Science Library Category:

Autism

Published: 2019
SYNOPSIS

Metabolism-based analysis may enable earlier autism diagnosis and treatment on the basis of an autistic individual’s “unique metabolic signature.”

TITLE

Amino acid dysregulation metabotypes: potential biomarkers for diagnosis and individualized treatment for subtypes of autism spectrum disorder

CITATION

Smith AM, King JJ, West PR, et al. Biological Psychiatry. 2019;85(4):345-354.

SUMMARY

The article describes a large-scale effort to define biomarkers for autism using metabolism-based analysis in young children. Whereas autism is currently diagnosed on the basis of behavioral characteristics, “metabolism-based analysis has the merit of being sensitive to interactions among the genome, gut microbiome, diet, and environmental factors that contribute to the unique metabolic signature” of individuals with autism. Metabolism-based biomarkers may also be able to identify metabolically defined subtypes—“metabotypes”—with the potential for earlier diagnosis and more targeted treatment.

 

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Published: 2019
SYNOPSIS

Children of mothers with asthma are at increased risk of developing autism, highlighting the importance of studying environmental risk factors during pregnancy.

TITLE

Parental asthma and risk of autism spectrum disorder in offspring: a population and family-based case-control study

Citation

Gong T, Lundholm C, Rejno G, et al. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 2019 Feb 11.

 

Summary

This large observational study reports that children of mothers with asthma are at increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study looked at all children born in Sweden between 1992 and 2007, including almost 23,000 children with ASD. The researchers posit that maternal immune activation during pregnancy may represent a biological mechanism explaining the association. The increased ASD risk could not be explained by socioeconomic, demographic, or genetic factors, underscoring “the importance of investigating other maternal environmental factors.”

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

There are statistical increases in the incidence rate of autism, mental retardation , and speech disorders after thimerosal-containing DTaP vaccines in comparison with thimerosal-free DTaP vaccines.

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Vaccination and autoimmunity-‘vaccinosis’: a dangerous liaison?

CITATION

Shoenfeld Y, Aron-Maor A. Journal of Autoimmunity. 2000 Feb;14(1):1-10.

SUMMARY

An analysis of the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database showed statistical increases in the incidence rate of autism (relative risk [RR] = 6.0), mental retardation (RR = 6.1), and speech disorders (RR = 2.2) after thimerosal-containing diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccines in comparison with thimerosal-free DTaP vaccines.

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

The preponderance of the evidence indicates that mercury exposure is causal and/or contributory to ASD.

TITLE

Current knowledge on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) from animal biology to humans, from pregnancy to adulthood: Highlights from a national Italian meeting

CITATION

Street ME, et al. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2018;19:1647.

SUMMARY

This manuscript reviews the reports of a multidisciplinary national meeting on the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Section 3 specifically discusses EDCs and neurodevelopmental diseases in humans, with a focus on autism. Recent studies point to an equal contribution of environmental factors (particularly environmental toxicants) and genetic susceptibility, but only a few industrial chemicals (e.g., lead [Pb], methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs], and toluene) are recognized causes of neurodevelopmental disorders and subclinical brain dysfunction. Recent discoveries indicate that heavy metals such as cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), and lead (Pb) may exhibit endocrine-disrupting activity in animal models, probably by interfering with zinc-fingers of nuclear estrogen receptors. The authors review research on mercury, PCBs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, phthalates, BPAs and pesticides.

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Food proteins in vaccines can sensitize the immune system and trigger development of food allergies and other chronic conditions such as autism and type 1 diabetes.

TITLE

Milk containing vaccines cause milk allergies, EoE, autism and type 1 diabetes

CITATION

Arumugham V. BMJ. 2018;361:k2396. [Letter in response to Schulze MB et al., Food based dietary patterns and chronic disease prevention, BMJ 2018;361:k2396.]

SUMMARY

Responding to an article about food and chronic illness, the author criticizes the researchers for overlooking “a major cause of why food has become dangerous,” noting that vaccines contain food proteins that can “program the immune system to recognize food as pathogens.” Injection of vaccines containing cow’s milk proteins can cause sensitization to several bovine proteins (casein, folate receptor and insulin). In addition, studies suggest an association between vaccine-induced sensitization to cow’s milk proteins and the development of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), autism and type 1 diabetes.

