REPORT : Vaccines and autoimmunity – research – certainties – fears

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My continuous research of scientifically “tested and validated” information on the real “toxic” nature of vaccines, widely acclaimed on social media and on the media platforms, has led me to an in-depth and scientific study of the topic.

I divided this analysis into distinct and analytical phases, to identify the single arguments and problems, and then correlate them in a synergistic way.

The topics discussed in detail are:

  • Aluminum can increase IL-6 in the brain
  • Aluminum in vaccines and correlation with autism
  • Correlation between gastrointestinal disorder and vaccines
  • Correlation between negative reactions of the immune system and vaccines
  • Correlation between vaccines and autism
  • Maternal Immune Activation – can cause autism
  • Mercury in vaccines and correlation with autism

Which vaccines are administered to the population according to hygiene and health regulations

Let’s start with 2018 Recommended Immunizations For Infants and Children

Are vaccines safe?

We assume that :

  • Any licensed vaccine is rigorously tested across multiple phases of trials before it is approved for use, and regularly reassessed once it is on the market. Scientists are also constantly monitoring information from several sources for any sign that a vaccine may cause an adverse event. Most vaccine reactions are usually minor and temporary, such as a sore arm or mild fever. In the rare event a serious side effect is reported, it is immediately investigated.
  • But….. there are concrete evidence of side effects on a percentage of people who have taken vaccines. One of the most serious pathologies is autism
  • Vaccines can prevent infectious diseases that once killed or harmed many infants, children, and adults.

Without vaccines, your child is at risk for getting seriously ill and suffering pain, disability, and even death from diseases like measles and whooping cough.

The main risks associated with getting vaccines are side effects, which are almost always mild (redness and swelling at the injection site) and go away within a few days.

Serious side effects after vaccination, such as a severe allergic reaction, are very rare and doctors and clinic staff are trained to deal with them.

The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children. 

The only exceptions to this are cases in which a child has a serious chronic medical condition like cancer or a disease that weakens the immune system, or has had a severe allergic reaction to a previous vaccine dose.

14 Diseases You Almost Forgot About (Thanks to Vaccines)

#14. Diphtheria

Most of us only know diphtheria as an obscure disease from long ago, thanks to the diphtheria vaccine babies get.

This vaccine, called DTaP, provides protection against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). While preventable, diphtheria does still exist.

It can cause a thick covering in the back of the nose or throat that makes it hard to breathe or swallow.

Diphtheria can also lead to  heart failure, paralysis, and even death. Make sure to vaccinate to help keep this dangerous infection from your kids.

Doctors recommend that your child get five doses of the DTaP vaccine for best protection.

Your child will need one dose at each of the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 through 18 months, and 4 through 6 years.

#13. Chickenpox

Chickenpox is a disease that causes an itchy rash of blisters and a fever.

A person with chickenpox may have a lot of blisters—as many as 500 all over their body.

Chickenpox can be serious and even life-threatening, especially in babies, adults, and people with weakened immune systems. Even healthy children can get really sick.

Vaccinating kids at an early age is especially important to keep your children healthy.

Doctors recommend that your child get two doses of the chickenpox shot for best protection.

Your child will need one dose at each of the following ages: 12 through 15 months and 4 through 6 years.

#12. Mumps

Mumps is best known for causing puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw.

This is due to swelling of the salivary glands.

Other symptoms include fever, head and muscle aches, and tiredness.

Mumps is a contagious disease and there is no treatment.

Mumps is still a threat today—every year, people in the United States get mumps.

In recent years, mumps outbreaks have occurred in settings where there was close, extended contact with infected people, such as being in the same classroom or playing on the same sports team. The MMR vaccine protects you and your family against mumps, measles, and rubella.

Doctors recommend that your child get two doses of the MMR shot for best protection. Your child will need one dose at each of the following ages: 12 through 15 months and 4 through 6 years.

#11. Rotavirus

Rotavirus is contagious and can cause severe watery diarrhea, often with vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain, mostly in infants and young children.

Children can become severely dehydrated from the disease and need to be hospitalized.

If a dehydrated child does not get needed care, they could die.

Rotavirus is one of the first vaccines an infant can get; it’s the best way to protect your child from rotavirus disease.

Doctors recommend that your child get two or three doses of the vaccine (depending on the brand) for best protection.

For both brands, babies should get their first dose at 2 months of age and a second dose at 4 months. If they are getting the RotaTeq vaccine, they’ll need a third dose at 6 months.

#10. Pneumococcal Disease

This disease is caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae. It causes ear infections, sinus infections, pneumonia, and even meningitis, making it very dangerous for children.

The germs can invade parts of the body—like the brain or spinal cord—that are normally free from germs. Make sure you keep kids safe from this dangerous disease by vaccinating.

Doctors recommend that your child get four doses of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (also called PCV13) for best protection.

Your child will need one dose at each of the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and at 12 through 15 months.

#9. Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious disease that can be deadly for babies.

Whooping cough can cause uncontrollable, violent coughing, which often makes it hard to breathe. Its “whooping” name comes from the sharp breath intake sound right after a coughing fit.

In babies, this disease also can cause life-threatening pauses in breathing with no cough at all. Whooping cough is especially dangerous to babies who are too young to be vaccinated themselves.

Mothers should get the whooping cough vaccine during each pregnancy to pass some protection to their babies before birth.

It is very important for your baby to get the whooping cough vaccine on time so he can start building his own protection against the disease.

Since 2010, between 15,000 and 50,000 cases of whooping cough were reported each year in the United States, with cases reported in every state.

The DTaP vaccine provides protection against whooping cough, diphtheria, and tetanus. Doctors recommend that your child get five doses of the DTaP shot for best protection. Your child will need one dose at each of the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 through 18 months, and 4 through 6 years.

#8. Measles

Did you know your child can get measles by being in a room where a person with measles has been, even up to two hours after that person has left?

Measles is very contagious, and it can be serious, especially for young children.

Because measles is common in other parts of the world, unvaccinated people can get measles while traveling and bring it into the United States.

Anyone who is not protected is at risk, so make sure to stay up to date on your child’s vaccines to minimize the risk of coming into contact with an imported case.

Doctors recommend that your child get two doses of the MMR shot for best protection.

Your child will need one dose at each of the following ages: 12 through 15 months and 4 through 6 years.

Infants 6 to 11 months old should have one dose of the MMR shot before traveling abroad. Infants vaccinated before 12 months of age should be revaccinated on or after their first birthday with two doses, each dose separated by at least 28 days.

#7. Hib

Hib (or its official name, Haemophilus influenzae type b) isn’t as well-known as some of the other diseases, thanks to vaccines.

Hib can do some serious damage to our kids’ immune systems and cause brain damage, hearing loss, or even death.

Hib mostly affects kids under five years old.

Before the vaccine, over 20,000 kids were infected each year.

That’s about 400 yellow school busses worth of kids! Of these kids, one in five suffered brain damage or became deaf.

Even with treatment, as many as one out of 20 kids with Hib meningitis dies. Get your child vaccinated to help them beat the odds!

Doctors recommend that your child get four doses of the Hib vaccine for best protection. Your child will need one dose at each of the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months (for some brands), and 12 through 15 months.

#6. Rubella

Rubella is spread by coughing and sneezing.

It is especially dangerous for a pregnant woman and her developing baby. If an unvaccinated pregnant woman gets infected with rubella, she can have a miscarriage or her baby could die just after birth.

Also, she can pass the disease to her developing baby who can develop serious birth defects.

Make sure you and your child are protected from rubella by getting vaccinated on schedule.

Doctors recommend that your child get two doses of the MMR vaccine for best protection. Your child will need one dose at each of the following ages: 12 through 15 months and 4 through 6 years.

#5. Hepatitis A

The Hepatitis A vaccine was developed in 1995 and since then has cut the number of cases dramatically in the United States.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease and is transmitted through person-to-person contact or through contaminated food and water.

Vaccinating against hepatitis A is a good way to help your baby stay Hep A-free and healthy!

Doctors recommend that your child get two doses of the hepatitis A shot for best protection. Your child should get the first dose at 12 through 23 months and the second dose 6 months after the last dose.

#4. Hepatitis B

Did you know that worldwide more than 780,000 people per year die from complications to Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is spread through blood or other bodily fluids.

It’s especially dangerous for babies, since the hepatitis B virus can spread from an infected mother to child during birth.

About nine out of every 10 infants who contract it from their mothers become chronically infected, which is why babies should get the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine shortly after birth.

All pregnant women should be tested and all babies should be vaccinated.

Doctors recommend that your child get three doses of the Hepatitis B shot for best protection.

Typically, your child will need one dose at each of the following ages: shortly after birth, 1 through 2 months, and 6 months.

#3. The Flu (Influenza)

Flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus that infects the nose, throat, and lungs.

Flu can affect people differently based on their immune system, age, and health.

Did you know that flu can be dangerous for children of any age? Flu symptoms in children can include coughing, fever, aches, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Not to mention, every year in the United States, otherwise healthy children are hospitalized or die from flu complications. In fact, CDC estimates that since 2010, flu-related hospitalizations among children younger than 5 years have ranged from 6,000 to 26,000 in the United States.

It’s important to know that children younger than 6 months are more likely to end up in the hospital from flu, but are too young to get a flu vaccine.

The best way to protect babies against flu is for the mother to get a flu vaccine during pregnancy and for all caregivers and close contacts of the infant to be vaccinated. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year—protect yourself and your loved ones.

Doctors recommend that your child get the flu vaccine every year starting when they are 6 months old. Children younger than 9 years old who are getting vaccinated for the first time need two doses of flu vaccine, spaced at least 28 days apart.

#2. Tetanus

Tetanus causes painful muscle stiffness and lockjaw and can be fatal. Parents used to warn kids about tetanus every time we scratched, scraped, poked, or sliced ourselves on something metal. Nowadays, the tetanus vaccine is part of a disease-fighting vaccine called DTaP, which provides protection against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).

Doctors recommend that your child get five doses of the DTaP shot for best protection. Your child will need one dose at each of the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 through 18 months, and 4 through 6 years.

#1. Polio

Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease that is caused by poliovirus.

The virus spreads from person to person and can invade an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis.

Polio was eliminated in the United States with vaccination, and continued use of polio vaccine has kept this country polio-free.

But, polio is still a threat in some other countries.

Making sure that infants and children are vaccinated is the best way to prevent polio from returning. Make sure your baby is protected with the polio vaccine.

Doctors recommend that your child get four doses of the polio vaccine (also called IPV) for best protection. Your child will need one dose at each of the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 through 18 months, and 4 through 6 years.

Do Vaccines Cause Autism?

Autism rates in developing countries have risen remarkably in the past 20 years. For children born in 1992, according to the U.S. CDC, about 1 in 150 would be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

For children born in 2004, about 1 in 68 children would receive an ASD diagnosis.[1]

It is difficult to compare autism rates from the 1990s and later with rates from the 1940s through the 1980s:

in earlier years, autism was associated primarily with very severely affected individuals and the rate of autism was estimated to be only about 1 in 10,000 people.[2]

Beginning in the 1990s, our understanding of the spectrum of autism has expanded greatly, and now individuals who would most likely previously not have been thought of as having autism may be classified with one of a variety of ASDs.[3]

Whether the high rates of autism today are due to increased diagnosis and reporting, changing definitions of autism, or an actual increase in development of ASD is unknown.[4],[5]

Regardless, researchers and worried parents alike have speculated about causes of autism, and the issue has been widely studied.

The role of vaccines has been questioned, along with other possible risk factors for ASD, such as genetic predisposition, advanced parental age, and other environmental factors.

Vaccines have perhaps received more scrutiny that any other speculated cause of ASD, and the great majority of scientists, physicians, and public health researchers have come to the conclusion that there is no association between vaccines and autism.[6]

Some, however, still question whether vaccines play a role in ASD development, and so the public health and medical establishments continue to address these concerns.

