Sunday, November 29, 2015

The No Epidemic Hypothesis

In 1999, when my son was in 6th grade, the CDC maintained that the autism rate was holding constant at 1/2500.  At the time, my son was one of 4 autistic children in a school of 250 children. If the 1/2500 held true then my son's school would have defied some very high odds to get that many autistic children.  It was not until February 2007 that the CDC admitted that the autism rate was actually higher.  Two years ago my doctor was trying to convince me that the reason we are seeing so many autistic children now is because we are just better at diagnosing them.  There is no real rise in the number of autistic children.  For me the claims showed that the medical community was talking out of both sides of their mouth.  The autism rate is 1/2500 and holding steady and it is all diagnostics says the same thing - there is no autism epidemic. 

I was 28 before I ever even heard of autism.  It showed up in a 60 minutes article as a very rare childhood development illness.  I did not yet have children though my first was coming soon at the time.  My parents had not heard of autism until I told them that my son had autism.  Yet autism is so hard to miss.  It is hard to miss the touch sensitivity, the sound sensitivity, the need for routine, the rocking, the stimming, the ritualistic and repetitive behaviors, the aphasia which scream autism and nothing else.  When I was 28 the autism rate was said to be 1/10000.  So if the autism rate was really 1/68 then we missed 146 out of 147 autistic children.  Seriously?

I watched as the CDC changed the autism rate from 1/10000 to 1/2500 to 1500 to 1/166 to 1/88 to 1/68 and this is not an autism epidemic?  I looked at the California school statistics and saw the rates rise year by year and this is not an autism epidemic?

The Somalis came to Minnesota as refugees.  If you watch the Minnesota news reports, the Minnesota school districts show that the autism rate among the Somali population is 1/32 children.  But the autism population among the children born in Somalia is zero.  How does this square with the idea that there is no autism epidemic?  Did the Somalis callously leave their autistic children back in Somalia?  This would mean that they were able to diagnose their autistic children while we medically sophistical westerners could not tell the difference between autistic children and other children.  It would mean that the Somali mothers and fathers were able to overcome their conscience and en masse leave their autistic children behind.  The only way to dismiss the Somali experience is to simply dismiss it. 

But look at the papers saying that there is no autism epidemic.

There are others, but I will not belabor this blog with it.  So the question is why.  The medical community did not accept the idea of an autism epidemic in 1999.  Many in the medical community still do not accept the idea of an autism epidemic.  What is going on in the medical minds?  I cannot claim to be able to read the minds of the medical community.  Nevertheless here is what I see. 

First, the medical community has maintained that autism and vaccines are not related.  There is no causal link.  When parents reported that their child was progressing normally right up until they had their ____ vaccine, the medical community dismissed every one of these claims as anecdotal.  Without controlled studies, it is not possible to simply accept the idea that there were children who regressed into autism after vaccination.  Then when other parents produced video evidence belying the medical community's idea that they could dismiss the parents' claims as anecdotal, it became a matter of simply being post hoc events.  Autism regression occurs at these ages.  Just because the child regresses after a vaccination does not mean that the vaccination caused the autistic regression.  Fair enough, but for vaccination to cause autistic regression, it has to occur prior to the autistic regression.  The video evidence and the parents' testimony all say the same thing, vaccine followed by autistic regression.  While you can't prove vaccines caused autistic regression simply by proving that the regression happened after the vaccination, you can prove that the vaccine had nothing to do with it if the autistic regression happened before the vaccine.  So far, no such proof has been forthcoming. 

Second, the medical community regards vaccination as a pillar of modern health.  How will they answer the question, "If 1/68 children become autistic then how is the vaccination program worth this sacrifice?"  This is countered with exaggeration and scare tactics.  Look at the measles:

The CDC claims that:
  • About 1 in 4 people in the U.S. who get measles will be hospitalized
  • 1 out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling, which could lead to brain damage
  • 1 or 2 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best care
From 1958 to 1960 there were an average of 503,282 cases of measles reported in the US with an average of 432 deaths.  But these were the reported measles cases.  The unreported cases were many times the reported cases.  The reported death rate in the US prior to the measles vaccination is greatly exaggerated.  The actual numbers may have been as high as 5 million cases.  That would have overwhelmed the hospitals with over 1 million hospitalized cases.  Here is the death rates reported for the US for measles.  How much of the change is due to the vaccine?    Right now most Americans believe the medical community when they say that there is no connection between autism and vaccines.  If the American people stop believing then they will start to pay attention to the data shown below in the graph.


