Another Quack goes Down:

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BWV 1080
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Another Quack goes Down:

Post by BWV 1080 » Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:31 pm

Andrew Wakefield, the main person responsible for the autism / MMR scare in the UK is charged with professional misconduct:

From:


Doctor behind MMR scare to face four charges of misconduct over research


Sarah Boseley, health editor
Monday June 12, 2006
The Guardian

Andrew Wakefield, the doctor behind the scare over a potential link between the MMR jab and autism in children, is to face four charges relating to unprofessional conduct at the General Medical Council, it is reported today.
Mr Wakefield, a surgeon who became a gut specialist, could be struck off the medical register and debarred from practising in the UK if the GMC finds him guilty of serious professional misconduct.

Following the publication of a research paper in the Lancet by Mr Wakefield and colleagues in February 1998 - which suggested a tentative link between the immunisation at the age of 18 months, a bowel disorder called Crohn's disease, and autism - many parents became anxious over the safety of the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine.

At the press conference to launch the paper, Mr Wakefield had parted company with his colleagues to say that, in his opinion, single jabs might be safer than the three-in-one MMR combination. The take-up of MMR slumped and is still low in some parts, especially areas of London. Public health experts have warned that measles outbreaks are possible, in which some children may be damaged and even die. The numbers of cases of mumps has risen. A top-level inquiry commissioned by the Medical Research Council examined Mr Wakefield's findings, and epidemiological studies were commissioned which found that children given the MMR vaccine were no more likely to become autistic than those who were not.
The message from the medical establishment consistently said that there was no evidence of a problem with MMR. In 2001 Mr Wakefield left the Royal Free hospital in north London, where he was a consultant, to work in the United States.

In 2004 it was alleged that Mr Wakefield had had an undeclared conflict of interest at the time he wrote the Lancet paper: having been paid £55,000 by the Legal Aid Board to assess whether some of the children who featured in his research paper might have a case to sue for vaccine damage.

The Lancet retracted part of the article, and the GMC began an investigation.

According to the Independent newspaper today, the preliminary charges against Mr Wakefield will be that he published inadequately founded research, failed to obtain ethical committee approval for the work, obtained funding for it improperly, and subjected children to "unnecessary and invasive investigations".

It was reported that GMC lawyers are preparing more detailed charges for publication later this year, and that there will be a public hearing next year.


Emphasis added.

Comments by Autism Diva:

So, how many kids have been harmed by the drop in uptake of vaccines that followed in Mr. Wakefield's wake? How many parents without cause decided to delay or entirely skip vaccines for their children, out of fear of having their baby descend into the "hell that is autism" (David Kirby - 2005). Without Mr. Wakefield there wouldn't have been a Bradstreet out there hyping vaccines as a cause of autism. And without Bradstreet, who was later joined in his business in Florida by Mr. Wakefield (as his director of research or something), the spoiled, oh-so entitled, self centered, wealthy mercury parents wouldn't have been looking so intently at vaccines as the unquestionable cause of their children becoming autistic in the frantic search for something to blame other than their own genes.

Though they still might have been desperately vulnerable to any fool with slick pseudo-scientific patter and promise of a cure to undo the surely externally caused autism in their children, at least public health wouldn't have suffered as it has at the hands of the mercury parents and their money grubbing personal injury lawyers. Some other sector of business might have suffered at the hands of these parents and their money grubbing personal injury lawyers, maybe it would have been big fast-food chains...see "AutismFries.com." Maybe instead of "mercury parents" we all be watching the "french fry parents" demanding an apology (and remuneration) from McDonald's and Burger King for their supposedly having caused the ruination of a generation of children--an "epidemic" of children made autistic by trans-fatty acids or acrylamide. Somehow I think we could count saunas, chelation, lose-dose Naltrexone, and HBOT as being cures since quacks step in and offer them for nearly any chronic or self-limiting health problem ...

One can only hope that justice will be done for those starting and perpetuating this vaccine-as-cause-of-autism madness.

