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Scientists warn of chemical-autism link
June 7th, 2011
06:43 PM ET

Scientists warn of chemical-autism link

Autism and environmental health experts called for greater scrutiny of chemicals found in the environment, which could potentially lead to autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, in a conference call Tuesday.

"We live, breathe and start our families in the presence of toxic chemical mixtures and constant low-level toxic exposures, in stark contrast to the way chemicals are tested for safety," said Donna Ferullo, Director of Program Research at The Autism Society.

"Lead, mercury, and other neurotoxic chemicals have a profound effect on the developing brain at levels that were once thought to be safe," she said.

Autism spectrum disorders are being diagnosed at unprecedented rates, partly because of improved diagnostic tools and criteria, but also a host of other factors including what mothers-to-be are exposed and consequently their unborn children too, said Irva Hertz-Piccotto, Chief of the Division of Environmental Health at the University of California, Davis, and a faculty member at the Mind Institute.

About 1 in 110 children in the United States has autism, a group of developmental disorders that lead to impairments in behavior, communication and socialization. The cost of autism is staggering: $3.2 million for the care of a person with autism throughout his or her life; behavioral therapy can be hard to come by and be very limited,  and most medications don't help much.

Studies have strongly suggested a genetic component in the cause of autism, but it's becoming clear that genetics alone isn't the whole story; there could be interactions between susceptibility genes and environmental chemicals.

Recent research from her group, appearing in the journal Epidemiology, showed that prenatal vitamins taken prior to conception seem to interact with certain metabolizing genes that are inherited.  Those women who did not take the vitamins, and had the high-risk genotypes, were more likely to have a child with autism.  Still, this was a small study limited in scope, and more research should be done to confirm these findings.

The central nervous system of the fetus is sensitive to a wide range of chemicals, Hertz-Piccotto said.  Hormones, such as estrogens and androgens, are essential for proper brain development. Endocrine-disrupting compounds need more research, she said. Flame-retardant chemicals called PBDEs interfere with the body's hormones.  Even though many of them are no longer used in manufacturing, they can hang around in the environment and the human body for a long time.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is aware of concerns about these chemicals and is working on accessing substitutions (see the action plan).

Bisphenol A, present in plastic food packaging and water bottles, among other products, is another big concern, she said, because it could interfere with the body's natural estrogen system; antimicrobials added to soaps, toothpaste and other products can artificially enhance androgenic activity.

"That means that they could potentially play a role in autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders," Hertz-Piccotto said.

Moreover, many children with autism spectrum disorders have abnormal immune responses. The chemical messengers in the immune system interact with the receptors in the brain, so chemicals that affect immunity could also be implicated in autism.

Thyroid dysfunction is common in children with autism that psychiatrist Dr. Suruchi Chandra sees, even though that's not part of the classical symptoms of the condition.  She believes the abnormalities are due to the thyroid hormone disruptors such as BPA and flame retardants.

"Thyroid hormone is critical for brain development in early life, and even small alterations in hormone levels can have serious consequences; long-lasting and perhaps irreversible consequences in terms of brain function," she said.

Air pollution from traffic and certain pesticides have also been shown to have associations with autism, studies have shown.  Maternal conditions could partially result from chemicals in the environment.

Andy Igrejas, National Campaign Director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, called for an update of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) has proposed a stricter version that would require all industrial chemicals to be tested for safety.

UPDATE: Since so many of you have asked, I wanted to clarify that this discussion does not relate to vaccines. The scientific evidence available has shown again and again that vaccines do not cause autism.


soundoff (1,209 Responses)
  1. maya

    Toxic vaccines are the primary cause of autism. How long the vaccine mafia will deny it?

    June 9, 2011 at 07:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. CivilEng

    Gee, big shock here. We're exposed to so many unnecessary chemicals (e.g., lawn treatments, chemical cleaning agents). How stupid are we to think that these won't have an effect on our bodies in time.

    June 9, 2011 at 07:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Katy Del

    "Moreover, many children with autism spectrum disorders have abnormal immune responses. The chemical messengers in the immune system interact with the receptors in the brain, so chemicals that affect immunity could also be implicated in autism." and yet " The scientific evidence available has shown again and again that vaccines do not cause autism. "

    I'm not sure if there is anything that interupts normal immune system function more that bombarding the immunes system with multiple vaccines. If you let them give your kid more than one shot at a time, you are naive and should read on exactly what that does to the body. Be informed about what you are doing with your children.

    June 9, 2011 at 07:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Elizabeth

    Aren't we saying that you rolled the dice and had a child born with autism? It's hard to agree with their findings when the child you have with autism is in the middle of those children without any problems. He has 2 older siblings and 2 young ones and they are fine.

    June 9, 2011 at 08:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. the unknown

    All of these posts raise interesting conversation. The facts or concerns are listed below and the solution to this problem is far from being solved.

    Autism is steadily increasing. Posiiblle causes:
    -greater diagnostic being performed
    -genetics
    -chemical reactions

    I am in belief that we all have to remain openminded and question the unknown. For starters vaccines... may not be the cause..but is the a reason a 4 month old should be vaccinated for 25 different diseases at this age. Maybe we question when to vaccinate...

    Chemicals...everything we consume is riddled with chemicals from our air supply to our packaged foods, meats and never mind our fast foods. Our foods are full of chemicals that create, block and alter flavors...and what about foods that are fortified with vitamins. The variables are endless.

    There is no doubt about it. The is something influencing our environment and causing this change. It amazes me how quick people's belief are used to slander another's. Quite like religion. Lot's of assumptions but no facts. The fact is we are all in this together. Don't stop questioning the unknown....

    We are all sharing a world

    June 9, 2011 at 08:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Mary

    News just in: the Pope is Catholic. Seriously, is the medical community only just realising this?

    June 9, 2011 at 08:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. father of an autistic 6 yo

    The thought of blaming autism on prenadel's and all this other stuff is crazy I have a 6 year old my middle child is autistic and my wife didn't do anything diffrent with ither of the 3..same prenadles and all and besides you can't tell if a child is autistic till he's around 2 or 3 some times god deals us these hands folks and its NO ONES fault..I see it as I'm special enuff for GOD to put one of these children in my life soo I'm not busy looking for an explination...except it and move on people trying to find the expilantion to every thing is what's rong with the world to day...Hank Mingin -master termite tech-Coats NC

    June 9, 2011 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. joegrane

    A majority of autistic kids have been seeing moderate to major improvement with the Cutler Protocol for quite a few years. Just search for Dr. Amy Holmes, whose own child greatly improved and who has treated many hundreds of kids. The mercury in vaccines is only one source of it. Mercury passes from the mother to the child. The work of Dr Boyd Haley is very compelling on this topic, including the role of genetics in reducing a person's ability to detoxify. Hg is similar to zinc and replaces it in many enzymes and other body chemicals, including some which are important for the immune and detox systems.

