Monday, April 17, 2006

Autism Parrots

One of the most irritating aspects of the mercury-causes-autism movement has to be their use of partially-trained parrots to carry on their side of the "debate". I put "debate" in inverted commas because there is no real debate going on - at least not in the sense of an intelligent exchange of viewpoints and arguments. Instead, the mercury-causes-autism proponents simply repeat - ad nauseum - the same tired, threadbare and often contradictory sound bites they have received from the "gurus" of mercurial autism.

For example, a typical exchange on this blog and many other venues might go like this:

Mercury-Causes-Autism (MCA): "Our kids aren't autistic, they're mercury-poisoned!"

Skeptic (S): "How do you know this?"

MCA: "Because my kid is getting better on chelation!"

S: "Isn't it possible that he's getting better because of the normal progression of the disorder?"

MCA: "Are you calling me a liar?!?"

S: "No, I'm just suggesting that you might be wrong. How do you know that it's the chelation that's making him better?"

MCA: "Because he's mercury-poisoned, that's why!"

(rinse, repeat)

The sad fact is that most (if not all) of the people arguing that mercury causes autism haven't got a clue what they're talking (shouting? spraying spittle?) about. Even among the "leading lights" of the mercury-causes-autism, there are few who could cogently explain how mercury disrupts protein function, let alone how it could cause autism without also causing the other hallmark signs of mercury poisoning. Of course, nobody can explain the latter - which is why the mercury-causes-autism crowd is now trying to "prove" their case in the courts, including the "court of public opinion".

In his latest newsletter, Uber-Parrot Lenny Schafer admits that the scientific merits of his pet hypothesis is utterly bankrupt. From Kev Leitch's weblog:

"Myself and other autism activists believe there is enough evidence to support a causative relationship between mercury and autism in a court of law, in front of a jury, where standards of evidence are different than that of the narrow focus of scientific findings. And if you can convince a jury, you can convince the public." (italics mine)
So, there you have it: Uber-Parrot Schafer publicly admits that the mercury-causes-autism hypothesis is dead and their only hope is try to win through propaganda and subterfuge what they couldn't prove by data.

Unfortunately, the cause of autism won't be determined by some sort of popularity contest or even an election. Unlike the worlds of business, public relations and venture capital, there are objective truths in science (Paul Feyerabend notwithstanding). If Schafer and Co. manage to "convince" the public that they are right, that mercury causes autism, will that change the facts of the matter? No.

In fact, this attempted end-run by Schafer, Blaxill, Handley and the rest of that sorry crew is likely to have a catastrophic effect on autism research, postponing any real discoveries by decades. After all, once the courts (or the legislatures) have ruled that autism is caused by mercury, then it's a simple matter: pay damages to the families, remove mercury from vaccines and other medications and then file it away under "closed cases".

But, of course, real autism isn't that simple. Only the mercury-causes-autism proponents are that simple.

So, what happens when ten or twenty years go by and there are still autistic children in the 3 - 5 year age range? And this is a certainty, mind you, not just a "what if". Well, it is possible that the mercury-causes-autism people will manage to convince the courts or public opinion or the legislatures that the sky is still falling and that the trace amounts of mercury in the air, food and water are the cause. And, given the abysmally short attention span of the public, this might just work.

However, we would still be no closer to finding out what actually causes autism than we are at this moment - in fact, we would be worse off. After all, having "definitively proven" (in the courts, legislatures and public opinion polls) that mercury causes autism, nobody (except those few real scientists involved in autism research) would care to look any further.

And once we've reduced mercury exposure to the background level (after all, mercury has been in the environment for 4.6 billion years or more), what then? Do we move everybody into orbit - or the moon? And what do we do when autism continues to occur even on our Mars colonies?

Clearly, long before any of this comes to pass, even "the public" will awaken to the fact that they've been bamboozled by the mercury-causes-autism crowd. And then the whole parrot-driven mercury-causes-autism hypothesis will be given a proper burial.

Or we can bury it now. It already smells dead.


Prometheus

21 Comments:

Blogger Flea said...

What will happen after the mercury thing is over is one of two things. Either the real cause(s) of autism will begin to emerge, or the autism crowd will move on to the next thing.