The MMR Hypothesis

The story of how vaccines came to be questioned as a cause of autism dates back to the 1990s. In 1995, a group of British researchers published a cohort study in the Lancet showing that individuals who had been vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) were more likely to have bowel disease than individuals who had not received MMR.[7]

One of these researchers was gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield, MD, who went on to further study a possible link between the vaccine and bowel disease by speculating that persistent infection with vaccine virus caused disruption of the intestinal tissue that in turn led to bowel disease and neuropsychiatric disease (specifically, autism).

Part of this hypothesis – that vaccination was associated with autism – had been suggested previously a few researchers.

For example, Fudenberg, in a small pilot study published in a non-mainstream journal, posited this relationship[8], as did Gupta in a review of possible treatments for autism.[9] This hypothesis had not been systematically investigated when Wakefield began to interrogate it.

In 1998, Wakefield, along with 12 co-authors, published a case series study in the Lancet claiming that they found evidence, in many of the 12 cases they studied, of measles virus in the digestive systems of children who had exhibited autism symptoms after MMR vaccination.[10]

Though in the paper they stated that they could not demonstrate a causal relationship between MMR vaccination and autism, Wakefield suggested in a video released to coincide with the paper’s publication that a causal relationship existed between the MMR and autism: “…the risk of this particular syndrome [what Wakefield termed autistic enterocolitis] developing is related to the combined vaccine, the MMR, rather than the single vaccines.”[11]

He then recommended that the combination MMR vaccine be suspended in favor of single-antigen vaccinations given separately over time.

(Wakefield himself had filed for a patent for a single-antigen measles vaccine in 1997 and so would seem to have a potential financial interest in promoting this view.[12])

Reaction to the Wakefield publication was immediate.

Press outlets covered the news widely and frightened parents began to delay or completely refuse vaccination for their children, both in Britain and the United States. MMR vaccination rates in Britain plummeted.[13]

Over the next twelve years, the possibility of a link between MMR and autism was studied exhaustively. No reputable, relevant study confirmed Wakefield’s findings; instead, many well-designed studies have found no link between MMR and bowel disease or MMR and autism.[6],[14]

In 2004, then-editor Dr. Richard Horton of the Lancet wrote that Wakefield should had revealed to the journal that he had been paid by attorneys seeking to file lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers.[15]

In television interviews, Horton claimed that Wakefield’s research was “fatally flawed.”[16] Most of the co-authors of the study retracted the interpretation in the paper[17], and in 2010, The Lancet formally retracted the paper itself.[18]

Three months after the retraction, in May 2010, Britain’s General Medical Council banned Wakefield from practicing medicine in Britain, stating that he had shown “callous disregard” for children in the course of his research.

The council also cited previously uncovered information about the extent to which Wakefield’s research was funded by lawyers hoping to sue vaccine manufacturers on behalf of parents of children with autism.[19]

On January 6, 2011, the BMJ published a report by Brian Deer, a British journalist who had previously reported on flaws in Wakefield’s work.

For this new report, Deer spoke with parents of children from the retracted study and found evidence that Wakefield committed research fraud by falsifying data about the children’s conditions.[20]

Specifically, Deer reported that while the paper claimed that eight of the study’s twelve children showed either gastrointestinal or autism-like symptoms days after vaccination, records instead show that at most two children experienced these symptoms in this time frame. Additionally, while the paper claimed that all twelve of the children were “previously normal” before vaccination with MMR, at least two had developmental delays that were noted in their records before the vaccination took place.

After examining the records for all twelve children, Deer noted that the statements made in the paper did not match numbers from the records in any category: the children having regressive autism; those with non-specific colitis; or those showing first symptoms within days after receiving the MMR vaccine.

The Lancet paper claimed that six of the children had all three of these conditions; according to the records, not a single child actually did. (See a table entitled “Comparison of three features of the 12 children in The Lancet paper with features apparent in the NHS records, including those from the Royal Free hospital” that breaks down the comparison between the Lancet numbers and the medical records in the Deer article here.)

In an accompanying editorial, BMJ editor in chief Fiona Godlee and co-authors Jane Smith and Harvey Marcovitch examine the damage to public health caused by a tiny study based on parental recall with no control group – a study that turned out to be almost entirely fraudulent, but whose impact continues to this day.[21]

Although the findings of Wakefield’s paper have long been discredited by scientists, the evidence that the data itself was falsified makes this report by the BMJ a landmark moment in the history of vaccines. Evidence is strong that the original study should not have been published not merely because it was poorly conducted, but also because it was a product of research fraud.

The Thimerosal Hypothesis

Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that has been used for decades in the United States in multi-dose vials (vials containing more than one dose) of medicines and vaccines.

There is no evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site.

However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure.

Thimerosal contains ethylmercury

Mercury is a naturally occurring element found in the earth’s crust, air, soil, and water.

Two types of mercury to which people may be exposed — methylmercury and ethylmercury — are very different.

Methylmercury is the type of mercury found in certain kinds of fish.

At high exposure levels methylmercury can be toxic to people.

In the United States, federal guidelines keep as much methylmercury as possible out of the environment and food, but over a lifetime, everyone is exposed to some methylmercury.

Thimerosal contains ethylmercury, which is cleared from the human body more quickly than methylmercury, and is therefore less likely to cause any harm.

Thimerosal prevents the growth of bacteria in vaccines

Thimerosal is added to vials of vaccine that contain more than one dose (multi-dose vials) to prevent growth of germs, like bacteria and fungi. Introduction of bacteria and fungi has the potential to occur when a syringe needle enters a vial as a vaccine is being prepared for administration.

Contamination by germs in a vaccine could cause severe local reactions, serious illness or death.

In some vaccines, preservatives, including thimerosal, are added during the manufacturing process to prevent germ growth.

The human body eliminates thimerosal easily

Thimerosal does not stay in the body a long time so it does not build up and reach harmful levels.

When thimerosal enters the body, it breaks down to ethylmercury and thiosalicylate, which are readily eliminated.

Thimerosal has been shown to be safe when used in vaccines

Thimerosal use in medical products has a record of being very safe.

Data from many studies show no evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines.

There are some side effects of thimerosal in vaccines

The most common side-effects are minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site.

Although rare, some people may be allergic to thimerosal.

 

Scientific research does not show a connection between thimerosal and autism

Research does not show any link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism, a eurodevelopmental disorder.

Many well conducted studies have concluded that thimerosal in vaccines does not contribute to the development of autism.

Even after thimerosal was removed from almost all childhood vaccines, autism rates continued to increase, which is the opposite of what would be expected if thimerosal caused autism.

Thimerosal was taken out of childhood vaccines in the United States in 2001

Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines do not and never did contain thimerosal.

Varicella (chickenpox), inactivated polio (IPV), and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines have also never contained thimerosal.
Influenza (flu) vaccines are currently available in both thimerosal-containing (for multi-dose vaccine vials) and thimerosal-free versions.

For a complete list of vaccines and their thimerosal content level, see the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Thimerosal in Vaccines page.

This chart[PDF – 182 KB] shows vaccine ingredients sorted by vaccine.

(Thimerosal had never been used in MMR, as antimicrobial agents are not used in live vaccines.[22])

Other Preservatives

Phenol is used in a variety of consumer products including mouthwashes, throat lozenges, and throat sprays.

It is also currently used as a preservative in three FDA-approved available vaccines, Pneumovax 23 (for prevention of pneumococcal disease caused by the 23 serotypes contained in the vaccine) and Typhim Vi (for prevention of typhoid fever) and ACAM2000 (for prevention of smallpox); each of these vaccines contains 0.25% phenol.

These vaccines are not recommended for routine use by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

2-Phenoxyethanol is an organic chemical compound that is sometimes used in cosmetics and antiseptics.

It is also currently used as a preservative in one FDA-approved available vaccine, Ipol, for the prevention of polio, at a concentration of 0.5%.

Benzethonium chloride is a chemical that has antimicrobial properties. It is used in over-the-counter hand and body washes.  This preservative is currently used in only one FDA-approved vaccine, BioThrax, for the prevention of disease caused by Bacillus anthracis.  BioThrax is not recommended for routine use by CDC’s ACIP.

Rationale for Preservatives in Vaccines

Preservatives may be defined as compounds that kill or prevent the growth of microorganisms, particularly bacteria and fungi.

They are used in vaccines to prevent microbial growth in the event that the vaccine is accidentally contaminated, as might occur with repeated puncture of multi-dose vials with a needle.

In some cases, preservatives are added during the manufacturing process to prevent microbial growth.

However, improvements in manufacturing technology have markedly decreased the need to add preservatives during the manufacturing process.

The United States Code of Federal Regulations (the CFR) requires, in general, the addition of a preservative to multi-dose vials of vaccines; and, worldwide, preservatives are routinely added to multi-dose vials of vaccine.

Tragic consequences have followed the use of multi-dose vials that did not contain a preservative and have served as the impetus for this requirement.

One particularly telling incident from Australia is described by Sir Graham S. Wilson in his classic book, The Hazards of Immunization.

In January 1928, in the early stages of an immunization campaign against diphtheria, Dr. Ewing George Thomson, Medical Officer of Health of Bundaberg, began the injection of children with toxin-antitoxin mixture. The material was taken from an India-rubber-capped bottle containing 10 mL of TAM. On the 17th, 20th, 21, and 24th January, Dr. Thomson injected subcutaneously a total of 21 children without ill effect. On the 27th an additional 21 children were injected. Of these children: eleven died on the 28th and one on the 29th. (Wilson 1967)

This incident was investigated by a Royal Commission and the final sentence in the summary of their findings reads as follows:

The consideration of all possible evidence concerning the deaths at Bundeberg points to the injection of living staphylococci as the cause of the fatalities.

From this experience, the Royal Commission recommended that biological products in which the growth of a pathogenic organism is possible should not be issued in containers for repeated use unless there is a sufficient concentration of antiseptic (preservative) to inhibit bacterial growth.

The U.S. requirement for preservatives in multi-dose vaccines was incorporated into the CFR in January 1968, although many biological products had contained preservatives, including thimerosal, prior to this date.

The risk of contamination of vaccines cannot be completely eliminated even with the use of preservatives.

The literature contains several reports of bacterial contamination of vaccines despite the presence of a preservative, emphasizing the need for meticulous attention to technique in withdrawing vaccines from multi-dose vials.

(Bernier et al 1981; Simon et al. 1993). The need for preservatives in multi-dose vials of vaccines is nonetheless clear.

It is important to note that the FDA does not license a particular preservative; rather, the FDA evaluates safety and effectiveness data for the vaccine containing the preservative and makes a determination whether to issue a license for the vaccine.

FDA Actions Pertaining to Thimerosal in Vaccines

FDA has actively addressed the issue of thimerosal as a preservative in vaccines.

The use of thimerosal as a preservative in U.S. FDA-licensed vaccines has significantly declined due to reformulation and development of new vaccines presented in single-dose containers.

Under the FDA Modernization Act (FDAMA) of 1997, the FDA conducted a comprehensive review of the use of thimerosal in childhood vaccines.

Conducted in 1999, this review found no evidence of harm from the use of thimerosal as a vaccine preservative, other than local hypersensitivity reactions (Ball et al. 2001).

As part of the FDAMA review, the FDA evaluated the amount of mercury an infant might receive in the form of ethylmercury from vaccines under the U.S. recommended childhood immunization schedule and compared these levels with existing guidelines for exposure to methylmercury, as there are no existing guidelines for ethylmercury, the metabolite of thimerosal.

At the time of this review in 1999, the maximum cumulative exposure to mercury from vaccines in the recommended childhood immunization schedule was within acceptable limits for the methylmercury exposure guidelines set by FDA, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and the World Health Organization.

