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NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MEDICINE & SCIENCE
July 2013 (Volume 6, Issue 3)
Preface to the special issue of autism
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the fastest-growing complex neurodevelopment disorder, continues to rise in its prevalence, now affecting up to 1 in 50 children in the USA, and averaging 1% globally, according to the latest CDC report. More children will be diagnosed with ASD this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined in the USA. ASD costs the nation $137 billion a year and this debt is expected to increase in the next decade. Hence, ASD has become a huge healthcare burden and global threat, categorized by the CDC as a national public health crisis.
ASD is characterized by social-communication impairment, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, which cause significant disability for those affected. With its etiology still largely unknown, and its pathophysiology poorly understood, ASD currently has no universally accepted therapy. ASD is affecting more and more families; unmet services and limited resources need to be addressed urgently. Researchers, clinicians, healthcare providers, social agencies and government need to coordinate efforts to develop more effective treatments and a satisfactory continuum of care, across the lifespan. Ultimately, a cure needs to be sought for the various subtypes of ASD that exist.
The current issue of North American Journal of Medicine and Science (NAJMS) represents a continuation of our previous two special issues on autism (NAJMS Vol. 5 Issue 3 and Vol. 4 Issue 3) published in July 2012 and July 2011, respectively. In this issue, we are honored to have another panel of expert researchers and clinicians on the frontlines of ASD research and treatment to present their newest research findings and views from different perspectives.
This issue of NAJMS consists of five original research articles, two comprehensive reviews, one case report and two commentary articles, covering topics in genetics, pathogenesis, metabolic disorder biomarkers of ASD, and a clinical study, that bring into focus our newest understanding and treatment strategies.
The data presented in Dr. Mumper’s review of the medical literature, suggests that ASD may be impacted by environmental toxicants, duration of breastfeeding, gut flora composition, nutritional status, acetaminophen use, vaccine practices and use of antibiotics and/or frequency of infections. In her current general pediatric practice (Advocates for Children), she has noted a modest trend toward a lower prevalence of ASD than in her previous pediatric practice or recent prevalence estimates from the CDC.
The final commentary was written by Dr. Herbert, who presents her paper entitled “Everyday Epigenetics from Molecular Intervention to Public Health and Lifestyle Medicine.” She asserts that it may well take a grass roots epigenetic/lifestyle medicine revolution to avert the worsening health trends we are facing in the setting of a progressively more toxic and endangered planet. She posits that everyday epigenetics can inform science of what is possible so that society can respond on an appropriate scale to the magnitude of the crisis we are facing.
We would like to thank all the contributors to this special issue of autism for offering their great expertise in this area, as well as all the peer reviewers for their valuable critiques, comments and precious time. We would like to thank our editorial colleagues for their dedication and collaborative team work with shared vision and spirit. With all our efforts together, we have made this important issue on advances in autism possible.
Finally, we would like to thank our family members for their continuous encouragement and support.
Xuejun Kong, MD
Department of Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Harvard Medical School
Christopher J. McDougle, MD
Guest Editor, NAJMS
Lurie Center for Autism Massachusetts General Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Inclusion criteria were: 1) all general pediatric patients born in 2005 or later; 2) presented for well child care prior to 2 months of birth and 3) followed until at least the age of 2 years and 2 months. Totally 294 patients qualified for the inclusion criteria and have been selected in the current research.
All the patients have been treated and examined utilizing the same well child procedures. The electronic records for all infants cared for in our general pediatrics practice since July 1, 2005 who visited our office from prior to 2 months of age (usually in the first 3-5 days after birth) to at least the age of 2 years and 2 months have been reviewed and examined, since the age range would provide ample opportunity to observe symptoms of autism. Their developmental milestones in the domains of gross and fine motor, speech and language, and social behaviors at each of 11 well child visits in the first 2 years of life have been recorded. The medical record is marked for any child who does not meet milestones. No new cases of autism in our general pediatric practice since it was established in 2000 have been recorded; the current research reports on the cohort born in 2005 or after. CDC prevalence disease data and other published data have been utilized in analysis of this research.