The former seems unlikely, sadly. The latter prediction requires no great leap of faith or imagination. It has happened before. See "MMR vaccine causes autism". Kanner himself, I believe, had some rather *ahem* unsavory ideas as to etiology.

best,

Flea

17 April, 2006 07:23  
Blogger Joseph said...

By early 2007 we should have a retraction from David Kirby. This might be helpful. Then again, there will never be a shortage of nutty theories.

17 April, 2006 08:02  
Blogger ballastexistenz said...

For reference, most parrots do know what they're talking about.

17 April, 2006 08:09  
Blogger Bronze Dog said...

Unless some VERY successful ways of dealing with autism (however you want to define successful) come out, they'll probably move onto blaming it on Coca-Cola switching to corn syrup, techno music, Indigo brain control waves, and Dungeons & Dragons.

17 April, 2006 08:10  
Blogger Bartholomew Cubbins said...

Joseph, a retraction from Kirby? I think you're overly optimistic. He'll simply lay the blame on those who spoon-fed him the misinformation and he'll move over to the next money scheme. He's in an enviable position: despite the fact that he's held up as a knowledgeable source, he's simply a scribe who's making the money and getting famous over other peoples' words.

17 April, 2006 08:25  
Blogger hollywoodjaded said...

mercury-causes-autism movement = Bettelheim Redux

17 April, 2006 08:40  
Blogger notmercury said...

I'd like to side with Joseph on this one but I have to agree with BC. It is extremely unlikely that we will ever see anything like a retraction out of Kirby. I doubt he will ever admit mercury wasn't to blame.

The mercury militia have painted themselves into an increasingly tighter corner and Kirby's is painted in indelible epoxy.

His only exit strategy is to claim he penned an objective accounting of the information available from various sources.

As for the DAN! Propaganda engine, they have a history of sweeping the bad ideas under the carpet and morphing to stay ahead of scientific evidence.

17 April, 2006 08:49  
Blogger Jennifer said...

As I have said before, I think the autism=mercury crowd will soon lose numbers. That's because parents of newly diagnosed children will know that their child did not receive mercury in their shots, but will also realize that the number of children with autism is not falling, because the waiting list for services will continue to be long. So, those parents are going to tell the autism=mercury parents to get lost.

What I find most fascinating is how vaccines are almost always blamed. So, I think that the next big theory will HAVE to do with vaccines. But exactly what about vaccines will be blamed, I couldn't guess

17 April, 2006 10:29  
Blogger Kev said...

re: David Kirby - he's shifted the goal posts once already. He's also refusing to engage on that point either via email, via my blog or via the Huff Po.

We've also already seen the first official appearance of the 'we don't know how much thiomersal is still on the shelves' argument coupled with the increasing misleading misinterpretations of the flu vaccine as being an 'official' part of the vaccine schedule. Expect these things to come increasingly to the fore as we near 2007. Expect them to reach fever pitch as we near the middle/latter months of 2007.

The mercury militia are in an unenviable position. They need more time to establish a causative relationship between thiomersal and autism (of course we know they could have all the time in the world and fail to deliver) as their science falls so very short in this respect. However, if they wait too long it will become obvious that autism is still at a constant level thus destroying the 'epidemic' argument which in turn destroys the thiomersal argument.

17 April, 2006 11:16  
Blogger Joseph said...

I can't wait to write "Early Downward Trends in EOHarm Activity Following Debunking of Silly Theory".

If Kirby does not retract by early 2007, it will be plain and clear for all to see that he's not an honest journalist. So he either retracts, and the theory is completely discredited, or he doesn't retract, and the top messenger is completely discredited.

17 April, 2006 12:27  
Anonymous mike stanton said...

Is anyone making a list of all the pundits in the world of journalism who are nominating and voting for Kirby as journalist of the year or for EoH as book of the year?

17 April, 2006 12:42  
Anonymous Camille said...

I have an email from Kirby where he says something like, "hey, when I'm done with this, autism is behind me. I have no personal interest in it." I can get the exact quote, but that's the flavor.

What I expect is to see the EoHarm discussions to become more and more paronoid and psychotic. They have one of the chief internet loons on there, who also has no connection to autism apart from his website links to vaccine lies and the story of the mom who cured her son of autism with a thought screen (mind control) helmet.

