Is there a link between Autism and Vaccines?

  • Yes.

    Votes: 2 4.7%
  • No.

    Votes: 30 69.8%
  • Possibly but there has not been enought research yet.

    Votes: 8 18.6%
  • I don't know, but am interested in finding out.

    Votes: 3 7.0%

  • Total voters
    43

tiredmom

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I don't think it's vaccines directly... but I think it's pretty stupid and irresponsible to use a toxic metal like mercury in the preservative solution so you can make cheaper multi-dose vials. The CDC just released the 1 in 150 prevalence rate - which they determined from studies of 8 year olds in 2000 and 2002 (which are older than the upper ages in the so called autism epidemic). I think it will be pretty telling to see what it looks like for 2008when the kids who haven't been injected with mercury are 8.

Autism is like cancer - there eventually will be officially different types, IMO. It's a multifactoral disease - likely multiple environmental triggers in a genetically susceptible individual. When my son was diagnosed in 1997 - we were told the prevalence was 1 in 5000. And before you flame me as a patient - I'm also a MS4. I believe in vaccinations - I just don't buy the BS that ethyl mercury behaves SOOOO much differently than methyl mercury - but neither did my organic professor.

There is an animal model (in mice I think) that shows ethyl mercury exposure causing "mouse autism", but I'm blanking on the lead author's name. I haven't read the study in 5 years though, so I can't recall how strong it was structurally.

Oh - and the ARI is pretty out there as far as treatment goes - but not great data. I've listened, tried nearly everything they suggested, didn't see any progress and finally found a developmental pediatrician who knows what she's doing. My son's a different guy now - with Zoloft and Focalin XR, we are on the verge of really functional language - which has been my lifelong goal for him - at age 11, he's starting to talk!
 
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McDoctor

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I don't think it's vaccines directly... but I think it's pretty stupid and irresponsible to use a toxic metal like mercury in the preservative solution so you can make cheaper multi-dose vials. The CDC just released the 1 in 150 prevalence rate - which they determined from studies of 8 year olds in 2000 and 2002 (which are older than the upper ages in the so called autism epidemic). I think it will be pretty telling to see what it looks like for 2008when the kids who haven't been injected with mercury are 8.

Autism is like cancer - there eventually will be officially different types, IMO. It's a multifactoral disease - likely multiple environmental triggers in a genetically susceptible individual. When my son was diagnosed in 1997 - we were told the prevalence was 1 in 5000. And before you flame me as a patient - I'm also a MS4. I believe in vaccinations - I just don't buy the BS that ethyl mercury behaves SOOOO much differently than methyl mercury - but neither did my organic professor.

There is an animal model (in mice I think) that shows ethyl mercury exposure causing "mouse autism", but I'm blanking on the lead author's name. I haven't read the study in 5 years though, so I can't recall how strong it was structurally.

Oh - and the ARI is pretty out there as far as treatment goes - but not great data. I've listened, tried nearly everything they suggested, didn't see any progress and finally found a developmental pediatrician who knows what she's doing. My son's a different guy now - with Zoloft and Focalin XR, we are on the verge of really functional language - which has been my lifelong goal for him - at age 11, he's starting to talk!

I disagree with you that being cost conscious is irresponsible. Vaccines need to be mass produced to ensure adequate availability and IMO anything which hinders production or makes them unaffordable to large segments of the population is detrimental from a public health standpoint. Also, I'm not well versed on specific studies, but I give alot of credence to scientific consensus. And the scientific consensus overwhelmingly agrees that Thimersol is not causally related to autism.

I'm not necessarily "flaming" you, BTW, just disagreeing. If you have a son with autism, then you probably have read more than I have on the subject, so I respect your opinion. I'm just putting in my $0.02. Glad your son is doing well.
 

dilated

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Autism is like cancer - there eventually will be officially different types, IMO. It's a multifactoral disease - likely multiple environmental triggers in a genetically susceptible individual. When my son was diagnosed in 1997 - we were told the prevalence was 1 in 5000. And before you flame me as a patient - I'm also a MS4. I believe in vaccinations - I just don't buy the BS that ethyl mercury behaves SOOOO much differently than methyl mercury - but neither did my organic professor.

