate. Discussions will range from tips and tricks for challenging people publicly at their own venues to tracking down the connections of those who defend the vaccine lobby but don't disclose their ties. Effective narratives for countering the vaccine lobby's talking points will also be explored.

Apparently Jake's going to talk about how he stalks various scientists and skeptical bloggers like myself, making a pest of himself, trying to get a reaction and then blog a one-sided version of the goings-on. Then he's going to talk about doing hilarious "six-degrees-of-separation" conspiracy mongering posts in which he spins any connection, no matter how tenuous, into an irretrievable conflict of interest. Quite honestly, I couldn't stop laughing when I saw this.

Now that that's out of the way, let's take a look. It's hard not to notice immediately who the keynote speakers are. There's model turned comedienne turned antivaccine "warrior mother," Jenny McCarthy, of course. No surprise there. She's done the keynote for this particular quackfest every year of its existence, as far as I can tell. Then there's Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Now there's a blast from the past. Long time readers of this blog might remember that I first made a name for myself in the skeptical and science-based blogosphere when I first deconstructed an awful antivaccine article by RFK, Jr. way, way, way back in 2005. It makes me feel old just thinking about it. I mean, over eight years in the blogsophere is ancient. Apparently in 2013, he's going to talk about Chronicling the Dangers and Exposing the Cover Up:

Has been involved in the fight to hold government health agencies responsible for the vaccine-induced autism epidemic. Kennedy's article Deadly Immunity chronicled the cover up by the CDC and FDA blasting the agencies for putting politics before science. He comes to the conference with a new book that further exposes the dangers of thimerosal and ongoing corruption of the CDC.

Oh, goody. I wonder if I can get a review copy. I hadn't realized that RFK, Jr. was coming out with a book this year and that he was going to exhume the rotting corpse of thimerosal antivaccine pseudoscience.

After the keynote speech by RFK, Jr., the quackery comes fast and furious. For instance, Kerry Rivera, the woman who advocates subjecting autistic children to bleach enemas, will be back for an encore performance, and apparently she's doubling down on the bleach quackery:

What are the scientifically validated underlying causes of autism that suggest efficacy of chlorine dioxide, and what is the protocol that has helped 86 children to recovery? Underlying medical conditions are implicated in autism--infections, allergies, inflammation, etc. Chlorine dioxide combined with the other steps of the protocol has helped thousands of children in over 40 countries overcome many of these conditions.

So, a year later, Rivera has learned nothing. (I was half tempted to say, "You know nothing, Kerri Rivera," but I'm not female, red-headed, or pretty, although I am definitely a Game of Thrones addict.) She's still advocating feeding autistic children bleach, and I bet she's still advocating bleach enemas as well. There is a bit of good news there. It turns out that in 2013 Rivera will graduate to become a homeopath. I can't help but hope that she sticks to homeopathy. AT least giving out magic water won't cause the damage that making autistic children drink bleach and or shoot it up their rectums has the potential to do.

Speaking of homeopathy, there's lots of homeopathy at the quackfest. For example, there are three talks or roundtables on homeopathy: Sequential Homeopathy + Biomedical Science = Houston Homeopathy Method for Autism by two homeopaths from—you guessed it!—the Homeopathy Center of Houston; the Homeopathy Center of Houston Parent Roundtable; and Restoring Gut Integrity After Iatrogenic Enterocolitis: Regeneration Using Silver Hydrosol, Homeopathy, Probiotics by Robert Scott Bell.

Egads! If it's not bleach, then it's colloidal silver. That's what Silver Hydrosol is! Of course, if bleach enemas, homeopathy, and colloidal silver aren't enough for you, you can always try to treat autism with camel's milk.

Then there's Brian Hooker, who will apparently repeat his nonsense to an adoring audience ready to eat it up in More Lies of the CDC Regarding the Relationship between Vaccines and Autism. One can only hope he will be as hilarious in person as he is in print attacking science. Meanwhile Mayer Eisenstein will be promoting his same, tired, old antivaccine schtick, in which he tries to teach parents how to get out of the various school vaccine mandates. In fact, there's a whole program about legal issues in autism and autism quackery, particularly getting vaccine exemptions, which is, of course, a special obsession with the antivaccine movement. If there's one thing they hate, it's school vaccine mandates.

If that's not enough, the "Conspiracy Realist" Liam Scheff will tell attendees what he thinks are the The Myths of Modern Science and Medicine:

What's wrong with science today? Investigator Liam Scheff takes apart the hidden history of medicine to reveal what's hidden beneath centuries of propaganda. "Are vaccines really safe?" is a question too many people have had to answer in the most painful way - but it's only a small part of the wide-reaching medical problem, revealed in this lecture.

I must admit that, after perusing Scheff's website, I find it to be what you might call a "target-rich" environment. I mean, just check out his section on evolution, particularly his piece on How Life Came to Be. Let me tell you, I might have to revisit Liam Scheff sometime. Pure entertainment for skeptics, like a chew toy for a dog. Oh, and he's a 9/11 Truther too. He'll definitely fit right in at AutismOne.

Yes, it looks as though AutismOne will in 2013 will be every bit the quackfest that it's always been, complete with book signings from a bunch of antivaccinationists pushing a book, including Louise Kuo Habakus, Kerry Rivera, and Robert Melillo, among others.

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Jake Crosby was originally slated to appear with Mark Blaxill, Dan Olmsted, and Kim Stagliano during the "Age of Autism: Where Do We Go From Here" presentation on the morning of Saturday, May 25. Then his name disappeared last week. I wonder if it has anything to do with Crosby's continued rants against the group SafeMinds on *Age of Autism*'s comment threads.

Hooker and Blaxill, who were at each other's throats during the SafeMinds/Crosby mess, are also slated to appear on stage together on Friday, May 24 for a talk entitled, "An Update on Congress, Autism, and VICP." Their interaction on this panel may get interesting.

By Sebastian Jackson (not verified) on 30 Apr 2013 #permalink

Ugh, nearly FraudismOne time already?

I wonder if Jake will use his 6DOS prattle to disclose his links to Monsanto?

As for colloidal silver and MMS, are these idiots trying to change their broken faery changelings "vaccine injured" kids into autistic smurfs with bleachy,clean digestive tracts?

Sick, demented muppets.

@Orac - giving him his own session may be part of the attempt to further distance him from the core leadership group - since he'll be on display in all his "glory" but not directly associated or sitting with the "inner circle" - as mentioned by SJ above.

Not that there are many, if any, rational people at that event to get the fact that Jake is going to put his "stalking" tactics out there for the entire world to see.....

No CEASE therapy?

Gah. Colloidal silver.

AV'ers scream about the heavy metals (OMG Aluminum! OMG MERCURY!) in vaccines, but have no problem dosing their kiddos up with ANOTHER heavy metal, silver.

Yes yes, silver has antibacterial/antimicrobial functions - especially when used topically. Giving it internally? That's a really dumb idea. Giving them NANOSILVER internally?

That's damn moronic.

I work in an industry that makes chlorine dioxide for water treatment systems. Every so often we get a request to purchase chlorite, a key ingredient, in bulk from an odd source. We turn them down flat as our corporate ethics prevent us from distributing dangerous chemicals to loons.

BTW, our equipment is often shipped with gas detectors for safety. If chlorine dioxide gas is detected above 0.1 ppm, we sound an alarm and turn on exhaust fans. I wonder what Rivera's safety precautions include? "Hold your breath dear while we pump more bleach up your ass?"

@elburto

Darn it! You beat me to the smurf joke. Since anti-vaxxers (based on available evidence) don't view their children as little rays of sunshine, I guess they would at least like a little ball of blueberry.

Well, if they want their bundle of joy turned into a ball of blueberry, I'm sure Mr Wonka's chocolate factory has just the product.

@Martin

"I wouldn't do that. I really wouldn't."

and my favorite line:

"Stop. Don't. Come back."

Effective. You keep using that word, Jake. I do not think it means what you think it means...

our corporate ethics prevent us from distributing dangerous chemicals to loons

"Corporate ethics" is one of those phrases which can fry cheap irony meters, but yes, I'd hate to be the defendant when one of the neighbors sues. Shipping hazardous materials in bulk to a residential address is not only asking for trouble, but sending an engraved invitation.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

I e-mailed the NBC and CBS affiliates in Chicago asking them to do investigative reports on Rivera and MMS. Considering MMS has been subject to a warning by the FDA and several foreign health agencies, I figured a quackster from Mexico shilling a transparently dangerous product in Chicagoland would warrant such reports. Let us keep fingers crossed.

By Sebastian Jackson (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

Autistics -- you know, actual human beings with autism -- are pretty much done with "awareness" also. Awareness is cheap, easy, often degrading, and does little-to-nothing to meet actual needs.

So there were several efforts to change the conversation. Autism Acceptance Decade, for one. (Google it, as I want to use my one free link for something else)

Autism Positivity for another. My current favorite of the day's Flash Blog is by Rose of the Caffeinated Autistic

Today is Autism Positivity day, and I’m going to tell you the best things about being autistic, for me.

".... and I’m going to tell you the best things about being autistic, for me."

http://autismpositivity.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/the-caffeinated-autist…

@Eric:

Pool chemicals are also ingredients in various home made explosives (HME), As an FBI instructor told my IED class*, HME tends to be a self-resolving problem.

But yes, it is hard on the neighbors.

(*I love my job).

I must admit that, after perusing Scheff’s website, I find it to be what you might call a “target-rich” environment. I mean, just check out his section on evolution, particularly his piece on How Life Came to Be.

Oh crap, he's an 'electric universe' freak.

He does admit most of his ideas are untestable, but shies away from stating that they are also unevidenced.

By Rich Woods (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

Rich Woods @16 -- The Electric Universe folks? Yowza! I'm an astronomer, so I've taken a little more interest in this phenomenon that the typical Orac reader.

Most people don't know much about all that esoteric stuff that goes on beyond the top of the atmosphere, so the sheer depth of the Electric Universe people's ludicrosity tends to be lost on the non-specialist.

Their theories are monomaniacal and unphysical, and as one might expect, they have no idea whatsoever of ... well, almost anything, but I was going to stress that they have no idea of how the theories we tend to trust are supported by reams and reams of superb data collected over many years.

In other words, it's pure, concentrated, highly-refined crankery.

By palindrom (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

That Liam Scheff is a real specimen! According to his web site, the Boston Marathon bombings were a covert CIA plot!

A few things:

Scheff has a long history as an hiv/aids denialist.

-btw- I didn't see any TMR lounge meet-ups; there was also supposed to be a Saturday book event w/ MacNeil for their new entry in the woo chick-lit derby.

AND....
now while I do honestly and sincerely confess to being both a bad influence and agent provocateur
BUT
as a rejoinder to what our most esteemed and totally gracious host ( with the most), Orac, said recently:
( paraphrase) it's not OK to bother Jake at his presentation @ GWU but if he gives a speech publicly, it's fair game to question him as he does others.

Well, this is public. Not related to his university. He's putting himself out there (both figuratively and literally) so, Why not?

Some brave soul might be highly effective in giving him a taste of his own medicine ( although if it's a SBM'er, he or she would therefore be showing data, not Jakes brand of rumour mongering/ conspiratorial yapping/ ranting at whomsoever he disagrees with) whilst his adoring fans observe.

It's just an idea:
but it would have to be someone who is relatively calm, knows his or her stuff and isn't recognisable by appearance or 'nym: might be required to register by name/ photo ID might get kicked out etc.

I think it would be hilarious to turn the tables on him.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

Also coming up is this cancer quackfest:
http://www.cancercontrolsociety.org/meeting2013-html.html
Hoxsey, laetrile, chelation, Mexican clinics — it’s all here!

It is as if the resident Napoleons and Christs from every asylum in the US gathered at a conference to commiserate with one another about the reluctance of the outside world to recognise each one's true identity.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

@ herr doktor bimler:

Ever read " The Three Christs of Ypsilanti"?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

I'm female, red-headed (at the mo) and if you squint really hard, in a darkened room I *might* be pretty. You know nothing, kerri riverra!

from AoA today: "May Day! May Day!..." ( Dachel)

Cindy Griffin comment:
Orac's "attacks on the parents who have dared to try to bring the SHAME of Big Pharma, and the PAIN and SUFFERING of autism to public attention"
and, " I honestly hope that there is also a very special warm place in hell for the 'oracs' of the world..."
She tries to recover children...
She could sue O but won't.
Etc.

Also, AoA:
LIsa Goes ( TMR's Rev) relates her two dreams ( in purple prose) and then announces that she will vacate the premises until she is again worthy blah, blah, blah.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

Cindy Griffin comment:
Orac’s “attacks on the parents who have dared to try to bring the SHAME of Big Pharma, and the PAIN and SUFFERING of autism to public attention”

I find myself wondering what AoA have contributed to 'autism awareness' other than to pretend that 25 years ago it didn't exist.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

@ Denice,

It seem really personal to them (blame, special place in h*ll for Orac...). Some days, I really question why do I go there myself.

Alain

Orac: On behalf of all parents of autistic children, I thank you for your good work. Cindy Griffin does not speak for me or for my child. Please keep up your good work, exposing the liars and quacks who victimize autistic children with dangerous and unnecessary (mis-)treatments.

Cindy Griffin at AoA who has damned Orac and the Oracs of the world to hell, states she "chose a very controversial profession" and she could "easily sue Orac".

Yup...she really did "chose a very controversial profession"

http://www.homeopathyhouston.com/practitioners/

@ Alain:

I'm not a masochist: I survey material like this because I truly want to understand them so I can counter their advocacy to neutral people.

We have data and research BUT when a new parent hears another parent in the throes of pain, crying about their 'damaged' child who was 'destroyed' by the malfeasance of greedy doctors etc. well, parents are vulnerable to messages like these- there is a natural sympathy that they feel while simultaneously experiencing fears about all of the terrible things that can befall children.

@ lilady:
Isn't it nice to know that we're all on the road to hell- which is of course, paved with good intentions.?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

@ Orac:

It's in her comment on Dachel's May Day post.
-btw- she doesn't d-mn you ( us?) but only hopes for it.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

@ Orac @ Denice Walter:

http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/05/may-day-may-day-the-end-of-autism-ac…

"...There must be a very special place in Heaven for the children and families who have been sentenced to a miserable existence from vaccines. And while it goes against my personal Christian belief system to do so, I honestly hope there is also a very special warm place in hell for the "oracs" of the world who try to hide their nastiness and the source thereof behind internet monikers, and make unveiled attempts to destroy the reputations and credentials of those who try to help the victims. (Dr. Wakefield certainly comes to mind!) Orac must be very proud of himself. For a little time. But there is an eternity ahead."

***I'll have good company in that "special warm place in hell". :-)

@ lilady:

In hell, every nacht is Walpurgisnacht.
Woo hoo.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

Amen @Thomas.

Ah yes, Lilady. I remember that one. Haven't seen that study in a while. In fact, I haven't seen many of the usual ones that get recycled now and then. The pro-disease pages are all full of St Andy's ranting on YouTube.

Isn’t it nice to know that we’re all on the road to hell

And if you meet the Buddha WAIT wrong metaphor.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

Isn’t it nice to know that we’re all on the road to hell

I like the Talking Heads' version.

*wistful Minnesotan*

Hell... I hear it's warm there.

Or a long time in Heck, anyway. Thanks Liz D for the comment on Autism Positivity day. That must be why my nephew posted a photo of him holding and Autism Society banner from St. Pat's day.

#30 Homeopathic hell... what would that be, a molecule of ash?

If a homeopath damns you to hell, does that mean you get fire and brimstone diluted until there's none left?

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

"who try to hide their nastiness and the source thereof behind internet monikers"

Damn you Orac! If only someone could pierce the thick veil of secrecy and discover your real name!

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

“…There must be a very special place in Heaven for the children and families who have been sentenced to a miserable existence from vaccines. And while it goes against my personal Christian belief system to do so, I honestly hope there is also a very special warm place in hell for the “oracs” of the world who try to hide their nastiness and the source thereof behind internet monikers, and make unveiled attempts to destroy the reputations and credentials of those who try to help the victims. (Dr. Wakefield certainly comes to mind!) Orac must be very proud of himself. For a little time. But there is an eternity ahead.”

Oh, the hilarity, particularly the part where she says:

I'm even capable of suing him for defamation but it's not worth the effort. I'd rather devote my energy to finding more and better ways to safely fix the kids, thank you very much.

Sure she is. I was merely expressing my opinion that homeopathy is quackery and that AutismOne is a quackfest. Free speech.

Of course, Ms. Griffin could try to make the case that homeopathy is effective, that it isn't the pseudoscience that I believe it to be, but she can't. Instead she'd rather whine about how she could sue and say she''s way too busy helping people to bother with such negativity. I did have a nice chuckle, though, and I suppose I should thank her for that. It warms the cockles of my heart to know that my efforts are so appreciated.

Look at those impressive letters after her name..

http://www.homeopathyhouston.com/practitioners/cindy-l-griffin/

She's also an educator/founder of her own school of homeopathy:

"After starting an Affiliated Study Group under National Center of Homeopathy in 1998, some of her students began asking for more in-depth teaching of homeopathy. By 1999 Cindy had created Houston School of Homeopathy, teaching beginning classes in homeopathic self-care. In 2001 she added a two-year practitioner level foundational course and graduated its first class in May, 2003. She has developed a curriculum in foundational studies for practitioners which will be taught in Houston, Texas. She has developed a two-day curriculum for acute illness and injury for consumers, a one-year basic post-graduate level course for homeopathic professional acute care, and a two-year advanced, post-graduate curriculum in the Houston Homeopathy Method, as well as a 1 year clinical internship program through Homeopathy Center of Houston."

I have never studied homeopathy. Therefore I'm an expert. My knowledge is more potent than those who attended classes.

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

I’m even capable of suing him for defamation

Anyone can sue, just as anyone can call spirits from the vasty deep; the issue is the likelihood of being thrown out of court.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 May 2013 #permalink

Homeopathy for "acute illness and injury"?

That's IT, I'm already in Hell, I must be. Bleurgh.

If there is a hell then it'll probably be really interesting, with some truly fascinating company. I bet the food is good too, and the entertainment? Well they do say that the Devil has all the best music.

Heaven, OTOH, seems like a Cliff Richard and Daniel O'Donnell drenched place. Even the thought has made me grab for the prochlorperazine*.

Last of the Summer Wine and Songs of Praise playing on repeat on all the heavenly screens, lukewarm orange squash** and dull biscuits^ like Nice or Rich Tea... Nah, hell will be just fine thanks!

Oh, and music fact fans, Chris Rea's song 'The Road to Hell' is about a truly terrible local road. that's a blackspot for both almost constant gridlock and spectacularly horrible accidents.

OME and I once drove past an accident scene (on that same road) that haunts me to this day. The juxtaposition of the sheer horror of what I saw lying there, with the banality of the bags of groceries strewn on the road by the impact, was just horribly jarring. I'm sure that even the "Thinkers" might stop referring to their situations as "horrific" or "tragic" if they'd seen that.

*Only at antiemetic doses, not antipsychotic levels! Even Cliff and Daniel don't inspire psychotic fugue-states in me. I think...

**It's like cordial but cheaper and weaker. Basically orangeish (or whatever) flavoured concentrate that you mix with water to create glasses of nasty. Standard fare at church events, along with...

^Biscuits as in cookies. Miserable ones devoid of well... anything. Flavour, colour, substance etc. Nice (pronounced like the French city) biscuits are pale rectangles of regret covered in granulated sugar.

Rich Tea biscuits are circles of sadness, made for dunking in cups of tea. They frequently fail to live up to even that simple duty though and break in half, rendering your cuppa undrinkable due to the sludge created by the drowned despair disc.

Apologies for the apparent addiction to alliteration. I don't know where it's come from, although it's probably down to my insomnia and a week of gastric shenanigans leaving my brain addled. Yes, more so than usual!

I'm rather fond of the subtle flavour of Rich Tea biscuits, myself. (I have the good fortune to have been able to master the art of dunking them without having them disintegrate.) I'll agree with you about Nice biscuits, though; the name is surely a violation of truth-in-advertising laws.

"OMG I should sue him!"

Please do. I need my gut-splitting belly laugh of the day.

Seriously, get your knickers out of their knot and put up or shut up - bring the science or go home already, Ms. Griffin.

They consider themselves scientists but nothing could be farther from the truth. Why solely dwell on the scientific process when you also need integrity, humility and passion for truth to deliver the goods? Who would argue that Einstein was not the greatest scientist of all? Einstein single-handedly gave us the phenomenal, revolutionary ‘theory of relatively’ without the aid of one single scientific study. He did this solely through his thought experiments. He was successful because he was the ultimate embodiment of the scientific spirit -- integrity, humility and passion for truth. You only need to look at the man and you can see these things. Contrast Einstein's scientific spirit with theirs. We have an autism epidemic that is obliterating generations of children and what solutions do they have to offer? Where are their passion and motivation to provide answers to the suffering children and their families? Instead, all we hear are lame excuses; 'we don"t know if there is really an epidemic...we can't do an unvaxed/vaxed study because it's too difficult...stop asking us to investigate vaccine components because that's shifting the goalposts...and so on and so on’. What happened to their scientific ideals of seeking truth to the betterment of mankind? Poor, pathetic, sad sacks they all are. How low they have sunk. Despicable pharma shills, they do not hesitate to prostitute themselves for mere selfish gains. They are the ultimate sell-outs. Not only did they sell-out our kids but they also sold out their own profession. History will forever judge them as the most odious excuses for scientists.

"two-year practitioner level foundational course"

What an appalling waste of two years.

Greg: " Why solely dwell on the scientific process when you also need integrity, humility and passion for truth to deliver the goods?"

Greg (paraphrased): "Why bother with science when you need to agree with me to deliver the results I want?

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

‘theory of relatively’

Now that's just embarrassing. Please troll better.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

@Greg

we don”t know if there is really an epidemic

Okay, provide some citations, then, showing that there is, indeed, an epidemic. Is the prevalence high? Yes. Has it increased? Hard to say, since there are a lot of confounders that just cannot be controlled for, but evidence suggests that if it has, it hasn't done so by much.

we can’t do an unvaxed/vaxed study because it’s too difficult

Bzzt! No, we can't do a vaxed/unvaxed study because it would be unethical, if done in a prospective manner. If you mean a retrospective study, yes, it's difficult, but some studies have been done already and found no connection.

stop asking us to investigate vaccine components because that’s shifting the goalposts

We have looked at some of the components (thimerosal, antigens) and specific vaccines (MMR). The anti-vaccine contingent just looks at the list of ingredients and say, "Oh, yeah? Well, what about this?" with no thought to prior plausibility, dose-response, etc. And, because there have been studies looking at vaccinated vs. partially vaccinated vs. unvaccinated and health outcomes, finding no differences between groups (other than greater rates of preventable diseases in the unvaccinated), there is no compelling evidence to keep looking at the ingredient du jour. So, yes, at this point, it is just shifting goalposts when you get an answer you don't like.

What happened to their scientific ideals of seeking truth to the betterment of mankind?

They are seeking truth to better mankind. They are looking at genetic causal factors and other promising areas. They are also looking at ways to make the lives of autistics better, learning how to provide what they need to allow them to reach their fullest potential.

Despicable pharma shills

Really, Greg? The pharma shill gambit? Seriously?

they do not hesitate to prostitute themselves for mere selfish gains.

Such lovely imagery, Greg. Can't fight the science, so just sling insults. Well played, sir. Well played. Your intellect astounds me. I bow low before the great mind that is Greg. Oh, Most Pompously Accurate One! I am unworthy to even glimpse the electrodes you spew into the internet!

'theory of relativity'...

We have an autism epidemic that is obliterating generations of children ...

And once again Greg, you expose yourself as an ableist.

What happened to their scientific ideals of seeking truth to the betterment of mankind?

Please stop, i'm running out of irony and hypocrisy meters now.

are the ultimate sell-outs. Not only did they sell-out our kids but they also sold out their own profession

Fzzt...BANG another one destroyed. Your comment describes Andrew Wakefield (who took money from a lawyer to find a link, subjected children to invasive procedures, cooked the data when it pointed away from his hypothesis and attempted to set up businesses to profit from the scare he engineered) down to the ground.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

Just thinking aloud... Will address you guys shortly.

@Greg - because the Science isn't giving you the results you want / demand (because it isn't there), you tar the entire Scientific Profession as being "corrupt?"

How about actual evidence to support any of your various assertions? Including all of the answers to the questions we've already asked & you've refused to answer.

I would love for you to go out and tell the autistic population how "brain damaged" they are.....including the ones that regularly post on here. You claim Scientists lack compassion, yet you have no problem with saying the things you do.....hypocrisy, thy name is Greg.

I don't think what Greg is doing even falls in the same grid square as thinking...

But hey, he's got half my anti-vaxx bingo card filled, and just from one post.

As Todd and Lawrence have pointed out, if science comes up with an answer you don't like, it's not proof that scientists are evil, inhuman and corrupt. It's proof that you were wrong.

Greg,

We have an autism epidemic that is obliterating generations of children and what solutions do they have to offer? Where are their passion and motivation to provide answers to the suffering children and their families? Instead, all we hear are lame excuses; ‘we don”t know if there is really an epidemic…we can’t do an unvaxed/vaxed study because it’s too difficult…stop asking us to investigate vaccine components because that’s shifting the goalposts…and so on and so on’.

If only those heartless scientists would get off their backsides and do some research into autism. There are only 22,540 papers mentioning autism listed on PubMed, but they are mostly looking at plausible causes of autism, such as genetics, and effective interventions based on neurobiological principles that actually help people with autism. Where are the studies on implausible and tested and rejected hypotheses? Where are the studies on interventions that have no basis in science and that are likely to unhelpful at best and dangerous at worst? [/sarcastic snark]

It seems obvious to most people that there are plenty of passionate and motivated scientists doing research that is likely to actually generate useful results. Why would anyone in their right mind waste time and money investigating the disproven vaccine-autism link, or useless biochemical interventions based on crackpot ideas?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

"Theory of Relativity"

- Albert Einstein

"Theory of Irrelativity"

- Greg

Hi morons,

keep injecting yourselves with poison and telling yourselves it's shinola. I guess moms just like faking the death and brain damage of their kids to give you tards something to talk about.

By Mike Miller (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

Greg:

Just thinking aloud… Will address you guys shortly.

So are you finally going answer my question on vaccines versus actual diseases in regards to seizures with actual verifiable scientific evicence? Or are you going to run away again the third time I repeat the question?

Remember I dealt with real seizures due to a real disease in a toddler. I cannot go by beliefs, but actual evidence.

@ lilady:

Or of Irrelevance.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

Greg claims:

Einstein single-handedly gave us the phenomenal, revolutionary ‘theory of relatively’ without the aid of one single scientific study. He did this solely through his thought experiments. He was successful because he was the ultimate embodiment of the scientific spirit — integrity, humility and passion for truth

False, Greg. The development of the special & general theories of relativity required a great deal of prior work be undertaken:

The history of special relativity consists of many theoretical results and empirical findings obtained by Albert Michelson, Hendrik Lorentz, Henri Poincaré and others. It culminated in the theory of special relativity proposed by Albert Einstein, and subsequent work of Max Planck, Hermann Minkowski and others. [from the fount of all knowledge]

It's fairly obvious from this, and the remainder of your obcene rant, that you know effectively nothing about science.

By Composer99 (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

By 1999 Cindy had created Houston School of Homeopathy, teaching beginning classes in homeopathic self-care

Does that mean she teaches people to drink water and take showers?

By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

@Greg - trying to play the "maverick" science card again? As has been pointed out, Einstein wasn't working in isolation or in conflict with the mainstream - he was a recognized expert in his field and part of a much larger body of scientists all heading in the same direction.

I will also agree that you know little about Science or History for that matter.....

Just thinking aloud…

I'd suggest you get the act down before performing in front of a live audience, greg.

Greg: "Just thinking aloud..."

Ah, so _that_ explains the weird whoopee-cushion noises...

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

Does that mean she teaches people to drink water and take showers?

[SNORT]

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

keep injecting yourselves with poison and telling yourselves it’s shinola

Does anyone understand why Mike Miller appears to think skeptics believe vaccines are made of shoe polish? No wonder he thinks we're morons. It's all clearly a terrible misunderstanding.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

@Mike Miller,
As we keep telling Greg, you need to show us proof that vaccines do that.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

@Mike Miller

Oh, Mike, Mike, Mike. Really? You shouldn't have dropped out of troll school. Otherwise, you might have learned to be at least interesting.

@MM - stay classy anti-vax troll, stay classy.....

Restoring Gut Integrity After Iatrogenic Enterocolitis: Regeneration Using Silver Hydrosol, Homeopathy, Probiotics by Robert Scott Bell.

I presume this must be the conference that follows "Inducing Iatrogenic Enterocolitis in the Comfort of Your Own Home Using Sodium Hypochlorite"?

Abstract: Your autistic child doesn't have any bowel problems according to all the real doctors you've consulted ? Don't despair, we now have the solution : mess them up yourself ! Our new do-it-yourself sodium hypochlorite enema is a practically guaranteed way to seriously affect your child excreting function for a long time, for hours of joy and potentially serious complications. Advantages include squeaky clean colon and interestingly smelling farts. We'll also introduce brand new advances in our treatment in books such as The Potentializing Effect of Vinegar: The Health Benefits Of Having Exothermic Reactions Happen Inside of You.

Actually, Greg - you are asking for the vax/unvax study? I'll tell you what: You go out and recruit sufficient participants, let them know they don't have a choice whether their child is vaccinated or not, make sure you pair each family with 5 other families all with the same: age of mother and father, race, socioeconomic status, smoking, current vaccination status, fillings, parity of the mother, health of the mother during pregnancy, sex of the baby, singularity of the baby (single birth/twins/triplets, etc)...are there any possible variables I forgot?

Then, when you have all the volunteers who are well aware that even if they are against vaccines their child may be getting them, if they are pro vaccine their child may NOT be getting them, find an IRB to approve it. If you can do all those things, I'll happily make sure you get the money for it.

Oh - and make sure all these people ALSO understand that to rule out vaccines cause autism, they will need to be followed for a minimum of 5 years, can't have the child knowingly given vaccines in case of outbreaks, and no, they don't get any money for it if their child becomes sick, has sequelae, or dies.

How 'effing enlightened of Mike Miller, the father of an autistic little boy, to call other people "tards." I won't even write what I'm thinking, 'cuz it's nasty.

By Marc Stephens … (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

MSII, I won't ask you to write what you're thinking but a quick google search on MM reveal there are a lot of MM in the US of A so would you please tell me more about him or point me to appropriate website?

Alain (just curious)

I Googled Mike Miller Autism and found several comments on autism discussion boards. I was assuming it's the same person. I might be wrongf, but even so it's reprehensible he uses words like "moron" and "tards" in the context of an autism discussion.

By Marc Stephens … (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

Alain,

He actually posts as Michael Miller, once again assuming it's the same guy. It's unlikely we'll ever hear from him again here, though, based on other drive-by trolls' history.

By Marc Stephens … (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

Greg, you bang on about this "epidemic" and have, on another thread, accused us of being "unfeeling" for ignoring the stories of the "tens of thousands of parents whose children were injured by vaccines."

So I asked you a question:what do you say to the tens of thousands of parents of autistic kids, who, when they got the diagnosis, recalled many retrospective signs of their children’s autism, that had nothing to do with their vaccinations?

I ask that question again, because you didn't reply; though I did get responses from parents or people on the spectrum, who said, yep, signs predated the vaccinations.

I have 2 new questions: what do you say to the parents who, when they got the diagnosis of ASD for their children, could see the same signs in themselves or other family members?

And also, what do you say to the TENS OF MILLIONS of parents whose children who have been vaccinated, who have had no ill effects whatsoever?

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

#62 Instead of "injecting yourselves with poisons" you mean "enemaing yourselves with bleach," right? I think you got them mixed up.

Nah, I don't think any of the bleach-enema fetishists actually do it to themselves. They only do it to their defenseless children.

By ThickSantorum (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

The “latest” from Bolen

The combination of arbitrary caps and priggish devotion to the (frankly un-American) dieresis is darling, particularly when paired with the inability to figure out the name of the AAP.

@67, Lawrence

While there is much debate about how much Einstein relied on the work of other scientist to come up with his theories, there is no denying that Einstein was a brilliant, creative thinker who was obsessed with truth. These qualities more than anything contributed to his successes and enriched science. His accomplishments were definitely not so much results of adhering to scientific protocols.

'other scientists'....

