The Age of Autism: Pox - Part 3 - OAWHealth

The Age of Autism: Pox — Part 3

The Age of Autism: Pox — Part 3

The Age of Autism: Pox — Part 3

April 12, 2006 | By DAN OLMSTED | UPI Senior Editor

When 12-month-old Jimmy Flinton joined a clinical trial of a new
immunization for chickenpox, measles, mumps and rubella, no one told his family
it contained about 10 times the usual dose of live-virus chickenpox vaccine.

And no one considered whether his family's unusual chickenpox history —
including adolescent shingles and herpes virus in the eyes — might raise the
risk of adverse reactions to the vaccine.

Now that Jimmy has been diagnosed with regressive autism, they wish someone had
done so.

In 2002 Jimmy's mom, Jennifer Flinton, signed a seven-page "Research
Subject Consent Form — Vaccine Study (Children)" at the office of her
pediatrician in Olympia, Wash.

"Your child is invited to be in a research study," reads the form,
which lists Merck & Co. of Whitehouse Station, N.J., as the sponsor.
"You need to decide whether or not you want your child to be in this
study. Please take your time to make your decision."

The purpose was "to test the safety of the study vaccine, ProQuad refrigerated
and to show that this vaccine provides a similar level of protection as
compared to another study vaccine, ProQuad frozen." Both versions
contained attenuated — substantially weakened — live viruses designed to
trick the body into developing immunity to real-live measles, mumps, rubella
(German measles) and chickenpox.

Previously, those first three vaccines were combined into one shot called the
MMR, made by Merck; the chickenpox vaccine came in a separate shot called
Varivax, also by Merck.

ProQuad was Merck's investigational vaccine designed to put all four in one
shot.

Tests already had determined ProQuad required more chickenpox virus than
Varivax to produce the same level of immunity. A phenomenon called immune
interference, in which viruses interact and interfere with each other in the
human body, rendered the dose from the standalone vaccine insufficient.

The consent form Jennifer Flinton signed did not say anything about more
chickenpox virus. It simply said ProQuad was "a combination of two
licensed vaccines," the MMR and Varivax.

Merck wouldn't confirm exactly how much more chickenpox virus is in ProQuad,
characterizing it only as "higher." But in 2004, a Merck scientist
said the amount in ProQuad was "about a log" — 10 times — higher,
according to minutes of a meeting at the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention.

As already reported in this series, Jimmy Flinton's family is one of several in
the same Olympia neighborhood who spotted a common thread: They had unusual histories
of chickenpox and other herpes viruses in their families; their child got the
chickenpox and MMR shots in close temporal proximity, often at the same
12-month office visit when both are first recommended; and the child
subsequently was diagnosed with regressive autism.

Jimmy is one of two children who were in small trials at age 12 months of
chickenpox and MMR vaccines. Jimmy's group had 33 participants, according to
the Western Institutional Review Board in Olympia,
which approved the protocol.

The second child was among 68 trialing Merck "process upgrade"
chickenpox shots given with the standard MMR.

The local trials were part of Merck studies of the vaccines in the United States
and abroad. Spokeswoman Christine Fanelle would not address whether any other
cases of autism had been reported in the broader trials, but she emphasized
that neither Merck not independent experts have found a relation between
vaccines and autism.

"We don't see an association," she said, citing as confirmation a 2004
report by the widely respected Institute
of Medicine, part of the
National Academies. That report rejected a link between autism and either the
MMR vaccine or the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal, and it urged
that research dollars be spent on "more promising" autism research.

"There will always be some people who say vaccines cause autism despite
the lack of scientific evidence," Fanelle said.

Based on their admittedly anecdotal observations, however, the Olympia parents are concerned that inherited
problems handling vaccine viruses may be an overlooked risk factor for autism
in some children.

Jimmy Flinton's paternal grandmother, Mary Southon, had a routine case of
chickenpox in kindergarten. Fifteen years later, in 1970, she developed
shingles on her right leg — painful, blister- like pustules at nerve endings
caused by reactivated chickenpox virus.

That is decidedly not routine. Shingles usually occur in older people or those
with immune suppression, such as cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

"I was a healthy 20-year-old woman," Southon said, recalling her
surprise at the outbreak. The infection lasted several weeks and left her with
permanent mild circulatory weakness in her leg and edema just above the ankle.