Well it's clear both that ethyl mercury is less dangerous than methyl mercury AND that it is, of course, neurotoxic (like all organomercurates). I don't think the issue is one of toxicity, it's one of dose. Surely one molecule of ethyl mercury could have no real effect, you would agree. Obviously then there is a dose threshold where it begins to have some effect, and the current scientific consensus is that it is far below that level. I'm open to revising my opinion on that, but I haven't seen any convincing evidence of it (and neither have the WHO or IOM).

Thimerosal is being removed from vaccines. If it truly did cause it then the autism prevalence rate will go back down and Merck will be bankrupt. But I'll bet a million dollars it never goes down and in fact just keeps going up.
 

Miami_med

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Did anyone read the recent study that attempted to link autism to the age of the father at conception? As usual, I can't remember the author, but the media made a bit of a thing out of it a couple of months ago.
 

tiredmom

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Something to consider about the doses also - the kids were/are being injected with 4-5 different injections per visit. When the pediatric vaccines did contain thimerosal - it added up to a mercury exposure that exceeded the EPA guidelines. Yes, it was a once every two months or so, but these are also in babies with not a lot of weight to distribute it.

Also - Thimerosal was recommended to be removed from vaccines - it's still in nearly all of the flu shots and several of the adult vaccines - you still have to check the labels.

The reference about flaming was after reading another thread where someone griped about a patient posting on the board - didn't want to get that sort of feedback.

I don't know that vaccines or thimerosal has anything to do with it, but as a parent, you have to be careful. It's hard enough to raise a kid with autism - but to feel at all like something you did could have contributed to it isn't a warm, fuzzy feeling. I think kids should be vaccinated, we should just be smart about it. I personally feel like it would be better to pay a bit more for the vaccine and not inject heavy metals.

The CDC's latest study about the 1 in 150 rate was interesting in that they looked at 8 year olds, because they said symptoms would be pretty evident by then and they didn't think they would miss anyone. Their number ended up being higher than they expected... and the rates supposedly started rising dramatically in kids that were born around 1994-1995. In 2000 and 2002, those kids weren't yet old enough to be measured. So, I don't think the thimerosal controversy will go away until they do another study, same structure, in 2008 or 2009 that looks at the kids that weren't exposed to the vaccines that contained thimerosal. You'll still have a baseline autism rate for kids that would have it anyway, but the numbers should trend downwards instead of up.

And Merck won't be bankrupt from vaccine stuff - it all goes through the vaccine compensation court and the statute of limitations on it is within 3 years of the vaccination - which most kids are out of when they are diagnosed.

Hadn't heard about the age of the father study - were they old men or young ones?
 

PBEA

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I disagree with you that being cost conscious is irresponsible. Vaccines need to be mass produced to ensure adequate availability and IMO anything which hinders production or makes them unaffordable to large segments of the population is detrimental from a public health standpoint. Also, I'm not well versed on specific studies, but I give alot of credence to scientific consensus. And the scientific consensus overwhelmingly agrees that Thimersol is not causally related to autism.

I'm not necessarily "flaming" you, BTW, just disagreeing. If you have a son with autism, then you probably have read more than I have on the subject, so I respect your opinion. I'm just putting in my $0.02. Glad your son is doing well.

Skipping the rest of your comments, do you really believe that putting obviously dangerous compounds into routine injections is sound logic?? All for the sake of saving a few dollars?!? I hope not, for a minute there you sounded like a republican and NOT a doctor. Your fragile "consensus" barely exists, as virtually everyone wants mercury out of vaccines, with good reason. In fact, other then money, can you give me a reason why mercury should be allowed to stay in the injections that go into our kids? Do you have kids?
 

