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Autism's Theoretical Causes: Mercury and Vaccines--An Editorial

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Autism related image Photo: Getty Images

In addition to genetics and metabolism, mercury exposure and vaccines have been implicated as a possible cause of autism. My previous article covered studies about genetic and metabolism causes and this article continues with research regarding vaccines.

Old style DPT vaccines used to contain thimerosal, a 49 percent mercury compound. Some DTaP vaccines still contain small amounts of mercury, according to the CDC Pink Book. Other vaccines, such as Hepatitis B and flu shots contain the full amount of thimerosal.

Some researchers believe that the increasing number of vaccines given at one time to a developing infant are a cause of autism, particularly as the blood/brain barrier is not yet complete.

A study in the Annals of Epidemiology found that newborn boys who had received Hepatitis B vaccine were three times more likely to be diagnosed with an ASD compared with boys who hadn’t had the jab.

"Findings suggest that U.S. male neonates vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine had a 3-fold greater risk of ASD; risk was greatest for non-white boys." (2)

Autism symptoms and mercury poisoning symptoms are virtually identical. The Journal of Immunotoxicology wrote:

"Autistic brains show neurotransmitter irregularities that are virtually identical to those arising from mercury exposure. Due to the extensive parallels between autism and mercury poisoning, the likelihood of a causal relationship is great."

These neurotransmitter irregularities may be the reason why some autistic children have sensory processing disorders. (1)

MMR Vaccine

MMR vaccine is considered a possible cause of autism. In 1998 a gastroenterologist called Andrew Wakefield and his team of clinicians identified 12 children, eight of whom suffered regressive autism and gastrointestinal disease. After publishing this case paper, concluding that it did NOT prove an association with MMR, Dr. Wakefield studied a further 161 children, 91 of whom had bowel disease and a further 70 who did not.

He found measles virus in the guts of 75 of the children with bowel disease and only in five of the healthy children. He called this condition "measles enterocolitis".

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EmpowHER Guest

I discovered the cause of autism without realising it over twenty yars ago when I worked with a large group of autistic parents. Both men and women displayed marked characteristics that were oddly disproportionate. Professor Boyd Haley's words years later caused me to almost rise out of my seat as the realisation dawned upon me that it was all there to be seen many years before. But it was a fluke and perhaps might only be seen in those circumstances. It is entirely to do with testosterone and mercury (and possibly other toxins too) but it is present in every autistic person I have ever known (some hundreds).

Tony Bateson, Cheltenham, Glos. UK.

September 9, 2011 - 3:21am

Case paper and case study isthe same thing, but neither are a double-blinded, controlled trial, they are simply when a doctor writes up case notes about his patients and publishs them. All Dr. Wakefield did was say he had these patients and he had observed that autistic patients had colitis and that when the colitis was treated, frequently the autistic symptoms would improve. The thing that made it controversial was the fact that eight of the patient's autism came on after MMR and the parents felt it was related so Dr. Wakefield suggested doing some research into MMR, although he said that his observations DIDN'T prove an association with MMR. Despite this, medical establishments and the media have repeatedly mis-quoted and called it an anti-vaccine study and made out he said MMR was causing autism when he concluded nothing of the kind. All he said was, I think this should be looked into and it isn't politically correct to even question vaccines. The retraction of that initial case paper was political because he had concluded that he hadn't enough evidence to prove an association with MMR...so what's to retract, that MMR doesn't cause autism? You can't retract a possibility and a request for research. It was merely a political move to discourage other doctors from looking at vaccines and certainly from mentioning them in public.

I too would like a study that looks at totally vaccinated and totally unvaccinated but they haven't done this. I would certainly volunteer my children if such a study were in place. Parents have been asking the CDC for years, and other organisations.

There are many other studies that show colitis in regressive autism, which is what Andrew Wakefield was reporting:


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19214283 (from 2009).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19564647 (from 2009).

http://jmm.sgmjournals.org/content/54/10/987.short (2005).

Those are just a few. Some criticize the fact that there were only 12 children in his case notes and you need more than that to diagnose a new illness, well, Dr. Hans Asperger only had 11 patients in his case notes when he diagnosed Asperger's syndrome.

