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Molecular mimicry: The new old antivaccine abuse of science

Antivaxers are nothing if not persistent and sometimes creative abusing science. This time it’s molecular mimicry, because of course it is. Anything to blame vaccines for autoimmune disease!

In the long time that I’ve been discussing antivaccine pseudoscience, there’s one thing I’ve noticed. (Well, actually, it’s several things, but I’m going to discuss mainly one.) Lesson number one about antivaccine activists is that, first and foremost and above all else, it’s always about the vaccines. Always and forever. As a consequence of that, antivaxers love to latch on to new science in order to twist it to their cause. Well, that’s not quite right. Yes, they like to latch on to new science, but they also like to find bits of old science that they can bend to their antivaccine purpose, as they did in the case of Hannah Poling, in which they tried to claim that mitochondrial disorders plus vaccines equal autism when that was definitely not the case. Then, of course, antivaxers like to invoke epigenetics, not unlike the way that Deepak Chopra and other quacks like to invoke epigenetics as a “mechanism” for the mind to control the body and how one can overcome one’s genes. (Of course, it’s way more complex than that, but you get the idea.) The other day, perusing antivax websites, I discovered yet another bit of science antivaxers have drafted into the service of their cause: Molecular mimicry.

In this case, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s grossly misnamed Child Health Defense team published a risibly awful article on his website entitled Molecular mimicry: Body Confusion of “Self” and “Non-Self” (More Evidence on HPV Vaccines and Autoimmunity). Actually, molecular mimicry is not a new concept; it’s been around at least since the 1990s. It’s actually a relatively simple concept, namely that microorganisms or environmental agents can share a common epitope (part of an antigen to which an antibody binds), meaning that infection with that microorganism or exposure to that environmental agent can result in the activation of an immune response against self; i.e., an autoimmune response. With that in mind, let’s check out how RFK Jr.’s flunkies over at CHD are invoking molecular mimicry. Naturally, they’re saying vaccines can cause it, specifically HPV vaccines. RFK Jr. starts, of course, with lies:

HPV vaccines have been linked to over 100,000 reported adverse events globally, including disabling autoimmune conditions and deaths, but officials seem unconcerned. Merck set the tone for the truth-stretching claim that HPV vaccine risks are “negligible” when it conducted its initial clinical trials for Gardasil and dismissed as irrelevant the serious medical conditions that arose—within seven months—in half of all participants who received the vaccine. With the accumulation of studies since those early trials, it is getting harder to deny the existence of a disabling post-HPV vaccination syndrome. Although researchers admit that they do not yet fully understand the mechanisms whereby HPV vaccines wreak their autoimmune havoc, the phenomenon of immune cross-reactivity offers one highly plausible explanation.

OK, first of all, CHD goes wrong when it cites Yehuda Shoenfeld. You knew RFK Jr. would be citing Yehuda Shoenfeld, didn’t you? He’s the antivaccine guru of invoking autoimmunity as a supposed cause of “vaccine injury.” Indeed, he’s even coined a term for his fake diagnosis: ASIA (Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants). It’s a syndrome so vaguely defined that almost any odd symptom after vaccination (particularly with Gardasil or Cervarix) could be labeled ASIA, and, not surprisingly, it’s also a syndrome that virtually no other scientist or physician outside of antivaccine circles accepts as a valid clinical entity.

Not surprisingly, RFK Jr. is unduly impressed with Shoenfeld’s work, citing yet another of his papers this time blaming molecular mimicry for his never-changing bugaboo ASIA:

In a new study in Pathobiology, two of the most-published researchers on this topic report on the overlap between human proteins and HPV antigens. The authors consider their results indicative of “a cross-reactivity potential capable of triggering an extremely wide and complex spectrum of autoimmune diseases.”

And:

In their Pathobiology study, however, the two authors—Drs. Darja Kanduc (Italy) and Yehuda Shoenfeld (Israel)—do just that, looking at HPV through the lens of both HPV infection and “active immunization.” Using cutting-edge molecular biology techniques to look at matching peptide sequences in HPV “epitopes” and human proteins, Kanduc and Shoenfeld examine epitopes from 15 different HPV types, including eight of the nine types included in Gardasil 9. (An epitope is the portion of an antigen capable of stimulating an immune response.)

I couldn’t help but do a quick Pubmed search for “HPV vaccine” and “molecular mimicry.” There was, unsurprisingly, very little published (only nine articles), and four of those articles were by Shoenfeld. In any case, based on his dubious analysis, Shoenfeld concludes:

Immunologically, the high extent of peptide sharing between the HPV L1 epitopes and human proteins invites to revise the concept of the negative selection of self-reactive lymphocytes. Pathologically, the data highlight a cross-reactive potential for a spectrum of autoimmune diseases that includes ovarian failure, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), breast cancer and sudden death, among others. Therapeutically, analyzing already validated immunoreactive epitopes filters out the peptide sharing possibly exempt of self-reactivity, defines the effective potential for pathologic autoimmunity, and allows singling out peptide epitopes for safe immunotherapeutic protocols.

Because molecular mimicry causes ASIA and ASIA can cause any symptom!

Seriously, though, is there any disease or symptom that HPV vaccination doesn’t cause? Is there anything that isn’t a manifestation of ASIA? Of cours,e we know that there is no elevated risk of any of these conditions after HPV vaccination, other than postural hypotension leading to fainting, which is a risk after any injection and why it is generally recommended that those receiving the vaccination be watched for a while afterward. Not that that stops Shoenfeld from creating a new autoimmune syndrome out of whole cloth, postural Orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, because everything he can think of as a complication of HPV vaccination must be an autoimmune manifestation of ASIA. As much as Shoenfeld has tried to link these conditions to HPV vaccination, HPV vaccination is not associated with premature ovarian insufficiency, sudden death, breast cancer, SLE, or any other adverse event. There have been massive studies of HPV vaccine safety involving millions of patients verifying this.

Of course, it’s not just molecular mimicry. It’s also all about the aluminum adjuvants used in HPV vaccination, because, ever since removal of the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal that was in many childhood vaccines until around 2002 didn’t affect the rate of growth of autism prevalence, thus showing conclusively that thimerosal has nothing to do with autism, aluminum has become the new mercury to antivaxers. RFK Jr. got his start as an antivaxer fear mongering about thimerosal, but he’s managed the pivot to fear mongering about aluminum quite seamlessly. That’s why we get:

Schoenfeld is coauthor on another recent study published in the Annals of Arthritis and Clinical Rheumatology. The study describes post-HPV-vaccination autoimmunity in Japanese girls, and it reiterates that vaccine adjuvants are an essential consideration for understanding the girls’ “unexpected” and “abnormal” immune responses. The authors write:
Vaccination results in the iatrogenic production of useful antibodies in the human body, but it cannot be ruled out that the exposure to an external stimulus including adjuvants induces unexpected abnormal immune responses, such as a newly evoked situation with an autoimmune abnormality [emphasis added].
With 500 micrograms of aluminum adjuvant, Gardasil 9 has more than double the amount of aluminum contained in the original Gardasil vaccine. How this double-whammy “external stimulus” will play out in terms of autoimmunity requires assessment.