    June 9, 2011 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Silvia *

    Vaccines do cause autism, out of all the chemicals that you discussed and metabolizing theory you never cover alluminum and it's role in aggressive and delayed behavior. All vaccinations are laced with aluminum not just the big bad thimerisal . No one is calling on safer preservatives or looking at the over the top acceptable levels of aluminum not just in one vaccination but multiple vaccimnations. Last month the top CDC vaccination researcher who's research claims no link was indicted on monetary fraud. For every test that indicates no link their are the sane that do indicate link.
    Who is funding you?
    If you are funded by any pharnaceuical company or affiliate your vaccination claim is void. Vaccinations destroy healthy children that may have auto immune disorders but that's nor worth destroying their future.
    No thanks for distributing deceipt concerning vaccinations.

    June 9, 2011 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tray

      Exactly! They're skirting around the issue and it is ridiculous now. There is now a study that proves what Dr. Wakefield was saying about MMR and Autism. A number of children (including my friends son) have develop measles in the stomach and it's the strain found in the vaccination not the wild virus. Its not just the mercury or aluminum a lot of these kids are affected by the live virus in the vaccines. This is truly sad that they won't admit fault. Just sad.

      October 20, 2011 at 13:36 | Report abuse |
  10. Jason

    As a parent with a child that suffers from severe Autism, there are a couple things I would like to add. This has been my belief from the start: There is a predisposition for Autism that is either triggered or aggravated by external event. However, I believe that vaccines play a role in this, especially in my sons case. At the time of his birth, and the years following in the late 90s, vaccines used mercury containing thimerosal as the preservative. So, it is a true statement when it is said "its not vaccines" at the same time, it is not, in my belief, a fully true statement. There are still vaccines used in children now that contain thimerosal.

    June 9, 2011 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nail on the head!

      You have hit the proverbial "Nail on the Head". Please readers, take up a bit of research on THIMERASOL used as a preservative in vaccines...limited to only low levels in 2003 in the US, although exported to third world countries....where the spike is on the rise...Also see Sweden's study of pre 1980's when no MMR vaccine was given, and then why they stopped giving the vaccine in 1985..please understand the mere play on words "Vaccines don't cause autism"...agreed...THIMERASOL has been excluded from the discussion as a cause

      June 9, 2011 at 19:13 | Report abuse |
    • toddflanders

      How many times do you need to be beat over the head with facts before you realize you are wrong? Mercury was removed from vaccines 19 years ago and the rates of autism did not drop. Numerous studies show that there was no link between thimeresol and autism. Stop beating a dead horse and move to your next idiotic theory.

      June 9, 2011 at 19:38 | Report abuse |
    • Sonya

      @ Toddflanders – my son was vaccinated with compounds that contained mercury as late at 2001. He has high-functioning Asperger's syndrome. I am not saying that the vaccination caused his autism, but the stories of families whose children changed profoundly immediately after vaccinations are legion. Search on the name "Hannah Poling," one of a few kids to win a vaccination case. Why? Not because of her mitochondrial disorder (which her own physician said had no impact on the development of her autism), but because her father is a neurologist and her mother is a nurse-turned-lawyer. I guess if you've got those occupations in the family, your case gets easier to build. So, mercury in the environment is bad for the developing fetus, but mercury injected directly is OK? What the hell is up with that logic? Finally – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/government-concedes-vacci_b_88323.

      June 9, 2011 at 20:08 | Report abuse |
    • Lea

      I have a daughter who has aspergers syndrome. She was vaccinated, but I don't believe vaccines gave her aspergers. Her father has aspergers to a degree. She has aspergers because for what ever reason, that is how her genetic makeup played out. Her older brother and younger brother do not have aspergers or autism, they too were vaccinated. No one in my husband's family can recall any other relatives that had asperger type behavior. That does not mean the gene or genes that determine aspergers were not there, they just were not dominate or switched on.

      June 9, 2011 at 21:12 | Report abuse |
    • ann marie

      no one ever talks about this side of what causes autism, but, i do believe, that there is strong maternal link with diet and other external, environmental exposures. having worked in the medical field in the fertility and nutrition research for almost 20 years, its appalling to realize that scientific research hasn't support a theory, or connection with the higher incidence of women who are semi-vegetarian (who eat fish), and/or, on antidepressants. first off, the levels of mercury found in fish (tuna, sea bass, herring, etc.), is enough to scare me away from eating it for eternity... never mind eating it when pregnant! i am not too sure if there is enough solid and useful statistics available to women that will convince them that their fetus can be compromised by ANY and MOST toxic things in her body. secondly, the rate of child-bearing women who take antidepressants when they are STILL pregnant, is not ONLY and completely horrifying- but, obviously, compelling enough to want to learn more about these risk factors. what about those women who are dieting and are drinking diet sodas with phenylalanine listed as one of the main ingredients. in their green at any rate, i feel that we are all missing the BIG picture here with maternal health and diet, let's wake up a bit and START looking a the most obvious: a Mother's diet when she's pregnant. And, after all, "You ARE what You Eat!"

      June 10, 2011 at 00:42 | Report abuse |
    • susan

      I agree with you, it's the shots the doctors are giving our kids that are giving them autism. I heard this fact, 1 out of every 100 births a child will have autism now, well that may be true in America where we take our innocent babies in for thier shots each month, but get this, HOW COME 1 OUT OF EVERY AMISH CHILD DOESN'T HAVE AUTISM. WELL I'LL TELL YOU WHY, THESE BABIES DO NOT HAVE SHOTS EVERY MONTH, THAT'S THE TRUTH. AND THESE PHARMA COMPANIES LIE TO US AND TELL US IT'S NOT IN THE SHOTS THEY GIVE OUR BABIES, BULL CRAP

      June 10, 2011 at 03:43 | Report abuse |
    • susan

      I agree with you, it's the shots the doctors are giving our kids that are giving them autism. I heard this fact, 1 out of every 100 births a child will have autism now, well that may be true in America where we take our innocent babies in for thier shots each month, but get this, HOW COME 1 OUT OF EVERY100 AMISH CHILD DOESN'T HAVE AUTISM. WELL I'LL TELL YOU WHY, THESE BABIES DO NOT HAVE SHOTS EVERY MONTH, THAT'S THE TRUTH. AND THESE PHARMA COMPANIES LIE TO US AND TELL US IT'S NOT IN THE SHOTS THEY GIVE OUR BABIES, BULL CRAP

      June 10, 2011 at 03:52 | Report abuse |
    • Political Sky

      I don't know HOW a thinking person can say these two things simultaneously.. (talk about "double think". )

      "Moreover, many children with autism spectrum disorders have abnormal immune responses. The chemical messengers in the immune system interact with the receptors in the brain, so chemicals that affect immunity could also be implicated in autism." AND "The scientific evidence available has shown again and again that vaccines do not cause autism. "

      HOW DUMB DO YOU THINK WE ARE?