Mercury was reduced in vaccines, but not removed, and at the same time they added in routine flu vaccines with thimerosal in them, and it's in the Hep B vaccine. Here is the schedule for 2001:


And here's the schedule for 2004 with flu vaccine added in:


In the UK we also supposedly removed most of the thimerosal but then they added it into other vaccines, like H1N1. It is still present in amounts of 3mcg or less per shot but there many vaccines at frequent intervals and thimerosal has a cumulative effect.

There's nothing wrong with medical hypothises journal. The point of science is that hypothises are discussed and debated constantly, that's the nature of science. If it were to stand still with one viewpoint and refuse to look at opposing evidence, that is not science. The title hypothises suggests that it is a journal that discusses possible theoretical ideas in science, not things that have been 'proven'. If people can't even discuss an issue because it isn't popular, that isn't science.

When Sir Issac Newton discovered gravity, everyone thought he was a nut job.

Likewise, smoking was considered safe and even beneficial for your health a few years ago and people who published anti-smoking studies were called crackpots and there was the same yo-yo effect seen with MMR, studies showing safety, studies showing it's not safe, before the lung cancer/cigarette connection was proven.

I will continue to report on the medical studies on this issue. Maybe in the end they will conclude MMR isn't a concern, maybe they won't. There are all sorts of other issues too, such as pollution, diet, ultrasound scans etc that I am reporting on. (I started with genetics and metabolism and will be continuing on other areas). I won't shy away from vaccines because it isn't PC.

September 9, 2011 - 2:00am
(reply to Joanna Karpasea-Jones)

Joanna wrote:
"I too would like a study that looks at totally vaccinated and totally unvaccinated but they haven't done this. I would certainly volunteer my children if such a study were in place. Parents have been asking the CDC for years, and other organisations."

It has been explained, again and again and again, why a prospective double blind study on vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children would be impossible to do and deeply unethical.

The most thorough and in-depth discussion of a prospective study on "vaccinated vs. unvaccinated" was written by an independent health care professional at the blog Harpocrates Speaks. It was published earlier this year (2011), and It's in four parts :

Part 1 is an overview of study design (prospective vs. retrospective

Part 2 is a history of medical research ethics:

Part 3 is an ethical evaluation of any such prospective study

Part 4 is the legal perspective on doing such a study

Given that Joanne has previously said something to the effect that she studies such things in depth, I am sure she will read these four posts and report on her new understanding of the real limitations of doing such a prospective study.

September 10, 2011 - 10:06pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to AnnieG)

So it is ok to inject kids with medicine that has not been proven safe and effective? Kinda stupid, no?
There are many communities that do not vaccinate because of religion or medical conditions. It would not be unethical. The subjects exist without having to "put anyone in harm's way".

October 13, 2011 - 1:20pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Joanna Karpasea-Jones)

Why don't you simply state that you don't know what you're writing about rather than make readers wade through multiple paragraphs and meaningless citations that prove the point?

September 9, 2011 - 5:18pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Joanna Karpasea-Jones)

No, you're wrong again. Wakefield claimed evidence for an association of MMR with the ONSET of ASD and GI symptoms. The papers that you cite show nothing of the sort.

His paper was retracted because he lied.

September 9, 2011 - 7:16am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Did you actually read Wakefield's paper? I did. He suggested nothing of the sort. He merely reported what the parents told him. He did not say there was a connection. He said more research was needed. He did not lie, he did not falsify information. He reported exactly what he had seen in these children's gut tissue. That's all. He was crucified because he dared question vaccine safety. Now, the very people who spoke against him are actually citing his work in their studies. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0024585

October 13, 2011 - 1:18pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Yes, he suggested there was a problem with it because parents were coming to him saying 'my child was normal, they had the vaccine, they developed terrible bowel symptoms and regressed into autism'

He suggested in that paper to do further research into the issue. I've read the entire paper, I was faxed it in 1998 when it came out, on the day of publication. I also had a phone conversation with Andrew Wakefield at that time and he merely suggested investigating.

The NHS of the UK had already brought over the original MMR vaccine after it had been banned in Canada for causing meningitis and they used it on British kids under a different name just because it was cheaper than the other MMR. Then it caused an aseptic meningitis epidemic here and some UK kids died, before they withdrew it. So they don't seem to have children as their first priority.