In the current research, there are no new cases of autism out of the 294 cases recognized and recorded, resulting in 0% prevalence of ASD. Based on the CDC background risk of autism of 1 in 50 for the cohort born around 2005 we would expect to have about 6 new cases of autism in our practice. We calculated our statistics using a Chi-squared test with 1 degree of freedom. Using the CDC autism rate of 1 in 50 reported in 2013 (but based on surveys of eight year old children), the expected rate for our 294 patients starting in 2005 would be 5.88 children with autism. Zero new cases of autism would occur by chance 1.4% of the time (p-value 0.014, significant at 0.05).
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Feb 17, 2015, 12:08 PM (1 replies)
They might disagree with Dr. Anne Schuchat, a rear admiral for the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC. Is that allowed?
These Harvard-affiliated physicians, researchers and scientists are even Senator Warren's constituents, as residents of Massachusetts.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Feb 15, 2015, 03:05 PM (1 replies)
Please examine the evolution of the vaccine schedule. Please extrapolate future trends. Then carefully define your terms.
History of Vaccine Schedule
Reviewed by: Paul A. Offit, MD
Date: April 2013
A look at the late-stage vaccine pipeline
November 11, 2010 | By Maureen Martino
In 2009, the world market for preventive vaccines totaled $22.1 billion, up from $19.0 billion in 2008, and is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 9.7 percent to $35 billion in 2014. That's according to Kalorama Information, which has broken out a list of notable vaccines in late-stage development. Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Pasteur, Pfizer and Novartis combined control 83.9 percent of the world market, with GSK being the biggest vaccine seller.
As of mid-2010, Kalorama estimates there are more than 200 pediatric vaccines and many more adult preventative vaccines in development, although most are at the earliest stages of the testing process.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Feb 13, 2015, 01:55 PM (1 replies)
CASE: Bruesewitz v. Wyeth
RECAP: The Supreme Court majority concluded that manufacturers could NOT be sued even for faulty product design because their products are categorized as "unavoidably unsafe" (rarely... for some).
Justices Sotomayor and Ginsberg DISSENTED (28 pages).
NYT (link below): In a final footnote, Justice Sotomayor wrote that a concern about an asserted link “between certain vaccines and autism spectrum disorders” appeared to “underlie the majority and concurring opinions in this case.” <> In any event, she said, “Congress intended to leave the courthouse doors open for children who have suffered severe injuries from defectively designed vaccines.”
Tea Party, baloney. That's not actually how people line up. Developing...
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Feb 13, 2015, 01:44 PM (0 replies)
Since the first National Vaccine Injury Compensation (VICP) claims were filed in 1989, 3,941 compensation awards have been made. More than $2.8 billion in compensation awards has been paid to petitioners and more than $121.6 million has been paid to cover attorneys' fees and other legal costs.
Oversimplification is SPIN, regretably.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Thu Feb 12, 2015, 01:46 PM (0 replies)
Is media misrepresenting ‘anti-vaxxers’?
Published on Feb 9, 2015
Public health officials have been squaring off with anti-vaccination advocates in the wake of the recent measles outbreak that sickened dozens of Disneyland visitors. To stem the disease’s spread, California lawmakers have introduced new legislation mandating vaccinations for young children, but so-called ‘anti-vaxxers’ believe the move is an infringement of their most basic freedoms. Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale Prevention Research Center, and Mark Blaxill of the Canary Party debate the real issues over MMR vaccines.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Feb 10, 2015, 03:28 PM (1 replies)
Dr. Bernadine Healy, Dr. Jon Poling, and Dr. William W. Thompson are certainly not "anti-vax loons."
Please see additional posts on cited thread.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Feb 8, 2015, 03:44 PM (1 replies)
2. Do a COMMAND F: Thompson (5 hits on the page)
The media no longer functions as an advocate for whistleblowers, so if you've never heard of Dr. William W Thompson, it's not surprising.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Feb 4, 2015, 02:17 PM (2 replies)
By SHARYL ATTKISSON
May 12, 2008, 5:09 PM
The "Open Question" On Vaccines and Autism
Perhaps the most puzzling thing about autism and ADD is that more than a decade into this public health crisis, our best, smartest government scientists and public health officials still say they have no idea what's causing it. Scary stuff, when parents having a child today realize there's at least an estimated 1 in 150 chance their child will have an autism disorder (1 in 90 if it's a boy).