John Bleau
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Post by John Bleau » Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:15 pm

Funny how jbuck doesn't call you Rain Man for initiating so many health care threads. I don't mind though; just pointing out his double standard.

The comments by autismdiva are worthless, but the Wakefield case is worth following. Bear in mind that most studies nowadays involve conflict of interest, with results biased to favour the sources of funding for the studies - these sources being too often companies with a stake in the product under scrutiny. Whether Wakefield was any more or less scrupulous than more mainstream scientists remains an open question to me. It is extremely dangerous professionally to go against the medical establishment.

A list of the arguments for the thimerosal - autism link can be found in a number of places, such as at http://www.whale.to/vaccines/autism.html where you'll also find an MMR link.

I also downloaded a document that is said to have been declassified from the CDC that, if true, clearly acknowledges a significant mercury (which was until recently used in thimerosal, a vaccine preservative) - autism link, though the RR (relative risk) is lower than what would explain the commonly-claimed ninefold increase in incidence. I may post a link if asked.

Vaccines do carry risk and they have side-effects that can easily outweigh the benefits, especially for a scarce disease. A hepatitis-B vaccine was withdrawn in France due to a significant correlation with multiple sclerosis.

BWV 1080
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Post by BWV 1080 » Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:34 am

Autism Diva's comments are spot on. First, proponents cannot seem to decide whether thimerisol or MMR is the culprit. Given the complete lack of scientific evidence for either, this is not suprising. The link you gave is a who's who of Autism quacks including the father & son Grier team that pushes chemical castration of children which I wrote about earlier. The anti-vaccine crowd cannot answer basic questions such as why no known cases of either prenatal mercury poisioning or exposure to measles, mumps or rubella bears any clinical resembalance to ASD. Furthermore, they cannot explain why known purely genetic disorders such as Rett's syndrome or fragile X present nearly identical symptomology to ASD, including regression at 18mo-2Y (something that is by no means typical of ASD). A longer list of questions the vaccine hypothesis cannot answer is here:

From http://autismnaturalvariation.blogspot. ... abnaq.html


Prevalence data

Considering that the prevalence of epilepsy among autistics is known to be an order of magnitude higher that that of the general population, why is the CDDS-based prevalence of autism rising at a rate of 10% annually (and even higher in the past), whereas the prevalence of epilepsy has always remained at population growth levels?



[John Best Jr. has answered that perhaps epilepsy is not being diagnosed in autistics who have epilepsy. But it's clear in the CDDS data that dual diagnoses are common. He then suggested that mercury does not have a seizure liablity. This, of course, is not consistent with what is known about autism. Plus I've also argued before that an environmental trigger without a seizure liability does not match the numbers. Finally, John asserted that autism and epilepsy are totally unrelated.]


Why is the prevalence of CDDS clients without mental retardation (presumably based on IQ testing) going up quickly?


Why is the proportion of autistics with epilepsy going down at an annual rate of -5.5%?

Why is the proportion of autistics with mental retardation going down at a comparable rate?

Why do you continue to claim that the number of "new cases" or "newly diagnosed cases" of autism is dropping in California, considering that the CDDS says that they don't provide data on new cases? Isn't it intellectually dishonest to continue to do so?

[I'm not aware of any proponent of the mercury hypothesis having addressed this crucial objection. If you know what the rebuttal consists of, please post it in the comments section.]

Considering that close to no thimerosal is going into vaccines nowadays, shouldn't the following be true? (1) The number of autistic clients in the CDDS 3-5 age range should be crashing towards zero. (2) All newly diagnosed autistic children would be those vaccinated with thimerosal (via the Flu vaccine, as Sue likes to point out).

Use of thimerosal has been eliminated or drastically reduced in several countries, including Canada, Denmark and Sweden. Why has no country reported a decrease in he prevalence of autism following these actions?

Cognitive findings

By what mechanism does mercury poisoning result in savant skills?

How does mercury poisoning explain the results of Dawson and Mottron? That is, autistics score higher than the norm in the Raven IQ test. But not only this, the gap between the Weschler and Raven tests is totally the inverse (in the other direction) of what it would be in NTs.