      June 10, 2011 at 09:37 | Report abuse |
    • Tammy

      The Federal courts agree with you. BILLIONS of dollars have been doled out at the tax-payer's expense for vaccine-injury compensation. The majority of defendants in these compensated cases (usually getting compensation for "encephalopathy") also have Autism. Clearly... there is an Autism/Vaccine link if the majority of cases that have been PROVEN to be vax-injured also manifest Autism. Toxins are toxins. BPA, pollution, chemicals..... VACCINES... they are ALL part of the problem. Vaccines may not be the sole cause of Autism, but I guarantee they are contributing to the rise in numbers. ALL environmental toxins are.

      June 11, 2011 at 23:54 | Report abuse |
    • concerned

      what about "induced" labor??? everyone I have talked to who has a child with autistism was induced !!!

      June 14, 2011 at 08:34 | Report abuse |
    • TLK

      Dr. Amy Yasko is putting on a webisode series which talks about her work in Autism. She has been saying this same thing for years and her protocol has helped hundreds of children recover. The episodes air every sunday night at 8pm EST. They are up for two weeks at a time so you can watch each one at your convenience. They are very informative and I believe everyone would benefit from watching. Just a thought, I hope this helps!

      http://www.dramyyasko.com/resources/webisodes/

      June 28, 2011 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
  11. Da doo

    It still amazes me how backwards thinking so many so called educated doctors fail to see what is right in front of their face. My mothers family had their first at the time very healthy child die within 24 hours of a vaccine, after that 12 children, 27 grandchildren and at least 2 great grandchildren that I know of were never vaccinated – guess what? No Autism and no cancer – that's right no cancer – I once was told by a doctor I had to have my child vaccinated, I quietly responded, I will do that if you will sign a paper that it will never be proven to be harmful, yep, you guessed it, no signature and I walked out without the vaccine administered. I have not had vaccines, never contracted any of the diseases I have come IN contact with such as whooping cough and be it that celiac runs in my family (an immune disorder, that in italy is tested for at birth but in America is not) I am thinking it is better to run the risk of catching that to purposely inject an untested immune system at... what is it now 1 month olds that are being vaccinated?

    June 9, 2011 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lesley

      You've never contracted these diseases because the rest of the population is vaccinated!

      June 9, 2011 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      I agree with you! but it's not 1 month old... IT STARTS AT BIRTH. My concern about the vaccine/autism link is exactly what they stated above... there are immune issues in children with autistim. So WHY would you, at birth, before you even know the health issues with this child, test it's immune system by administering vaccines? My daughter has thyroid problems. i have thyroid problems. She has mild autistic tendencies. She also has immune disfunction in the form of mastocytosis. She has never been vaccinated. My belief is that if she had been, we would be dealing with a severely autisitc child, or worse, she may have died. To say that vaccines do not cause autism is to ignore the immune response issue in these children entirely.

      June 9, 2011 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
    • ieat

      did you not read? She said she came in contact with whooping cough but did not get sick.

      June 9, 2011 at 18:45 | Report abuse |
  12. Silvia *

    Vaccinations contribute to the Autism epidemic developed nations are experiencing. There is copious amounts of evidense. Big pharmaceutical have the FDA, CDC, and to some degree the WHO in their financial poskets sad.

    The folks who don't agree ; you have not done any research and have only been fed what main stream media feeds you because Big Pharma pays the bills.

    SAD

    June 9, 2011 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ganzai

      Big Pharma makes almost no money from vaccines. As a matter of fact if your claim was correct, they would make tons more money agreeing with your side and pushing, non-vaccination. They could make billions more with medicines down the road for the children who develop small pox. Reading some guys website who is not an MD or a scientist who has published a paper in a respectable medical journal is not research. Read some peer-reviewed studies and cases and if you have half a brain you would see there is no connection. Again this is basically another way for people to hate on capitalism, more conspiracy theory nuts and the like.

      June 9, 2011 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
    • trollskovitch

      "poskets"

      you're right. vaccine's should be banned.

      SAD

      June 12, 2011 at 19:01 | Report abuse |
  13. Poppy

    Actually I think that Autism is caused by "Brown Note" technology. The military has been researching the brown note for years but have never admitted to discovering it. If indeed they have discovered it, it is the most logical cause. Some people would be much more likely to be affected by the brown note than others. People affected by autism are most likely the ones that are the most affected. Its very unfortunate as brown note technology could change everything and lead to a lifestyle very different from what we currently enjoy. The problems associated with it could be minimized Im sure if the Government would just admit to having this technology.

    June 9, 2011 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Poppy

    Autism is caused by Brown Note Technology....has anyone considered that?

    June 9, 2011 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. ganzai

    Funny to see people who think autism is linked to vaccines still. There is no scientific evidence that wasn't completely fabricated to support there claims, yet many of them say they 'believe' that autism is caused by vaccines. If you want to believe something go to church, leave the propaganda to the side and stop telling other parents to stop vaccinations because of your 'beliefs'.

    June 9, 2011 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Johnp

      ganzai; So I was about to consider your thoughts because I too wonder where the truth is in either side of the discussion. Both sides make sence but both sides could be just propaganda. See but then you threw in the "go to church if you want to believe something" and thats where you lost me. You reminded me of all the lies and unproven theories of science that claim to be fact. thplu to you. I just spit on the floor in honor of you.

      June 9, 2011 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
    • ieat

      I think a lot of "autism" we're seeing are some type of reaction to vaccines. Vaccines do not cause autism that is genetic,but any pediatrician will be able to tell you that some infants can get a side effect from vaccination. It is a mistake to lump all forms of autism together as one.