@#63, Chris,

As I mentioned already, I don't know to what extent we can trust the reported stats on known vaccine complications as captured in VAERS. There are good reasons to suspect that such complications are under-reported. Lawrence did mention how there are other post release studies. Like I am going to trust anything in the total control of pharma and their cronies. Skip! That said, indeed it might be the case that the known complications from MMR are rarer than than those from VPDs themselves. Taking vaccines as a whole and as administered in a childhood immunization schedule is a different story. Suspected complications such as autism, SIDs, ADHD and other neurological problems do not outweigh the risks of VPDs. Given the prevalence rates of these problems and if vaccines are the contributing factor, one would be better off taking their chance with VPDs. The fact that informed, educated parents are the ones choosing to delay or skip vaccines attests to this rationalization.

@Lawrence,

Autism is definitely brain damage and I provided a few weeks ago an article in which Professor Robert Naviaux, a neuro-scientist, claims as much. What -- would you prefer that I use a more PC term? How about calling it permanent neurological impairment? Brain damage is brain damage. Yes, there are high functioning vaccine brain damaged autistics who can compensate and have successful lives, albeit they are a significant minority.

His accomplishments were definitely not so much results of adhering to scientific protocols.

The reality is that Einstein did adhere to "scientific protocols" of (a) using and accounting for all available data, (b) publishing his work, (c) honoring peer review, and (d) making falsifiable predictions of not-yet-available data. Hr was honest, too.
Your assignment is to compare and contrast Einstein vs the "brave mavericks" that you are angling towards, like, possibly, Wakefield, Burzinsky, Sears, and so on.

By Bill Price (not verified) on 02 May 2013 #permalink

@Julian Frost,

I do not base my opinons on Dr. Wakefield's work. Was Dr. Wakefield guilty of merely not dotting his i's and crossing his t's? Maybe. Did Dr. Wakefield commit research fraud? I don't know. I will not blindly defend him just because I am an anti-vaxer. Is Dr. Wakefild responsible for the ongoing distrust of vaccines? Definitely not! This distrust is mainly the product of countless parents witnessing how their chilren were destroyed after vaccines. I will also say that after reading Wakefield's 'Callous Disregard' that he showed himself to be a deeply caring, compassionate individual who passionately wated to help his patients at the Royal Free Hospital. In fact, by far, he provided better care for his patients than what other autistics with medical issues usually receive from the medical establishment.

'passionately wanted'...

@ All the anti-science accusations,

Just a recap -- I would like to remind you all that I am not anti-science and again will state my beliefs. I consider myself to be a firm believer in science and the scientific method. I am a rational thinker. I am an atheist who accepts evolutionary theory. I don't believe in naturopathy, homeopathy, acupunctures and other such alternative medicines. Where autism is concerned, I also reject chelation therapy. I also do not believe that thimerosal or MMR in themselves cause autism. That said, I also reject existing vaccine safety science that purports to find no link between vaccines and autism. I reject this science on the grounds that it is incomplete, only looking into thimerosal, MMR, and now one study on antigens. I do, however, strongly believe that vaccines in their totality as administered in the CDC’s recommended childhood immunization schedule do cause autism. I also believe that an unvaxed/unvaed study or a study into the autism rate of unvaxed populations would show this. How vaccines do cause autism, I think Dr. Russell Blaylock’s theory of imuno-excito-toxcity accurately explains this. Autism is a result of neurons becoming overly excited and signalling dysfunctionally or dying as a result of vaccine insults. I am interested in the precise role that adjuvants play in this process. These are my beliefs as a layperson. Finally, I will state that I believe that you all also do not personally believe that vaccines do not cause autism, despite sticking to your party line that studies find no link. Of all the rebuttals that I am expecting, I most curious about your responses to this last point.

A final question....

Imagine by the 'sheerest off chance' that vaccines do cause autism and are responsible for the escalating autism numbers, do you all believe that it would be worth the risks to continue to proceed with the existing immunization schedule and live with the ensuing autism?

Greg: No one here cares about your ignorant unscientific fact-free statements. (We all know you get your information from AoA and other crank blogs)

Just go away now, creep.

Greg, I can't imagine that vaccines cause autism. That is because there is so much evidence that vaccines don't cause autism and that autism has a strong genetic component.

What you are asking me to do is to imagine the kitten attempting to climb on to my lap is an elephent. It is simply not possible.

So having failed to imagine the impossible you want us to imagine, we absolutely should continue with vaccination, because vaccination saves lives of children. Something morons like you can't do.

Autism is definitely brain damage and I provided a few weeks ago an article in which Professor Robert Naviaux, a neuro-scientist, claims as much

Here "provided an article" is a term of art meaning "linked to some bullsh1t from the Daily Mail" describing Naviaux's work with mice... in which Naviaux conspicuously fails to claim that autism is brain damage.
There really is no end to Greg's capacity for lying. It is quite impressive in a way.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

In answer to #94 Greg, I will say given that tens of millions of children have been vaccinated without developing autism, you're operating on a dodgy premise.

And if you think we're better off with VPDs, you might want to talk to people whose children have been permanently damaged or killed by these diseases.

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

@Greg:

Did Dr. Wakefield commit research fraud? I don’t know.

You don't know, or you don't want to know? The "case study" misrepresented the children's medical conditions. Furthermore, every misrepresentation "strengthened" the "case" against MMR. Your question may have been rhetorical, but the answer is "Yes, he did."

I will also say that after reading Wakefield’s ‘Callous Disregard’ that he showed himself to be a deeply caring, compassionate individual who passionately wated to help his patients at the Royal Free Hospital.

The hell he was! He subjected 12 children to a series of needless and very distressing tests (colonoscopies, barium meals and lumbar punctures) to gain data. Video evidence of him admitting to taking blood in exchange for money sank his case before his fitness to practise hearing. Caring? I think not.
P.S. Wakefield was interviewed by Anderson Cooper, who famously told him "Sir, if you're lying, then your book's a lie too." Wakefield was caught in several lies at his hearing. If you think that he told the whole unvarnished truth in "Callous Disregard", I have a bridge in Sydney Harbour to sell you.

Imagine by the ‘sheerest off chance’ that vaccines do cause autism and are responsible for the escalating autism numbers, do you all believe that it would be worth the risks to continue to proceed with the existing immunization schedule and live with the ensuing autism?

Well, let's see: a greater than 50% chance of dying before 18 from measles, polio, chickenpox, diphtheria, pertussis; a good chance of being rendered sterile (mumps), being born with Congenital Rubella Syndrome, developing SSPE (Measles), living in an iron lung (polio), shingles in later life (chickenpox), encephalopathy or seizures (pertussis) or organ damage (diphtheria).
Even if the vaccines WERE responsible (and you haven't proved that they are), yes, I would prefer what we have now to what we had before vaccination.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

My cat just looked at a comment made by Greg, and farted.

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

@Greg

Given the prevalence rates of these problems and if vaccines are the contributing factor, one would be better off taking their chance with VPDs.

Okay, Greg. What are the prevalence rates of those problems? Do cite us some numbers, and be sure to include your sources. I advise using high quality ones, not quotes from the Daily Mail.

Greg,

I would like to remind you all that I am not anti-science and again will state my beliefs. I consider myself to be a firm believer in science and the scientific method. I am a rational thinker.

I don't see how any rational thinker can look at the evidence carefully and with an open-mind and come to the conclusion that vaccines cause autism. Either you don't really believe vaccines cause autism and are playing some childish game here, or you are not in any way a rational thinker, I'm not sure which.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

I would like to revisit another query because I am not sure if you all understood what I was asking.

Setting aside your position that studies find no link between vaccines and autism, I would like to know what you personally believe. I will put the precise question to you below again and ask for a one word 'no' or 'yes' response. After your one word response I will give you a chance later to expand on your answer.

'Do you believe that vaccines play absolutely no causal role in autism?'

Note, I would respond 'no'. Now what is your response? You might be interested to know that I don't care about your response either way. I just want to see if you will fess up or prove his/herself to be a liar. Anyway, I would really like everyone to answer the question. I am particularly interested in your response, Denice Walter.

@greg - two words....fuck off

@Greg

You already asked that question and already received answers.

Here's a question for you: how about instead of looking at VAERS you look at the Vaccine Safety Datalink. The data there is from insurance providers. If anyone is ready to condemn a drug so they don't need to pay for it anymore, they seem like a likely lot. Surely you can trust data and studies coming out of the VSD?

@Greg - my original comment to you is in moderation (for good reason - and Orac, please feel free to delete).

I, for one, don't care what you want, because you've shown yourself to hold opinions of autistics that I find quite appalling, beliefs that have no basis in fact, and conduct yourself in a way that is intellectually dishonest to the extreme.

So, go f* yourself & your questions. Because if you can look at the overwhelming mountains of evidence out there & come to the conclusions that you do - it just means that you lack any and all means of rational thinking.

Not to mention you have a complete lack of empathy - which makes you a Grade A tool.

Finally, I will state that I believe that you all also do not personally believe that vaccines do not cause autism, despite sticking to your party line that studies find no link. Of all the rebuttals that I am expecting, I most curious about your responses to this last point.

OK Greg, I think in your double negative there you are saying we believe vaccines cause autism. Seeing as you place a lot of faith in anecdotes... I got the MMR vaccine too late to have supposedly developed autism from it (I was in my teens). However, many of my friends have children who've received the MMR, and don't have autism. So no, *I* don't believe vaccines cause autism.

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

Greg: "I would like to remind you all that I am not anti-science and again will state my beliefs."
Greg: "You might be interested to know that I don’t care about your response either way."

Remind me again why, with this attitude, we should be interested in your beliefs?

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

And given that she farted after she read your question about vaccines causing autism, I'd say my cat thinks your question is stupid too.

And yes, her vaccinations are also up to date, and she's not showing any signs of autism.

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

Good gracious! You guys are asking parents to trust vaccines, but you cannot answer a simply question with a one word response stating your own personal view. Todd, only a few people answered the question last time and I am not sure if they understood the question. Again, please answer the question. I promise to give you a chance later to expand on your answer.

@Greg - why? You've already said you don't care what the answers you...seriously, F* off

@Greg

You guys are asking parents to trust vaccines, but you cannot answer a simply question with a one word response stating your own personal view.

Perhaps because your question is poorly formulated. You ask for, no, demand simple one word, black-or-white answers, when nuance is called for. That was pointed out the last time you asked, as well.

Here's the problem with your demand:

If someone answers "No" (i.e., they believe that vaccines do not cause autism) then you can say that they are being closed-minded and unscientific, ignoring the possibility that there could be even a 1 in 1 trillion chance of a vaccine causing autism.

If someone answers "Yes" (i.e., they believe that vaccines can cause autism), then you can crow and trumpet that the skeptics admit vaccines can cause autism, thereby bolstering your own belief and claims.

The real answer requires more than a single word. The answer requires context and nuance. So is it any surprise that no one will comply with your demand?

Now, how about those numbers on prevalence for the things you blame on vaccines?

Greg, you've shown yourself to be disingenuous and a goalpost-shifter. I'm well aware that demanding one-word answers is a rhetorical trick. So I'm prepared to answer your question, but not with one word.
By reducing cases of Congenital Rubella Syndrome and other illnesses, vaccines prevent cases of autism
So vaccines don't have "nothing to do" with autism.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

* Sees Greg's personal challenge to Denise Walter*
Despite it being close to midnight here in Australia, I think I might stay up for a bit to see Denise's response. I will be most entertaining, I feel.

Tea, anyone?

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

Greg,
If you really are a firm believer in science and the scientific method I suggest you read this article (PDF) very carefully. Once you have read and understood it, and familiarized yourself with the papers it references, if you still believe that vaccines cause autism, perhaps you could explain why. Persisting with a belief in the face of clearly contradictory evidence is irrational.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

Now that I have my tea...

Greg, back up at #81, I asked you three questions. I will repeat them, because I really want the answers.

1) What do you say to the tens of thousands of parents who, when they got the autism diagnosis for their children, could retrospectively see signs of autism that predated any vaccinations?

2) What do you say to the people who, when they got the diagnosis of autism for their children, could subsequently spot autistic spectrum behaviours in themselves and other members of their family?

3) What do you say to the tens of millions of people who have had vaccinations themselves, or vaccinated their children, with no ill effects whatsoever?

You can even use more than one word.

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

Persisting with a belief in the face of clearly contradictory evidence is irrational.

Given Greg's history of persisting with his advocacy of the "vax vs unvax" study, even after multiple clear explanations of why it would be unethical, I have no illusions that he will change his beliefs simply because they're wrong. I have to wonder what's in it for him.

In the world of actual science conferences,IMFAR is going on this week. As noted earlier, there is a study being presented comparing vaccination rates between autistic and non autistic kids. The full abstract is online now.

https://imfar.confex.com/imfar/2013/webprogram/Paper12796.html

Overall differences are not significant, with autistic kids slightly less vaccinated than typically developing kids. Autistic kids for the HepB a significantly lower uptake. One autistic kid was unvaccinated.

Nothing stunning, just more evidence against the vaccine epidemic idea.

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

I will put the precise question to you below again and ask for a one word ‘no’ or ‘yes’ response. After your one word response I will give you a chance later to expand on your answer.

A million thanks, oh merciful overlord! (This is sarcasm, by the way)

‘Do you believe that vaccines play absolutely no causal role in autism?’

A simple one-word answer: yes (oversimplified for the oversimple).

I haven't missed the Congressional panel at the Quack Fest, Orac...in fact, I've posted about them frequently. These are the same three Congressman who conducted the sham hearing on autism, November, 2012...and who accepted the largesse of Hooker and Wakefield, to "set the agenda" for that hearing.

Greg, you’ve shown yourself to be disingenuous and a goalpost-shifter.

Not to mention a bald-faced liar. But hey, he's admitted to being an anti-vaxxer (which blows his claim to supporting science and the scientific method right out of the water).

Thx TBruce, although it wasn't really a one word response. C'mon more Orac's vaccine pushers and answer the question. Trust me that if I were to put the question to AoA anti-vaxers I would have gotten all my responses already. If you believe in the scientific studies so much surely you should be able to provide a response? I don't want to resort to my chicken sqawking.

Again, please answer the question. I promise to give you a chance later to expand on your answer.

You've already said you don't care about the answers and you've made it quite clear that you're sticking to "vaccines cause autism no matter what the actual evidence shows", so kindly bugger off and stop wasting everyone's time.

By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

I do, however, strongly believe that vaccines in their totality as administered in the CDC’s recommended childhood immunization schedule do cause autism.

Why do you believe this, Greg? We get that you do beleive, but not what that belief derives from.

Tell you what, I'll make things it as easy as possible for you to respond:

What in your opionion represents the single, strongest, most compelling piece of evidence supporting a causal relationship between immunization and autism spectrum disorders?

(Mind you, I'm asking for actual evidence--not anecdotal accounts, not personal testimonies, not a perceived temporal association between immunization adn diagnosis as having ASD, etc.)

@Greg

You're asking a loaded question, as I explained. Let me ask you, and answer with only "Yes" or "No":

"Have you stopped beating your wife?"

Don't worry, I'll give you a chance to expand later.

Greg:

As I mentioned already, I don’t know to what extent we can trust the reported stats on known vaccine complications as captured in VAERS.

I asked for the PubMed indexed study that exists, not for you to go through the VAERS yourself. And the Vaccine Safety Datalink does include VAERS data, but the electronic medical data from the several health maintenance organizations has more validity.

The MMR vaccine has been around for over forty years. If it caused all the issues you claimed, the data would show it. Now, again, provide the PubMed indexed study that shows it causes more seizures than measles. Or admit that there is no evidence. Stop making excuses.

It is not about your beliefs, it is about the evidence. The evidence from over forty years shows that the vaccines are safer than the diseases.

By the way, the problem with you and your AoA friends is that they lie. Just like Wakefield, the Geiers, Olmstead and Blaylock lie. We don't want lies, we want real evidence.

Given how many large scale epidemiological studies looking for a causal assoication have been conducted since Wakefield's fraudlulent Lancet article was published without finding even a hint of one, I believe that routine childhood immunizations play absoluetely no casual role in the development of autism spectrum disorders.

@Greg - why don't you just go and pound sand. We know exactly where you stand & you just enjoy acting like a complete and utter tool.

The very fact that you can ignore information such as Matt provided above shows that you are a disingenuous A-hole.

I usually refrain from the harsh language, but Greg has proven himself to be a troll of the worst order.

Greg: YES.

Now, I've answered your question. Will you answer my three, which I posted at #81 and #117. You can have more than one word. And you can have a few hours, because I'm going to bed.

Your constant refusal to answer questions makes you look more and more like a chicken squawking.

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

I have a question for everybody too - please confine your response to one word for now (yes or no):

"Do you personally believe that Greg is the most tedious, dishonest and repetitive anti-vax troll since Th1/Th2?"

I will give a you chance to expand on your answers later.

By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

Well, for Christine's sake...
I believe that vaccines' causal role in autism is purely mythological - an article of faith: its existence in any place other than in believers' minds or writings is not supported by data, research or observation in external reality.

Mythological beliefs usually derive from naive observation that relates particular objects, persons or events through principles that organise our memory and form the foundations of our thinking processes:
if they resemble each other in form or function- even partially;
if they occur in close temporal proximity to each other.
if they are in contact with each other, even briefly,
amongst other principles.

Early humans feared many things about their environment which were hostile to life:
is it any wonder that they feared the night, large animals, outsiders, unfamiliar foods or substances, sharp objects?
Rituals evolved to 'protect' our ancestors from the malign influence of many enviromental "dangers" that presented hazards to their bodies, minds or "purity" through the concept of taboo- i.e. avoidance or restriction from contact.

Vaccination involves using a sharp implement to inject an "unknown" substance into another person's body..
it could contain material that contaminates or poisons- in the primitive person's mind who may have seen ( or heard through lore passed down through generations) someone died from a puncture wound, an arrow or through ingesting a foreign substance as well as being damaged through the ill will of a sorcerer: a fellow died after someone looked at him funny or pointed a bone his way.
Fears about vaccination are as old as the procedure itself.

Anti-vaccinationists have created a cult- replete with shamans and elders- that enumerates and codifies these articles of faith about vaccines:
there are related mythologies amongst natural health advocates who similarly fear pharmaceuticals, radiation, GMOs, toxins, progress AND obviously, doctors.

All would avoid any threat to their own- or their children's- safety and purity. Their many so-called biomedical interventions, diets and other procedures are vain attempts to re-capture and restore their "lost" child's original state prior to 'contamination' by the machinations of malevolent practitioners of modern magic- to get rid of the evil spell.

There are parallels in alt med ritual that are analogous attempts to re-capture ritual purity** or some edenic condition and to ensure protection from a malign- although modern- environment and a new type of evil practitioner of the black arts.

If you believe something with all of your heart, it doesn't make it true .. but it mgiht cause you to twist yourself into all sorts of cognitive and emotional knots to hold on to your belief system.

** see esp. veganism, acid/ alkaline, pesticide phobia etc.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

@Denice Walter

I think that was more than one word.

@ Todd W.:

Well, I don't have to work or to attend any ancient seasonal festivities today.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

I decided to come back one last time just to see the progress on this one.

That was definitely more than one word Denice, but it was lovely just the same. *I* could boil it down to the one word answer, but I don't know that Greg will.

Now I am definitely going to bed, with possibly some more light reading about Anglo-Saxon burials. Maybe Greg will answer my questions in the mean time. Not holding out much hope.

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

@ Christine ( the public servat Christine):

re A-S burials:
do you know anything about the beads? They had great beads to put on the dead women/ girls.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

More than one word, and well chosen, too.

@ Edith Prickly

"“Do you personally believe that Greg is the most tedious, dishonest and repetitive anti-vax troll since Th1/Th2?”

Yes.

I have another question (one word replies, please)

Do you personally believe that the Greg troll is as vicious and as crass as Thingy, by referring to developmental disabled people as "brain damaged"

Do you personally believe that the Greg troll is as vicious and as crass as Thingy, by referring to developmental disabled people as “brain damaged”

HELL YES. Oh sorry, that was two words.

By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

I don't know which troll is the worst, there is plenty of choice, but I have a hard time choosing between:
DJT
Thingy
Greg

How about Greg/ Peg/ Emily
and Judith & Marg?
Is that two people or three?
Blackheart? Julian ( C@nnabis)?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

@ Denice
Yes, there is a whole bunch of trolls, but those where the first that came up.

Trust me that if I were to put the question to AoA anti-vaxers I would have gotten all my responses already.

You mean like the debacle when you asked about their censorship policy?

if they resemble each other in form or function- even partially

Hence opposition to neonatal vitamin K prophylaxis.

Trust me that if I were to put the question to AoA anti-vaxers I would have gotten all my responses already

That's because anti-vaxxers are incapable of critical thinking.

How vaccines do cause autism, I think Dr. Russell Blaylock’s theory of imuno-excito-toxcity accurately explains this.

You mean the one predicated on the notion that Gulf War syndrome is due to squalene and diet soda?

Just as I thought Denise. Just as I thought. Lawrence, thanks for your interest in my copulation activities but you also did not answer the question. Orac, it would also be nice if you were to weigh in on the matter. It's not a public debate so you don't have to worry about not keeping your lunch down. What about you Elburto? A man with a way with words, surely you can offer your stand on the matter? Remember just a one word response. Heck, I am starting to think that you guys don't even vaccinate your own kids. It's so special when other people's kids get autism yet yours have bright futures ahead of them.

No integrity, no humility, and no passion for truth: Failed scientists!

@Greg - your "indignation" is quite funny.

Flounce back to AoA & crow about your "thrashing" you've given us here - certainly told us what for & all....I mean, it takes a certain type of person to be as utterly reprehensible as you appear to be.

God help the people you interact with on a personal basis....

Greg:

No integrity, no humility, and no passion for truth: Failed scientists!

That is actually an accurate description of Wakefield, the Geiers, Boyd Haley, and many of your anti-vax heroes.

Greg, if you were interested in truth you have honestly answered by question on the relative risk of seizures between vaccines and diseases. It is obvious you do not have a clue, and you don't really care about the health of children.

Oops... Greg, if you were interested in truth you would have honestly answered by question on the relative risk of seizures between vaccines and diseases.

AAAARGH! "my question"

Saddle Up Troll...and go back to AoA.

What Lawrence stated about...and the horse you rode in on.

@Chris - don't worry about Greg. He's merely acting as an interesting psychological stand-in for the anti-vax community as a whole - representing everything that is wrong with their view (starting with a complete rejection of all evidence that does not conform to his / her worldview).

@Greg

So, Greg? Have you stopped beating your wife? Just a one word answer. Yes, or no.

Can't answer a simple question. No honesty. No integrity. Failed...well, whatever you are.

(By the bye, Greg. I'm not a scientist, though I seem to have a pretty good grasp of it, particularly compared to your display. I have passion. I have integrity. I have helped to advance the science on both autism and vaccines by supporting research into both. On the latter, in particular, I've helped support research into an alternative to aluminum-based adjuvants. What have you done?)

I'm waiting for him to start making animal noises again; that seems to be his schtick.

I'm waiting for him to start making animal noises again; that seems to be his schtick.

Greg @103

You might be interested to know that I don’t care about your response either way. I just want to see if you will fess up or prove his/herself to be a liar.

Do you seriously think anyone would answer this?

Somehow many comments ago, Greg made this quote:

Autism is definitely brain damage and I provided a few weeks ago an article in which Professor Robert Naviaux, a neuro-scientist, claims as much

Yet, I. am. a. published. neuro-scientist. too. and I don't claim as much.

Who's right? the neuro-scientist or the neuro-scientist?

Alain

Greg @123

Trust me that if I were to put the question to AoA anti-vaxers I would have gotten all my responses already.

Try asking them this instead: Do you believe every case of autism ever diagnosed was caused by vaccines? Yes or no, one word answer.
Report back to us how they answer that one over there.

In fact, Greg, why don't you answer my question @160 for us yourself? Remember, one word, and you'll get "a chance later to expand on your answer."

Yes, I believe that vaccines play absolutely no causal role in autism.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

Note that "believe" in this case means "have reviewed some of the relevant studies and concluded that all the best evidences says".

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

That is not one of my core beliefs, however.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

That is not one of my core beliefs, however.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

The real question is - what would change your current belief about whether vaccination plays a causal role in autism?

I know what it would take in my case. What would it take in yours?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

Pubmed 22926922 hits the nail on the head.

"Bronchoscopic evaluations revealed that some children have double branching of bronchi (designated "doublets") in the lower lungs airways, rather than normal, single branching. Retrospective analyses revealed only one commonality in them: all subjects with doublets also had autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). That is, 49 subjects exhibited the presence of initial normal anatomy in upper airway followed by doublets in the lower airway. In contrast, the normal branching pattern was noted in all the remaining 410 subjects who did not have a diagnosis of autism/ASD. We propose that the presence of doublets might be an objective, reliable, and valid biologic marker of autism/ASD."

J Autism Dev Disord. 2013 Apr;43(4):911-6. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1635-4.
Can bronchoscopic airway anatomy be an indicator of autism?
Stewart BA, Klar AJ.
Source:

Pediatric Pulmonary Department, Children's Health Center, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ 85013, USA. tinkdoc@cox.net

I do find it very bizarre when antivaxxers act as if the evidence, the science and the majority of people support them, and that it is those who support vaccination that are the cranks, when the exact opposite is the truth.

More than 90% of US children are fully vaccinated, and globally vaccination programs have been extremely successful, for example:

In 1974, fewer than 5% of the world's infants were fully immunized ([...] In 2010, 130 (67%) countries had achieved 90% DTP3 coverage, and an estimated 85% of infants worldwide had received at least 3 doses of DTP vaccine.

Figures for other vaccines are similar.

The great majority of people in general, and the scientific community in particular, regard Greg and his antivaxxer pals as the lunatic fringe: crackpots who are not even worth engaging, the internet equivalent of the wild-eyed lunatic on a soapbox spouting xonspiracy theories and calling everyone sheeple. All the scientific evidence suggests a strong genetic component to autism, there is no reliable scientific evidence that supports the vaccine/autism hypothesis, and the anecdotal evidence from parents is easily and very plausibly explained by the fact that autism becomes evident at around the same time MMR is given.

Yet Greg is behaving as it has been proven beyond all reasonable doubt that vaccines cause autism, and appears so convinced of this that he thinks that anyone who says they disagree with him is lying. I find it hard to avoid the conclusion that Greg is either a few sandwiches short of a picnic or is simply trolling, most likely the latter.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

I should clarify that "xonspiracy theories" are a particular type of conspiracy theory spouted by wild-eyed lunatics. Or a typo.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

As has been noted above, I also believe that the question ‘Do you believe that vaccines play absolutely no causal role in autism?’ is potentially loaded. Two words are particularly loaded:

Believe - this word gets tied up with concepts like faith and religion, unshakable core values, and indisputable truths (which are different from facts). When asking these kinds of questions, someone might believe the proposition true or false; the person who argues in bad faith then brings out the capital Believe. Bad example: "I believe it's a nice day"; "You have a warped and flawed belief system if that's all you Believe."

Absolutely - this practically invites the comment, "What, under no circumstances anywhere in the universe?"

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

Well speaking as a fledging scientist as well as a health care professional, I'd say that greg's inane comments speak well of himself and his ill-informed ilk.

You've already struck out, never answering Chris ot others' questions, instead resorting to insults, conspiracy theory, and ad homienms. Thereforem we can all therefore assume that whatever you say is a lie and can be either discounted or assumed to be the opposite.

Greg – TL;DR: Reality doesn't give a rip about your beliefs (or mine): reality is what is.

Setting aside your position that studies find no link between vaccines and autism, I would like to know what you personally believe.

In my half-gross of years, I have learned that I must live in reality, not in belief. I no longer have the arrogance that it takes to have contra-factual personal beliefs. I've found such arrogance to dangerous to my life and the lives of those I care about: if I were to allow belief, rather than reality, to guide me, I would be failing as an honorable person.
There is. I understand, a certain feeling of temporary comfort in the "certainty" of arrogant belief. Some people find this certainty much more appealing than the discomfort of our less-than-certain knowledge of reality: this knowledge can only be partial, and carries a necessary amount of uncertainty. I can sympathize with those who fall for that appeal: I prefer certainty to uncertainty, myself. I cannot, however, allow my preference for certainty to drive me into dishonesty, into inventing a set of 'facts' that justifies a contra-factual dogma.
Since I cannot eliminate uncertainty in my understanding of reality, I take steps to minimize significant uncertainty: I arrange things to minimize significance of uncertainty, like getting myself, my kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids vaccinated, to minimize the uncertain adverse effects of VPD exposure that you anti-vaxxers promote so heavily. I also adopt known techniques to reduce the uncertainty that remains: objectivity, evidence, cross-checking, verifying, evaluating sources, questioning the questionable, ... — all the techniques that I find in the toolbox named "science".

The blockquote above, from you, says "Setting aside reality, what do you believe". Any honest person can and would see the problem with – and the arrogance of – your demand: maybe you don't see it.

I will put the precise question to you below again and ask for a one word ‘no’ or ‘yes’ response. After your one word response I will give you a chance later to expand on your answer.

Yup, arrogance: "I will give you a chance."
You don't get to demand a yes-no answer to a question for which neither is proper.

‘Do you believe that vaccines play absolutely no causal role in autism?’

In parts of the internet, the only possible one-word answer (for a reality-based person) is "mu": the question cannot be truthfully answered in its current form.
It's left to you, Greg, to rephrase the question into a form that an honest person would ask, and that an honest reality-based person can answer.

By Bill Price (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

Greg: several of us DID answer your question. Some of us even used one word. You, however, have completely ignored our questions, preferring instead to indulge in increasingly inane rantings and accusations. That makes you the one with "no integrity, no humility, no passion for the truth."

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

Greg somehow believes that anyone that doesn't "believe" what he believes "has no compassion or integrity" despite the fact that his "beliefs" are not supported by a shred of legitimate scientific inquiry......

He is nothing but a horrid troll.

Now onto less irritating matters. Yes, Denice, I do enjoy reading about Anglo-Saxon beads. The most common bead types were raw amber, or plain blue - the sort of colour you get when sand is melted, but not hot enough to burn off the impurities. The presence of the multi-coloured, patterned beads is a mark of a higher status grave. As part of a big costume reconstruction project I did last year, I had a go at making some of those multi-coloured beads; it's harder than it looks! But I know of people who've actually managed to replicate the process from scratch, with sand, mineral pigments and a fire. Some re-enactors get as obsessive as anti-vaxxers, but I would argue we actually contribute something useful and beautiful.

The large festoons of beads you see illustrated in books (and copied by re-enactors who haven't done enough reading) are not as common as you'd think; again an indicator of high status. Most women and children had just a small number.

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

@ Lawrence: I'm waiting for Horrid Troll to come back here to trot out these two cases:

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/01/15/david-kirbys-back-and-this…

Wouldn't you think, that if any child was awarded damages by the Vaccine Court for autism associated with a vaccine...not encephalitis/encephalopathy...Kirby or the *science journalists* at AoA, would have blogged about those cases?

@ Christine ( the Public Servant Christine):

I inherited interesting artefacts and antiques from collector ancestors/ relatives- including a few beads ( low status blue glass and amber )- as well as other weird decorative items, Roman coins et al.
I occasionally string them up along with some of the Chinese or Tibetan beads and wear them.
'Oh D, where'd those come from?"
Heh. Graves and shipwrecks?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

re what Krebiozen wrote:
antivax is a minority view.

Suppose you held a belief that ran against the consensus or public opinion- don't you think that you would need to constantly bolster that belief- through arguing your position or mingling with the like-minded, in order to keep your belief fervent enough not to fade away and blend into the average?

There is data that argues against you, most people and exxperts would also. Thus, believers need a community and an enemy to keep shooting down as well as conspiracy theories which would explain why their brilliant hypothesis is not accepted and a part of consensus opinion. They have to work hard against reality.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

Still don't think you vaccinated your kids....

@166, Mephistopheles O'Brien

What would change my view that vaccines cause autism? A vaxed/unvaxed study that shows these kids have the same health outcomes or a study of unvaxed populations that show they also have a 1 in 50 autism rate. Again, these studies should not have pharma hands all over them. Also, I would like some documented cases of unvaxed kids who stop talking, stop maintaining eye contact, and start stimming out of the blue after developing normally.

@160, Chemmo,

I am sure they would not agree that all cases of autism are the result of vaccines, just the vast majority. This is also my belief.

@greg

Why should we believe a proven liar like you? You consistently refuse to answer poster's questions, use infantile insults as well as ad hominems, and insult individuals with autism.

Also, do you even begin to comprehend the ethical violations associated with your little experiment? Apparently not since posters have previously pointed out to you what the ethical and moral violations that your proposed experiment would bring up, yet you persist.

You still persist with the pharma shill gambit, even though there have been papers pointed out to you that are from government agencies, universities, and science institiutes, all far from the supposed influence of pharmacological companies.

You have also been pointed out to cases of unvaxxed children with autism, yet you persist in your belief.

You are just another dishonest anti-vax liar, incapable of reason and logical thinking, resorting to stunts and insults in order to push your points around. That may work in your little mind, but it doesn't work in actual science and in reality.

