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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://thinkingmomsrevolution.com/vaccines-cause-autism-part-1-immune-activation-autism/

In 2005, a groundbreaking paper was published by Dr Vargas of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The Vargas paper has been cited 295 times (on PubMed). It’s a very important paper. Paper (Vargas): “Neuroglial Activation and Neuroinflammation in the Brain of Patients with Autism The study was simple. Brains and spinal fluid from deceased autistic people (ages 5-44) and age-matched controls were analyzed for cytokines and other indicators of chronic inflammation/microglial activation. The findings were dramatic: every autistic brain at every age had very high levels of brain inflammation (elevated cytokines), compared to controls.
Is there neuroinflammation? Could it result from vaccines? Why or why not?
 

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Have not read the link but I am somewhat familiar with the study. The author has said the study has been misused pointing out that we don't even know whether the inflammation is good or bad, noting that the inflammation might actually be "an attempt of the brain to repair itself". In other words, this could be a classic chicken and egg scenario: autism is causing the inflammation, not the other way around. This is why it's a mistake for lay people (or anyone) to take the results from one study like this and run with it.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/chi-autism-science-nov23-story.html

Further, the "thinking" moms do realize that VIRUSES can cause elevated cytokines too right? In fact, the high death rate from the 1918 influenza pandemic is thought to have been a result of this very sort of "cytokine storm".
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have not read the link but I am somewhat familiar with the study. The author has said the study has been misused pointing out that we don't even know whether the inflammation is good or bad, noting that the inflammation might actually be "an attempt of the brain to repair itself". In other words, this could be a classic chicken and egg scenario: autism is causing the inflammation, not the other way around. This is why it's a mistake for lay people (or anyone) to take the results from one study like this and run with it.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/chi-autism-science-nov23-story.html

Further, the "thinking" moms do realize that VIRUSES can cause elevated cytokines too right? In fact, the high death rate from the 1918 influenza pandemic is thought to have been a result of this very sort of "cytokine storm".
Chronic brain inflammation is probably not good. You might want to read the article.

And yes, they acknowledge in more than one place that viruses can cause elevated cytokines.

You might want to at least dip into the article. Thinking moms is generally not particularly rude or insulting. They do point out that Offit is wrong about something, but not in a nasty way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The article discusses more than one study, by the way. Which you would know if you had clicked on the link.
 

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Have not read the link but I am somewhat familiar with the study. The author has said the study has been misused pointing out that we don't even know whether the inflammation is good or bad, noting that the inflammation might actually be "an attempt of the brain to repair itself". In other words, this could be a classic chicken and egg scenario: autism is causing the inflammation, not the other way around. This is why it's a mistake for lay people (or anyone) to take the results from one study like this and run with it.


I think @teacozy has a good point here. It reminds me of the cholesterol problem. IIRC, cholesterol builds up in the arteries as a repair mechanism. The cholesterol is trying to heal the arteries. Of course, if too much cholesterol builds up the arteries get blocked causing a life threatening clot.

But, it side steps the question. Even if it is the body's attempt to repair itself, what went wrong to begin with that the arteries (or brain) needs to repair itself?

Either way. Either the brain is damaged as evidenced by the inflammation. Or the brain is damaged and the inflammation is the body's attempt at repair. Either way, the brain is damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think @teacozy has a good point here. It reminds me of the cholesterol problem. IIRC, cholesterol builds up in the arteries as a repair mechanism. The cholesterol is trying to heal the arteries. Of course, if too much cholesterol builds up the arteries get blocked causing a life threatening clot.

But, it side steps the question. Even if it is the body's attempt to repair itself, what went wrong to begin with that the arteries (or brain) needs to repair itself?

Either way. Either the brain is damaged as evidenced by the inflammation. Or the brain is damaged and the inflammation is the body's attempt at repair. Either way, the brain is damaged.
I'm sure there is some way around that little problem.
 

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As I've discussed before, studies have shown that people with autism have disorganization in the cortex in parts that are formed in utero during pregnancy, which supports the idea that autism occurs at some point in the womb before a person is ever born. Could those changes cause inflammation? I don't know. The author of the study said the results were extremely preliminary and don't tell us anything about whether the inflammation is good or bad, nor do we know whether the inflammation or autism came first, etc.

So the so-called "thinking" moms calling this study "groundbreaking" and "The Big Discovery" that somehow supports the idea that vaccines cause autism is just beyond ridiculous and is why you shouldn't trust what you read from those "thinking" moms.

It is amusing that they seem to put so much stock in mouse studies, which are notoriously unreliable when extrapolating to humans, though. I'm sure they would accept that a vaccine was safe and effective in humans after only being studied in mice, right? Not only that, the study seems to support the idea that *infections* during pregnancy (like the flu and rubella which are known to increase the risk of autism) can cause autism making those vaccines a method of reducing the risk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Did I say that it was too valuable an idea to put to rest?

I was right.
 

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I'm sure they would accept that a vaccine was safe and effective in humans after only being studied in mice, right? Not only that, the study seems to support the idea that *infections* during pregnancy (like the flu and rubella which are known to increase the risk of autism) can cause autism making those vaccines a method of reducing the risk.
There are two ideas that are commonly accepted:

1. The rise in ASD in the last 30 years is real

2/ The rise is not real - we just have better diagnosis, awareness, etc, etc. The numbers are the same.

While the flu and rubella in utero could be linked to ASD, the reality is that if the vaccine are effective, and if in utero infection is a major player in the development of ASD, we should have seen a drop in ASD rates since the advent of vaccines. Alas, no. My hunch: things like the flu and rubella are not major players in the development of ASD.
 