However, depending on the vaccine formulations used and the weight of the infant, some infants could have been exposed to cumulative levels of mercury during the first six months of life that exceeded Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended guidelines for safe intake of methylmercury.

Other than allergic responses in some individuals, there was no known health risk from thimerosal-preservative at the concentration used in vaccines, but in 1999, the Public Health Service (including the FDA, National Institutes of Health (NIH), CDC, and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)), along with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) concluded that because of scientific uncertainty at the time, as a precautionary measure, that it was prudent to reduce childhood exposure to mercury from all sources, including vaccines, as feasible.

On July 1, 1999, the FDA sent a letter to all licensed manufacturers of vaccines requesting their plans to remove thimerosal from U.S. licensed vaccines.

This step was taken because the elimination or reduction of mercury in vaccines was a feasible means of reducing an infant’s total exposure to mercury in a world where other environmental sources of mercury are challenging to eliminate.

Much progress has been made in removing or reducing thimerosal in vaccines. All vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger in the U.S. are available in formulations that do not contain thimerosal. In addition, vaccines that do not contain thimerosal as a preservative are available for adolescents and adults.

No Link between Thimerosal in Vaccines and Autism

Although all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger in the U.S. are available in formulations that do not contain thimerosal, thimerosal has a long record of safe and effective use in preventing bacterial and fungal contamination of vaccines, with no ill effects established other than hypersensitivity and minor local reactions at the site of injection.

There is a robust body of peer-reviewed, scientific studies conducted in the United States and countries around the world that support the safety of thimerosal-containing vaccines.

The scientific evidence collected over the past 15 years does not show any evidence of harm, including serious neurodevelopmental disorders, from use of thimerosal in vaccines.

Specifically, the Institute of Medicine (now known as the National Academy of Medicine), and others have concluded that the evidence favors rejection of a link between thimerosal and autism. Scientific studies of the risk of other serious neurodevelopmental disorders have failed to support a causal link with thimerosal. (see Bibliography- Notable Studies and Assessments Supporting the Safe Use of Thimerosal in Vaccines

Current Status of Thimerosal in Vaccines

The use of thimerosal as a preservative in U.S. FDA-licensed vaccines has significantly declined due to reformulation and development of new vaccines presented in single-dose containers.

All vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger in the U.S. are available in formulations that do not contain thimerosal.

As with pediatric vaccines, vaccines for adolescents and adults are available in formulations that do not contain thimerosal.

(Note- one vaccine, Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids Adsorbed, single-dose presentation, manufactured by Mass Biologics utilizes thimerosal as part of its manufacturing process, not as a preservative, and a trace remains in the final presentation).

FDA-approved seasonal influenza vaccines are available in single-dose presentations that do not contain thimerosal as a preservative for use in infants, children, adults, the elderly and pregnant women.

(Note- one vaccine, Fluvirin’s single-dose presentation utilizes thimerosal as part of its manufacturing process, not as a preservative, and a trace remains in the final presentation).

Vaccines with trace amounts of thimerosal contain 1 microgram or less of mercury per dose.

The CDC’s ACIP does not preferentially recommend vaccines that do not contain thimerosal for any populations.

 

Thimerosal Content of Available FDA-Approved Seasonal Influenza Vaccines

Thimerosal Content of Available FDA-Approved Seasonal Influenza Vaccines
Vaccine Tradename
(Manufacturer)
Thimerosal Status Concentration**(Mercury)
Trivalent Influenza Vaccine Afluria (multi-dose presentation)
Seqirus Pty Ltd
0.01% (24.5 mcg/0.5 mL dose)
Afluria (single-dose presentation)
Seqirus Pty Ltd
None
Fluad (single-dose presentation)
Seqirus Vaccines Ltd
None
Flublok (single dose presentation)
Protein Sciences Corporation
None
Fluvirin (multi-dose presentation)
Seqirus Vaccines Ltd
0.01% (25 mcg/0.5 mL dose)
Fluvirin (single-dose presentation)
Seqirus Vaccines Ltd
Trace (<1 mcg/0.5mL dose)1
Fluzone High Dose (single-dose presentation)
Sanofi Pasteur Inc.
None
Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine Afluria Quadrivalent (multi-dose presentation)
Seqirus Pty Ltd
0.01% (24.5 mcg/0.5 mL dose)
Afluria Quadrivalent (single-dose presentation)
Seqirus Pty Ltd
None
Fluarix Quadrivalent (single-dose presentation)
GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals
None
Flublok Quadrivalent (single-dose presentation)
Protein Sciences Corporation
None
Flucelvax Quadrivalent (single-dose presentation)
Seqirus, Inc
None
FluLaval Quadrivalent (multi-dose presentation)
vID Biomedical Corporation of Quebec
0.01% (25 mcg/0.5 mL dose)2
FluLaval Quadrivalent (single-dose presentation)
Biomedical Corporation of Quebec
None
FluMist Quadrivalent (single-dose presentation)
MedImmune LLC
None
Fluzone Quadrivalent (multi-dose presentation)
Sanofi Pasteur Inc.
0.01% (12.5 mcg/0.25 mL dose, 25 mcg/0.5 mL dose)3
Fluzone Quadrivalent (single-dose presentation)
Sanofi Pasteur Inc.
None
Fluzone Intradermal Quadrivalent (single-dose presentation)
Sanofi Pasteur Inc.
None

**Thimerosal is approximately 50% mercury (Hg) by weight. A 0.01% solution (1 part per 10,000) of thimerosal contains 50 µg (micrograms) of Hg per 1 mL dose or 25 µg of Hg per 0.5 mL dose.

1 The term “trace” has been taken in this context to mean 1 microgram of mercury per dose or less

2 Individuals 6 months of age and older receive a full-dose of vaccine, i.e., 0.5 mL

3 Children 6 months of age to less than 3 years of age receive a half-dose of vaccine, i.e., 0.25 mL; children 3 years of age and older receive 0.5 mL dose

( – – – – – References – – – – – )

Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 610.15(a) [21 CFR 610.15(a)]

Ball LK, Ball R, Pratt RD. An assessment of thimerosal use in childhood vaccines. Pediatrics 2001;1147-1154.

Bernier RH, Frank JA, Nolan TF. Abscesses complicating DTP vaccination. Am J Dis Child 1981;135:826-828.

Federal Register. November 19, 1999;64:63323-63324.

Powell HM, Jamieson WA. Merthiolate as a Germicide. Am J Hyg 1931;13:296-310.

Simon PA, Chen RT, Elliot JA, Schwartz B. Outbreak of pyogenic abscesses after diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccine. Pediatr Infect Dis J 1993;12:368-371.

U.S. Pharmacopeia 24, Rockville, MD: U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention; 2001.

Wilson GS. The Hazards of Immunization. New York, NY: The Athlone Press; 1967:75-84.

Bibliography

Notable Studies and Assessments Supporting the Safe Use of Thimerosal in Vaccines

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Toxicological profile for mercury. Atlanta, GA: 1999.

American Academy of Pediatrics. Vaccine Safety: Examine the Evidence. April 2013

Ball LK, Ball R, Pratt RD. (2001) An assessment of thimerosal use in childhood vaccines.
Pediatrics 107(5):1147-54.

Barregard L, Rekic D, Horvat M, Elmberg L, Lundh T, Zachrisson O. 2011. Toxicokinetics of mercury after long-term repeated exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccine. Toxicol Sci 120(2):499-506.

Berman RF, Pessah IN, Mouton PR, Mav D, Harry J. (2008) Low-level neonatal thimerosal exposure: further evaluation of altered neurotoxic potential in SJL mice.
Toxicol Sci 101(2):294-309.

Blair, AMJN, Clark B, Clarke AJ, Wood P. (1975) Tissue concentrations of mercury after chronic dosing of squirrel monkeys with thiomersal. Toxicology 3(2):171-6.

Burbacher, TM, DD Shen, N Liberato, KS Grant, E Cernichiari, and T Clarkson. (2005)
Comparison of Blood and Brain Mercury Levels in Infant Monkeys Exposed to Methylmercury or Vaccines Containing Thimerosal. Environ Health Perspect 113(8):1015-21.

Christensen DL, Baio J, Van Naarden Braun K, et al. Prevalence and Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years–Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2012. MMWR Surveill Summ 2016;65:1-23.

Clarkson TW. (2002) The three modern faces of mercury. Environ Health Perspect 110 Suppl 1:11-23.

Clarkson, TW, and L Magos. (2006) The Toxicology of Mercury and Its Chemical Compounds. Crit Rev Tox 36:609-62.

Fombonne, E., et al., (2006) Pervasive Developmental Disorders in Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Prevalence and Links With Immunizations. Pediatrics 118;e139-e150.

Hviid A, Stellfeld M, Wohlfahrt J, Melbye M. Association between thimerosal-containing vaccine and autism. JAMA. 2003;290:1763–6.

Hornig M, Chian D, Lipkin WI. (2004) Neurotoxic effects of postnatal thimerosal are mouse strain dependent. Mol Psychiatry 9(9):833-45.

IOM (Institute of Medicine). Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press: 2004 (Executive Summary, at 7). http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2004/Immunization-Safety-Review-Vaccines-and-Autism.aspx

Madsen KM, Hviid A, Vestergaard M, Schendel D, Wohlfahrt J, et al. A population-based study of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and autism. N Engl J Med. 2002;347 (19):1477–1482.

Magos, L, AW Brown, S Sparrow, E Bailey, RT Snowden, and WR Skipp. (1985)
The Comparative Toxicology of Ethyl- and Methylmercury. Arch Toxicol 57:260-7.

Magos L. (2001) Review on the toxicity of ethylmercury, including its presence as a preservative in biological and pharmaceutical products. J Appl Toxicol 21(1):1-5. Review on the toxicity of ethylmercury, including its presence as a preservative in biological and pharmaceutical products.

Mitkus RJ, King DB, Walderhaug MO, Forshee RA. A comparative pharmacokinetic estimate of mercury in U.S. Infants following yearly exposures to inactivated influenza vaccines containing thimerosal. Risk Anal 2014; 34:735.

Olczak M, Duszczyk M, Mierzejewski P, Wierzba-Bobrowicz T, Majewska MD (2010) Lasting neuropathological changes in rat brain after intermittent neonatal administration of thimerosal. Folia Neuropathol. 48(4): 258-69.

Pichichero, ME, E Cernichari, J Lopreiato, and J Treanor. (2002) Mercury Concentrations and Metabolism in Infants Receiving Vaccines Containing Thiomersal: A Descriptive Study. The Lancet 360:1737-41.

Pichichero ME, Gentile A, Giglio N, Umido V, Clarkson T, Cernichiari E, Zareba G, Gotelli C, Gotelli M, Yan L, and Treanor J. (2008) Mercury Levels in Newborns and Infants After Receipt of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines. Pediatrics. 121(2):e208 14.

Pichichero ME, Gentile A, Giglio N, Alonso MM, Fernandez Mentaberri MV, Zareba G, Clarkson T, Gotelli C, Gotelli M, Yan L, Treanor J. (2009) Mercury levels in premature and low birth weight newborn infants after receipt of thimerosal-containing vaccines J Pediatr.; 155(4):495-9.

Price C. et al. (2010) Prenatal and Infant Exposure to Thimerosal from Vaccines and Immunoglobulins and Risk of Autism. Pediatrics. 126: 656-664.

Schechter, R., et al., (2008) Continuing Increases in Autism Reported to California’s Developmental Services System. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 65(1):19-24.

Thompson, WW., et al. (2007) Early thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological outcomes at 7 and 10 years. N. Engl. J. Med 2007. 357:1281-92.

Tryphonas L. and Nielsen NO. (1973) Pathology of Chronic Alkylmercurial Poisoning in Swine. Am J Vet Res. 34(3):379-92.

World Health Organization, Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety. (2006). Statement on Thiomersal.