It wasn't just the fact that MMR was mentioned. The medical establishment are denying the possibility of autistic enterocolitis because they say autism isn't a damage condition, it isn't a disease condition, it's purely a mental disability. They don't acknowledge that some children have recovered and they don't acknowledge the gut/brain connection or the fact that the main part of the immune system is in the gut so the autistic children are showing immune dysfunction by having these bowel pathologies. The studies I showed you do show autistic enterocolitis.

And as I said, there have been plenty of studies showing that increased vaccination causes increased autism, some published in 2011, by other scientists, not just Wakefield.

September 9, 2011 - 9:48am
EmpowHER Guest

You certainly managed to cram a great deal of misinformation into a single article: You included virtually all the anti-vaccine talking points in an effort that might well confuse the naïve parents in your audience.

A minor point: Wakefield did not, as you indicated, write a “case paper.” Perhaps you simply repeated or misinterpreted something you read on an anti-vaccine website; you must mean a “case study.” More importantly, though, it is quite clear that Wakefield was wrong, whether or not (as stated by the editors of the British Medical Journal) his work was fraudulent and whether or not you agree with the UK General Medical Council that he was repeatedly dishonest.
For example, the PCR primers that Wakefield used to detect “measles” in his gut and CSF samples clearly react to normal human DNA, and the reaction results cannot be distinguished as false positives unless additional careful work is performed, which Wakefield simply did not do but which was done in this emphatic take-down of Wakefield’s PCR work: http://pediatrics.aapublications.org/cgi/reprint/118/4/1664. In a.ddition, of course, Wakefield’s work also included the production of “positive” results even when there was no sample at all in the reaction, as shown in this unusually pointed analysis by a PCR expert who devoted 1,500 hours to analyzing the equipment, protocols, and original laboratory notebooks related to Wakefield’s PCR work: http://www.badscience.net/wp-content/uploads/erp_mmr.pdf. In addition, the ONLY attempt to replicate his results suggesting a temporal link between MMR vaccination and the onset of ASD and GI symptoms showed conclusively that Wakefield was wrong; the authors of this careful case-control study, which included Wakefield’s former business partner and co-author, concluded: “The work reported here eliminates the remaining support for the hypothesis that ASD with GI complaints is related to MMR exposure." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2526159/?tool=pubmed

BTW, your support for the recent paper that suggests an increase in the risk of ASD associated with hepatitis B vaccination is also surprising. Given that the apparent prevalence of ASD has undeniably increased in recent decades, you might think that the authors would have stratified the data by age since the odds of ASD diagnosis clearly increase in later birth cohorts. The authors did not do this. Skewing the age distribution in their two groups could in itself account for their results, but we simply cannot tell since the authors did make even the most rudimentary efforts to provide that critical information: not only did they fail to include that analysis, they didn’t even include such basic information as basic age-related parameters of the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups. That's weird.

Similarly, this statement is false: ““Autism” symptoms and mercury poisoning symptoms are virtually identical.” Nope. You might want to check the testimony of Dr. Patricia Rodier, one of the very few people in the world who is expert on both autism and mercury toxicity: "My conclusion is that the allegation has no scientific support and is highly improbable.” Dr. Rodier’s expert report for the Omnibus Autism Proceedings is available here: http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/autism/Expert%20Reports/King_03-584V/ExEE_Rodier_Report_03-584.pdf. You may also be interested in this thorough refutation of that failed hypothesis: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/111/3/674.long.

Of course, you should also understand that dramatic decreases in exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines in several countries have been shown by independent groups of investigators to have been followed, even years later, by continuing increases in the prevalence of autism, as shown in this recent article: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/111/3/674.long.

Honestly, you should consider refraining from commenting on subjects that you do not understand.

September 8, 2011 - 6:13pm
EmpowHER Guest

"Autism symptoms and mercury poisoning symptoms are virtually identical. "
Not even remotely true .This myth comes from a 2000 paper in "Medical Hypothesis", a vanity journal, by non-scientists.


September 8, 2011 - 4:50pm
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