[John Best Jr. proposes that the same gene that results in a mercury excretion liability also produces high IQ. This of course would mean that the mercury spares certain types of cognition. While JB Jr. concedes that genetics could account for cognitive advantages, he does not concede that it's enough to account for socio-linguistic deficits.]

How does it explain findings by Happe (2001) that parents of autistics have a "cognitive style" (weak central coherence) that can confer information-processing advantages?

Neurobiological findings

How does mercury poisoning produce significant grey and white matter volume differences in infancy?

[The usual answer to these kinds of questions is that "corrupt scientists" are in on the conspiracy led by the CDC.]

How does mercury poisoning produce larger brain mass and size?

How does mercury poisoning produce increased neuron density and smaller neurons?

Chelation therapy


Why do you start chelation therapy without first testing for heavy metal poisoning?


If you have tested your child, did you use a local reputable lab or an internet lab? Did you send a control sample to verify their tests are valid?[


Is there controlled evidence that chelation therapy is an effective treatment for autism?


Is there controlled evidence that chelation therapy is a safe treatment for the duration you're planning to follow it?


Are you following medical guidelines as to the proper duration of chelation therapy?


Genetics


What is the mercury-based genetic model that explains a 60% concordance for classic autism in identical twins, but a much lower concordance (2%-4%) in siblings and fraternal twins?


How does mercury poisoning explain a higher proportion of scientists and engineers as close relatives of autistics?


Why do you propose that autism just cannot be simply genetic, while autism-like conditions such as Fragile-X, Rett Syndrome and Tuberous Sclerosis obviously can?


How does mercury poisoning explain some of the alleles which have been linked to autism? GABA, SERT, etc.


Given that autism is more heritable than personality, intelligence, homosexuality and left-handedness, would you say these other variations in human behavior are, too, caused by pathological environmental triggers such as mercury poisoning?


Flawed logic


If you believe that autism did not exist before the 1940s, do you also believe that Down's Syndrome did not exist before 1862, that Fragile-X syndrome did not exist before 1943, and that Rett Syndrome did not exist before 1966?


[JB Jr. admits that Rett Syndrome was likely misdiagnosed as autism before 1966. He further admits that Rett Syndrome might have been called brain damage or birth defect before the 1940s. But when asked if autism could also have been called brain damage or birth defect before the 1940s, he proclaims this is impossible. Why? Because autism did not exist, as Kanner was the first to see it.]


Do you realize that a prevalence of 1 in 166 today (which includes Asperger's syndrome) cannot be compared to a 1970s or 1980s prevalence?

Do you understand why anecdotal accounts do not prove an argument?

Characteristics of true heavy metal toxicity


(Per Jennifer I believe:) If autistics are unable to excrete mercury, wouldn't regular intake of mercury from the environment be enough to kill autistics over time?


Why are the following symptoms of heavy metal poisoning not characteristic of autism? Headaches, cold hands and feet, vertigo, inability to focus vision, joint and muscle pains, weak pulse, hard pulse, bleeding gums, blisters, tooth ache, jaw inflammation, metallic taste in mouth, loosening of teeth, persistent cough, irregular breathing, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, subnormal temperature, excessive perspiration, chest pain, changes in blood pressure, etc.

John Bleau
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Post by John Bleau » Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:48 am

I don't see the pertinence of many of the questions. For example, the existence of a genetic predisposition does not preclude environmental factors as well.

I don't have the stats, some of which are not open to the public yet should be, but apparently countries in Europe that banned mercury a long time ago have lower rates of autism than countries that did not. The drop (or reduced rate of increase - there are other factors) in Canada should be mitigated by the fact that amounts of mercury used were far less.

A rise in autism in China and Russia also correlates with the introduction of mercury vaccines on a large scale.

A question your blog link might add is:

Why would a trusted health agency allow a known neurotoxin to be injected into the bloodstream of small babies -- in amounts that exceed federal safety exposure levels for adults by up to 50 times per shot?