Here is the real problem of an autism epidemic.  Autism is not communicable.  There is no such thing as a genetic epidemic.  People's genes do not change that quickly and they do not change all over the world among different populations spontaneously.  It requires an environmental cause.  That cause has to correlate with the autism epidemic.

It has to grow up in the last three decades.  There was no epidemic in the 50's and 60's.  There is now.
It has to be world wide.
It has to affect infants and toddlers.
It has to have access to the brain.
It has to be able to cause inflammation since autistic autopsies consistently show inflammation markers in the brains of autistic children.

Vaccines correlate as a possible environmental cause.  So far, nobody has come up with another serious contender.  Proof?  A good lawyer can get them off the hook for beyond any reasonable doubt.  On the other hand, vaccines are still the number one suspect in the autism epidemic.  If doctors believed that vaccines caused autism then they would know that all of these cases of autism were done by their hands.  That is a good reason for not wanting to believe that there is an autism epidemic. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Vaccine table

Take a look at this table.  This is a table taken from CDC vaccine data showing three of the ingredients in vaccines.  The method of showing that a vaccine has nothing to do with autism is to take a vaccinated population and remove one of the vaccines, one of the lines from the table.  Then when the rate of autism is not significantly different from the normal vaccinated population, that vaccine is declared to have no effect on the autism rate.

But suppose that one of these three ingredients were responsible for the autism rate.  How would removing one of many vaccines from the vaccine schedule significantly affect the autism rate?  It wouldn't.  If one of these three ingredients were responsible for the autism epidemic then not even the excluded vaccine could be exonerated.

The bottom line is that the conclusion that any vaccine has been exonerated by such experiments is invalid.  All such experiments have to be thrown out.  Unfortunately, this is the method that has been used by the med community to "prove" that there is no connection between autism and vaccines.

So much for leaving science to the scientists.

Aluminum Foreign Protein Form-aldehyde
Adenovirus x
Anthrax (Biothrax) x x x
BCG (Tice)
DT (Sanofi) x x x
DTaP (Daptacel) x x x
DTaP (Infanrix) x x x
DTaP (Tripedia) x x x
DTaP-IPV (Kinrix) x x x
DTaP-HepB-IPV (Pediarix) x x x
DTaP-IPV/Hib (Pentacel) x x x
Hib (ActHIB) x x
Hib (Hiberix) x
Hib (PedvaxHIB) x
Hib/Hep B (Convax) x x x
Hep A (Havrix) x x x
Hep A (Vaqta) x x x
Hep B (Engerix-B) x x
Hep B (Recombivax) x x x
HepA/Hep B (Twinrix) x x x
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) (Gardasil) x x
Influenza (Afluria)
Influenza (Fluarrix) x
Influenza (Fluvirin) x Nonylhenol ethoxylate
Influenza (Flulaval) x x
Influenza (Fluzone:  Standard, High-Dose, & Intradermal) x x
Influenza (Flumist) x
Japanese Encephalitis (Ixiaro) x x x
Meningococcal (MCV4-Menactra) x
Meningococcal (MCV4-Menveo) x x
Meningococcal (MPSV4-Menomune) x
MMRV (ProQuad) x
Pneumococcal (PCV12 - Prevnar 13) x x
Polio (IPV - Ipol) x x
Rabies (RabAvert) x phenol
Rotovirus (RotaTeq) x
Rotavirus (Rotarix) x
Smallpox (Vaccinia -  x phenol
Td (Decavac) x x x
Td (Tenivac) x x x
Tdap (Adacel) x x x
Tdap (Boostrix) x x x
Typhoid (inactivated - Typhim V1) phenol
Typhoid (oral - Ty21A) x
Varicella (Varivax) x
Yellow Fever (YF-Vax) x
Zoster (Shingles - Zostavax) x

Monday, September 5, 2011

One year to go

David is now 24 years old.  He is starting on his last year before he will achieve a BS in Electrical Engineering.  He is starting on his senior project where he is working on a robot car with a few other EE students.  He is still doing well and maintaining a high B average.