( – – – – – – – – – – )

Other Hypotheses

After thimerosal was removed from most vaccines, autism rates did not drop.

Rather, they continued to rise.[1]

Some vaccine critics shifted their attention from a hypothesized mercury exposure/autism connection to other targets.

One such target is the number of vaccines given to children.

Many vaccines have been added to the childhood immunization schedule since the 1980s, and some critics have voiced concern that this increase in vaccine exposure results in autism.

However, no evidence of an association between increased exposure to vaccines and autism has appeared.[27]

Others have focused on the aluminum adjuvant in some vaccines as a potential cause of autism.

Yet the amounts of aluminum used in vaccines are small in comparison to other exposures to aluminum, such as in breast milk and infant formula.[28]

            ( – – – – – Sources – – – – – )

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Autism Spectrum Disorder: Data & Statistics. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  2. Rice, C.E., Rosanoff, M., Dawson, G., Durkin, M., Croen, L.A., Singer, A., Yeargin-Allsopp, M. Evaluating changes in the prevalence of the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).Public Health Reviews. 2012; 34(2): 1.
  3. Hertz-Picciotto, I., Delwiche, L. The rise in autism and the role of age at diagnosis. 2009; 20(1): 84.
  4. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Research. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  5. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Autism spectrum disorder fact sheet. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  6. Immunization Safety Review Committee, Institute of Medicine. Immunization safety review: vaccines and autism.National Academies Press, 2004. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  7. Thompson, N.P., Pounder, R.E., Wakefield, A.J., & Montgomery, S.M. Is measles vaccination a risk factor for inflammatory bowel disease? The Lancet. 1995; 345(8957): 1071-1074.
  8. Fudenberg, H.H. Dialysable lymphocyte extract (DLyE) in infantile onset autism: a pilot study. Biotherapy. 1996; 9(1-3): 143-147.
  9. Gupta, S. Immunology and immunologic treatment of autism. Proc Natl Autism Assn Chicago.1996;455–460
  10. Wakefield A, et al. RETRACTED:—Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children. Lancet. 1998; 351(9103): 637-641.
  11. Deer, B. Royal free facilitates attack on MMR in medical school single shots videotape. No date. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  12. Deer, B. Revealed: Wakefield’s secret first MMR patent claims “safer measles vaccine.”No date. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  13. Offit, P.A. Autism’s False Profits. New York: Columbia University Press; 2008. See Chapters 2 and 3.
  14. See a list of such studies in this Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center document.
  15. Horton, R. A statement by the editors of The LancetThe Lancet.2004; 363(9411): 820-821.
  16. Laurance, J. How was the MMR scare sustained for so long when the evidence showed that it was unfounded?The Independent. September 19, 2004. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  17. Murch, S.H., Anthony, A., Casson, D.H., Malik, M., Berelowitz, M., Dhillon, A.P., … Walker-Smith, J.A. Retraction of an interpretation. 2004; 363(9411): 750.
  18. The Editors of The Lancet. Comment: RETRACTION:—Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children.The Lancet. 2010; 375(9713): 445. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  19. Meikle, J., Boseley, S. MMR row doctor Andrew Wakefield struck off register. May 24, 2010. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  20. Deer, B. How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed. 2011; 342: c5347. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  21. Godlee, F., Smith, J., Marcovitch, H. Wakefield’s article linking MMR vaccine and autism was fraudulent. 2011; 342: c7452. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  22. World Health Organization. Thimerosal in vaccines. July 2006. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  23. Most of this narrative refers to the facts and chronology outlined in the Food and Drug Administration’s Publication Thimerosal in Vaccines.
  24. Immunization Safety Review Committee, Institute of Medicine. (2001). Immunization safety review: measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autism. National Academies Press. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  25. Science summary: CDC studies on vaccines and autism. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  26. American Academy of Pediatrics. Vaccine safety: examine the evidence. (122KB). Updated April 2013. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  27. DeStefano, F., Price, C.S., Weintraub, E.S. Increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines is not associated with risk of autism. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2013; 163(2): 561-567.
  28. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Vaccine Education Center. Vaccines ingredients: Aluminum. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  29. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Research. Accessed 01/25/2018.
  30. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Autism spectrum disorder fact sheet. Accessed 01/25/2018.

( – – – – – – – – – – )

Correlation between aluminum in vaccines and autism

Why is aluminum in vaccines at all?

Aluminum is a critical component of most vaccines given to children.

It serves as an “adjuvant” meaning the aluminum serves to “wake up” the immune system, provoking the immune system to recognize the “antigen” within the vaccine for whatever disease the vaccine serves to protect against.

The amount of aluminum in vaccines given to children skyrocketed beginning in the early 1990s for two reasons:

1) more vaccines were added to the children’s vaccine schedule and,

2) the vaccination rate for all vaccines given to children rose (from 50–60% of children vaccinated in the mid-1980s to over 90% today).

A child in the mid-1980s would have received 1,250 micrograms of aluminum from their vaccines by their 18-month birthday if they were fully vaccinated.

Today, that number is 4,925 micrograms, a near-quadrupling of total aluminum.

You can read more about this in an excellent study published by Neil Miller, here’s an image from the study:

Mystifyingly, aluminum has never experienced biological testing to consider its safety for being injected into babies, having been “grandfathered” into our modern safety standards.

Canadian scientists Dr. Chris Shaw and Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic addressed this omission in a critical study they published in 2011 in Current Medicinal Chemistry titled, “Aluminum Vaccine Adjuvants:

Are they Safe?” They wrote:

“Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant.

Despite almost 90 years of widespread use of aluminum adjuvants, medical science’s understanding about their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor.

There is also a concerning scarcity of data on toxicology and pharmacokinetics of these compounds.

 In spite of this, the notion that aluminum in vaccines is safe appears to be widely accepted. 

Experimental research, however, clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans.

In particular, aluminum in adjuvant form carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and associated neurological complications and may thus have profound and widespread adverse health consequences.”

 

Five clear, replicable, and related discoveries explaining how autism is triggered have formed an undeniably clear picture of autism’s causation, and possibly ways to alleviate the symptoms, too. Most of the research that has created this understanding has been published in the last 36 months, and largely from international scientists in the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Israel, and China.

Discovery #1: “Maternal Immune Activation” can cause autism

Dr. Patterson’s “research focused on interactions between the nervous and immune systems — a connection that was not universally acknowledged in the early days of neuroscience”explains his obituary, “he became intrigued by epidemiological studies that had linked a severe viral or bacterial infection during pregnancy with the increased risk of a woman giving birth to a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder such as schizophrenia or autism.

Patterson and his coworkers reproduced this human effect in mice using a viral mimic that triggers an infection-like immune response in the mother, producing in the offspring the core behavioral symptoms associated with autism and schizophrenia.”

In 2006, Dr. Patterson introduced his complex understanding of the interaction between the immune system and neurodevelopment through an excellent article in the Engineering & Science journal, titled Pregnancy, Immunity, Schizophrenia, and Autism.

I hope you’ll take the time to read this for yourself, Dr. Patterson does a great job of explaining his discovery to the uninitiated, it’s really a seminal work. Here’s a quote:

“As we learn more about the connections between the brain and the immune system, we find that these seemingly independent networks of cells are, in fact, continually talking to each other.

As an adult, the activation of your immune system causes many striking changes in your behavior — increased sleep, loss of appetite, less social interaction — and, of course, headaches.

Conversely, stress in your life (as perceived by your brain) can influence immune function — the brain regulates immune organs, such as the spleen, via the autonomic nervous system.

 Recent evidence shows that this brain-immune conversation actually starts during the development of the embryo, where the state of the mother’s immune system can alter the growth of cells in the fetal brain.

 As we shall see, such alterations can lead to an increased risk of schizophrenia or autism in the offspring.”

Are you with me so far?

Basically, what Dr. Patterson is saying is that if a pregnant mother gets sick (virus, bacteria) while pregnant — an event that “activates” her immune system — that activation can impact the neurodevelopment (how exactly the brain is constructed) of her fetus, potentially leading to neurological problems after birth. Dr. Patterson took this explanation a step further, explaining that the brains of people with autism reflect the immune system activation that took place, even decades later, as he cites valuable work being done at Johns Hopkins:

“There is also very striking evidence of immune dysregulation in the brain itself.

Just last year, a group led by Carlos Pardo at Johns Hopkins found what they’re calling a “neural inflammation” in postmortem examination of brains of patients with autism who died between the ages of eight and 44 years.

 But these people weren’t infected — they died of such things as drowning or heart attacks.

The study found that the microglial cells, which act as the brain’s own immune system, were activated.

 The study also found amazing increases of certain cytokines in the brain, and of others in the cerebro- spinal fluid.

This is is a landmark paper, in my opinion. It presents the first evidence that there’s an ongoing, permanent immune-system activation in the brains of autistic people. It’s a subclinical state, because there’s no overt infection. But it’s there.”

While Dr. Pardo and colleagues were the first to find this “microglial activation” in the brain of children with autism, this finding has now been replicated many times, here’s a study from Japan in 2013 finding the same thing:

“In conclusion, the present PET measurements revealed marked activation of microglia in multiple brain regions of young adults with ASD.

The results strongly support the contention that immune abnormalities contribute to the etiology of ASD.”

If you’re going to take one thing away from this section, I’d recommend an excerpt from Dr. Patterson’s quote worth memorizing:

“there’s an ongoing, permanent immune-system activation in the brains of autistic people.”

Is that what happened (and still is happening) to my son?

Further Refinement of Discovery #1: Immune Activation from the Cytokine Interleukin-6

If you’re an autism parent, you’ve probably heard the expression “cytokine storm” and half-understood what that might mean (anything with “storm” at the end of it can’t be good — what this really means is a chronic, slow burn inflammation in the brain).

In 2006, Dr. Patterson and his colleagues were speculating that the immune system’s cytokines might be responsible for altering the brain development of the fetus during gestation:

“Cytokines are produced by the white blood cells, and their levels in the blood increase when we get an infection…

We think that maternal immune activation alters brain circuits…there’s that permanent, subclinical, altered immune state in the autistic brain — those increased cytokine levels…are they [cytokines] actually interacting with the brain in an ongoing fashion, with consequences visible in the patients’ behavior?

I favor [the cytokine] hypothesis.”

Study Link HERE

Just a year after Dr. Patterson’s excellent article about Maternal Immune Activation (“MIA”), he and his colleagues produced the first study that took their understanding of cytokines to a more detailed level.

Knowing that MIA was producing offspring with neurological disorders (in their mouse model), they wanted to find out what — exactly WHAT — was causing the altered brain development.

They figured it was a cytokine (of which there are many), but which one?

As the Patterson and his colleagues noted, “however, the mechanism by which MIA causes long-term behavioral deficits in the offspring is unknown.”

That is until they discovered it:

“Here we show that the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) is critical for mediating the behavioral and transcriptional changes in the offspring.

A single maternal injection of IL-6 on day 12.5 of mouse pregnancy causes prepulse inhibition (PPI) and latent inhibition (LI) deficits in the adult offspring.”

In the case of the 2007 experiment, Patterson and his colleagues injected pregnant mice with a specific cytokine — interleukin-6 (“IL-6”) — and saw changes in the neurology of their offspring.

Replication of Dr. Patterson’s discovery about MIA and IL-6

Dr. Patterson’s work was groundbreaking.

He tied the immune system and brain together in ways previously not recognized. Like all great new discoveries in science, Dr. Patterson’s theories have since been replicated many times. In 2012, Dr. Patterson and his colleagues produced this paper,which was more autism-specific and reached a similar conclusion:

“These results indicate that MIA yields male offspring with deficient social and communicative behavior, as well as high levels of repetitive behaviors, all of which are hallmarks of autism.”