BWV 1080
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Post by BWV 1080 » Fri Jun 16, 2006 12:20 am

The questions are all pertinent, as they expose the fact that the mercury hypothesis cannot explain the most basic, core facets of ASD. Remember that, as in any scientific endeavor, the burden of proof is on those who claim causation. Sure genetics don't preclude environmental factors, but where is the evidence that vaccines are the factor? As Autism Diva states, the factor might just as easily be french fries. The evidence is quite clearly in the other direction - there is no conclusive proof that addition or removal of Thimerisol has any demonstrable effect on the incidence of autism. Thimerisol has been gone in the US since 2001 and there has been no noticable decrease in ASD. Studies have shown no change in rates in Denmark and Sweden after the removal or addition of the additive. Proponents must be really desparate if they are relying on diagnostic rates in Russia and China, places where Autism was likely not diagnosed at all in the past due to the poor state of health services.

For example, there is this study:
Autism and thimerosal-containing vaccines*1

Lack of consistent evidence for an association

Paul Stehr-Green DrPH, MPH, , a, Peet Tullb, Michael Stellfeld MDc, Preben-Bo Mortenson DrMedSCd and Diane Simpson MD, PhDe

a Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington (Stehr-Green), Seattle, Washington, USA
b National Board of Health and Welfare (Tull), Stockholm, Sweden
c Statens Serum Institut (Stellfeld), Copenhagen, Denmark
d National Centre for Register-Based Research (Mortenson), Aarhus, Denmark
e National Immunization Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Simpson), Atlanta, Georgia, USA


Background
In 1999, concerns were raised that vaccines containing the preservative Thimerosal™ might increase the risk of autism and/or other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Methods
Between the mid-1980s through the late-1990s, we compared the prevalence/incidence of autism in California, Sweden, and Denmark with average exposures to Thimerosal-containing vaccines. Graphic ecologic analyses were used to examine population-based data from the United States (national immunization coverage surveys and counts of children diagnosed with autism-like disorders seeking special education services in California); Sweden (national inpatient data on autism cases, national vaccination coverage levels, and information on use of all vaccines and vaccine-specific amounts of Thimerosal); and Denmark (national registry of inpatient/outpatient-diagnosed autism cases, national vaccination coverage levels, and information on use of all vaccines and vaccine-specific amounts of Thimerosal).

Results
In all three countries, the incidence and prevalence of autism-like disorders began to rise in the 1985–1989 period, and the rate of increase accelerated in the early 1990s. However, in contrast to the situation in the United States, where the average Thimerosal dose from vaccines increased throughout the 1990s, Thimerosal exposures from vaccines in both Sweden and Denmark—already low throughout the 1970s and 1980s—began to decrease in the late 1980s and were eliminated in the early 1990s.

Conclusions
The body of existing data, including the ecologic data presented herein, is not consistent with the hypothesis that increased exposure to Thimerosal-containing vaccines is responsible for the apparent increase in the rates of autism in young children being observed worldwide.

Again the most damning refutation of the mercury hypothesis is the fact that actual, known cases of mercury poisoning bear very little resemblance to ASD. Where is a case has someone gotten poisoned by mercury and developed savant abilities? Mercury shrinks brain matter while brain enlargement accompanies ASD. Read this again, and tell me why none of these symptoms of mercury poisoning are present in ASD:
Headaches, cold hands and feet, vertigo, inability to focus vision, joint and muscle pains, weak pulse, hard pulse, bleeding gums, blisters, tooth ache, jaw inflammation, metallic taste in mouth, loosening of teeth, persistent cough, irregular breathing, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, subnormal temperature, excessive perspiration, chest pain, changes in blood pressure, etc.
You would have us believe that mercury in vaccines produces some effect vastly different than other cases of mercury exposure?

you ask
Why would a trusted health agency allow a known neurotoxin to be injected into the bloodstream of small babies -- in amounts that exceed federal safety exposure levels for adults by up to 50 times per shot?
If this is so toxic, then why are none of the physical symptoms of mercury poisoning present in newly vaccinated infants? This, as you should well be aware, does not constitute any sort of evidence for a link to ASD

John Bleau
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Post by John Bleau » Mon Jun 19, 2006 9:17 am

The burden of proof is manifestly not on those who claim causation. Simple correlation should be sufficient to remove a potentially dangerous product from the shelves, especially a recognized toxin. Remember that the tobacco industry's standard defence was that a causal relationship was not proved all the way from tobacco consumption to the cancers that massively correlate with it. That lobby has largely been supplanted in the halls of power by an even more powerful pharmaceutical lobby.