Miami_med

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Skipping the rest of your comments, do you really believe that putting obviously dangerous compounds into routine injections is sound logic?? All for the sake of saving a few dollars?!? I hope not, for a minute there you sounded like a republican and NOT a doctor. Your fragile "consensus" barely exists, as virtually everyone wants mercury out of vaccines, with good reason. In fact, other then money, can you give me a reason why mercury should be allowed to stay in the injections that go into our kids? Do you have kids?

This is a false dichotomy. The majority of doctors ARE republicans, so these are not mutually exclusive possibilities.
 

PBEA

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This is a false dichotomy. The majority of doctors ARE republicans, so these are not mutually exclusive possibilities.


The point being people dont go and see you to hear about your political leanings, they go to you for unbiased medical advice. So act like a doctor and not a politician.
 

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I think most of us agree that lead should be taken out.
No so fast. I can infer from PBEA's posts that as a Republican I must hate children (including my own) and value $ way more than life. As such an ogre I really don't feel mercury or lead to be drastic enough. I prefer to grind their bones into meal and just eat them.
 

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The CDC's latest study about the 1 in 150 rate was interesting in that they looked at 8 year olds, because they said symptoms would be pretty evident by then and they didn't think they would miss anyone. Their number ended up being higher than they expected... and the rates supposedly started rising dramatically in kids that were born around 1994-1995. In 2000 and 2002, those kids weren't yet old enough to be measured. So, I don't think the thimerosal controversy will go away until they do another study, same structure, in 2008 or 2009 that looks at the kids that weren't exposed to the vaccines that contained thimerosal. You'll still have a baseline autism rate for kids that would have it anyway, but the numbers should trend downwards instead of up. quote]

Their have been some studies on kids in Amish communities, as they do not vaccinate their children. The studies show that the Autism rates are almost non-existant in those communities. The few that they found were generally adopted kids from other countries that had to have all their vaccinations to come into the USA.
 
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No so fast. I can infer from PBEA's posts that as a Republican I must hate children (including my own) and value $ way more than life. As such an ogre I really don't feel mercury or lead to be drastic enough. I prefer to grind their bones into meal and just eat them.

Isn't that how leukemia is transmitted?
 

McDoctor

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Skipping the rest of your comments, do you really believe that putting obviously dangerous compounds into routine injections is sound logic?? All for the sake of saving a few dollars?!? I hope not, for a minute there you sounded like a republican and NOT a doctor. Your fragile "consensus" barely exists, as virtually everyone wants mercury out of vaccines, with good reason. In fact, other then money, can you give me a reason why mercury should be allowed to stay in the injections that go into our kids? Do you have kids?

http://www.theness.com/articles.asp?id=74

Not a scientific article, but this is an easier read and not as dry as the scientific literature. The author is an academic neurologist at Yale, and gives a rational analysis of this controversy.

I'm only suggesting that the removal of Thimerosol from vaccines was mostly the product of societal pressures and fears, and not due to any overwhelming scientific evidence that demonstrated harm. The FDA restrictions on Silicone breast implants is another example of this, so the FDA bowing to broad social outcry instead of evidence is not unprecedented.

Also, my wife is pregnant with our first child. Why do you ask?
 

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http://www.theness.com/articles.asp?id=74

Not a scientific article, but this is an easier read and not as dry as the scientific literature. The author is an academic neurologist at Yale, and gives a rational analysis of this controversy.

I'm only suggesting that the removal of Thimerosol from vaccines was mostly the product of societal pressures and fears, and not due to any overwhelming scientific evidence that demonstrated harm. The FDA restrictions on Silicone breast implants is another example of this, so the FDA bowing to broad social outcry instead of evidence is not unprecedented.

Also, my wife is pregnant with our first child. Why do you ask?