@Todd,

Aluminum free adjuvants? Sounds like a good start in curbing autism from vaccines. How is the research going?

Ok guys, keep providing your one word responses. I am keeping an informal tally of who is honest and who is a liar. Haven't gotten one honest person yet. Hey, here is to hoping! Anyway, also wanted you to address my other query of whether if by the 'greatest fluke' vaccines are shown to be responsible for autism whether it would make sense to continue with the current childhood immunization schedule.

Greg:

A vaxed/unvaxed study that shows these kids have the same health outcomes or a study of unvaxed populations that show they also have a 1 in 50 autism rate. Again, these studies should not have pharma hands all over them.

Then design a study that conforms to the Belmont Report and is approved by an IRB. Then write grant and submit it to SafeMinds, Generation Rescue, Autism Trust, and Autism Speaks for funding. Then do the study and submit the results to a PubMed indexed journal. We will wait for that outcome.

(Oh, and there are aluminum free adjuvants, it something that is produced in your liver as a precursor to cholesterol and sold in natural food stores as a supplement: squalene. Have you heard of it?)

No Greg, I haven't vaccinated my kids, I don't have any. I have, however, made certain to vaccinate myself with every vaccine I can access. See, I believe in little things like not catching vaccine preventable disease, and not passing them on to other people.

My brother has vaccinated his kids. Fully. And neither of them has autism.

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

And Greg you still haven't answered any of our questions. Probably because you can't, without demonstrating you are a big liar whose pants are on fire.

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

Greg:

I am keeping an informal tally of who is honest and who is a liar. Haven’t gotten one honest person yet.

How do you know? And why have you refused to answer my question with PubMed indexed journals about which vaccines cause more seizures than the diseases?

If you don't answer our questions, why should we believe you?

By the way, all of my children are vaccinated. My oldest finally got protection from pertussis with a Tdap a couple of years ago. We paid the several hundred dollars for our younger son to get the HPV series.

And the two younger children received their second MMR vaccine in 2001 when there was a measles outbreak in a private school that was too close for comfort. They were both under the age of ten, which was when the second dose was required, but our family doctor agreed that it was best to protect them from measles. The change of the second MMR dose from late elementary school/junior high to kindergarten happened very soon after that.

So, Greg, when are you going to tell me with supporting scientific documentation the vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule that causes more seizures than the disease?

@Greg,

Orac has already written on this, but if you want another source here’s one vaccination v. autism study I’ve written about. (I’m independent and have no associations with pharmaceutical companies, not that either would change the data.)

Greg wrote:

I am keeping an informal tally of who is honest and who is a liar. Haven’t gotten one honest person yet.

Given your penchant for being untruthful Greg, I am surprised you can actually draw such a conclusion. On second thoughts, you are simply lying again - because I answered both of your questions.

I am keeping an informal tally of who is honest and who is a liar.

Gargle a stockingful of reindeer dıcks, Santa.

#129 Edith

Yes. DJT was far more entertaining, if infinitely less sane.

#136 Denice, 174 Christine, et al.

Hey, I want some beads. How come dead people get all the pretty things?

#148 Greg

... you seem to think elburto is a man....

#156 Shay

And don't forget implying that women are lesser beings than men. He likes to do that too.

#178 Greg

I don't have kids yet. When I do I will vaccinate them. For some reason, I'm not as enthusiastic about picking out baby coffins as I am about choosing baby booties.

# 179 Greg "...vaxed/unvaxed study..."

You know, at least he's consistent. He apparently thinks Wakefield torturing little kids with unnecessary procedures is A-OK, and he also apparently thinks torturing little kids with unnecessary disease is A-OK too.

#182 Greg

Hey you guys, is anyone working on curbing autism from unicorns? You never know, right? Gotta keep an open mind.

#183 Greg

I think I answered on the previous thread. And I practice what I preach--I've gotten every vaccination on time that I could, including flu vaccines annually and a pertussis-diphtheria-tetanus booster last year. I am looking forward to getting the shingles vaccine when it becomes appropriate.

Shingles can go into your eye. It can also cause pain even *after* it's gone. I dearly wish they'd had the chickenpox vaccine when I was little. :(

Greg @180: that’s more than one word.

BTW, can you not type or are you trying to insult me? You left off half my 'nym.

"I am keeping an informal tally of who is honest and who is a liar."

Had to take your boots off, didn't you.

@Khani: dead people got pretty things if they had family to pay for them. Sadly, the people with the prettiest things are mostly women of childbearing age, some of whom are buried with their dead newborns... One of the reasons I am as against crunchy homebirthers as anti-vaxxers.

But if you are after beads and brooches, there are plenty of people who make them for sale to re-enactors. If you google "SCA merchants" you'll find some listings. Currently I'm learning to make them. I'd offer to make some for you, but my efforts are kinda dodgy.

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

Khani: Shingles can go into your eye. It can also cause pain even *after* it’s gone. I dearly wish they’d had the chickenpox vaccine when I was little.
Seconded. Bell's Palsy was not fun. I missed the vaccine by five years.
Greg: no kids, will probably never have them, but stay up to date on all my vaccines. I do eldercare and interact with kids a lot; I don't want to catch something from someone's snowflakes. Or worse, pass it on. And btw, I don't believe vaccines cause autism, ADD, allergies, or migraine headaches. And, dudebro, how would you know who's l'ying and who's not? You clearly wouldn't know the truth if it bit you on the ass.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

#195 Gonna look up the pretties!

I'd've died and taken my mother with me if she'd tried a home birth and stuck with it rather than going to a hospital, so I rather agree.

#196 I'm scared of shingles, honestly. I've heard horror stories from the nurses in my family about shingles--but I've also heard horror stories about unfortunate old people who were hospitalized, near death, when they got straight-up chickenpox, back before vaccination.

"Harmless childhood illness" my heinie. And that's just chickenpox. Yep, when I have kids they're gonna get that jab--and all the others science can afford--at the earliest *possible* opportunity.

@ Greg

Ok guys, keep providing your one word responses.

Given the number of posters with word profligacy, I wonder why you ignore them and focus on one-word responses.
Or maybe you are trying to use sarcasm to compel us to answer with single words. Short answers are easier to twist while debating any complex issue. And allow to polarize the debate, the objective being to avoid resolving the issues under discussion. A common tactic of fear-mongers like religious extremists and terrorists.

Although there is nothing wrong with short answers. Example:
Greg: Do you vaccinate yourselves and your kids?
A number of readers: yes.
Greg: I don't believe you.
A number of readers: moron.

I am keeping an informal tally of who is honest and who is a liar.

Why should we care about what you are thinking?

Haven’t gotten one honest person yet.

If that's not evidence you are a troll looking for people to nag, I don't know what is.

Well, while you are in front of your computer pestering us, you are not out assaulting old ladies or clubbing baby seals to death. That makes us useful to the society at large.

whether if by the ‘greatest fluke’ vaccines are shown to be responsible for autism whether it would make sense to continue with the current childhood immunization schedule.

If I was a lawyer, I would say: leading question.
Or if you prefer: the prosecutor is trying to manipulate the jury by putting the cart before the oxen.
But before you trash me for a non-answer:

One-word answer: Depends.
Ah, but you don't like one-word answers. So let me rephrase:

If vaccines were shown to be more dangerous than originally thought, yes it would make sense to reevaluate vaccines' use in light of their benefit/risk ratio, and possibly modify or discontinue the existing schedule (which, BTW, is not the same from country to country, but I digress).
Although the new decision may not be to discontinue to existing schedule, if the risks of not using the vaccines were still higher than the risks of using them.
Which, as it happens, comparing pre-vaccination casualties to current ones, is the case.
(I use casualties in the military sense - it's not just death)

Nothing news here. Some vaccines have been shown in the past to be (or to have become) not worth their use, and eventually have been dropped from use. The live-attenuated polio vaccine come to mind (although still in use in polio-ridden countries). And in such cases, groups of concerned parents are totally in their right to put some pressure on scientists and officials to investigate and move things forward. It shortens reaction times.

Now, care to provide arguments for your premise?

In a previous post, you mentioned off-handedly that animal studies proved that autism and vaccine were related. Any citation handy? I asked this before, to no avail, but let's ask again. One can hope.
Or are you under the "liar" column in your informal tally?

By Heliantus (not verified) on 03 May 2013 #permalink

Greg - I'm trying to understand the reason for your informal, one-word poll. It sounds like if I answer your loaded question "yes" (meaning I believe that vaccines absolutely have never once ever been a cause or part of a cause or an event leading up to a diagnosis of autism) then I'm a liar, because I can't possibly know that with perfect certainty. On the other hand, if I answer "no" it means I believe that vaccines cause autism, therefore I agree with you and the friendly folks at AOA, and therefore anything I say in favor of vaccines makes me a hypocrite.

Does that about sum it up?

By the way, i have received immunizations (as a child for polio, rubella, smallpox, etc.) and as an adult for influenza, yellow fever, plague, and so on. My children were also vaccinated. So the "I see you want me to risk my children to protect yours" gambit doesn't work.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

Thx Heliantus,

I am glad that you are suggesting the possibility that we may have to reevaluate vaccine schedules if vaccines are shown to be dangerous.

Why do I believe that vaccines cause autism?

Setting aside the independent studies that find a link, the circumstantial evidence is too overwhelming to not come to that conclusion. Applying occam's razor in the vaccine-autism debate, we have to accept the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions and believe that vaccines cause autism. We have countless parents who explain how their kids were destroyed after vaccines.... We have vaccines that target the immune system and result in seizures and brain inflammation that are also common in autism.... We have the autism explosion that corresponds precisely with the expanded vaccination schedule... We have vaccine courts that compensate for damages leading to autism.... How is it likely that all these 'events' would come together and still vaccines are not responsible for autism? Occam's razor would say not likely.

I said early I believe in evolution. Occam's razor logic sits perfectly with evolution. We see similarity in animals suggesting transitional development... There is the fossil records of the later emergence of complex animals... Even when there are apparent differences in animals the underlying biology is still the same... Occam's razor logic sits perfectly with evolution but not with the hypotheses that vaccines do not cause autism. Inject pharma studies all you want but that won't change the reality.

As to the citation of the monkey study, here is the link.
http://vran.org/in-the-news/infant-monkeys-given-standard-doses-of-vacc…

@Greg:

Do you believe that vaccines play absolutely no causal role in autism?

Where do you get the arrogance to call someone a liar based on their answer to this? They believe what they believe. Can you read their minds to say that their answer does not in fact reflect their beliefs?

Oh, wait. Every comment by Greg oozes arrogance from every pore. Of course he believes he knows what people really believe regardless of their words.

@Mephistopheles O'Brien,

You are thinking a little too much. Yes, indeed I am ribbing you guys a little with my use of 'liar'. Still, everyone should stop turning the exercise into such a profound philosophical discussion. I am not trying to trick you guys and catch you in some logic trap. Simply, I sincerely believe that you are all educated people and cannot for a second believe that you would absolutely conclude that vaccines play no causal role in autism. Educated people would never think this unless they are lying.

Greg,

Ah, yes, you're the sort that studiously ignores evidence that doesn't suit them. That or you enjoy trolling. Or both.

Setting aside the independent studies that find a link,

One thing you definitely set aside is evidence showing that vaccines don’t cause autism. (I provided a recent example earlier; there are plenty more.)

the circumstantial evidence is too overwhelming to not come to that conclusion.

Circumstantial evidence cannot come to conclusions on their own - by definition. (Circumstantial evidence requires inference - look it up for yourself.)

Incidentally—or perhaps not incidentally—every single one of the ‘circumstantial evidence’ claims you made are wrong.

Going off-topic: As for your confusion over “Even when there are apparent differences in animals the underlying biology is still the same” - the same gene can be recruited for different purposes, to different effect. In that genes are like parts used in engineering. A few things are specialised, but general-purpose things are re-used in the same way that bolts, screws, etc., found in all sorts of things.

@Greg - educated people start with evidence, follow-up with research, search for replicated results, re-examine the evidence, add new evidence as it is collected, and then form a conclusion.....since, over the past decade, we've seen study after study delivered that refutes any link between autism and vaccines, not to mention repudiations of claims of "numerous" serious vaccine reactions.....

You're not "educated" you are a "true-believer"

As I stated earlier, you are the Catholic Church, clinging to its belief that the Earth is the center of the Universe in the face of all scientific evidence.....

Greg,

Then let's talk about vaccines in a real way.

Do vaccines carry risk? Yes, of course they do.

Is one of those risks autism? Based on the current best data, no.

Are the risks from the currently recommended vaccines worse than the risks of the diseases assuming an unimmunized population? No. based on everything currently known, the risk of illness, complications, and death from having the entire population vaccinated is substantially lower than the risk of illness, complications, and death from the diseases themselves given the expected lifetime exposure rates for an unimmunized population.

Is it a terrible thing when someone has been deliberately immunized and has an actual serious complication (something more than a sore arm and short, mild fever)? Of course. It's always a bad thing when something done to make you safer actually hurts you. You can play all kinds of what if games when that happens - if i hadn't gotten that shot, I might not have ever been exposed to the disease or I might have had an asymptomatic case, and I wouldn't be in the fix I'm in now. This is like the motorcycle riders who argue that helmets cause serious injuries - if they hadn't been wearing a helmet they wouldn't have been paralyzed in that wreck (on the other hand, they'd most likely be dead).

Is it possible there are ingredients in vaccines that are not as safe as something else that would be equally (or more) effective? Possibly. It's certainly possible that someone could develop vaccines that are just as effective but have fewer adverse reactions. I'd like to think that most vaccine developers would be interested in something along those lines.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

@Lawrence,

Oh Lawrence, you are such a piece of work! You keep harping on the evidence but refuse to answer a simply question. Setting aside the studies that find no link between autism and vaccines, what do you personally believe? Do you believe that vaccines absolutely play no causal role in autism? Yes or No? Again, I would say no. What would you say Lawrence? Remember one word! Quit pussy footing around the topic. Heck, go ahead and lie and get it over with!

@Greg - and why exactly would I care what you think? You've been proven to be an troll of the highest order, a reprehensible human being, and quite the ignorant fool as well.

Keep believing the world is the center of the Universe, those of us who are actually educated and understand Science will continue to laugh at you.

@Greg - you also seem to have this "one word fetish" so answer Todd's question - Did you stop beating your wife? Remember, one word answer, yes or no?

OK, as a mother of an autistic daughter I will try and get Greg to understand a few home truths. My mother told me when my daughter was round about 9 months old that there was something 'different' (euphisms, got to love them) about my daughter. As frequently happens when you are in the middle of raising little children, I ignored her. I thought she was fine. My daughter is also a middle child sandwiched between a very precocious older sibling who talked all the time and younger brother who was a firecracker and stole a lot of the attention. When she was around 2.5-3 years old, I realized that she couldn't tell you her name or answer any question (she was echolalic - go look it up). Then we saw the child development team who gave us her diagnosis. This, by the way, was all in the latter half of the 1990's so not on the current vaccine schedule and also in Canada where the government is always looking for ways to cut costs. So, Greg, now she is 20 years old and is in no way interested in being 'normal'. Temple Grandin says the same thing - Temple Grandin describes how she would not want to give up thinking in pictures to be 'normal'. In fact, my daughter gets very angry when she hears about stupid anti-vaxxers like you and states, vehemently, that vaccines did not give her autism, she was always this way. So Greg, let me ask you, how many autistic people do you know? How many have you ever spoken with? I will grant you that not all autistics are verbal but that doesn't mean they have nothing to say. Did it ever occur to you that you are completely ignorant of the world of autists? A simple yes or no will do.

@Lawrence,

Chicken!

Greg,

Setting aside the independent studies that find a link

What independent studies are you referring to?

Simply, I sincerely believe that you are all educated people and cannot for a second believe that you would absolutely conclude that vaccines play no causal role in autism. Educated people would never think this unless they are lying.

I sincerely believe that no one can look at the evidence with an open mind and conclude that vaccines cause autism, unless they believe that researchers all over the world are part of a huge conspiracy to cover up the truth, which is paranoid nonsense. Do you really think that doctors and scientists all over the world are all lying?

Have you read the article (PDF) I linked to yet? I'm interested to know why you dismiss all the evidence it provides that is inconsistent with the hypothesis that vaccines cause autism.

As to the citation of the monkey study, here is the link.

That's not a citation, that's a link to an antivaccine site full of nonsense. Here's what Orac had to say about Hewitson's monkey studies.

I sincerely believe that Greg is lying about his beliefs and simply trying to irritate people to get a rise out of them which is despicable. My son spent several weeks in the hospital with pertussis, coughing until he turned blue, thanks to an outbreak caused by idiots like Greg spreading lies about vaccines

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

@Agashem,

I know quite a few autistics, Agashem. I work with them. Let me also say emphatically again that vaccines are responsible for their condition. As for the few that do not want to give up their 'different' way of being then so be it. As to the others that are non-verbal, head bang and still in diapers, I can't help but lament that they don't have a better life. Autism is best not happened.

Well, Greg, I weep for the austists you supposedly work with. You apparently cannot see them for who they are. I have worked with many differently challenged kids over the years and have discovered that people who think like you should work another population. I assure vaccines did not cause my daughter's condition (did you see where I pointed out that there were signs long before her diagnosis or did you deliberately ignore that part?) Further what do you mean by 'not wanting to give up' do you believe autism to be a bad habit like smoking? How about you stop being an ignorant troll, you don't want to give that up do you because it is part of your identity. Same thing.

Ok Guys,

I can't stay much longer because I am a little busy. I would still like your opinion on how we should proceed 'if' vaccines are shown to be responsible for the current autism epidemic.

Greg wants to know how to proceed?

We ignore him now. He's just an internet troll, who is ignorant and a pathological liar.

Let me also say emphatically again that vaccines are responsible for their condition.

According to at least one eye witness account,a woman scolded a perfectly healthy man for letting his pigs escape into her field (according to the witness, this was an untrue accusation as the pigs were well penned), even going so far as threatening to kill the pigs to keep it from happening again. Several days after that, the man (who was perfectly healthy until this point) had fits and convulsions and various other physical and mental issues over a period of several weeks, and finally died.

I say emphatically that he was bewitched and Rebecca Nurse was responsible for bewitching and killing him.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

If it was proven that vaccines did cause most or all cases of autism would I still support them? Yes, of course. The number of deaths and serious disabilities that vaccine-preventable diseases would cause if vaccination was entirely abandoned would be far worse than the current situation with autism.

As we have seen, Greg seems to believe that 1 in 50 children are autistic, and even talks of, "1 in 6 kids with brain damaged autism and other impediments such as adhd and speech delays", and "non-verbal autistics, who scream, head bang, and are still in diapers".

The true figures are 1-2 per 1,000 for autism and around 6 per 1,000 for ASD. According to the CDC the majority (62%) of children identified as having ASDs do not have intellectual disability (intelligence quotient <=70). That means that perhaps 3 per 1,000 children have an ASD that causes intellectual disability, and an even smaller minority are severely disabled. Wing & Gould (1979) quoted the prevalence rate of autism as 2.1 per 1,000; of these, 0.49 per 1,000 had a strict diagnosis with all the criteria and 0.2 per 1,000 had classic Kannerian autism.

A CDC survey found that in 2007 6.9% of children with ASD were judged to have severe autism by their parents, which would mean that if prevalence of ASDs and autism is 8 per 1,000, severe autism would have a prevalence of 0.55 per 1,000. So a prevalence estimate of 0.5% for classic severe autism seems about right, and that prevalence does not appear to have changed much, if at all, over the past few decades (yet another fact that makes.it extremely unlikely that vaccines are in any way responsible)

Would it be better to be dead or permanently blind, deaf, brain damaged or paralyzed than to have an ASD? I certainly don't think so, and neither do many people with ASDs and their parents.

Before vaccination more than 90% of children would contract measles, and up to 3 in 1,000 of them would die, 1 in 1,000 would develop encephalitis of which a substantial proportion would suffer permanent neurologic sequelae, not to mention otitis media (70–90 in 1,000, pneumonia (60 in 1,000) and subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (0.01 in 1,000). That's just measles.

When you add the permanent sequelae that rubella, mumps, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, Hib meningitis and tetanus can cause, such as congenital rubella syndrome, deafness and infertility from mumps, heart and kidney failure, paralysis and death from diphtheria, pneumonia, encephalopathy, seizures and death from pertussis, paralysis and death from polio, permanent brain damage and death from Hib meningitis, permanent brain damage or death from tetanus, autism begins to look like a walk in the park by comparison, and that's just a few of the diseases that would undoubtedly return if vaccination was abandoned..

I am horrified that anyone with such ignorance about autism, and with such horrible attitudes to the disabled is actually working with disabled people. No wonder we keep hearing stories of terrible abuse from those caring for the disabled, if they are being looked after by people like Greg who think they would be better off dead.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

To add to what Krebiozen masterfully said, if it were true that vaccines caused I would also think it would be appropriate to add that risk to the safety and risk data. It would also be perfectly reasonable to conduct studies to determine whether there are markers that will indicate whether someone would develop autism as a result of vaccination (the vast majority of vaccinated people don't become autistic, so there may be something different in those cases where it hypothetically would), develop tests for those if any are found, and use those (once again, if any) as a criterion to avoid or postpone vaccination.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

"I sincerely believe that no one can look at the evidence with an open mind and conclude that vaccines cause autism, unless they believe that researchers all over the world are part of a huge conspiracy to cover up the truth, which is paranoid nonsense."

The conspiracy widens:

"Speaking in a packed auditorium at the International Society for Autism Research annual conference here, Marc Weisskopf of the Harvard School of Public Health presented results from a large national study, known as the Nurses' Health Study II. The research suggested that a mother's exposure to high levels of certain types of air pollutants, such as metals and diesel particles, increased the risk of autism by an average of 30% to 50%, compared with women who were exposed to the lowest levels."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014241278873247666045784605336503175…

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

P.S. Greg - you're right, I was over-thinking it. It turns out that any answer but "no" makes you a liar because it's inconceivable (to Greg) that anyone could look at the world and believe that. And if you answer "yes" but still say "the evidence is against it", you're a hypocrite.

Glad to finally understand.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

Ooh, Greg answered me.

As to the citation of the monkey study, here is the link.

And as I said preemptively when the animal studies topic showed up, please not this monkey study where there was only two control animals, one of them undergoing some unusual shrinking in some part of its brain while growing up. Orac and some others said it better than me.

Since you are so fond of comparative biology, hint: when mammals (including humans) grow up, they lose neurons (a.k.a. neural - or neuronal - pruning), but the brain volume nonetheless expands. Your head won't fit inside a baby's hat. Even if removing your skull beforehand.

Using an obviously sick animal (should I say "brain-damaged" ?) as control is like aliens in a flying saucer picking up a drunkard and using his balance control as representative of the whole human species.
(internet cookie for those recognizing the short novel I'm alluding of)

Setting aside the independent studies

There is a lot you set aside.
I fear it will be all of the usual suspects one more time again, but independent studies' citations please?

Do you believe that vaccines play absolutely no causal role in autism?

Let's play your petty games one last time.
Short answer: Yes.
Playing games answer: since one of the complications of wild rubella is abnormal neural development, actually anti-rubella vaccines do protect against autism.
Longer, more serious answer: to my knowledge, no study finding a causal link has been confirmed or replicated. Worse, some of these studies have been withdrawn for numerous methodological and ethical issues.
Like ignoring the controls in a PCR assay. If I tried this in my lab, I would have been fired, and rightly so.
I also fail to see a known mechanism by which all vaccine types (live-attenuated, killed, etc) would all lead to the same health issue. I could be wrong. But for the time being, that I know lead me to believe that no, there is no established causal link between vaccines and autism.

Very long answer: at different points in the past, I was lead to believe that 9/11 was an inside job. Or that GMO are toxic. Or that...
Until I educated myself, did a bit of checking, listened to what the other side had to answer. And changed my mind.
Eventually, I have come a crude tool to assess who is most likely right in a debate: generally speaking, if one side is suing for defamation at the drop of a hat, this side's blogs are actively censoring their opponents, and the pavlovian response to this side's proponents when confronted with contrary opinion is "you are obviously paid by [insert broadly-defined corporation name here]"...
Well, generally speaking, the side guilty of all this is most likely wrong. And dishonest to boot.
Using sciency-sounding words like "quantum", "nano" or "synergy" out of context - or without any supportive evidence - is also telling of a badly-supported opinion.
In the vaccine debate, so far, the above behaviors are not a specialty of the pro-vax side. No, saying "you are wrong" is not censoring.
On the anti-vax side, however...

By Heliantus (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

Delving further into anti-vax's mythos...

since this belief system involves an in-group and an out-group ( believers vs infidels, i.e. us), it already conveniently includes a scapegoat on which to cast aspersions, hatred and blame for all of the problems they encounter in everyday life.

Without going into detail about the function of the scapegoat in ancient culture**, we can just say that the faithful have a plethora of them:
the medical establishment ( doctors, nurses, psychologists), educators, pharmaceutical companies, governmental agencies/ employees, mainstream media, SB journalists/ bloggers and "vaccinators" in general.

Whew! That's an awful lot of scapecoats to carry away sins, doubts, fears, guilt, shame, worries...

Why do they need to keep chastising and whipping us?

If you read TMR's frequent confessional diaries it appears that at least a few of them believe that we stole their child AND their own life that they either enjoyed or imagined they would enjoy in the future. Many speak of having an exciting life in business or professionally- they looked better, felt better, had dreams for the future that included having a successful child as well. ( see recent Lisa Goes/ Professor @ TMR's two dreams this past week/ see Alison MacNeil, most posts).

Thus whatever they "lost" or believe they lost, is blamed on those who "caused" the ASD. ( Interestingly, I know quite a few women who have children without an ASD who also mourn their lost youth and dreams and don't blame it on doctors et al). Of courses, there are others in the anti-vax community who blame their misfortune and lost career on the establishment as well, AJW comes to mind.

When I read AoA posts that all but plant devilish horns on anyone who disagrees with them- and there are quite a few prime devils -, I can't help but wonder if writing and seeking solace amongst their cohorts who encourage them are really allowing themselves to indulge in a fantasy system that while it brings some reward in the short run ( admiration, a feeling or self-righteousness, a small measure of fame or money, followers), is ultimately destructive in the long run because it pulls them away from reality and what most people in their culture would consider normal and worthwhile.

** and like Frazer, I'll also leave parallels to present-day religion out of the abridged version.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

Greg:

We have vaccines that target the immune system and result in seizures and brain inflammation that are also common in autism…

You keep making that claim, but keep refusing to provide the evidence for that claim, only excuses. I am under no obligation to answer your questions until you answer the one I asked two weeks ago: provide the PubMed indexed study that shows a vaccine causes more seizures than the disease. It is ironic that you are complaining with "Oh Lawrence, you are such a piece of work! You keep harping on the evidence but refuse to answer a simply question."

Support your claim and answer my question. No more excuses. Either provide the evidence or stop trolling.

Hewitson's cherry picked monkey study where the "placebo" monkeys actually had their brain parts shrink, while the others were normal does not count. She also had a big flaming "Conflict of Interest" by being one of the parents in the Autism Omnibus cases.

To follow up on what Chris said:

about COIs- even if AJW's Lancet study did not include fixed data** it would have been unacceptable anyway because he had a business interest in products that would be affected by the results of the research AND he had ties to a law firm that supplied subjects PLUS he did unwarranted tests on children.
There are probably a few other concerns but aren't those enough?

** it did.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

Kind of late to the party here, but "Greg"'s Einstein reference particularly irked me.

Even if Einstein [i]did[/i] come up with Relativity purely through thought experiments, we'd have paid him no mind if the evidence conflicted with the theory, no matter how mathematically beautiful or elegant it was. If our great telescopes revealed no evidence of space-time curvature, no gravitational lensing, then Relativity would clearly be wrong, and dismissed. Many theories in all fields of science are dismissed--and rightfully so!--until evidence for their accuracy is found. Still more theories are forever dismissed because there is no sufficient evidence for their accuracy.

As for personal belief:

My personal belief is that scientific evidence, above all else, should be the guiding light of all decisions. Scientific evidence says that vaccines don't cause autism. Therefore, I base my belief in scientific evidence.

If the evidence were to actually start piling up that vaccines did cause autism, my belief would change.

Is it possible that the evidence could start piling up? Sure.

Is it yet possible that evidence for a geocentric universe could start piling up? Sure--we could find evidence that god-like aliens have been distorting local space-time as part of an enormous practical joke, and in reality, the Earth is the center of the universe.

Is it possible, that, if I'm wandering through a forest, and a wolf shows up, growling and snapping its teeth, that this is in fact a robot cooked up by the Illuminati to scare random hikers but not actually eat them? Sure.

In each case, though, the evidence is overwhelmingly stacked against the unsupported belief. There is no good evidence that vaccines cause autism--and our understanding of human biology and simple chemistry would have to be pretty darn wrong for vaccines to cause autism. Our astronomy and physics say that the Earth is not the center of the universe. And it's probably best to assume the angry-looking wolf actually wants to eat you--try to scare it off.

Personal belief has only one place in any decision-making process, and that is the root question of right and wrong. It is my personal belief that the needs of the many always outweigh the needs of the few or the one. There is no way to prove or disprove this idea--that's what separates philosophy and theology from science. But science is the tool needed to decide which course of action best serves the needs of the many.

Oh, and as for circumstantial evidence?

When I was three, I was riding in the back-seat of the family Buick and playing with a quarter I found on the floor. I dropped it into the space between the upholstery and the seat-belt buckle. A few minutes later, the engine failed.

Circumstantial evidence would seem to suggest that a three-year-old and a quarter did in fact ruin a car. Now tell me, "Greg," does this actually imply my guilt in the ruin of a Buick? In spite of all existing mechanical engineering knowledge of the workings of automobiles?

@Mephistopholes O'Brien -

It would also be perfectly reasonable to conduct studies to determine whether there are markers that will indicate whether someone would develop autism as a result of vaccination (the vast majority of vaccinated people don’t become autistic, so there may be something different in those cases where it hypothetically would)

Great idea. You might consider checking out some of the animal models of early life immune activation. Importantly, the idea of time dependent interaction should be stressed; i.e., being challenged as a neonate is not the same thing as being challenged as a three year old. What this means is that *if* there was a mechanism of effect, our choices would not necessarily be full vaccination on schedule, or no vaccines ever.

Some of the *potential* biomarkers that would indicate an altered response to vaccination (or any immune challenge) already being discovered; i.e.,

Neonatal levels of cytokines and risk of autism spectrum disorders: an exploratory register-based historic birth cohort study utilizing the Danish Newborn Screening Biobank. (J Neuroimmunol. 2012 Nov 15;252(1-2):75-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2012.07.013)

Shows that cord blood from neonates who went on to get an autism diagnosis had decreased levels of IL-10 and IL-4 compared to controls; these are both important cytokines that participate in regulation of the immune response.

The other thing that could potentially guide us is history of the mother, particularly during gestation. The animal literature has many examples demonstrating that an altered immune milleau during development can lead to altered immune function and behavioral changes in the offspring; findings that are consistent with infection / inflammation during pregnancy being risk factors for autism and the dysregulated immune response we see in that population.

Food for thought.

- pD

By passionlessDrone (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

We have countless parents who explain how their kids were destroyed after vaccines…

Who are overwhelmingly outnumbered by the parents who saw no such thing. Even if you don't believe in science (which Greg clearly does not despite his falsehoods), you'd still have to go with the odds.

Ok Orac's vaccine pushers, according to my informal tally we have three liars who admitted to believing that vaccines do not cause autism. There were more but I had to disqualify them because they went beyond a one word response. We also have zero honest people who are admitting to a link. The rest of you are chickens, not providing a response, and including you Lawrence. Hey Lawrence, did you vaccinate your kid(s) or is that a 'are you still beating your wife' question? Wimp! Anyway, I am hoping to have more chickens weigh in on the matter. Keep also providing your responses on how we should proceed once you all come clean and admit that vaccines are responsible for the current autism explosion.

@Mephistopheles O'Brien,
I like what you are saying about testing for vulnerable kids that may be susceptible to vaccine side-effects. Do you know if there are any such investigations underway?

pD,

Shows that cord blood from neonates who went on to get an autism diagnosis had decreased levels of IL-10 and IL-4 compared to controls; these are both important cytokines that participate in regulation of the immune response.

So autistic and neurotypical children had measurable differences at birth which could not possibly have been caused by later vaccination.

Are you suggesting that if those children with lower cytokine levels had somehow been protected from exposure to immunogens during their early development they might have avoided autism? Why would exposure to vaccine antigens, rather than naturally occurring pathogen antigens, cause autism in these hypothetically immunologically and neurologically vulnerable children? After all, vaccines are designed to cause less extreme immune reactions than the diseases they protect against. Wouldn't you expect these children to have been far more likely to suffer immune reactions that would cause autism back in the days when almost all children were exposed to wild measles, mumps, rubella etc.?