Study link HERE

In 2014, the M.I.N.D. Institute at UC-Davis published an important study that took Dr. Patterson’s work in mice and replicated it in monkeys. Why do monkeys matter? The study authors explained:

“Maternal infection during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia and autism in the offspring. Supporting this correlation, experimentally activating the maternal immune system during pregnancy in rodents produces offspring with abnormal brain and behavioral development. We have developed a nonhuman primate model to bridge the gap between clinical populations and rodent models of maternal immune activation (MIA).”

And, the M.I.N.D. Institute scientists saw similar results to what had been found in mice:

“In this rhesus monkey model, MIA yields offspring with abnormal repetitive behaviors, communication, and social interactions. These results extended the findings in rodent MIA models to more human-like behaviors resembling those in both autism and schizophrenia.”

There are many additional studies that support Dr. Patterson’s findings, here’s one more to make the point from Neuroscience — Brain IL-6 elevation causes neuronal circuitry imbalances and mediates autism-like behaviors — published in 2012:

“In summary, our study supports a critical role of IL-6 elevation in modulating autism-like behaviors through impairments on synapse formation, dendritic spine development, as well as on neuronal circuit balance. These findings suggest that manipulation of IL-6 may be a promising avenue for therapeutic interventions.”

Dr. Patterson: what can cause immune activation?

Dr. Patterson helped establish as scientific fact that an MIA during pregnancy can cause autism.

… Dr. Patterson mentioned in his 2006 magazine article, something that today might get him run out of Caltech but was still allowed in the scientific discourse back then, he said this:

should we really be promoting universal maternal vaccination?

 The flu vaccine has been recommended routinely to pregnant women in the United States since 1957.

 The official policy of the Centers for Disease Control states that “administration of vaccines to women seeking prenatal care is an opportunity for preventative intervention that should not be wasted.” Now you might say, “Well, of course, you don’t want to get the flu if you’re pregnant!” But remember that double-stranded RNA experiment — we activated the immune system, and it caused all these downstream effects on the fetus.

And what does a vaccination do?

 It activates the immune system.

That’s the point of vaccination. In practice, not all pregnant women receive flu shots, and I think that universal vaccination of pregnant women could get us into a whole new set of problems.

Dr. Patterson said it, so I don’t have to be the first to bring it up. He said a vaccination “activates the immune system” and he also told us that “immune activation” can cause autism. How exactly does a vaccine activate the immune system?

Answer: Aluminum hydroxide, aka “aluminum adjuvant”.

Discovery #2: Aluminum Adjuvant causes immune activation and is far more neurotoxic than previously thought

Aluminum compounds (Al hydroxide and Al phospate) are the most common adjuvants used in vaccines.

They are currently used in the hepatitis A, hepatitis B, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis(DTaP, Tdap), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), human papillomavirus (HPV) and pneumococcus (PCV) vaccines.

Aluminum adjuvant “activates” the immune system, which induces long term immunity to antigens in the vaccine.

The scientific understanding of aluminum adjuvant toxicity has changed and deepened dramatically in recent years (since 2007).

In fact, the published research on aluminum adjuvant is so new it has not even been considered by our FDA or CDC, who are still basing their recommendations about aluminum use in vaccines on a study published in 2011 that erroneously concluded that aluminum from a vaccine likely ends up in the body’s skeletal system:

“While the contribution of vaccines to an infant’s aluminum body burden can be slightly higher than that of the dietary contribution in our model, the fact that the primary pool where the aluminum is residing, as a long-term storage depot, is likely to be skeletal and not a more sensitive soft organ system is reassuring.”

Most of the guess work about aluminum is based on dissolved aluminum, not aluminum hydroxide, which is the type of aluminum used in vaccines.

We’re now learning that aluminum hydroxide is a nanoparticle, absorbed by our body’s macrophage (the immune system’s garbage man) where the macrophage can then easily transport the aluminum hydroxide to the brain (the macrophage passes easily through the blood-brain barrier).

If you’d like to see a complete takedown of the “safe level” of aluminum argument still made by the FDA and CDC, see VP’s excellent work, here’s a short excerpt:

“It is not reasonable or scientific to use studies of ingested, water-soluble aluminum salts (like AlCl3 or Al-lactate) to establish a safe dose of injected aluminum adjuvant (comprising aluminum hydroxide/phosphate nanoparticles).

 The chemical forms and route of administration are different.

It is well-established today that nanoparticles can have higher toxicity than bulk orsoluble forms of the same material…

It’s the vaccine promoters that created this inherently-invalid approach to aluminum adjuvant safety.

Vaccine critics including me argue that the safety of injected aluminum adjuvant can only be tested using injected aluminum adjuvant, not ingested aluminum salts like AlCl3 or Al lactate.

This should be common sense.

 So, leaving aside the important issues of nanoparticle toxicity and administration route, I want to address the question:

is it really true that animals (mice or rats) are not harmed by ingesting 62mg/kg/day or 26 mg/kg/day aluminum?

After all, this is the fundamental basis for aluminum adjuvant safety. Vaccine promoters rely on Keith and Mitkus to make the case that aluminum adjuvant is safe, and Keith and Mitkus depend on the claim that these dosages are safe for animals to ingest.

If the 26 mg/kg/day dosage is in fact harmful to animals, then the analyses by Keith and Mitkus are wrong and unsalvageable.

 Several studies clearly demonstrate that dosages much lower than 26 mg/kg/day are harmful, and they are presented below.”

 

The first time I personally woke up to the the idea that the aluminum adjuvant used in vaccines might be far more toxic and dangerous than I knew was when I started reading about the incredible work of Dr. Chris Shaw at the University of British Columbia in Canada. (Check out this video of Dr. Shaw discussing aluminum adjuvant, and some of the experiments he and his colleagues did on mice.)

In 2007, Dr. Shaw published the first study looking at injected aluminum adjuvant in this paper, Aluminum Adjuvant Linked to Gulf War Illness Induces Motor Neuron Death in Mice and sounded a worldwide alarm about the dangers of aluminum adjuvant:

“In addition, the continued use of aluminum adjuvants in various vaccines (i.e., Hepatitis A and B, DPT, and so on) for the general public may have even more widespread health implications.

Until vaccine safety can be comprehensively demonstrated by controlled long-term studies that examine the impact on the nervous system in detail, many of those already vaccinated as well as those currently receiving injections may be at risk in the future.

Whether the risk of protection from a dreaded disease outweighs the risk of toxicity is a question that demands urgent attention.”

In 2009, Dr. Shaw’s and his colleagues in British Columbia published another study looking at injected aluminum hydroxide, and the results were deeply disturbing:

“Overall, the results reported here mirror previous work that has clearly demonstrated that aluminum, in both oral and injected forms, can be neurotoxic.

 Potential toxic mechanisms of action for aluminum may include enhancement of inflammation (i.e., microgliosis)…”

2012Mechanisms of aluminum adjuvant toxicity and autoimmunity in pediatric populations

Three years after his groundbreaking study, Dr. Shaw and his colleague, Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic, published this paper in 2012, expressing grave concerns about the limited understanding of aluminum adjuvant’s toxicity:

“…it is somewhat surprising to find that in spite of over 80 years of use, the safety of Al adjuvants continues to rest on assumptions rather than scientific evidence.

For example, nothing is known about the toxicology and pharmacokinetics of Al adjuvants in infants and children…

Yet, in spite of these observations children continue regularly to be exposed to much higher levels of Al adjuvants than adults, via routine childhood vaccination programmes.”

The two scientists called for an urgent reevaluation of the safety profile of aluminum adjuvant-containing vaccines:

“However, the existing data (or lack thereof) raise questions on whether the current vaccines aimed at pediatric populations can be accepted as having adequate safety profiles.

 Because infants and children represent those who may be most at risk for complications following vaccination, a more rigorous evaluation of potential vaccine-related adverse health impacts in pediatric populations than what has been provided to date is urgently needed.”

2013Slow CCL2-dependent translocation of biopersistent particles from muscle to brain

In 2013, French scientists demonstrated that aluminum adjuvant, when injected into the body of a mouse, ended up in the brain 1 year later.

The study authors expressed serious concerns about this very new discovery:

“However, continuously escalating doses of this poorly biodegradable adjuvant in the population may become insidiously unsafe, especially in the case of overimmunization or immature/altered blood brain barrier…”

The authors chose their words carefully, recognizing the ubiquity of aluminum adjuvant’s use in pediatric vaccines all over the world, which is why their choice to call aluminum adjuvant “insidiously unsafe” should cause any parent worry.

Unfortunately, the very thing they express real concern about — escalating doses — is exactly what has been happening to children since the early 1990s, when the immunization schedule in the U.S. and all over the world more than tripled, largely due to new vaccines being introduced that contain aluminum adjuvant.

2015Biopersistence and brain translocation of aluminum adjuvants of vaccines

In 2015, another study from Université Paris Est Créteil (UPEC) in France further supported this new view of aluminum adjuvant as a dangerous, biopersistent, and ultimately brain-injuring toxin.

(The study confirmed that aluminum adjuvant slowly makes its way to the brain, where it then stays, possibly forever.)

Read study HERE

The study explained that aluminum adjuvant can generate a long-term immune response because of its “biopersistence”, which basically means our body has no ability to rid itself of aluminum adjuvant, because its a man-made substance we have no natural designs to eliminate:

“Thus alum and other poorly biodegradable materials taken up at the periphery by phagocytes circulate in the lymphatic and blood circulation and can enter the brain using a Trojan horse mechanism similar to that used by infectious particles.

Previous experiments have shown that alum administration can cause CNS dysfunction and damage, casting doubts on the exact level of alum safety.”

November 2016Non-linear dose-response of aluminium hydroxide adjuvant particles: Selective low dose neurotoxicity

And, just last Fall in 2016, the most important and revealing study yet done on aluminum adjuvant provided more bad news, and more insight.

It’s safe to say that this study’s conclusions have revolutionized our understanding of aluminum adjuvant.

 From the journal Toxicology, the French study authors were very concerned about the widespread use of aluminum adjuvant:

“Concerns about its [aluminum adjuvant’s] safety emerged following recognition of its unexpectedly long-lasting biopersistence within immune cells in some individuals, and reports of chronic fatigue syndrome, cognitive dysfunction, myalgia, dysautonomia and autoimmune/inflammatory features temporally linked to multiple Al-containing vaccine administrations.”

They also discovered, through mouse-models, a deeply alarming unique characteristic of aluminum adjuvant: low, consistent doses were MORE neurotoxic than a single bolus dose:

“We conclude that Alhydrogel [aluminum adjuvant] injected at low dose in mouse muscle may selectively induce long-term Al cerebral accumulation and neurotoxic effects.

To explain this unexpected result, an avenue that could be explored in the future relates to the adjuvant size since the injected suspensions corresponding to the lowest dose, but not to the highest doses, exclusively contained small agglomerates in the bacteria-size range known to favour capture and, presumably, transportation by monocyte-lineage cells. In any event, the view that Alhydrogel neurotoxicity obeys ‘the dose makes the poison’ rule of classical chemical toxicity appears overly simplistic.”

Read study HERE

This a counter-intuitive conclusion, but profoundly important, so I’m bringing in VP to further explain:

A new paper (Crepeaux et al.) by the Gherardi research group in France reports important results on the toxicity and transport of aluminum (Al) adjuvant in mice.

This single study is especially valuable because it looked at many outcomes:

behavioral effects, immune (microglial) activation in the brain, and Al transport into the brain.

 The study tested dosages of 200 , 400 and 800 mcg/Kg, injected intramuscularly (IM).

The Al adjuvant used was AlOH (brand name Alhydrogel), the most common vaccine adjuvant in use today.

It is used in the tetanus, Hep A, Hep B, HiB, pneumococcal, meningococcal, and anthrax vaccines.

Remarkably, the study found that the lowest dosage (200 mcg/Kg) was the most toxic!