First of all, this is a study of only 112 Japanese girls, 55 who were vaccinated with HPV vaccine and 57 who were not. These 55 girls sought treatment for “several symptoms after HPV vaccination,” including “general fatigue, chronic headache, widespread pain, limb shaking, dysautonomic symptoms, motor dysfunction, abnormal sensation, sleep disturbance, learning impairment, and menstrual abnormality.” These girls were age-matched to healthy girls without a history of HPV vaccination. My favorite part of the study is how time of onset after vaccination of these symptoms ranged from 0 to 59 months. Yes, symptoms up to nearly five years after vaccination are being attributed to vaccination!

In any event, Shoenfeld and his unfortunate Japanese collaborators measured various autoantibodies, and reported that antibodies against adrenergic receptors α1, α2, β1 and β2, muscarinic acetylcholine receptors 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; and endothelin receptor A were significantly elevated in girls with HPV vaccination, compared with those in the control group. This is all mildly interesting until you see that “there was no statistically meaningful association between the clinical symptoms and elevated serum levels of these autoantibodies.” Amusingly, Shoenfeld did some fancy tap dancing in the discussion to try to hide the obvious conclusion that this study showed an interesting, but almost certainly clinically insignificant and irrelevant result:

We further evaluated the correlation between elevated levels of autoantibodies and various clinical manifestations. There was no significant association between the major symptoms including dysautonomic symptoms and serum levels of autoantibodies; in the present study the time of blood sampling after the first vaccination or after the onset of illness considerably varied among the patients examined. The time difference for the former was approximately 3 years and that for the latter was approximately 2 years on an average, indicating that very limited number of patients provided serum samples at the peak of clinical symptoms. Thus, it might be difficult to validate that some symptoms were statistically related to elevated serum levels of autoantibodies. On the contrary, it has been shown that the serum levels of autonomic nerve receptor related autoantibodies were high in the patients at the early stage of illness, and they probably tended to decrease with the time courses of illness, although we did not check the serial serum levels of these autoantibodies in the patients. Therefore, we considered that high serum levels of autonomic nerve receptor-related autoantibodies in the patients were up regulated by HPV vaccination.

This is basically some fancy excuse making, and Shoenfeld didn’t check serial samples. Also, the average time to onset of the illness after HPV vaccination was two years, but we know it must have been the HPV vaccination causing it because, well, we just know. Never mind that there wasn’t a statistically significant correlation between autoantibody levels and illness, even though we tested every autoantibody we could think of!

Having abused immunology through his parroting of bad science blaming molecular mimicry for ASIA and aluminum adjuvants for everything while cherry picking epidemiological studies, RFK Jr. concludes with a rant about HPV vaccination, including all the old tropes:

From the beginning, manufacturers and officials have relied on gimmicks to promote HPV vaccination while distracting the public from the tsunami of adverse events that has followed in the vaccines’ wake. It is unlikely that we will hear anything about a just-published South Korean study describing almost 100 safety signals among the nearly 4800 HPV-vaccine-related adverse events reported to the Korea Adverse Event Reporting System database between 2005 and 2016; 19 types of serious adverse events were not even listed on the country’s HPV vaccine inserts. The 19 are: neuralgia, tremor, neuritis, depersonalization, axillary pain, personality disorder, increased salivation, peptic ulcer, circulatory failure, hypotension, peripheral ischemia, cerebral hemorrhage, micturition disorder, facial edema, ovarian cyst, weight increase, pain anxiety, oral edema, and back pain.

I looked at that study and can’t help but note that it doesn’t identify causality of any of these adverse events, even concluding, “These results also suggest potential research directions such as vaccination label expansion, pharmacovigilance studies, and identification of causality in AEs associated with HPV vaccination.” I also can’t help but repeat yet again that there are large studies involving millions of patients showing that AEs like this are not more common in HPV vaccinated people than in the general population. We have copious evidence that the HPV vaccination is safe and effective.

RFK Jr. is nothing, if not persistent. He claims he’s “not antivaccine” and even sometimes that he’s “fiercely pro-vaccine,” but he never publishes or says a single good thing about vaccination except for the occasional perfunctory acknowledgment that they do prevent disease, which is inevitably followed by rants about all the horrible things he attributes to them. Now he’s spreading misinformation about the HPV vaccine based on bad science and pseudoscience, in particular from Yehuda Shoenfeld. Now, with the impending release of the sequel to VAXXED, for which RFK Jr. is a “featured expert” (try not to laugh too hard), along with Andrew Wakefield, and executive producer, he’s set to take his fear mongering to another level.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

121 replies on “Molecular mimicry: The new old antivaccine abuse of science”

Thanks to anti-vaxxers, I have parents refusing HPV vaccine for their teens, who still then develop POTS. Imagine that. Just like the unvaccinated children I see who have autism. Golly.

What will be very sad are the women who get HPV-related cervical cancer in 15-20 years wishing they have received this amazing vaccine. I hope the data coming from other countries who have had better success getting teens vaccinated against HPV infection can swing this pendulum away from the lies of the anti-vaxxers.

The article is by the “Team” so being curious, I looked at RFK jr’s site to see who might be on that team which led to me going through all of the categories on About Us. He has assembled quote a stellar cast of anti-vax luminaries. So, I listed all of those I was familiar with ( to save readers the trouble of navigating his horrendous website) –

RFK jr, Mary Holland ( several appearances), Brian Hooker, Katie Wright, Eric Gladen ( film),Alicia Silverstone, Robert Krakow, Kim Mack Rosenberg, Rolf Hazlehurst, Luc Montagnier, Kim Spencer ( TMR), Katie Weisman
and Partners: AoA, CMSRI, AAN, CORVELVA, EBCALA, Deidre Imus Foundation, Safe Minds, GR, Focus for Health, Green Med Info, Health Choice, ICAN, IPAK, TMR, VAXXED, Organic Consumers and Health Freedom groups too numerous to mention.

Lots of lawyers there. I imagine that their next step is suing corporations, governments and medical associations or at least saying that they will to raise funds.

I talked to Anti-Vaxxers a few weeks ago. Oh body, these people had no idea what they were talking about. But one in particular stood out to me. She was there, at the Anti-Vax misinformation booth with her three unvaccinated children. The oldest one was a girl, I’d say around 6 years old.

I had a few Anti-Vaxxers ask me if I got the HPV vaccine. I lied and told them I didn’t. So, I thought, I’d ask that woman a question.
“When she’s old enough, will you give your daughter the vaccine against cervical cancer?” I worded it that way intentionally.
What did she reply? “Probably not.” The girl overheard us talking and asked what we were talking about. Her mother told her: “A vaccine.” The girl said: “I don’t want a vaccine.”

I said goodbye and left, but I still think about this girl, this girl who will probably be left vulnerable to cervical cancer. Of course she didn’t want a vaccine, no child likes to be poked. But I’m pretty sure she won’t like cervical cancer either. I hope that girl, when she’s old enough, sees the truth and gets protected.

Unfortunately, because I survey anti-vax material on a regular basis I have learned that many of the most “educated” students of anti-vax mothers are their children: they are taught early that vaccines are dangerous and may spread their “wisdom” to classmates as documented at AoA or TMR. They call their kids “warriors” and the next wave of the resistance. A captive audience can be their best audience. Luckily, many kids rebel against their parents’ worldview as a part of gaining their own identities in adolescence.

