Read the most advanced science of autism causes here. Bypass the commenterati and go direct to the science. Don't waste your time at the sites which pretend "no-one" knows what causes (or what sometimes cures) autism.
This is a website relating to the unchallenged theory of autism, IQ and genius, Personality and Individual Differences 14:459-482 (1993) by Robin P Clarke (the antiinnatia theory). An update review paper is being prepared for publication. Meanwhile you can download the original 1993 publication (presentationally revised) here, and the original 1993 publication (author's reprint) here . (the journal site version is here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(93)90316-U, but without added charts of social class and you may have to pay Elsevier $31.)

Defeating Autism by Michael Fitzpatrick: Shallow critiques of the Holmes and Bradstreet studies of mercury

-->
The Holmes and Bradstreet studies have been supposedly demolished by critiques in the book Defeating Autism by Michael Fitzpatrick. In reality his critiques read self-damningly in the context of his having a whole chapter titled “Being appropriately critical”.

A widely cited study published in 2003 examined the mercury content of babies’ ‘first haircut’ samples from 94 children with autism and 45 controls and found levels significantly lower in the autistic children (and the more severe the autism the lower the mercury level)(Holmes et al. 2003). The authors interpreted these findings as suggesting that children with autism do not excrete mercury into their hair — and that the mercury burden remains active and toxic, within the bodies of children with autism. There were, however, a number of reasons to be sceptical about these findings {Institute of Medicine 2004: 133-134). Firstly, the study was funded by Safe Minds, a militant, parent-led, anti-mercury campaigning group.


But so what? Almost all other studies are funded by immensely-wealthy corporate-dominated interests such as pharma manufacturers and the institutions they dominate. Applying that objection evenhandedly rather than with Fitzpatrick’s peculiar selectivity would result in there being virtually no studies at all recognised as legitimate in the last century of medical research.

Secondly, its authors included only one recognised scientist, the Kentucky [[University!]] chemist [[Professor!]] Boyd Haley, well known for blaming mercury in dental amalgam and from other environmental sources for a range of disorders, including chronic fatigue syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. Another author, Amy Holmes, is a doctor with an autistic child; she is a campaigner against vaccination and a provider of chelation therapies. Another, Mark Blaxill, has a business school MBA.

Here Fitzpatrick employs ad-hominem insinuation, which is widely condemned by scientists as meritless, albeit being popular in the unscientific circles at which his book is aimed. And he deploys it with extremely prejudiced selectivity, because one might just as reasonably dismiss all or most professional (hence “recognised”) scientists on the basis of their money-making connections to corporatised, institutionalised and career-ised operations. Applying his argument with any diligence would leave little or nothing standing in the scientific record. And even such greats as Copernicus, Newton, Darwin, Mendel, Faraday and Einstein were not “recognised” scientists, until retrospectively so recognised.

Thirdly, there were concerns about selec­tion bias: autistic subjects were recruited from Holmes’s clinic and controls via the internet.

But so what? Quite how could any such selection bias account for that finding of 8-fold difference with very high statistical significance, p&lt0.000004.

Fourthly, though the hair samples were described as ‘first haircut’, they were taken at a median age of over 17 months, rather than at birth, so the implications of their mercury content for prenatal exposures (for example, to RhoD immunoglobulin containing thimerosal, given to Rhesus negative mothers during pregnancy) were unclear.

But my own theory of the increase involves postnatal exposure to mercury rather than prenatal, so even if that objection had any real soundness it would still not apply to that amalgam theory.

Fifthly, infant exposures to other sources of mercury were not ascertained.

But again, in terms of the study being merely evidence of a mercury-autism connection, so what?

Most importantly, the authors presented no direct evidence for their hypothesis that low hair levels of mercury reflect persisting toxicity in chil­dren with autism.

But so what? Has anyone presented any evidence against that hypothesis?

A subsequent study comparing children with autism and controls in Hong Kong, found no difference in mercury levels (Ip et aI. 2007). The authors concluded that their results showed that there wasno causal relationship between mercury as an environmental neurotoxin and autism’.

But that Ip et al. study has been absolutely discredited and shown to actually corroborate Holmes et al. rather than challenge it: http://www.ageofautism.com/2007/12/the-ip-blip-and.html. And it anyway concerns 7-year-olds (and in the context of Dr Fitzpatrick’s own nit-picking of a mere 17 months delay above).

Though numerous anecdotal reports and testimonials claim dramatic improvements in symptoms of autism following chelation therapy to remove mercury and other heavy metals believed to be toxic, it is impossible to find independent confirmation of these benefits.

But those “numerous anecdotal reports and testimonials” are “independent confirmation”. Except that when Dr Fitzpatrick uses the word “independent” he in reality means “corporate-establishment-dependent”. And those corporate-institutionalised groups had not found any confirmation for the simple reason that they did not carrry out any studies because they did not want to find any such confirmation.

However, one study of chelation has been widely cited in support of the mercury-autism theory. In this study, conducted jointly by the Florida DAN! doctor Jeffrey Bradstreet and the Geiers, more than 200 children with autism were found to have excreted significantly more mercury in their urine than 18 controls (apparently healthy children whose parents had sought chelation treatment because of worries about heavy metal toxicity) (Bradstreet 2003). Apart from revealing a frightening willingness of parents to subject their children to chelation therapy, it is difficult to draw any conclusions from this study.

That study found more than 3 times higher mercury in autistics, with a huge significance level of p&lt0.0002. But Dr Fitzpatrick indeed could not draw the mercury-acquitting conclusion he wished to from those brief numbers so he did not find even a tiddler of space for them in his book (perhaps because it was required for his closing masterclass about “Being appropriately critical” instead).

-->
Apart from revealing a frightening willingness of parents to subject their children to chelation therapy,
....in the context that no-one has ever been killed by DMSA chelation, in stark contrast to the lethal drugs that Dr Fitzpatrick routinely prescribes. But then his book also didn't find the little space to mention that it was DMSA rather than EDTA in the study (and this in a book that opens with a shock-horror anecdote narrative about a unique EDTA case).

No comments:

Post a comment

This is a 100% free speech zone.
Have had to enable "moderation" not to censor but simply to stop the loads of automated spam that gets through all other systems here. "Your blog is so wonderful, visit my site www.sillyaddress.com", etc.