They have Hugh Fudenberg on there making a large number of the posts, some of which are really funny, unintentionally.

Once the mercury litigants have lost in court, they have no more need to post to EoHarm. That leaves the hard core antivaxers.

I predict that EoHarm will become the Internet equivalent of the isolated Japanese soldiers on little islands who kept up "the war" a decade after it was over.

Someone will try to tell them that the thimerosal war is over and they'll roll their heads back stare at you with the whites of their eyes showing and hiss, "NEVER! it's never over!"

I bet Kirby already has his next career move planned. He's probably already letting someone else do his "research" for him for another book. I really don't expect we'll ever see another Kirby byline in the NYT.

He may have grown to like speaking at chiropractic conventions, watch for a book on subluxations...

DAN! is already making a strategic move over to pollution in general and away from thimerosal. So watch for PCBs and flame retardants to be the next target. Which is fine, so long as there isn't a "chelation" kind of therapy proposed for it.

17 April, 2006 12:57  
Anonymous Miranda Reitz said...

The 6000% GR ad had "ACHAMP" as a cosponsor, their logo is at the bottom of the page. But just now ACHAMP put out a press release/call-to-arms that said there had been a 1500% increase. Whoa. Which is it Bob Krakow? Which is it Lujene? Which is it Lenny? One is 4 times as big as the other.

17 April, 2006 13:01  
Blogger Joseph said...

DAN! is already making a strategic move over to pollution in general and away from thimerosal.

This will also be over when rural areas catch up in their understanding of autism. Higher prevalence growth is already occurring in rural areas, but it looks like it will take a decade or so for them to catch up.

17 April, 2006 13:54  
Anonymous Nana said...

"I think that the next big theory will HAVE to do with vaccines. But exactly what about vaccines will be blamed, I couldn't guess."

That's what I'm thinking too. Maybe it's the aluminum? The preservative that replaced thimerosal? Maybe someone will look up the chemicals in the preservative and run to the nearest quack conference screaming "Look what these people are injecting into our babies"
The anti-vac liars don't care what the current reason is used to remove all vaccines. They will happily jump on the idea and the rabid environmentalists will join them.

17 April, 2006 14:14  
Anonymous anonimouse said...

Mercury parents will lose in court, most likely. Unlike the Vioxx trials, drug companies are going to have public health agencies on their side which will make it unlikely these quacks will look credible by comparison. Unless the juries are made up of closet government haters, of course. The scientific evidence for their side is SO flimsy at this point - I mean, they can't even prove with any degree of certainty that there's even BEEN an epidemic of autism, much less prove that thimerosal has anything to do with it.

I would suggest that MOST (if not all) of the mercury parents are thinly disguised anti-vaxers, however. So if it's not mercury in vaccines, it'll be something else. (formaldehyde, aluminum, etc.) Or it'll be some toxic "combination" of vaccines. Or it'll be just a "genetically susceptible subset" of kids that are affected.

But what may very well happen is that the money, from the lawyers and the celebrities especially, will dry up if they lose in court. People with something to lose don't necessarily want to be on the wrong side of history. The hardcore believers will hang on, but the groups will become mostly irrelevant.

21 April, 2006 07:52  
Blogger María Luján said...

anonimouse
I will never go to a court in my country or in any country around the world. I have no interest about.
The generalization is unfair. Every parent of autistic child is a voice and each family is a world and this deserve respect. I am not anti vaccine or anti nothing in fact. The rush in prejudgement is very tricky and I see more and more , even without any knowledge or interest in to ask the people involved why he/she thinks the way he/she does (like in this case).
I am sorry- perhaps you even do not care- but you are being extremely unfair.And yes, I do think that the combination of insults in genetically susceptible people has the potential of damage as it has other environmental insult, but unfortunately you never asked me why I think the way I do.
Sincerely
María Luján

21 April, 2006 16:51  
Blogger Prometheus said...

Anonimouse,

I think that you are overgeneralizing the "mercury parents" in your description. To be sure, some of them are exactly as you describe. Worse yet, many of the "third-party agitators" - the people who are pushing the thimerosal/vaccines-cause-autism tripe without having an affected child in their family - are just anti-vaccination for one reason or another and see this as just another way to advance their agenda.