"I remember how painful it was and how it seemed to go on for the longest
time," said Southon, who lives in Olympia.
She was going through a divorce at the time and suspects stress might have
triggered the outbreak. She also suffered from lifelong recurrent cold sores,
another herpes virus.

Twenty years later, in 1990, Southon made a painful mistake that reminded her
of that vulnerability.

"What happened was, I stuck a hard contact (lens) in my mouth, not knowing
I was getting a cold sore. I put it into my eye and did it with the other
contact, too.

"I developed cold sores on both corneas. That was very painful and went on
for several weeks before the doctors finally figured out what it was," she
said. The doctor put her on medication for shingles and the problem cleared up,
though not before doing damage she says will one day require cornea
transplants.

Coincidentally or not, Southon said she has not had any cold sores since she
took the shingles medicine.

Her son, Paul Flinton, also had chickenpox as a child. At age 15, Paul got
shingles, too — also remarkable, doubly so given his mother's similar history.
The shingles spread along his neck, primarily on the right side, up to his jaw
line; he even had a spot on his forehead.

"The doctor did diagnose it as shingles and was just amazed someone that
young had developed it," Southon recalled. It was also a stressful period
in Paul life's, she said, but the ongoing family pattern suggests unusual,
inherited susceptibility to the virus.

"It just seems there is a genetic weakness towards it, a tendency to pick
up the herpes virus and run with it," Mary Southon said. Given that, they
might not have enrolled Paul son's Jimmy in the ProQuad trial if they knew it
had 10 times the standard dose of chickenpox virus.

She questioned why Merck would allow a child with Jimmy's family background to
test any chickenpox vaccine.

"It's heartbreaking to think this could have been prevented if they
(Merck) had done a little more research or had been a little more imaginative
in (considering) what could have happened," she said.

"I just think the rush to develop the vaccine is criminal. Why would they
want to give babies 10 times the amount of the virus? Where is the thinking on
that?"

Several vaccine researchers who remain concerned abut a possible autism link
told this column they find the Olympia
cluster, and Jimmy's case in particular, deeply disturbing. The children's
histories fit one of the major vaccine-autism hypotheses like a surgical glove:
the idea that interference among live viruses in vaccines could warp the body's
natural immune response, leading to persistent infection and delayed
neurological problems.

After Age of Autism outlined the cases to him last month, British
gastroenterologist Dr. Andrew Wakefield — the chief proponent of that
controversial theory — met with several of the Olympia parents. He called their stories
heartbreaking and likened the experience to "staring into an abyss"
of unintended vaccination consequences that he fears are not confined to Olympia.

"The key to many of the problems you see with viral vaccines is
interference," he said afterward.

"The host control of a viral infection is fundamentally mediated through
an adequate immune response, and that immune response has been conditioned by
tens of thousands of years of evolution," said Wakefield. "And the outcome of an
infection is dependent on the pattern of exposure.

"So measles is innocuous when encountered under normal circumstances of
dose and age of exposure. But when it's encountered under atypical
circumstances early in life, particularly at high dose, then the outcome is
very different. And the problem for these viruses is persistence and delayed
disease," he said.

"So if they can establish persistent infection, elude the host immune
response, then they can all come back and cause delayed disease later in
life."

"And herpes viruses do exactly the same thing," he added.

"What alarms me about the cavalier approach of the industry and everybody
else, the regulators, to these viruses is they presume the wild infection to be
nasty and the vaccines to be innocuous — that they can manipulate something
that is biologically highly intelligent and exploit it to their advantage.

"And they can't. The viruses don't behave like that and they never will.
They merely come back to haunt you as something different."

Wakefield, who left Britain
in the wake of the controversy generated by his theories and now is conducting
research in the United
States, said it is well- established that
problems coping with viruses can be inherited. His theories are based on
research into the MMR vaccine; Britain
does not give routine chickenpox immunizations.

The Institute of Medicine's
2004 report dismissed Wakefield's
concerns as speculation untethered to any scientific foundation. It said
"the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal
relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism. …. The committee further
finds that potential biological mechanisms for vaccine-induced autism that have
been generated to date are theoretical only."