It seems more likely to me that the lower cytokine levels in these children are an early marker for changes that had already happened but would only become obvious later when they failed to reach developmental milestones.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

There were more but I had to disqualify them because they went beyond a one word response.

It's like watching someone trying to apply checkers rules to a chess game: cringe-inducing and a bit sad.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

Greg:

We also have zero honest people who are admitting to a link. The rest of you are chickens, not providing a response,

And yet you have had two weeks to come up with a PubMed indexed study that shows a vaccine causes more seizures than the disease. But all you have come up with is just hand waving excuses.

Greg, support your claim that vaccines cause seizure more frequently than the diseases with a good PubMed indexed study, or stop trolling.

I'm a day late, since I was out yesterday.

@Greg: again; YES!

I believe it has been proven vaccines do NOT cause autism.

And I really resent you calling me a liar. Would you like me to scan my daughters' vaccine record cards to prove they had them all? Would you like to see mine? Actually, forget it. I wouldn't give scum like you ANY personal information about me.

And why have you ignored my posting about what would be needed for a vax/unvaxed study? Too chicken to answer me? To scared to show your ignorance about what science really needs for proof? Show us how you think you could get a prospective, double-blinded study approved.

So, if we follow Greg's logic, if an innocent man is convicted of murder via eye-witness testimony, then shown to be innocent by DNA Testing, we should continue to take the believe the eye-witness testimony & keep the man in jail.

Greg is a very interesting psychological study in the shear bull-headedness of the anti-vax cult.....regardless of the amount of evidence presented to show that their beliefs are incorrect, they will continue to insist that their original premise is correct.....even the Catholic Church was finally able to admit their belief that the Earth was the Center of the Universe was wrong - I doubt Greg would ever do such a thing.

Applying occam’s razor in the vaccine-autism debate, we have to accept the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions and believe that vaccines cause autism the one that desperately multiplies unmotivated entities such as testosterone-based "mercury sheets," mysterious aluminum-based transport of tiny amounts of DNA to the brain, "homologous recombinaltion tiniker," leaky gut, and on and on, is probably full of crap.

FTFY.

Certainly it is proven to the scientifically literate that vaccines do not cause autism, and the literature tallies with what official sources are telling the public.
For the scientifically illiterate, it has to come down to trust.
What proportion of people are SI? Surely less than half of all people can understand the literature well enough to be confident in what it's saying?

If 50% are SI, and 20% don't trust the government, then 10% will be suspicious of vaccines, right?

#236 It's not just the government, either. It's also nearly all healthcare workers and nearly all researchers in the subject. The number of people who'd have to be involved with such a conspiracy is astronomical.

Meanwhile, having seen the nuts and bolts and sausage-making processes of actual government, I have to tell you: I don't think most of them could manage to conspire up a ham sandwich, much less something as vasty-wide as this.

@Lawrence,

Lawrence did you vaccinate your kids? C'mon you can tell me. Ssshhh, I won't tell anyone. It will be our little secret...hee,hee,hee!

@greg - what are you, like 12?

That grade school BS doesn't have a place in a rational discussion. And you certainly haven't shown yourself as rational.

@Denice

Denice, how about it being as simply as the parents witnessing how vaccines destroyed their kids, and they are mad as hell. Beautiful prose though.

Please answer Yes or No. Does this latest list of studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics, satisfy any lingering doubts about the safety of vaccines...and the lack of association between vaccines and the onset of ASDs?

http://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/vaccinestudies.pdf

BTW Troll. You claim to work with autistic people.

1. What is your educational background?

2. Have you got an undergrad or graduate degree in any science field?

3. Do you possess a professional license in any science or health care related field?

4. What job and what license?

Greg, where is that verifiable scientific evidence of a vaccine causing more seizures than the disease? Just post the PubMed indexed study by a qualified researcher, preferably one that has not had their medical credentials questioned, or who actually have no medical credentials (like someone with a business or law degree).

@ARD, #226,

I was anticipating that rebuttal and I am surprised it didn’t come sooner. Yes, the problem is not so much science being unable to validate theories. The problem is what happens when special interest gets involved in the process and there is no motivation to search out theories, never mind validate them. Simply, is the scientific process always conducive to the exploration of truths? I remember one of my university professors saying that if Einstein was initially accepted as a professor, functioning within the system would have hamstringed him and hinder his brilliance. And, indeed we see time and time again how when vested interest gets involved in the system how things get handcuffed – be it Lance Armstong and doping in cycling, tobacco science, or problems with pharma prescription drugs trials. With these examples not only is it a matter of there being no motivation to explore the truths that may be unfavourable to special interest, but we have more dubious, corrupt practices of actually suppressing truths. And, if phrama is guilty of such conduct as your buddy Goldacre outlined in his ‘Bad Science’ with prescription drug trials, why should we trust that they would behave differently with vaccine safety science? Because they are dealing with kids? Please!

@Khani you're quite right, the vaccine conspiracy does not stand up to scrutiny, whereas the enforcement of the misinformation stream about cannabis is quite a transparent process, it can all be fact-checked.

Just look at the way MAPS are struggling to get the material for their PTSD trial, or the way NIDA only provides material for negative research. Totally transparent.

Greg,where's the science (you falsely claim to support) that proves that link?

Why are you afraid to answer?

@ Greg:

1. What is your educational background?

2. Have you got an undergrad or graduate degree in any science field?

3. Do you possess a professional license in any science or health care related field?

4. What job and what license?

Well then, Greg, it comes down to Big Pharma's word against yours. Since you're the one alleging that a remarkably cost-effective disease-fighting measure causes autism, and the process should be halted as a result, a scenario that would undoubtedly lead to an increased death rate, the burden of proof is on you to prove that this is a desirable change of affairs. Can you back up your claims that vaccines cause autism? Please, cite some studies by actual doctors indicating a link.

Also, can you cite the name of this professor? What did he mean by 'in the system'? Einstein published his paper on Special Relativity while he was working toward his PhD, and General Relativity while a professor--Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, as a matter of fact. That sounds pretty much like a student 'in the system' to me.

@Greg - for someone who claims to believe in Science, you seem to have a hard time producing anything even approaching Scientific Evidence.....

(and you seem to find it extremely easy to ignore the mountains of Science that contradict your beliefs)

Lawrence, Greg is just a gutless liar. Of course he doesn't believe in science.

He believes vaccines cause autism. Anything that supports such a contention he believes, anything that doesn't he believes is wrong. It really does seem to be as simple as that.

@Lilady,

I work as a BT with autistic clients. Don't see how the other stuff are relevant. Anyway, now that I have you, would also like to ask you how do you think we should proceed when the vaccine causing autism denial gig is up. Do you think we should rethink the recommended vaccination schedule?
Do you think if it's proven that vaccines do cause autism that the benefits still outweigh the risks?

And he's a coward who won't answer me, or lilady, or Chris.

He asks questions, but when asked for proof, or citations, runs away like Brave Sir Robin. And then returns, claiming victory, that we are all liars.

I have nothing but contempt for him.

Greg,

And, if phrama is guilty of such conduct as your buddy Goldacre outlined in his ‘Bad Science’ with prescription drug trials, why should we trust that they would behave differently with vaccine safety science? Because they are dealing with kids? Please!

What Ben Goldacre complains about is that unfavorable drug trials tend not to get published, and that figures are massaged or misinterpreted to make drugs look safer and more effective than they really are. I don't recall him suggesting that an entire class of pharmaceutical drugs are completely ineffective or have major side effects that have been completely covered up, as you are suggesting has happened with vaccines.

Perhaps the most notorious example of pharmaceutical company malfeasance is Vioxx. Vioxx is a very effective anti-inflammatory drug, but was found to cause 7.7 extra heart attacks in 1,000 patients taking a high dose for a year (though there is still some doubt about this) when compared to other NSAIDs. This was discovered through post-marketing surveillance and the drug was taken off the market, at a cost to Merck of approaching $5 billion (that's how much they have put aside for legal costs).

You appear to be suggesting that vaccines cause ASDs within minutes in 20 in 1,000 patients. How is it that the side effects of vaccines have (according to you) been successfully covered up, but the side effects of Vioxx have been exposed?

You also have to ask what happened with several drugs that have gone through very expensive development only to fail at the final hurdle of Phase 3 clinical trials. If drug companies are utterly unscrupulous and can suppress or falsify data as they wish, why do any of their drugs fail in this way? It makes no sense.

Comparing the kind of problems Ben Goldacre is campaigning against with the global conspiracies and widespread falsification of data that would be required for your claims about vaccines to be true is simply ridiculous.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

Just look at the way MAPS are struggling to get the material for their PTSD trial

Which one?

Yes Gregg, even if vaccines did cause autism, it's still worth the risk. The diseases are much worse and much more disabling, and that's not to detract from how devastating autism can be sometimes. Things like measles can leave you blind and brain-damaged!

Narad if you do a google search for maps ptsd mdma you can find all the info and history.

Greg never answered my questions either. And I asked several times. And sorry guys, I think I might be one of the three people who lied as well. Even though I didn't. I just disagreed with Greg.

I'm not sure how much longer I can keep following this thread. Greg's nastiness is getting extremely depressing.

But Agashem? You are an inspiring parent.

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

I remember one of my university professors saying that if Einstein was initially accepted as a professor, functioning within the system would have hamstringed him and hinder his brilliance.

Like it "hamstringed" Maxwell? Why didn't Edison's push for DC electrical distribution pan out, again?

Narad if you do a google search for maps ptsd mdma you can find all the info and history.

I'm already familiar with it. Indeed, I happen to know a fellow who helped get their first IND rolling. I was wondering whether you were trying to drag in their cannabis-PTSD proposal as well.

Offhand, I'd suggest that if MAPS is having practical difficulties, it might be because they're purely agenda driven. Somebody might also want to tell Doblin that his credentials are a bit weak to be inserting himself as senior author on their publications.

#257 It is kind of awful, isn't it? He never answers any questions and seems to think disagreeing with him means we're lying. Because we all apparently secretly "know" that vaccines cause autism.

Except that they don't, and we're telling the truth about a. vaccinating ourselves and b. vaccinating our kids (if we have any).

My friends had a baby a while back and I wanted to be able to hold her, and as all the stories about pertussis vaccines not lasting were coming out about that time, I got my booster shot. It ached a bit for a couple of days, though not, I thought, as much as the one I got when I was a kid. Of course it's a different formulation.

Greg has lost, really, purely on the basis of his arguments, or lack thereof.

"You're lying" isn't really an argument, Greg. It's even worse than an argument by analogy (only works if both parties accept the analogy) or personal experience (no one is obliged to accept anyone else's personal experiences).

Both parties have to be arguing in good faith for any productive argument to be had, or there's literally no basis for argument--he's not agreeing to basic premises that a. both parties are telling the truth, and b. both parties wish to find the truth.

I would submit that Greg is not arguing in good faith.

Premise b is quite apparent on our part; we've all given exact criteria of what it would take to convince us that we were quite wrong, after all. Greg hasn't even done that. Sometimes I think we should start the conversation that way, as otherwise the goalposts shift each time we get close.

Anyway Guys,

The time is nearing where I must bid you all adieu again. You must understand that the time I spend here is the time away from reading autism news and cautioning parents on how to avoid their kid's autism shots --- ahemm, vaccines! Updating our survey, we now have 5 liars who 'believe' that vaccines absolutely play no causal role in autism. No truthful person has come forward. The rest of you are all chickens having not offered a opinion. Lawrence, you are in this group and something tells me you will run for president. Of all the things that I am disappointed in hearing, it's your view that even if vaccines are proven to cause autism then the benefits still outweigh the risks. I can't fathom how you guys can live with 1 in 50 brain damaged kids, that will cost taxpayers millions for their lifetime care. This is very sad thinking. Anyway, let's have more responses on the topics of whether you personally believe vaccines cause autism, and whether the benefits outweigh the risks. My next comment will be my final one for the time being. I am also missing my 'quack' friends at AoA and must return there shortly.

when the vaccine causing autism denial gig is up.

The 12th of Never, one presumes (which is about when we can expect to see him answer Chris' question).

"I am also missing my ‘quack’ friends at AoA and must rectum there shortly."

Sorry, but that's how I read it at first.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

Greg:

My next comment will be my final one for the time being.

Answer the question that I first gave you two weeks ago with actual factual verifiable scientific evidence, or stop trolling.

In other words, provide the PubMed indexed study from a qualified researcher showing a vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease. Or go away and don't come back.

#260 You have no interest in a genuine argument. You only want to insult autistic people, women, and pretend you have the moral high ground, when you don't. Hint: Name-calling loses you the high ground.

Please leave, and unless you are willing to genuinely argue, and treat *all* the human race--not just men, not just the so-called "able"--as human people, please do not come back.

@Greg: "Updating our survey, we now have 5 liars who ‘believe’ that vaccines absolutely play no causal role in autism."

How do you know they don't actually believe that? You don't actually believe that but, I hate to break this to you, other people do not necessarily think precisely the same thoughts as you.

You deny being a creationist, but creationists argue similarly that scientists who study evolution actually believe that the evidence denies that it occurred, but for some reason they insist on lying about it.

I'm curious, Greg - do you work with autistic people out of a sense of duty even though you are repulsed by them? Just trying to understand.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

Greg doesn't realise that parental reports- like many eyewitness reports- are notoriously unreliable.

Although this group of parents believes that autism 'started' around the time of a particular vaccine, studies have shown that differences in patterns of gaze can predict ASDs at much earlier ages; there are also physiognomic differences ( head size, intra- facial proportions), brain structure and brain wave differences and genetic differences that can be identified earlier as well.

It appears that new studies are being added to this list frequently lately. Is it surprising that the direction of new research targets genetics and very early ( pre- and peri-natal) risk factors?

Autism involves deficits in social communication - most infants do not speak and gesture very much - parents may notice "autism" at around 18 months because it may become apparent to them THEN that their child is not meeting milestones, isn't speaking or relating to others, especially when compared to other children that age or to parents' guides- this is the age at which most children without ASDs are beginning to talk and gesture.

Of course, parents may later remember in a manner that fits in with their beliefs.

I could obviously go on and on, presenting studies about brain development, post- mortem findings, differences between parental and professional observation etc as well discussing how what a person knows ( or believes) influences what they see or remember...

However I had quite a day that included travelling by car, walking around a decayed but reviving, riverside boatyard watching hardy young women (mostly) repairing an aged sloop, looking in shops, seeing an ancient burial site with crumbling grave stones, observing the burgeoning green of spring and eating Indian food. Thus don't expect detailed science after all that.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

Greg wrote:

I can’t fathom how you guys can live with 1 in 50 brain damaged kids...

Seriously, Greg this makes you one of the more despicable people I have had the misfortune to come across.

People with autism are not brain damaged. They are people just like you (well actually I hope not because then they would be gutless liars and complete tools, but you know what I mean), but with a genetically-based developmental condition. To dismiss them as brain damaged is an appalling attitude to have. Frankly with such an attitude, I am surprised you would even be tolerated over at AoA.

Given you hold such appalling attitudes to those who you believe are lower than yourself, I don't think there is any value in continuing a conversation with you.

Greg needs time to read more about autism. I still wonder why he would need to do that. He only accepts what is in line with his own beliefs and everything else is dismissed as lies.

In all honesty, I don't believe vaccines can cause autism, so the answer to Greg's question would be YES. So Greg can tell me I'm a iar, I know I'm not.
I don't have children, but if I would have them, I would vaccinate them.

As the bear said in the joke, Greg doesn't really come here for the hunting.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 04 May 2013 #permalink

I guess I should be proud of the fact that I've been called out specifically by "Greg." Though in probably the most infantile (because he doesn't even rise to the level of "juvenile") way possible with his "taunting."

Again, interestingly enough, that regardless of how idiotic his assertions are, he is continued to allowed to engage here - whereas I have never been able to hold a similar discussion relating to actual Science at AoA.....I wonder why that is Greg? Did you ever get an adequate response why your "friends" don't allow open discussions?

Because Greg is so firm in his beliefs that anyone who disagrees with him, "must be lying" it is impossible to engage him on even the most basic of issues.

This is certainly how Galileo much have felt, presenting firm Scientific Evidence to the strident believers in the Inquisition, who instead shut their eyes & ears to what was so obvious......Greg certainly can't understand the analogy that the anti-vax folks present (the Galileo Gambit) is actually tailored-made to refute their own position - that they value "belief" over actual Science.

All in all, again, a very interesting psychological study on how far down the Rabbit Hole these folks have gone, coupled with their inability to look in a mirror & undertake a serious evaluation of their own beliefs in the face of real Scientific Inquiry (that shows they are wrong).

I also imagine, it is very similar to the feeling when an stringent eye-witness to a crime is told, years later, that the individual they sent to prison because of a 100% positive visual identification, was actually innocent (because of Scientific Inquiry / DNA Testing).

Of course, all of this will go right over Greg's head....

Ok Guys,

Let’s wrap things up. Maybe it wasn’t fair for me to call you all liars for admitting to personally believing that vaccines do not cause autism. Still, I can’t understand how any sensible, educated person would sincerely hold such beliefs. I simply cannot. The fact that so many of you did not reply to the question leads me to believe that you too also personally believe that vaccines do play a role in autism, and your conscience will not allow you to expressly deny this. As to seeing autistic clients as brain damaged, many have expressed their outrage. I will say this: I believe every individually regardless of their functioning levels are worthy of respect and compassion. The fact that I have chosen a career in the special needs field reflects my commitment to this principle. Still, where autism is concerned, I will always see the vast majority of autistic individuals as vaccine, brain damaged. They were not born that way. Autism was not their destiny and instead was a scourge that was forced upon them. To not accept this is to betray the autistic individual by denying his/her legacy. This I feel is the ultimate disrespect. I also believe the pro-vaxers do feel a lot of guilt and instead of owning up to the crime committed against the autistic individual, will sooner blacklist anyone who speaks the truth as being an ableist. Such hypocrisy is what I believe is truly reprehensible.

Re your position that even if vaccines were ‘shown’ to cause autism then you would still advocate the existing recommended vaccination schedule, I fail to understand the sense in this thinking. We are talking about 80,000 yearly vaccine brain damaged autistic kids. 80,000 autistics kids who will depend on another person to feed, bath, and attend to their other personal needs. 80,000 autistic kids that will not be able to live alone or find meaningful employment where the can contribute in society… 80,000 autistic kids that will be an emotional and financial drain on their families, with the parents dreading that when they are dead there will be no mercy for their kids in a cruel, callous world… 80, 000 autistic kids that will cost the taxpayers millions for their lifetime care… Mephistopheles O'Brien, perhaps you offer the best suggestion. We should definitely pursue studies to identify the vulnerable subgroup of kids who are susceptible to vaccine side effects so that we can start vaccinating more selectively. I can only hope that such researches are already underway.

And I present you with "Greg" - the anti-vaccine troll who has cornered the market in the "if you can't beat them with facts, baffle them with BS."

Care to actually answer any of our questions or are you so ingrained in the AoA - "there is only one side of the issue & we will prohibit anyone else from deviating from the party-line" that you are physically unable to adequately respond?

The fact that so many of you did not reply to the question

Sensible people seeing a silly question will ignore it.

(Just as I’ve elected to ignore your straw-man attempts to slur those that follow what evidence shows about autism.)

Besides, no-one is obliged to answer you.

They were not born that way.

Almost certainly they were. People with genetic disorders are born with the ‘defective’ gene variants (allele), but the effects of these are not seen until when the genes start to be used. (Dravet Syndrome is an example; there are many other examples.)

To not accept this is to betray the autistic individual by denying his/her legacy.

No, it is you that is denying their legacy by forcing your view on their lives rather than follow what evidence shows.

If you want to work helping others you need to follow evidence rather than impose your own views. You cannot do right by them otherwise.

We should definitely pursue studies to identify the vulnerable subgroup of kids who are susceptible to vaccine side effects

One problem for your idea is that serious vaccine side-effect are so rare they couldn’t possibly account for autism.

FWIW, I’ve suggested sometime in the near future (as genome sequencing prices fall) sequencing the genomes of those that claim vaccine side effects (see location). The reason I’ve suggested this is the ‘cohort’ that some of the anti-vaccine lobby are collecting many be of rare genetic conditions that likely have little to do with the vaccines per se.

Greg doesn't apparently understand, either, that autism is a spectrum diagnosis - and is DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY NOT DEVELOPMENTAL STASIS. (Sorry for the shouting, but I suspect he doesn't read well) He obviously only sees those with autism diagnoses who have other severe issues, and doesn't see those whose children have lost their diagnoses - or says they "weren't really autistic".

And he, like our "dear" friend John Fryer, Chemist, doesn't mention all those autistic children who have NEVER been vaccinated.

So, Greg - if you don't stick the fllounce - where do unvaccinated, autistic children come from? And do they stay children forever? Are there no functioning, autistic adults?

Greg,

Maybe it wasn’t fair for me to call you all liars for admitting to personally believing that vaccines do not cause autism. Still, I can’t understand how any sensible, educated person would sincerely hold such beliefs. I simply cannot.

All that tells us is that your thinking is so completely distorted by your prejudices that you have lost touch with reality.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 05 May 2013 #permalink

According to Greg...

"The fact that I have chosen a career in the special needs field reflects my commitment to this principle. Still, where autism is concerned, I will always see the vast majority of autistic individuals as vaccine, brain damaged. They were not born that way. Autism was not their destiny and instead was a scourge that was forced upon them. To not accept this is to betray the autistic individual by denying his/her legacy...."

Greg, who came directly from AoA, to post that simply dreadful inane comment about "identifying" pro-vaccine people...has never provided a citation or a link to any published people, to back up any of his statements, will not (cannot), back up any of his statements...and "claims" he works with autistic people.

After I posed some simple questions to him, about his "credentials" in the field of autism...

1. What is your educational background?

2. Have you got an undergrad or graduate degree in any science field?

3. Do you possess a professional license in any science or health care related field?

4. What job and what license? ... Greg finally replies "I work as a BT with autistic clients. Don’t see how the other stuff are relevant. Anyway, now that I have you, would also like to ask you how do you think we should proceed when the vaccine causing autism denial gig is up. Do you think we should rethink the recommended vaccination schedule?"

Is a "BT" a behavior therapist? What educational background do you have, professional licensing and qualifications, Greg?

http://www.ehow.com/about_6120455_job-description-behavioral-therapist…

"Some behavioral therapists are able to find work with master's degrees, but most therapists need a Ph.D or Psy.D degree to find work. The doctorate for a behavioral therapist usually takes five years to complete. Those with bachelor's degrees can usually only find work assisting other psychologists. Successful behavioral therapists need good interpersonal skills, since they must be able to create a nonjudgmental environment in which patients are able to open up and explore their emotions and behaviors."

You're a bullsh!t artist Greg and not qualified in any field working with people with ASDs.

Ta Ta Greg, go on back to AoA, where your comments, your "credentials" and your fact-free, citationless comments are welcome additions.

If you recall Greg has NEVER

(mixed up comment directed at Greg...hope you all get the meaning)

If you recall Greg has NEVER provided a link to a study to back up any of his statements and has never answered any of the questions posed to him...so that we might evaluate his competence in the field of autism research and his understanding of vaccines and the diseases they prevent.

I'm wondering if a "BT" is one of the untrained persons hired to help out during ABA sessions. Though I suspect he was gussying up his job title to Building Technician, the handyman that cleans the floors, changes light bulbs and empties the trash.

He still is making claims without providing any actual scientific support. Seriously, the MMR vaccine has been around for over forty years. If it caused more seizures than measles it would have been withdrawn. Just like they removed one or two of the original measles vaccines, the OPV and the first rotavirus vaccine... and the reason why Canada, Japan and the UK removed the MMR with the Urabe mumps component. And all of those have PubMed references associated with them.

So, Greg, come up with the PubMed indexed studies by qualified researchers on which vaccine in the present American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the vaccine. Or just stop trolling.

Greg @273:

I believe every individually regardless of their functioning levels are worthy of respect and compassion.

Most the words you have posted here do not show compassion. They show belligerence and a lack of respect, both in regards to those with whom you are pretending to have a discussion, and the individuals with whom you claim to work.

We should definitely pursue studies to identify the vulnerable subgroup of kids who are susceptible to vaccine side effects

On this, in fact, we agree. But we do not agree that autism is one of those side effects. I have two children and both are vaccinated, but that’s not my whole story (which I have shared before). My older child had a very frightening reaction immediately after receiving two vaccines. A year later, my younger one was due to receive those same vaccines, and I had to make the decision whether or not to vaccinate the younger one with no guidance on the risks of a repeat reaction. I chose to take the risks, because the risks of the diseases are still greater.

It angers me that folks like you who blame a condition that is in most cases completely unrelated to vaccines have taken research funds and attention away from true investigations of vaccine safety.

Finally, Greg, I sincerely hope that the words you use posting here reflect frustration and venting. And if you truly work with the disabled, I hope that none of them nor their family members ever encounter and identify with you the thoughts you have shared here.

@ lilady:

Well, believe it or not, there are all sorts of people doing all sorts of therapy: I once played tennis with a woman who worked for a legit facility w/o any graduate degrees ( she had a teaching degree and training working with dis-advantaged populations- as in impoverished) as a "therapist" for outpatients with SMI. Possibly she was utilised as a teacher. Or as an assistant. Or lying.

If you check Jennifer Larson' s company, the Holland Center, you'll see that many of the staff have only undergrad degrees. ( I don't know about requirements in her area ) They work with ASDs and advertise at AoA.

Alt med folk push career opportunities as "life coaches" and "counsellors". Nutritionists call themselves "counsellors" or "therapists" for mental health as well as physical health... remember to these people, it's all one vortex of life energy anyway.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 05 May 2013 #permalink

Only thing I feel guilty about with regard to vaccines is not donating more to Rotary's campaign to stamp out polio for good.

OK. I will repeat again, in case Greg didn't get. My autistic daughter is not brain damaged. She doesn't cost us any more than the other 2 children do. She is funny and loving and caring. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad that she did not encounter you (Greg) any where along her travels. I would not allow anyone who thinks she is brain damaged to get within 10 feet of her. Actually, I believe you are the one who is damaged

Excuse me, all, a moment while I use Greg's style of thinking for a moment.

Greg, I see that you are a coward because you have not answered my question yet. Clearly, you must be feeling guilty and not want us to know that you beat your wife. I'm keeping a tally, and, well, you're not looking too good. "hee hee"

So, Greg, are you going to actually provide evidence supporting your claims?

Setting aside the studies that find no link between autism and vaccines, what do you personally believe?

See, there's your problem. You want to set aside the science, but since we base our "beliefs" (for lack of a better term...provisional acceptance of the facts would be better) on the science, your question become impossible to answer, quite apart from it being a dishonest question to begin with.

We really need to get a better class of troll. Greg is little more than a wee babe.

@Agashem: well, then, according to the all-wise, all-knowing Greg, then your daughter isn't "REALLY" autistic. After all, if she was "really" autistic, she'd be vaccine-damaged, brain-damaged, not worth loving or caring for. At least, that's how I see Greg visualizing your daughter.

Personally, if I had ANY child who needed care, I wouldn't let someone with Greg's mindset within 10 miles of them. He doesn't see the value in humans unless they fit his ideal of perfect, I guess.

@Todd - agreed. Greg is a complete waste of time.

@Krebiozen -

So autistic and neurotypical children had measurable differences at birth which could not possibly have been caused by later vaccination.

Yes. The point I was trying to make was that the question raised by M.O'brien was that biomarkers might be useful tools for understanding infants which might react different to vaccination; but we can't just scan everything, differences in the immune system would seem to be a salient place to look considering our input parameter of interest. When we look for changes in immune functioning in that population, we have found it.

Are you suggesting that if those children with lower cytokine levels had somehow been protected from exposure to immunogens during their early development they might have avoided autism?

It is biologically plausible based on animal studies. 'Avoiding autism' all together is a bit stronger language that I might use; I think the *potential* problem is one of continuing to interferre with a set of systems that are already skewed. Nearly all of our risk factors for autism are provide a low level of increased risk, say doubling it [some genetic contributions, like Fragile-X provide a much higher risk, but are very rare]. What this tells me is that there isn't one 'thing' that causes autism, but lots of little things working in concert; I see no reason why vaccination would be any different; the problem is that it casts a wide net.

It isn't just 'lower cytokine' levels, it is decreased cytokines responsible for regulating the immune response. When you look at the animal literature, it is clear that an immune response during development is capable of causing behavioral and physiological changes in the treatment group. Through utilization of TLR agonists (i..e., immune stimulation without actual pathogens), or usage of agents to ablate the immune response it has been shown that the particular trigger is not as important as whether or not an immune response is present and unmitigated.

This review came out about two months ago:

Programming of neuroendocrine function by early-life experience: A critical role for the immune system (Horm Behav. 2013 Mar 6. pii: S0018-506X(13)00052-4. doi: 10.1016/) There are many others.

Why would exposure to vaccine antigens, rather than naturally occurring pathogen antigens, cause autism in these hypothetically immunologically and neurologically vulnerable children?

(Note: There are things besides antigens in vaccines that cause an immune response. Alum is naturally immunostimulatory.)

In any case, there is no reason that naturally occurring pathogens couldn't have the same effect; in fact, there are at least two studies showing an association between hospital visits for infection during infancy and increased risk for autism.

As I mentioned in my thread, the animal literature is quite clear that there are time dependent effects on changes to behavior. Do you understand what that statement means?

Our vaccine schedule is heavily phased in over the first few months of life. Well over 90% of our infants are being vaccinated by the time they are sixty days old. Far, far, far fewer infants that age catch pertussis, tetanus, hib, diptheria, hep-b, or the other pathogens we vaccinate by that age. Infancy isn't *childhood*; there is a big difference.

After all, vaccines are designed to cause less extreme immune reactions than the diseases they protect against. Wouldn’t you expect these children to have been far more likely to suffer immune reactions that would cause autism back in the days when almost all children were exposed to wild measles, mumps, rubella etc.?

Timeframe, timeframe, timeframe. How many children do you think got measles when they were two months of age in the old days? Do you think it was 90%? Do you think 90% of two month olds got tetanus, or hib, or Hep-B at any time in history?

It seems more likely to me that the lower cytokine levels in these children are an early marker for changes that had already happened but would only become obvious later when they failed to reach developmental milestones

They are clearly an indication of a process that has started before birth. But so what? Just because a system is already changed when you are born, that is no reason that it cannot be further disrupted after birth.

As an example, if a child is born with asthma, should we tell people to go ahead and smoke around it because it already had asthma and we couldn't be 'causing' asthma by providing environmental exposure to more smoke?

- pD

By passionlessDrone (not verified) on 05 May 2013 #permalink

Applecat: Things like measles can leave you blind and brain-damaged!

Oddly, no one on the anti-vax side ever seems to acknowledge this. Considering the attitudes they have about autistic people, and even people with ADD, I really wonder how they would deal with a child who got measles and ended up blind, deaf or brain-damaged. I'd worry for the child's safety.

ChrisP: Frankly with such an attitude, I am surprised you would even be tolerated over at AoA.

Actually, this sort of attitude is common at AOA and TMR. TMR seems to have a really high population of curebies; they evidently don't see anything wrong with child abuse, as long as it's done under the disguise of a cure.

Greg: I will say this: I believe every individually regardless of their functioning levels are worthy of respect and compassion.

My sides. All of your comments here have showcased contempt, not compassion. I suggest you invest in a dictionary.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 05 May 2013 #permalink

pD,

What this tells me is that there isn’t one ‘thing’ that causes autism, but lots of little things working in concert; I see no reason why vaccination would be any different; the problem is that it casts a wide net.

I can see no reason to believe vaccination is one of those "little things working in concert". None of the evidence I have seen is consistent with that hypothesis.

It isn’t just ‘lower cytokine’ levels, it is decreased cytokines responsible for regulating the immune response. When you look at the animal literature, it is clear that an immune response during development is capable of causing behavioral and physiological changes in the treatment group. Through utilization of TLR agonists (i..e., immune stimulation without actual pathogens), or usage of agents to ablate the immune response it has been shown that the particular trigger is not as important as whether or not an immune response is present and unmitigated.

I think it's quite a leap from the animal studies you refer to and the observation that immune dysregulation occurs in autism, to the hypothesis that autism is caused or even exacerbated by vaccines. Vaccines do not usually cause an unmitigated immune response.

(Note: There are things besides antigens in vaccines that cause an immune response. Alum is naturally immunostimulatory.)

The immune response to an actual infection is orders of magnitude greater than that to a vaccine. In measles infection, for example, vast numbers of fully virulent viral particles are produced, far more than those contained in the vaccine, causing a much greater immune response that the vaccine does, even with adjuvants. Vaccines are designed to cause the least immune response necessary to produce antibodies and prime an anamnestic response to exposure to infection.