Mercury (the information here is drawn from http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/phs46.html ):

Safe drinking water standards: 5 micrograms (µg) per liter (5 ppb, or parts per billion).
Much of the mercury we're exposed to is from our fillings (3 to 17 µg per day). Fish with more than 1 ppm (established by the FDA) cannot be sold to the public.

The most sensitive populations may include pregnant women, children under the age of 6 (especially up to 3), people with impaired kidney function, and people with hypersensitive immune responses to metals.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that most people are exposed, on average, to about 50 ng of mercury per kilogram of body weight per day (50 ng/kg/day) in the food they eat. This is about 3.5 micrograms (µg) of mercury per day for an adult of average weight.


The nervous system is very sensitive to mercury. In poisoning incidents that occurred in other countries, some people who ate fish contaminated with large amounts of methylmercury or seed grains treated with methylmercury or other organic mercury compounds developed permanent damage to the brain and kidneys. Permanent damage to the brain has also been shown to occur from exposure to sufficiently high levels of metallic mercury. Whether exposure to inorganic mercury results in brain or nerve damage is not as certain, since it does not easily pass from the blood into the brain.

In critical periods of development before they are born, and in the early months after birth, children and fetuses are particularly sensitive to the harmful effects of metallic mercury and methylmercury on the nervous system.


A number of vaccines contain 25 µg of mercury per dose ( http://www.fda.gov/CBER/vaccine/thimerosal.htm ).
_________

You would have us believe that mercury in vaccines produces some effect vastly different than other cases of mercury exposure. - you

The very list of symptoms is testament to 'what I would have you believe': some of the symptoms you list are vastly different from others. Compare swollen lymph nodes with vertigo. Remember: "The nervous system is very sensitive to mercury." – this is not vastly different from autism.

Many of the symptoms in your list (which is not exhaustive) are from very toxic levels:

Other severe effects observed in children whose mothers were exposed to very toxic levels of mercury during pregnancy include eventual blindness, involuntary muscle contractions and seizures, muscle weakness, and inability to speak. It is important to remember, however, that the severity of these effects depends upon the level of mercury exposure and the length of exposure. The very severe effects just mentioned were reported in large-scale poisoning instances in which pregnant and nursing women were exposed to extremely high levels of methylmercury in contaminated grain used to make bread (in Iraq) or seafood (in Japan) sold to the general population.

Thus you need not find any of the particular symptoms you cite in newly vaccinated infants. It’s telling, however, that nervous system damage is not included in your list. Then I could say that there is indeed a physical symptom of mercury poisoning in these infants.

The study you quote has received a rebuttal ( http://www.safeminds.org/research/libra ... laxill.pdf ):

Some of the problems with your study are that data from limited and special populations are unreasonably extrapolated to larger populations or that reductions from comparatively low exposures need not decrease rates.

Mercury shrinks brain matter while brain enlargement accompanies ASD. – you

I don’t know that shrinking brain matter is a necessary outcome or at what levels of exposure this happens.