"The overwhelming evidence from several well- designed studies indicates
that childhood vaccines are not associated with autism," said Dr. Marie
McCormick of the Harvard School of Public Health, who chaired the IOM's
immunization review committee.

"We strongly support ongoing research to discover the cause or causes of
this devastating disorder. Resources would be used most effectively if they
were directed toward those avenues of inquiry that offer the greatest promise
for answers. Without supporting evidence, the vaccine hypothesis does not hold
such promise."

The CDC, whose Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends the
childhood vaccination schedule that states adopt, funded the Institute of Medicine
study along with the National Institutes of Health.

"Groups of experts, including the American Academy
of Pediatrics, agree that MMR vaccine is not responsible for recent increases
in the number of children with autism," the CDC noted.

"The existing studies that suggest a causal relationship between MMR
vaccine and autism have generated media attention," the CDC said.
"However, these studies have significant weaknesses and are far outweighed
by the epidemiologic studies that have consistently failed to show a causal
relationship between MMR vaccine and autism."

On Oct. 30, 2002, James George Flinton had his blood drawn as a baseline for
the clinical trial in Olympia.
At the same office visit, he got the ProQuad shot — the refrigerated version,
as it turned out.

For his participation, Jimmy's family got a $50 gift certificate, with another
to come at the end of a 42-day safety follow-up period when his blood would be
drawn again to see if ProQuad worked.

Last September, the Food and Drug Administration approved frozen ProQuad for
children 12 months to 12 years old. Merck said it is still working on the
refrigerated version.

Registration
may be required to read Dan Olmsted's series of 'The Age of Autism' articles on
UPI web-site.

1. The
Age of Autism: Mercury link to Case 2

Published: March 6, 2007 at 2:49 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, March 6 (UPI) — (UPI) — In 1943, a child known only as Frederick
W. became part of the first medical report of a strange new disorder. Frederick
was Case 2 of 11 children whose behavior differed "markedly and uniquely
from anything reported so far," wrote Dr. Leo Kanner, the psychiatrist at
Johns Hopkins University who introduced the syndrome to the world and named it
"autism."

2. The
Age of Autism: 'Unstrange Minds'

Published: Jan. 23, 2007 at 1:42 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 (UPI) — (UPI) — "You're going to hate my book,"
Roy Richard Grinker told me a few weeks ago when I met him at George Washington
University. Actually, I don't hate "Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World
of Autism," his newly published, beautifully written look at autism
through the lens of history and culture.

3. The
Age of Autism: A new environment

Published: Jan. 9, 2007 at 3:24 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (UPI) — (UPI) — We are all environmentalists now.

4.
The Age of Autism: The AOA Awards '06

Published: Dec. 26, 2006 at 12:49 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, Dec. 26 (UPI) — (UPI) — As this column heads into its third year,
the time is right to cite those who made 2006 a memorable year in the history
of autism — and set the stage for even more remarkable ones to come.

5. The
Age of Autism: 'Problems' in CDC data

Published: Nov. 22, 2006 at 9:01 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 (UPI) — (UPI) — For three years, the CDC has used a study
conducted on its own Vaccine Safety Datalink to reassure parents that mercury
in vaccines does not cause autism. Now a panel of government-appointed experts
says there are "serious problems" with exactly the approach the CDC
took.

6. The
Age of Autism: What Newsweek

Published: Nov. 13, 2006 at 7:47 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 (UPI) — (UPI) — Newsweek's cover story this week is about
what happens to autistic kids when they grow up. The magazine does a good job
of pointing to funding gaps and the plight of parents who can only imagine what
will happen to their kids after they're gone.

7. The
Age of Autism: Still's and Pink's

Published: Nov. 6, 2006 at 7:50 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 (UPI) — (UPI) — Does it matter that Donald T., the first
child diagnosed with autism in the 1930s, also had a rare and mysterious
autoimmune disorder that nearly killed him?

8. The
Age of Autism: None so blind

Published: Oct. 17, 2006 at 11:36 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 (UPI) — (UPI) — How long have we known — or should have
known — that medical treatment might help thousands of autistic kids? A half
century, it now appears.

9. The
Age of Autism: Many, many more

Published: Oct. 9, 2006 at 3:44 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 (UPI) — (UPI) — The debate over the cause or causes of
autism has been hung up for years on a point that should have been settled by
now: whether the rate is in fact increasing.

