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What really causes autism?

The vaccine theory is dead. What’s left?

In January, after many years of inaction, British medical regulatory officials finally found Dr. Andrew Wakefield guilty of unethical behaviour in carrying out research that, he claimed, showed a connection between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. Soon after, The Lancet issued a full retraction of Dr. Wakefield’s 1998 paper, turning the page on an ugly chapter in the journal’s recent history that saw most of the coauthors disavow the autism/vaccine theory. That theory, already shown to be unsupported by the evidence in large studies, truly no longer holds water. So what actually causes autism?

We asked Jeanette Holden, PhD (left), program director of the Autism Spectrum Disorders - Canadian-American Research Consortium (ASD-CARC), to describe the latest science on autism’s etiology. Dr. Holden, who studied genetics with David Suzuki, is also a professor of psychiatry and physiology at Queen’s University and sits on the board of Autism Society Canada.


PE We know it’s not vaccines, so what are the current ideas about what causes autism?

JH It’s quite clear there are two components to all complex disorders -- diabetes, asthma, and so on. Autism is no different. Both genetics and the environment play a role. We know genetics is critical because when you look at a number of patients you often see something very similar to autism, or at least that has some of the components of it. We call that the broader phenotype . That is, there may be some of the social problems and some of that rigidity, almost that one-track mind, the ability to concentrate on something. We see that often in families. Hyperactivity is common in families with autism. Quite often there’s depression in the family. When you start to see a clustering of underlying similar conditions, you really do have to think that genes are somehow involved here. There have been a lot of discoveries in the last few years of specific chromosome changes that happen. It’s not the same change in everybody, but a lot of different changes: small deletions and duplications, or copy-number variants. So there is definitely this genetic component, but we don’t know about factors within the environment -- chemicals or something in our diet -- that might also be contributing to this, and that is going to take a long time to sort out.

Click to read the rest of this article on the Parkhurst Exchange website.




Response #1

Re; Matrix Modelling in a multi-disciplinary team

How we diagnose (tools), interprete findings, (dsicipline specific), treat ( discipline specific) and manage ( discipline specific) any disease state is now dramatically altered by the introduction of the “ collaborative team”.

Economically this team gives the payor ‘one -point access’ in terms of payment …but how do the perspectives of the different disciplines within the team find their common ground?
You must ask yourself…have we asked the right questions to get the right answers? ….just because something is ‘true’ does not make it ‘relevant’.

There are “ modeling” steps to follow. You cannot just shake hands over a coffee and brainstream. This modeling in some instances leads to patents so it is worth a try to do it right.


Response #2

I think it is fortuitous to dispel the “ immunization myth’ on the cusp of the entire world planning to examine all children of every nation on their immunization status.

I personally do not know if that is a” threat “ ….or a “promise”


Response #3

RE: impact of diet companioned with behavioral management

1. behavioral management

I have had extensive’ hands on experience with this feature. In the early episodes of dealing with 16 adolescents over a 24 month period simply on behavioral issues I found it dramatically beneficial to teach them Management By Objectives with short, mid, and longterm goals.
The overlap in attainment, next steps, and encouragement of constantly setting and reaching the small goals while the mid and longterm goals were in process was invaluable.
The end result (acknowledged by behavioral consultants) was they developed an “ internal locus of control” ( which they did not formerly have) and this attenuated their ? hysteria

2. dietary conrol

Following recent research on the impact of gluten on autism, cognitive states , etc. I had an experience with an Aspergers child in Italy, ?autistic twins in Washington, where gluten was removed from their diet totally. It helped to have studies Nutrition beyond the parameters of weight control

The results were dramatic in terms of reduced anxiety and hyperactivity but several weeks of providing menus, shopping, food prep changes were required. The ongoing need to change learned behaviours was also necessary.

RE: findings in examining alterations to food sources

Quick examination of how foodstuffs have been altered : e.g. casein in milk, grains hybridized for fuel production has extended research into the world of the naturopath

1. One significant long-term experience with the removal of gluten in a family with a history of diabetes, hypertension, psoriasis, lymphoma, bowel disease, osteoarthritis, shows that those on the GF diet had disease states altered, reversed, attenuated.

I think research in this area should be aggressively pursued


The inter-disciplinary team in this instance should expand to multi-disciplinary to get the best outcome.


The mercury/autism link is like the fat lady who overeats chocolates, cake, ice cream, and cookies. She gives up eating vanilla ice cream and moans about not being able to lose weight. Because every time she gives up one food, none of the weight comes off!

The mercury studies all ignore the aluminum and other toxins in the vacines.

All vaccines cause ministrokes in the brain. Dr. Andrew Moulden has done ample research. Watch his videos on youtube or at brainguardmd.com

Also many autistic children also have severe food allergies. This is due to trace amounts of food protein remaining in the vaccines. There is a new book out "The History of the Peanut Allergy Epidemic by Heather Fraser.

Heather is a historian and mother of a child who has the "deadly" peanut allergy. For those of you who are unaware of this epidemic: 1 in 17 children under the age of three have a food allergy and 1 in 125 children now have a severe peanut allergy.

The FDA in all its wisdom decided that refined peanut oil is GRAS and made it voluntary for the pharmaceutical firms to put it on the package insert. They haven't volunteered...

And you cannot find out which vaccines contain peanut oil because that is a protected trade secret.

It's all in her book which you can buy from her website:


or at amazon.com

If the lifelong severe food allergies are directly caused by vaccines (kids can die if they smell peanut butter cookies baking) and the incidence is what is reported 1 in 125 children, this makes the risk of getting vaccinated worse than the risk of not getting vaccinated.

At the very least, drug manufacturers should be required to disclose ALL of the ingredients in pharmaceuticals. I think you can agree with that even if you do not buy into the argument that vaccines are causing the peanut allergy epidemic.



.....interesting, comprehensive windshield/literature review.......

however...within these qualitative analyses we will never have any real wave of activity( critical mass) if the "threat" does not reveal comparable statistics on "outcomes"( e.g. name the dead)

It is a sad...but all too true fact...the stoplight comes after the accident :(

so far...

+we have it in a "measure" with peanut allergies
+we have research going on in traditional arenas ( versus fringe)comparing the tampering of grains and the impact on humans

What to do?

If you cannot find a safe street....... abandon your current vehicle and use the sidewalk.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone in the Medical community ever considered one easy way to help prove that Autism is not Vaccine related? That simple way it to move the MMR Vaccine date forward to about age 3 or 4 for when children receive it. As the child would be older it would be easier to detect signs of Autism as to compared to when they are still babies. Please reply to me on this at "sjaoa (at) nb.sympatico.ca"
Scott Stacey


This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want...HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!