 

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Mount Sinai research could result in an early diagnostic system for autism spectrum disorder.

TITLE

Dynamical features in fetal and postnatal zinc-copper metabolic cycles predict the emergence of autism spectrum disorder

CITATION

Curtin P, et al. Science Advances. 2018;4:eaat1293.

SUMMARY

Using evidence found in baby teeth, researchers from the Institute for Exposomic Research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai report that cycles involved in zinc and copper metabolism are dysregulated in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and can be used to predict who will later develop the condition. The researchers used the teeth to reconstruct prenatal and early-life exposures to nutrient and toxic elements in healthy and autistic children.

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Autistic children with gastrointestinal symptoms have an imbalance in their immune response that affects behavior and quality of life.

TITLE

Differential immune responses and microbiota profiles in children with autism spectrum disorders and co-morbid gastrointestinal symptoms

CITATION

Rose DR, Yang H, Serena G, Sturgeon C, Ma B, Careaga M, Hughes HK, Angkustsiri K, Rose M, Hertz-Picciotto I, Van de Water J, Hansen RL, Ravel J, Fasano A, Ashwood P. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 2018;70:354-368.

SUMMARY

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and concurrent gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms have a more imbalanced immune response, a more disturbed gut microbiome and worse behavioral outcomes (such as irritability, agitation, social withdrawal, lethargy, hyperactivity and noncompliance) than ASD children without GI symptoms. The study additionally looked at typically developing children with and without GI symptoms and found that ASD+GI children stood out compared to those two groups as well. Children with ASD plus GI symptoms may have a “propensity” toward leaky gut that contributes to their other symptoms and clinical outcomes.

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Fluoride and aluminum, alone or in combination, can produce the condition of “immunoexcitotoxicity” that leads to the pathological changes seen in autism. 

TITLE

Immunoexcitotoxicity as the central mechanism of etiopathology and treatment of autism spectrum disorders: a possible role of fluoride and aluminum

Citation

Strunecka A, Blaylock RL, Patocka J, Strunecky O. Surgical Neurology International. 2018;9:74.

 

Summary

Children experience sequential immune stimulation from a growing number of neurotoxic metals and chemicals, vaccines and persistent viral infections. This excessive immune activation is the “initiating and sustaining event” in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), triggering inflammation and a cascade of excitotoxicity (damaged nerve cells). The fluoride added to drinking water and the aluminum in vaccines—singly or synergistically as aluminofluoride—can be potent factors in producing the condition of “immunoexcitotoxicity” that leads to the pathological changes seen in ASD.

 

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Vaccination can trigger a series of cascading events that disturbs the balance between “protective immunity” and “destructive inflammation.”

TITLE

Vaccines and neuroinflammation

Citation

Giannotta G, Giannotta N. International Journal of Public Health & Safety. 2018;3:3.

 

Summary

This study explores molecular mechanisms capable of explaining “post-vaccination inflammatory syndrome” and the neuroinflammation observed in children with autism. Focusing especially on vaccines (such as HPV vaccines) that contain biopersistent aluminum adjuvants, the authors describe how “continuously escalating doses of this poorly biodegradable adjuvant…may become insidiously unsafe,” especially in children who are vaccinated repeatedly or who have an immature or altered blood-brain barrier. Vaccination can trigger a series of cascading events (involving overexpression of the signaling molecules that regulate inflammation and activation of brain cells called microglia) that disturbs the balance between “protective immunity” and “destructive inflammation.”

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

The offspring of mothers exposed to DDT and its metabolites during pregnancy are at increased risk for autism.

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Association of maternal insecticide levels with autism in offspring from a national birth cohort

Citation

Brown AS, Cheslack-Postava K, Rantakokko P, et al. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2018;175:1094-1101.

 

Summary

The study provides the first evidence based on biomarkers of an increased autism risk in the offspring of mothers exposed to certain insecticides during pregnancy. In this large national birth cohort study of Finnish children, the odds of autism plus intellectual disability were increased by greater than twofold in mothers measuring with the highest levels of a DDT metabolite.