For many outcomes, the 400 and 800 mcg/Kg dosages had no observable adverse effects, but the 200 mcg/Kg dosage did.

The low toxicity of the higher dosages appears to be a consequence of dosage-dependent inflammation at the injection site.

The high dosages caused intense inflammation at the injection site, forming “granulomas”.

The 200 mcg/Kg dosage did not produce granulomas.

 Granulomas are hard nodules in tissue produced in response to injury, infection or foreign substances.

Its a way the body “walls off” injured tissue and prevents the spread of infection or toxins.

The granuloma appears to provide protection from Al adjuvant toxicity; apparently the granuloma prevented Al adjuvant particles from leaving the injection site.

This explains why the 200 mcg/Kg dosage affected the brain and behavior, while the higher dosages did not.

This suggests that it is more dangerous and harmful to administer numerous small injections of Al adjuvant, compared to a large single injection capable of inducing a granuloma.

The study authors also disputed the way the FDA and CDC currently think about aluminum adjuvant toxicity, basically saying that the current approach is wrong:

“As a possible consequence, comparing vaccine adjuvant exposure to other non- relevant aluminium exposures, e.g. soluble aluminium and other routes of exposure, may not represent valid approaches.”

And, the French scientists finish with a conclusion that all parents should find very troubling:

“In the context of massive development of vaccine-based strategies worldwide, the present study may suggest that aluminium adjuvant toxicokinetics and safety require reevaluation.”

Reminder: this study has only been public for just over a year.

Please watch this incredibly thoughtful and detailed interview Dr. Romain Gerard, the study’s lead author.

It’s in French with English subtitles:

 Discovery #3: Aluminum can increase IL-6 in the brain

One of the only frustrations of the remarkable toxicity studies on aluminum adjuvant coming out of France is that many scientists did not explicitly measure the mice brains for the cytokine IL-6 which we know can be released during an immune activation event and also know is strongly associated with causing autism.

But, a study from the Middle East published roughly one year ago, provides a strong foundation for the IL-6-aluminum adjuvant connection.

In this case, scientists were using aluminum to induce Alzheimer’s in rats, which they appear to have done successfully, showing that aluminum caused a 4-fold increase in IL-6:

“The results also showed that aluminum administration increased the hippocampus pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α by 3.8-fold, IL-6 by 4-fold, and iNOS by 3.8-fold compared to the normal control group.”

If any of this remains confusing, I think VP’s description of aluminum adjuvant in the body will fill in any holes:

Most vaccines contain aluminum, and aluminum is a proven neurotoxin, in amounts received from vaccines.

Vaccines in combination can result in toxic aluminum overload.

Even the aluminum in a single vaccine can be harmful because the aluminum is in a form that is more dangerous than ingested aluminum.

Specifically, vaccine aluminum is in nanoparticulate form, which is harder for the body to eliminate, and because it is transported around the body differently than ingested aluminum.

It is natural and normal to ingest small doses of aluminum from food and water.

 Its not good for you, but the body has adequate defenses.

 Absorption of ingested Al is low, about 0.3%, so about 99.7% is eliminated in feces.

Ingested aluminum is in ionic form (individual charged atoms), which is readily removed by the kidneys.

Also, ionic aluminum is blocked from entering the brain by the blood brain barrier.

 The low absorption, rapid elimination by the kidneys and barrier to brain entry adequately protects the brain from aluminum.

However, nanoparticulate aluminum from vaccines cannot be removed by the kidneys.

The particles are far too large to be filtered out by the kidneys.

The Al nanoparticles do dissolve slowly (converting to ionic aluminum).

But long before they can dissolve completely, the Al nanoparticles are “eaten” by immune system cells called macrophages.

In other words, the particles wind up inside the macrophages.

Once loaded with the Al nanoparticles, the macrophages spread aluminum as they travel through the body.

This is dangerous, because the Al-loaded macrophages carry Al nanoparticles to tissues (e.g. the brain) that are damaged by very small amounts of aluminum.

Quick Pause: The chicken-egg of immune activation

I want to address a topic that triggered much of the exploration that drove me to write this article in the first place.

Dr. Peter Hotez is a vaccine patent holder who also serves as a spokesperson for the vaccine industry.

Dr. Hotez is convinced that autism is “created” in utero  –  “my read of the scientific literature is that brains of children with autism, were that way by the first or second trimester of pregnancy.”

Dr. Hotez bases his conclusion about autism’s timing on the work of a single study by Dr. Eric Courchesne and colleagues titled, “Patches of disorganization in the neocortex of children with autism.”which was published in 2014 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

For Dr. “A vaccine given in the first year of life could not possibly cause a total reorganization of the brain architecture, it just defies reason.”

Does it?

Does it defy reason that the re-wiring of the brain — that we now believe is caused by an immune activation event — could never happen after a child is born?

This is the single most important question that needs to be answered to determine autism’s cause, and I think the answer will govern the autism causation debate from here on out:

  • If vaccines cannot cause a “reorganization of brain architecture” after a child is born, then vaccines are unlikely to be the cause of autism (however, vaccines given to a pregnant women may still pose a risk to triggering a Maternal Immune Activation).
  • If vaccines given after birth can cause the brain to “reorganize”, then we have a serious, serious problem with vaccines.

The science is very clear on this point.

The evidence for post-natal autism triggers is strong

Read study HERE

The study oft Dr. Hotez proved  that autism was determined in utero……

You can read it for yourself, it’s a study where scientists looked at the actual post-mortem brains of children with autism, and found striking differences in brain architecture.

What the study didn’t do, because it would be impossible to do with post-mortem brains, some as old as 15 years, was speculate exactly WHEN the brain disorganization took place.

And, really, how could they?

“In conclusion, we identified discrete patches of disorganized cortex in the majority of postmortem samples obtained from young autistic children that we examined.

These patches occurred in regions mediating the functions that are disturbed in autism: social, emotional, communication, and language functions.

Such abnormalities may represent a common set of developmental neuropathological features that underlie autism and probably result from dysregulation of layer formation and layer-specific neuronal differentiation at prenatal developmental stages.”

Did you catch what the study said, the part that Dr. Hotez turned into fact to support his claim (and by the way he has cited this study repeatedly in public writings about autism’s cause)?

The authors said the disregulation they saw in the brains of children “probably” happened during “prenatal development stages.”

I think the evidence you will see actually points to the opposite. VP explained it well:

The “patches of disorganization” paper is actually further evidence implicating immune activation and therefore vaccines.

 Immune activation experiments have shown that immune activation/cytokines causes disruption of neuron layers.

 So a vaccine could definitely do this.

Autism-associated differences in the prenatal period are simply indicators that the baby is particularly susceptible to immune activation injury.

Immune activation works like this:

each time there is an activation event, the immune system becomes more sensitive and reactive to immune stimulus.

 So, an activation “hit” during gestation can render the baby more susceptible to immune activation injury postnatally.

This increased reactivity is known to occur with microglia in the brain (microglia are immune cells in the brain).

Its called “microglial priming”.

Once microglia are primed by immune activation, they become hyperreactive for a long time, perhaps a lifetime.

VP went a little farther than Dr. Hotez did, providing this image which is hard to shake once you’ve seen it:

What you can see fairly clearly is that the brain is far from done developing once a child is born.

In fact, 5 separate phases of brain development are either in process or yet to start.

Could an immune activation event after the child has been born impact brain development?

Yes, it could.

And, the published science also supports this view.

In a study done in 2012, Wei and colleagues induced autism-like symptoms in mice by injecting them with IL-6 AFTER they were born.

This is NOT a maternal immune activation event, this is an immune activation event of a newborn that leads to the development of symptoms of autism.

Read study HERE

The authors noted:

“Here we show that mice with elevated IL-6 in the brain display many autistic features, including impaired cognitive abilities, deficits in learning, abnormal anxiety traits and habituations, as well as decreased social interactions.

IL-6 elevation caused alterations in excitatory and inhibitory synaptic formations and disrupted the balance of excitatory/inhibitory synaptic transmissions.

IL-6 elevation also resulted in an abnormal change in the shape, length and distributing pattern of dendritic spines.

These findings suggest that IL-6 elevation in the brain could mediate autistic-like behaviors, possibly through the imbalances of neural circuitry and impairments of synaptic plasticity.”

Still think Dr. Hotez has a point, that autism happens during gestation or never? Then this study will really blow your mind, from all the way back in 1981.

Read study HERE

In this case study of three children, published in Child Neurology, the authors describe three cases of sudden onset autism, all caused by infection and inflammation of the brain.

It appears that not only can an infection trigger an immune activation event that leads to autism after a child is born, it can even happen to a child who is 5, 7, or 11 years old (the ages of the three children in this study).

Are you reading this, Dr. Hotez?

“During an acute encephalopathic illness, a clinical picture developed in three children that was consistent with infantile autism…

In our cases, the abnormalities are acquired and not developmental, but they clearly fit the critical clinical features of the childhood autistic syndrome.”

Discovery #4: Hepatitis B vaccine induces IL-6 in postnatal rats

When this paper was published in China, no one I knew in the autism community mentioned it, I’m guessing because it was hard to patch together its significance.

You had to appreciate all of Patterson’s work.

You had to understand the IL-6 connection to autism.

You had to appreciate the brand new insights about aluminum adjuvant toxicity, the low dose implications, and that aluminum adjuvant was ending up in the brain.

And, you had to read a paper from China that covered a lot of other ground, as well as providing a missing link in the aluminum adjuvant-cytokine (IL-6)-autism hypothesis that it helped fortify.

Read study HERE

VP has written extensively about this study, I will start by quoting VP, but if you want a highly detailed scientific analysis of this study, check this out.

“An important new study by Li et al. reports the effects of bacillus calmette-guerin (BCG) vaccine (for tuberculosis) and hepatitis B vaccine on brain development in infant rats.

The study relates the observed brain changes to the type of immune activation (Th1 or Th2, explained below) stimulated by the vaccines.

The BCG and hep B vaccines had opposite effects on the brain (BCG being beneficial, and hep B being detrimental), and a combination of both vaccines resulted in cancellation of the effects.

 This is the first study to test the effects of immune activation by vaccination on brain development.

All other studies of immune activation have used essentially pathological conditions that mimic infection and induce a strong fever.

A criticism I have heard often from vaccine advocates is that the immune activation experiments are not relevant to vaccines because vaccines cause a milder immune activation than injections of poly-IC or lipopolysaccharide (two types of immune system activators).

 This new study demonstrates that vaccines can affect brain development via immune activation.

Hence, the immune activation experiments are relevant to vaccines…

The hep B vaccine increased IL-6 in the hippocampus (the only brain region analyzed for cytokines).”

And, VP continues, explaining the timing of the injury to the Hep B rats:

“An important finding in the rat BCG/Hep B study is that many of the effects of hep B vaccine did not appear until age 8 weeks.

This finding undermines claims of vaccine safety, which are almost always based on short-term outcomes of a few days or weeks.

Furthermore, 8 weeks is a long time in rats. 8 week old rats are almost fully mature adults.

This suggests that adverse effects of vaccines may take years or decades to appear in humans.

This is consistent with what is known about immune activation and schizophrenia. Immune activation in the fetus can cause schizophrenia 20–30 years later.

The accumulating scientific evidence and the Li et al study in particular suggest that vaccination may cause mental illness.

 The mental illnesses would emerge years or decades after vaccination of an infant.

 Vaccines are likely contributing the the rise of mental illnesses in the USA over the last 25 years.

The rise in mental illnesses in the USA is coincident with the dramatic increase in vaccination that started in the 1980s.”

This study is extraordinary.

There were three different groups of rats:

rats receiving the BCG vaccine (not given in the U.S.),

rats receiving the Hepatitis B vaccine (given on day 1 of life in the U.S.) and a control group with no vaccine.

The BCG vaccine does NOT contain aluminum adjuvant and the impact on the rat’s brains from BCG was actually positive!