However, most of the "mercury parents" I have met or corresponded with have simply been misinformed and angry. The mercury-causes-autism promoters simply give these parents a place to direct their anger, rather than turing it in upon themselves (or dealing with it). And it is much easier to be angry at someone for "poisoning" your child than it is to face the fact that - in all probability - there is no reason that your child has autism. Add to this the false hope that the mercury-causes-autism promoters push and it is easy to see why so many parents choose the gleaming fantasy over reality.

So, cut the parents some slack, will you? Most of them are dealing with the news as well as they are able, given the mountains of nonsense that get heaped upon them. If you want to be mad at someone, get mad at the Generation Rescue flying squads that descend on these poor folks while they're trying to digest some difficult news and bombard them with propaganda and false hope. They're the ghouls in this picture.


Maria,

I hate to rain on your parade, especially since I at least partly agree with you, but you're still on about the "genetic susceptibility to environmental insult" hypothesis as if it had some serious support.

[1] Genetic susceptibility - not demonstrated. While many studies (usually with very small numbers) purport to show that autistic children have biochemical differences from their neurotypical peers, none of these studies has shown unambiguously that autistic children are more susceptible to "toxins". And frankly, some of the studies are such a muddle that nothing intelligible can be said about their results. A good example of an ambiguous study would be the SJ James et al study. A good example of a muddle would be the Holmes-Blaxill-Haley nonsense.

[2] Environmental insults - not demonstrated to cause autism. In fact, the epidemiological data - which may be the best data we can get on this sort of problem - doesn't connect autism with either of the two "environmental insults" that loom largest in the public mind (and Internet): thimerosal and the MMR vaccine. You would think that - even if the susceptibility is genetically determined, that something that is affecting 1 in 166 children would show some association with exposure, right? You might think so, but you'd be wrong.

[3] Exposure response - refutes the connection. Thimerosal exposure is lower in children now than it has been for decades. So is environmental mercury exposure, which is down 90% since the 1950's. If this is a genetically-determined susceptibility, you have to accept that its prevalence in the population (allele frequency) will change only slowly (if at all). If so, why weren't there more autistic children in 1956 than there are now, fifty years later?

Despite a promising dip in the California DDS numbers (from data which was improperly interpreted), it now appears evident that the reported (administrative) autism prevalence continues to rise. The mercury-causes-autism movement has tried to "spin" this by arguing that there are still "trace amounts" of thimerosal in the vaccines. Even if this were so, it does not explain the continued rise. Thimerosal exposure and mercury exposure are lower now than they were two decades before the "autism epidemic" began - yet the rise continues.

Granted, I am doing my own version of comparing apples to orangutans here, since the "autism epidemic" appears to be largely the result of greater awareness and broader criteria. Still, it is generally the same people who argue for the "autism epidemic" and the thimerosal-causes-autism hypotheses. In fact, thimerosal-causes-autism leans heavily on the "autism epidemic" as one of its few (and fragile) reeds of support. Take away the one and the other falls.


As I have said before, it is dreadfully easy to imagine possible causes for everything from autism to zoster, but imagining a possible cause does not make it so. And while the "multiple environmental insults" hypothesis is more plausible than the "space aliens are practicing mind-control" hypothesis, the two share a common problem: lack of data.


Prometheus

21 April, 2006 19:23  
Blogger María Luján said...

Hi Prometheus
Thank you for you answer.
As I told you I think that the problem in autism is very complex to be reduced to single causes (thimerosal/vaccines), but I will try to answer your criticisms.
I sent to you an e-mail with several of my ideas about, perhaps you never received.

1] Genetic susceptibility - not demonstrated. While many studies (usually with very small numbers) purport to show that autistic children have biochemical differences from their neurotypical peers, none of these studies has shown unambiguously that autistic children are more susceptible to "toxins". And frankly, some of the studies are such a muddle that nothing intelligible can be said about their results. A good example of an ambiguous study would be the SJ James et al study. A good example of a muddle would be the Holmes-Blaxill-Haley nonsense.