Congrats on your child. I asked because I wonder whether you would inject mercury into your child? I have browsed some of the articles on CDC, FDA, IOM and agree that the FDA was bowing to public outcry (at least 30 years of it), and that the available science is almost totally against a thimerosol (or vaccine) culprit, but that IMO is not the point. Mercury is, or was, a substantial part of the vaccination schedule. That being the case I dont see how anybody can say that no possible harm could have come from this? In any event the truth should be better known once the post-thimerosol autism numbers are available.
 

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Their have been some studies on kids in Amish communities, as they do not vaccinate their children. The studies show that the Autism rates are almost non-existant in those communities. The few that they found were generally adopted kids from other countries that had to have all their vaccinations to come into the USA.

I'm sure that as someone well versed in science/statistics, you are able to realize that such studies are bogus before even reading them, right? So as not to appear to be ignorant, I'd be happy to read such a study to confirm my presumption that they were performed upon ridiculously small sample sizes, along with virtually no accounting for the myriad of confounders when comparing living in an Amish community to living in a non-Amish community.
 

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Their have been some studies on kids in Amish communities, as they do not vaccinate their children. The studies show that the Autism rates are almost non-existant in those communities. The few that they found were generally adopted kids from other countries that had to have all their vaccinations to come into the USA.

One little problem here, the Amish do not adopt, yet alone adopt children from other countries. How exactly do they proceed with that adoption, by carrier pigeon? Give me a break. I really hope that if you move from doula to MD you actually learn to fully examine issues before commenting.

- H
 

McDoctor

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Congrats on your child. I asked because I wonder whether you would inject mercury into your child? I have browsed some of the articles on CDC, FDA, IOM and agree that the FDA was bowing to public outcry (at least 30 years of it), and that the available science is almost totally against a thimerosol (or vaccine) culprit, but that IMO is not the point. Mercury is, or was, a substantial part of the vaccination schedule. That being the case I dont see how anybody can say that no possible harm could have come from this? In any event the truth should be better known once the post-thimerosol autism numbers are available.

I wouldn't necessarily have objected to my child getting the MMR vaccine in question which contained thimerosol, or the DTP with thimerosol, if the choice was between that or no vaccine at all. I think that if there is a non-mercury alternative , then that is great too. But honestly, I don't know what preservative took the place of thimerosol and I don't know what the theoretical risks of that particular preservative may be either.

I do tend to think the FDA does a pretty good job of assessing the safety of our medications, the recent problems with Vioxx notwithstanding, and in general I believe that if a vaccine is FDA approved, then it is safe until post-marketing data proves otherwise. So, in short, I would inject thimerosol into my future child if it was for the purpose of vaccinating he or she (hopefully he:D ) from potentially lethal disease.

My concern about cost lies in the problems with access to healthcare in our country. In our current system, anything that drives up the cost of healthcare is harmful to the uninsured. If access to affordable healthcare wasn't such a big problem, then I might have a different opinion.
 

McDoctor

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Their have been some studies on kids in Amish communities, as they do not vaccinate their children. The studies show that the Autism rates are almost non-existant in those communities. The few that they found were generally adopted kids from other countries that had to have all their vaccinations to come into the USA.

The limited gene pool of amish communities is tremendously valuable for studying the genetic basis of some diseases, but at the same time, IMHO, that same limited gene poool makes it very difficult to make epidemiological inferences that apply to the non-Amish population on a whole. In short, Amish people get diseases that are rare in non-Amish communities and likewise they don't get some diseases that are common in non-Amish communities. And autism certainly seems to have a strong genetic component.

Also, There is not some sort of Amish dogma that forbids vaccination. Some Amish people vaccinate their kids. Some don't. An Amish person is probably less likely to have his/her child vaccinated compared to the population in general, but it's inaccurate to flatly proclaim that the Amish do not vaccinate. The types of medical care sought out by the Amish is highly variable within the community.
 

tiredmom

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I wouldn't necessarily have objected to my child getting the MMR vaccine in question which contained thimerosol, or the DTP with thimerosol, if the choice was between that or no vaccine at all. I think that if there is a non-mercury alternative , then that is great too. But honestly, I don't know what preservative took the place of thimerosol and I don't know what the theoretical risks of that particular preservative may be either.