In any case, there is no reason that naturally occurring pathogens couldn’t have the same effect;

But they don't, at least not post-natally, that's my point.

in fact, there are at least two studies showing an association between hospital visits for infection during infancy and increased risk for autism.

Is that because of a pre-existing immune dysfunction, like the one you pointed out that is detectable at birth? Or is it that the infections caused (or exacerbated) the autism?

As I mentioned in my thread, the animal literature is quite clear that there are time dependent effects on changes to behavior. Do you understand what that statement means?

Of course I understand what that means. You are suggesting that some or all infant vaccinations might coincide with a particularly vulnerable stage of neurodevelopment. That is hypothetically possible, I agree, but I don't see the evidence I would expect if that were the case. I would expect early infection to result in much more profound effects on neurodevelopment than vaccination. In the past and at present in the developing world neonatal infections were and are common. We would expect to see a clear relationship between these infections and neurodevelopmental disorders, but we don't. However we do know that maternal rubella infection can lead to autism, for example, as can maternal valproate ingestion, which strongly suggests that a vulnerable period of neurodevelopment in the case of autism is prenatal, not post-natal. Could there be another, later, post-natal period of similar vulnerability? Maybe, but I don't see much evidence for it in humans.

Our vaccine schedule is heavily phased in over the first few months of life. Well over 90% of our infants are being vaccinated by the time they are sixty days old. Far, far, far fewer infants that age catch pertussis, tetanus, hib, diptheria, hep-b, or the other pathogens we vaccinate by that age. Infancy isn’t *childhood*; there is a big difference.

What about in the developing world? 19th century Europe and America? If your hypothesis is correct those infants that survived these infections should have had a greatly increased incidence of profound neurodevelopmental disorders, shouldn't they? Is it really likely that a hepatitis B vaccine in a neonate causes autism, but hepatitis B itself does not?

How many children do you think got measles when they were two months of age in the old days? Do you think it was 90%?

I think it was practically zero, since infants were protected by maternal antibodies, which is why MMR is given between 12 and 18 months. In the 2011 measles outbreaks in the US 14% were in children aged less than 12 months.

Do you think 90% of two month olds got tetanus, or hib, or Hep-B at any time in history?

Of course not, but neonatal tetanus is still a big problem in developing countries, Hib meningitis used to kill around 600 children each year in the US, and a substantial number of babies used to contract hepatitis B from their mothers during childbirth. Do you have evidence of a greatly increased incidence of autism in the children that survived these infections?

Just because a system is already changed when you are born, that is no reason that it cannot be further disrupted after birth.

It depends what developmental process is being disrupted. If that process started and ended in the womb, events after birth may have no effect.

As an example, if a child is born with asthma, should we tell people to go ahead and smoke around it because it already had asthma and we couldn’t be ‘causing’ asthma by providing environmental exposure to more smoke?

As far as I know tobacco smoke doesn't actually cause asthma, though it may temporarily worsen symptoms and cause some lung damage, which I don't think is what you are suggesting with vaccines and autism. As a counter-example, a child born with a neural tube defect due to maternal folate deficiency is not going to be helped by supplemental folate.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 05 May 2013 #permalink

Speaking of "biological plausibility":

pD: "As an example, if a child is born with asthma, should we tell people to go ahead and smoke around it because it already had asthma and we couldn’t be ‘causing’ asthma by providing environmental exposure to more smoke? "

Funny - I thought it was clearly recognized that secondhand smoke may cause asthma in children who previously had not exhibited symptoms, and also exacerbates asthma in children with the disorder. We didn't have to extrapolate from dubiously related scientific literature to discover this, and there was a plausible mechanism behind the clinical observations that led to this understanding.

It's difficult to see how this flawed analogy logically permits one to make the leap that vaccines do something unknown to cytokines that causes autism, and we'd confirm this if we only looked for it.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 05 May 2013 #permalink

Orac has kicked Applecat off, BTW. (From what Orac has written on another thread.)

Krebiozen, pD,

What this tells me is that there isn’t one ‘thing’ that causes autism, but lots of little things working in concert;

One thing I try keep in mind when reading on autism is that it might not even be one disorder, as such, but possibly to prove to be a range of otherwise separate disorders with overlapping or similar symptoms/outcomes.

(I recall that a number [most?] of the potential genetic elements are associated with neural expression, rather than immune system expression; I’d be wary of only looking at immune system aspects.)

Timeframe, timeframe, timeframe. How many children do you think got measles when they were two months of age in the old days? Do you think it was 90%? Do you think 90% of two month olds got tetanus, or hib, or Hep-B at any time in history?

Not sure what your point here is, but note you’re offering a frequency. The frequency in any one age bracket of the total has to change since vaccination, e.g. if we protect everyone from 1-50 years (say), then the percentage for 0-50 yrs has to go up.

They are clearly an indication of a process that has started before birth. But so what? Just because a system is already changed when you are born, that is no reason that it cannot be further disrupted after birth.

But in your scenario later events are dependent on the earlier ones. (I don’t think it’s wise to use or imply ‘trigger’ before people know there is even a ‘triggering’ type of effect. Genes commonly aren’t active until some particular age, for example.)

The Study to Explore Early Development (SEED) is looking at the health and behavior of young children, infection and immune function within families, medical issues during pregnancy and how they relate to developmental delays or ASDs, the role of genetics in autism or other ASDs, how family characteristics and behaviors are related to developmental delays and ASDs and is going to create a bank of biological samples and data for future studies of developmental issues and ASDs.

There is also The Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI) which will examine possible environmental risk factors for autism and study whether there is any interplay between environmental factors and genetic susceptibility.

The results of these studies should add a great deal to our understanding of autism, including the factors pD has suggested. My (admittedly incomplete) reading suggests that maternal infection during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, is associated with autism, rather than post-natal infection or vaccination.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 05 May 2013 #permalink

I see the troll (Applecat) is trying to evade the ban while I slept. Since he's in the UK, unfortunately, he can (and frequently does) try to take advantage of the time difference, such that while I sleep here in the US (and am not monitoring) he has hours to try to evade any bans. I deleted the posts that slipped through.

Especially for Greg, here's a study that was widely discussed when it was published last year. It was a case-control that looked at vaccination history, prenatal, perinatal, and neonatal factors and the risk of autism. It has some limitations, but its results are interesting:

For all of the prenatal, perinatal and neonatal factors, there were no significant differences between cases and controls. Furthermore, regarding the presence of ASD, [...] the number of vaccine injections had ORs of [...] 1.10 (95% CI, 0.95–1.26) [...], in the conditional multiple regression model; no significant differences were found.

It's a Japanese study, which explains the slightly peculiar English. It concluded:

There was not any evidence vaccines were associated with an increased risk of ASD. There is no basis for avoiding vaccination out of concern for ASD.

Also of interest to Greg, if he could overcome his bigotry long enough to read and understand it, is
'The legitimacy of vaccine critics: what is left after the autism hypothesis?'
written by Anna Kirkland:

The last dozen years have seen a massive transnational mobilization of the legal, political, and research communities in response to the worrisome hypothesis that vaccines could have a link to childhood autism and other developmental conditions. Vaccine critics, some already organized and some composed of newly galvanized parents, developed an alternate world of internally legitimating studies, blogs, conferences, publications, and spokespeople to affirm a connection. When the consensus turned against the autism hypothesis, these structures and a committed membership base unified all the organizations in resistance. This article examines the relationship between mobilization based on science and the trajectory of legitimacy vaccine criticism has taken. I argue that vaccine critics have run up against the limits of legitimate scientific argument and are now in the curious position of both doubling down on credibility-depleting stances and innovating new and possibly resonant formulations.

Greg appears to have been so totally taken in by this alternate world that he has mistaken it for reality.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 06 May 2013 #permalink

About that second paper

Orac has written on it (to no-one’s surprise) and while it’s pay-walled, a New Zealand anti-vaccine campaigner is offering it on her website (in obvious breach of copyright, but it’s hardly the first time she's done that).

Grant,

Orac has written on it (to no-one’s surprise) and while it’s pay-walled,

So he has, and I remember reading that post too - I did a search to see if it had been mentioned here recently but didn't go back that far. Sometimes I find it hard to recall what Orac has written about, his legendary verbosity being what it is. It is the "alternate world" she refers to that I think explains Greg's incredulity about our sincerity, assuming he is sincere himself, that is, which I doubt.

a New Zealand anti-vaccine campaigner is offering it on her website (in obvious breach of copyright, but it’s hardly the first time she’s done that).

It wouldn't be the first time I have been grateful to an anti-vaccine website for illegally hosting a paper.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 06 May 2013 #permalink

One can't help but "admire" the rhetoric technique of Greg. If you agree with him, then you agree with him. If you don't agree with him, then you are lying, thus in reality you agree with him. It's almost like he was living is some kind of parallel world of delusions, that had little to do with that place called reality.

By The Smith of Lie (not verified) on 06 May 2013 #permalink

Greg wants to know how to proceed?

We ignore him now. He’s just an internet troll, who is ignorant and a pathological liar.

I'm late to second that but consider it seconded.

Alain

@Alain - agreed, and I'll third. No reason to respond to him anymore.

Krebiozen,

FWIW - I didn’t recall what Orac had written, I just ran into it by luck while searching for an alternative (groan) source of the paper by googling it's title.

Commenting to Greg reminds me of calling somone's home, thinking they answered, and then starting to talk only to realize it was a cleverly paced answering machine greeting all along. "Hello, this is Greg. I am just asking questions. I'll be happy to answer any of your questions as well . . . after the beep . . . psych!"

By Pareidolius (not verified) on 06 May 2013 #permalink

I suspect Greg is a narcissist - esp. given his comments about liking to annoy us.

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 06 May 2013 #permalink

@Krebiozen -

None of the evidence I have seen is consistent with that hypothesis.

Of course not. The evidence you have seen doesn't bother to ask that question, or is so weakly powered that we cannot draw useful conclusions from it.

I think it’s quite a leap from the animal studies you refer to and the observation that immune dysregulation occurs in autism, to the hypothesis that autism is caused or even exacerbated by vaccines.

Fair enough. But our ignorance is vast and the evidence you have seen so far doesn't do anything to try to answer the question.

Vaccines do not usually cause an unmitigated immune response.

When I say unmitigated, I was referring to pharmacological interventions to stop the immune response; i.e., cytokine antibodies or other agents (i.e., minocycline) known to reduce neuroinflammation. Vaccines don't come with those. As we have seen, the autism population is predisposed to problems regulating the immune response.

The immune response to an actual infection is orders of magnitude greater than that to a vaccine.

Citation required with particular emphasis on measurements that allow us to say things like 'orders of magnitude'.

Vaccines are designed to cause the least immune response necessary to produce antibodies and prime an anamnestic response to exposure to infection.

Citation required. I'd love to see you provide a citation indicating that:

1) immune response was measured post vaccination.
2) immune response was deemd excessively robust.
3) vaccine was modified to cause 'the least immune response necessary'

But they don’t, at least not post-natally, that’s my point.
Is that because of a pre-existing immune dysfunction, like the one you pointed out that is detectable at birth?

You aren't allowed to say, 'they don't' and then go on to wonder about the nature of the association that was observed.

That is hypothetically possible, I agree, but I don’t see the evidence I would expect if that were the case

We agree on something anyways. I cannot produce evidence that does not exist. Our existing research set is exceedingly flaccid in this regard, unfortunately. Have you given any thought toward a critical eye on the evidence you *have* seen?

Think about it this way, the Hewitson study on monkey's was a joke. An embarrassment. Whatever bad, terrible thing you want to say about Hewitson, I'll agree with, without consent.

But you know what? It is the best thing we have.. If you go back and look at all of the complaints about Hewitson, what you will not see is a study that looked at a control group of four primates that got placebo. You won't see a study that had a control group with six, or eight, or ten, or fifty, or a hundred primates that got a schedule versus a placebo. That is because there are no such studies. How come no one ever expects to see that kind of evidence, and is a bit concerned that it is not available?

In the past and at present in the developing world neonatal infections were and are common. We would expect to see a clear relationship between these infections and neurodevelopmental disorders, but we don’t.

For the most part, those situations resulted in the death of the infant. What studies have you used to evaluate for a 'clear relationship' and failed to find one?

In any case, here is an example of a positive association:

Association of hospitalization for infection in childhood with diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders: a Danish cohort study (Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010 May;164(5):470-7. doi: 10.1001)

A total of 7379 children were diagnosed as having ASDs. Children admitted to the hospital for any infectious disease displayed an increased rate of ASD diagnoses (HR, 1.38 [95% confidence interval, 1.31-1.45]). This association was found to be similar for infectious diseases of bacterial and viral origin. Furthermore, children admitted to the hospital for noninfectious disease also displayed an increased rate of ASD diagnoses (HR, 1.76 [95% confidence interval, 1.68-1.86]), and admissions for infection increased the rate of mental retardation (2.18 [2.06-2.31]).

Could there be another, later, post-natal period of similar vulnerability? Maybe, but I don’t see much evidence for it in humans.

Maybe is the big question. Perhaps you and I have different ideas on the quality of data that is available for us to evaluate regarding the potential for post natal interactions with neurodevelopment.

Did you see this study that came out a while ago, that found IQ differences in children born at 37 or 38 weeks after conception (i.e., technically 'term', but still a bit early)

Variation in Child Cognitive Ability by Week of Gestation Among Healthy Term Births

A similar study was published in Pediatrics about a month ago. This doesn't have anything to do with vaccination per se, but does tell us a lot about our relative ignorance regarding neurodevelopment outside the womb and environmental effects. This study used thousands of infants and found what we have considered to be 'term' for the past few decades could still result in changes in IQ. How many 'convenience' c-sections have been performed in the past three decades that resulted in a child being born at 37 weeks? The *assumption* was always that there was no effect of assigning 'term' birth to a range starting at 37 weeks; this wasn't a valid assumption, but it was good enough to pass the smell test until we adjusted our filters to a sufficient level of detail. It was a black swan.

I don't think you can provide anything close that level of detail for the evidence that has persuaded you the case is closed regarding the practice of vaccination. I may be wrong.

I think it was practically zero, since infants were protected by maternal antibodies, which is why MMR is given between 12 and 18 months.

Well, if you knew this, and also knew that we started vaccination at two months of age, and you also understand the concept of time dependent interactions, why bring the MMR up?

Do you have evidence of a greatly increased incidence of autism in the children that survived these infections?

No. Do you have evidenceof the opposite? Or do we both suffer from a paucity of data?

If that process started and ended in the womb, events after birth may have no effect.

Neurodevelopment occurs postnatally. Development of the immune system occurs postnatally. Development of the stress response occurs postnatally. Development of energy metabolism occurs postnatally. Development of the GI tract occurs postnatally.

So, what if we decided to *only* worry about those systems that don't start and end in the womb? Does that really help?

@Dangerous Bacon -

It’s difficult to see how this flawed analogy logically permits one to make the leap that vaccines do something unknown to cytokines that causes autism, and we’d confirm this if we only looked for it.

Well, at least you are admitting the reality; we haven't looked for it. And all this time I thought I wasn't getting through to you.

In any case, if you are interested in understanding our progress in elucidating the mechanism of action of early life immune challenge with subsequent changes in neurodevelopment and behavior, try out the review I posted above. These researchers continue to get funded and published; the individual reader will need to determine on their own if the people writing the checks and reviewing the papers are confused about 'doing something with cytokines' or have more substantial findings.

For another example of the recent molecular level insights, you could try:

Effects of lipopolysaccharide exposure at different postnatal time points on the response of LH to homotypic stress in adulthood (J Reprod Immunol. 2012 Jun;94(2):155-60. doi: 10.1016/)

There are many more which go into more detail than 'something unknown to cytokines' if you are interested.

@Grant -

One thing I try keep in mind when reading on autism is that it might not even be one disorder, as such, but possibly to prove to be a range of otherwise separate disorders with overlapping or similar symptoms/outcomes.

I could not agree more.

I recall that a number [most?] of the potential genetic elements are associated with neural expression, rather than immune system expression; I’d be wary of only looking at immune system aspects

Fair enough. I would state that my worldview does not exclude genetic participation, non-immune related forces, and/or extensive prenatal activity; I just have a lot of skepticism that there is a magic portal at the exit from the womb that stops the trajectory of neurodevelopment. It strikes me a curious sense of temporal determinism.

Not sure what your point here is, but note you’re offering a frequency.

My point is, this discussion usually goes like this:

"Infection from natural sources would be worse because vaccines are not as immunostiumlatory as the actual pathogen"

"Yes. But if our developmental timeframe of susceptibility to persistent changes is clustered during early life, that association is only meaningful if the infection occurred during early infancy, when we give most of our vaccines."

Just saying "natural infections would be worse" is a false equivalency because it provides no mechanism to control for the developmental timeframe of the challenge. The animal literature tells us that this is a very important parameter.

The distribution of *infants* that got diseases we vaccinate against used to be very small; no doubt the outcome was dire (usually death), but as a percentage of all infants, very, very few got measles, pertussis, or whatever, by the time they were 60 days old. We've changed that; sure vaccines produce a less robust immune response compared to actual infection, but nearly every infant is getting challenged. I'm not sure we are clever enough to understand all of the implications of this; nature doesn't seem inclined to give out free lunches, but we have seemingly convinced ourselves that this rule doesn't apply in this one instance.

But in your scenario later events are dependent on the earlier ones.

OK. The idea is, conditions can be exaggerated, or reduced, even after they have been 'caused' by something else. Have you read much about 'double' hits and/or glial priming? You might find it interesting.

- pD

By passionlessDrone (not verified) on 06 May 2013 #permalink

pD -

You write “I just have a lot of skepticism that there is a magic portal at the exit from the womb that stops the trajectory of neurodevelopment. It strikes me a curious sense of temporal determinism.”

Why? Even if neurons stopped developing further, there’s nothing ‘deterministic’ about that.

(Further more very obviously development in general continues to go on. With that in mind so I can’t see why skepticism needs to be applied to the neurodevelopment case.)

Don’t forget, as I was saying, that genes are often expressed later - overlooking the timing of the use of gene would have you only looking at environmental factors when effects occurring later can easily can be genetic and will often be. (That argument would be “a curious sense of temporal determinism” itself! - precluding genetic affects from expressing their phenotypic effects later.)

The idea is, conditions can be exaggerated, or reduced, even after they have been ’caused’ by something else.

Sure, but that doesn't take away my point.

The distribution of *infants* that got diseases we vaccinate against used to be very small; no doubt the outcome was dire (usually death), but as a percentage of all infants, very, very few got measles, pertussis, or whatever, by the time they were 60 days old.

Not sure you can really show that but either way I imagine there are a mix of social and biological effects at play. One possibility is that those parents and siblings that survived were immunised through earlier exposure and with infants being not exposed to a wider population in those days so that subsequent younger siblings were effectively shielded in their early days through a mix of cocooning and isolation.

(Yes, I know this argument get abused to push an anti-vaccine line - I’ve seen that first-hand.)

We’ve changed that; sure vaccines produce a less robust immune response compared to actual infection, but nearly every infant is getting challenged.

For a number of these infections almost all infants were getting challenged either way, before vaccines were commonplace (by the disease organism) or later when vaccines were common (by the vaccine). Without anything limiting the spread an infection, periodic epidemics would ensure the infection would be much more widespread that they are today, esp. for the likes of measles which are highly infectious.

I’m not sure we are clever enough to understand all of the implications of this; nature doesn’t seem inclined to give out free lunches, but we have seemingly convinced ourselves that this rule doesn’t apply in this one instance.

Vaccines aren’t active factors but are “just” proteins, etc., exposed to the body. It’s one of the things that are different about vaccines compared to drugs.

“The idea is, conditions can be exaggerated, or reduced, even after they have been ’caused’ by something else. Have you read much about ‘double’ hits and/or glial priming? You might find it interesting.”

To each sentence:

a - doesn’t change my point
b - no, haven’t much free time
c - why? (rhetorical; haven't time to explore this; point here is I suspect this won't affect my points either)

pD,

Citation required with particular emphasis on measurements that allow us to say things like ‘orders of magnitude’.

I'm surprised anyone would challenge my assertion, when you consider that a viral illness turns the patient into a virus production factory, and that the immune response to the disease can last for weeks, whereas the immune reaction to a vaccine is usually virtually unnoticeable. If you really insist on citations, you can look at immune reactions such as febrile seizures. MMR leads to convulsions requiring hospitalization in about 1 in 1,150 doses. Measles leads to convulsions requiring hospitalization in up to 2.3% of cases, that's 1 in 43. I make that between 1 and 2 orders of magnitude difference. You can also look at viremia in measles and compare it to the number of infectious particles in the vaccine, but I don't have time to dig that information out at present.

Vaccines are designed to cause the least immune response necessary to produce antibodies and prime an anamnestic response to exposure to infection.

Citation required. I’d love to see you provide a citation indicating that:
1) immune response was measured post vaccination.
2) immune response was deemd excessively robust.
3) vaccine was modified to cause ‘the least immune response necessary’

This is one problem with your 'self-awarded doctorates', that you are liable to be ignorant of large amounts of relevant information. I suggest you familiarize yourself with the history of vaccine production and the way attenuated vaccines are produced - I've reached my limit of links to avoid moderation, but PMID: 13917383 is an article about measles vaccine development from 1962. The whole thing is a balancing act to produce a virus attenuated enough not to cause an excessive immune reaction, but not so attenuated it doesn't result in immunity.

I'll address some of your other points later when I have more time.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 06 May 2013 #permalink

pD,
Continuing...

You aren’t allowed to say, ‘they don’t’ and then go on to wonder about the nature of the association that was observed.

I think I'm allowed to point out an alternate explanation for the association. As far as we can tell, measles, rubella, mumps or chickenpox infections don't cause autism, so I think the increased rate of early hospital admission for infection can best be explained by the immune dysfunction that is associated with autism. Is that permitted?

That is hypothetically possible, I agree, but I don’t see the evidence I would expect if that were the case

We agree on something anyways. I cannot produce evidence that does not exist. Our existing research set is exceedingly flaccid in this regard, unfortunately. Have you given any thought toward a critical eye on the evidence you *have* seen?

I can produce evidence that does exist and that is inconsistent with your hypothesis, such as this case-control study which found:

We found little difference between children with and without ASD in the overall rate of infections diagnosed in the first 2 years of life. If anything, children with ASD had slightly lower overall rates of infections than control subjects in the first 2 years. However, in the first month of life, children who would later receive an ASD diagnosis were more likely to be diagnosed with an infection.

These findings in the first month of life might appear to support your hypothesis, but the difference is very small:

The only time period with a significant case-control difference was the first 30 days of life, during which time a significantly greater proportion of children later identified with ASD were diagnosed with an infection (22.6% vs 18.7%; P = .03; OR: 1.4; 95% CI: 1.1–1.7).

There is also the Japanese case-control study I linked to above, that looked at vaccination history, prenatal, perinatal, and neonatal factors and the risk of autism and found not a hint of any correlations. There's a lot of similar low to medium quality evidence that taken together I think argues quite strongly against your hypothesis.

More later.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 07 May 2013 #permalink

It remains puzzling that when childhood infectious diseases were rampant (in pre-vaccine days) and we had massive production of pD's "inflammatory cytokines" as a result, there wasn't an "autism epidemic". Now that those diseases are largely controlled (or even eliminated) and vaccines cause far less immune stimulation, autism is reportedly far more common.

It does not compute.

Maybe now pD can link to a paper showing how (for instance) IL-6 is up-regulated in Sprague Dawley rats exposed to aluminum salts, which will allow readers to elucidate the connecting of dots to conclusively prove his vaccine-autism hypothesis.

We just have to ask the questions, and the desired answers will magically appear.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 07 May 2013 #permalink

pD,
Regarding Hewitson:

You won’t see a study that had a control group with six, or eight, or ten, or fifty, or a hundred primates that got a schedule versus a placebo. That is because there are no such studies. How come no one ever expects to see that kind of evidence, and is a bit concerned that it is not available?

If you don't think the epidemiological evidence looking at hundreds of children has enough statistical power to detect the effects you are suggesting, how could these primate studies possibly have enough statistical power? Without any epidemiological evidence suggesting any link between vaccines and autism, why would we do such a study anyway?

In the past and at present in the developing world neonatal infections were and are common. We would expect to see a clear relationship between these infections and neurodevelopmental disorders, but we don’t.

For the most part, those situations resulted in the death of the infant. What studies have you used to evaluate for a ‘clear relationship’ and failed to find one?

I don't think that's true. Around 1950 in the UK, between 10% and 30% of neonates suffered infections of one sort or another, mostly bacterial, and they mostly survived:

Corner (1950) reported a neonatal infection rate in Bristol of 20-30 per cent, Barber, Hayhoe and Whitehead (1949) reported from London a rate of 14 per cent, and Roscoe (1949) recorded a 10 per cent incidence in Cambridge.

I gave a couple of references to studies looking for a link between viral infections and autism in my previous comment. This hypothesis has been looked at closely, and a clear link between maternal rubella and autism has been found, but not for post-natal infections.

In any case, here is an example of a positive association:

You didn't mention the conclusion, for some reason:

The association between hospitalization for infection and ASDs observed in this study does not suggest causality because a general association is observed across different infection groups. Also, the association is not specific for infection or for ASDs. We discuss a number of noncausal explanatory models.

Those noncausal explanatory models include the possibility that children with autism have immune disorders that make them more susceptible to infections, as I suggested.

Maybe is the big question. Perhaps you and I have different ideas on the quality of data that is available for us to evaluate regarding the potential for post natal interactions with neurodevelopment.

Perhaps we do, or perhaps you haven't looked very hard for evidence that contradicts your hypothesis.

Did you see this study that came out a while ago, that found IQ differences in children born at 37 or 38 weeks after conception (i.e., technically ‘term’, but still a bit early)

No, but it's interesting. I wonder if they adequately controlled for confounders such as birth weight, which is strongly correlated with IQ. As I recall, the errors in determination of gestational age, even using ultrasound scans, are broadly similar to the differences found in IQ.

This doesn’t have anything to do with vaccination per se, but does tell us a lot about our relative ignorance regarding neurodevelopment outside the womb and environmental effects. This study used thousands of infants and found what we have considered to be ‘term’ for the past few decades could still result in changes in IQ. How many ‘convenience’ c-sections have been performed in the past three decades that resulted in a child being born at 37 weeks? The *assumption* was always that there was no effect of assigning ‘term’ birth to a range starting at 37 weeks; this wasn’t a valid assumption, but it was good enough to pass the smell test until we adjusted our filters to a sufficient level of detail. It was a black swan.

I don't think you can assume causation with any degree of confidence from that study. As it points out:

It should also be noted that the association between gestational age and IQ observed in the present study could be confounded by the underlying causes of earlier birth or suboptimal fetal growth, causes that might themselves lead to suboptimal brain development.

It's hard to say which is a cause and which is an effect from a common cause.

I don’t think you can provide anything close that level of detail for the evidence that has persuaded you the case is closed regarding the practice of vaccination. I may be wrong.

I do think you are wrong. I'm persuaded that if there is any effect of vaccination on autism, it is a very small one, and it would be more valuable to explore other avenues.

I think it was practically zero, since infants were protected by maternal antibodies, which is why MMR is given between 12 and 18 months.

Well, if you knew this, and also knew that we started vaccination at two months of age, and you also understand the concept of time dependent interactions, why bring the MMR up?

I didn't, you did. I mentioned exposure to "wild measles, mumps, rubella" @ #230, many cases of which occur during the first year. I'm still not clear what age range you are suggesting for this period of neurodevelopmental vulnerability. Presumably it must be before 12 months, if you are ruling MMR out. Is that right? Is it during the first 2 months? That would narrow down the vaccines responsible to hepatitis B, rotavirus, DTaP, Hib, pneumococcal virus and polio. Or is this a wider window you are proposing?

Diphtheria, measles, tetanus, mumps, pertussis, rubella, polio and Hib vaccines were recommended at 2 months back in 1984, before the autism "epidemic", so presumably it couldn't be any of these. That only leaves hepatitis B and pneumococcus, but pneumococcus was introduced in 2001, long after the autism "epidemic" was underway. That only leaves hepatitis B which was more widely recommended after 1994, but I struggle to see how how the hepatitis B vaccine could be responsible, when there is no clear relationship between neonatal hepatitis B itself and autism.

Neurodevelopment occurs postnatally. Development of the immune system occurs postnatally. Development of the stress response occurs postnatally. Development of energy metabolism occurs postnatally. Development of the GI tract occurs postnatally.
So, what if we decided to *only* worry about those systems that don’t start and end in the womb? Does that really help?

All these occur both pre and post natally, obviously. We know that one particular stage of neurodevelopment whose disruption leads to autism is prenatal, during the first trimester. Do we have evidence to suggest that there is another stage postnatally? I don't think we do. I know you keep suggesting that's because we haven't looked for it, but I disagree. There has been a huge amount of work on the etiology of autism, and I believe we would have found this postnatal period of neurovulnerability if it existed in humans.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 07 May 2013 #permalink

@Krebiozen

That only leaves hepatitis B which was more widely recommended after 1994, but I struggle to see how how the hepatitis B vaccine could be responsible, when there is no clear relationship between neonatal hepatitis B itself and autism.

Not to mention a recent study from the UC-Davis MIND Institute that found children with ASDs had lower Hep B uptake than children with typical development. The study was moderately sized (n=240; 161 ASD, 79 TD) using vaccination records and confirmed ASD diagnoses. Only the abstract is available at present, and it would be nice to see other studies replicate the results, but it suggests the Hep B vaccine is not related to ASDs.

Thanks Todd. I came across that Gallagher and Goodman paper that claimed to find a 3-fold increase in autism after hepatitis B vaccine earlier, so it's nice to see a more recent and better designed study that finds the opposite. I notice it also looked at vaccination in general, and found no significant correlations. I'll add that to the pile of studies that suggest that if vaccines have any effect on autism at all, it is either so small or so rare that these studies can't detect it, which means vaccination is not a significant factor if it is a factor at all.

BTW, there's a useful article about viral infections and pregnancy here, for those interested. I'm struggling to understand how prenatal rubella could cause autism when contracted during the first trimester, not cause autism if contracted during the third trimester, but cause autism if contracted during the first few weeks post-natally. I suppose it's possible, but it doesn't seem very plausible to me.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 07 May 2013 #permalink

BTW, there’s a useful article about viral infections and pregnancy here, for those interested

There used to be a theory that linked schizophrenia with viral infections during pregnancy (invoking seasonal variations in birth dates as evidence). Is that still around?

I was reading about Naviaux's "mouse model of autism" (in which the mice are damaged by exposing the dams to a simulated viral attack) and thinking that it made much more sense as a "mouse model of schizophrenia". Except of course the research grant came from Autism Speaks.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 07 May 2013 #permalink

I think a lot of the resistance to the Hep B vaccine comes not so much from the vaccine, but the stigma of Hep B. I mean, we know it's a druggie or dirty sex disease, right?! How dare you suggest my child's going to use drugs or be promiscuous!

Which of course ignores the fact that the Hep B virus can be transmitted by saliva, and is a very robust little beast.

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 07 May 2013 #permalink

@Christine

Which of course ignores the fact that the Hep B virus can be transmitted by saliva, and is a very robust little beast.

No kidding. Some people are surprised when they learn that it can survive for around a week on surfaces.

herr doktor bimler,

I've heard of work looking at possible links between rubella infections in the mother and schizophrenia in the child. The one paper I’ve properly read on this is old and struck me as too small a study to draw conclusions and had confounding issues.

Again, I am reminded of Emily Willingham's excellent observation about using mouse models for autism research:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2013/01/07/mouse-behavior-f…

" Using the mouse condition to examine the human condition serves a purpose–we can’t very well, for example, purposely knock out a gene in a large group of humans, breed them, and then examine what they do in behavior testing. But mice also are not humans and not even that closely related to us. In a previous post of mine, in writing about best practices for authoring articles about autism, I noted:

If the study in question is about mice, never talk about how the results will lead to a therapy or a cure or write about the mice as though somehow, they are just tiny humans with tails. Mice have misled us before. They are only a way to model what might happen in a mammal sorta kinda related to us. They are not Us, otherwise we’d live in tiny, crowded places, having 10 children at once and ignoring them when they grow fur, and this autism thing wouldn’t be an issue..."

@ Christine tpsC: Unusual cases of horizontal transmission of the hepatitis B virus...

http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2100nrs.pdf

Okay...weirdest case I ever heard of was an older patient with a history of frequent regular (clean) blood donations who was hospitalized for acute onset hepatitis B infection. After and extensive investigation by a colleague of mine, it was determined that he most likely contracted the virus on his job. (He worked for a small magazine publishing house, where he and other staff would "cut and paste" from galley proofs to page proofs before sending them to the printer ("cutting" was done with a single edge razor).