It’s amazing how only the vaccine can cause this constellation of diseases/disorders but not the wild-type disease. What is also amazing is how millions of recipients can be surveyed by reputable investigators and no autoimmune disease is associated with HPV vaccines yet a few studies with a handful of study subjects and Shoenfeld’s involvement can find a veritable laundry list of diseases.

My first thoughts as well.
It’s like real micro-organism-induced autoimmune disorders are not known (e.g. Campylobacter jejuni and the fabled Guillain-Barré syndrome).
And it’s like, previous to vaccination, the wild viruses/bacteria were not running around, mostly unchecked, in the population at large.
As dealing with protein sequences, and the similarities thereof between species, is part of my job, I’m also very curious – and irked – about their claims that similar sequences = bam! autoimmune disease.
I mean, give me two species and a few days, and I will find you plenty of ‘molecular mimicry’. Especially if, as I suspect, they looked for epitope-sized sequences, meaning small chunks of 5 to 9 amino-acids in length.
In short, it’s a bit short.

I need to write down the names of the journals where this crap is published. If there were any reviewers, they were at best incompetent.

I need to write down the names of the journals where this crap is published.

Predatory journals from the grifters at Bentham Press feature heavily in Kanduc’s CV. Also “Infection International”, from Sciendo, which is an open-access cascade imprint from De Gruyter… the idea is that if your paper doesn’t meet the rigorous standards of a core De Gruyter journal, you can pay for it to be published in a Sciendo journal instead.
http://flakyj.blogspot.com/2018/05/sciendo.html

Kanduc seems to be out on the fringes a bit (nothing wrong with that, science needs fringe researchers). Espouses a virus-origin theory of eukaryotes, to explain the frequency of eukaryote epitopes in virus genomes… that is, eukaryotes began as a three-way symbiosis of a bacterium, an archaebacterium, and a virus which took over the triple detente and became the nucleus… this is very much a minority opinion, and it might be more parsimonious just to say that sometimes viruses grab some of their hosts’ genes in the process of becoming new virus varieties.

It’s amazing how only the vaccine can cause this constellation of diseases/disorders but not the wild-type disease

Bingo. This simple observation alone sinks the whole raft of claims about debilitating autoimmune reactions to the vaccine.

Now, I wonder what fairy tale these people (and in particular Mr. Shoenfeld) will invent to explain how a handful of HPV antigens in the vaccine can trigger all those conditions, yet how intensive, prolonged and repeated contact with real HPV does nothing of the sort.

And oh, in one of the linked articles I see that Danish doctor Louise Brinth apparently has joined the ranks of antivaccine loons for good. (She was the one who ‘proved’ that the HPV vaccine caused chronic fatigue by exclusively seeking out and examining HPV-vaccinated girls who had developed chronic fatigue …)

Given that I’ve had antivaxxers try to imply I have a vaccine-induced autoimmune condition because I have the mild form of alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency, I’m not sure they actually know what an autoimmune condition is. Which isn’t really that shocking.They’re grasp of biology is not the best.

Speaking of the sequel to Vaxxed, anti-vaxxers are so “in the dead of the night” secretive about it that even if you buy a ticket ($15 bucks! wot a gyp), you still don’t get told what theater it’s playing at until the night before: https://gathr.us/screening/30721

Yes, anti-vaxxers are so proud and convinced of what they’re doing that they have to keep it hidden from us?

Way to be anti-vaxxers–your true character shines through in your cowardly actions and motives.

The sad thing is, RFK has done some real good in the past with his water-conservation and natural-resource advocacy. How I wish he’d go back to that and leave the antivax nonsense alone.

His doing some real good in the past may actually be part of the problem. With conservation, he fought for what he believed was right despite corporate attempts at stonewalling him; he may just assume that he’s in the same situation here, and that so long as he fights for his cause, he will be proven correct in time. Despite the fact that this time, the cause itself is wrong.

Seriously. Clean water is what you’d call a “target rich environment” right now, what with the coal ash regulations going bye-bye.
He could be a hero again!

K drug dealers, if you don’t mind me, I will interject here. Whether vaccines cause autism or ASIA, the assumption is that those two conditions are autoimmune ones. With autism, it is said that vaccines cause inflammation, and that results in healthy cells getting attacked. It’s not so important that the cells are attacked because the antigens n vaccines are mimicking them and leading to collateral damage, or that the cells are damaged by heavy metals in vaccines are not so healthy after all, and leading to them getting attacked, The important point is healthy cells are getting attacked. With autism and Anderson’s recent findings, we have a strong lead that is occurring in the form of perivascular lymphocytic cuffing. This is absolutely huge! — and even if you guys are left pouting – ‘so what? it’s not vaccines’.

RFKjr’s CHD and other ‘worthless, good for nothing scums, here is looking at you Shoenfeld’ researchers are proposing that ASIA is also an autoimmune condition caused by HPV vaccination. They’re speculating that it’s caused by HPV antigens mimicking other human antigens, and a provoked immune system attacking the invaders as well as other healthy cells. I suppose my advice to RFKjr or any scientists interested in unraveling the ASIA ‘autoimmunity’ puzzle would be to learn from Anderson. Seek the actual autoimmune evidence of healthy cells actually getting destroyed and damaged from inflammation.

What is perivascular lymphocytic cuffing in layman’s terms? Or cuffing in general.

I am familiar with cuffing season but have only seen this term appearing on medical science blogs in the last week.

What is perivascular lymphocytic cuffing in layman’s terms? Or cuffing in general.

Reading up and in layman’s terms, bruiser t-cells surrounding the blood vessels of brain cells suspected of hosting invaders such as viruses or cancers, and as they engage in kicking ass — brain cells, viruses, cancers and all. I will leave it to the experts here to correct me if I got anything wrong.

“…the assumption is that those two conditions [autism and ASIA] are autoimmune ones. “

WTF? Can you not read? How ridiculous can you be? Let me spell it for you: Neither of these is an autoimmune disease. ASIA isn’t even a recognized “disease” and autism is more of a condition.

“With autism, it is said that vaccines cause inflammation, and that results in healthy cells getting attacked.” Said by whom? I can say that autism is caused by maternal immune responses to an active infection during pregnancy (which would make vaccines a great way to help prevent autism), but that doesn’t make it proven fact.

“With autism, it is said that vaccines cause inflammation, and that results in healthy cells getting attacked.” Said by whom?

Said by some gutless chickenshit unwilling to accept ownership of his fabrications so relying on the power of Passive Voice.

You may notice that Anderson admitted that autism is genetic. For control cases, a further exclusion criterion was a known family member with ASD.

Yep.
More than admitted, his article quoted other studies which discussed the genetics of autism.
As a proper article should.

Assuming that Orac’s description, and my understanding thereof, of the study group is accurate, that looks like a situation ripe for selection bias. The so-called control group consists of girls that did not get the vaccination, not girls who got the vaccination but did not report subsequent systems (admittedly, given the design of this study, the latter control group may not have been available). Even so, the results are not statistically significant. It looks as though the authors of the study are looking for data to support a pre-existing hypothesis (not that the study as designed would rigorously support that hypothesis even if the results were statistically significant), rather than formulating a hypothesis that explains the actually existing data.

It looks as though the authors of the study are looking for data to support a pre-existing hypothesis

Yep. Got it in one. And when even then it wasn’t significant, some hand waving came into play.