10. The
Age of Autism: Rattled regulators

Published: Sept 18, 2006 at 1:46 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, Sept 18 (UPI) — (UPI) — A shakeup at the CDC and the shaky
performance of the FDA raise some serious questions relevant to the debate over
the huge rise in reported cases of autism.

11. The
Age of Autism: About those 'old dads'

Published: Sept 6, 2006 at 12:46 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, Sept 6 (UPI) — (UPI) — The study released this week that found
older fathers more likely to have autistic children has created a media stir.
But there may be less to the story than meets the eye.

12. The
Age of Autism: SomethingWicked — 2

Published: Aug. 14, 2006 at 3:11 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 (UPI) — (UPI) — The idea of a chemical connection in many
cases of autism arose during the '70s and '80s then gave way to gene-based
theories. The time has come to revive it.

13. The
Age of Autism: 'Amish bill' introduced

Published: July 28, 2006 at 10:35 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, July 28 (UPI) — (UPI) — For the second time this week,
legislation aimed at determining whether vaccines are linked to an epidemic of
unrecognized side effects has been introduced in Congress — this time as a
direct result of reporting by Age of Autism.

14. The
Age of Autism: Anna's lastdays — 2

Published: July 12, 2006 at 5:11 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, July 12 (UPI) — (UPI) — The death of a 17-month-old Scottish girl
named Anna Duncan has come at an inopportune moment for Britain's health
authorities.

15. The
Age of Autism: Anna's lastdays — 1

Published: June 30, 2006 at 2:05 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, June 30 (UPI) — (UPI) — On April 26 a Scottish child named Anna
Duncan attended a party where two children had chickenpox. Nine days later she
got her routine measles-mumps-rubella vaccination. Four days after that she
developed classic chickenpox symptoms — spots and fever.

16. The
Age of Autism: 'The first casualty'

Published: June 27, 2006 at 1:53 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, June 27 (UPI) — (UPI) — A medical doctor in the U.S. House of
Representatives delivered a harsh judgment this week on public health
authorities whose job is making sure vaccinations are as safe as humanly
possible.

17. The
Age of Autism: SomethingWicked — 1

Published: June 19, 2006 at 12:22 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, June 19 (UPI) — (UPI) — The Combating Autism Act passed by the
U.S. Senate earlier this month includes millions of dollars for research into
possible environmental causes of autism.

18. The
Age of Autism: But isWakefield right?

Published: June 12, 2006 at 2:17 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, June 12 (UPI) — (UPI) — Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the British
gastroenterologist who first raised the prospect of a link between the measles-
mumps-rubella vaccine and autism, is being pursued by British medical
authorities.

19.
The Age of Autism: Gardasil vs. Hep B

Published: June 5, 2006 at 4:51 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, June 5 (UPI) — (UPI) — This week the Food and Drug Administration
approved a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer in women. In an odd way, the
announcement highlights what may be wrong with government policy on another
vaccination, the very first one children receive.

20. The
Age of Autism: Pox — Part7

Published: May 19, 2006 at 9:58 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, May 19 (UPI) — (UPI) — When a mother in Washington state and a
researcher in Washington, D.C., offer an identical observation about autistic
kids, you can't help but notice.

21. The
Age of Autism: Pox — Part6

Published: May 10, 2006 at 4:43 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Science Writer

WASHINGTON, May 10 (UPI) — (UPI) — In 1942 a 12- month-old child named
Richard M. got a live-virus smallpox vaccination that triggered a fever and
diarrhea from which he recovered "in somewhat less than a week."

22. The
Age of Autism: Pox — Part5

Published: May 1, 2006 at 6:48 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, May 1 (UPI) — (UPI) — In a clinical trial of an investigational
drug, two questions are front-and- center: "Does it work?" and
"Is it safe?"

23. The
Age of Autism: Pox — Part 4

Published: April 28, 2006 at 8:43 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, April 28 (UPI) — (UPI) — When Timothy Baltzley of Olympia, Wash.,
went for his 1-year-old well- baby checkup in December 2000, his mother was
invited to enroll him in a clinical trial of experimental chickenpox vaccine.

