Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More absurd nonsense from age of autism website

Well my friends at the age of autism website, with their quick fix solutions of vaccines being the etiology of autism and research in this area being the salvation for persons with autism are at it again.

In one of their latest posts they laud actor Charlie Sheen who is trying to stop his ex-wife actress Denise Richards from vaccinating their daughters because of the evidence that vaccines cause autism. Sheen has stated he will sue if necessary to stop his ex-wife. The post goes on to further state that Charlie Sheen has done his homework in looking at the safety issues of the vaccination schedules. But has Mr. Sheen really done his homework or is this just another example of the mercury militia exploiting a poorly informed celebrity to further their misguided agenda.

The age at which parents notice autism and the vaccines in question that would have caused autism are given before the age of 36 months. Their daughters are 4 and 3 years old. It is likely that if they were to get autism from a vaccination they would have gotten it by that age. It seems implausible that vaccinations given at this age would cause them to become autistic when given when they were 3 and 4 years old. Certainly his kids getting a DPT booster shot, which is given routinely at the age of 5, would not be an issue in their getting autism from a vaccine.

The UK has had autism prevelance increases that are similar to those in the United States. Yet there has only been one thimerosal containing vaccine, DPT, that was used there. The only change made in the UK was earlier administration of the three vaccines. I don't remember the exact age when the three vaccines were given in the UK pre-change and post-change but I do know in both cases all three vaccines were given before the age of one. This would mean that even if what the mercury militia says is true, vaccines given after the age of 1 are inconsequential for getting autism. The celebrity couple's children are substantially older than that, so there is no way that those two children could get autism from vaccines.

It is interesting to note that in my correspondence with Mark Geier, this supposed vaccine expert made a similar sort of error to Charlie Sheen. When I asked Dr. Geier how he explained the doubling of autism prevalence by birth years in the states regional center from 1970 to 1986 from 4/10,000 to 8/10,000 and then the increase from 12/10,000 in 1991 at a time when there was only one thimerosal containing vaccine he stated that uptake of DPT increased from 50% to 90% between 1970 and 1986 and that the number of shots increased from 3 to 5. It was never 3 shots before the age of 1. Geier provided no documentation for the increase in uptake. However, he does not explain why if there were such a huge increase in uptake why there was not along with the increase in autism there was not a corresponding decrease in pertussis which would have to have been of a much greater magnitude than the autism increase. Health records from various state agencies contradict this notion and show pertussis if anything was slightly on the rise during this time. Also the three to five shots argument is irrelevant because it would only be the three shots given before the age of one which would be relevant. The fifth shot is a booster shot given at age 5 which would be obviously inconsequential in causing autism. As far as I know this supposed vaccination expert who gives out such implausible facts is the only person to publish a study showing an association between thimerosal containing vaccines and autism, the rest of the literature refutes the association.

From reading the age of autism website and reading the link they gave to the TMZ entertainment news about the actors conflicts over their children, it would appear that at least one of shots Mr. Sheen is trying to prevent his daughters from getting is the DPT booster shot given at age 5 which would prevent their daughters from getting whooping cough. There are probably other shots as well he is trying to deny his children that could result in otherwise preventable childhood diseases and illnesses for his offspring.
It is sad enough that this poorly informed celebrity would endanger the welfare of his own daughters in such a manner. It is much worse that those who publish the age of autism website would exploit this tragedy in such a callous manner when it is clearly they and Mr. Sheen who are not doing their homework.

1 comment:

Socrates said...

The UK autism rate accepted by the government is 116 per 10,000. i.e. circa 1% - 80% of which is HFA [G.Baird the Lancet 2006]. The UK's Department of Health says there's been no mercury in the childhood vaccines for, I think, 3 or 4 years now. [ ].