a geographical link to autism? [and a new study]


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a geographical link to autism? [and a new study]

Postby gh » Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:23 am

Studies still long on speculation, short on hard facts, but there are clearly clusters (in LA at least)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... :b30186856
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Re: a geographical link to autism?

Postby Daisy » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:09 am

gh wrote:Studies still long on speculation, short on hard facts, but there are clearly clusters (in LA at least)

I agree about the long on speculation. Clusters could easily correlate to other things such as a better or more likely diagnosis (although I assume they try to control for that in their analysis). And even if the clusters are real, chance alone would predict some clusters. So the real key is are these clusters significant. Obviously those doing the work will think it is as their next grant depends on it. So one can't rule out conformation bias.
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Postby gh » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:29 am

I was just thrilled to see that they steered clear of raising the vaccine bogeyman again.
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Postby guru » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:37 am

Since you brought it up.....

http://www.jpands.org/vol11no1/geier.pdf
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Postby Pego » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:15 am

guru's quoted article wrote:Exposure to mercury has previously been shown to cause
immune, sensory, neurological, motor, and behavioral
dysfunctions similar to traits defining or associated with autistic
disorders, and with similarities in neuroanatomy, neurotransmitters,
and biochemistry.


Not true. No syndrome remotely similar to the cases of "autism" supposedly associated with vaccination has ever been observed with mercury exposure.

...and while we are at it;

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/ ... mr-vaccine
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Postby Daisy » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:43 am

Pego's quoted article wrote:Wakefield and two other doctors at the Royal Free hospital in London were brought before the GMC over the paper they published in February 1998 in the Lancet medical journal.

On the basis of case studies of just eight children, it suggested that measles virus might be linked to inflammatory bowel disease, which in turn might play a role in autistic spectrum disorder.

The paper conceded that the doctors had not found a definite link, but Wakefield, in a press conference, told the world he believed the measles, mumps and rubella vaccines in the MMR jab should not be given in one combined shot, but in single doses, preferably a year apart. It triggered a furore and was the direct cause of the major slump in take-up of MMR which has led to outbreaks of measles in some parts of the country.

.......

But investigations revealed more. In June 1997, before the paper was published, he filed a patent as one of the inventors of a vaccine for the elimination of measles virus and for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.

In February 1998, the same month as the Lancet paper, he applied for ethical permission to run a trial of a new potential measles vaccine and set up a company called Immunospecifics Biotechnologies Ltd which would produce and sell it.


Sounds like he had good financial reasons to push his idea.
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Postby jhc68 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:35 pm

I'd bet that finances also explain the cluster in northwest LA.
That's where the $$$ is also concentrated and with it concentrations of both health insurance and highly-educated, involved parents.
Maybe there is simply more diagnosis rather than more actual incidence of autism in this area.
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Postby cullman » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:44 pm

Pego's quoted article also wrote:"Wakefield, now based in the US, has also been found not to have been open with the Lancet. He did not tell them that £55,000 funding for the study came from the legal aid board. Wakefield was advising Richard Barr, a solicitor who wanted evidence to sue the vaccine manufacturers on behalf of the parents of children with autism. It was a clear conflict of interest and should have been declared."

Coincidently, today's CBC National News:

"A medical journal in Britain has retracted a controversial study it published in 1998 that linked the use of a vaccine in children to autism."

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/02/ ... z0eSMqWaEC
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Postby guru » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:50 am

Just to be clear, Wakefield has absolutely no connection to the study I referenced, which was published in the Spring 2006 Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.
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Postby Pego » Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:48 am

guru wrote:Just to be clear, Wakefield has absolutely no connection to the study I referenced, which was published in the Spring 2006 Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.


Since I never heard of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons before, I looked it up. Here is a link to a review article.

http://conwebwatch.tripod.com/stories/2 ... icine.html

A paragraph from the review.