      June 9, 2011 at 18:48 | Report abuse |
    • RIch

      There is a mountain of evidence clearly showing a link between vaccines and injuries, including but not limited to, autism.
      People with a mild understanding say well the mercury is removed..it is not..they say well vaccines dont make money for the drug companies, silly of course they do...It is also the other ingredients in the vaccine..like the aluminum...and the formaldehyde and the other adjuvants..

      I am 3 UN-vaccinated kids and sadly, people refuse to see the evidence. What would happen if there was 100% agreement that vaccines CAUSED neurological damage ? how many millions of law suits and $$ to be paid. Instead they set up a vaccine injury compensation fund and let the some people collect $$. Big pharma would be out of business and the amount of drugs this country takes would bankrupt ( even further ) this country.

      My kids are so healthy. I am saddened that you believe a shot PROTECTS anyone. Artificial immunity does not work.

      November 14, 2011 at 17:34 | Report abuse |
  16. nyscof

    Fluoride chemicals disrupt they thyroid. Yet governments dump this unnecessary chemical into 70% of US public drinking water supplies that is often used to make the food and beverages you purchase in restaurants and supermarkets.

    24 studies link fluoride to lowered IQ in humans. Hundreds of animal studies link fluoride to brain damage.

    Politics not science keeps fluoridation alive – and it's harming our children. People need to organize and force their communities and states to stop fluoridation

    Fluoridation chemicals are waste products of phosphate fertilizer manufacturing which are allowed to contain trace amounts of lead and mercruy – all know neurotoxins

    Fluoridation is a blight that the USA exported to other countries.

    June 9, 2011 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • toddflanders

      And if I take your picture with a camera, I will be stealing your soul. Get out of the 14th century and pick up some science books and read.

      June 9, 2011 at 19:42 | Report abuse |
  17. Scott

    What seems to be ignored here is that the originator of the Autism-vaccine link, Andrew Wakefield, is a crook, a liar and has had his medical license revoked for his fraud in linking Autism with vaccines. As an adult with Asperger's, an Autism Spectrum Disorder, I can tell you that signs of Autism in children become more and more evident as the child ages and is dependent on the severity of the Autism. The fact that the immunization schedule continues as the child ages means any link is strictly correlation, NOT causation. Especially in light of further research that shows no link, whatsoever. Modern science has obliterated most childhood diseases, thanks to vaccines. It was criminal for Wakefield to push his agenda over the lives of thousands of children, and it is irresponsible for anti-vaccers to continue to propagate Wakefield's fraud. Read the update at the end of the above article.

    June 9, 2011 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • You are playing God!

      ...

      June 9, 2011 at 19:17 | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      I would do a FAR better job than "God"...

      June 10, 2011 at 00:44 | Report abuse |
  18. SB

    Hahaha! Autism and environmental health experts agree that heavy metals and other chemicals can hurt our little ones, but yet at the very end of the article, it reads "The scientific evidence available has shown again and again that vaccines do not cause autism". What rubbish. How convenient that the "scientific evidence" was funded by the drug companies that make the vaccines. Meanwhile, kids suffer and parents suffer. It s such hogwash AND for what? So the drug companies can make more money? It's so sick.

    June 9, 2011 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • toddflanders

      You're a moron

      June 9, 2011 at 19:43 | Report abuse |
    • Momofmany

      @ Todd, actually many of us are parents of vaccine injured children. If you knew as much about vaccines as you claim, you would know that thimerisol is still used to make vaccines but they "attempt" to remove the mercury after it's in the vaccine. They didn't stop using it 19 years ago. My son was given full mercury containing vaccines 6 years ago! There is also a huge dose of aluminum in them as well. What you are saying is what was said about tobacco for so many years. The "studies" done by tobacco companies showed NO connection to cancer. Same studies done by those who own vaccine patents or the pharmaceutical companies magically show no connection. How many people could have been saved from cancer had the families of the tobacco victims been listened to? This will end the same way.

      June 27, 2011 at 20:18 | Report abuse |
  19. Dave

    Wow, 8 pages of comments and most of them uninformed. For the record, the spike in autism diagnosis does not coincide with any important change in vaccinations, environmental policies, etc. It does, however, coincide with the addition of Asperger's Syndrome to the list of diagnosable autism spectrum disorders. Asperger's is now as over-diagnosed as ADD/ADHD. Subtract the portion of all ASD diagnoses that are for Asperger's and I think you'll find little to no increase in autism rates.

    I swear to god, people, read a book.

    June 9, 2011 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nicole

      Asperger's diagnosis are in the minority, if you read the research most kids who are diagnosed with it meet the criteria for

      June 10, 2011 at 01:10 | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      (cont.) autistic disorder. PDD-NOS is as prevalent as autistic disorder, and a portion of those are kids with developmental delays and other issues who have that label for funding reasons or because their pediatrician is I'll informed when it comes to DSM codes. The most liberal numbers put the rate of autism spectrum disorders around 24 in 1000, much less than ADHD. While there are false positives, generally speaking the burden of evidence for a spectrum diagnosis is so high that it isn't misdiagnosed. the exception being PDD-NOS, but even then we're talking about something more like 1 in 10 kids.

      As a contrast, ADHD is often diagnosed based solely on parent and teacher surveys. Much more room for false positives there.

      June 10, 2011 at 01:17 | Report abuse |
  20. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Only 2% of parents refuse to vaccinate their kids. Doesn't that tell you something?

    98% of parents aren't wrong. The 2% are.

    June 9, 2011 at 21:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Just Hope It's Not You

      Unless your one of the parents whose child has had an adverse reaction to vaccination, then you might feel differently. When I was a child there were vaccinations for polio, etc but there was a minimal amount of them. I grew up fine and healthy. Today a child receives 49 doses of vaccines by the age of 6. It's the world we live in. Take a pill for this, take a shot for that. Advertise drugs on TV. Prescribe, prescribe prescribe. It's a wonder our immune systems develop at all.

      June 14, 2011 at 17:07 | Report abuse |
  21. Ava

    Chemicals? Interesting...hmmm...pesticides, etc., what exactly does cause Encephalitis? My daughter was really sick with the flu, but very hard for her to get over. Not long after, my son was very sick with the flu that turned to viral Encephalitis...luckily he lived after dying 3 times...he has some brain damage, but hard work and determination, there were ways to adjust to it and he appears "normal." Not too long after, Autistic signs started appearing. His higher functioning Asperger's Syndrome, and her, Asperger's Syndrome with more regular Autism features. Also found she was born with a benign arachnoid cyst on her brain in the front temporal area. (Possibly got there from the car wreck when I was pregnant.) Plus they got a Neuropathy from me, covered under Muscular Dystrophy...hits the peripheral nerve then the muscles. DID ANY OF YOUR KIDS HAVE FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS PRIOR TO BEING DIAGNOSED? Just curious. 🙂 BTW, it's just the 3 of us & we have a blast! We've learned about our medical issues & thank God for life! We just live, love & laugh...parented "Bill Cosby" style...they are the best! They're smart, funny & mine!

