Archive for February, 2010
The saga of Dr. Wakefield, the physician whose study on vaccine damage led to many parents foregoing MMR vaccines, continued this past week. Wakefield resigned from an autism center in Texas this week, an institution that he founded. Even after the Lancet redacted the study, Wakefield says that he stands by its results.
Since the institution of MMR vaccines in the 1970s, the number of autism cases has risen. Many people say that this correlation is proof that the vaccines are damaging, but correlation does not always equal causation. A contributing factor to this trend is that fact that more doctors are using autism as a diagnosis that they had previously.
In the last few weeks, we have been writing on the developments in the vaccination and autism study that was retracted by The Lancet. The study, which led countless parents to forego the MMR vaccine, was the main point of reference for a link between vaccination and autism. In the next couple of months, a new study will be released that further disproves the vaccination/autism causation.
That still leaves many parents feeling distraught and searching for reliable autism information and answers. Researchers at UC-Davis believe that they may have uncovered one of the contributing factors of the disease: parental age. Following an investigation of over 5 million Californian births in the 1990s, researchers have concluded that older mothers and fathers are more prone to giving birth to autistic children.
As science and medicine continue to develop, we are constantly learning about new risks that are at hand every minute of the day. From the food and water we eat and drink to the very air we breathe, it seems like nothing is safe or can be taken for granted. Luckily, researchers are also constantly finding means to combat the litany of dangers imposed on us everyday.
One of the newest and most revolutionary methods to remove toxins from the body is PCA-Rx. This amazing formula actually contains a living bacterial organism and is a safe alternative to chelation therapy. Without using harmful drugs or chemicals, PCA-Rx quickly and effectively works in conjunction with your immune system to rid your body of toxins
In a new study set to be published this March in the “Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiartry,” researchers report that the symptoms of autism usually are not present in children less than six months old. As the children advance past the six-month milestone, they begin to gradually show signs of autism. Some of these early indicators include lack of eye contact and communicative babbling.
For the last five years, researchers have been working with young children and following them until the age of three to get a better understanding of how the disease develops and what may be effective autism treatments. According to the researchers, there were few differences between a high-risk group and those who were low-risk up until the six-month mark. At this point, the group who were at high-risk—due to having siblings with autism—began to display early signs of the disease.
As anyone who is parenting a child with autism or is familiar with the disorder knows, those suffering with the disease fall under a wide spectrum. These variations make it difficult for physicians to correctly categorize and diagnose individuals, but that may soon be changing. Yesterday the American Psychiatric Association released their revisions Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the handbook for diagnosing various mental disorders.
One of the most notable—and controversial—proposed changes is classifying Asperger’s disorder under the spectrum of autism disorders. Proponents claim that this revision will make diagnoses more accurate and reduce the litany of labels that are now used, while teens and adults who currently are described as having Asperger’s are opposed to now being known as autistic. The new version of the DSM will not go into effect until 2013.
One of the most cryptic and elusive diseases for doctors, scientists and researchers is autism. Even after extensive investigation, the causes of the disease are not known and there are varying accounts on what are the most effective treatments. On January 30 there was a one-day conference in San Francisco expounding the most effective methods of the treatment for autism.
The Autism: Hope in Action Conference featured some of the most renowned doctors in the autism field. During the conference, early detection, medications and proper supplementation were discussed, as well as the latest findings in the field. The presentations during the conference centered on current treatments that are being implemented by physicians and the results that they are garnering.
Because autism is a disease that is shrouded in mystery, there are conflicting reports about the causes and means of effective treatment. One of the controversial treatment methods for the affliction is chelation therapy. During the chelation process, a patient is injected with chelating agents, which bond with toxins in the body over time.
There are inherent risks in the process, as there is no stopping the chelating agents from bonding with healthy cells. Some of the more specific risks of chelation therapy include liver and kidney damage, which in some cases may be fatal. The reason that chelation therapy is used by some in an attempt to treat autism is the belief that mercury poisoning is one of the root causes of the disease. Before undertaking any sort of medical treatment, you should always consult your doctor and weigh all of the viable options.
Although the retraction of Dr. Wakefield’s paper put the perceived correlation between autism and MMR vaccines into question, there are still other hypotheses that may link the two. Many feel that one of the root causes of autism is a specialized type of mercury poisoning—and many say the vaccines contain unsafe levels of the heavy metal. The symptoms of the two conditions are eerily similar, which has led many to suggest the heavy metal poisoning is one of autism’s causes.
There is currently no conclusive scientific evidence for or against this hypothesis, as there have been many conflicting reports. One of the difficulties is that virtually all of the studies use different criteria to determine the correlation. Even if heavy metal poisoning is not a cause of autism, it still poses a litany of other health risks. Luckily there are various heavy metal detox products now available.
Last week we posted on the guilty verdict of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the man who had headed a study over a decade ago that linked autism with MMR vaccination. Earlier today there was more breaking autism news, as the Lancet medical journal officially retracted the paper by Dr. Wakefield and his colleagues. In lieu of the recent controversy, ten of the 13 authors who had worked on the original study redacted its conclusions.
The retraction comes after a regulator looked into the methodology that was used in amassing the study’s data. Although Dr. Wakefield has been found guilty in the case, the retraction only looked at how the research was conducted, not whether the study was correct or not—though the Lancet did refer to the research as “false.” Since its original publication, a litany of medical experts has rejected the findings of the study and state the MMR vaccinations are not a cause of autism.