While the government has been utterly unable to stop it, or even tell us what is causing it, they say they do know one thing: it's not vaccines. But today, in an exclusive interview with CBS News, Dr. Bernadine Healy becomes the most well-known medical voice yet to counter the government on that claim.
Healy's credentials couldn't be more "mainstream." After all, she once was a top government health official as head of the National Institutes of Health. She founded the first school of public health in Ohio, and then headed both the school of public health and the school of medicine at Ohio State University. She's an internist and cardiologist. And she's a member of the Institute of Medicine, the government advisory board that tried to put the vaccine-autism controversy to rest in 2004 by saying a link was not likely.
Click below to watch a Web-exclusive extended cut of Sharyl's interview with Dr. Healy: VIDEO AT LINK
According to Healy, when she began researching autism and vaccines she found credible published, peer-reviewed scientific studies that support the idea of an association. That seemed to counter what many of her colleagues had been saying for years. She dug a little deeper and was surprised to find that the government has not embarked upon some of the most basic research that could help answer the question of a link.
The more she dug, she says, the more she came to believe the government and medical establishment were intentionally avoiding the question because they were afraid of the answer.
Why? Healy says some in the government make the mistake of treating vaccines as an all-or-nothing proposition. The argument goes something like this: everybody gets vaccinated at the same time with the same vaccines or nobody will get vaccinated and long-gone deadly diseases will re-emerge. (When I asked about cases of brain damage resulting in autism that have been quietly compensated by the government in vaccine court over the years, one government official recently told me that "it's still better overall to get vaccinated than not to get vaccinated.")
Healy says the argument need not be framed in those terms (vaccinate or don't vaccinate). Instead, she says, we should vaccinate, but work to do it in the safest manner possible based on what we know and what we can find out.
That's what the parents of autistic children have told me as well. If we can screen children to see which ones might be more susceptible to vaccine side effects, and vaccinate them on a more personalized schedule that is safer for them, why wouldn't we? If it's safer for all children to have their vaccinations spread out, why wouldn't we? Healy says it's called "personalized medicine" and is being done in virtually all areas of medicine today with the exception of vaccines. Yet the government continues to frame the conversation in all-or-nothing, "one-size-fits-all" terms.
PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT: "This is the time when we do have the opportunity to understand whether or not there are susceptible children, perhaps genetically, perhaps they have a metabolic issue, mitochondrial disorder, immunological issue that makes them more susceptible to vaccines, plural, or to one particular vaccine, or to one component of vaccines, like mercury. So we now, in these times have to take another look at that hypothesis; not deny it. I think we have the tools today that we didn’t have 10 years ago. That we didn’t have 20 years ago . . . to try and tease that out and find out if there is indeed that susceptible group. Why is that important? A susceptible group does not mean that vaccines aren’t good. What a susceptible group will tell us is that maybe there is a group of individuals or a group of children that shouldn’t have a particular vaccine or shouldn’t have vaccines on the same schedule. I do not believe that if we identified a susceptibility group, that if we identified a particular risk factor for vaccines; or if we found out that they should be spread out a little longer, I do not believe that the public would lose faith in vaccines . . . .
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Mon Feb 2, 2015, 06:02 AM (0 replies)
In Sweden the total number of recommended vaccines by age five is 11; in the US, it is 36. That's it, in a nutshell.
ASIDE: Comparing under 5 mortality rates between the two populations does not support the thesis that more is better either, by the way. Sweden is #2, the US is #34 in the important chart above. SOURCE: JB HANDLEY of GENERATION RESCUE and FOURTEEN STUDIES
The article cited in the OP touts the marvelous compliance of Swedish parents, as contrasted with Americans. That's a bogus apples to oranges comparison and unfair. "Even pro-vaccine parents have a threshold for compliance," as I recently read (with supporting data).
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Jan 31, 2015, 03:32 PM (1 replies)