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Could those changes cause inflammation? I don't know. The author of the study said the results were extremely preliminary and don't tell us anything about whether the inflammation is good or bad, nor do we know whether the inflammation or autism came first, etc.

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Do you have any link that supports the idea that inflammation in this type of scenario ( all autopsies of those with ASD) could be a good thing? I am just not seeing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Autism is an immune-mediated disease. Autistic brains have chronic inflammation and are loaded with inflammatory lesions.
From the Thinking Moms article linked in the OP.

I think the argument we are getting is as though someone said: "arthritis involves inflammation, but the inflammation isn't a concern because it is just the body trying to sort out joint problems." Which could be at least partially true, but there are two important points to keep in mind.

1) When you have chronic inflammation, the body may be trying to sort something out, but it isn't succeeding. The inflammation that goes on and on is a failed attempt to resolve a problem.

2) Something may get started before birth. Whether it becomes a major, chronic situation can depend on exposures after birth.

Consider someone who has some health weaknesses due to heredity. Perhaps they have trouble dealing with certain chemical exposures--how about artificial colorings in food? If that person is exposed to those chemicals, they will probably react differently than someone who doesn't have that vulnerability. Before birth or after? Or a combination? http://www.southampton.ac.uk/psychology/research/impact/food_additives.page

I agree with kathymuggle that the actual changes in the rate of autism don't match up well with the use of influenza vaccine during pregnancy. Where is the decrease?

Actually, why in the world hasn't there been a study on the benefits of influenza vaccine during pregnancy showing a lower rate of autism in these children?
 

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There are two ideas that are commonly accepted:

1. The rise in ASD in the last 30 years is real

2/ The rise is not real - we just have better diagnosis, awareness, etc, etc. The numbers are the same.

While the flu and rubella in utero could be linked to ASD, the reality is that if the vaccine are effective, and if in utero infection is a major player in the development of ASD, we should have seen a drop in ASD rates since the advent of vaccines. Alas, no. My hunch: things like the flu and rubella are not major players in the development of ASD.
1) It doesn't have to be one or the other. I have said many times that I think there is likely a true increase due to things like parents having children at an older age and premature babies being more likely to survive now than before,etc - both of which are known to increase the risk of autism. Having said that, I think the *majority* of the increase is due to better diagnostics, and there are many studies that support that which I have linked several times before.

2) We don't know how many people actually had autism before the rubella vaccines because the criteria for diagnosing autism was very different then than it is today, so we can't say whether autism was really that much lower then than it is now.

3) I don't think the flu is a major contributor to autism - after all, only a small percentage of women actually get the flu during pregnancy, and then an even smaller number of those cases could lead to a child developing autism. So we are talking about a small percent of another small percent. Plus, only 10% of mothers actually get the flu shot during pregnancy. We might see a more noticeable difference if more mothers received the vaccine.
 

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1) It doesn't have to be one or the other. I have said many times that I think there is likely a true increase due to things like parents having children at an older age and premature babies being more likely to survive now than before,etc - both of which are known to increase the risk of autism. Having said that, I think the *majority* of the increase is due to better diagnostics, and there are many studies that support that which I have linked several times before.

2) We don't know how many people actually had autism before the rubella vaccines because the criteria for diagnosing autism was very different then than it is today, so we can't say whether autism was really that much lower then than it is now.

3) I don't think the flu is a major contributor to autism - after all, only a small percentage of women actually get the flu during pregnancy, and then an even smaller number of those cases could lead to a child developing autism. So we are talking about a small percent of another small percent. Plus, only 10% of mothers actually get the flu shot during pregnancy. We might see a more noticeable difference if more mothers received the vaccine.
None of this negates my point.

If VAD infections are a player in the development of ASD, then rates would have been higher in the pre-vaccine era. No one suggests this. ASD rates were either lower in the past or the same, but not higher.
 

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None of this negates my point.

If VAD infections are a player in the development of ASD, then rates would have been higher in the pre-vaccine era. No one suggests this. ASD rates were either lower in the past or the same, but not higher.
Because we don't have accurate numbers of what the true rate of autism by our modern criteria was in the 60s. We would also have to take into account that parents are having kids much older now than they used to and that low birth weight and premature babies are more likely to survive now than they were before, both of which increase the risk of autism. So even if the numbers were the same then, that could still mean preventing rubella lowered the rate because the baseline didn't include the increased risk factors I previously described.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Funny!

Bad numbers always end up supporting the vaccine program. What a weird coincidence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Bumping up because of new study about inflammation
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
And here is a link to the abstract of the study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31591201


Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) does not have a distinct pathogenesis or effective treatment. Increasing evidence supports the presence of immune dysfunction and inflammation in the brains of children with ASD. In this report, we present data that gene expression of the antiinflammatory cytokine IL-37, as well as of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-18 and TNF, is increased in the amygdala and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of children with ASD as compared to non-ASD controls. Gene expression of IL-18R, which is a receptor for both IL-18 and IL-37, is also increased in the same brain areas of children with ASD. Interestingly, gene expression of the NTR3/sortilin receptor is reduced in the amygdala and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Pretreatment of cultured human microglia from normal adult brains with human recombinant IL-37 (1 to 100 ng/mL) inhibits neurotensin (NT)-stimulated secretion and gene expression of IL-1β and CXCL8. Another key finding is that NT, as well as the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β and TNF increase IL-37 gene expression in cultured human microglia. The data presented here highlight the connection between inflammation and ASD, supporting the development of IL-37 as a potential therapeutic agent of ASD.
 
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