24. The
Age of Autism: Pox — Part 3

Published: April 12, 2006 at 2:41 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

When 12-month-old Jimmy Flinton joined a clinical trial of a new immunization
for chickenpox, measles, mumps and rubella, no one told his family it contained
about 10 times the usual dose of live-virus chickenpox vaccine.

25.
The Age of Autism: Christian's mom speaks

Published: April 12, 2006 at 9:50 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

A small earthquake rumbled through the autism world Tuesday morning, and the
aftershocks are going to be felt for a long time. That's when Katie Wright,
daughter of NBC Universal Chairman Bob Wright, said she is concerned her young
son Christian's autism

26. The
Age of Autism: Mercury ban opposed

Published: April 4, 2006 at 1:11 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

Representatives of 22 medical organizations have written to all members of
Congress opposing efforts to ban the mercury-based preservative thimerosal from
vaccines.

27. The
Age of Autism: Hot potato on the Hill

Published: March 31, 2006 at 11:10 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

The newly proposed legislation to study the autism rate in never-vaccinated
American kids could settle the debate over vaccines and autism once and for
all. Does that mean it will never happen?

28. The
Age of Autism: Allergic responses

Published: March 21, 2006 at 10:36 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

A plausible link is emerging between widely used childhood medicines and the
risk of developing allergies and especially asthma. But you'd never know it
from listening to federal health authorities or reading the mainstream press.

29. The
Age of Autism: Mercury creeps back in

Published: March 16, 2006 at 1:58 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, March 16 (UPI) — (UPI) — New calculations suggest children today
can be exposed to more than half the mercury that was in vaccines in the 1990s,
even though manufacturers began phasing it out in 1999.

30. The
Age of Autism: Pox — Part 2

Published: March 8, 2006 at 9:51 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

Call it the silence of the feds.

31.
The Age of Autism: Pay no attention

Published: March 2, 2006 at 10:28 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

There's a Steely Dan album called Pretzel Logic that could be the theme song of
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as it struggles with concerns
over vaccines and autism.

32. The
Age of Autism: Less is beautiful

Published: Feb. 28, 2006 at 5:48 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

Whatever the reason, a big decline in autism diagnoses would be welcome news to
anyone who cares about the nightmarish prevalence of the disorder.

33. The
Age of Autism: Who runs Colorado?

Published: Feb. 21, 2006 at 10:09 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

Denver's Rocky Mountain News says it's time to get over fears that a
mercury-based preservative in flu vaccines could harm children or pregnant
women. Its editorial on Sunday perfectly capsulates one side of what has become
an increasingly heated debate.

34. The
Age of Autism: Jabbing the MMR

Published: Feb. 16, 2006 at 10:33 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

For two countries that share a common heritage and — mostly — a common
language, the differences between the United States and Britain can be
striking. We drive on different sides of the road; Americans call injections
shots, the Brits call them jabs.

35. The
Age of Autism: Pox — Part 1

Published: Feb. 15, 2006 at 5:56 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

Children in families with problematic reactions to chickenpox virus may be at
risk for developing autism if they get that live-virus immunization too close
to other live-virus vaccines, a three-month United Press International
investigation of cases in one northwest U.S. city suggests.

36. The
Age of Autism: Snoozeweeklies

Published: Feb. 13, 2006 at 1:50 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

The nation's top two newsweeklies have just weighed in on the problems of boys
and the decline in science literacy. Both abjectly failed to address a crucial
part of the picture: the impact of environmental toxicity on children's
development — and America's
future.

37. The
Age of Autism: Doctors for mercury

Published: Feb. 9, 2006 at 9:54 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) — (UPI) — As doctors and health authorities fight
state bans on mercury in vaccines and keep giving it to kids and pregnant
women, one fact stands out: their certainty.

38.
The Age of Autism: New test of gold salts

Published: Feb. 2, 2006 at 11:56 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

A Columbia University scientist plans to test whether gold salts improve the
functioning of "autistic mice" — a step toward finding whether they
could help children with autism.

39. The
Age of Autism: The Wright approach

Published: Jan. 17, 2006 at 1:26 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

The head of NBC is donating more than $2 million to a Baltimore research
institute to do something innovative: listen and learn from the parents of
children who have autism.

40. The
Age of Autism: Red flag on gold salts

Published: Jan. 4, 2006 at 10:34 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

A number of readers have raised concerns that gold salts — which may have improved
the mental functioning of the first child diagnosed with autism — are untested
and unproven as a treatment and can be dangerous.