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

In children under age two, four postnatal risk factors (acetaminophen use, antibiotic use, ear infections and early weaning) were associated with an increased risk of autism.

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Acetaminophen, antibiotics, ear infection, breastfeeding, vitamin D drops, and autism: an epidemiological study

Citation

Bittker SS, Bell KR. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 2018;14:1399-1414.

 

Summary

This study suggests that increased use of acetaminophen and antibiotics in children under age two, along with an increased incidence of ear infections in the first two years and early weaning, are associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The researchers conducted a large parent Internet survey covering over 1,500 three- to twelve-year-old children who either had or did not have ASD. The findings replicate other studies focused on these postnatal ASD risk factors.

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Two prenatal exposures—stress and maternal immune dysregulation—are associated with autism, probably in combination with other genetic and environmental risk factors.

TITLE

Prenatal stress, maternal immune dysregulation, and their association with autism spectrum disorders

Citation

Beversdorf DQ, Stevens HE, Jones KL. Current Psychiatry Reports. 2018;20:76.

 

Summary

Prenatal stress and disruption of a pregnant woman’s immune response (“maternal immune activation”) are two environmental factors associated with the increased incidence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the fact that, in many cases, these prenatal exposures do not result in ASD suggests an “interaction with multiple other risks.” Some evidence points to greater susceptibility to prenatal stress and maternal immune dysregulation in male offspring.

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Preschool children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have abnormal connections between certain brain networks that can be visualized using a special MRI technique.

TITLE

Alterations of white matter connectivity in preschool children with autism spectrum disorder

CITATION

Li SJ, Wang Y, Qian L, et al. Radiology 2018; 288:209-217.

SUMMARY

This study is about neural path length (via radiometric imaging). It shows that preschool children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have abnormal connections between certain brain networks that can be visualized using an MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). These pathways are generally established as a part of later prenatal and postnatal development and may be associated with dendrite pruning (postnatal), which is altered in ASD children.

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Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Mercury-associated diagnoses are common among children diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorders.

TITLE

Symptoms observed in pervasive developmental disorders such as autism overlap with symptoms of mercury poisoning.

CITATION

Geier DA, Kern JK, Sykes LK, Geier MR. Metabolic Brain Disease. March 2018. doi: 10.1007/s11011-018-0211-9.

SUMMARY

Research indicates that environmental triggers are contributing to the childhood epidemics of autism and other pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs). The mercury-containing vaccine preservative thimerosal is a biologically plausible candidate to induce PDD. This study reveals that 12 symptom categories associated with mercury poisoning directly overlap with symptoms observed in children who have a PDD.

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Published: 2017
SYNOPSIS

Aluminum adjuvants promote brain inflammation, and males appear to be more susceptible to aluminum’s toxic effects.

TITLE

Subcutaneous injections of aluminum at vaccine adjuvant levels activate innate immune genes in mouse brain that are homologous with biomarkers of autism

CITATION

Li D, Tomljenovic L, Li Y, Shaw CA. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 2017;177:39–54.

SUMMARY

Autism manifests in early childhood, during a window of early developmental vulnerability where the normal developmental trajectory is most susceptible to xenobiotic insults. Aluminum (Al) vaccine adjuvants are xenobiotics with immunostimulating and neurotoxic properties to which infants worldwide are routinely exposed. This research found that aluminum triggered innate immune system activation and altered neurotransmitter activity in male mice, observations which are consistent with those in autism. Female mice were less susceptible to aluminum as the frontal cortex was the most affected area in males and the cerebellum in females. These findings suggest that aluminum adjuvants promote brain inflammation and that males appear to be more susceptible to aluminum′s toxic effects. (Note: This study has since been retracted by the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, but the importance of the topic prompted our decision to keep it in our science library.)

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Published: 2017
SYNOPSIS

Here is a list compiled of the 19 studies from various lists on CDC’s websites to defend the use of thmerosal in vaccines. These are the studies that CDC uses to claim thimerosal’s safety. Each is fatally flawed through the use of incorrect and even fraudulent statistics. Even so, these studies demonstrate that thimerosal has been linked with tics, IQ deficits, speech delay and language delay.