Orac can be so predictable, but sometimes he throws me. Why did he go with RFKjr and not the ‘explosive’ confirmatory finding that measles infection can wipe out immune memory?

Why did he go with RFKjr and not the ‘explosive’ confirmatory finding that measles infection can wipe out immune memory?

I cannot speak for Orac, but I’m going to guess that the reason is that he doesn’t work for you and therefore gets to do what he pleases, ignoring your well informed, paragon of intellectually magnificent, illuminating, and carefully researched and informed agenda. Foolish of him, I know, but what’s a genius like you to do? All that’s left is to join with a few other disgruntled posters here and make your own blog.

Sorry about repeating the same info, you guys.
That’s what I get for not refreshing the page before posting.

No worries. Since AV craniums have a Brinell measure of at least 5000 you have to keep hammering at them until you get through. Or, more likely, that they shatter.

Now this isn’t exactly my area so I ask others in more closely relevant studies:
how could the definitive testing be done to implicate vaccines as
— causing autoimmunity
— and/ or leading to autism

As far as I can imagine, there would have to be a series of tests prior to all vaccinations that establish base rates of various biomedical markers
THEN, these would be measured again POST vaccination; a way to control for extraneous ( non-vaccine) immunological reactions would be needed as well.
( before we go wasting cadaver brains again)

-btw- symptoms occurred ” 0-59 months” after vaccination SRSLY

@ Denise Walters,

As far as I can imagine, there would have to be a series of tests prior to all vaccinations that establish base rates of various biomedical markers
THEN, these would be measured again POST vaccination; a way to control for extraneous ( non-vaccine) immunological reactions would be needed as well

Jaysus … By doing what everybody here laughed at me for suggesting a couple of months ago

There ARE ‘biomedical markers’ (biomarkers) established: The cytokine profiles. It is already known that cytokine profiles are abnormal in autism.

What we lack are the pre-immunization, baseline cytokine profiles. If a child’s pre-vaccine profile was normal, was vaccinated, profiles become abnormal & child regresses into autism; that would cast suspicion on the vaccines & give researchers a direction to go in.

I’m not saying it would be indisputable proof; I’m saying it would point to the trail for studies.

It could be done retroactively RIGHT NOW; using cord blood samples for cytokine profiles of children who are already vaccinated/autistic.

Which would be preferable to wasting living, developing brains in children.

Looking at that pic of RFK jr, wonder if at times Orac is challenged to find unflattering pics of his ‘antivaxx’ nemeses, or is that left to Management’s admin staff.

I was once involved in a research program to find new antigens that would lead to a vaccine against group A streptococcus infection. One complication (there are others) that can result from group A infection is acute rheumatic fever, because the bacteria have a protein coat that causes the immune system to make antibodies that cross react with connective tissues, including the pericardium. This is one way to die quickly from strep infection.

The project failed—we couldn’t generate a sufficiently protective response with other antigens. There is no vaccine against group A strep despite decades of efforts from many directions. I mention strep because it’s an example where lots of work from pharma and academic labs hasn’t succeeded in generating anything good enough and safe enough to give to people. Group A strep vaccine remains an “unmet medical need” and strep infections remain a threat.

Antivaxxers won’t mention any of that of course—they ignore all the testing that is involved in vaccine research and tell you that the disease is less of a threat than the vaccine.

And speaking of Anderson, you gotta feel sorry for the poor guy. Had he made his discoveries on any other subject he would’ve been so lauded, and perhaps there would even be talk of a Nobel prize.

Image a condition terrorizing 1 in 59 kids that has so ‘mystified’ researchers, and no one could even identify biomarkers for it. Along comes Anderson to localize it in damage brain tissues, but his discovery has garnered barely a whimper. Worse still, it’s causing agitation as we can see here.

The irony of life. Instead of being treated as an hero, I imagine Anderson is now fearing for his back, wondering when the knives will come out.

The only agitation, Greg, is the face palming. Still no detectable link between vaccination and ASD. You know what does cause brain inflammation though? Viral infection. If only there was a time proven medical method of reducing the risk of this happening.

Had he made his discoveries on any other subject he would’ve been so lauded, and perhaps there would even be talk of a Nobel prize.

Now, as he failed to deliver to your expectations, you throw him under the bus? Don’t short-sell him.
His findings, if repeated and confirmed at a larger scale, could become the article of reference.
It’s just that it’s unlikely to imply vaccines.
(again, if you believe otherwise, feel free to explain why)

Also, you and dehumanizing people like you are a part of what’s “terrorizing” autistic people.

@ Athaic:

Agreed.

Yesterday I speculated about how difficult it would be to conduct research that confirmed the vaccines-cause-autoimmunity-and/or-autism hypothesis through elevated levels of particular markers. Because these markers do NOT respond only to vaccines, all of the other factors ( i.e the world) would need to be accounted for. This would have to involve a multitude of frequent tests. Next, the studies involve cadavers’ levels reflecting the person’s whole lifetime ( also Ss were diverse ages)- so when did whatever caused the “problem” occur: before birth, after birth, last week, jut prior to death? Doesn’t this show that the entire concept is rather bonkers! Impossible!

If someone wanted to research this question ( although studies of the nil relationship between vaccines and autism makes its desirability less apparent) how might they go about it? Would this even be possible? Maybe they could look at how these markers vary in newborns at risk for ASDs vs not at risk ( e.g. sibling with ASD) , maybe not.

IN OTHER NEWS….

I watched Bill Maher and Dr Jay last night ( Real Time show/ HBO- there may be a video)
AND, although I will leave the glory of deconstructing/ describing that interaction to our esteemed host, I must at least say, ” Oh MY!” It was beyond my wildest dreams.

Anderson excluded cases with autistic family member from the controls. So he thought that autism is genetic. It is still a mystery how genes cause inflammation, in some cases only.

Because it makes them more susceptible to reaction against vaccines of course, what else could it possibly be?!

microorganisms or environmental agents can share a common epitope (part of an antigen to which an antibody binds), meaning that infection with that microorganism or exposure to that environmental agent can result in the activation of an immune response against self; i.e., an autoimmune response.

Therefore the immune response to a HPV infection will cause a much worse autoimmune disease than any exposure to HPV proteins as part of a vaccine. I am not sure that Kanduc and Shoenfeld have thought this through.

two of the most-published researchers on this topic

Kanduc’s publication record is nowhere near “most-published” status, not even if you count the junk-papers extruded through predatory publishers (Bentham and Omics feature heavily). Half of those papers seem to be advertisements for Kanduc’s optimized no-epitope vaccine patents.

I am not sure that Kanduc and Shoenfeld have thought this through.

If they didn’t, that puts them at a level of incompetence that can only be rivalled by the likes of Greg. Although I suspect they have but have no fear that their zealous adherents will bother to question the glaring inconsistency.

And speaking of Anderson again, how many missed this…

Our study provides signature features of this T-lymphocyte immune subtype of ASD in postmortem cases and identifies astrocyte debris as a potential source of CSF or serum biomarkers for clinical diagnosis…

Clinician: Mrs Jones, from our notes so far, we think your son has autism. We just have to do a test to confirm.

Mom: What type of test?

Clinician: We just get a sample of his cerebral spinal fluid, and see how much of his brain comes out in it. Pretty straight forward.