The Hep B vaccine rats, however, showed the kind of immune activation event we are seeing in autism (high IL-6)

This is biological proof of the link between a vaccine — given to a post-natal animal — inducing an immune activation event, including the cytokine marker for autism, IL-6. A scientific first.

Discovery #5: High levels of aluminum in autism brains

Earlier the December 2017 study published by Professor Chris Exley — “Aluminium in brain tissue and autism” — that found incredibly high levels of aluminum in the brain tissue of five people with autism.

In an interview soon after his study was released, Dr. Exley explained:

“The amount of aluminum in the brain tissue was, I would say, extraordinarily high.

Very high.

 My group has measured the aluminum content of probably more than one hundred human brains, and these brain tissues taken from the individuals with a diagnosis of autism were some of the highest we’ve measured bar none.

The only ones we’ve seen that are similar were a recent study of familial Alzheimer’s.

This in itself is a very important finding.”

Professor Exley and his colleagues were startled by something else: the location of the aluminum within the brains:

“Perhaps equally important if not more important were the microscopy studies.

The microscopy studies enable us to identify where the aluminum was in the brain tissue.

 When we looked at our brains of people with a diagnosis of autism, we found something completely different and something we’ve never seen before as yet in any other set of human brains.

We found that the majority of aluminum was actually inside cells, intracellular.

Some of it was inside neurons, but actually the majority of it was inside non-neuronal cell populations.

So we found that these cells were heavily loaded with aluminum.

We also saw evidence that cells in the lymph and in the blood were passing into the brain, so they were carrying with them a cargo of aluminum from the body into the brain.

 This is the first time in any human brain tissue we have seen this so this is a standout and as yet unique observation in autism.

 For myself, it very much implicates aluminum in the etiology of autism.”

What Professor Exley found were macrophages, the kind the French scientists discovered were transporting aluminum into the brains of mice, loaded with aluminum, and serving as carriers to bring the aluminum into the brain. Dr. Exley’s study showed that the conclusion being drawn in the laboratory with mice were equally true in the brains of people with autism. 

It turns out the biological experiments using mice to gauge the impact of injected aluminum adjuvant were equally accurate when extrapolated to humans.

In fact, Professor Exley was so shocked by the findings, it altered his view of the safety of using vaccines containing aluminum.

“I did not see a role for aluminum in autism.

And I didn’t see a role for aluminum in vaccines in autism.

I have to change my mind now on both of these.

I have to change my mind that aluminum has a role in autism, I believe it now does.

Now, because I have seen the same cells that we will see at an injection site carrying a cargo of aluminum into the brain tissue of individuals who died with autism I would now say that we have to think very carefully about who receives a vaccine that includes an aluminum adjuvant.

We need to think carefully, is this vaccine a life-saving vaccine or not?

If it isn’t, don’t have it with an aluminum adjuvant.”

Dr. Exley just told parents not to get vaccines that constitute MOST of the childhood vaccine schedule. Dr. Exley, a tenured professor at Keele University of Bioinorganic chemistry and without peer the leading expert in the world on the neurotoxicity of aluminum.

As an aside, and as to be expected, Dr. Exley’s study is already being subjected to withering criticism.

As a parent really only interested in the TRUTH, I’m fine with this, it’s important that every meaningful criticism is considered and every conclusion criticized.

I send Dr. Exley’s study to a former colleague of Dr. Paul Patterson.

He’s not impressed, he writes, “I honestly don’t think it should have been published because it has a critical scientific flaw…

The authors didn’t use any healthy control tissue, so we have no way of knowing what normal Al levels in a brain would by their method.

Imagine, for example, if the blades they used to cut the brains had trace levels of Al that contaminated their tissue.

If they had used healthy controls, you would have also seen high Al levels in the healthy brains as well.

Since they had no such controls, their results are scientifically meaningless.”

I share this response, in an email exchange, with Dr. Exley.

I’ll provide his unedited response:

“Our measurements of Al in human tissue are the most respected anywhere and the reasons for this are our attention to all details and specifically extraneous contamination as suggested by this person.

Please see the Metallomics paper cited in our paper to provide a specifc response to this.

Our quantitative analyses on the brains of 5 individuals represent the ONLY donors available at the autism brain bank in the UK.

We discussed control tissues but the only available were not age-matched and nor were they true controls as the donors were individuals in their 40s and 50s who died of a certain disease or condition.

No age-matched healthy donor brain tissues were available.

However, we have more data on the Al content of human brain tissue than anyone else and so we are in a position to compare our autism data with other data relating to almost 100 human brains.

This is how we can come to our judgement that the values measured were some of the highest values ever measured in any individuals.

No one questioned similar data published this time last year for familial AD.”

I ask him that it’s been like since the study was published, is it being considered by any “mainstream” scientists or organizations?

What is the political fallout from your study like?

Do you have a concern of being “Wakefielded” for your study?

He responds:

“There is a blackout of this research by mainstream media.

My research on Al has experienced something similar for many years though perhaps much more so in the last few years.

 The science is extremely robust and therefore the only defence is to ignore it!”

A few weeks ago, Dr. Exley provided a very helpful interview about his new study, it’s short and worth watching:

Five discoveries, a clear path to autism

Here’s a simple graphic that I think spells out the process of triggering autism very clearly, as demonstrated by the published science I have just shared with you:

(This graphic is from a great brochure created by Vaccine Papers, you can get a complete copy right HERE.)

Published studies are showing that autism is caused by an immune activation event.

The adjuvant in vaccines — aluminum adjuvant — can activate the brain’s immune system and is far more neurotoxic than previously realized — all the new science has been published in just the last few years.

Aluminum can cause IL-6, the key cytokine implicated in autism.

Chinese scientists — for the first time anywhere in the world — used a vaccine to trigger an immune activation event, and recorded elevated levels of IL-6 in rats.

THIS is a biological basis for HOW a vaccine can cause autism. Remember what Dr. Hotez said to me? He said:

“A vaccine given in the first year of life could not possibly cause a total reorganization of the brain architecture, it just defies reason.”

But, that’s exactly what the science is showing us.

Vaccines, administered early and often, are igniting immune activation event after immune activation event.

Here’s a different chart looking at the development of the brain over time, from a neuro-immunological perspective.

Imagine 6–7 immune activation events (right after they receive 4–6 aluminum adjuvant containing vaccines in a single appointment) in certain vulnerable children during critical phases of brain development.

With everything you’ve just read, is it really that hard to imagine?

Implications and questions

A study published in Nature described how children with autism developed enlarged foreheads:

Read study HERE

“Brain enlargement has been observed in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but the timing of this phenomenon, and the relationship between ASD and the appearance of behavioural symptoms, are unknown.

Retrospective head circumference and longitudinal brain volume studies of two-year olds followed up at four years of age have provided evidence that increased brain volume may emerge early in development.”

Wouldn’t the above theory about how autism is triggered do a pretty good job of explaining why these children have large (swollen) heads?

As you know, the immune activation event leads to what Dr. Patterson called “an ongoing, permanent immune-system activation in the brains of autistic people.”

And, guess what, permanent immune system activation means inflammation…which would lead to a “large brain” and a “swollen forehead.”

Is that why children with autism are known to head bang?

Perhaps you would too if you’re brain was in a state of permanent inflammation?

Question: What about gastrointestinal disorders?

So many children with autism experience gastrointestinal disorders.

And, gastrointestinal distress is now fully appreciated to be a “co-morbid” condition of autism, according to Autism Speaks. But what, exactly, might cause it?

You don’t have to look too far:

Read study HERE

“Aluminum increased the intensity and duration of macroscopic and histologic inflammation, colonic myeloperoxidase activity, inflammatory cytokines expression, and decreased the epithelial cell renewal compared with control animals.

Under basal conditions, aluminum impaired intestinal barrier function.

In vitro, aluminum induced granuloma formation and synergized with lipopolysaccharide to stimulate inflammatory cytokines expression by epithelial cells.

 Deleterious effects of aluminum on intestinal inflammation and mucosal repair strongly suggest that aluminum might be an environmental IBD risk factor.”

(Note: Down below I cite a second paper by Hsiao and colleagues that shows that an immune activation event can CAUSE gut dysbiosis, in the section titled “Heal the Microbiome.”)

Question: What about all the other types of autoimmunity (food allergies, etc.) that are at epidemic levels, and often co-morbid with autism?

Spearheaded by Israeli scientist Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld, the scientific evidence that aluminum adjuvant is causing epidemics of a wide variety of auto-immune conditions is becoming overwhelming. Dr. Shoenfeld even has his own text book explaining this!

“With the discovery of autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA), the work of leading researchers from 14 countries on the role of adjuvants in different vaccines and how they can induce diverse autoimmune clinical manifestations in genetically prone individuals has been published in the newly released medical textbook, Vaccines and Autoimmunity.”

Consider this article: “Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System’s Division of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology report that an era of food allergies that began with the post-millennial generation might be a response to vaccines containing the adjuvant alum, a known trigger for allergic traits.

Alum is usually the name given to potassium aluminum sulfate when used in vaccines, the FDA states.

 Sometimes, aluminum hydroxide and even other forms of aluminum adjuvants are also referred to as alum in allergy research.”

Certain Vaccines Increase Food Allergen IGE: Susceptible Post-Millennials Reacting To Adjuvant…
Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System’s Division of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology report that an era…www.inquisitr.com

Dr. Shoenfeld’s groundbreaking study in 2013 explained the role of aluminum adjuvant in triggering autoimmunity across a wide variety of conditions:

Autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA) 2013: Unveiling the pathogenic, clinical and diagnostic aspects

The study reads: “Notwithstanding that molecular mimicry and bystander activation in a genetically predisposed individual have been called to be responsible, the finger should be pointed at the adjuvants.

One in particular has raised several distresses: aluminum.

Indeed, this has been used as an adjuvant for the past 90 years but it is also an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin.

 Experimental research has showed that alum adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans.

Thus, efforts should be put in clarifying the potential threat of alum-containing vaccines.”

Question: What about mercury?

In  2004 the only thing peoples were talking about was the mercury in vaccines.

Thimerosal, a preservative made from ethyl-mercury, had recently been revealed to be in children’s vaccines far in excess of EPA safety guidelines.

The autism rate was exploding, and a 2001 paper showed a compelling correlation between the symptoms of autism and the symptoms of mercury poisoning.

The use of mercury in a vaccine seems insane to most rational people given the extreme neurotoxicity of mercury, which has been demonstrated in hundreds of published studies.

We’ve learned that vaccine mercury travels straight to the brain of monkeys, that it depletes glutathione, a vital antioxidant, that it blocks critical pathways in methylation, and that mice injected with Thimerosal exhibit behaviors similar to autism.

Thimerosal has been removed from most pediatric vaccines (beginning in 2002), but in an odd development, started being injected into pregnant women in 2004, when the flu shot (of which a portion contain thimerosal) was recommended for the first time by the CDC for pregnant women.

So, does this article abandon the mercury-autism hypothesis?

The answer is complex:

  • Mercury in vaccines is dangerous and unjustifiable based on published science. It should be removed from 100% of vaccines immediately.
  • Synergistic toxicity means that mercury combined with aluminum may be 100x more toxic than either metal by itself, we don’t really know:

“How can 1 + 1 = 100?

‘Synergistic toxicity’ refers to the effect that when exposed to two toxins, the toxicity level is far greater than the additive toxicity levels of the two toxins.”

  • There are many anecdotal stories that children diagnosed with autism today are “less severe.” Is this true? Is the removal of mercury the reason? There’s no data I can find to support this, so it’s just conjecture for the moment.
  • However, IF the core hallmark of triggering autism is an immune activation event, than aluminum adjuvant is more likely the central cause, and this matches the reality that autism rates have continued to rise after the removal of MOST mercury from vaccines. Mercury is NOT an immune system antagonist the way aluminum adjuvant is, mercury was in vaccines for its effectiveness as an antibacterial and an anti fungal, not an adjuvant.
  • VP has very strong opinions about the mercury vs. aluminum adjuvant debate, including this: “There are far more important issues than mercury, such as aluminum adjuvant neurotoxicity, and immune activation injury.”