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Studies that the CDC Claims Exonerate Thimerosal… and Why They Don’t

Here is a list compiled of the 19 studies from various lists on CDC’s websites to defend the use of thimerosal in vaccines. These are the studies that CDC uses to claim thimerosal’s safety. Each is fatally flawed through the use of incorrect and even fraudulent statistics. Even so, these studies demonstrate that thimerosal has been linked with tics, IQ deficits, speech delay and language delay.

Poster #1

Name Authors’ Conflicts of Interest Type of Study Journal Issues Found Errors and Fraud
Madsen et al. 2003 Plesner and Andersen were affiliated with a for-profit Danish vaccine manufacturer. Thorsen embezzled over $1 million from CDC. Epidemiology Pediatrics Autism rates went down after the removal of thimerosal in Denmark in 1992. Removed incidence data from 2001. Manipulated inpatient/outpatient data to create an artificial rise in incidence in 1994.
Stehr-Green et al. 2003 Stelfeld is an employee of a Danish for-profit vaccine manufacturer. Simpson was Deputy Director of National Immunization Program of CDC. Epidemiology American Journal of Preventative Medicine Autism rates and uptake of thimerosal­ containing vaccines in California were strongly correlated. Wrong fuly dismissed autism rates in California as inclusion of milder ASD cases to obviate the rise in cases.
Andrews et al. 2004 Miller has also actively participated in clinical trials for the approval of human papilloma virus and influenza virus vaccines. Funding by World  Health Organization. Epidemiology Pediatrics Thimerosal exposure causes tics. Numerous statistical errors by correlating thimerosal exposure with year of birth.
Verstraeten et al. 2003 Verstraeten worked for vaccine manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline. Other authors worked for insurance companies including Kaiser Permanente. Epidemiology Pediatrics Thimerosal exposure causes tics and language delay. Effects were diluted through five separate iterations of the study. Numerous exclusion criteria were erroneously applied and data cherry-picking was done to dilute statistically significant effects.
Hviid et al. 2003 Stelfeld is an employee of a Danish for-profit vaccine manufacturer. Epidemiology Journal of the American Medical Association Thimerosal exposed children were twice as likely to have an autism diagnosis. The age of follow-up was as low as 1 year which is too young  to receive an autism diagnosis. Records of older children with autism were lost.
Thompson et al. 2007 Authors were affiliated with Harvard Pilgrim and Kaiser Permanente insurance companies. Epidemiology New England Journal of Medicine Thimerosal causes tics in boys. Thimerosal lowers IQ in girls. Overmatching phenomena meant that cases and controls had very little difference in thimerosal exposure.
Price et al. 2010 Authors were affiliated with Harvard Pilgrim and Kaiser Permanente insurance compan1es. Epidemiology Pediatrics Prenatal thimerosal exposure causes regressive ASD in boys. Overmatching phenomena meant that cases and controls had very little difference in thimerosal exposure. Prenatal thimerosal effect was hidden by cherry-picking data.
Barile et al. 201 2 CDC employees were told by direct supervisor  Dr. Edwin Trevathan to downplay the tic effect. Trevathan was then director of CDC’s National Center  for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Epidemiology Journal of Pediatric Psychology Thimerosal causes tics in boys. Overmatching phenomena meant that  cases and controls had very little difference in thimerosal exposure.