Mom: Yikes!

You yourself missed the fact that Anderson did autopsies. This is not an acceptable diagnosis method.

[email protected] or maybe even Aarrno

Anderson’s study included postmortem adult ASD cases. If autism starts in childhood why would there be evidence of ‘cuffing’ and ongoing immune dysregulation in the adult cases? Are we to understand autism is not just a onetime autoimmune disability but an ongoing one? Could Lawrence be right, but not in a way the helps him. Autism is not static — it gets worse with time?!

One of Anderson cases was PTEN mutation. This causes cancers, which in turn cause autoimmune disease. Other possibility is that damaged cells died by programmed cell death, and T cells mopped up up blebs.This condition, of course continues to the adulthood, and gets worse, too.
And as I said, paper is based on assumption that autism is genetic. Anderson thought that inflammation is genetically elevated.

I don’t think Anderson was suggesting using CSF as a diagnostic method.

What other way to interpret this then? But the bigger question is, if astrocytes are indeed getting destroyed would they show up in CSF as debris?

Our study provides signature features of this T-lymphocyte immune subtype of ASD in postmortem cases and identifies astrocyte debris as a potential source of CSF or serum biomarkers for clinical diagnosis…

Orac explaining the findings of the Anderson study….

So, basically, sections with the most lymphocytes overall were selected and then of those sections the investigators looked at the blood vessels with the most lymphocytes overall were examined…….In any event, the authors found multiple foci of lymphocytic cuffs with increased numbers of lymphocytes in 65% of ASD cases compared to control brains

I suppose the obvious interpretation here is, for the sections with blood vessels that had the highest lymphocytes counts there were 65% more cuffing for the ASD cases than controls. Obviously, this would also imply that there were some cuffings for the controls, just 35% less.

Yet, when I pressed Athaic a few days ago, s/he (please identify you gender) conceded there were no cuffings for the controls. Hhmmnn! What to make of this then? You may want to reflect on this from Anderson…

On every H&E+LFB-stained section from every ASD and control cases, while blinded to the diagnosis, we photographed three blood vessels with the most abundant perivascular lymphocytes in each of the following brain compartments: grey matter, white matter, or leptomeninges

Reconciling this with Athaic claim of no cuffing for controls, the only explanation is, examining the three blood vessels with the highest lymphocytes in each brain compartments, they found cuffing 65% of the times for ASD cases, and zero for the controls.

And what is the significance of all this, you ask? It torpedoes any claim that there is uncertainty from the findings whether autism is an autoimmune condition, since controls also experienced cuffing. They didn’t. One may also muse why this information wasn’t made clearer. Hhmmnn!

One may muse but one would have to ask the guy who wrote the report. Maybe he thinks it’s obvious. Maybe he’s a bad writer. Maybe he expects people to look at all the report and that the actual data makes it clear. Try not to put a conspiracy filter on it.

Athaic claim of no cuffing for controls

I was quoting the article. No ‘claim’, here. FFS, the graphs for the results are in the previous OP.

It torpedoes any claim that there is uncertainty from the findings whether autism is an autoimmune condition

Nope.
Orac, me and a few others already wrote about which part of the findings are uncertain. I won’t repeat myself, for a change.

I asked Aarno why the findngs would suggest immune dysregulation for even the postmortem adult ASD cases if autism starts in childhood, and he wrote……

One of Anderson cases was PTEN mutation. This causes cancers, which in turn cause autoimmune disease. Other possibility is that damaged cells died by programmed cell death, and T cells mopped up up blebs.This condition, of course continues to the adulthood, and gets worse, too

‘Continues to adulthood and gets worse too’? So like ALS, autism can also be seen as an autoimmune disease, and, as Aarno is implying here, a degenerative one also? Could this the reason why autism prevalence keeps rising? The heavily vaccinated kids from the 90s/2000s are aging and becoming more and more autistic from ongoing cuffing and brain destruction? Is it a case of regression that doesn’t end at 7 or 8, but when you’re in your grave?

You missed the genetic part of PTEN, autoimmune disease, if any has nothing to do with vaccines. Secondly, you missed possibility that T cells could mop up damaged cells

The more I read his recent efforts at publications, the more I get the impression that Schoenfeld has gone full on crank.

Are you trying to change the subject? Fair enough, it is the focus of this thread, but I still think you’re trying to change the subject

Again, you may want to slow down the footage. Look closely and you will see Orac distracting with his right hand and as his left hand goes to work…

An interesting way to look at the data is to plot it this way, in a cascading plot with box-and whiskers plots showing the median, upper and lower quartile, and upper/lower quartiles ± 1.5 x (interquartile range), with the black cutoff line representing the lymphocyte count of 23/vessel that gives the highest sensitivity for ASD versus control groups:

‘Cascading plot’, ‘box-and whiskers plots’, ‘upper/lower quartiles’?… I am so confuusseeeed! I don’t even have time to reflect on your claim that researchers found 65% more cuffing for the ASDs than controls.

Very impressive Orac! David Blaine would be impressed.

C’mon drug dealers!- I am just having a little fun. Yet, let’s see how far we can go from the deception that the ASDs had 65% more cuffing than controls, when in actuality it was 65% cuffings for the ASDs for the different sections that were studied, and 0% for the controls. Here is Anderson again..

On every H&E+LFB-stained section from every ASD and control case, while blinded to the diagnosis, we photographed three blood vessels with the most abundant perivascular lymphocytes in each of the following brain compartments: grey matter, white matter, or leptomeninges.

Now remember that Anderson’s study had 25 cases of ASDs and 30 controls. For each of those cases they studied 9 blood vessels — three blood vessels with the most abundant lympocytes at three brain compartments. That would be 225 blood vessels for the ASDs and 270 for the controls. For the ASDs, finding 65% cuffing would translate to 146 blood vessels showing cuffing. Reflecting also that there were 25 ASD cases, it’s highly likely that every ASD case demonstrated at least one cuffing. That would be 100% case or cases of cuffing for the ASDs and zero for the controls. I’d say we have a pretty excellent diagnostic tool here — to say the least!

Greg, do you understand that you are making an assumption? Without evidence? First find out if you are correct and THEN suggest this as a diagnostic tool.

I’d say we have a pretty excellent diagnostic tool here — to say the least!

Aside from the small problem of its requiring removal of the brain, of course.

‘Cascading plot’, ‘box-and whiskers plots’, ‘upper/lower quartiles’?… I am so confuusseeeed! I don’t even have time to reflect on your claim that researchers found 65% more cuffing for the ASDs than controls.

Very impressive Orac! David Blaine would be impressed.

Perhaps you should complain to the authors about the wording of their figure legends.

Have it occurred to you that you can educate yourself ? Google definition of “cascade plot”. It is just ordering the data. This plot shows that Anderson definitely “optimized” his data. And even with this, number is 67 %, not 100 %
And he assumed that autism is genetic, too.

I am so confuusseeeed!

Indeed. In fact, I get the distinct impression that being “confuusseeeed” is your default mode.
All you need to know is that the author:
1) Used an unfit method to analyse the data, and;
2) Tried to fit the data to support a conclusion.
Both of these are the antithesis of scientific.

‘Cascading plot’, ‘box-and whiskers plots’, ‘upper/lower quartiles’?… I am so confuusseeeed!

