Vaccines and Autism: a New Scientific Review

autism_vaccineBy: CBS News Investigative Reporter: Sharyl Attkisson

For all those who’ve declared the autism-vaccine debate over – a new scientific review begs to differ. It considers a host of peer-reviewed, published theories that show possible connections between vaccines and autism.

The article in the Journal of Immunotoxicology is entitled “Theoretical aspects of autism: Causes–A review.” The author is Helen Ratajczak, surprisingly herself a former senior scientist at a pharmaceutical firm. Ratajczak did what nobody else apparently has bothered to do: she reviewed the body of published science since autism was first described in 1943. Not just one theory suggested by research such as the role of MMR shots, or the mercury preservative thimerosal; but all of them.

Ratajczak’s article states, in part, that “Documented causes of autism include genetic mutations and/or deletions, viral infections, and encephalitis [brain damage] following vaccination [emphasis added]. Therefore, autism is the result of genetic defects and/or inflammation of the brain.”

The article goes on to discuss many potential vaccine-related culprits, including the increasing number of vaccines given in a short period of time. “What I have published is highly concentrated on hypersensitivity, Ratajczak told us in an interview, “the body’s immune system being thrown out of balance.”

University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Brian Strom, who has served on Institute of Medicine panels advising the government on vaccine safety says the prevailing medical opinion is that vaccines are scientifically linked to encephalopathy (brain damage), but not scientifically linked to autism. As for Ratajczak’s review, he told us he doesn’t find it remarkable. “This is a review of theories. Science is based on facts. To draw conclusions on effects of an exposure on people, you need data on people. The data on people do not support that there is a relationship. As such, any speculation about an explanation for a (non-existing) relationship is irrelevant.”

2010_09010330110016_244x183Helen Ratajczak, author “Theoretical aspects of autism: Causes–A review.”

Ratajczak also looks at a factor that hasn’t been widely discussed: human DNA contained in vaccines. That’s right, human DNA. Ratajczak reports that about the same time vaccine makers took most thimerosal out of most vaccines (with the exception of flu shots which still widely contain thimerosal), they began making some vaccines using human tissue. Ratajczak says human tissue is currently used in 23 vaccines. She discusses the increase in autism incidences corresponding with the introduction of human DNA to MMR vaccine, and suggests the two could be linked. Ratajczak also says an additional increased spike in autism occurred in 1995 when chicken pox vaccine was grown in human fetal tissue.

Why could human DNA potentially cause brain damage? The way Ratajczak explained it to me: “Because it’s human DNA and recipients are humans, there’s homologous recombinaltion tiniker. That DNA is incorporated into the host DNA. Now it’s changed, altered self and body kills it. Where is this most expressed? The neurons of the brain. Now you have body killing the brain cells and it’s an ongoing inflammation. It doesn’t stop, it continues through the life of that individual.”

Dr. Strom said he was unaware that human DNA was contained in vaccines but told us, “It does not matter…Even if human DNA were then found in vaccines, it does not mean that they cause autism.” Ratajczak agrees that nobody has proven DNA causes autism; but argues nobody has shown the opposite, and scientifically, the case is still open.

A number of independent scientists have said they’ve been subjected to orchestrated campaigns to discredit them when their research exposed vaccine safety issues, especially if it veered into the topic of autism. We asked Ratajczak how she came to research the controversial topic. She told us that for years while working in the pharmaceutical industry, she was restricted as to what she was allowed to publish. “I’m retired now,” she told CBS News. “I can write what I want.”

We wanted to see if the CDC wished to challenge Ratajczak’s review, since many government officials and scientists have implied that theories linking vaccines to autism have been disproven, and Ratajczak states that research shows otherwise. CDC officials told us that “comprehensive review by CDC…would take quite a bit of time.” In the meantime, CDC provided these links:

Interagency Autism Coordination Committee: http://iacc.hhs.gov

Overview of all CDC surveillance and epi work: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/research.html

CDC study on risk factors and causes: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/seed.html

  •  Sharyl[1]Sharyl AttkissonSharyl Attkisson is a CBS News investigative correspondent based in Washington. All of her stories, videos and blogs are available here.

See original here: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20049118-10391695.html

6 Comments on Vaccines and Autism: a New Scientific Review

  1. Stupid spam control. Had to redo whole comment.
    Links to full articles on ‘Causes” and “biomarkers” of autism Helen (HV) Ratajczak

    1. Full “Causes” article by Helen Ratajczak http://www.tankdc.com/
    2. Ratajczak companion article on biomarkers http://www.rescuepost.com/files/biomarkers_a_review1.pdf
    3. another link to full “causes” article https://docs.google.com/…/edit…
    http://www.tankdc.com/getdoc/6cb5f5e0-2066-47fc-b817-3f7a30d2ebbe/Article_10-12_Theoretical_Causes_o
    http://www.tankdc.com

  2. Helen Ratacjkak’s research can be found at PubMed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21299355 Abstract here: J Immunotoxicol. 2011 Jan-Mar;8(1):68-79. doi: 10.3109/1547691X.2010.545086.
    Theoretical aspects of autism: causes–a review.
    Ratajczak HV.
    Source
    hratajcz@comcast.net
    Abstract
    Autism, a member of the pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs), has been increasing dramatically since its description by Leo Kanner in 1943. First estimated to occur in 4 to 5 per 10,000 children, the incidence of autism is now 1 per 110 in the United States, and 1 per 64 in the United Kingdom, with similar incidences throughout the world. Searching information from 1943 to the present in PubMed and Ovid Medline databases, this review summarizes results that correlate the timing of changes in incidence with environmental changes. Autism could result from more than one cause, with different manifestations in different individuals that share common symptoms. Documented causes of autism include genetic mutations and/or deletions, viral infections, and encephalitis following vaccination. Therefore, autism is the result of genetic defects and/or inflammation of the brain. The inflammation could be caused by a defective placenta, immature blood-brain barrier, the immune response of the mother to infection while pregnant, a premature birth, encephalitis in the child after birth, or a toxic environment.
    Comment in
    Response to “Theoretical aspects of autism: causes–a review” by Ratajczak, HV (Journal of Immunotoxicology 8:68-79, 2011). [J Immunotoxicol. 2011]
    Coincidental associations do not provide proof for the etiology of autism. [J Immunotoxicol. 2011]

    Another article by Helen on autism biomarkers, same journal, also 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21299356

  3. Debunked by who? Its easy to say things and make crass statements but please back up your accusations with something substantial … OH YEA’s are not good enough and are the tools of trolls (not an accusation, just a statement of fact)! TLB did not write the article so we can not change it or the title. We are aware of the date of the release of the study, but the information is no less pertinent my friend. I wish you a pleasant weekend !!!

  4. That’s Attkisson’s March 31, 2011 piece. More than two years old, and Ratajczak’s sloppy science was thoroughly debunked then. You’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. Can’t you do better?

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