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons seems to be little more than a conservative publication gussied up with a medical spin. A look at the references in the illegal-alien report, written by Madeleine Pelner Cosman -- a "medical lawyer" whose previous claim to fame appears to be a book on medieval cooking but who has also written an article for a group called Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership -- is chock full of hardline conservative cites, including books by Michelle Malkin and former WND writer (and Slantie winner) Jon Dougherty and articles by Phyllis Schlafly and Tom DeWeese.
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Postby BisonHurdler » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:50 am

cullman wrote:
Pego's quoted article also wrote:"Wakefield, now based in the US, has also been found not to have been open with the Lancet. He did not tell them that £55,000 funding for the study came from the legal aid board. Wakefield was advising Richard Barr, a solicitor who wanted evidence to sue the vaccine manufacturers on behalf of the parents of children with autism. It was a clear conflict of interest and should have been declared."

Coincidently, today's CBC National News:

"A medical journal in Britain has retracted a controversial study it published in 1998 that linked the use of a vaccine in children to autism."

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/02/ ... z0eSMqWaEC




That "study", as I understand it, was the real impetus for the whole mercury-in-vaccines-causes-autism movement (or at least gave it legs).

That damage really can't be undone.
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Postby guru » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:02 am

It's amazing to me how many medical professionals think it's a good thing to ingest mercury on a regular basis(yearly for many people).

And as for where this(vaccine concerns) all started, it was the DPT issue in the 80's.

As I've stated before, it's interesting there is federal law protecting the financial liability of vaccine makers.
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Postby Halfmiler2 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:08 am

It is constantly cite in NJ that we have 1 out of 95 boys on the autistic spectrum compared to 1 out of 211 nationally. My guess is that the clusters may be at least partially due to more frequent diagnosis in high income area - Because of greater awareness and availability of special programs.
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Postby Pego » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:15 am

guru wrote:It's amazing to me how many medical professionals think it's a good thing to ingest mercury on a regular basis(yearly for many people).


What is amazing to me is that an intelligent person like you would utter something like this. Trace metals are all around you, in the air, water, fruits...It requires certain concentration to become toxic.
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Postby guru » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:17 am

A single shot isn't the problem. And as you know, Mercury never leaves the body.

Shall we discuss the sharp uptick in Alzheimers over the last two decades?
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Postby Pego » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:22 am

guru wrote:A single shot isn't the problem. And as you know, Mercury never leaves the body.

Shall we discuss the sharp uptick in Alzheimers over the last two decades?


Sure, let's. First of all, let's establish a fundamental change in what is considered an Alzheimer's disease - from Presenile dementia Alzheimer's type to Senile dementia Alzheimer type to all sorts of dementias, cortical and subcortical.

As far as mercury is concerned, once again, nothing in the cases of autism resemble known evidence of mercury poisoning (centuries of data gathering). Doesn't that tell you something?
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Postby Daisy » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:52 am

Pego wrote:A paragraph from the review.

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons seems to be little more than a conservative publication gussied up with a medical spin. ...........-- is chock full of hardline conservative cites, including books by Michelle Malkin and former WND writer (and Slantie winner) Jon Dougherty and articles by Phyllis Schlafly and Tom DeWeese.


Actually, the Schlafly family write articles for it too.

Here is one from Andrew L. Schlafly, Esq. :roll:
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Postby guru » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:18 am

Great. Well we know at least one physician on this board considers yearly trace ingestion of mercury to be of no concern. Position noted.

I, however, will continue to choose to avoid any intentional ingestion(for myself, and certainly for any children of mine) of a metal that clears buildings, and brings out hazmat suits, when just a few grams(or less) is accidentally spilled.
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Postby BisonHurdler » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:32 am

guru wrote:Great. Well we know at least one physician on this board considers yearly trace ingestion of mercury to be of no concern. Position noted.