41. The
Age of Autism: Gold standards

Published: Dec. 30, 2005 at 10:24 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (UPI) — (UPI) — A published scientific paper suggests
gold salts — the treatment that may have prompted improvement in the first
child ever diagnosed with autism — can affect mental conditions.

42. The
Age of Autism: CDC probes vaccines

Published: Dec. 22, 2005 at 10:55 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

The CDC is continuing to investigate whether a mercury preservative in
childhood immunizations has caused cases of autism — despite the fact a report
it paid for said such research should end.

43. The
Age of Autism: Gold salts pass a test

Published: Dec. 20, 2005 at 9:24 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

In a striking follow-up to our reporting on the first child diagnosed with
autism — and his improvement after treatment with gold salts — a chemistry
professor says lab tests show the compound can "reverse the binding"
of mercury to molecules.

44. The
Age of Autism: Missing in Mississippi

Published: Dec. 17, 2005 at 2:22 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

In this — the second of three parts recounting our reporting on autism since
the start of the year — we revisit the first child ever diagnosed with the
disorder.

45. The
Age of Autism: The story so far

Published: Dec. 16, 2005 at 1:31 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

Part 1 of 3. In February, we began this ongoing series of articles on the roots
and rise of autism. Now, at the end of the year, here's a summary of our story
so far:

46. The
Age of Autism: Question of the year

Published: Dec. 14, 2005 at 12:56 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

This was the year Big Media pitted parents against experts over whether
vaccines cause autism — and decided the experts are right. But they may have
forgotten to ask an embarrassingly obvious question.

47. The
Age of Autism: 'A pretty big secret'

Published: Dec. 4, 2005 at 5:18 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

CHICAGO, Dec. 4 (UPI) — (UPI) — It's a far piece from the horse-and-buggies
of Lancaster County, Pa., to the cars and freeways of Cook County, Ill.

48. The
Age of Autism: Nuts

Published: Nov. 22, 2005 at 2:50 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

You may have seen the brief news stories this week: A 15-year-old Canadian girl
with a severe peanut allergy kissed her boyfriend — and died.

49. The
Age of Autism: Flu shot flashpoint

Published: Nov. 19, 2005 at 12:06 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

It's flu shot season, and that simple fact is sharply focusing the debate over
a possible link between vaccines and autism. The reason: Most flu shots contain
thimerosal, the mercury-based preservative that some suspect caused a huge rise
in autism cases beginning in the 1990s.

50. The
Age of Autism: Showdown in Santa Fe

Published: Nov. 9, 2005 at 8:40 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

A pediatrician had an appointment with the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy Monday
to deliver a blunt message: They need to warn state residents that the mercury
in flu shots could be harmful to pregnant women and their children — or risk
being remembered for

51. The
Age of Autism: 'The facts say maybe'

Published: Nov. 8, 2005 at 11:25 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

A small text block on the cover of the current Columbia Journalism Review may
be a lot bigger than it looks:

52.
The Age of Autism: Concerned in Tennessee

Published: Nov. 7, 2005 at 1:23 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

Susan Lynn would like some information, please: What is the autism rate among
people living in the United States right now who have never been vaccinated? If
you have that data or know where to find it, kindly contact her by the end of
the month, care of the Tennessee House of Representatives, which is considering
whether to ban a mercury preservative from childhood vaccines.

53. The
Age of Autism: Amish genes

Published: Nov. 1, 2005 at 12:24 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (UPI) — (UPI) — What do the experts say about the idea
that genes could explain a lower rate of autism among the Amish? Well, two
noted medical geneticists say it's entirely possible.

54.
The Age of Autism: The Amish Elephant

Published: Oct. 24, 2005 at 9:18 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

A specter is haunting the medical and journalism establishments of the United
States: Where are the unvaccinated people with autism?

55. The
Age of Autism: Mercury goes to work

Published: Oct. 20, 2005 at 11:28 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

Throughout the 1920s a scientist named Morris Kharasch filed a blizzard of
applications with the U.S. Patent Office.

56. The
Age of Autism: 'My child is toxic'

Published: Oct. 12, 2005 at 12:01 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Health Editor

This column receives a welcome avalanche of correspondence, but our recent
discussion of autism as a "whole-body illness" has generated more
e-mail and faster than any other topic we've considered.