The fact that these studies are the most discussed do not imply for me that they are the only published about the issue. I think that is really unfortunate the quality of many (but not all) of the researchers that have jumped to this camp with lack of scientific methodology or the right procedure to follow. I think that many of them have discredit so much some of the issues that the underlying theory is discarded by the quality of those that propone it.
Dr Woods has been working since 1977 in the topic of Hg genetic susceptibility in other camp and I have never seen a discussion about.:
If you do a search in pubmed you will find more than 100 manuscripts from his own.
If we focus in xenobiotics management and correlation with genetics:
In sequence, from the reaction between a xenobiotic and glutathione, several enzymes are involved: glutathione S transferase-(GSM), gama glutamyl transpeptidase, cisteynil glicinase, N acetyl transferase and finally conjugates with mercapturic acid is formed. This sequence needs adequate levels of essential amino acids, pantothenic acid for Coenzyme A and phosphorus for the synthesis of ATP.
So I wonder if besides/ beyond glutathione , that needs aminoacids , the transformation to mercapturic acid somewhat can be hindered because of problems in some of these enzymes or nutritional problems affected by genetics and epigenetics in ASD? Nobody has published never a Complete study on ASD children about this..
All the complete system of detoxification, including phase I and phase II enzymes in liver must be working to detoxify efficiently (Cytochrome 450 ).
There are many biochemical steps that can be altered, related to different polymorphisms or gene expression, to have the findings that many researchers have in ASD.
You know about my participation in Not mercury about glutathione therefore I will skip
The topic

These kinds of polymorphisms have not been studied in autistic children yet, except GMST1 and the results were positive for correlation (2006, recently published)
http://www.pubmedcentral.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=16472391

Manuscripts of Echeverria and Woods et al present the idea of susceptibility to Hg:
1-Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2005 Nov-Dec;27(6):781-96.
Chronic low-level mercury exposure, BDNF polymorphism, and associations with cognitive and motor function.
Echeverria D, Woods JS, Heyer NJ, Rohlman DS, Farin FM, Bittner AC Jr, Li T, Garabedian C.

2-Toxicol Sci. 2004 Oct;81(2):354-63. Epub 2004 Jul 14.
Chronic low-level mercury exposure, BDNF polymorphism, and associations with self-reported symptoms and mood.
Heyer NJ, Echeverria D, Bittner AC Jr, Farin FM, Garabedian CC, Woods JS.
Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.
3-Toxicol Lett. 2006 Feb 20;161(2):159-66. Epub 2005 Oct 7.
A cascade analysis of the interaction of mercury and coproporphyrinogen oxidase (CPOX) polymorphism on the heme biosynthetic pathway and porphyrin production.
Heyer NJ, Bittner AC Jr, Echeverria D, Woods JS.
4-Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2005 Aug 7;206(2):113-20.
The association between genetic polymorphisms of coproporphyrinogen oxidase and an atypical porphyrinogenic response to mercury exposure in humans.
Woods JS, Echeverria D, Heyer NJ, Simmonds PL, Wilkerson J, Farin FM.
5- Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2006 Jan-Feb;28(1):39-48. Epub 2005 Dec 15.
The association between a genetic polymorphism of coproporphyrinogen oxidase-this is CPOX-, dental mercury exposure and neurobehavioral response in humans.

Echeverria D, Woods JS, Heyer NJ, Rohlman D, Farin FM, Li T, Garabedian CE

I do think that they (BNDF, GMST, CPOX) deserves further studies or consideration under the studies of the Dr Woods . BUT I think also that, due to different genetics there are even unknown polymorphisms that can be interacting to present weakness to environmental insult of different forms. I think the porphyrine system deserve to be studied in autistics.
Remember please that some subgroups of children with ASD tested possitive for oxidative stress and mitochondrial problems.
First, I will tell you what I think and based on what premises, based on published research
a-There is individual susceptibility to toxicants based on genetics
b-There are biochemical imbalances related to the expression of these genes, even unknown
c-The epigenetics plays a role in terms also of compensating mechanisms that can be disrupted.
You will find here some ideas and material discussed on epigenetics in autism
http://www.kevinleitch.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?id=72