I have him living in his own apartment.  This is not because I want him out of the house.  It is because I want him to learn all of the things about living by himself that will make him self reliant.  He  has to handle a checkbook and pay bills like the rest of us.  He has to do his own cooking and his own laundry.  He has to keep his apartment clean.

He graduates in May.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A major change

How many believe in the gluten free, casein free (GFCF) diet?  It did not work for David.  He was on it for about a year without any change.  For me, the GFCF diet is the right idea with the wrong approach.  It works for a small percent of the autistic population, though I have to say that if you have an autistic child who is one of that percentage, it can be a big thing.  My brother's son is an Aspie.  Both he and his wife have told me that the GFCF diet is a real pain to keep up with.  At the same time, it is not nearly as bad as what happens to their son when he gets off the GFCF diet.

I have several problems with the GFCF diet.  It is based on leakage of gluten and casein peptides into the blood stream through the blood gut barrier.  There is evidence for this in the urine samples.  It makes sense to try it because as medical interventions go, a) It does not hurt, b) It is not that expensive, c) It is hard to think of any way it would have side effects, d) With those for whom it does work, the effects can be profound.  On the other hand, are gluten and casein peptides the only peptides that leak into the gut?  And, if the blood-gut barrier is permeable, then what about the blood-brain barrier?  The GFCF diet begs both of those questions.  Yet these two questions could explain why the GFCF diet is effective on some and not on others.  It could also explain why the GFCF diet helps but it does not change the fundamental fact that the child is autistic.

When David was in the seventh grade, I came across a paper that talked about glutathione being in the bile which is secreted by the liver.  Anyone who has read my previous posts knows that I am interested in glutathione and the sulfur amino acid chemistry.  So the question was why does the liver put glutathione in the bile?  It is very seldom that you find the body doing something like this without a reason.  The paper speculated that glutathione is in the bile to preserve the blood-gut barrier.  Put this with the low levels of autistic glutathione and gut leakage it is a reasonable, though unproven hypothesis that low levels of glutathione mean gut leakage which in turn means behavior problems for autistic children.  I don't claim that this is all that autism is.  But being able to take care of one aspect of what autism is can be a positive development.  For this reason, I decided to try having David take glutathione with cod liver oil and fish oil.  The amounts were as follows:

250 mg glutathione
1000 mg fish oil
500 mg cod liver oil

I typically spent 2 hours a night dragging David through his homework.  I had to get David to focus on each problem long enough to recognize what the problem was.  David would read the problem and realize that he did not know the answer.  Then I would turn the page to where the answer was.  Then I would get him to focus on it long enough to read the answer.  More effort would be required to get him to write the answer in a sentence form.  An answer that required three sentences would bring howls of protest.

That was David before the glutathione and fish oil.  After two weeks of being given this each day, David was doing homework by himself.  I can't prove that it was the glutathione and the fish oil that made the change.  At the same time, the change was too dramatic to ignore. 

I don't claim that it will work for others.  But if you should try it, post your results if you will. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The miracle that is David

David is autistic.  He still is.  The diagnosis still is, just as would be expected as autism is a lifelong condition.  As a three year old, he had all of the signs:  aphasia, which in his case meant that he could not talk; perseverative behaviors; ritualistic behaviors, sound sensitivity; some touch sensitivity; the autistic lookaway; inability to relate with other children.  And yet, all of this only belied the spark of spirit and intelligence that lay underneath.