    June 9, 2011 at 23:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Kate

    The article states the following: "Moreover, many children with autism spectrum disorders have abnormal immune responses. The chemical messengers in the immune system interact with the receptors in the brain, so chemicals that affect immunity could also be implicated in autism". The last time I checked vaccinations cause an immune response! How can Doctors be certain that the constant immune responses resulting from multiple doses of vaccines given over and over again do not have a negative effect in babies with "abnormal" immune system responses? Apparently they do not know this for certain. I believe that someday it will come out that some babies have compromised immune systems for whatever reason, exposure to chemicals, etc. in the environment and that when these babies are vaccinated the abnormal immune response somehow interferes with normal brain development which results in various forms of autism.

    June 9, 2011 at 23:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Nicole

    oh, give me a freaking break. All reliable research points to a genetic cause. All of the substantiate causes od autism (rett syndrome, fragile X, etc) are genetic.. In 90% of identical twins where one child has an autism diagnosis the second child also receives a diagnosis. You do not see numbers like that unless a condition is genetic. There is no autism epidemic, there is purely an increased acuity when it comes to autism diagnosis, causing individuals who would otherwise be diagnosed with mental retardation, schizoid personality, learning disabilities, or just not diagnosed at all to receive an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis.

    June 10, 2011 at 00:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tracy

      If it is genetic where is the proof? I have a 14 year old that is no where on the spectrum and my husband has a 18 year old that is no where on the spectrum. We have a 5 year old that is on the spectrum and has PDD/NOS and clearly has Autism. Not mis-diagnosed like some of the people on here said that doesn't have a clue! Autism doesn't not run in either side of the family. But I have many friends with children on the spectrum. And for people who say its not an epidemic is just DUMB! 1 out of 110 is outrageous! And it effects 1 out of 80 boys! Most of the children that are being diagnosed are under the age of 10 years of age. It is on the rise...you people need to get your head out of the sand!! Maybe you would think different if you had a loved one with this disorder! Needless to say my 5 year old won't be getting any more vaccines and my 1 month old won't have any! I'm not going to harm my baby with vaccines knowing what they do to children! I've done alot of research to support the truth about vaccines. My sister had the mumples and measles both as a newborn and she is still here and she is healthy. But due to the vaccines my daughter will live with Autism the rest of her life...the bowel problems...the dark circles under the eyes....muscular problems...the stimming...the list goes on! Doesn't seem worth it to have my children vaccinated to protect them when it causes them all this harm! You people do what you want your gambling with your children. I won't gamble with mine!

      June 12, 2011 at 00:36 | Report abuse |
  24. KS

    My oldest received all her vaccinations and she was doing just fine until she was almost 2 and then she began to regress. She was diagnosed with autism at 5 years old when I was finally able to get her in to see a neurologist.

    June 10, 2011 at 00:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lshlansky

      Onset of autism happens in many children at the age of two. I to regress at that age. What is not said is that Asperger's syndrome goes though at a given age changes in the way it is projected.

      June 10, 2011 at 01:17 | Report abuse |
  25. Smee

    Also from the no sh!t Sherlock department: High cholesterol increases death risk.

    June 10, 2011 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. KS

    My youngest has been vaccinated and she is now 3 years old and doing exceptionally well, no autism signs. So if it's the vaccines that are giving children autism how come she doesn't have it? And what if it is genetically linked? My oldest daughter's is linked to genetics. We should stop fighting about how our children became autistic and start fighting about how come there is so little care for them and the treatment for autism is outrageous and the cash cow that is our health insurance company will only cover a tiny portion of the cost, if any at all.

    June 10, 2011 at 00:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tracy

      That's because not all children have the predeposition for Autism...meaning some have better immune systems then others. And these children that get Autism from vaccines for whatever reasons their bodies don't excrete toxins out of their bodies like most people can. Don't you read? Or do any research? Do you even know what is in Vaccines???? I bet most of you on here don't. For all of you that are blind to the fact that vaccines are causing Autism in children that have a predepostion to it do your freaking research before you get on her bashing the people who have!

      June 12, 2011 at 00:43 | Report abuse |
    • Momofmany

      That is easy to explain. Why do the majority of smokers NOT get lung cancer? Because their body and it's makeup. Why were all my other children normal and had NO problems with vaccines and we have 9 then our 8 year old had the MMR and the same day started screaming, stopped walking and talking and his brain herniated due to getting encephalitis from the vaccine? I don't know. I don't even care. My child, who he was, was killed by that vaccine and he was replaced by another child. That is what it feels like. He didn't even call me mom again until his 5th birthday. What happened to him was so massive and dramatic our family physician stopped vaccinating his own children. Our son has had 3 brain surgeries to repair the brain herniation.

      June 27, 2011 at 20:25 | Report abuse |
  27. Kate

    People who choose not to vaccinate their children love their children very much. All of the sudden you have a precious, extremely delicate new life to care for and the last thing you want to do is start pumping your newborn full of injections. IT'S NOT NATURAL! Human beings have been having babies for ions and this is the first time in human history that new parents are faced with a barage of injections given to their newborns. I'm 45 and I remember having about 3 vaccines. Now most vaccines are given in a series of 4! My infant just turn eight months old and he's already received at least 12 shots (that I know of) and at least 4 oral vaccines. And that was for 2 different vaccines. I know he received more meds in the hospital because he was given antibiotic shots in his heal. It's traumatic for the child and nerve racking for any new parent, especially when your normally energetic infant becomes almost comatose and sleeps for 2 days straight after every vaccination. My son slept so much that he only woke up to nurse after receiving his first 3 vaccines. I don't know what will happen to his development over the long term. Right now his development certainly seems normal because he's hitting all of the expected milestones for his age, he's very verbal and smiles alot. He's was a miracle for me and my husband and he's the only child I will ever have so if something interferes with his development I will be devestated. I NEVER look forward to his vaccine appointments and sometimes I purposely forget to take him. I will delay some vaccines and others I will turn down completely. I fully sympathize wtih parents who decide not to vaccinate. They just want to raise their children the same way most humans have been raised since the beginning of humanity: without hundreds of very harsh, fever causing, potentially harmful injections!