Mercury also provokes an immune response, which you recognize to have varied and sometimes contradictory effects. For example, in the EJ Scovill discussion, you quoted a doctor arguing that the (purported) virus caused an increase in the lymphocyte count, while the same virus is diagnosed on the basis of a decrease in the lymphocyte count. For mercury, you yourself listed highly varied symptoms.

paulb
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Post by paulb » Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:35 am

John Bleau wrote:I don't see the pertinence of many of the questions. For example, the existence of a genetic predisposition does not preclude environmental factors as well.
True some cases might be linked to "enviornmental/pollutants, etc. But i don't believe it. I'm with BWV here, why if mercury is a cuase for autism, is it not so in all cases. And mercury has immediate side effects. Many autistic children are have some brain malfunctioning from birth.
My nephew is autistic. My opinion is that autism comes from one of the parents genes. There is a defect in the psychological genes of one of the parents. I cannot divulge in an public forum which of the 2 it was derived from.
btw i'm against all form s of vaccines in any manner. I'm a devote believer in herbal medicine/accupuncture.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

John Bleau
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Post by John Bleau » Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:51 am

"...why if mercury is a cuase for autism, is it not so in all cases. And mercury has immediate side effects"

I'll sketch a reply and might answer in more detail later. How people react varies - witness allergic reactions. Factors vary from person to person. Many of these factors can indeed be genetic, but they can also be environmental. For example, some children eliminate mercury better than others. An impaired ability to eliminate mercury has been correlated with the use of antibiotics, which would be an environmental factor, but which could also be related to a genetic predisposition.

"And mercury has immediate side effects" - there are documented claims that the symptoms of autism frequently arise soon after vaccination.

paulb
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Post by paulb » Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:30 am

As i say i'm against all shots being giving to babies of a healthy disposition. In rare cases should antibiotics be administered. Babies should be given booster shots of herbal extracts upon request of the mother. Again rare cases, as pregnant women should already be under the care of a herbalist. Herbs are an excellent way for the immune system to be in top shape.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

BWV 1080
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Post by BWV 1080 » Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:43 am

John Bleau wrote: I'll sketch a reply and might answer in more detail later. How people react varies - witness allergic reactions. Factors vary from person to person. Many of these factors can indeed be genetic, but they can also be environmental. For example, some children eliminate mercury better than others. An impaired ability to eliminate mercury has been correlated with the use of antibiotics, which would be an environmental factor, but which could also be related to a genetic predisposition.
John, this is just wild speculation. The burden of proof is on you, or any proponent of this theory to produce the valid, peer - reviewed studies that can demonstrate this. In truth, these are just weasel words that allow the mercury hypothesis to linger in the face of overwhelming evidence that ASD is a genetic disorder. Go back and tell me how mercury relates to the list of questions related to genetics that I posted earlier:
Genetics


What is the mercury-based genetic model that explains a 60% concordance for classic autism in identical twins, but a much lower concordance (2%-4%) in siblings and fraternal twins?


How does mercury poisoning explain a higher proportion of scientists and engineers as close relatives of autistics?


Why do you propose that autism just cannot be simply genetic, while autism-like conditions such as Fragile-X, Rett Syndrome and Tuberous Sclerosis obviously can?


How does mercury poisoning explain some of the alleles which have been linked to autism? GABA, SERT, etc.


Given that autism is more heritable than personality, intelligence, homosexuality and left-handedness, would you say these other variations in human behavior are, too, caused by pathological environmental triggers such as mercury poisoning?

John Bleau
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Post by John Bleau » Mon Jun 19, 2006 12:30 pm

My “wild speculation” serves to indicate that genetics need not be a cause for all cases of autism nor need all cases of autism be due to genetics. Same applies to mercury.

Your questions:

1) Why is the concordance not 100% in identical twins? That it isn’t strongly suggests an environmental component, and a significant one at that.

2) I don’t have the foggiest. Probably doesn’t. To repeat an argument I gave earlier, that there are genetic components does not preclude environmental ones.

3) I don’t propose anything about Fragile-X, Rett Syndrome and Tuberous Sclerosis.

4) It doesn’t and needn’t – to whit, conversely, how do those alleles explain the mercury that has been linked to autism?

5) Personality, intelligence, homosexuality and left-handedness all have environmental components, some of which are pathological. Poor nutrition, poverty, drug addiction are all environmental factors that play on these variations in human behaviour.