Hey Guys,
I am back. Here is what Russell Blaylock has to say about what causes autism:
http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/04/dr-blaylock-on.html
In my original hypothesis, later expanded in a number of other articles, I explained that when the systemic immune system is overactivated, the brain’s special immune system, consisting of microglia and astrocytes, also becomes activated.
The microglia normally remain in a quiescent state called ramified microglia. Upon activation, they swell, assume special immune receptors in their membranes and move within the extracellular space. In this activated state they act as immune presenting cells and can secrete a number of inflammatory chemicals, such as IL-1, IL-2, IL-6, IL-12 and IL-18, TNF-alpha, chemokines, complement and two excitotoxins called glutamate and quniolinic acid. They also generate a number of powerful free radicals and lipid peroxidation molecules. A number of studies have shown that when you use powerful immune adjuvants, as used in vaccines (especially when combined), this inflammatory/excitotoxic reaction within the brain is maximized. With the first vaccine (or natural infection) the brain’s microglia are in a semi-activated stated called primed. If you re-vaccinate the animal or person within 1 to 2 months, these primed microglia overreact intensely, pouring out even higher levels of the excitotoxins, inflammatory cytokines and free radicals. Each subsequent set of vaccinations worsens this process. These inflammatory/excitotoxic secretions damage the developing brain, which is undergoing its most active development at the very time the child is receiving 24 vaccines. This vaccine schedule exposes the child to a priming HepB vaccine at birth, 6 vaccines at age 2 months, then 5 vaccines at age 4 months, 7 vaccines at 6 months and finally 8 antigens at age one year. Each successive multi-dose barrage of vaccines intensely activates the brain’s microglial system and the microglia activate the astrocytes, which also secretes, inflammatory cytokines, free radicals and excitotoxins.
Experiments in which this pattern of immune stimulation is simulated using a vaccine adjuvant, demonstrate that it produces significant disruption of brain development. The greatest damage in these experiments is to the cerebellum and frontal lobes, which is also the primary sites of damage in autism. Further, food allergins also act as brain microglial activators, thereby worsening and prolonging the original immune/excitotoxic effect produced by the vaccines.
So, how does mercury play into all this. Mercury in extremely small concentrations (nanomolar concentrations) can activate microglia, trigger excitotoxicity and induce significant mitochondrial dysfunction. Blocking the glutamate receptors (that trigger excitotoxicity) also blocks most of the neurotoxic effect of mercury at these concentrations. That is, most of lower-dose effects of mercury in the brain are secondary to excitotoxicity. The mitochondria produce most of the energy used by neurons and a number of studies have shown that suppressing mitochondrial function by itself is not enough to alter brain function, but it is enough to magnify excitotoxic damage. That is, it is the excitotoxicity that is disrupting brain function and development.
A newer study has shown conclusively, that mitochondrial activation using a vaccine adjuvant not only suppresses mitochondrial function but that the damage cause by this mitochondrial suppression is actually produced by excitotoxicity. Blocking excitotoxicity completely blocks the microglial-induced neurotoxicity and mitochondrial damage cause by the vaccine.

Russell Blaylock excito-toxcity theory seems to account for a lot. It explains why thimerosal and MMR on their own may not solely cause autism. It accounts for the autism explosion with the expanded vaccination schedule, or why countries that vaccinate less are seeing less autism. It provides a reason for why autism is still possible in under-vaccinated or non-vaccinated individuals.

Vargas et al also in the autopsy of autistics brains found evidence of inflammatory chemicals, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15546155.

Finally, I mentioned that it would be beneficial to identify the sub-group of children that are susceptible the vaccine side-effects and autism. Would it then not be beneficial to test for these individuals for inflammatory chemicals after each vaccination?

Sorry, I forgot to italics Blaylock's comments. I am sure you can sort this out.

Is Autism Brain damage?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2293113/New-drug-help-reverse…

Professor Robert Naviaux, co-director of the Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Centre at the University of California in San Diego, said: 'Our theory suggests that autism happens because cells get stuck in a defensive metabolic mode and fail to talk to each other normally, which can interfere with brain development and function.
When cells are exposed to classical forms of dangers such as a virus, infection or toxic environmental substance, a defence mechanism is activated,' said the professor.
'This results in changes to metabolism and gene expression (activity) and reduces the communication between neighbouring cells. Simply put, when cells stop talking to each other, children stop talking.'

I find it interesting that Russell Blaylock and Professor Naviaux are essentially saying the same thing.

No need to go past "Hey guys. I am back".

@Grant,

Grant your link amounts to attacking the messenger gambit. It does not explain why Blaylock is wrong about vaccines unleashing a cascade of neuro-inflammation. Would anyone care to provide a detailed rebuttal? Also, if Blaylock is correct, would it not also make sense to screen kids for inflammatory chemicals?

No integrity, no humility, no passion for truth: Failed scientists.

Greg...No neurons, no intelligence, with a passion for bullsh!t. Failed Troll.

@ Grant: We need a better class of Troll here. I'm missing Pegamilly, Laura and Grandma Marsha.

@Greg

Okay, so you gave us some assertions by Blaylock. Where's the data to back up those claims? In the snippet you copied and pasted, he says:

Experiments in which this pattern of immune stimulation is simulated using a vaccine adjuvant, demonstrate that it produces significant disruption of brain development.

What experiments? Gives us links (or at least author/title/date) to PubMed indexed articles.

Is Autism Brain damage?

You already provided us with that Daily Fail link. We already told you why it a) does not support your assertion that autism is brain damage and b) is not a reliable source for scientific information anyway. Do you not learn from your mistakes?

No integrity, no humility, no passion for truth: Failed scientists.

I think that accurately sums up Blaylock and the other scientists-turned-supplement-salesmen who have turned their back on real science and embraced pseudoscience and the alternative world of the antivaccine nut.

A few years I spent a lot of time looking very closely at Blaylock's work on vaccines, mercury, glutamate and excitotoxins. I found he cherry picks evidence, he ignores anything that doesn't fit his predetermined ideas, and when this doesn't work he distorts or even (deliberately?) misrepresents the evidence. For example the experiments he cites that found mercury interferes with brain cell function used mercury in concentrations far higher than those seen in the blood of babies or in the brains of monkeys after injection with thimerosal-containing vaccines, but he doesn't mention this. I think he is very unreliable and possibly even dishonest.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 09 May 2013 #permalink

As another example of Blaylock's crankery, see this article on what to do if you have used aspartame. Blaylock writes:

It has been shown conclusively that the metabolic products of methanol breakdown, formaldehyde in particular, accumulates on the DNA and cellular proteins.

It's that evil methanol and formaldehyde again, both of which occur in fruit juices at greater levels than you find in any aspartame-sweetened drink, even if all of it had broken down to methanol or formaldehyde, or in the entire vaccine schedule.

Sadly Blaylock's special brain repair formula no longer appears to be available.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 09 May 2013 #permalink

Greg, where is that PubMed indexed study by a qualified researcher showing a vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than disease? Did you forget that question?

And by PubMed indexed study written by qualified researcher I do not mean a retired neurosurgeon who sells supplements.

You have had more than two weeks to get a real answer. So no more excuses. Either answer it with real data, or stop trolling.

Still no detailed rebuttal of Blaylock's argument. I am still waiting. In the meantime, I have another quick question: How long do you think it will take for the vaccine-autism denial racket to crumble, and 'experts' start conceding to lesser vaccines? I am giving it 5 years, tops. What's your predictions?

@Chris
I think I already answered you. Infectious deseases may cause more seizures, although there are reasons to supect that vaccine complications such as seizures may be under-reported. Taken as a whole though, complications after vaccines including death, SIDS, ADHD, and other neurological disorders do not outweigh the risks of VPDs. I would take my chance with the VPDs and skip the autism shots --- ahemm vaccines!!

Todd completely demolished it with the single point

Where’s the data to back up those claims?

If there is no substance in the pile of unsubstantiated blither (which is NOT an argument), there is nothing to substantively rebut.

Still no detailed rebuttal of Blaylock’s argument.

What, exactly, do you think a "detailed rebuttal" of the word salad that he proffered in the pseudojournals JANA (now defunct) and JPandS would constitute? More to the point, how do suppose that you would be able to recognize one, given that you're just cutting and pasting from AoA?

How long do you think it will take for the vaccine-autism denial racket to crumble, and ‘experts’ start conceding to lesser vaccines? I am giving it 5 years, tops. What’s your predictions?

Never, because vaccines don't cause autism. BTW, once you've sunk to trying to use Russell Blaylock copypasta as a legitimate argument, it's time to get a new shtick. Or just bugger off and stop wasting everyone's time.

By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 09 May 2013 #permalink

@ Greg

How long do you think it will take for the vaccine-autism denial racket to crumble,

Leading question. The sort asked by a lawyer who failed to provide evidence for his case. Got any?
I read this question before on this site. Must have been about 4 years ago, and the writer was promising us the publication by winter 2010 (or was it earlier?) of something earth-shattering. The link between autism and vaccines would have been proven once and for all.
Still waiting. How time's flying...

The intrepid investigator and his briefcase full of evidence must have been invited to a private dinner with Lord Draconis and got lost on his way back from the orbital station.

In your answer to Chris, did you add one negative too many? You are saying that there are more risks from VPDs that from vaccines (it's how I read "complications after vaccines [...] do not outweigh the risks of VPDs"). And then you go for the higher risks.
You are not logical, sir.
Must have been a lapsus clavis. You don't really believe your bullsh**, don't you?

By Heliantus (not verified) on 09 May 2013 #permalink

Greg @330

Still no detailed rebuttal of Blaylock’s argument

I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume you crossposted with Krebiozen @ 327 & 328.

I’m going to turn this around on you, Greg:
Can you explain to us why you agree with Blaylock’s point of view, and elaborate specifically on which of Blaylock’s points you find particularly compelling?

@Heliantus

Leading question. The sort asked by a lawyer who failed to provide evidence for his case. Got any?

Speaking of which, Greg still hasn't answered my question. The one I asked for a single-word, yes or no, answer to. Maybe I should rephrase it:

Greg, how long do you think it will take for you to stop beating your wife?

I am beginning to wonder if Greg actually understands what a loaded question is and thinks that readers are just too dumb to notice it, or if he really does not get it, even after my counter examples asked of him.

@Heliantus,

Thx, for catching my mistake. Indeed I added one negative too many.

Whew!! Are we having fun yet? I am! Are you guys not enjoying my company? How else would you vent your frustration and guilt?

Greg:

Taken as a whole though, complications after vaccines including death, SIDS, ADHD, and other neurological disorders do not outweigh the risks of VPDs.

Prove it. You can start by giving the PubMed study on one major complication: seizures. What vaccine causes more seizures than the disease?

You are lying when you say you have answered that question. You keep making the above claim and refuse to support it with actual science. Now provide the real answer or stop trolling.

And, no, we do not need to refute anything Blaylock said, because he is a nutter. He may have been a neurosurgeon over ten years ago. His website used to claim he was on the faculty of a medical school, except he got the name wrong. He was asked to remove that affiliation by the university. Clearly his brain supplement does not work.

Still no rebuttal of Blaylock. Not even a start. Good thing I did not ask to see your kids immunization records. Doubt I would get anywhere.

Greg,

Still no detailed rebuttal of Blaylock’s argument. I am still waiting.

I doubt anyone is going to bother providing a detailed rebuttal to Blaylock's drivel just because the internet equivalent of a conspiracy nut ranting in the street demands one. I explained why I don't take him seriously. Just because I'm feeling kind I will dig out some of the notes I made on his thimerosal and brain cell claims, and post them here later.

Whew!! Are we having fun yet? I am! Are you guys not enjoying my company?

Not really, you repeat yourself, resort to infantile jeering and refuse to engage in a rational discussion, which I personally find a bit tiresome. I'm only bothering to respond to you for my own amusement really.

How else would you vent your frustration and guilt?

Frustration and guilt at supporting the most successful medical intervention for preventing disease ever invented? I don't think so.

Good thing I did not ask to see your kids immunization records. Doubt I would get anywhere.

I'm certainly not going to share any personal information with you. Why would you think our children would be among the tiny minority of unvaccinated children? As a matter of fact one of my children (now adults) could not be vaccinated as a child for medical reasons, the other was and is fully vaccinated.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 09 May 2013 #permalink

Greg, Blaylock is not worth even reading. He is the internet equivalent of the old man sitting at the bus stop claiming to Roman Polanski's father. I just sat and listened to him ramble until the bus came, and just left him there to bore the next person who sat on the bench next to him.

Blaylock is so lame he threatened to sue someone for slander on UseNet for pointing out his false claim about being on the faculty of the medical school for Ole Miss.

So where is that PubMed indexed study written by a qualified researcher on the vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule that causes more seizures than the disease.

And by "qualified researchers" I do not mean someone who cannot keep straight the name of the medical school he claimed to be associated with.

Still no rebuttal of Blaylock. Not even a start.

Apparently, you can't read. Now, be a good boy and pick a vaccine and, in your own words, elucidate the specifric pathway that Blaylock's underappreciated genius predicts.

Good thing I did not ask to see your kids immunization records. Doubt I would get anywhere.

Oh, I'm sure you'd get plenty of goatse.

Greg,
As promised, I found what I wrote about Blaylock previously. If there any long words you don't understand I would be happy to explain them to you.
In this article Microglial Activation and Neurodegeneration, Blaylock suggests a link between mercury toxicity and excitotoxicity. Excitotoxicity is a real phenomenon which occurs in cell death due to ischemia, for example, which prevents the brain from metabolizing glutamate and aspartate which increase in concentration leading to more cell death in an ischemic cascade. Put simply, what Blaylock claims is that the ingestion of excitatory neurotransmitters (such as aspartame and MSG) can lead to excitotoxicity, and/or substances in vaccines ( such as thimerosal) can prevent the brain from metabolizing glutamate and aspartate, again leading to excitotoxicity.

Looking at Blaylock's claims about mercury specifically, he writes:

[...] mercury not only is a powerful activator of microglial activity at micromolar or even submicromolar concentrations, but also at these same concentrations powerfully inhibits the glutamate transport proteins. At 0.5 uM we see a 50% reduction in glutamate uptake. [...] Mercury also is a powerful inhibitor of glutamine synthase and glutamate dehydrogenase, both of which also play major roles in controlling extracellular glutamate levels.

If we look at PMID: 22811707 we find the lowest amount of thimerosal that appeared to cause an effect on astrocytes in that study was 5 µmol/L (Fig. 1). Another study, PMID 19560158 looked at mercury levels in premature babies after vaccination with thimerosal-containing vaccines. That study found:

The highest level detected was 7.6 ng/mL in a newborn 24 hours after receiving a birth dose of HBV vaccine that contained 32.5 μg of mercury.

We need to convert ng/mL into µmol/L to meaningfully compare this figure with the one in the astrocyte study, bearing in mind that ng/mL is the same as µg/L. The AW of mercury is 200.59 g/mol, so 1 g = 1/200.59 mol = 0.005 mol = 5 mmol, so (dividing by 1000) 1 mg = 5 µmol and 1 µg = 0.005 µmol. The highest blood concentration of mercury seen in that study was 7.6 ng/mL = 7.6 µg/L = 0.038 µmol/L. We can safely compare µmol/L mercury with µmol/L thimerosal, as each molecule of thimerosal contains one atom of mercury.

So the maximal mean blood mercury level in vaccinated infants was 0.0089 µmol/L and the lowest concentration of thimerosal that affected human astrocytes in vitro was 5 µmol/L. The lowest concentration of thimerosal that affected astrocytes in vitro was 130 times greater than the highest mercury concentration seen in vivo in the blood of premature infants after vaccination with vaccines containing thimerosal. Personally I find that very reassuring, and I think Blaylock's claims about vaccines and excitotoxicity are unsupported by the evidence..

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 09 May 2013 #permalink

Since thimerosal can cross the blood/brain barrier and accumulate in the brain, I also meant to mention this paper which administered thimerosal to monkeys and then measured concentrations of mercury in their brains. The maximum concentration of mercury in the brain was about 40 ng/ml, which converts to 0.2 µmol/L as compared to a minimum of 5 µmol/L required to inhibit astrocytes in vitro, a 25-fold difference.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 09 May 2013 #permalink

One might also take with mild amusement the fact that Blaylock's bio still touts that he "serves on the editorial staff of the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association," which hasn't existed since 2009 (and was merely limping along before that, being unable to come up with the promised four issues a year).

Also worth mentioning, no differences were seen in weight, brain weight or health of the mercury-exposed monkey as compared to the controls.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 09 May 2013 #permalink

@greg

Why should we believe a proven liar like you?

@HDB

"No one expects a Zippy the Pinhead impersonator. It's chief weapon is surprise."

[/crossing genres]

A Zippy the Pinhead impersonator's chief weapon is surprise and a taco-sauce-covered Ding-Dong.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 09 May 2013 #permalink

A ding-dong covered in taco-sauce and loaded with BHT.

By Mal Adapted (not verified) on 09 May 2013 #permalink

@Greg

You wrote “Grant your link amounts to attacking the messenger gambit.” - nope; my link explains issues with his stuff, why he’s not worth reading. Just because his name is mentioned doesn’t make it ad hominem.

@lilady

It’s a bit lame offering a person (Blaylock) whose views well-known to have ‘issues’. Means the troll isn’t doing more than cut'n'paste. Certainly we’re not seeing the troll back their claims (But somehow demand we address what they won’t back. Ha.)

@Chemmo

Why I find Blaylock's arguments convincing?

I believe that truth is simple and beautiful. Tying into this I believe truth and valid scientific theories are predictive. Einstein's relativity theory, for instance, is more predictive than Newtonian classical physics in that relativity theory can account for planetary lags. With the vaccine-autism puzzle, I find Blaylock's excito-toxcity theory as the best solution and the most beautiful truth. It is also extremely predictive.

Exploring the puzzle, we begin with the parents' reports of how their children were dramatically destroyed after vaccines. We may try to dismiss the parents as mistaken or 'crazy' as some here have suggested but c'mon folks? Searching for answers we begin my considering the mercury hypotheses. Dan Olmstead in his book 'Age of Autism' goes into great detail explaining how mercury is the prime suspect. Yet, there are things lacking in the mercury claim. Olmstead, for instance, details how mercury usage was widespread in the past. Yet, it was later in the 1940s that Kanner first identified autism. Surely there should have been prior cases of autism if mercury was so ubiquitous? Then there are pharma's thimerosal and MMR studies that did not find a link. Although I am not predisposed to trust pharma, I think there is more to the studies than just a well orchestrated fraud. The autism-vaccine puzzle indicates that there is something bigger than mercury at play. Revisiting the parents' stories we also hear reports of their kids gradual decline into autism after subsequent vaccines. What possible could tie all these occurrences together? Enter Blaylock and is excito-toxciticy account of how accumulated vaccines can unleash a cascade of neuro-inflammation resulting in brain damage. The theory beautifully accounts for everything and is extraordinarily predictive. It suggests why autism is still possible without thimerosal and MMR. It explains why we would have an autism explosion with the expanded vaccination schedule, or why other countries that vaccinate less have fewer autism. It even accounts for why autism is still possible in under-vaccinated or non-vaccinated cases.

@Greg

Just like Dan Olmsted, you apparently need a bit of a history lesson.

There's also the problem of Blaylock's notions not being supported by evidence, as has already been pointed out.

@Krebiozen,

Sifting through your points, you are admitting to Blaylock's excito-toxcity proposal. I think this is significant. Yet, you are also seeming to suggest that mercury from vaccines is no the main culprit in this process based on the available evidence. Again, we have the tedious pro-vaxer strategy of dismissing an argument on technicality. So what if mercury is not the prime factor? Does this exonerate vaccines? Given also that Vargas et al found inflammatory chemicals in the autopsies of autistic brains would this not be a good lead to explore? Should we not test kids post vaccines to see if there are spikes in their inflammatory chemical so that we can be better informed as to whether to proceed with their ongoing vaccination. Sorry, but Blaylock's ideas are still looking good.

'not the main culprit...'
'spikes in their inflammatory chemicals...'

I believe that truth is simple and beautiful.

Something that cannot be said for Blaylock's slop-bucket attempt at a hypothesis.

I find Blaylock’s excito-toxcity theory as the best solution and the most beautiful truth. It is also extremely predictive.

Predictive of what? You're the one who inexplicably ciphered that it would be a sensible proposition to equate Russell Blaylock to Einstein. What, exactly, is commensurate between the precession of the perihelion of Mercury and Blaylock's sorry attempts at cooking something up and thinking he can get away with playing the fool by publishing in faux journals and slapping an assortment of keyword-sourced references on the mess?

Greg:

I believe that truth is simple and beautiful.

Then why won't you answer my question with a PubMed indexed study by a qualified researcher?

I see. The simple and beautiful truth is that Blaylock has a similar dementia that the old man who told me he was Roman Polanski's father. Unfortunately there is a reason why people who used to be so bright, end up in their later years start to believe in nonsense, and sometimes are victims of con artists.

Blaylock may have once been a very good surgeon, but during the last decade he has demonstrated that he is not quite thinking straight. The charitable thing is to say he has age related dementia.

Greg, you do not have that excuse. You need to provide verifiable scientific evidence for you claims.

Relating to my point that truth and valid theories are beautiful and simple, I would like to point out just how ugly and problematic the vaccines do not cause autism hypothesis is. Accepting the theory requires us to accept that autism after vaccines is coincidental with some other unknown causal factor. We must also deny that the autism numbers are truly increasing despite strong evidence to the contrary. If we consider that autism is really increasing, we must also accept the implausible notion of a genetic epidemic. We must also believe in the weird occurrence of autistic individuals having seizures, brain inflammation and other auto-immune issues that vaccines are known to cause with vaccines stopping short of causing autism. We must also accept that vaccine courts will compensate for damages leading to autism despite staunchly insisting that they are not conceding to a link.

The entire exercise is analogous to trying to put a non-compliant cat in a pet carrier. No matter how hard you try a paw stubbornly and desperately comes popping out.

Relating to my point that truth and valid theories are beautiful and simple, I would like to point out....

No, jizzmop, start answering some questions.

The entire exercise is analogous to trying to put a non-compliant cat in a pet carrier.

Apparently, you're not good at this task, either.

Greg, I still feel guilty about vaccines.

I should have donated more money to Rotary's vaccination program. I'm sorry, guys, I let down the team, and some poor kid somewhere is probably going to get polio because of my lack of generosity.

I'm sorry.

Greg:

We must also believe in the weird occurrence of autistic individuals having seizures, brain inflammation and other auto-immune issues that vaccines are known to cause with vaccines stopping short of causing autism.

We don't have to believe in anything if there is no evidence to support it. So produce the PubMed indexed study by a competent researcher showing vaccines cause what you claim they cause.

Or stop trolling.

Greg: I believe that truth is simple and beautiful.

Than stop pissing on it. I understand that you type-a helicopter parents need to blame something other than your perfect-werfect genes when your darling bundles of joy don't turn out as expected, or maybe need a little extra help, but that is NO EXCUSE for enabling epidemics and trying to create your own versions of reality. Also, just out of curiousity, Greg, if your kid got blinded by encephalitis after measles, or lost hearing after contracting mumps, would you still be whining and moaning? Would you try to cure them, even if the 'cure' was likely to kill them? Would you just give up on them?

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 09 May 2013 #permalink

Greg @354

I believe that truth is simple and beautiful

Two things:
First, there’s nothing simple in that second paragraph of your post trying to tie two different (and incompatible with each other) vaccine causation hypotheses together.

Second: you fall back on parents’ stories (the reliability of which has been discussed ad nauseum). Why do you believe those stories, yet you are compelled to accuse the parents who post here of lying about their children’s vaccinated status? Does it come down to that you can believe that only side is speaking any truth at all?

Greg:

Simplicity and that curiously human subjective conceit called beauty are utterly irrelevant to truth, as anyone who has seen an anatomical display of a mallard drake's genitals, or pondered the routing of the blood vessels supplying the mammalian retina vs. those supplying the cephalopod retina, or read about the laryngeal nerve of the giraffe, will tell you.

Greg:

I believe that truth is simple and beautiful.

Truth is rarely simple. Also, truth can be downright ugly. The truth in this case is that you have no good evidence that vaccines cause autism.

Tying into this I believe truth and valid scientific theories are predictive.

Indeed. The MMR causation theory makes an obvious prediction: stop MMR and autism rates decrease. That didn't happen. So the theory is invalidated.

[O]ther countries that vaccinate less have fewer autism [sic].

Citation needed.

If we consider that autism is really increasing, we must also accept the implausible notion of a genetic epidemic.

Is the autism rate increasing, or are we just getting better at diagnosing it? I'd argue the latter: that increased awareness, diagnostic substitution and broadened diagnostic criteria have led to an increase in diagnosed cases, but that the real autism rate is unchanged.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 09 May 2013 #permalink

Greg,

Sifting through your points, you are admitting to Blaylock’s excito-toxcity proposal. I think this is significant.

No, I pointed out that excitotoxicity is a real phenomenon, but there is no evidence to suggest it occurs the way Blaylock claims it does, from the injection of tiny amounts of mercury, aluminum or glutamate. It occurs when brain cells die, usually when their blood supply is interrupted.

Yet, you are also seeming to suggest that mercury from vaccines is no the main culprit in this process based on the available evidence. Again, we have the tedious pro-vaxer strategy of dismissing an argument on technicality.

How tedious of me to dismiss an argument just because the evidence does not support it in the slightest.

So what if mercury is not the prime factor? Does this exonerate vaccines?

Since this is the brilliant Blaylock's main argument against vaccines, I think it does. Also, we know quite a bit about the effects of mercury poisoning in pregnant women, babies, infants and adults, and the effects do not resemble autism except in the most superficial ways. The only other things in vaccines that might tie in with Blaylock's hypothesis are:
1) Glutamate itself, though it is present in quantities much smaller than you find in many foods, so we would expect these foods to be more excitotoxic than vaccines - this is why Blaylock claims that aspartame has similar effects, despite overwhelming evidence that it doesn't and
2) Aluminum, which is injected in the form of an insoluble salt that slowly dissolves into the bloodstream at about the same rate as it is absorbed from food and doesn't cause anything resembling autism, even in babies accidentally poisoned with it.

Blaylock states (link in my previous comment):

Mercury is not the only thing that can precipitate these chains of events. Pesticides, other heavy metals, elevated free radical presence, 4-hydroxynonenal, infectious organisms, glutamate itself, other excitotoxins and oxidized LDL-cholesterol in the brain can have the same effect. It is the synergistic effects of a number of environmental and metabolic toxins that, in my opinion, results in the neurodegenerative diseases, autism, Down’s syndrome and a number of other neurological conditions.

The fact that Blaylock seems to believe Down syndrome is caused by excitotoxicity is amusing, since we know it is caused by the presence of a third copy of chromosome 21, though I suppose he is suggesting that metabolic toxins cause neurotoxicity, but that's an aside. Some of these things, such as some infection, do undeniably cause autism, when pregnant women are exposed to them during the first trimester of pregnancy. I don't believe autism is caused by excitotoxicity as it shows no signs of being a form of brain damage. If it was due to excitotoxicity we would see areas of necrotic tissue in the brain in people with autism, but we don't. In fact people with autism have larger brains than neurotypical people:

After height and performance IQ were controlled, autistic subjects had significantly greater total brain, total tissue, and total lateral ventricle volumes than comparison subjects.

How does this fit with Blaylock's theories of excitotoxic destruction of brain cells, and your persistence in describing people with autism as "brain damaged" despite polite requests not too?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

@Krebiozen,

At the end of the day, we have the same tired pro-vaxer position of defending vaccines in theory and stopping short of doing so in practice. Again, so what if we cannot decipher the exact process that results in excito-toxcity? If Vargas et al detect spinal fluid (CSF) in living autistic individuals is this not an important bio-marker to study. Should we not test this bio-marker in children post vaccination? If there is indeed a spike in their CSF then would this not indicate that vaccines are playing a causal role, regardless of whether we are clear on the exact mechanism? Further, would we also not have extremely useful information to help us decide on how to proceed with the kids ongoing vaccines? Again, why is such work not underway?

Greg @369: please explain how we are "stopping short of [defending vaccines] in practice". Failing that, please tell us what you would consider defending vaccines in practice.
As for the rest of your comment: Citations [plural] Needed.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

I certainly hope to goodness that Vargas found CSF in children!!! What would you expect to find in them? Motor oil?

Just took a closer look at Greg's comment.

If Vargas et al detect spinal fluid (CSF) in living autistic individuals is this not an important bio-marker to study. Should we not test this bio-marker in children post vaccination?

Seriously?!?! To test cerebrospinal fluid, it has to first be extracted from the patient with a lumbar puncture. This is known to be excrutiatingly painful. There was a very good reason why Wakefield was charged for subjecting the children in his study to lumbar punctures and other tests. And you want to do it as if it was no big deal?!?! Are you barking mad?

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

Julian Frost beat me to it. Drawing CSF is not a simple matter like doing a finger stick for blood. And it is far from lacking risks. There is a reason that it is only done when medically necessary and not as any sort of routine screening in otherwise healthy people with no indications.

@Greg

You continue to miss the part where wild speculation is not the same thing as providing actual evidence that those speculations are true.

BTW, did anyone else find it amusing that Greg says Blaylock's "truth" is simple while at the same time Blaylock has a rather lengthy laundry list of things that potentially interact, creating a very, very complex web, indeed? "Everything I think is bad causes autism" is pretty simple, but it ain't true. Remember, Greg, evidence.

BTW, still not answering my simple yes-no question?

Ok Orac's vaccine pushers,

I repeat again: Why are there not tests to determine if there are spikes in kids inflammatory chemicals after vaccines? Surely such tests would be useful in preventing 80,000 plus yearly vaccine brain damaged kids, with a good portion ending up on the spectrum where they can't talk, head bang, and poop on themselves!! Are such tests not possible? Vargas et al suggest that they are!!

No integrity, no humility, no passion for truth: Failed scientists!!

Greg,

At the end of the day, we have the same tired pro-vaxer position of defending vaccines in theory and stopping short of doing so in practice.

I defend them both in theory and practice - my children are vaccinated according to medical recommendations and so am I (hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera as well as the usual vaccinations), I get the flu vaccine every year, and I wholeheartedly encourage everyone who can to get vaccinated. No wonder provaxxers get tired, since we have to point out over and over that there is no link between vaccines and autism, that at least 15 epidemiological studies from around the world have found no connection between autism and vaccines ( e.g. Honda et al., 2005; Madsen et al., 2002; Mäkelä et al., 2002), but the message just doesn't seem to get across.

Again, so what if we cannot decipher the exact process that results in excito-toxcity?

The point is we understand the process of excitotoxicity and if it occured in autistic individuals the way Blaylock claims, we would see signs of it on brain scans and we don't. There's no point in looking for the mechanism of something that we know doesn't happen.

If Vargas et al detect spinal fluid (CSF) in living autistic individuals is this not an important bio-marker to study.

Everyone has CSF, so I am guessing you are referring to Vargas et al finding unusually elevated levels of some cytokines in autistic individuals and concluding that "innate neuroimmune reactions play a pathogenic role in an undefined proportion of autistic patients". These neuroinflammatory processes appear to be innate i.e. they are present at and before birth, which fits with the increased incidence of autism in children with congenital rubella syndrome.

Should we not test this bio-marker in children post vaccination? If there is indeed a spike in their CSF then would this not indicate that vaccines are playing a causal role, regardless of whether we are clear on the exact mechanism? Further, would we also not have extremely useful information to help us decide on how to proceed with the kids ongoing vaccines? Again, why is such work not underway?

Cytokines are an integral part of an immune response, so we would expect to find elevated levels after infection and after vaccinations. This would tell us nothing at all, particularly as we know that autism is not due to brain damage of any kind, including brain cell death caused by the ischemic cascade that you see in excitotoxicity.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

Greg:

Surely such tests would be useful in preventing 80,000 plus yearly vaccine brain damaged kids...

For the umpteenth time, stop calling us brain damaged you tosser.
Given that you have yet to show that vaccines induce brain damage that culminates in autism, no they wouldn't. As Todd and I point out above, drawing CSF for analysis is a major deal. And as Krebiozen pointed out:

Cytokines are an integral part of an immune response, so we would expect to find elevated levels after infection and after vaccinations. This would tell us nothing at all...

I hope that we have answered your question about why these tests don't exist.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

Greg,
Why the deliberately offensive language? We have been very patient and polite with you, and have repeatedly explained that there are autistic people here who find being called "brain damaged" offensive, yet you persist. That's just nasty..

No integrity, no humility, no passion for truth: Failed scientists!!