    June 10, 2011 at 01:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Trish

      Well said Kate.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:26 | Report abuse |
    • We are spoiled

      Raising children the way we have for generations? You mean with 1 in 10 not living to their first birthday, and the rest dying of "old age" by the time they were 40? Because that's the way things really were. More natural, and more fatal. We have been spoiled by the modern miracless that happen around us everyday. Yes I would question everything that goes into my child's body. And yes, everything in life comes with risk, including vaccines, and jelly donuts. But the risk of NOT getting vaccines is far, FAR greater. How would you feel cradling your child when they were dying of a communicable disease THAT COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED if you had done real research (and Googling Bilderberg conspiracies doesn't count)? It is easy, and lazy, and dangerous to chalk everything up to a conspiracy, and this person being in that person's pocket, but the truth is that legitimate scientists and doctors have done real, honest-to-God research (how many people on this thread even know what this is?) and found that the risk of disease far outweighs the risk from vaccines. PERIOD. Now that I have ended the vaccine – autism debate once and for all, I turn my attention to global climate change (it exists) and what to do about it (end poverty first). Ta.

      June 12, 2011 at 00:29 | Report abuse |
    • Nic4567

      I think what people are failing to see is that we cannot have it all. Yes, people had children for "eons," as you say prior to the development of vaccines, but many of those children died before they reached adulthood, and often in infancy as a result of diseases that the Western world has eradicated, or nearly eradicated. Vaccines prevent children from dying from diseases that used to kill children in great numbers. We run the risk of having these diseases come back as a result of parents not trusting our medical system, although who can blame them? Our medical profession seems completely overtaken by the pharmaceutical companies, and it does not appear that the huge pharma companies have become so bloated from humanitarian concern. Everywhere we go, we are surrounded by harmful chemicals–maybe they are in our vaccines, and maybe they are not. We no longer even trust our doctors and scientists to tell us the truth, and that is really scary. Ultimately, industrialization, massive corporate greed and an ill-informed, complacent public is the real problem and threat to our entire culture.

      July 4, 2011 at 16:18 | Report abuse |
  28. WhyCantVaccinesBeHarmful?

    for those who think vaccines are nothing but good, here is some food for thought

    Government Paid Millions to Vaccine-Injured Kids
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXp4hM3eQuI&w=640&h=360]

    CDC Chief Admits that Vaccines Trigger Autism
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh-nkD5LSIg&w=640&h=360]

    Probe to Reveal Link Between Vaccine Settlements and Autism
    http://video.foxnews.com/v/4685191/probe-to-reveal-link-between-vaccine-settlements-and-autism

    When a baby gets the first big round of shots at two months, the total dose of aluminum can vary from 295 micrograms to a whopping 1225 micrograms. If the baby’s kidneys weren’t working well, having more than 30 micrograms floating around in his bloodstream at once could be toxic. For a child, more than 100 micrograms in his system could be toxic.
    This vaccines are repeated at 4 and 6 months.
    (Reference: The Vaccine Book by Dr Sears, also this link
    http://www.health.thesfile.com/environmental-risks/environmental-toxins/vaccine-ingredients/aluminum/

    June 10, 2011 at 01:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Momofmany

      A single safe dose is only 25 mmg of aluminum in children. So why did the FDA approve this is the question. Drug manufacturers make billions on vaccines or they wouldn't make them. It's all profit with Dr. Paul Offit and his NO ties to vaccines even though he owns several vaccine patents leading the way. It's all about money and no one in the CDC or FDA should be allowed to own medication or vaccine patents or be allowed to own stock in pharmaceuticals. Yet they do and it continues to be why our children are being exposed to neuro toxins and be damaged and no one cares.

      June 27, 2011 at 20:30 | Report abuse |
  29. Lynn

    Alright so why does the FDA STILL allow companies to list unknown ingredients in all of our heath and beauty products as "fragrance" and then charge 3 times as much for soap and baby wash without added "fragrance". I think the government needs to step up and do something soon and stop bowing down to big corporations. We need to protect our people, pregnant mothers, and children.

    June 10, 2011 at 06:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Grant Goode

    Gluten, GMO's and other foods would interfere with development of the fetus if immune sensitivity develops or if the fetus is genetically predisposed.

    June 10, 2011 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Dr Andrew Goldsworthy

    The most serious cause of autism may not be chemical at all. There is now scientific evidence relating it to the effects of man made electromagnetic fields on the developing brain. See http://tinyurl.com/6crk24n . Until this effect has been examined in more detail, it would be best to minimize your electromagnetic exposure during pregnancy and that of the child for at least the first two years of its life.

    June 12, 2011 at 05:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. jamie

    i have two kids....both with autism. my more severely affected child is not vaxxed. there are plenty of autistic children out there who aren't vaxxed.....hence, autism is NOT caused by vaccinating....

    June 12, 2011 at 19:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Momofmany

      Yes they do. Just because someone has lung cancer and never smoked does not mean that smoking doesn't cause lung cancer. Most of us have mouths full of mercury fillings. Those as well as many neuro toxins cause autism. So do pesticides.

      June 27, 2011 at 20:32 | Report abuse |
    • hosch

      I think you are right. I don't think vaccines cause autism. A lot of people have gotten vaccines not experienced any problems. However, I definitely think we need to examine what the hell is in vaccines and what is in medicine pills. Shouldn't be allowed to give someone unkown chemicals, if something in the vaccine absolutely prevents polio, tell us exactly what it is. Also no reasonable to think that vaccination can have no possible negative effects, it is obviously possible that some children are having bad responses to vaccinations.

      I never studied this link, but I think it's pretty clear. The more you research the issue, the more you realize there is no control over the chemical industry.Chemicals have evolved so that we can't tell they are toxic immediately, instead they are slowly poisoning us. It's irritating that if someone can make profit they will release these dangerous chemicals into our homes.