57. The
Age of Autism: More sick kids

Published: Oct. 10, 2005 at 8:50 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

In our last column, "A whole-body illness," we wrote: "Something
is medically wrong with many, many autistic children. To be more precise, many
things are wrong with them. Yet autism is defined by the health authorities as
a mental disorder, diagnosed solely by observation."

58. The
Age of Autism: Connecting new dots

Published: Oct. 5, 2005 at 2:26 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

Until now the debate over a possible link between ethyl mercury and autism has
focused on its use in vaccines beginning in the 1930s, when the first children
diagnosed with the disorder were born, but medicines were not the only
commercial products to

59.
The Age of Autism: A whole-body illness

Published: Oct. 4, 2005 at 11:50 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Health Editor

One advantage of writing an ongoing column is trends become evident as readers
respond over time — trends that might not emerge in a single installment, no
matter how detailed.

60.
The Age of Autism: Critics have their say

Published: Oct. 3, 2005 at 9:15 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

Several readers have taken us to task for continuing to highlight what they
consider unsupported beliefs that might scare parents away from life-saving
vaccinations for their children. Here are comments that summarize that
viewpoint.

61. The
Age of Autism: Regression

Published: Sept 27, 2005 at 10:20 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

Regression, regression, regression. That's the theme of much of the e-mail this
column has received, sparked by two recent installments.

62. The
Age of Autism: Case Number 88924

Published: Sept 23, 2005 at 5:30 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

In this column: An interview with a mother who reported a suspected link
between vaccination and her daughter's autism in 1996. That was two years
before the issue surfaced nationally and one of 83 such reports reviewed by
UPI.

63. The
Age of Autism: Adverseevents

Published: Sept 20, 2005 at 2:38 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor

Years before the alarm sounded nationwide about a possible link between
vaccines and autism, some doctors were making that connection themselves.

64.
The Age of Autism: Research reversal

Published: Sept 19, 2005 at 11:46 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Health Editor

As public funding all but dries up for research into a possible link between
vaccines and autism, advocates are trying to tap new sources, but it's too
early to tell if they will find any.

65.
The Age of Autism: Videos

Published: Sept 13, 2005 at 9:45 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Health Editor

Do parents know what they're talking about? That has turned out to be a key
question in the debate over autism and its possible causes and cures.

66.
The Age of Autism: One angry mom

Published: Sept 7, 2005 at 8:48 AM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Health Editor

Ginger Taylor, mother of an autistic child and a former family therapist, tells
why she is angry that doctors apparently did not notice the marked improvement
of the first autistic child after he was treated with gold salts for an attack
of juvenile arthr

67. The
Age of Autism: New York nixes mercury

Published: Aug. 29, 2005 at 7:58 PM
By DAN OLMSTED

United Press International

Have America's medical authorities — including pediatricians — lost their
credibility on an issue involving the well-being of the nation's children?

68. The
Age of Autism: Gold salts to be tested

Published: Aug. 29, 2005 at 2:08 PM
By DAN OLMSTED

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 (UPI) — (UPI) — A University of Kentucky chemist says he
will do tests to see if gold salts might help children with autism — two weeks
after this column reported that the first autistic child seemed to improve
markedly after that treatment.

69. The
Age of Autism: Gold and mercury

Published: Aug. 22, 2005 at 12:44 PM
By DAN OLMSTED

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) — (UPI) — Something startling happened to an
autistic boy named "Donald T." 58 years ago at the Campbell Clinic in
Memphis. He got
better — a lot better.

70. The
Age of Autism: Gold?

Published: Aug. 19, 2005 at 3:21 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
United Press International

Why would treatment with gold help someone with autism?

http://www.upi.com/Consumer_Health_Daily/Reports/2 005/08/19/the_age_of_autism_gold/5360/

71.
The Age of Autism: March of the experts

Published: Aug. 17, 2005 at 10:50 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 (UPI) — (UPI) — The news that the first child diagnosed
with autism got better after medical treatment — while leading experts didn't
make the connection — suggests how research and reality have been distorted
for decades.

72. The
Age of Autism: Case 1 revisited

Published: Aug. 14, 2005 at 9:12 PM
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Health Editor

 

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