I, however, will continue to choose to avoid any intentional ingestion(for myself, and certainly for any children of mine) of a metal that clears buildings, and brings out hazmat suits, when just a few grams(or less) is accidentally spilled.



Well now you're confusing elemental and organic mercury (elemental is the slick-looking T1000-looking stuff whose vapors are what you're trying to avoid during spills, while organic is in fish [methyl-] and vaccines [ethyl-])..

I understand your position, but that stance isn't much different than me refusing to use table salt because chlorine gas is deadly.

In principle, yes, organic mercury can cause toxicity. At much much higher doses than anyone is administering via vaccines, even accounting for accumulation in the body's tissues.

I'll gladly take my chances with miniscule amounts of mercury that have not been shown to cause any of the terrible things people suggest, rather than take my chances with some nasty bugs.
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Postby guru » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:43 am

BisonHurdler wrote:Well now you're confusing elemental and organic mercury.

I understand your position, but that stance isn't much different than me refusing to use table salt because chlorine gas is deadly.



Ok, apples to apples then, you consider it safe to eat mercury-contaminated fish?
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Postby BisonHurdler » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:46 am

guru wrote:
BisonHurdler wrote:Well now you're confusing elemental and organic mercury.

I understand your position, but that stance isn't much different than me refusing to use table salt because chlorine gas is deadly.



Ok, apples to apples then, you consider it safe to eat mercury-contaminated fish?



Yes, because again the amounts needed to cause toxic effects are significantly higher than what I would reasonably expect to consume.

I don't begrudge anyone for at least taking the time to consider the effects of mercury on one's health. And I'm clearly not advocating anyone go play in a vat of the stuff. But from what I consider to be a sensible standpoint, the benefits of vaccinations far outweigh the risks of mercury toxicity. To avoid vaccinations based on the fear of mercury poisoning - particularly when there is no evidence to support such worry - is, in my opinion, tossing out the measles-ridden baby with the bathwater.
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Postby guru » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:52 am

Fair enough. That's a position you have taken for yourself, and you're certainly entitled to it, though many professionals in the field would disagree.
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Postby Pego » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:53 am

guru wrote:Great. Well we know at least one physician on this board considers yearly trace ingestion of mercury to be of no concern. Position noted.


This sort of misrepresentation of what I said sends me out of the debate pronto.
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Postby Daisy » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:05 am

guru wrote:though many professionals in the field would disagree.

But what is the consensus? You can always find some that will be on the other side of the debate.

Are there a significant number? Who funds them? Do they have ulterior motives for taking such a stance, i.e. the guy with the patent or company that benefits from policy change.
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Postby guru » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:10 am

So you would be ok feeding mercury-contaminated fish to your family Daisy?
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Postby Daisy » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:18 am

guru wrote:So you would be ok feeding mercury-contaminated fish to your family Daisy?

As biosonhurdler said, it is the quantities that need to be considered. And the vaccines are not methylmercury. Biologists are not saying that 'some' is dangerous.

The only rational thing for people who fear vaccines is to avoid all fish and shellfish. Possibly grains too as cadmium and other heavy metals are present in those foods, especially where fields have higher levels of heavy metals.

There are many things I would fear more. Tanning beds for one. Smoking another.
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Postby gm » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:50 pm

Daisy wrote:There are many things I would fear more. Tanning beds for one. Smoking another.


I have tried to limit my breathing on many occasions due to the poisons in the air. Hasn't worked real well, I always start back up right after I pass out. Damn faulty body! :twisted:
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Postby Pego » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:13 pm

gm wrote:
Daisy wrote:There are many things I would fear more. Tanning beds for one. Smoking another.


I have tried to limit my breathing on many occasions due to the poisons in the air. Hasn't worked real well, I always start back up right after I pass out. Damn faulty body! :twisted:


Next thing to eliminate are all those toxins in water :wink: .
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Postby bad hammy » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:38 pm

My parents used to drive me around in a Mercury Meteor, so I must be doomed . . .