Poster #2

Name Authors’ Conflicts of Interest Type of Study Journal Issues Found Errors and Fraud
Tozzi et al. 2009 Study funded by CDC which has a direct financial stake in vaccine uptake in the United States. Epidemiology Pediatrics Thimerosal showed a higher incidence of tics. Study was completed using Italian vaccine schedule with much lower thimerosal exposure than U.S. schedule. No zero exposure control was use.
Ball et al. 2001 Study was funded by the FDA which has direct links to the pharmaceutical industry and is incentivized by vaccine uptake in the U.S. Review Pediatrics Thimerosal exposure from U.S. vaccine schedule exceeded EPA safe exposure limit. Study authors ignored prior literature reports of local necrosis, acute hemolysis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, acute renal tubular necrosis and central nervous system damage leading to death in their assessment.
Burbacher et al. 2005 Animal Study None declared. Environmental Health Perspectives Vaccine levels of thimerosal exposure resulted in more than double the amount of inorganic mercury deposited in the brain tissue in comparison to equal levels of methyl mercury. None.
Hurley et al. 2010 All authors of the paper were employed by MED Communications, a firm  that has multiple pharmaceutical company clients. Review Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics The toxicokinetics of thimerosal are ill defined and thimerosal exposure can lead to tissue damage. The authors of the paper dismiss the causal relationship between thimerosal and autism despite a large body of evidence not covered in the paper. The authors rely solely on flawed CDC epidemiology studies.
McMahon et al. 2008 lskander is an employee of the CDC which is charged  with maximizing vaccine uptake in the U.S. Epidemiology Vaccine Publication did not investigate outcomes beyond local site reactions. The definition of an adverse event was limited to site reactions and fever. No data were collected regarding any type of neurological outcome.
Pichichero et al. 2002 Pichichero has received research grants and/or honoraria from the folowing pharmaceutical companies: Abbott Laboratories, Inc.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Eli Lilly & Company; Merck & Co.; Pasteur Merieux Connaught; Pfizer Labs; Roche Laboratories; Roussel-Uclaf; Schering Corporation; Smith Kline Beecham Pharmaceuticals; Upjohn Company; and Wyeth-Lederle. Clearance Study The Lancet One of the infants in the study showed mercury poisoning (levels as high as 20.55 nmol/L mercury in blood) five days after receipt of 37.5 micrograms of mercury via the DTaP and HepB vaccines. A vaccine expert from the Johns Hopkins Institute for Vaccine Safety estimated that infants receiving 62.5 ug mercury from thimerosal may have experienced peak blood mercury levels of 48.3 nmol/L, well above the EPA limit of 29.0 nmol/L. Clearance of ethyl and methylmercury from the bloodstream are not indicative of the relative “body burden” of mercury caused by comparable doses of each molecule. Burbacher et al. (2005) saw that  despite the rapid clearance of ethylmercury from the bloodstream, it caused a greater quantity and persistence of elemental mercury in the brain.

Poster #3

Name Authors’ Conflicts of Interest Type of Study Journal Issues Found Errors and Fraud
Pichichero et al. 2008 Pichichero has received research grants and/or honoraria from the folowing pharmaceutical companies: Abbott Laboratories, Inc.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Eli Lily & Company; Merck & Co.; Pasteur Merieux Connaught; Pfizer Labs; Roche Laboratories; Rousse-lUclaf; Schering Corporation; Smith Kline Beecham Pha rmaceuticals; Upjohn Company; and Wyeth-Lederle. Clearance Study Pediatrics Exposure guidelines for thimerosal should be different than those for methyl mercury, given than thimerosal clears faster from the blood stream and shows signs of excretion via the gastrointestinal system. Bloodstream clearance of ethyl and methyl mercury may not be used to predict the accumulation of each of these toxins in tissues. Ethylmercury (from  thimerosal) has been shown to persist in brain tissues for a much longer extend than methyl mercury.
Gadad et al. 201 5 None declared. Animal Study Proc Natl Acad Sci USA Thimerosal exposed monkeys showed significantly less non-social exploring behavior compared to unexposed control monkeys. This effect was significant for all exposure categories studied. The sample size of macaque monkeys in each study group was too small to see an effect. The maximum sized group was only 16 macaque monkeys which could never pick up an autism effect if the rate of autism is 1 in 68 children.
Fombonne et al. 2006 Fombonne has represented vac­cine manufacturers as an expert witness in thimerosal litigation. In addition, Fombonne was brought up on ethics charges by Montreal Children’s Hospital for misuse of patient samples for an unapproved study. Fombonne was demoted from his adminis­trative position at the hospital in the late 2000s. Epidemiology Pediatrics Time trends in autism diagnoses were compared for thimerosal exposure rates per the vaccine schedule which started in 1987 at a maximum of 100 micrograms mercury, with upticks to 125 micrograms mercury and 200 micrograms mercury in 1988 and 1992, respectively. The school district represented in this study accounts for only 14% of the total school population in Montreal but has the highest rates of POD diagnosis in the five total districts, and in some cases POD rates were three times higher within this district. The claim that  the thimerosal exposure in the Canadian vaccine schedule starting in 1996 was “nil” is false. Thimerosal-free HepB formulations were not introduced until 2001 and the thimerosal containing “Penta” vaccine was administered, leading to a cumulative maximum dosage of 137.5 micrograms mercury. This renders any time trend comparison between autism/ASD/PDD prevalence and thimerosal exposure useless.
Schechter et al. 2008 Schechter was a part of the Immunization Branch of the California Department of Public Health which is charged with maximizing vaccination uptake in that state. Epidemiology Arch Gen Psychiatry Time trends in autism diagnoses in the State of California continued to increase with the introduction of the thimerosal containing maternal influenza vaccine in 2004. Study authors claimed that children were no longer exposed to thimerosal in vaccines after 2003, which is false. At that  time, thimerosal containing maternal and infant influenza vaccines were introduced as a part of the CDC recommended schedule.
Destefano 2009 Destefano is currently Director of the Immunization Safety Office of the CDC, which buys and sells $4.6 billion of vaccines per year. Editorial Expert Opinion Drug Safety Time trends in autism diagnoses in the State of California tracked closely with the uptake of thimerosal containing vaccines through the 1990s. Destefano relied on flawed epidemiology studies from the U.K. and Denmark which  follow different vaccination schedules compared to the U.S. Data from California show clear correlation between thimerosal uptake and autism incidence.