I do tend to think the FDA does a pretty good job of assessing the safety of our medications, the recent problems with Vioxx notwithstanding, and in general I believe that if a vaccine is FDA approved, then it is safe until post-marketing data proves otherwise. So, in short, I would inject thimerosol into my future child if it was for the purpose of vaccinating he or she (hopefully he:D ) from potentially lethal disease.

My concern about cost lies in the problems with access to healthcare in our country. In our current system, anything that drives up the cost of healthcare is harmful to the uninsured. If access to affordable healthcare wasn't such a big problem, then I might have a different opinion.

Actually, the MMR has never contained thimerosal. But prior to late 1999, all the rest of the the childhood vaccines did. And the FDA has been known to not be quite ethical when it came to the board voting for vaccines - with board members holding stock or being employed by the companies producing the vaccine. Yes, this is a very small group of people who are vaccine experts, but still - you should abstain from voting on a product which stands to make you a boat load of $$$. And the IOM report on the autism/vaccine connection - it's been a while, but I recall that the statement that it wasn't connected actually didn't represent the sentiment of the discussions, more that they thought more studies were needed. And I recall something about chair/head at the meeting commenting that he wouldn't want that stuff injected into his grandkids!
As far as what has taken the place of it - they've mainly gone to single dose vials in the fridge rather than the big multi-dose vials that sat at room temp.

Congrats on the baby. I always ask to see the vial and insert for the vaccines before they inject my kid. I've twice caught the nurse having drawn up the wrong vaccine and brought it to the room (my son caught pertussis in the pediatrician's office when a kid coughed on him while he was there for a well child checkup - so we needed to get the Tet-Dip shot without the pertussis. And yes, he was vaccinated, but the immunity doesn't kick in well until they are done or near done with the series).
 

tiredmom

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No so fast. I can infer from PBEA's posts that as a Republican I must hate children (including my own) and value $ way more than life. As such an ogre I really don't feel mercury or lead to be drastic enough. I prefer to grind their bones into meal and just eat them.

Eeewww!
 

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Was your son involved with any ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), early intervention, speech languauge pathologists, or other programs?

I've listened, tried nearly everything they suggested, didn't see any progress and finally found a developmental pediatrician who knows what she's doing. My son's a different guy now - with Zoloft and Focalin XR, we are on the verge of really functional language - which has been my lifelong goal for him - at age 11, he's starting to talk!
 

tiredmom

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Was your son involved with any ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), early intervention, speech languauge pathologists, or other programs?

We've been in speech since he was 2, done ABA (though we've never gotten to the magical 40 hours per week), done floor time. He started school at 3. We've done sensory at home, we've done the vitamins, the GF/CF diet (which is the worst!) the chelations (which was a close second - he smelled like a rotten liver failure patient for a month), the secretin injections. What has worked best is Zoloft + Focalin XR (and I guess a little testosterone since puberty is starting :D ). We use a TEACCH method of teaching 1:1, then generalizing into a small group, also tons of visual structure. He uses pecs cards, has used a voice output device, but lately has been writing his own requests (accompanied by a drawing of what he wants, just like the pecs cards) or just asking for it verbal (the best:thumbup: :thumbup: ).
 

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Also - Thimerosal was recommended to be removed from vaccines - it's still in nearly all of the flu shots and several of the adult vaccines - you still have to check the labels.

It is only in the multi dose vials of flu vaccine. All of the single dose vials are mercury free.

Other option is flumist - now it looks like it is just as effective in addition to no needles or mercury :)

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=83037&p=irol-investornewsArticle&ID=849710&highlight

I didn't read through it to see how well the study was actually done.....
 
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