Your last question is particularly telling. It beggars one’s imagination that these variations can be cited as examples in favour of a purely genetic cause of autism. As for the impact of mercury on some of these, re-read the CDC document I cited: In critical periods of development before they are born, and in the early months after birth, children and fetuses are particularly sensitive to the harmful effects of metallic mercury and methylmercury on the nervous system. The document adds: In cases in which the exposure was relatively small, some effects might not be apparent, such as small decreases in IQ or effects on the brain that may only be determined by the use of very sensitive neuropsychological testing. In instances in which the exposure is great, the effects may be more serious. In some such cases of mercury exposure involving serious exposure to the developing fetus, the effects are delayed. In such cases, the infant may be born apparently normal, but later show effects that may range from the infant being slower to reach developmental milestones, such as the age of first walking and talking, to more severe effects including brain damage with mental retardation, incoordination, and inability to move.

I remind you that this is a CDC document (emphasis mine). This is why it is not sufficient to simply cite the experts; you must also interpret them incisively.

The person you cite has an opinion to sell and he sells it incorrectly, but judging from his blog, his pitch has generated favourable responses.

BWV 1080
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Post by BWV 1080 » Mon Jun 19, 2006 2:32 pm

John Bleau wrote:My “wild speculation” serves to indicate that genetics need not be a cause for all cases of autism nor need all cases of autism be due to genetics. Same applies to mercury..
No it remains speculation. You cannot link mercury to autism any more than you can link french frys, high fructose corn syrup or any other substance young children may be exposed to

Your questions:
1) Why is the concordance not 100% in identical twins? That it isn’t strongly suggests an environmental component, and a significant one at that.
Reality is more complex than that. Epigenetics is the commonly accepted explanation. Why should there be such a drastic difference between identical and fraternal twins? Who vaccinates their children differently? Would not you assume that twins are exposed to the same levels of mercury in vaccines?
2) I don’t have the foggiest. Probably doesn’t. To repeat an argument I gave earlier, that there are genetic components does not preclude environmental ones.


Nor does it neccessarily preclude supernatural causes either. The environmental cause is just speculation.
3) I don’t propose anything about Fragile-X, Rett Syndrome and Tuberous Sclerosis.
Why not? They are proven single-gene disorders (ASD is likely a complex of genes like epilepsy) that present symptoms nearly identical to ASD. Children even regress at 18MO to 2Y of age, which is less common in ASD, but is cited as the main anecdotal proof for vaccine causation.
4) It doesn’t and needn’t – to whit, conversely, how do those alleles explain the mercury that has been linked to autism?
Mercury has not been linked to autism through any reputable, peer reviewed scientific research. Nothing has come from years of research into possible links wheras the genetic research continues to provide new insights.
5) Personality, intelligence, homosexuality and left-handedness all have environmental components, some of which are pathological. Poor nutrition, poverty, drug addiction are all environmental factors that play on these variations in human behaviour.

Your last question is particularly telling. It beggars one’s imagination that these variations can be cited as examples in favour of a purely genetic cause of autism. As for the impact of mercury on some of these, re-read the CDC document I cited: In critical periods of development before they are born, and in the early months after birth, children and fetuses are particularly sensitive to the harmful effects of metallic mercury and methylmercury on the nervous system. The document adds: In cases in which the exposure was relatively small, some effects might not be apparent, such as small decreases in IQ or effects on the brain that may only be determined by the use of very sensitive neuropsychological testing. In instances in which the exposure is great, the effects may be more serious. In some such cases of mercury exposure involving serious exposure to the developing fetus, the effects are delayed. In such cases, the infant may be born apparently normal, but later show effects that may range from the infant being slower to reach developmental milestones, such as the age of first walking and talking, to more severe effects including brain damage with mental retardation, incoordination, and inability to move.