You seem to think that science is about clinging to your beliefs in the face of all the evidence. Integrity includes making sure the evidence is of the highest quality possible. Humility includes being able to admit you are wrong when the evidence tells you so. The passion for truth is about following the evidence wherever it leads, even if you don't like what you find. By these measures, you and the antivaccine movement are the ones lacking any of these qualities.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

So, now Greg is advocating for lumbar punctures for all autistic children? Does anyone have the current rate of complications arising from lumbar procedures?

@greg

Thanks for admitting that you are a failed scientist as well as a miserable failure as a parent.

Also, thanks for admitting that the scientific qualifications of the regular posters are greater than you and your ilk can ever attain.

Since you have been proven a liar many times over, we can all assume that whatever you post here is a lie until proven otherwise.

Does anyone have the current rate of complications arising from lumbar procedures?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17918111

Complications are infrequent, except for headaches and low back pain, but can be severe.

Also:

The lumbar puncture in expert hands is a safe test. The health professional should be suitably familiar with its contraindications, the regional anatomy and the technique used to perform it.

So, quite safe if done by a trained health professional. However, I still wouldn't use it the way Greg suggests.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

@Lawrence

now Greg is advocating for lumbar punctures for all autistic children?

No, I believe he is advocating doing a spinal tap after every vaccination as a screening test.

This paper is a bit dated (1998), but is a good starting point:

Migraine: ~40%
headaches lasting from 8 days to 1 year, cranial neuropathies, prolonged backache, nerve root injury, and meningitis: ~0.3%
Cerebral or spinal herniation: ~1%

About lumbar punctures:
The procedure is done while the patient is lying (or restrained) in the fetal position. Local anesthetic is not used because it is pointless. Sometimes a general anesthetic or heavy sedation needs to be used, especially in children. It is painful and can be frightening to experience. It requires a great degree of skill by the practitioner.
The procedure is routinely followed by a severe headache that lasts for at least a day. There is a risk of infection of the CSF, producing myelitis and meningitis. There is a small but real risk of death from brain herniation.
LPs are done only for good reason - diagnosis of suspected meningitis or encephalitis, treatment of CNS leukemia etc.

To recommend LPs for all autistic children is just plain stupid and cruel. But then, why should we expect otherwise from Greg?

Looking at the numbers, I notice that the complication rates for lumbar puncture are much higher than for vaccines. Just saying.

Ok, fair enough. We would expect to find elevated levels of cytokines after vaccines. Taken singularly you are saying this means nothing. If we, however, were to analyze the spike comparatively -- seeing if it is within a normal range zone-- would this not serve as useful info?

Greg:

If we, however, were to analyze the spike comparatively — seeing if it is within a normal range zone– would this not serve as useful info?

1) Comparative to what? Comparative to somebody who isn't yet vaccinated? Comparative to somebody who is sick? Nonautistics to autistics? Please clarify.
2) How would this be useful?
3) How would you get the CSF without a lumbar puncture?

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

@Greg

Before saying that comparing cytokine levels from CSF post-vaccination would possibly be useful info, you must first show that there is a reason to do this. You know, with evidence. You have not shown any evidence. You have only repeated other people's evidence-free assertions.

@ Tbruce

LPs are done only for good reason – diagnosis of suspected meningitis or encephalitis

If I understood correctly my university biology teacher (who was a hospital MD in the 90's), in cases of meningitis or encephalitis, compared to patients without a cerebrospinal infection, a lumbar puncture will have a more favorable benefit/risk ratio, especially if the infection-induced inflammation has increased the volume - and thus, the pressure - of the cerebrospinal fluid.
This would already give the patient a splitting headache and some risk of brain herniation. Removing some of the superfluous fluid will reduce these risks and improve the patient's comfort.
The increased quantity of available fluid also means it may be easier to find and pick up some.
Increased benefits of doing the procedure, and increased risks of not doing it, all of it in an emergency context - a potentially deadly infection to diagnose and fight.

On the other hand, my teacher was not thrilled with the idea of doing LP in absence of a suspected infection.

By Heliantus (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

Even if children predisposed to autism did show a greater reaction to vaccination than neurotypical children, it wouldn't follow that this is a cause of their autism, or even a cause of exacerbation of autism. Even if vaccination did cause or exacerbate this way (which it doesn't) then wouldn't it mean that children predisposed to autism are even more in need of protection from infection than those who are not? If the immune reaction to a vaccine could lead to autism, what would an infection like measles do? Remember that a few decades ago almost all children got measles, so if neuroinflammation due to an immune reaction caused autism, it should have been more common back then than it is now, shouldn't it?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

Here, from Medscape are the indications for performing a lumbar puncture. I often link to this article when cranks such as "Greg" try to defend Wakefield's ordering of LPs for the children in his study.

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/80773-overview

Background

Lumbar puncture is a procedure that is often performed in the emergency department to obtain information about the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).[1, 2, 3, 4] Although usually used for diagnostic purposes to rule out potential life-threatening conditions (eg, bacterial meningitis or subarachnoid hemorrhage), it is also sometimes used for therapeutic purposes (eg, treatment of pseudotumor cerebri). CSF fluid analysis can also aid in the diagnosis of various other conditions (eg, demyelinating diseases and carcinomatous meningitis).

Lumbar puncture should be performed only after a neurologic examination but should never delay potentially life-saving interventions, such as the administration of antibiotics and steroids to patients with suspected bacterial meningitis.[

Indications

Lumbar puncture should be performed for the following indications:

Suspicion of meningitis

Suspicion of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)

Suspicion of central nervous system (CNS) diseases such as Guillain-Barré syndrome[6] and carcinomatous meningitis

Therapeutic relief of pseudotumor cerebri

Greg read further along for LP indications, to diagnose bacterial meningitis/encephalitis in children who have not received the Hib, meningococcal and S. Pneumoniae vaccines.

Greg, you juvenile ignorant troll, show us where LPs are used to check for cytokines after an immunization.

#379 Is it worse for them than giving them bleach enemas or having them chelated? Because there's a *lot* of very terrible, non-evidence-supported things some parents seem willing to do to their kids to "cure" autism.

Greg:

We would expect to find elevated levels of cytokines after vaccines.

And they would being even higher with an actual disease.

So where is that PubMed indexed study by a qualified researcher showing a vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease?

" If there is indeed a spike in their CSF then would this not indicate that vaccines are playing a causal role, regardless of whether we are clear on the exact mechanism? "

Seems you don't understand the basics of your own arguments. A spike would mean that the levels of cytokines go up--then down. A spike. Vargas claimed an increased level of cytokines long term.

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

Some of the tests Vargas carried out were on brain tissues. Perhaps Greg would be willing to volunteer for these tests. I doubt very much that anyone would notice any difference.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

Truth is rarely simple. Also, truth can be downright ugly.

One might further note, given that Greg invoked general relativity, that the field equations, while tidily expressed in tensor form (and otherwise) are so "simple" that exact solutions are only known for special cases and so beautiful that several gory pages are required to write all 10 in explict form.

the field equations, while tidily expressed in tensor form (and otherwise) are so “simple” that exact solutions are only known for special cases

Or indeed, consider the simple law of universal gravity, even without general relativity, and the lack of a general solution for the three body problem.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

For the umpteenth time, stop calling us brain damaged you tosser.

As long as the phrase remains offensive, Greg will continue using it.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

stop calling us brain damaged

I'm sure Greg uses the term in the most affectionate possible sense. Doubtless some of his closest friends are brain damaged.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

Kerbiozen @ 376
"Cytokines are an integral part of an immune response, so we would expect to find elevated levels after infection and after vaccinations. "

Again, I am a layperson so correct me if my thinking is wrong: What Vargas et al found was elevated cytokines in their autistic subjects indicating ongoing inflammation. On the contrary, we might expect a brief spike in cytokines of neurotypical subjects but not their ongoing presence. So yes, testing for cytokines should be useful in identifying the subgroup of kids that are showing early signs of ongoing inflammation. We just need to determine the time frame after vaccines that we would expect the cytokines levels to fall so that we may begin testing for aberrant ongoing inflammation. That these CSF tests are quite invasive is another matter.

@Greg - another matter? You mean you have no problem with invasive testing of infants, including lumbar punctures & spinal taps?

And you call autistics "brain damaged" and a burden on society?

Wow, your humanity is just shining through.....

Again, I am a layperson so correct me if my thinking is wrong

This hasn't exactly proved to be a worthwhile use of time so far.

@Lawrence,

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

Even though these tests are invasive, according to good old wiki serious complications from lumbar punctures are quite rare. If they are possibly useful in identifying the sub-group of kids that may end up on the autism spectrum then why should we not consider them. Put your self in the shoes of a parent who is concerned about his kid coming down with autism. You have your kid take the test and run the minimal complication risks, in hope that the results may be useful in averting autism, or you avoid the test and have you kid take his/her chance with permanent, possible severe, autism disability. Also, who says we have to perform the test in infancy. As it stands, early signs of autism are not apparent until after 6mths. Maybe a parent could wait for their kids one year MMR jab to do the test.

BTW, glad to see you changed your mind and will still converse with me. I am curious also about whether you, Todd, Grant -- and definitely Denice Walter -- on you kid's school vaccine exemption forms gave your reason for exemption on religious or personal belief grounds. My bad -- you guys probably have connections and found a way around such tedious paperwork. Darn paperwork, they are so traceable....hee,hee,hee!

Greg's plan of performing unnecessary lumbar punctures is exactly the same as "pricking" for witches. "Well wouldn't it be a good thing to know who's a witch and who's not?" "Wouldn't it be a good thing to find out who's going to come down with autism and who's not?"

Well, no! There's no point in determining who's a witch because there are no such things as witches.! There's no point in determining who's going to come down with autism because nobody "comes down" with autism—they are the way they are because they were born that way!

Just because their situation doesn't become obvious until the age of six months or so, doesn't mean it hasn't always been there; and experts can spot signs much earlier than non-experts (IOW, most parents) can. Autism is either hereditary or congenital—and these aren't the hard and fast categories people think, either. Providing an intrauterine environment that conduces to autism (if that's what happens) could very well be an inherited trait—and it could come from either side of the family!

Subjecting children to invasive medical procedures motivated by a theory (that vaccines cause—or are correlated in any way—with autism) that has been disproven over and over and over and over and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER again (I left off about fifty "overs"!) would be the most insane thing imaginable. Well, not quite as insane as not getting yourself and your children immunized against anything you possibly can, but close.

By The Very Rever… (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

Greg has just confirmed that he is indeed the lowest of the low. Apparently he can justify the unwarranted use of a highly invasive diagnostic tool that has no ability to help detect autism on the basis that complications are quite rare.

What a bag of slime.

Greg: minimal complication risks....
40% chance of migraines is a 'minimal risk? Have you ever met someone who suffers from migraines?

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

Politicalguineapig:

40% chance of migraines is a ‘minimal risk? Have you ever met someone who suffers from migraines?

I knew someone who committed suicide due to migraine headaches. Greg obviously quite clueless.

serious complications from lumbar punctures are quite rare

Funny how you dismiss confirmed risks of complications from LP but worry about unevidenced risks from vaccines.
Why the double standard?

By Heliantus (not verified) on 10 May 2013 #permalink

Greg,

Again, I am a layperson so correct me if my thinking is wrong: What Vargas et al found was elevated cytokines in their autistic subjects indicating ongoing inflammation.

Vargas (here's a full text copy of her paper for those interested) found ongoing inflammation that she concluded was due to innate neuroimmune reactions. The autistic subjects she examined brain tissues from were aged between 5 and 44, those in which she looked at CSF were aged between 3 and 10, so by "ongoing" Vargas meant ongoing for several years.

On the contrary, we might expect a brief spike in cytokines of neurotypical subjects but not their ongoing presence. So yes, testing for cytokines should be useful in identifying the subgroup of kids that are showing early signs of ongoing inflammation. We just need to determine the time frame after vaccines that we would expect the cytokines levels to fall so that we may begin testing for aberrant ongoing inflammation.

At what age are you suggesting children are subjected to lumbar puncture? Before hepatitis B vaccination immediately after birth? If this ongoing inflammation is triggered by vaccination, it won't show up before vaccination, and if vaccination causes it, detecting it after vaccination is too late. In any case, you have presented no evidence that there is any connnection between vaccines and the neuroinflammation that Vargas detected. Since several of her subjects were in their 20s and one was in his 40s it is very unlikely that the neuroinflmmmation Vargas detected in them was due to vaccinations decades earlier, isnt it?

That these CSF tests are quite invasive is another matter.

Not really. Any test has to demonstrate benefits that outweigh the risks. I have witnessed a child having a lumbar puncture, and it wasn't pleasant. I certainly wouldn't want to put any child through that unless there were clear benefits to doing so. There are no clear benefits to lumbar puncture in healthy children, since even if this did reveal elevated cytokines, we have no reason to believe that withholding vaccines would prevent subsequent autism.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 11 May 2013 #permalink

Let me try one last time (although I say this knowing full well that I may have to say something again)
1. My daughter was born with autism and didn't "come down" with it. The signs were there that we didn't see but some others close to us did.
2. She was vaccinated on the schedule of 1993 recommendations. She was not diagnosed until she was 3 and a half, not after any particular vaccination but when I finally noticed that she couldn't talk the way her brother and sisted could.
3. She is not brain damaged and currently has approx an 80 average at college
4. She does not want to be normal, even if she could and Greg, you slimy twat, she can't "give it up" like smoking.
5. Greg, why the hell do you work with autistic individuals since you hold them is such low regard?
And Greg, just try, one time, to answer a damn question.

And, "according to good old Medscape" and the link I provided at # 390 above, the complications from doing a LP, while extremely rare, are quite serious:

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/80773-technique#aw2aab6b4b3

Complications

Possible lumbar puncture–related complications include the following[1, 2, 3, 4] :

Post–spinal puncture headache
Bloody tap
Dry tap
Infection
Hemorrhage
Dysesthesia
Post–dural puncture cerebral herniation

Agashem: The bullsh!t artist troll does not work with autistic individuals...as a behavior therapist...or in any professional capacity.

The fact that the math behind Einstein’s relativity theory is complex does not preclude the beauty and magnificence of the theory. In the same way, the complex written musical notation of a classical masterpiece does not preclude its moving beauty, and the just-rightness of it as it meets the ear. Who can deny relativity theory is not beautiful in it’s simplicity and all encompassing-ness. Such ensuing brilliant thinking from a man after consider two very basic assumptions – light travels at a constant speed and the laws of physics are same in all inertial frames. Contrast Einstein’s brilliance with yours. Over a billion dollars spend on autism research and you ‘experts’ still cannot tell us what autism is and what causes it. A high school dropout teenage mom with an autistic son could have saved the taxpayers the billion dollars and tell us what causes autism. Vaccines!! You poor, sad sacks. You should all resign and stop disgracing your professions.

@Krebiozen,

Blaylock gave us an explanation of what is causing the inflammation in Vargas subjects. You disagree with the explanation. What is your theory of what is causing the ongoing inflammation?

@Kerbiozen,

"Since several of her subjects were in their 20s and one was in his 40s it is very unlikely that the neuroinflmmmation Vargas detected in them was due to vaccinations decades earlier, isnt it?"

Isn't this Blaylock's whole point? Vaccines prime the immune system, and continued vaccination will cause the cascade that leads to ongoing inflammation that just does not turn off.

Watching Greg's continued lack of self-awareness is very interesting indeed. His puerile attempts at engagement, ending with insults, paint a picture of a very sad individual indeed.

I wonder, truly, why he believes such a style of engagement is befitting any type of rational conversation or discussion.

Perhaps he graduated from the "Jake Crosby" school of debate?

Greg,

Blaylock gave us an explanation of what is causing the inflammation in Vargas subjects. You disagree with the explanation.

I don't just disagree with Blaylock's explanation, I think he has made it up, and the evidence he presents to support it, like the mercury levels I mentioned earlier, doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Neurotoxicity is a result of brain cells dying, which doesn't seem consistent with the larger brains seen in autistic individuals. How can something that destroys brain cells result in a larger brain? There is no mention of either excitotoxicity or vaccines in Vargas' paper, by the way.

What is your theory of what is causing the ongoing inflammation?

The truth is no one knows. It's worth noting that individuals with Down's syndrome also suffer from neuroinflammation and Down's is clearly a genetic disorder. I think the evidence in autism points to a genetic susceptibility to neuroinflammation, and exposure to infection, or perhaps some other as yet unidentified environmental factor during early pregnancy, perhaps one that leads to autoimmune disease, is the most likely cause.

As Grant pointed out, there may be several conditions with different causes that are labelled as autism, and there may be multiple causes that lead to similar conditions. Since there is no persuasive evidence that links vaccination and autism, I think we can safely rule vaccines out, and stop wasting time and money investigating them.

Isn’t this Blaylock’s whole point? Vaccines prime the immune system, and continued vaccination will cause the cascade that leads to ongoing inflammation that just does not turn off.

You could equally argue that prenatal infection primes the immune system, and continued exposure to viruses after birth causes the cascade... Or exposure to pesticide residues, or mercury in fish, or in pollution, or a thousand other possible factors lead to this cascade, if indeed it occurs at all, which is far from proven.

Blaylock appears to have dropped his main hypothesis about mercury, since that has clearly failed, and we don't see increased incidence of autism in populations exposed to far more mercury than was ever in vaccines. That leaves him with aluminum and other components of vaccines, none of which, in the amounts found in vaccines, are even remotely plausible explanations for excitotoxicity or neuroinflammation.

Again we come back to the question, if vaccinations in childhood trigger this inflammation cascade, why didn't childhood infections do the same in the pre-vaccination era? If this hypothesis was correct I would expect to see a fall in autism since widespread vaccination, because most children no longer get measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox. We don't, if anything there has been an increase.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 11 May 2013 #permalink

In the same way, the complex written musical notation of a classical masterpiece does not preclude its moving beauty, and the just-rightness of it as it meets the ear.

For this analogy to work, one would require a score so hideously complicated that it took 80 years to begin to piece together the weird instruments needed to approximate a performance of some of the more dramatic passages. A better analogy might be 43 Man Squamish.

re # 402:

Looks like Greg has got me! I DO have connections...

But about that vaccine exemption for personal of religious beliefs... seriously!
I don't have any children- by choice, I should add- but if I did I would vaccinate them unless advised not to by SBM guidelines- not by fearmongering pseudoscience-
like that which I survey nearly every day- it's a grinding schedule, I'll tell you.

I have worked with people who had compromised immunity so I made sure I was vaccinated as I also did when I visited many very elderly people.

Right now, I work with students and prospective students who,
for the most part, have no medical issues but I do make sure that I have flu vaccines each year. One of my gentlemen has a problem with asthma so I am concerned for his sake.

I have contact with those I counsel and I play tennis indoors, where kids and adults congregate, so I also don't want to get flu myself although I have so real health problems.

-btw-
Why do you assume that Todd, Grant, Lawrence and I are hypocrites?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 11 May 2013 #permalink

@Narad:

A better analogy might be 43 Man Squamish.

So you're also a Mad Magazine fan, then? :D

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 11 May 2013 #permalink

Greg is either a sockpuppet of our dejected suitor Dr. Jay, or had frequent childhood scenarios that went something like this . . .
[Small boy limbs part way up the diving board ladder, notices that nobody, especially his mother, is watching]
"Mom!"
[Refrigerator mother continues to peruse W without so much as looking up.
"Look Mom! I'm gonna dive!"
[Ice Queen continues to read]
MOM! Lookit ME!
[Mumsy rises wearily and heads into the club for a cocktail, pauses at the club door, looks over her Jackie-O sunglasses back at her now shrieking child on the diving board, smiles wanly and heads into the cool of the bar]
"That's my mom!" Greg beams as he belly flops off the one meter board . . .

By Pareidolius (not verified) on 11 May 2013 #permalink

Greg, as I noted earlier, elegance and beauty don't affect the accuracy of a scientific theory. They are irrelevant to all but that smallish number of people who actually see beauty in mathematics (we all have different tastes in beauty--some, like myself, just don't find math in itself that interesting, others devote their lives to it. Good for them--they found something that brings meaning to their existence).

If Einstein's theories conflicted with observations--if gravitational lensing was not observed in the solar eclipse a few years later, if atomic clocks did not show time dilation, if mass-energy equivalence were not demonstrated, then [i] EINSTEIN WOULD BE FORGOTTEN AND DISREGARDED TODAY[/i], as his ultimately disproven notion of the stationary universe was when Hubble Redshift supported the prevailing theory that the universe is expanding. You can have all the beauty and elegance you want, but, at the end of the day, if you don't have evidence to back you up, you should not expect anyone to pay attention.

Your high-school dropout might come up with a simple, elegant hypothesis for the origin of autism. Well, guess what? When I was eight, I postulated that neutrons, being higher mass than protons, bound atoms together with their gravitational pull. Any physicist can tell you that that's stupid. But it sure seems elegant to me--we can delete two whole fundamental forces under this system! That doesn't make it correct.

So until that high-school dropout can provide evidence that shows an actual link between vaccination and autism, and an actual, coherent mechanism for this action, she'll be dismissed the same way I would be if I were to start lobbying at the age of eight to demand that the government approve my two-fundamental-force model of the universe.

took 80 years to begin to piece together the weird instruments needed to approximate a performance of some of the more dramatic passages

Hey, I LIKE Harry Partch.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 11 May 2013 #permalink

@Agashem,

Your daughter sounds like she is high functioning. Good for her that she would not want to give up her autism and be ‘different’. Still, I can’t help but think that others who are non-verbal, head bang and still in diapers could use a ‘different’ life.

You asked how I con work with autistics and believe autism is brain damage? I will share the following stories:

I have a fellow therapists colleague who has a teenaged autistic client on his caseload. Although the client is nonverbal he still would be considered mid functioning. Still, the client has a whole host of behavioural and aggression issues that especially crop up when he is given commands. My friend at the insistence at the client’s mom devised a skills development plan that involves workers taking the young man shopping on weekends at a his local Walmart. The therapist does not like the idea but the mom insists on it. Needless to say, the shopping excursion usually ends in disaster. The young man becomes frustrated, starts acting out and breaking stuff. When the workers try to intervene, he will head butt, bite and kick them. Sometimes things get so bad that customers call the cops. So, what is wrong with mother’s thinking? Well, she is assuming that her autistic son is not really brain damaged just ‘different’. She thinks that if everyone tries hard enough her son will some day get the whole shopping exercise and start enjoying it. She does not stop to think that her son has a skewed brain and that the entire activity will always put stress on him and result in failure.

On my caseload, I too have an autistic client who is in his late 20s. The young man is relatively low functioning being non-verbal and unable to attend to his personal care such as dressing himself. Still, you can never convince his mother that her son has a serious disability that he can never overcome. When I meet with the mother she enjoys dragging out her laptop to show me how her son can communicate complex thinking through facilitated communication. Then there are the other times that the mom has meltdowns and gets extremely angry with her son for acting up and not behaving at the higher functioning level that she deems reachable for him. The young man also has a father who is divorced from the mother. The father accepts all his son’s limitations, and sees his son as being fully handicapped. He does not have similar frustrations with his son as the mother does. Not surprising, the young man has grown to dislike his mother for pushing him too hard and prefers to be with his dad. You see Agashem, although positive thinking has it’s time and place, some time in life for the sake of keeping your sanity it’s better to accept things for what they really are. Autism is brain damage.

Greg, you ignorant slut. Both your stories point to poorly functioning families. Plus, you have already acknowledged that autism is not one thing so that some autists have more serious issues and may have brain damage ancillary to the autism, 'pure' autism does not mean brain damage. I seriously doubt your credentials if you can't work that out.

Both your stories point to poorly functioning families.

Or wholesale failure by the "behavioral therapists."

A high school dropout teenage
mom with an autistic son could have saved the taxpayers the billion
dollars and tell us what causes autism. Vaccines!! You poor, sad
sacks. You should all resign and stop disgracing your professions.

I can't believe it, you all let that guy insult yourself and still ask for it and yet, my question in the other thread is met with silence. Somehow, I get to wonder what's up with you.

Alain

Agashem & Narad: Greg is just an ignorant troll...not a behavioral therapist. Go on back to your pals at AoA, who think of their children as brain damaged, vaccine-damaged and train wrecks, Troll.

@Krebiozen,

You may not agree with Blaylock's excito-toxcity theory but let's recap things. We know that vaccines can cause brain inflammation and we are seeing unusual brain inflammation in autistics. We can also fairly assume that aberrant inflammation is likely not good for a developing baby's brain. Yes, all infections can cause brain inflammation but how can you deny that vaccines don't pose a novel threat to the immune system that may tip the balance. For one, unlike other infections vaccines have a more direct route to the blood stream, and hence potentially causing a more unusual immune response. Also, even if we were to discount the role of mercury in the inflammation process there are still the other adjuvants including aluminum. I remember Blaylock stating that the argument that aluminum in individual vaccines doses are safe is complete bullocks because multiple vaccines per one vaccination sitting would pose the accumulation threat. Further, even Sears goes on to argue how poorly studied aluminum in vaccines are. You said it Krebiozen: If all infections can trigger inflammation which may result in autism why were there not more autism in the past? Again, we may disagree on the validity of excito-toxcity, saying, however, that vaccines are not resulting in aberrant inflammation that may account for autism is another story.

@Alain,

Don't be jealous Alain that they are paying me more attention. They do so because they respect what I am saying despite their protest.

@Lilady,

I am starting to think that you especially don't like me very much. Anyway, I still didn't get how you think things will proceed when the vaccine not causing autism denial gig is up. Do you also share my view that things will come to a head in five years --tops!-- with officials agreeing to scaling back on vaccines?

Ok Orac's vaccine pushers,

I am reaching the time again where I must run. I would like to add that of all the things you accuse me of being, I am very disappointed being tagged a troll. Really, I am here to have honest engagements with you guys in hopes that such free exchange of ideas will prompt you to give up your denial state. Only then we can begin rescuing our children. Anyway, before I leave again I have one more question for you all: Do you think that it is promising that drugs will be discovered to treat autism?

Greg: Taken as a whole though, complications after vaccines including death, SIDS, ADHD, and other neurological disorders do not outweigh the risks of VPDs.

SIDS probably predates vaccines. Just because something was only noticed recently doesn't mean it wasn't happening all along. Same with ADD and ADHD.. which are once again GENETIC.
Also, you haven't answered my question- if your child became deaf or blind, would you abandon them? Or give up on them?

Chris: My condolences. Little sis used to have migraines about once a month in childhood. She spent a lot of time lying in the dark next to a bucket or other recepticle. Thankfully, she hasn't had a migraine since puberty.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 11 May 2013 #permalink

Greg:

I am very disappointed being tagged a troll. Really, I am here to have honest engagements with you guys in hopes that such free exchange of ideas will prompt you to give up your denial state.

Then get us our of our denial state by answering my question: give the citation to the PubMed indexed study by a qualified researcher showing a vaccine in the present American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease.

Thank you, Politicalguineapig. I married into a family where migraines happen. Unfortunately this person's migraines became chronic and then created a syndrome where every sound was amplified. That was the breaking point.

My son gets migraines. One time it was so bad it mimicked a stroke. Combined with his genetic heart condition meant not only a trip to the hospital by ambulance, but several days in the hospital and heart surgery a few months later. Now he is much better, but he still gets the occasional migraine.

Because of this family I have learned what I used to think were migraines in high school were merely sinus headaches from seasonal allergies (fixed with antihistamines and decongestants). That there is no real cure, and they can be debilitating (especially with the visual distortions). Just sound and light can be very painful. Telling someone to get over it is not helpful.

And unlike Greg, I am willing to learn things about stuff I cannot experience.

Don’t be jealous Alain that they are paying me more attention. They do so because they respect what I am saying despite their protest.

Oooh....finally, you address me? I'm not jealous, just checking if I haven't made a social blunder (I do from time to time) by posting that comment in the other thread. What I question is that, you have firmly established that you have a closed mind (so do I for that matter) who's 100% absolutely certain that you won't change opinion on vaccines (and they call me autistic.....I don't believe in absolutism except when speaking about you) and finally, I try to read every post and figure out if the exchange between you and other commenters will likely affect anything regarding the average lurker on this site (which I really doubt so at the moment) and finally, I weight in the few insult that you, so far, thrown at everyone here (autistics being brain damaged and also, my aforementioned quote of you in the previous post). Finally, I conclude that you're not worth the trouble.

as for everyone else:

Greg demand simple answer. Vaccines <anything> are unlikely ever to be simple. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

I've been done cleaning my laundry since a while; just needed a new set of underwear tonight. Ciao.

Alain

By the way, Greg, you can answer my question with just one number: the PubMed Identification Number. Just post the PMID of a study by a competent researcher that a vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease.

Some examples:

15106083
22521285
22080172
20643726
20498176
19482753
18922998
11135778
15889991

Now it is your turn. Well, actually it has been your turn to answer questions for several weeks.

Greg @430

Really, I am here to have honest engagements with you guys

No, you are not, and you never were. And that is why you have been “tagged a troll.” Individuals looking for honest engagement do not pose “one word yes or no” questions, because those do not foster discussion. That point has already been made to you.

Greg @428

They do so because they respect what I am saying

You are delusional.

Re-read this (my comment #281 from this thread) http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/05/01/autismone-2013-a-quackfest…

Most the words you have posted here do not show compassion. They show belligerence and a lack of respect, both in regards to those with whom you are pretending to have a discussion, and the individuals with whom you claim to work.

And if you truly work with the disabled, I hope that none of them nor their family members ever encounter and identify with you the thoughts you have shared here.

Do you honestly think this shows I respect you? Don’t mistake my being polite for respect – I’m just being polite.

@Chemmomo - I stopped being polite a while ago & have had to bit my tongue, otherwise I'd come off as badly as Greg does....he is hopeless, as again, he lacks any self-awareness whatsoever.

He may actually be more frustrating than Thingy-troll, but then again, not by much. He doesn't seem to realize that his behavior might as well be the text-book definition of "trolling."

his behavior might as well be the text-book definition of “trolling.”

Somewhere out there, a perfectly good fire is going to waste.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

Ok Orac's vaccine pushers,

I must be on my way again. I leave you thou

Sorry, not finished....

I will leave you though with a compliment. I am starting to sense that progress can be made in your denials. With any obsessive behavioural disorders, be it alcoholism, eating disorders, hypochondria, vaccine causing autism denial-ism, the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem. If you and I continue to work on things perhaps that day will come that you can take this first step and admit to your problem. Who knows, you may eventually find yourself fully recovered and being able to live a more happy, healthy, and productive life. It will take time though. I will take time.

A complete lack of self-awareness.......I wouldn't be surprised if Greg would qualify for a DSM diagnosis himself....

Hey guys, check out Jake's latest comment on AoA:

PS: I'm taking a screenshot of this comment so it will appear elsewhere if not here; the only good censoring this comment will do is further prove my point that AoA has no journalistic standards and merely lets sponsorship determine what runs and what doesn't run.

Posted by: Jake Crosby | May 11, 2013 at 09:38 PM

Could it be that Skynet is becoming Self-Aware?

Greg,
Lest you mistake my engagement for respect, I'm just curious to see if your views will change at all if I persist with countering your claims with reason and evidence.

You may not agree with Blaylock’s excito-toxcity theory but let’s recap things. We know that vaccines can cause brain inflammation and we are seeing unusual brain inflammation in autistics.

MMR, for example, may cause encephalitis in 1 in 1 million doses given. It is so rare that we can't even be sure the vaccine causes it at all. Compare measles, which cause encephalitis in 1 in 1,000 cases or thereabouts.

We can also fairly assume that aberrant inflammation is likely not good for a developing baby’s brain. Yes, all infections can cause brain inflammation but how can you deny that vaccines don’t pose a novel threat to the immune system that may tip the balance.

A novel threat? They contain the same antigens that are found in the natural viruses or bacteria.

For one, unlike other infections vaccines have a more direct route to the blood stream, and hence potentially causing a more unusual immune response.

Why is an intramuscular injection a more direct route to the bloodstream than viral infections such as measles and hepatitis, which result in billions of viruses in the bloodstream?

Also, even if we were to discount the role of mercury in the inflammation process there are still the other adjuvants including aluminum. I remember Blaylock stating that the argument that aluminum in individual vaccines doses are safe is complete bullocks because multiple vaccines per one vaccination sitting would pose the accumulation threat.

The insoluble aluminum salts injected into a muscle in a vaccine slowly dissolve and end up in the blood, in quantities similar to those constantly absorbed from food. We know what blood levels or aluminum cause neurological problems, and blood levels in children after vaccination are a tiny fraction of that level. People who take aluminum antacids absorb hundreds of times as much aluminum in one days as a child absorbs from the entire childhood vaccine schedule. It is Blaylock who is talking bollocks here.

Further, even Sears goes on to argue how poorly studied aluminum in vaccines are.

Even Sears? Is that supposed to impress me? Good grief.

You said it Krebiozen: If all infections can trigger inflammation which may result in autism why were there not more autism in the past?