      April 28, 2012 at 22:25 | Report abuse |
  33. Brad

    If you haven't walked the walk please should consider keeping your definitive comments about what has or has not been "proven" to yourselves. You know what…..I used to be just like many of you, until 2 years ago when our perfectly developing 2.5 year old, whom everyone including doctors said was a perfect child, fell in the ditch of regressive autism. I am now an expert on this one child for sure, and have heard more total BS come out of doctors and professionals mouths the past 24 months about "well, it is NOT evidence-based." We just wanted our child fixed, and fix him we did!! I cannot say I have done a study, but I know the facts because I watched it happen……our son lost his autism diagnosis after 1 year on the ASD spectrum and I can say with 100% certainty.....yes he was injured by vaccines, followed by awful food allergies that started at 2 years old (actually 2 hours after he had the MMR and DTAP together, administered while the child was on antibiotics and sick, he broke out in a rash all over his body for 1 week, and 12 months later he was diagnosed with intestinal dysboisis, and Celiac diseases symptons. There are thousands of kids out there just like our son. You can go pound sand until you’ve walked to walk!
    2.5 years later he cannot eat any gluten, milk, tomatoes, banana's, etc. any preservative makes him go totally nuts, turn red in the face an ears, and yes he is sensitive to pesticides, we have to be very careful. Our now once again normally developing 4.5 year old is doing great, reading, writing, caught up with his pears in school, plays baseball/golf/soccer, has lots of friends. So thank you China for the plastic bottles and flame retardant PJ's, thank you food industry for the lowest quality pesticide laden genetically modified food in the world, than you Monsanto and others for your chemicals, and thank you big Pharm for the BS studies that say the 46 vaccines you have prescribed for our 1-7 year olds (that is correct, up from 7 vaccines 20 years ago-have we over-rated???) are safe for everyone!! My sons severely damaged, now recovering immune system, and 15 delayed food allergies that make him go crazy when exposed....strongly disagree!!!!!!!!

    June 13, 2011 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Momof2Groks

      Brad- You are exactly right, and your story is similar to what I have been dealing with with my 5 year old. So to all of the people who have not seen this with their own eyes and are still insisting it is impossible that vaccine can damage genetically susceptible kids, those of us who have seen our kids flip out and then SLOWLY recover (with full time research and meal planning and limiting exposure to toxins which is way harder than it sounds) we will NEVER stop telling people the truth no matter how much you refuse to believe it. One day we will be proven right in the medical community. Right now, being proven right by recovering our kids is the best we can do.

      June 13, 2011 at 13:08 | Report abuse |
    • Momofmany

      I know I didn't believe it either until it happened to us but again I never had one single person out of the several children we know with autism talk to us about what happened. They did after our son was diagnosed. No shock that all of them regressed after vaccines. While not every child has that happen, it does happen and is most of the autism we see today. I'm so sorry. Thank the Lord I never thought or said anything bad about those parents who wrote about it happening to their child. We've joined their ranks. I wouldn't have vaccinated Josiah had ONE person in real life told me what happened to their child. People are so evil though to those of us this happens to. I just don't understand it.

      June 27, 2011 at 20:36 | Report abuse |
    • stephanie

      totally agree brad. can't believe how ignorant some people really are about this topic. its crazy

      June 30, 2011 at 22:37 | Report abuse |
  34. JP

    A couple of questions/thoughts:

    1. If vaccines are safe why is there not a study of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children, If you believe the lie that there are not enough unvaccinated children it is not correct. In my area in many schools only 50-70 of children are vaccinated. They don't want the public to know the results of that one. If they did not cause autism then they would be doing this is a heartbeat and screaming it from the hills. I mean, what better way to shut up all the anti-vaxers and move on?

    2. Mercury is still in some vaccines and in many vaccines where it is "removed" or mercury "free" trace amounts still are found as it is made with it. It has not been banned from all vaccines. This is a fact. Even the flu vaccine has mercury..the mercury free is made with mercury, then filtered out and trace amounts remain. If you do not specifically request mercury free (even if you are a child) you will probably get mercury

    3. Dr Eisenstein in Chicaco has 30,000 unvaccinated patients. Rate of autism zero.

    4. Mercury when eaten while pregnant is damaging but injected directly into your body is ok?

    5. Some vaccines actually list autism as a side effect on their inserts

    6. The current vaccine schedule has never been tested for safety as it would be "unethical"....yet actually administering an untested schedule to millions of children is ok

    7.Most people I have met who are pro-vaccine believe anti-vaxers are that way due to Jenny McCarthy, Wakefield and they are wrong...it is actual facts and science. There is a lot more to the story than the Wakefield story

    8. The US government has paid money to parents of children and admitted that the vaccines cause autism

    9. Any of you pro-vaxers actually read all of the "tons of studies that show no link"? I would love for you to send them to me....my money is on the fact that you have no idea whether they are valid, how many their are, and whether children were even involved in the studies...

    10. Many studies are showing the amounts of aluminum in vaccines to be just as damaging as mercury. Children get over 200 times the safe amount at vaccine time

    June 13, 2011 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Momofmany

      That is because they believe what the media says instead of looking for themselves. Of all the studies done about vaccines and autism, 3/4 show either a direct link or is causative between the two. These were not done by vaccine manufacturers or patent holders. Paul Offits studies are often touted as being conclusive due to his unbiased opinions. He can't be unbiased. He owns vaccine patents!

      June 27, 2011 at 20:40 | Report abuse |
    • Long

      I think I can accept that too much mercury in your body is bad, but have you ever seen that guy laying on a sort of pool of mercury? My parents and most of my high school teachers had the opportunity to handle mercury in class but they all seem fine. So do you know if mercury is fine to handle if you just don't inhale or ingest it? Just curious and looking for an answer that isn't just saying mercury is bad and a single drop is like deadly or something.

      October 3, 2011 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
  35. usethebrainsgodgiveyou

    I'd be interested in the thyroid tie in. Son started being treated for hypothyroidism at age 15.

    June 19, 2011 at 08:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. drsolo

    I fought for the right of farmers to label their dairy rBGH free in Wisconsin (we won). As an immunologist I was very concerned that rBGH stimulates the production of immunomodulating compounds that are active at very tiny concentrations. It isnt the rBGH itself that is in the milk, but rBGH causes the production of these compounds that causes all kinds of serious problems for the cows that requires medications to treat diseases including antibiotics. The life of cows is reported to be cut in half due to rBGH injections for example. Not all antibiotics can or are detected by tests. In addition, roundup and roundup ready crops are suspected of affecting animals up the food chain (http://farmandranchfreedom.org/gmo-miscarriages) and plants (http://www.responsibletechnology.org/blog/664).

    It is better to eat organic foods, at least those grown without GMOs or animals injected with chemicals.

    June 24, 2011 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Tina

    First off, let's just agree to limit discussion to thimerosal-free vaccines (which pretty much all pediatric vaccines are these days). Those who choose not to vaccinate their children have just as high of autism-spectrum rates as those who do. Add to that the fact that the author of the "vaccine-autism" link admitted to lying, and I think most reasonable people will rule out any purported link.