All usual terms in statistical graphs. Heck, I’m pretty sure you can find them in the graph-building part of Excel. With figures provided as example.
If Greg pretend to any financial knowledge, then he is obviously lying. Box-and whiskers and quartiles plots are ubiquitous there.
OTOH, it’s old news. We already know a number of antivaxers stopped their statistics lessons at the Student t-test.
(to be honest, I’m not much different – that’s why I leave statistics to people who studied it)

Greg must be utterly confused when talking to his car mechanic or plumber, too. And the pretty woman presenting on TV the weather next day must be speaking old Aramaic.
If Greg is allowing these people to have their professional jargon, then I wonder why he is not allowing scientists to have theirs. Could he be of bad faith?

If Greg is allowing these people to have their professional jargon, then I wonder why he is not allowing scientists to have theirs. Could he be of bad faith

I know, I know, Athaic – but Orac can have his ‘professional jargon’ and also throw in a little less ambiguous reporting of the findings What’s wrong with…..

In total, the researchers studied 225 blood vessels for ASDs and 270 for controls in different sections of the brain. These vessels were chosen, having the most abundant lymphocytes. Of the 225 vessels for the ASDs, 65% showed cuffing. Of the 270 for the controls, none showed cuffing.

What’s wrong with…..

Hey, let’s read the paper!

“Microscopic visual inspection of H&E+LFB-stained brain sections revealed rare but prominent perivascular lymphocytic cuffs scattered in a semi-random pattern across the brain tissue blocks that were more numerous and prominent in ASD than control brains.”

Moron.

“I am so confuusseeeed!…C’mon drug dealers!”

You must be extremely confused. That would explain your lack of understanding of what would happen if your wildest dreams came true and vaccination was abandoned. The resulting millions of cases of vaccine-preventable diseases annually (in the U.S. alone) would be a bonanza for Big Pharma, as sales of antibiotics and other drugs to treat sick kids (many of them hospitalized) would go through the roof.

Example:

http://theguardian.com/us-news/2019/mar/09/cdc-treatment-cost-tetanus-unvaccinated-oregon-boy

Antivaxers are the true drug pushers.

Dangerous One, sorry I missed your comment and did not respond sooner. I was a little preoccupied with this article stating that in about five years autism is expected to cost the US 461 billion annually. Considering that Anderson is suggesting autism is degenerative, and as these kids age T-cells will continue to ‘neutralize’ more and more of their brain cells, I can see why such riduculous costs keep rising. Anyway, what were you saying?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26183723

I’m not an expert on autism, but it’s my understanding that autism is not a progressive condition, it’s more typically a delay in development. If I am mistaken, I would be happy for feedback from a more knowledgeable reader (sorry, Greg).
This is not the course of a degenerative neurologic disease (think of Alzheimer’s). I suspect that Anderson’s findings will turn out to be “verrry interesting – but trivial”.

So, in addition to whatever the costs of managing autism add up to, you’d add hundreds of billions of dollars to treat millions of new cases of vaccine-preventable diseases.

No thanks.

That would be 100% case or cases of cuffing for the ASDs and zero for the controls. I’d say we have a pretty excellent diagnostic tool here — to say the least!

Yeah, that would be a great diagnostic tool. Just requires a brain biopsy. Piece of cake.

Beside, why would you need a diagnostic tool? By your accounts, autism involves head banging and feces smearing. The diagnosis should be obvious, right?

K TBruce, I must confess I am not so much concerned about using spinal tap as a diagnostic tool. I figure we are not is such a dire need for better diagnostic tools. Just about any average Joe or Joanne can reliably spot an autistic kid in mall 10 meters away. Harping on Anderson argument about having a biomarker, It’s more about being happy that when you guys contend that autism is some kind of misunderstood ‘difference’ or gift, I can counter by saying to check CSF for brain matter getting discharged if you’re so sure about that.

Yeah, that would be a great diagnostic tool. Just requires a brain biopsy. Piece of cake.

TBruce, for the life of it, I will never figure out why everything has to be a battle with you drug dealers. Who is saying anything about a brain biopsy? Anderson instead seems to be suggesting that we draw a sample of their CSF and see how much of their brains are coming out in it after their autism shots — ahhemmn!!– vaccines.

Look, I don’t know the guy. I didn’t put him up to it — I swear. I’ll quote him a third time…

Our study provides signature features of this T-lymphocyte immune subtype of ASD in postmortem cases and identifies astrocyte debris as a potential source of CSF or serum biomarkers for clinical diagnosis…

You implied that a brain biopsy was required when you stated:

That would be 100% case or cases of cuffing for the ASDs and zero for the controls. I’d say we have a pretty excellent diagnostic tool here — to say the least!

So, brain biopsy not required? Just do a spinal tap? Oh well, then…
A spinal tap is not an innocuous procedure. In children, it is generally reserved for life threatening diagnoses such as suspected meningitis or leukemia.
Also, I expect that any destructive inflammatory process in the brain is going to produce astrocyte debris in the CSF. Including, of course, a number of vaccine-preventable diseases. So, a non-specific test requiring a traumatic procedure to obtain the substrate. Sounds terrific to me (that’s sarcasm, son).

Also, it’s kind of rich for you to come in here spewing all kinds of obnoxious stupidity and then complain about how “everything has to be a battle”. Go away and give everyone a break.

A spinal tap is not an innocuous procedure. In children, it is generally reserved for life threatening diagnoses such as suspected meningitis or leukemia.

Indeed. it’s a procedure which is painful and with some notable level of risk, notably infection.
As my biology teachers taught us, meningitis is about the only case worth the risks, because:
– meningitis in itself is a serious life-threatening disease (see Ezekiel Stephan), so the risk assessment is more in favor of trying.
– the inflammation from the infection is usually resulting in a higher volume of spinal fluid, and the tissues containing it are dilated, so there is less risk of ‘missing’ the proper place with the needle.
– and as importantly, the spinal tap can be seen as a treatment, as the removal of the fluid will decrease the pressure it is exercising on the surrounding tissues, thus improving the patient’s comfort.
Actually, my teacher went so far as to say that the pain from meningitis is usually masking the pain from the procedure, and the patient doesn’t feel it. Just the relief from the decrease of the CSF pressure.

Hey, let’s read the paper!

“Microscopic visual inspection of H&E+LFB-stained brain sections revealed rare but prominent perivascular lymphocytic cuffs scattered in a semi-random pattern across the brain tissue blocks that were more numerous and prominent in ASD than control brains.”

Moron.

Very well then, Athaic who also has access to the paper is reporting they found no cuffing for controls. Narad, the floor is yours, please quote any section from the paper, specifically the results, suggesting they indeed found cuffing for the controls.

please quote any section from the paper, specifically the results

I just did, fathead. You simply don’t understand the paper and have primitively latched onto the word “cuffs” as some sort of incantation.

“Microscopic visual inspection of H&E+LFB-stained brain sections revealed rare but prominent perivascular lymphocytic cuffs scattered in a semi-random pattern across the brain tissue blocks that were more numerous and prominent in ASD than control brains.”

If perivascular lymphocytes were rare in ASD brains, but were even more rare in control brains, what does that say about the significance of the finding? It hardly sounds like a slam dunk for the autoimmune disease theory.