Image
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Postby gm » Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:57 pm

bad hammy wrote:My parents used to drive me around in a Mercury Meteor, so I must be doomed . . .


Especially if you were going to see Mercury Morris play...
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Postby JRM » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:17 pm

Don't forget Freddie Mercury -- and he's dead. Surely that can't be a coincidence!
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Postby bad hammy » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:40 pm

JRM wrote:Don't forget Freddie Mercury -- and he's dead.

So is the Meteor . . .
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Postby rasb » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:11 pm

"Mercury Blues" by Alan Jackson is alive and well ---- great artist and great song, particularly if you are old enough to remember the vehicle...
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Postby gh » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:57 pm

cullman wrote:
Pego's quoted article also wrote:"Wakefield, now based in the US, has also been found not to have been open with the Lancet. He did not tell them that £55,000 funding for the study came from the legal aid board. Wakefield was advising Richard Barr, a solicitor who wanted evidence to sue the vaccine manufacturers on behalf of the parents of children with autism. It was a clear conflict of interest and should have been declared."

Coincidently, today's CBC National News:

"A medical journal in Britain has retracted a controversial study it published in 1998 that linked the use of a vaccine in children to autism."

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/02/ ... z0eSMqWaEC


The SF Chronicle found the Lancet retraction to be so significant that it devoted its main Sunday editorial to the subject. The conclusion was rather pointed (my bold):

<<...Disposing of a flawed theory on autism is one issue. But there's another that may be harder to end: a disregard for science. That may be the ultimate casualty of a misguided hunt for an answer to autism.>>

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... z0fBFPup2j
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Flawed science?

Postby mamo » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:28 pm

A disregard for science? Impossible. Man-caused climate change has been conclusively proven, and as soon as I dig out of the 4 feet of snow at my front door, I will demolish the nay-sayers. The glaciers are melting, damn it, so it has to be true (please tell the man behind the curtain that glaciers have never, ever, melted in the past).
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Postby gh » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:44 pm

I rest my case: what's happening out your back door at any given moment has zero to do with the planet as a whole.
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Postby Daisy » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:56 pm

gh wrote:I rest my case: what's happening out your back door at any given moment has zero to do with the planet as a whole.

Not to mention it is a misconception that science claims to 'conclusively prove' anything.
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Postby BisonHurdler » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:12 pm

The trendy thing to do these days is attempt to prove science wrong by simply yelling louder than the guy with facts.

I'm not sure what drives the anti-intellectualism movement, but it seems like now more than ever people are desperately seeking any possible way to expose scientists for the ignoramuses they believe them to be.

Maybe it's the extra free time from all the layoffs.
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Postby Daisy » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:44 pm

BisonHurdler wrote:I'm not sure what drives the anti-intellectualism movement

Here is something to chew on. Possibly education is hurting.
Susan Jacoby wrote: I say in my book that Americans are unwilling to look at how really bad our educational system is because we've all been propagandized with the idea that we're number one. That may have been true after World War II, but not anymore. The idea that we're number one and special and better than everybody else is a very powerful factor in American life, and it prevents us from examining certain respects in which we're not number one.

And our most common source of information is compounding the problem.
Susan Jacoby wrote: We've always had more faith in technology than other countries. One of our problems with computers is that we believe in technological solutions to what are essentially non-technological problems. Not knowing is a non-technological problem. The idea that the Web is an answer to knowing nothing is wrong, but it's something that Americans -- with our history of believing in technology as the solution to everything -- are particularly susceptible to.


Quotes from an interview by Terrence McNally titled How Anti-Intellectualism Is Destroying America.
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Postby Pego » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:43 am

BisonHurdler wrote:The trendy thing to do these days is attempt to prove science wrong by simply yelling louder than the guy with facts.


This has been trendy for quite some time. A time honored tradition throughout history. Then, as yelling loud is not enough, you burn the book, then the author, then the reader.
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