    That said, I am glad to see some light finally being shone on the likely environmental causes of autism. I personally believe we will someday learn that there are a host of chemicals to blame for the increase in our autism rates. It's not going to be narrowed down to just a single pesticide or BPA, though the prevalence of BPA in our plastics is extremely concerning to me. BPA, a sythetic estrogen and endocrine disruptor, has been linked to various transgendered, mutant animal life in BPA-contaminated waters. I'm reminded of "The Graduate" when the neighbor tells Dustin Hoffman that the future is "plastics." Seriously. Think of all the crazy chemicals that go into our environment and food and clothing that we never used to be exposed to back in the day when mayonnaise and ketchup came only in glass jars and people primarily cleaned their homes with vinegar and baking soda. I'm not the "greenest" person on the planet, but I try to shield myself from things that seem harmful. When I tried to go mostly plastic-free in our household two years ago, I pretty much gave up. From shampoo to ketchup, it was just impossible. (E.G., It turns out you can only buy Heinz ketchup or mustard in glass bottles if you buy a bulk order of bottles like you would find on the table of a diner.) The only thing I succeeded at was replacing our plastic food containers with glass ones with locking lids. It's dismaying as a parent b/c I sincerely *want* to keep my family from exposure to harmful chemicals in the environment but feel like it's entirely impossible to do so in the modern world.

    June 27, 2011 at 02:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Momofmany

      Lets be clear they are not thimerisol free! They attempt to remove the mercury after it's put in them with varying degrees of success. Say you have a DPaT vaccine. It is made with thimerisol, then they try to remove the mercury through an unproven process but the vaccine will always still contain mercury at unacceptable levels. The EPA says that 200 ppb of mercury requires hasmat to clean it up if something spills containing that level of mercury. Even after removing the mercury most still contain well over 7500 ppb of mercury. That is still unacceptable! The amount of aluminum is well above the EPA's safe level of 25 mmg per exposure. A newborn gets over 200 mmg of aluminum! Also a known neurotoxin. I know several neurologists and neurosurgeons and none of them vaccinate. That is enough for me. That and my brain damaged son.

      June 27, 2011 at 20:46 | Report abuse |
  38. Vichara

    Yoga classes, child and parents... and beginners mind meds, meditation, that is. Guaranteed to unleash healthy potential, especially family dynamics. Take this precious time to create an enjoyable life style. The rewards are endless.

    June 27, 2011 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. stephanie

    to ganzai- don't want to be disrespectful but you need to do your research. big pharma makes most of their profits from vaccines. they are their biggest money maker by far. hence the reason vaccines are pushed so much on us.

    June 30, 2011 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. stephanie

    jkboone- you are a complete a–hole. i'd like to tell you what i really think but i was raised better than that. obviously you dont have an autistic child or you wouldnt say that these mommies wish their child only had autism. only had autism. do you have a clue what it takes to raise an autistic child. how dare you make such accusations. stay out of this debate- its way over your head. find something that you might actually have a clue about. so sad that people as ignorant as you exist in this world.

    June 30, 2011 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Grace

    Neurologists and scientists already understand the factors that affect how the brain functions, right? Well, many parents have had the speculation that the environmental changes that includes the increase in toxic substance in the environment, should be looked into aggressively.

    However, I completely refute the idea that a woman not taking prenatal vitamins could cause the baby to have autism. That study was done with a specific demographic not considering a more global demographic of women in other countries where children are born in war zones or poverty stricken areas and women have absolutely NO access to vitamins or even proper nutrition. We already know what poor nutrition does to the human body, what neurologists and scientists need to study is these environmental factors that attribute to changes in brain function. We already know how these same changes are linked to different types of cancer, so why not focus on the real issue. No one can deny that the discussion on environment has been politicized...do we really want to see a time when 1 in 5 children have autism? Or 1 in 3 children have terminal cancer? IIf everyone keeps turning away from this discussion, and engage in research, this is the direction we are heading.

    July 3, 2011 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Holly

    The research shows that vaccines do not cause autism. The research also shows that vaccines (don't always but can) cause other neurological or biological problems that can lead to autism-like symptoms. Just because no control group study has implicated vaccines does not mean vaccines are entirely unrelated to ASDs. It is worth mentioning further that the studies cited which indicate no link are retro incidence rate studies that took only one vaccine component into consideration. There has yet to be a study examining the risk of multiple ingredients of multiple vaccines. If such a study has been conducted that I am not aware of, I would love to know about it.

    July 14, 2011 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. t-ray

    Where are the time and time again studies that show vaccines don't cause autism? Don't quote the Danish study, unless you want to look the author up.

    August 14, 2011 at 03:26 | Report abuse | Reply
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  46. Dr Cohen

    The research on lack of evidence of vaccine autism relationship are rubbish and deliberately designed to be so
    As an academic who has worked for big pharma, I can say the following with some authority:

    1. Vaccines is big business, Novartis, Roche and others have massive government contracts to vaccinate (I know cos I was a vaccine analyst)

    2. To conclusively answer this question we need a randomised controlled trial of children who are vaccinated and followed up for 3 years to observe the outcome : autism or not. If at say 3 or 4 years more children are diagnosed with autism in the vaccinated group compared with the unvaccinated group, then this would answer the question.

    3. If the trial showed vaccination caused or at the very least was related to autism ( you can't you the word cause easily in scientific experiments), then pharma would lose billions and so would government ( in taxes)

    4. Who would allow their child onto the trial if they knew the possible outcome would be autism (for those of us who know what it is like to have an autistic child, we would be unlikely to let our kids be in this trial)

    5. The other possible cientific experiment then is based on retrospectively looking at those vaccinated – the best way is to get all autistic children and see how many we're vaccinated ( not as someone suggested just get all vaccinated kids) – we simply compare the rate of autism in those vaccinated and not vaccinated

    6. So most honest researchers would conclude that in the absence of – randomised trial, 5 above points to plenty of evidence for vaccine as the culprit. So there is a combination of vaccine and something in autistic children which exacerbates the possibility of autism

    Dr Cohen.

    May 19, 2012 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Margaret

    I'm wondering where they get the idea that older dads make children more likely to have autism. It may be true, but in my small world I know quite a few autistic children and all of them have young dads. Wondering how the hypothyroidism fits in to all of this. My family has a history of autoimmune hypothyroidism. I have hypothyroidism and my son was born with sub clinical hypothyroidism. He is now 7 months old and we have not vaccinated him. Wondering if the thyroid slowing down the whole system would make it even harder for these babies to get rid of the toxins. I know my son gets constipated from the condition.

    May 25, 2012 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
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