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Published: 2016
SYNOPSIS

Children with ASD have higher urinary levels of mercury and lead.

TITLE

Altered urinary porphyrins and mercury exposure as biomarkers for autism severity in Egyptian children with autism spectrum disorder

CITATION

Khaled EM, Meguid NA, Bjørklund G, et al. Metabolic Brain Disease 2016. DOI 10.1007/s11011-016-9870-6.

SUMMARY

Results of this case-control study showed that children with ASD had higher urinary levels of mercury and lead as well as porphyrins that are characteristic of mercury toxicity as compared to non-ASD control children. Porphyrins are complex molecules that are processed in the body through a series of chemical reactions. Mercury poisons the enzymes that are needed in the process, causing a buildup in the body of excess levels of specific porphyrins. The porphyrins for mercury toxicity also correlated with autism severity in ASD patients.

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Published: 2016
SYNOPSIS

Thimerosal reduces people’s ability to make all-important vitamin B12 compounds that help the body detoxify and control inflammation—and B12 deficiencies and severely impaired detoxification are hallmarks of autism.

TITLE

Alternatively spliced methionine synthase in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells: Cobalamin and GSH dependence and inhibitory effects of neurotoxic metals and thimerosal

CITATION

Waly M, Power-Charnitsky V-A, Hodgson N, … Deth R. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2016, Article ID 6143753.

SUMMARY

Thimerosal inhibited cellular production of cobalamin necessary for detoxification and amelioration of oxidative stress. This caused lower methionine synthase activity and an impaired methylation capacity. Autistic subjects in general show cobalamin deficiencies and severely impaired methylation.

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Published: 2016
SYNOPSIS

Mercury exposure is implicated in neuroinflammatory disorders including autism.

TITLE

The levels of blood mercury and inflammatory-related neuropeptides in the serum are correlated in children with autism spectrum disorder

CITATION

Mostafa GA, Bjørklund G, Urbina MA, Al-Ayadhi LY. Metabolic Brain Disease. 2016;31:593–599.

SUMMARY

Blood mercury levels and tachykinins (neuropeptides that cause inflammation) were correlated in children with ASD and statistically significantly higher than neurotypical control children. It has been shown that mercury exposure can elicit tachykinin formation, which has been implicated in neuroinflammatory disorders including autism.

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Published: 2015
SYNOPSIS

Autistic children accumulate metals at a much higher level than children who do not have a diagnosis of autism.