In the management of xenobiotics, factors affecting the toxicity of reactive metabolites are
1-Levels of activating enzymes
2-Levels of conjugating enzymes
3-Levels of cofactors or conjugating chemicals. Glutathione depletion potentiates covalent binding and hepatotoxicity…Reduced glutathione plays an important protective role rapping electrophilic metabolites and preventing binding to hepatic proteins and enzymes.
There is an entire chapter in the “Textbook of Modern Toxicology” from Hogson-2004- dedicated to Chemical and Physiological influence on xenobiotics metabolism.: Nutritional effects, Development (Phase II reactions are age dependent: for example glucuronidation, glycine levels are low the first 8 weeks in human, Transcripted “Glutathione conjugation may also be impared, because of defficiency of available glutathione”) In this book there is a figure of how there is a developmental pattern of glutathione S-transferase activity in female rats from 1 to 140 days life ( from near 5 nmoles/minml to 75 nmoles /minml) ( this is the same compoind that the polymorphism was detected in autistic and presented above).. The chapter (163-202) concludes:
The toxic sequelae will vary with developmental stage, nutritional status, health or physiological previous status.

Therefore-and please do not reduce to thimerosal and vaccines- I think that autistic children are genetically susceptible to negative impact of xenobiotics in general, including HM from different sources and toxoids managements and viruses management. Therefore I think that the COMBINATION of insults is the problem, because of weakness related to the immune system and the detox system to manage properly them, that is related to genetics. Genetics is related also to several of the structural differences are found in autistics (such as different structure and number of Purkinje cells to say one, that is prenatal)
For me, different genetics produce prenatally differences in brain structure for example-and others unknown today- and also differences in gene expression from NT (different proteomics) that affects the xenobiotics and virus/toxoid management IN GENERAL. Therefore listing the insults:
a-Vaccines (total combination of components plus preservatives) I am including here the problems with the toxoids in DpaT and the combination of viruses in MMR and the impact of crowded schedule
b-Antibiotics
c-Environmental contamination (air, food, water)
d-Oportunistic infections such as herpes and streptococus
I am talking about combination
For example
Weakness of the immune system can imply an interrelation of events, for example situations such as A bacterian infection treated with antibiotics that affects the good gut flora near a vaccination that generates a lot of subsequent bacterian infections or allergies.
You can find here
http://www.cfspages.com/mmercmicro.html a list of studies about the role of gut flora in the management of Hg and the impact of antibiotics.
Also I have included several manuscripts about the relation of genetics with epigenetics in xenobiotic management in
http://www.kevinleitch.co.uk/forum/viewforum.php?id=18
For example
J Child Neurol. 2004 Jun;19(6):413-7.
Polymorphisms in xenobiotic metabolism genes and autism.

Serajee FJ, Nabi R, Zhong H, Huq M.

Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental syndrome defined by deficits in social reciprocity and communication and by unusual repetitive behaviors. Although there is an underlying genetic predisposition, the etiology of autism is currently unknown. A recent increase in prevalence suggests that genetically determined vulnerability to environmental exposure might contribute to the causation of autism. We performed family-based association studies of polymorphisms in metal-regulatory transcription factor 1(MTF1), a multispecific organic anion transporter (ABCC1), proton-coupled divalent metal ion transporters (SLC11A3 and SLC11A2), paraoxonase 1 (PON1), and glutathione S-transferase (GSTP1) genes in 196 autistic disorder families. There was deviation from the expected pattern of transmission for polymorphisms in MTF1 (Single nucleotide polymorphism database reference identification number, dbSNP rs3790625, P = .02) and divalent metal ion transporter SLC11A3 (dbSNP rs2304704, P = .07) genes. Although these results might represent chance finding, further investigations of genetic variations of metal metabolism in autism are warranted.