I mentioned the following caveats elsewhere, but I’m interested in TBruce’s take on a couple of things. Firstly, if cytotoxic T-lymphocytes are targeting astrocytes in the brains of ASD patients, then why isn’t lymphocyte “cuffing” of astrocytes observed? And, seeing that GFAP immunostaining (a tool used by Anderson et al) often nonspecifically stains necrotic debris in brain tissue, how can the researchers be sure that the GFAP-positive “debris” they observed translates to damaged/necrotic astrocytes?

Now remember that Anderson’s study had 25 cases of ASDs and 30 controls. For each of those cases they studied 9 blood vessels — three blood vessels with the most abundant lympocytes at three brain compartments. That would be 225 blood vessels for the ASDs and 270 for the controls. For the ASDs, finding 65% cuffing would translate to 146 blood vessels showing cuffing. Reflecting also that there were 25 ASD cases, it’s highly likely that every ASD case demonstrated at least one cuffing. That would be 100% case or cases of cuffing for the ASDs and zero for the controls. I’d say we have a pretty excellent diagnostic tool here — to say the least!

It’s obvious that some here have read the entire paper; I haven’t but from all that was reported, that is what I derived. Again – I challenge anyone here to quote anything from the Results that would contradict this. If you do, I will be a big man and admit that I am wrong.

Narad hissed a little about my take, but when similarly challenged he proved once again he is just a poser. A poser pretending he is not, and as he hurls ceaseless glib, encryptic insults.. So drug dealers, you maintain that you are all about transparency and education, then prove me wrong. I am sure other lurkers here would also welcome the knowledge.

At least you admit that you haven’t bothered to read the paper……so, you’re making conclusions based on what, the abstract?

So drug dealers, you maintain that you are all about transparency and education, then prove me wrong. I am sure other lurkers here would also welcome the knowledge.

Do you think you are so clever as to try and conceal your hopeless ignorance of biology with name-calling and challenges to relieve you from the fact that you are (once again) out of your depth?

Kind regards Science Mom, I paid the $7 and read the study. The injustice if life; not only am I the only one here not getting paid, but now I am actually paying out of my pocket. I am sure Management takes care of your costs in accessing the study.

Anyway, reading the study, I will admit I am wrong in details, but very much correct in principle. I will fully update you guys later.

Anyway, reading the study, I will admit I am wrong in details, but very much correct in principle.

You are wrong in the details yet you think that you can be correct in principle? Understanding the details are what leads to understanding the principle in a study such as this you plonker.

I will fully update you guys later.

Will this be after you try and get someone to explain the study to you?

Narad hissed a little about my take, but when similarly challenged he proved once again he is just a poser [sic].

You do realize that the comments are still here, right?

A poser [sic] pretending he is not, and as he hurls ceaseless glib, encryptic [sic] insults..

Quoth the one who thinks “BAAHHH!!!!” is a coherent response.

Oh really?

No, the “average Joe or Joanne” can’t “reliably spot an autistic kid”. The “average Joe or Joanne” tends to have a limited understanding of autism, let alone most other issues of childhood.

Stop parading your ignorance.

Oh, and re “costs” of autism, these would tend to be specialist educational provision, bods like me in CAMHS or paediatrics and the like, with next to no dosh for pharmaceuticals.

Greg think autism involves head banging and feces smearing. Easy enough to recognize in a shopping mall.
However, if I’m at a shopping mall at Christmas time, it’s not long before I feel like banging my head against the wall. I haven’t progressed to feces smearing, but. on a really bad day, I would not rule that out.

To echo J P’s question above, could someone who knows what they’re talking about explain what is cuffing is? In layman’s terms, please.

It refers in this instance to lymphocytes present in close proximity to a blood vessel. It’s a common histopathologic finding seen in various organs in diverse circumstances and reflects inflammation which may or may not be of clinical significance.

Will this be after you try and get someone to explain the study to you?

No Science Mom, I don’t need help understanding it I read it quickly this morning before dropping my girls at school and starting work. Yes Narad, I am in for my shift at Tim Norton’s and debating not washing my hands between bathroom breaks:).

Anyway, the study is on my laptop at home. I will update you guys later.

No Science Mom, I don’t need help understanding it I read it quickly this morning before dropping my girls at school and starting work.

So you made proclamations of Nobel Prize-worthy and of diagnostic value and autism is an autoimmune disorder before you read the study? Why am I not surprised.

And gergle work at a Tim Horton resto (cue level of education of gergle, Tim Hortons doesn’t even require a high school diploma to work there).

Alain

K Choir, here is my report about the Anderson’s study with accompanying commentary on some of our discussions thus far….

With Anderson’s postmortem analysis of 25 ASDs and 30 control brains, in sum, over 29,549 lymphocytes, 1868 vessels and 9 brain regions across all brains were examined Out of this, the researchers selected the 3 blood vessels with the most abundant lymphocytes in 3 brain compartments, grey and white matter, and Jeptomeninges for further analysis.

This analysis yielded four main findings: First, they found more numerous and prominent lymphocytes cuffs for the ASD cases in comparison to controls. Although the exact difference was not specified in the Results, the Abstract did report the 65% figure for the ASDs. Second, they found blebs for the ASDs that were found to contain astrocyte debris, and no blebs were found for the controls. Third, the quantity of lymphocytes and astrocyte debris across the ASD cases correlated. The more lymphocytes, the more debris. And fourth, the perivascular spaces with their greater amount of lymphocytes and debris for the ASDs were greater than for the controls.

The most significant of these findings is that blebs were found containing astrocyte debris for the ASDs but not for the controls. Had they found blebs for the controls, this study would’ve been DOA for the choir, with likely accompanying sarcastic retorts that the neurotypical controls also suffered from autoimmunity.

Indeed whether the controls experienced cuffing or brain cells destruction was my initial concern that led me to press Athaic on the matter. The error in the details that I made though was to assume cuffing equates to astrocyte debris. Indeed cuffing can be seen as an immune response, where as instances of astrocyte debris are more suggestive of autoimmunity. The principle that I got right, however, was to conclude that there was no evidence of autoimmunity or brain cells destruction for the controls, and which underscores the study’s evidence of autism being an autoimmune conditon, and making the study all the more ground breaking. Yes Science Mom, indeed I feel Anderson’s paper is Nobel Prize worthy.

For those interested, here is my exchange with Athaic…..

Greg:

You still haven’t responded by telling me the percentage of controls that experienced inflammatory ‘cuffing’, brain cells getting gobbled, in the Anderson paper.

Athaic:
Sigh

Zero. So what? In all my posts about the Anderson paper, I didn’t deny it. Assuming the relevance of the comparison control vs autistic tissues is actually inherent to my discussion of these papers’ results. Of all the points to discuss about from the paper, you have an odd obsession over the controls.

Take note how Athaic aided the confusion by agreeing that there was no ‘cuffing’ for the controls. Likely, she meant to suggest there was no finding of blebs or astrocyte debris for the controls. I imagine at some point she caught on to my confusion, but likely was not motivated to clarify and assist the ‘enemy’. Perhaps even other Choir members encouraged her to button it.

And this all leads into Orac’s reporting of the study. Let’s begin with his first claim about the findings….