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Assessment of hair aluminum, lead, and mercury in a sample of autistic Egyptian children: Environmental risk factors of heavy metals in autism

CITATION

El Baz Mohamed F, Zaky EA, Bassuoni EI-Sayed A, et al. Behavioural Neurology. 2015, Article ID 545674.

SUMMARY

Researchers found the mean levels of mercury, lead and aluminum in hair of autistic patients were significantly higher than in controls. Mercury, lead and aluminum levels were positively correlated with maternal fish consumption, living near gasoline stations and the usage of aluminum pans, respectively.

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Published: 2015
SYNOPSIS

Thimerosal and methylmercury cause cell death in human neurons.

TITLE

Toxicity of organic and inorganic mercury species in differentiated human neurons and human astrocytes

CITATION

Lohren H, Blagojevic L, Fitkau R, et al. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology. 2015;32:200–208.

SUMMARY

Thimerosal and methylmercury caused cell death in differentiated human neurons and astrocytes. Differentiated neurons showed a massive uptake of ethylmercury (degradation product of thimerosal). This affirms the type of neural damage seen in patients with autism.

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Published: 2015
SYNOPSIS

Thimerosal exposure in humans is associated with neurodevelopmental deficits even at levels currently administered in vaccines.

TITLE

Thimerosal: Clinical, epidemiologic and biochemical studies

CITATION

Geier DA, King PG, Hooker BS, Dórea JG, Kern JK, Sykes LK, Geier MR. Clinica Chimica Acta. 2015;444:212–220.

SUMMARY

This review article includes a section on numerous papers linking thimerosal exposure via infant vaccines to autism. The publication also includes a critique of studies supported or conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that deny any associations between exposure to thimerosal in vaccines and the subsequent development of autism. Congress has criticized the CDC for conflicts of interest related to its vaccine development activities and role in vaccine safety oversight.

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Published: 2015
SYNOPSIS

Research confirms a link between environmental mercury exposure and an increased risk of autism and shows that some individuals are more susceptible than others.

TITLE

Increased susceptibility to ethylmercury-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in a subset of autism lymphoblastoid cell lines

CITATION

Rose S, Wynne R, Frye RE, Melnyk S, James SJ. Journal of Toxicology. 2015, Article ID 573701.

SUMMARY

The association of autism spectrum disorders with oxidative stress, redox imbalance, and mitochondrial dysfunction has become increasingly recognized. In this study, researchers compared mitochondrial respiration in lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) from individuals with autism and unaffected controls exposed to ethylmercury, an environmental toxin known to deplete glutathione and induce oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. They also tested whether pretreating the autism LCLs with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) to increase glutathione concentrations conferred protection from ethylmercury. The findings suggest that the link between environmental mercury exposure and an increased risk of developing autism may be mediated through mitochondrial dysfunction and support the notion that a subset of individuals with autism may be vulnerable to environmental influences with detrimental effects on development through mitochondrial dysfunction.

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Published: 2014
SYNOPSIS

Blood levels of mercury and lead are much higher in autistic children as compared to normal controls.

TITLE

Autism: A form of lead and mercury toxicity

CITATION

Yassa HA. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology. 2014;38:1016-1024.

SUMMARY

The aim of this study was to find out the relation between exposure to lead and/or mercury as heavy metals and autistic symptoms and assess use of chelating agents for dealing with heavy metals and improving autistic symptoms. The results showed significantly higher levels of mercury and lead among children with autism compared to children without autism, and a significant decline in the blood levels of lead and mercury with the use of DMSA as a chelating agent. In addition, there was a decline in autistic symptoms with the decrease in the lead and mercury levels in blood.

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Published: 2014
SYNOPSIS

Background data (not reported in print) suggest a strong link between thimerosal exposure and autism.

TITLE

Methodological issues and evidence of malfeasance in research purporting to show thimerosal in vaccines is safe

CITATION

Hooker B, Kern J, Geier D, Haley B, Sykes L, King P, Geier M. BioMed Research International. 2014, Article ID 247218.

SUMMARY

This review article shows methodological flaws in six separate CDC studies claiming that thimerosal does not cause autism. In three specific instances (Madsen et al. 2003, Verstraeten et al. 2003 and Price et al. 2010), evidence of malfeasance on the part of CDC scientists is shown. Background data (not reported in print) from these three publications suggest a strong link between thimerosal exposure and autism.

