New research on autism/vaccine link fires the debate back up

July 19, 2010


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30 Responses to “New research on autism/vaccine link fires the debate back up”

  1. Robert J. Krakow on July 19th, 2010 3:12 pm

    Thank you for your comment about the recent primate research showing vaccines caused brain injury in primates as compared primates who were not vaccinated.

    I would like to clarify some statements in your comment that are not precisely correct. The research that Safeminds announced was not conducted by Safeminds researchers. Rather, primate research was conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Thoughtful House, an Austin, Texas autism research and treatment center. Safeminds funded a part of the research but did not conduct the research.

    In the case of the review article that analyzed 58 studies of the relationship of heavy metals and autism, Safeminds had no part in the paper and is not connected to the researchers. In that case scientists from the University of Iowa conducted the review and published the paper.

    It is also not accurate to say Safeminds “published” the papers. Safeminds published a press release announcing the papers.

    One other point, there has been no research comparing vaccinated vs. unvaccinated humans, as you point out. Primates are considered good surrogates for humans because their genetics are closer to humans than most animals. Scientific research – especially drug research – relies heavily on animal research because it is considered unethical or impractical to study the affect of drugs on humans. The CDC, FDA and NIH all rely heavily on animal research to suggest or even determine drug safety.

    That all said, I agree that the new research on primates, the review of research by the Iowa researchers and other new research, some published in the same journal as the two articles mentioned by Safeminds in their announcement suggest that the case is not closed on the relationship of vaccines to autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

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  3. abelw on July 19th, 2010 4:57 pm

    It’s strange that SafeMinds is promoting this poor animal study, since the study, its promotion by SafeMinds and Age of Autism, and the suppression of the truth at Age of Autism simply hands abundant proof to those who accuse SafeMinds and Age of Autism of ignorance, bias, and anti-science.

    The authors of the study, which relied ENTIRELY on the question of whether or not it is normal for a particular region of the brain, the amygdala, to grow or to shrink during development, simply ignored the previously-published and conclusive evidence that the amygdala INCREASES in size in humans and in macaques.

    However, since the authors used a vanishingly small control group (of only two animals), and since measurement at a single time point of perhaps only one animal suggested that the average size of the amygdala quite quite surprisingly seemed to DECREASE in that group of two animals, they completely ignored the evidence. Yes, somehow, despite the contrary evidence from previous studies of human and macaques, up is down and black is white. Clearly, the vaccinated animals developed normally in this study, since–like normal humans and normal macaques, their amydalas increased in volume, but there was a problem with their tiny control group. It’s because of problems like that that competent scientists do not use a control group with only two animals.

    The posts that politely pointed this out were quickly deleted from Age of Autism, which apparently wants its readers to remain ignorant.

    Here’s the paper that clearly proves that the author’s of the vaccination study touted by Age of Autism and SafeMinds is absolutely wrong:

    Payne C, Machado CJ, Bliwise NG, Bachevalier J. Maturation of the hippocampal formation and amygdala in Macaca mulatta: A volumetric magnetic resonance imaging study. Hippocampus. 2009 Sep 8

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19739247

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  6. Brain Balance on July 19th, 2010 8:37 pm

    Our stance at Brain Balance is that neuro-behavioral disorders like autism and ADHD have in common an underlying functional imbalance or under-connectivity of electrical (brain) activity within and between the right and left sides of the brain. While one could argue this is due to an abnormal amygdala or vaccine toxicity, etc., we focus on correcting the connectivity issue, thus reducing or eliminating symptoms. You can read about it here:
    http://www.brainbalancecenters.com/the-truth/

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  16. FreeSpeaker on July 20th, 2010 11:13 am

    To expand on Abelw comments..The vanishing number of dead monkeys is most curious. They “researchers”, which initially included the discredited Andrew Wakefield, started out with a lot more monkeys, and only tested two. That SCREAMS that they massaged their findings to prove their point. This study is nothing more than a re-worked study that was withdrawn when Andy Wakefield’s perfidy was fully unmasked.

    It is not strange that an attorney who profits from cases brought before the “Vaccine Court” (regardless of whether his client wins or loses) would tout this study. This is the “best evidence” of the mythical vaccine-autism link.

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  22. TJW on July 20th, 2010 1:40 pm

    Autism is a DSM IV diagnosis characterized by a set of symptoms subjectively divined by an analyst (generally, a doctor) e.g. no objective test exists for an Autism diagnosis. Mercury poisoning is a largely objective diagnosis determined by a measurable level of toxicity corresponding to observable symptoms. The observable symptoms of mercury poisoning can coincide with the same symptoms required for an Autism diagnosis in the DSM. Therefore, mercury poisoning can cause Autism. Medications containing mercury can cause mercury poisoning. Therefore, medications containing mercury can cause Autism. Now, if we could stop hurting animals and start banning the use of mercury and banning mercury pollution that would great.

  23. Tony Bateson on July 20th, 2010 3:25 pm

    For God’s Sake please protect the animals. If the future will be anything like the past we will have endless research studies trying to find out just how many vaccinations you can pump into a monkey without causing any harm at all. Someone (what’s Poul Thorsen doing?) will even prove that autism in monkeys fell when Thimerosal was introduced!

    Why don’t they research the abundantly obvious phenomenon (only a phenomenon when you take account of all the no-link stuff scientists claim to have found) of there being no autism except in vaccinated people?

    Tony Bateson, Oxford, UK.

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  25. FreeSpeaker on July 20th, 2010 6:02 pm

    To TJW who said, “The observable symptoms of mercury poisoning can coincide with the same symptoms required for an Autism diagnosis in the DSM.”

    Incorrect. Please learn what the symptoms of mercury poisoning are.

    To Tony Bateson: IIRC they started with 10 monkeys, and at least one of the control monkeys disappeared. POOF! Gone. Go to Science Based Medicine and read the articles about this bogus study.

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  27. abelw on July 20th, 2010 8:19 pm

    Tony Bateson wrote: “Why don’t they research the abundantly obvious phenomenon . . . of there being no autism except in vaccinated people?

    Mr. Bateson, it has been repeatedly proven to you that ASD does exist in the unvaccinated population. (Recall, for example, that Age of Autism’s editor Kim Stagliano has an unvaccinated daughter with ASD, as you were told in this thread: http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2010/01/another-hit-job-from-aoa/)

    When you repeatedly post nonsense it makes you seem rather unhinged.

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  29. simba on July 21st, 2010 3:07 pm

    Actually, the symptoms of autism and mercury poisoning are eerily similar. If you believe that the study below (with a side by side comparison chart of symptoms) is too “one-sided,” check out old medical texts from the 1800′s, or read or watch videos of the 1956 Minamata Bay mercury poisoning victims on youtube. Read about “Pink’s Disease, Minimata Disease, Acrodynia, and you will see that we are just repeating history for profits.

  30. abelw on July 26th, 2010 4:41 pm

    “Actually, the symptoms of autism and mercury poisoning are eerily similar.”

    I suppose that may be true if you don’t understand the subject matter. However, to a research scientist who studies both autism and the toxic effects of methylmercury, they don’t look similar at all:

    http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/autism/Expert%20Reports/King_03-584V/ExEE_Rodier_Report_03-584.pdf

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