I remind you that this is a CDC document (emphasis mine). This is why it is not sufficient to simply cite the experts; you must also interpret them incisively.
Yes John you must interpret your sources correctly. You cannot retrofit ASD to fit any blanket description of a neurotoxin. Your quote mining fails to reveal the usual symptoms of methyl mercury exposure that are noticably lacking with ASD:
Children who had been exposed to excessive amounts of mercurous chloride tablets for worms or mercurous chloride-containing powders for teething discomfort had increased heart rates and elevated blood pressure. Abnormal heart rhythms were also seen in children who had eaten grains contaminated with very high levels of methylmercury.

Other symptoms of poisonings in children who were treated with mercurous chloride for constipation, worms, or teething discomfort included swollen red gums, excessive salivation, weight loss, diarrhea and/or abdominal pain, and muscle twitching or cramping in the legs and/or arms. Kidney damage is very common after exposure to toxic levels of inorganic mercury. Metallic mercury or methylmercury that enters the body can also be converted to inorganic mercury and result in kidney damage.

Children who breathe metallic/elemental mercury vapors, eat foods or other substances containing phenylmercury or inorganic mercury salts, or use mercury-containing skin ointments for an extended period may develop a disorder known as acrodynia, or pink disease. Acrodynia can result in severe leg cramps; irritability; and abnormal redness of the skin, followed by peeling of the hands, nose, and soles of the feet. Itching, swelling, fever, fast heart rate, elevated blood pressure, excessive salivation or sweating, rashes, fretfulness, sleeplessness, and/or weakness may also be present. It was once believed that this syndrome occurred only in children, but recent reported cases in teenagers and adults have shown that they can also develop acrodynia.
Now this whole article dealt exclusively with methyl mercury (CH3Hg+), not ethyl mercury (C2H5Hg+) which is what is in thimerisol. They are not the same:
Ethylmercury (sometimes ethyl mercury) is a cation composed of an ethyl group and a mercury atom; its chemical formula is C2H5Hg+. The term 'ethylmercury' is sometimes used as a generic term to describe organomercury compounds which include ethylmercury such as ethylmercury chloride and ethylmercury urea. The CAS registry number for ethylmercury chloride is [107-27-7][1].

Ethylmercury is one of the metabolites of thiomersal, which is used as a preservative in some vaccines. For this application, the ethylmercury salt sodium ethylmercuric thiosalicylate is used. Thimerosal (C9H9HgNaO2S) is made from the combination of ethyl mercuric chloride, thiosalicylic acid, sodium hydroxide and ethanol.

Unlike methylmercury, ethylmercury has not been found to bioaccumulate[1]. The toxicity of ethylmercury is not well studied, however exposure standards based on methylmercury (such as those currently recommended by the EPA) are not demonstrated to be equivalent for ethylmercury[2].
The journal Pediatrics published a review in 2004 and found:

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/c ... 3/793#SEC1
The evidence reviewed here indicates there is no association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and NDDs, including autism. Determining the cause of autism is important for future diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. However, as the evidence reviewed here suggests, these efforts may be substantially more productive if they are redirected to other hypotheses. Autism research dollars are limited, and parents of autistic children deserve to see finances directed to where they will do the most good. In addition, the evidence reviewed here does not support a change in the standard of practice with regard to administration of thimerosal-containing vaccines in areas of the world where their use is critical, such as economically developing countries. Removal of thimerosal as a preservative has resulted in the use of single-dose vials that are more expensive and increases the need for refrigerator space and other cold chain equipment. In much of the world, these constraints represent a substantial barrier and would result in far fewer children being vaccinated against serious and life-threatening vaccine-preventable diseases. It is well documented that unfounded concerns about vaccine safety can result in decreases in vaccination rates, subsequent disease outbreaks, and inefficient and ineffective utilization of scarce financial and research resources.56,57 In the case of thimerosal and autism, a growing body of scientifically credible evidence suggests that there may be little to be gained from large additional research investments and, at a minimum, that it is time that additional significant investments in scientific or medical research related to thimerosal and autism be based on credible grounds that would lead one to believe that such investigations will contribute to understanding mechanisms that cause ASD
Besides, thimerisol has been out of vaccines since 2001. We should be seeing a huge decline in the incidence of ASD, why has this not happened?

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