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Published: 2014
SYNOPSIS

Chinese scientists find mice injected with thimerosal (vaccine mercury) have behavioral impairments similar to autism.

TITLE

Transcriptomic analyses of neurotoxic effects in mouse brain after intermittent neonatal administration of thimerosal

CITATION

Li X, Qu F, Xie W, et al. Toxicological Sciences. 2014;139:452–465.

SUMMARY

“Thimerosal-treated mice exhibited neural development delay, social interaction deficiency, and inclination of depression. Apparent neuropathological changes were also observed in adult mice neonatally treated with thimerosal. High-throughput RNA sequencing of autistic-behaved mice brains revealed the alternation of a number of canonical pathways involving neuronal development, neuronal synaptic function, and the dysregulation of endocrine system.”

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Published: 2014
SYNOPSIS

Mesenchymal stem cells may be promising candidates for addressing autism-related immune dysregulation.

TITLE

Mesenchymal stem cells in treating autism: novel insights

Citation

Siniscalco D, Bradstreet JJ, Sych N, Antonucci N. World Journal of Stem Cells. 2014;6:173-178.

 

Summary

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) possess unique immunological properties that make them promising candidates in regenerative medicine, with the potential to address the immune dysregulation often observed in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study describes a variety of mechanisms through which MSCs could exert a positive effect in ASD.

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Published: 2014
SYNOPSIS

UC-Boulder professor says the autism epidemic is real and therefore must be the product of an environmental factor.

TITLE

A comparison of temporal trends in United States autism prevalence to trends in suspected environmental factors

CITATION

Nevison CD. Environmental Health. 2014;13:73.

SUMMARY

“Diagnosed autism prevalence has risen dramatically in the U.S over the last several decades and continued to trend upward as of birth year 2005. The increase is mainly real and has occurred mostly since the late 1980s. In contrast, children’s exposure to most of the top ten toxic compounds has remained flat or decreased over this same time frame. Environmental factors with increasing temporal trends can help suggest hypotheses for drivers of autism that merit further investigation.”

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Published: 2013
SYNOPSIS

Following implementation of changes in a pediatric medical practice to address autism risks, no new cases of autism occurred.

TITLE

Can awareness of medical pathophysiology in autism lead to primary care autism prevention strategies?

Citation

Mumper E. North American Journal of Medicine and Science. 2013;6:134-144.

 

Summary

In 2005, the author’s pediatric practice implemented seven changes to address autism risks, focusing on minimizing environmental toxicant exposure, encouraging prolonged breastfeeding, recommending probiotics, providing nutritional counseling, limiting use of antibiotics and acetaminophen and allowing a modified vaccine schedule. No new cases of autism occurred in children born between 2005 and 2011, even though the CDC autism rate would have predicted about six new cases in the practice over that period. The author cautions that “epidemiology may be too blunt a tool to determine all risks for subsets of the population who may be more vulnerable to vaccine reactions.”

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Published: 2013
SYNOPSIS

Canadian researchers: aluminum in vaccines can cause both autoimmunity and neurological damage.

TITLE

Aluminum in the central nervous system (CNS): toxicity in humans and animals, vaccine adjuvants, and autoimmunity

CITATION

Shaw C, Tomljenovic L. Immunologic Research. 2013;56:304–316.

SUMMARY

“In young children, a highly significant correlation exists between the number of pediatric aluminum-adjuvanted vaccines administered and the rate of autism spectrum disorders. Many of the features of aluminum-induced neurotoxicity may arise, in part, from autoimmune reactions, as part of the ASIA syndrome. Aluminum is added to vaccines to help the vaccine work more effectively, but unlike dietary aluminum which will usually clear rapidly from the body, aluminum used in vaccines and injected is designed to provide a long-lasting cellular exposure. Thus, the problem with vaccine-derived aluminum is really twofold: It drives the immune response even in the absence of a viral or bacterial threat and it can make its way into the central nervous system. It is not really a matter of much debate that aluminum in various forms can be neurotoxic.”

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