What a strange reverse logic. Perhaps it's because infections, at least post natal infections, don't trigger inflammation that leads to autism any more than vaccines do? That's the elegant solution isn't it?

Again, we may disagree on the validity of excito-toxcity, saying, however, that vaccines are not resulting in aberrant inflammation that may account for autism is another story.

It's a story that has absolutely no convincing evidence to support it, and a large amount of evidence that contradicts it.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

Alain, I saw your question on the other thread, but I didn't have anything constructive to suggest, so I didn't reply. I'm interested to see if any sense might penetrate Greg's closed mind if I just keep providing him with evidence that contradicts his beliefs. Either the cognitive dissonance will make him feel uncomfortable and he will leave, or he may actually start to question his beliefs. I suspect his recent statement, "I am starting to sense that progress can be made in your denials" represents some projection on his part, and that he is beginning to wonder a bit if he is has been mistaken in his beliefs.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

He may actually be more frustrating than Thingy-troll, but then again, not by much. He doesn’t seem to realize that his behavior might as well be the text-book definition of “trolling.”

I disagree. My Unca Cecil (who is never wrong) at
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1764/what-is-a-troll
says -

"Troll," in the context of message boards and the like, describes somebody who is posting just to be confrontational or to raise hackles. One example might be a teenager who finds a Jewish message board and posts, "The Holocaust never happened." The teen may not know or care one way or the other--he just wants a reaction. He wants to piss people off. He is a troll.

and later -

"Troll" is often flung about too casually. If somebody is simply ignorant or obtuse, it's incorrect to call him a troll. Admittedly, it's not always easy to distinguish between someone pretending to be wrong and someone who is wrong and doesn't know it or won't admit it.

Calling Greg a troll is incorrect.

Greg is an idiot. Thingy, too, is an idiot.

You're right about the 'fustrating' part.

Delusional troll is delusional.

I know it makes you feel powerful and somewhat badass to make these bizarre proclamations of victory over the Evil Skeptics™, but who here admitted we have a "problem?" Where are these changes of mind you referred to in your most recent, hourly-last-ever-no-I-really-mean-it-this-time-farewell-post? Provide quotes at least.

Really, there's nothing more pathetic than a cocky, posturing, know-it-all who is actually just a needy poser in total denial of reality. As obnoxious as your posts are, I just kind of feel sorry for you, shivering up there on the diving board alone, hoping someone, anyone, will watch your magnificent dive . . .

By Pareidolius (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

@ Lawrence:

That is rich!
Sometime in 2011, I cautioned Jake that persisting in his pseudoscientific conspiracy- mongering would affect his career prospects deleteriously. By sticking with AoA, he signed off on his contract with SB reality, limiting himself to web woo and anti-vacciniana.

By sticking it TO AoA, as he has done in the past several months, he has more painted himself into an even tighter corner, perhaps surrounded by former allies who now look askance at him and his work: AoA is one of the most powerful advocates for anti-vax in existence.

Right now, Jake isn't in good standing at AoA- his posts aren't being shown lately - except for one berating our esteemed and gracious host; he has angered Blaxsted and probably others: in addition, because the other anti-vax fanclubs share so many personnel with AoA, he's probably not welcome at SafeMinds, the Canary Party, etc. TMR focuses on parental experience, not his metier, but one of the prime forces motivating anti-vax since day one.

In addition, his disregard for keeping internal communications strictly private will affect his brand in any endeavor he might wish to approach- web or otherwise.

So where's a young woo-meister to go?
Bolen's den of iniquity, facebook, twitter and his own fevered imagination?
Oh, he will present at Autism One, teaching newbies to follow in his storied path.
Perhaps there'll be a solo blog. I can hardly wait.

-btw- he hasn't shown up @ RI for a while either. I wonder why?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

The first time I wrote about Jake's conspiracy-mongering a few years ago when he was just starting college and was attacking Adam Bly, founder of ScienceBlogs, for "six degrees of separation" pharma connections, I took a kind of fatherly tact, pointing out that Jake was a "crazy mixed-up kid" who had fallen in with a bad crowd (antivaccinationists) and that they would only be his friends as long as they viewed him as useful. And useful he was to AoA for a while, a young man with Asperger's who believed that it was the vaccines that gave it to him and who regularly attacked the targets that AoA wanted to see attacked and said the things that AoA liked hearing said. As a result, jake became a bit of a rock star in the antivaccine movement, someone viewed as an up an coming leader of the next generation of the vaccine-autism conspiracy crowd. Every article he posted drew nauseatingly effusive praise, particularly from the mercury moms, and he was heralded as a "brave truth teller" willing to go into the lions' den to confront the "pharma drones" at their talks.

Apparently, egged on by the torrents of praise, Jake developed a sense that he was a righteous warrior and that he could do no wrong. He became increasingly radicalized, as young men with a cause not infrequently do, and fell into the time-worn battle between youth, enthusiasm, and moralizing versus age and realization of the limits of what can be achieved without compromise and/or soft-peddling a radical message. Somehow he latched on to Brian Hooker, who appears to have become a mentor and father figure to him more attuned to his uncompromising stance than Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted are, and the battle began.

Jake, in his self-righteous delusion that he could do no wrong and was fighting a holy war coupled with his belief that his new mentor had somehow been betrayed by Jake's allies, He also fell into the trap of believing that the ends justify the means, publishing excerpts of private e-mail correspondence and not-so-subtly (Jake is incapable of subtlety) insinuating Blaxill of cheating on his wife in a public blog. Now he's attacking Olmsted publicly, accusing him of lying and locking him out of AoA:

I called Dan Olmsted a Canary Party Propagandist rather than a journalist (which he hasn't been for nearly six years anyway) after he censored a comment of mine criticizing Canary Party's latest press release; his reasoning was that my comment was "picayune." After I expressed my concerns about this on Facebook, he retaliated against me by censoring all my future contributions to AoA, despite still listing me as a contributing editor. Asked why he continues to do so, he simply requested that I let him know if I want my name removed. He'd rather keep lying to his readers that I'm still a contributing editor then simply remove my name himself; that's how dishonest he is. Though lying is in Dan's nature, that doesn't mean readers deserve to be lied to. As long as I'm still listed as contributing editor, I will expect AoA to run my contributions without prejudice. I hope readers will expect the same as well.

See here for background details:
https://www.facebook.com/jacob.l.crosby/posts/3408725171944

PS: I'm taking a screenshot of this comment so it will appear elsewhere if not here; the only good censoring this comment will do is further prove my point that AoA has no journalistic standards and merely lets sponsorship determine what runs and what doesn't run.

Of course, the hilarious thing is that apparently Jake once thought that AoA had journalistic standards. From its inception, it's always been a conspiracy-mongering, pseudoscientific, propaganda sight for autism quackery and antivaccination nonsense. Even os, quite frankly, I have no idea why Olmsted hasn't taken Jake up on his offer and removed him from the list of contributing editors, instead of trying to push Jake to resign.

The continuing soap opera is deliciously entertaining to watch. My guess is that he'll end up with Patrick "Tim" Bolen. My other guess is that he's self-sabotaged whatever chance at a career in epidemiology he ever had. The problem, of course, is his web postings have made him virtually unemployable by any department of epidemiology with any standards whatsoever. His second problem is that, by biting the hands that fed him for so long, he's also likely destroyed any chance of being hired as an antivaccine epidemiologist by any of the antivaccine crank groups that might want someone like him to churn out bogus studies linking vaccines to autism. He's really screwed himself, although he apparently hasn't realized it yet.

A couple of thoughts:

AoA has a younger, prettier anti-vax warrior in Natalie Palumbo, an eighteen year old autism sibling and apprentice video artist: she's won an award and is being lauded at AoA. Unlike Jake, her chosen metier will involve studied communication of presenting the Message unto the heathen, using all the tricks of the advert trade. ( And yes, in a previous life, I studied art/ lit and worked in advertising).

Jake, although not a parent, shares some qualities with Mother Warriors like McNeil, Stagliano and others: self-righteousness enhanced by a solipcism that enables him to criticise experts in areas far out of his own venue- like alt media woo-meisters. ( see NaturalNews and PRN)

Jake was very harsh on yours truly for not understanding my own area- psychology- because I did not make much of a deal about Bettelheim's beliefs. Actually, it was barely a footnote in a prof's class who would have us survey the vast scope of writings and theories in psychopathology. We also looked at witchcraft and conversions at religious revival meetings. Our studies did not revolve around this very odd note in the history of psychology. No one's does.

Similarly, Jake criticises Orac and other scientists far out of his area of studies. How can a person presume to know what another has spent a good part of a lifetime learning?
You can't. That's why it's necessary to cast aspersion on their character, personality, lifestyle or means of support- because that's the only way you'll get an audience of people who -like yourself- envy the successful and the expert.

If you peruse Jake's list of targets you'll find scientists and officials as well as a particular journalist. He hates them and would tar them by attributing crimes and malfeasance to them because he can't do what they do .

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

@Krebiozen,

Thanks. Looking back, I see that I was harsh yesterday but you can blame that on finding myself alone with a large 4 and a half apartment to myself (I was planning to rent it with my brother but we ran afoul and I'm finding myself solo in the apartment) and I'll need to do what I can with what I have to pay for it. Please excuse me for my attitude.

Regarding what I'll do for the apartment, I'll take the good side of it (an extra room for visitors and also, office space) and to pay for it, I'll go back into a professional program (finance) and make a living out of stock quotes, high-performance computing (www.adapteva.com), some highly tuned financial skills and some parallel programming skills.

Alain

From the time I came posting here ~ 3 years ago, I've been observing Jake's blogging *career*. The overwhelming number of his blogs are vicious hit pieces, along with his stalking forays.

Each of the editors, *journalist/contributor* and the crank posters, have encouraged Jake and his yellow journalism; they are enablers, along with his parents for this very dysfunctional young man.

I stated two years ago and I'll state it again. Jake might be awarded a MPH-Epidemiology degree...but he will never be an epidemiologist.

Here...see how the six most recent comments at AoA take umbrage at Jake's behavior.

http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/03/from-the-editor.html

Classic Comedy Gold from Jake to Teresa Conrick:

"Teresa,

Dan being editor of AoA is to the Canary Party what the editor of Pravda is to the Communist Party; I will never respect that, and you shouldn't either.

Sad Dad,

I feel sorry for your son that he has such an apologist of dishonesty and censorship for a father. Sad indeed.

I suppose commenting on this thread any further is pointless as Dan and Mark are probably getting supporters to load it with agreeable comments while anyone who dares support me on here will get censored. So I won't.

Posted by: Jake Crosby | May 12, 2013 at 02:12 PM"

Hmmmm, I'm wondering why everyone at AoA is ignoring the allegations of the Blaxill-Larsen assignation that Jake provided to Bolen. What other *dirt*, real or imagined, is Jake concealing?

Alain,
No problem - we're all human. I hope you sort something out with your apartment. You could advertise for a room mate (or flat mate as we say in the UK - I used to think room mates shared a room and a bed, which led to some interesting misunderstandings), which might be fun and bring you a friend for life, or it might be disastrous. I have had experience with both in the past!

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

@ lilady:

Phrases to describe Jake's current situation keep popping into my mind:

dire straits, between a rock and a hard place, up sh!t's creek w/o a paddle, made his bed and now is lying in it, painted himself into a corner, biting the hand..., burning his bridges... and many more.

We, being educated adults and hopefully charitable, shouldn't rub it in but I note that MANY of us did advise him in 2011 to be careful about his connection to anti-vax, about how he behaves publicly and on the internet, about conspiracy mongering talk etc etc.
Orac went out of his way, Ren offered advice, as did others.

We tried. I know I sure did. Oh well.

On a lighter, but related, note:

I am often asked to attend art gallery openings and I oblige cheerfully. Last month, I brought a gentleman and we were treated to new art based on original cartoons- ranging from small plastic figures to a 20 foot tall inflated comic animal- this large, ungainly creature was slowly inflated with much fanfare, accompanied by the clinking of plastic wine glasses and general merriment, in the yard behind the gallery.

"Oh," says my companion," I think it's clever and funny and he probably worked really hard manufacturing such a large ridiculous object and he had to figure out how it would stand up and all, how he'd transport it- BUT is it art?"
"Shhh!" I responded." He's standing next to you" - and yes, a tallish, bearded young man, the artist, looked over at us both, rather sadly. He had heard the remark.

"He's young, you don't want to discourage him by raining on his parade or bursting his balloon", I whispered," Yes, it is ridiculous and meaningless but it reveals potential,, stick-with-it-ness and real craftsmanship - he actually makes money because people buy his small figures and images".
I walked over to the artist who then appeared to perk up when I said, "I think it's a brilliant achievement:. look how it seems to gesture to us with the breeze; how its ears flop wistfully. Everybody should have one of those." The artist smiled.

Unlike Jake, his work has significance ( he assembled 80 people who had a good time) and it doesn't harm anyone by disseminating mis-information . His artwork doesn't bar him from learning and producing artwork in other genres or styles. I'm sure he has his finger in 6 other pies as well and he's probably also written a screenplay or has a band.

Unlike Jake. Whose parade should be rained upon and whose ballon should be burst.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

Denice Walter,

I think John Cleese said it very well. "And since it has no call to be here, the art lies in the fact that it IS here."

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

@ Alain:

Just next door, a young guy inherited an ultra- posh HUGE place (with several bedrooms and Italian-tiled floors) -the upkeep of which he can't afford - he has to rent out rooms to a continuously changing cast of hipsters and trendy folk.

I am occasionally friendly with one or more of his" tenants" who smoke on the balcony. He rents via internet listings and I'm not sure how he screens people- they trend toward young women, gay men and guys from Asia who speak little English- most are students who also work, age 25+. Thus, they're busy enough to stay out of his way most times but able to afford rent- is that his formula for success?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

Dan and Mark are probably getting supporters to load it with agreeable comments while anyone who dares support me on here will get censored.

Once again the word "projection" comes unbidden to mind.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

@ Mephistopheles O'Brien

"And since it has no call to be here, the art lies in the fact that it IS here.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2318490/Giant-rubber-duck-Hong-…

I'm thinking that right about now, Jake is upstairs in Mamma Nicole's attic in Cos Cob or Austin, conducting an *investigation* on the judge who will hearing the oral arguments in the Wakefield-vs-BMJ,Godlee, Deer case, scheduled for May 22nd. He'll be ready to roll out his Six-Sixty-Six Hundred Degrees-Of-Separation blog, should the judge rule against Wakefield's defamation suit.

Will AoA publish it?

Will Jake take his investigative *journalism* to Bolen?

Who knows?

Who cares?

I’m thinking that right about now, Jake is upstairs in Mamma Nicole’s attic in Cos Cob or Austin, conducting an *investigation* on the judge who will hearing the oral arguments

There's a panel of three judges, but they don't all have to be present for oral argument. This is going to be short and sweet, with each side getting 20 minutes (the appellant can divide their time to speak first and last), plus questions from the bar.

@lilady - looks like Jake forcing the seamy underside of AoA to the surface (re: the brief discussion of their "moderation" policy") - should be very interesting to watch this all play out.....

@Krebiozen and Denice,

I can afford the rent as long as I go to school and get upward of 7 credits. The difference between having a flat-mate and not is being able to put aside about 4 or 5 times the saving I can put aside when living solo.

But, and there's a big but; if I ever take a semester off from school (like I did now when taking off to stop drinking), I can afford the rent (everything included), cell phone, intarweb and meals, that's it.

What I'll do is take the 7 credits of course (actually 9) and take the apartment to myself with very careful selection of the flat-mate (the last occasion where I had a flat-mate, he was a psychopath who ruined my life) and even then....

Alain

Greg: With any obsessive behavioural disorders, be it alcoholism, eating disorders, hypochondria, vaccine causing autism denial-ism, the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem..

One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong. Either that, or you think anorexia and alchoholism are made up.

Chris: You're welcome. Wow..I was hypersensitive to sound for a few weeks and I can understand how that could drive someone to despair. Especially if they had a family.
Off-topic, but I have a question about migraines. Do men usually get them or is it only specific to your family? Because all of the migraine prone people I've known have been women, so I've been assuming it was a hormone thing.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

@PGP - I still get migraines from time to time (they peaked in my early to mid-teens, where I suffered from a few that behaved as "mini-strokes.")

I often wonder if why relative lack of sensitivity to pain has been a result of over three decades of dealing with migraines - they aren't something I would wish on my worst enemy.

I used to get occasional migraines, often at weekends after a particularly stressful week, for some reason. I had one that lasted for 48 hours and was seriously afraid I had a brain tumor, or had suffered a stroke. I haven't had one for over ten years now; I have no idea why, but I'm certainly not complaining. I get sinus headaches instead, which are unpleasant enough, but in an entirely different league to migraines. I remember reading some studies that suggested that small non-hallucinogenic doses of psychedelic drugs can have a prophylactic effect on migraines and cluster headaches, that lasts for months, which might be worth looking into for sufferers, though of course in most places such substances are illegal.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

Get a load of this comment on AoA in response to Jake.

I'll always support a person like Jake (see You Tube to see why). What I witnessed first hand with my child was a crime of Nazi proportions , and people have talked about dignified protests to me . I'll never understand that . Our governments are sponsoring a legalised poisoning of our children , they are censoring all news\media around the subject , and they are accelerating the Hg\Al program . The field of vaccines and autism is the greatest crime and dishonesty of the last 40 years and is being perpetrated on a worldwide\one world government basis . It just isnt the time for fine wine and good manners in my eyes . We have the science , we have the facts , we have the people and yet somehow , someway , we are no where . How can that be ? If we have to have a schism to promote our hopes of success and ultimately to begin prosecutions of the guilty parties , then so be it . I for one , refuse to be placated on the issues of vaccine poisoning , its a non negotiable position , the industrialised poisoning of our children is simply unacceptable . I dont want compensation , I refuse to interact with the Govt vaccine injury compensation groups , I want prosecutions and I want villification of the guilty parties . Dismemberment of the all companies involved . I want to see this genocidal enterprise dismantled , I want the truth aired for everyone to see . Good manners and politeness are all very well but its justice I want .

Posted by: White Rose | May 12, 2013 at 03:46 PM

By Broken Link (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

@ Politicalguineapig:

One of the guys who played tennis used Botox for migraines- it helped partially when most other treatments didn't. He was a former pharma higher up- of all things- who retired young and had the scoop on all meds.

-btw-
I have a history of miserable sinus headaches that may resemble migraine in intensity and are accompanied by light-sensitivity and nausea - I think Chris noted this-
decongestants 'cure' them, for a while.
Like my late father, I have a quite lovely-shaped nose that doesn't really work.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

Further corroborating that migraines can be brought on male hormones as much as by female ones.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

Get a load of this comment on AoA in response to Jake.

Anyone who appropriates the name of the White Rose resistance and places themselves on a comparable moral plane is cordially welcome to DIAF.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

For those despairing of getting investigative journalists to write about vaccines, there's at least one brave reporter willing to tackle the tough issues - Jennifer Margulis (<Sheldon Cooper "Is that sarcasm?").

Check out the review of her book "The Business Of Baby" in the 5/12 Sunday New York Times Book Review section. Apparently there is no form of alternative medicine that Margulies won't support, and no mainstream therapies she won't denounce as useless and/or profit-driven - and that includes vaccines.

"Margulis herself proves unfit for (separating fact from rumor) in a shockingly irresponsible chapter on vaccines. All of her favorite conceits are here: the money-hungry pharmaceutical companies; the pediatricians who schedule routine immunizations simply to collect insurance reimbursements; the health care workers who patronize and bully women who refuse vaccinations for their children; and the brave parents who “decide that they do not want to intramuscularly inject their child with something that is not part of the natural course of life.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/12/books/review/the-business-of-baby-by-…

Margulis is described as a senior fellow in investigative journalism at Brandeis University. It looks like she is to investigative journalism what Jake Crosby is to epidemiology.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

Margulis will appear at Autism One with LK Habakus and Alison MacNeil.
And *we* can't be there!

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

It must be difficult to realise that vacs are causding autism even aids and cancer especially if you have administered them but surely feeding autistic kids more chemicals is the height of quackery or should i say criminal?

#465 I have sinus headaches too. They are indeed terrible, and there have been more than one intense enough to make me cry, which, obviously, being a sinus headache and all, did not help in the least.

Knowing how brutal those are, I've always been irked by people who tell you to just "man up" or "cowboy up" when you have a headache. You *can't*. And no one with a severe headache, or a migraine, which are so much, much worse than the nastiest sinus headaches I've had, should be expected to.

And it's all the more irksome because most people will tell you it's "works as intended" for headaches and severe menstrual pain too.

I guess pain management is one area where I have some small shred of sympathy (quite tiny) for the alties. Proper medicine, always (rightly) wary of medication-seekers, doesn't always do too well with pain management, and patients don't always know when to stick to their guns and when to meekly say "Oh, it's not that bad..." People without very assertive personalities seem to need help with that. It's all very well to say "well, that's on the patient," but that's not a very satisfactory answer, and it's not going to help much, either.

I'm not sure what the solution is.

It's still not trying woo, of course.

But I'm not sure what it *is.*

Martin,

If there were any truth behind what you say, maybe. But there isn't.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

@martin

[citation needed]

I recently rebuilt my workstation on Linux to be able to develop programs which run on GPU and it will be the subject of a blog post soon (matter of fact, many blog post because I'll spend the rest of the summer on it).

In the meantime, I laid my eyes on a small form-factor Zotac computer with the second generation of my processor:

http://www.zotacusa.com/zbox-nano-ad12.html

the thing measure 5x5 inches, uses next to no power (16w fully loaded) and is similarly equiped as my box but with better performance. As for mine, it will make a nice 25-30w storage box (8~9w for the 'puter,18w for the disks) for the cluster of parallella board[1].

Alain

[1] == to simplify thing, these are 99$ small computer with the processing power of about 10 to 20 computer like the one you're writing on but tuned for calculus and other mathy stuff which is perfect for simulating a brain but of no use to run windows. They also takes 2 to 4w each so for a budget of 1500$, I can simulate a royal lot of thing for less energy than 2 lightbulb.

Hi Martin, nice to meet you.

A criminal :)

Jennifer Margulus also interviewed *holistic pediatrician* Lawrence Palevsky for her book. Take a look at Larry's website and FaceBook page. He's big buddies with Babs from the NVIC and Joe Mercola:

http://www.drpalevsky.com/resources.asp

surely feeding autistic kids more chemicals is the height of quackery or should i say criminal?

If you don't feed them carbohydrates & protein & fats then they starve.
Or so I hear.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

Politicalguineapig:

Off-topic, but I have a question about migraines. Do men usually get them or is it only specific to your family?

I believe it is more common in women, but men do get migraines. My dear hubby spent most of the say fighting a migraine, including the seeing jaggy lines.

His father would get migraines, and so does one of our sons. There is a definite genetic tendency in that family for migraines. That also includes the visual distortions. With hubby it is jaggy lines, and my oldest son first noticed that the world went purple with his first migraine.

Oliver Sacks also has been plagued with migraines, and he wrote a book about it. It is a very interesting read. And also why I can understand that my loved ones are in pain,but have no true understanding of how much pain they are in. I don't get migraines, but I will never tell them it is nothing. Because it is not.

AARGH: " My dear hubby spent most of the day fighting a migraine,"

And still managed to barbecue a lovely Mother's Day dinner. I cleaned up because he really needed a break.

My migraine attacks seem to be strange: at least I haven't heard any similar reports. I've had them sporadically for about 60 years, since I was a teenager. I haven't had one for a couple of years now [do you know how hard it was to type that with fingers crossed?]
There are three phases, separated by one or two days. Each phase seems to be optional: I can't determine whether the phase is skipped, is so light I don't recognize it. or the phase occurs in my sleep, so I'm not aware of it. In any case:
Phase I is ophthalmic: usually jaggies, but once or twice, a black/dark gray region on the center of the visual field. It lats about 10 to 20 minutes. It may be triggered a bright, tiny light source, like a sun reflection from a small, very shiny object.
Phase II is psychological: major irritability, lasting 30 minutes to 2 hours. It's best for me to go hide, away from people, during this phase.
Phase III is the light-sensitive, noise-sensitive headache: the headache is behind where a sinus headache presents, above where a tension headache hurts, and forward of a carbon monoxide headache's location. [Yes, I've experienced each of them.] That's when I need to lie down in a dark place for a couple of hours, lest I bite the wrong someone's head off.

By Bill Price (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

If you and I continue to work on things perhaps that day will come that you can take this first step and admit to your problem.

Not going to happen because you're fired. However, I never hired you as a therapist in the first place, so I don't actually need to fire you, but I will anyway, because I just plain want to fire an ass like you.

You're fired.

Damn, that feels good...

Reading White Rose

We have the science , we have the facts , we have the people and yet somehow , someway , we are no where . How can that be ?

You know, when something it's not working the way you want, it may be a good idea to check if you got the science and the facts right.

By Heliantus (not verified) on 12 May 2013 #permalink

@Martin: giving autistic kids bleach enemas is indeed quackery. Oh hang on, that's not us, is it?

By Christine (the… (not verified) on 13 May 2013 #permalink

@Martin: giving autistic kids bleach enemas is indeed quackery
I wondered whether Martin's dreaded "chemicals" include the Geiers' favourite chelating drugs.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 13 May 2013 #permalink

@ Martin @ herr doktor bimler:

I wondered whether Martin’s dreaded “chemicals” include the Geiers’ favourite chelating drugs.

The Geiers favorite chelating drugs AND the Geiers favorite castrating drug (Lupron)...according to the Autism One 2013 Convention site.

http://www.autismone.org/content/important-new-insights-hormonal-basis-…

Here's their Autism One "handout" which contains the listing of all their clinics where they offer chelating/castration for *treatments/recovery/cures* of autism.

http://www.autismone.org/sites/default/files/geier.pdf

Aren't all these clinics shut down, now that papa Geier has his medical licenses suspended or revoked...and now that baby Geier has been fined $ 10,000 by Maryland for "practicing medicine without a license"/

Genetic Consultants of Indianapolis, IN
9595 Whitley Dr, Suite 205
Indianapolis, IN 46240
Tel (317)818-0760

Genetic Consultants of St Louis, MO
4101 Mexico Rd, Suite H
St Peters, MO 63376
Tel (636)922-4472

Genetic Consultants of Springfield, IL
1112 Rickard Rd, Suite B
Springfield, IL 62704
Tel (217)787-9540

Genetic Consultants of Louisville, KY
13100 Magisterial Dr, Suite 100
Louisville, KY 40223
Tel (502)548-2670

In other anti-vax news:

AoA appears to have taken down the post that Jake appeared on recently ( From Editor) and has replaced it with a new one- although the former comments remain below today's newest ones.

TMR interviews Temple Grandin who talks about genetic factors in autism, parents "coddling" kids and not having enough training that teaches everyday skills, prepares young adults for work and makes efforts to integrate then into society- amongst other issues.
I doubt that she's anti-vax.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 13 May 2013 #permalink

Temple Grandin was recently interviewed in the New York Times Magazine, leading to this exchange:

Q: "In your new book, “The Autistic Brain,” you seriously entertain possible links between vaccines and autism in children, links that scientists have vehemently dismissed."

A: "Well, there’s only one vaccine that could possibly be a problem, and that’s the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. Now that they’ve changed the vaccine, it has fewer antigens, and that would make it a lot safer. But with the old version of the vaccine, I have not yet come across a study that looked at regressives — when a child had some speech but lost it."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/magazine/temple-grandin-on-autism-dea…

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 13 May 2013 #permalink

@DW - interesting to watch AoA feast on one of their own....I wonder if that will have an effect on any of the "bystanders" who are seeing this type of internal warfare expose a number of the more underhanded activities they pull over there?

@ Dangerouds Bacon:

Interesting.

@ Lawrence:

I think it might affect a few. I wonder if Jake's presentation will remain on the AutismOne schedule or if he'll be scratched before the convention?
Brian, this best curiouser and curiouser!

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 13 May 2013 #permalink

Pardonnez moi:
DANGEROUS...
GETS curiouser ....

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 13 May 2013 #permalink

DW: Ugh, my respect for Temple Grandin just went way down. Why would she even talk to them? Can't she feel the contempt that oozes off their every pore for anyone on the spectrum-heck, anyone who's got so much as dyslexia?
And now she seems to have gone full anti-vax.. why?

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 13 May 2013 #permalink

And now she seems to have gone full anti-vax..

That seems a bit strong. Out of her depth, perhaps (including the MMR screwup), but the earlier WSJ piece doesn't exactly scream "full anti-vax."

She seems sadly fairly ignorant about where modern research of the causes of autism is.

I have a group of friends/advocates who remember Temple Grandin when she first got involved with the ASA (Autism Society of America)...going back 30 or more years ago.

Back then, she appeared to have flattened affect and a monotone manner of speaking; she struggled with idiomatic language and recoiled from human touch.

Dr. Grandin has struggled to make sense of the neurotypical world; her speech has intonation and she is far more approachable. IMO, she is enjoying her fame as a spokesperson for the autism community. She has made statements before about vaccines and autism and she is most probably unaware that anti-vaccine groups are using her naivete as just another tool to advance their agenda.

She proudly states she is a *scientist*, but she has a skewed interpretation of the many studies that disprove vaccines are associated with the onset of ASDS...(if in fact she has read those studies).

Here, her interview...that was featured on AoA:

http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/10/temple-grandins-logical-mind-on-earl…

"....Q. In recent years, many parents have blamed vaccines for causing autism. That theory has been discredited by recent research. What do you think?

There's one study that still hasn't been done. There's a type of autism where the child gets language... can say a few words... and then loses it. There's a regression at about 18 months or 2 years. That subgroup needs to be studied separately. Until that study is done, the book is not closed...."

The game is afoot...again.

I just got 2 comments through the Columbia University Review on the subject of journalism *fair play* ("telling both sides"), when discussing vaccines and autism onset.

The usual cranks and trolls are posting from AoA. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see me comments. Easy sign-in and child's play to refute the off and on-topic comments and Spam

http://www.cjr.org/feature/sticking_with_the_truth.php

@lilady:

There’s a regression at about 18 months or 2 years. That subgroup needs to be studied separately. Until that study is done, the book is not closed.

Le sigh. Grandin also supported the "Shut down" in support of autism. She was wrong over that too, as the response to Autistics Speaking Day shows.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 13 May 2013 #permalink

Vaccines cause autism, how can you doubt it?, Russell Blaylock, refusing to answer questions or provide credible evidence, etc...

Patrick, is that you? From the old Slate Fray forums?

Wow the fearless brilliant Blaxsted duo have published the results of their investigative reporting, regarding mumps outbreaks, mumps vaccine and the Merck "whistleblower's lawsuit":

http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/05/protocol-007-merck-denies-fraud-says…

"....But the government seems anxious despite Merck’s reassurances – just as the whistleblower suit was unsealed, Age of Autism has learned, health officials awarded almost $2 million to a research team at the University of Georgia. The goal: Find a much better mumps vaccine, in a hurry. “The fact that outbreaks had occurred in populations with over 95% coverage of two-dose [mumps] vaccine strongly suggests that the current vaccine is not effective,” according to project information filed by Biao He, a researcher at the University of Georgia who received the $1.8 million grant...."

(Benedetta posts and asks if there is aluminum in MMR vaccine).

Perhaps, if Blaxsted hadn't been involved in chasing down Kanner's patients, drumming up support for Wakefield and other dead-end non-issues, they would have seen this press release and other internet articles about the awarding $ 1.8 million dollars for the development of a more effective mumps vaccine, announced 16 months ago:

http://news.uga.edu/releases/article/061412-ITN-vaccine-to-fight-mumps-…

So, no, Mark and Dan, this *revealing* article will not result in the awarding of a Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism

I don't know a lot about Grandin- other than general bio material and her work concerning abattoirs.

Her 15 minute interview with TMR's Ms Tex had a few notes that had me wondering - re supplements, environmental issues, regressive autism- but she didn't go anti-vax- interestng, because that would be the place to do it.

She also talked about sensory issues, 3 styles of thought and the importance of training people to do everyday tasks, learn to fit in et al.- such as her own life experiences. It's worth a listen for the practical aspects.

It would be unfortunate if she lent her name to anti-vax proselytisers in any fashion. She's a hero to many people with and without ASDs.
If she is anti-vax in any shape or form, you can bet that she'll be mentiond frequently by anti-vax websites whether she gives them permission or not.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 May 2013 #permalink

Blaxsted's Investigative Journalism (Part II)

The dynamic duo provide the current number of mumps being reported in the weekly MMWR. (hint to Blaxsted), there is a long lag time for every reportable disease and final numbers for mumps cases during 2013, will not be available for approximately 6 months into 2014.

Also, State health departments and the CDC are aware of the possible primary or secondary failure of mumps vaccine. They use a third MMR vaccine to contain outbreaks of mumps:

http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/33192/title/Extra…