Question: What about the MMR, it has no aluminum adjuvant?

The MMR vaccine does not contain aluminum adjuvant.

Yet, many (but far from all) parents point to the appointment where their child received the MMR vaccine as a trigger for autism.

We need more scientific data than we have about what exactly the MMR vaccine does to the brain (does it generate IL-6 or other cytokines?), but because we don’t know, we’re left to speculate.

One obvious answer is that the MMR vaccine is the first live virus vaccine children receive (it’s typically given between age 12–18 months, most children have received 15–20 vaccines by then), and it’s a triple (measles, mumps, rubella) live virus.

For an immune system bathed in aluminum adjuvant and possibly already simmering with activation events, this triple dose might push a child right over the edge.

This might explain the seizures (an extreme immune activation event) that sometimes follow the MMR appointment.

We also know that children who also receive the varicella vaccine (chicken pox) along with the MMR have higher rates of seizure events.

This would make sense, four live viruses at once would likely challenge the immune system more than three, but we can’t explain exactly how the MMR biologically impacts the immune system the way we can for aluminum adjuvant, and now for Hepatitis B vaccine (thanks to Chinese scientists).

Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld discusses the fact that a live vaccine activates the immune system more than a vaccine using aluminum adjuvant:

“It is evident that a live attenuated vaccine is more prone than a killed vaccine to activate the immunity response.”

But, a more obvious explanation has recently emerged.

Namely, the MMR vaccines triggers something in the body known as MCP-1, which serves as a beacon to encourage aluminum-laden macrophages to rush to the brain. I’ll let VP explain:

“When MCP-1 is produced by microglia, macrophages from around the body travel into the brain…‘MCP’ stands for ‘macrophage chemoattractant protein’, which of course describes its primary function of summoning macrophages…MCP-1 production is stimulated by some types of immune activation.

 Hence, a vaccine that stimulates MCP-1 may cause AANs [aluminum adjuvant nanoparticles](e.g. from prior vaccines) to move into the brain.

Some infections or toxins induce MCP-1.

Interestingly, Al adjuvant induces MCP-1, suggesting that it may stimulate its own transport…

We can speculate that AANs from vaccines may remain ‘dormant’ for years, until MCP-1 production is stimulated.

The MCP-1 will cause macrophages containing AANs to mobilize and transport AANs into the brain and other sensitive tissues.

This may explain some of the damage from the MMR vaccine.

MMR is given at 15–18 months of age, which is after Al-containing vaccines are given (at 0, 2, 4, and 6 months).

 The measles vaccine can stimulate MCP-1 production.

Therefore, the MMR vaccine may stimulate the movement of AANs (received from prior vaccines) into the brain.

This may explain how MMR could cause Al toxicity, even though it does not contain aluminum adjuvant.”

Question: Didn’t they already prove vaccines don’t cause autism?

If you’ve read this far, I assume you already know this is a fable.

If you’re unsure, just look at this simple graphic.

All those vaccine industry spokespeople who say “the science is settled” fail to mention that only one ingredient (thimerosal) and one vaccine (MMR) has ever been looked at for its relationship to autism.

No vaccine containing aluminum adjuvant has ever been explored for its relationship to autism, despite a growing and clear body of evidence implicating aluminum adjuvant in causing “immune activation,” the central cause of autism.

It’s also worth pointing out that in the early and mid-2000s when parents first started sounding the alarm about the connection between vaccines and autism, we had no biological evidence to support our view, we just had the collective experience of seeing our children disappear after vaccine appointments.

Today, it’s a completely different world. Consider the words of Dr. Kimberley McAllister of the UC Davis Mind Institute just this past August (2016):

“These MIA (maternal immune activation) animal models meet all of the criteria required for validity for a disease model:

They mimic a known disease-related risk factor (construct validity), they exhibit a wide range of disease-related symptoms (face validity), and they can be used to predict the efficacy of treatments (predictive validity).”

It’s time for the CDC, FDA, Autism Speaks, and the American Academy of Pediatrics to face the biological evidence staring us all in the face!

Question: Aren’t you just “moving the goalposts” on the autism-vaccine hypothesis?

 

Of course critics will say this.

First it was the MMR.

Then it was mercury.

Then it was “too many, too soon.”

What’s different now is very important:

overwhelming published, peer-reviewed science making a clear connection between immune activation events, aluminum adjuvant, and autism.

That’s why this article is filled with study references, not conjecture.

What’s been true throughout the autism epidemic remains true today:

an overwhelming (tens of thousands) number of parental reports of regression of their children into autism after vaccination.

Implications for Treatment

We had no biological science.

The understanding of aluminum or the aluminum adjuvant was comically simplistic, almost a throw away point.

We had no idea what an immune activation event, a cytokine, or IL-6 meant. (In fact, if you want a good laugh, see how Dr. Paul Offit is still describing aluminum adjuvant, despite its now proven extreme neurotoxicity.

He states: “Parents can be reassured that the trace quantities of aluminum in vaccines can’t possibly do harm.” Based on published science beginning in 2009, this is an unsupportable lie.)

Everything you have read so far is based on published science. The grand theory of autism’s causation, in my opinion, holds together pretty strongly.

Will we look back one day and say that aluminum adjuvant caused the autism epidemic the way we say that Thalidomide triggered birth defects?

I think we will, but that’s just my opinion.

What follows next is conjecture and opinion.

I’m not a doctor, and this is most certainly NOT medical advice, but I do believe that the treatment of children suffering from autism may be radically altered by the simple description Dr. Patterson made of children with autism:

“there’s an ongoing, permanent immune-system activation in the brains of autistic people.”

If he’s right, and if aluminum adjuvant is the primary trigger of the immune activation, than the following ideas might prove helpful in reducing the symptoms of autism in children.

(Please note that any links I include to actual products are just for illustrative purposes, I’m not endorsing anything and I have no commercial interests in any products or ideas mentioned here):

  1. Get the aluminum adjuvant out of the body.

I know that silica and zeolites are both considered possible ways to remove aluminum from the body.

Will they also work on aluminum adjuvant?

I have no idea.

VP has a perspective on aluminum removal that cites a wide body of scientific research. Also, Dr. Exley is on the record advocating the consumption of silica-rich mineral water. Here’s an article about various waters:

3 Mineral Waters That Remove Aluminum from the Brain
There has been a dramatic increase in neurological diseases linked to aluminum toxicity. The blood brain barrier doesn…realfarmacy.com

  1. Consider ketogenics

I was incredibly excited to see this study about the impact a ketogenic diet had on suppressing immune activation in mice.

Could ketones play a role in reducing brain inflammation and turning off the brain’s immune system?

Read study HERE

“Here we show that metabolic therapy with a KD [ketogenic diet] improves and can even reverse ASD-like behaviors in the MIA mouse model.”

It’s worth noting that the ketogenic diet has been used for years to help reduce seizures.

Ketogenics are going through a bit of a revolution, with “exogenous ketones” now being made available as supplement products to put a body into ketosis more quickly.

Could these exogenous ketones accelerate recovery?

I have no idea, but this study alone seems to show its worth far more exploration.

See another study from 2014:

 Potential Therapeutic Use of the Ketogenic Diet in Autism Spectrum Disorders

And, a study of the ketogenic diet with children with autism, way back in 2003.

  1. Heal the microbiome

We know that aluminum adjuvant can contribute to gastrointestinal distress.

But, how do you heal that gut (the microbiome)?

A 2013 study highlights the relationship between the gut microbiota, immune activation, and autism:

Read study HERE

Discussion:

“Our findings provide a novel mechanism by which a human commensal bacterium can improve ASD-related GI deficits and behavioral abnormalities in mice, possibly explaining the rapid increase in ASD prevalence by identifying the microbiome as a critical environmental contributor to disease. We propose the transformative concept that autism is, at least in part, a disease involving the gut that impacts the immune, metabolic and nervous systems, and that microbiome-mediated therapies may be a safe and effective treatment for ASD.”

There a wide variety of natural therapies to “heal the gut” that should be discussed with your health care professional.

A more recent study: Emerging Roles for the Gut Microbiome in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

  1. Vitamin D

VP has an excellent section on the role Vitamin D can play in reducing immune activation, stating:

Vitamin D strongly reduces immune activation and IL-17 production specifically.

Vitamin D strongly improves many diseases, including almost any disease with inflammatory or autoimmune aspects.

Vitamin D favorably regulates the immune system, simultaneously improving its effectiveness at eliminating pathogens, and reducing inflammation.

This is exactly what you want for optimal health: the combination of high immune function and low inflammation.

When the body has adequate vitamin D, the immune system can eliminate pathogens without becoming dangerously overactivated.

Vitamin D is consumed by the immune system when its activated.

It is a nutrient that is metabolized at a faster rate during infection or inflammation.

Consequently, people with inflammatory conditions need greater amounts of vitamin D.

They must supplement at a higher dose to achieve healthy blood levels.

Since chronic immune activation is always present in autism, autistics require higher vitamin D intake than normal people.

And, here’s a case report from China where a child’s autism symptoms improved dramatically from Vitamin D:

Read study HERE

5. Selenium

Selective induction of IL-6 by aluminum-induced oxidative stress can be prevented by selenium Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, 2012, Dale Viezeliene, Piet Beekhof, Eric Gremmer, Hiliaras Rodovicius, Ilona Sadauskien, Eugene Jansen, Leonid Ivanov

This fascinating study from scientists in Lithuania and the Netherlands highlighted two things:

  • Aluminum raises IL-6 levels in rats
  • The mineral Selenium reduces some of Aluminum’s negative effects

“Therefore it was concluded that short-term exposure to Al [aluminum] causes adverse effects on the intracellular oxidative stress processes in the liver, as reflected by the selective increase in the IL-6 concentration.

This process can be restored by co-administration of the trace element Se [selenium] as a part of the glutathione redox system.”

 

Dr. Chris Shaw of. Canada

Is is possible that injecting an immune system antagonist (aluminum adjuvant), all but guaranteed to cause immune activation events, has done just that in the brains of many of our children?

Do even mildly impacted children also suffer from a permanent, simmering brain immune system activation?

Should we believe the growing body of scientists from all over the world who are sounding the alarm about the impact injected aluminum adjuvant is having on our children?

Is there any hope of recovery for all these impacted children?

Will removing aluminum, introducing ketones to the brain, repairing the gut, and supplementing with Vitamin D do anything to alleviate autism and other ailments in children who have already been damaged?

And, importantly, will these scientists who have published all this wonderful work pool their collective expertise and let the world know what they are learning?

Will they take their exhortations for caution and further exploration — all buried inside their published studies — and publicly warn parents about what is becoming so clear?

I’m heartened by a recent quote from Dr. Exley, someone clearly willing to exhibit moral courage:

“I am very prudent. I only put my neck on the guillotine when it is absolutely necessary. And that time is now.”

In my opinion, we are much, much closer to understanding how autism has been triggered in so many children, and I hope this article is another step on the path to the truth.

And, for so many of you out there doing everything you can to help you son or daughter with autism live the best possible life, perhaps a clearer understanding of how their autism was triggered will improve their chances for recovery.

The three letters

In the middle of 2017, three of the most important scientists in the field of aluminum adjuvant toxicity-Dr. Christopher Shaw of Canada, Dr. Chris Exley of England, and Dr. Romain Gherardi of France-took the extraordinary step of writing letters of caution to our American public health authorities.

I provide their letters below.

Dr. Christopher Shaw

Dr. Romain Gherardi

Dr. Chris Exley

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