So, basically, sections with the most lymphocytes overall were selected and then of those sections the investigators looked at the blood vessels with the most lymphocytes overall were examined. This double selection makes me wonder a bit right there if there was any sort of bias introduced into the study, although I can see the rationale that focal areas of lymphocyte infiltration might be significant. In any event, the authors found multiple foci of lymphocytic cuffs with increased numbers of lymphocytes in 65% of ASD cases compared to control brains

After following up with unnecessary tidbits about box and whisker plots, upper and lower percentiles, lymphocyte counts overlapping between ASD and controls, he also added….

A second finding of the paper is that the perivascular cuffs examined were made up of killer T-cells, immune cells that normally attack and destroy infected, cancerous, or dying cells, although they can attack normal cells in autoimmune diseases

And finally this……

Also found were increased cellular debris in the perivascular spaces, suggesting that the T-lymphocytes were attacking cells in that space and were associated with membranous blebs (also known as apoptotic bodies), structures associated with programmed cell death.

And what are we missing here?! Orac completely failed to accurately report the most significant result of the study. The researchers found no blebs or astrocyte debris for the controls! How absolutely shilly of him. Sorry for that ‘h’ typo. But seriously — I accuse Orac as grinding his axe with his critiques of these studies, but what further proof do you want? Why allow the evidence to detract from the berating and insults!

I imagine at some point she caught on to my confusion, but likely was not motivated to clarify and assist the ‘enemy’. Perhaps even other Choir members encouraged her to button it.

You flatter me. However, in order:
No (I blame poor signal/noise ratio)
Yes. You are boring. And I finally found some motivation to get some work done, instead of going SIWOTI.
No – when the ‘enemy’ is right, I acknowledge it.
No – the other readers treat me like an adult and don’t interfere with my choices. They don’t have any way to reach me privately, anyway.
Never ascribe to malice that could be explained by stupidity – my own, in this case. I read too fast the article, and brain physiology is outside of my usual fields of work.

Whatever — let’s move on. I no longer have access to the study and don’t intend to pay again. Tim Horton’s only pay so much, Alain. Still, I forgot to check something.

The study said blebs were rare, but we must remember for each ASD case they studied 9 affected vessels. Even one blebs out of these 9 would constitute ‘rare’. I kindly request, have you gleaned anything from the study suggesting the number of ASD cases identified as exhibiting one or more blebs?

Had they found blebs for the controls, this study would’ve been DOA for the choir, with likely accompanying sarcastic retorts that the neurotypical controls also suffered from autoimmunity.

Not sure how you make this claim. Inflammation =/= autoimmunity.

Yes Science Mom, indeed I feel Anderson’s paper is Nobel Prize worthy.

You live in a very small and narrow-minded world with hopelessly low standards.

You live in a very small and narrow-minded world with hopelessly low standards.

I find it unduly amusing that his precious seven dollars were spent on one-day access, especially given that he could have gotten it for free with a modicum of knowledge, viz,, Al—ra El—an. (And even people with institutional access have been reported to find it more convenient, myself included, although that’s mainly because I’m now a 90-minute ride involving a train and two buses to get down to campus.)

After following up with unnecessary tidbits about box and whisker plots, upper and lower percentiles

Again, do you have the same complaint about the authors? I mean, it genuinely is a pain in the ass to have the figure legends separate from the figures, but if you think these are “unnecessary tidbits,” you don’t understand the paper. Hell, I suspect that you thought Orac concocted the figure in the post on his own.

Again, do you have the same complaint about the authors? I mean, it genuinely is a pain in the ass to have the figure legends separate from the figures, but if you think these are “unnecessary tidbits,” you don’t understand the paper. Hell, I suspect that you thought Orac concocted the figure in the post on his own.

C’mon Narad! – regardless whether Orac was reciting stuff that is in the paper, he was reciting largely irrelevant stuff. The relevant finding of the study is they found perivascular lymphocytic cuffs containing blebs of destroyed brain cells for the ASDs and not for the controls! Information about lymphocyte counts is largely incidental — and largely irrelevant. ‘Reciting’ the largely incidental and irrelevant stuff and not accurately reporting the study’s most pertinent finding –they found blebs for the ASDs and not controls!– just proves how ‘compromised’ Orac is, and how RI is just a big, stinky, pharma fart.

I submitted my book report, and the drug dealers, shills, and astro turfers haven’t even bothered to grade it. Science Mom?

Given that you haven’t bothered addressing my points about your ignorance of autism, its assessment and diagnosis and other things, let alone chased up the Big Pharma Shill Payroll Dept for me, I don’t think I’ll bother grading your report, thank you very much.

Oh — I see– you’re still sore about my comment that the average person can spot an autistic kid in a mall 10 meters away! Well, consider over half of autistic kids are mentally retarded or borderline retarded; yes — the average person can pick-out that ‘slow’ looking kid in a mall who is flapping his hands or sticking his fingers in ears and guess the kid is autistic with likely 80% accuracy. If the kid is in the mall with his mom during school hours, the accuracy goes up!

Murmur, although extremely taboo, how long did it take the public to pickup that there was something ‘up’ with a certain
First Kid?!

Your are in diagnostic? I picture you and your ilk with your ‘polite’ and ‘professional’ demeanor, sitting in your office behind a computer and as you waste Mrs Jones time. You will shortly tell her something that you could have told her 10 minutes into the first appointment –three appointments ago! Quit wasting Mrs Jones time — and my time, with your hurt feelings, for that matter.

And Murmer, even though the cheques are landing in your account without seeming to be coming directly from pharma, that doesn’t mean they’re not.

Well, consider over half of autistic kids are mentally retarded or borderline retarded; yes — the average person can pick-out that ‘slow’ looking kid in a mall who is flapping his hands or sticking his fingers in ears and guess the kid is autistic with likely 80% accuracy. If the kid is in the mall with his mom during school hours, the accuracy goes up!

It’s becoming more clear why you are in online forums so much; you are vile and insufferable and I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be in your personal presence. You’re not even interesting, witty or intelligent.

Murmur, although extremely taboo, how long did it take the public to pickup that there was something ‘up’ with a certain
First Kid?!

Dear L-rd. I’m down with another application of the banhammer.

[email protected]

I know this is not the appropriate thread, but I don’t want this request to get missed. You wrote….

There ARE ‘biomedical markers’ (biomarkers) established: The cytokine profiles. It is already known that cytokine profiles are abnormal in autism.

What we lack are the pre-immunization, baseline cytokine profiles. If a child’s pre-vaccine profile was normal, was vaccinated, profiles become abnormal & child regresses into autism; that would cast suspicion on the vaccines & give researchers a direction to go in.

I’m not saying it would be indisputable proof; I’m saying it would point to the trail for studies.

It could be done retroactively RIGHT NOW; using cord blood samples for cytokine profiles of children who are already vaccinated/autistic.

Which would be preferable to wasting living, developing brains in children.

Please expand on this retroactive cord blood samples testing, and how it may implicate vaccines?

There are, of course, many neonatal cytokine studies, for instance,
Zerbo, O., Yoshida, C., Grether, J.K. et al. Neonatal cytokines and chemokines and risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder: the Early Markers for Autism (EMA) study: a case-control study. J Neuroinflammation 11, 113 (2014) doi:10.1186/1742-2094-11-113
Neonatal would count as baseline, would it not ?
Generally, do Google Search for “autism neonatal cytokines” (without quotes).

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