[2] Environmental insults - not demonstrated to cause autism. In fact, the epidemiological data - which may be the best data we can get on this sort of problem - doesn't connect autism with either of the two "environmental insults" that loom largest in the public mind (and Internet): thimerosal and the MMR vaccine. You would think that - even if the susceptibility is genetically determined, that something that is affecting 1 in 166 children would show some association with exposure, right? You might think so, but you'd be wrong.
From the manuscript you mentioned
Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Critical Review of Published Original Data
Sarah Parker, MD James Todd, MD Benjamin Schwartz, MDLarry Pickering,
MD
This is focused on thimerosal only.
You say Environmental insults - not demonstrated to cause autism.
No, NOT CAUSE, the cause is genetics, the Hg for me is an insult that , being not properly managed in the low doses accumulation produces damages because of the weakness related to the genetics. Dr Clarkson manuscript about the danger of low doses of Hg is important about:
Silent Latency Periods in Methylmercury Poisoning and in Neurodegenerative Disease
Bernard Weiss,1 Thomas W. Clarkson,1 and William Simon2

http://www.ehponline.org/members/2002/suppl-5/851-854weiss/weiss-full.html


It is focused in thimerosal but with the analysis of a causal factor that is not my analysis. I see all these as insults for a DIFFERENT CHILD because of genetics, not as a causes, and in this sense All what I mentioned above are potential problematics
About vaccines
Perhaps your know this manuscript but I found it extremely interesting.

1-http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/members/1999/suppl-5/767-775el-fawal/el-fawal-full.html

Neuroimmunotoxicology: Humoral Assessment of Neurotoxicity and Autoimmune Mechanisms Environ Health Perspect. 1999 Oct;107 Suppl 5:767-75.

2-Eur J Dermatol. 2004 Mar-Apr;14(2):86-90.
Autoimmune diseases and vaccinations.

Vial T, Descotes J.

Centre Antipoison et Centre Regional de Pharmacovigilance, 162, avenue Lacassagne, 69424 Lyon, France. thierry.vial@chu-lyon.fr

The potential association between vaccination and autoimmune diseases has been largely questioned in the past few years, but this assumption has mostly been based on case reports. The available evidence derived from several negative epidemiological studies is reassuring and at least indicates that vaccines are not a major cause of autoimmune diseases. However, there are still uncertainties as to whether a susceptible subpopulation may be at a higher risk of developing an autoimmune disease without causing an overall increase in the disease incidence. Based on selected examples, this review highlights the difficulties in assessing this issue. We suggest that a potential link between vaccines and autoimmune diseases cannot be definitely ruled out and should be carefully explored during the development of new candidate vaccines.

Other authors you can see in pubmed Piyasirisilp S, Hemachudha T., Shoenfeld Y, Aron-Maor A.

For me, vaccines are extremely important. BUT IN GENETICALLY SUSCEPTIBLE individuals, they can produce adverse reactions. And the sad truth is that no doctor is trained to be aware of.
My point is that one child at 18 months, has received a lot of vaccines, of antibiotics, exposed to environmental toxicants and also suffered exposure to herpes/streptococus infection, many of them in combination in time (sucessively)

I have researched from different fields (toxicology, immunology, virology, etc) and the idea , such as I presented here, is biologically plausible and has some published clues to support it. I have included-following your advice and thank you for this, I will try to follow more frequently- only 10% of the literature involved.
If you are interested to point to some field in particular, I will be glad to go to a deep discussion about. I sent to you a longer manuscript with these ideas more developed but I think you never received. However, thank you for your questions
Sincerely
María Luján

22 April, 2006 08:21  
Anonymous anonimouse said...

Prometheus,

My intent was not to disparage the rank-and-file parent who may truly be misinformed about the subject. However, I think most of the public faces of the activist groups (mercury parents or no) ARE anti-vaxers at some level. I'm pretty sure the GR and SafeMinds folks are, based on email conversations they've had with hardcore anti-vaccine organizations.

I'd also suggest that some people who purport to be "on the fence" and have an "open mind" about the subject betray themselves with the same lame, tired arguments about informed choice the Barbra Loe Fishers have been spouting for years. When they start raising the questions about whether vaccines work at all (by claiming measles is a benign disease or that good nutrition or breastfeeding can protect you more than vaccines can) then I basically know they're really anti-vaccinators.

So yes, there may be a segment of people out there who buy in to the autism-mercury hypothesis at some level but are not anti-vaccine. But I'd suggest that a far greater percentage than one would like to admit is just using the mercury hypothesis as a cover.

24 April, 2006 15:02  
Blogger María Luján said...

Hi anonimouse
I disagree respectfully but totally with you. Your analysis is too simplistic.
María Luján

24 April, 2006 15:49  

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