At the start of second grade, David suffered a huge setback.  He lost some prodigious math skills, going from add with carry, subtraction with borrow,  negative numbers, getting a grasp of multiplication and division facts to only being able to add past five by counting on his fingers.  His magic ability to look at a word and remember how it was spelled went away.

In fourth grade, a little of his ability in math came back.  David could add and subtract, albeit slowly and only with a struggle.  This progress was offset when at the end of the year, David lost the ability to hold a pencil.  It was a real low in my life and I am sure that it was a real low in David's life as well.  Homework became a 2 - 3 hour ordeal each night when after David came down off the ritalin used to help his stay still in class. 

This lasted through seventh grade when David suddenly started doing his homework by himself.  All of his subjects became easier.  It all happened just as quickly as it had when he suffered his losses in second grade.  From seventh grade, math for him evolved from a near impossible chore to something that he could do.  He took up cross country in high school and went from dead last to the middle of the pack.  He suddenly started being able to touch type.  And he developed a knack for drawing, something he obviously did not get from me.  Still his science was so-so and his English was only passing.  When he graduated, David was off to vocational school.  College was clearly not in the cards.

David did well in vocational school and was able to handle the computer design programs well.  Toward the end of it he announce that he wanted to be an engineer.  My first instinct was to steer him back to the path my wife and I had sent him on.  But when I looked at him I could see that he really meant it.  Still, I did not want him to be crushed if he could not handle a curricula that is heavily laden with math, physics and other science.  He would also have to be able to handle the English courses and other courses that would require writing.  None of my objections dissuaded him.  So we enrolled him in 12 credit hours of  the math classes and physics classes that he would have to take before he could even consider engineering as a career.

We were pleased with David's performance that semester.  He had a B average from that semester.  Okay.  But what about the next semester.  Courses would get tougher.   David had to respond.  And he did.  Each semester he has been getting better so that last semester he was placed on the Dean's list. 

David truly is a walking miracle.  He has gone from not able to add past five without counting on his fingers to being placed on the Dean's list in electrical engineering.  He has learned to draw after losing the ability to hold a pencil.  He has learned to run when his autistic gait made running very hard.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

How a vaccine works

When a vaccine is administered to a child, a weakened or dead form of the virus is injected.  Along with the virus, adjuvants such as aluminum phosphate, aluminum hydroxide, squalene are injected.  The purpose of the adjuvants is to promote an immune reaction.  The hope is that the immune reaction will be against the injected virus.  If the immune system is stimulated, is there any reason why a reaction to other foreign substances could not be triggered?  The real question is given the 26-30 shots that are given, and the number of children of different genetic background, can vaccines be causing the asthma epidemic we have been seeing?

I don't have the answer to this, but neither does the medical community.  If such a thing is happening, the medical community does not want to know.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Autism's Trigger (Another Misnomer)

There are so many things out in the world about autism that are just plain wrong.  If autism is to gain any treatment inroads these wrong things have to be cleared away.  So let's start with something simple - the word trigger as it is used with respect to autism. 

The medical community likes to use the word trigger with the onset of autism.  The implication is that an event happened that innocently caused the autism onset, much like an icicle falling from a tree might trigger an avalanche.  The word is euphomistic and as such, it has magic.  It means that the onset of autism is a fluke of nature.  Whether it is an icicle falling or a man skiing in the wrong place, it was going to happen anyway.  Nothing is really to blame.  Nobody did anything to cause the child to be autistic.  It is a very safe word. 

The truth is that autism hits children like an incoming mortar round.  In some children, like my son, the damage is relatively mild.  (If you could ever call any case of autism mild)  In other children, they are disabled to the point where they can never care for themselves.  What I am implying is not politically correct.  I am implying that there is brain damage.  The word trigger implies a metamorphosis, like a pupae into a butterfly. 

Of course, I understand that there are genes that make it more likely that a child will develop autism.  For me that means that they are more likely to suffer the damage that causes autism.  And so I prefer the word stroke, even though the symptoms of a stroke are not the same as the symptoms of autism.  I prefer it because when the time comes and we understand how autism occurs, we can do something to prevent it.