More dodgy stats misleading the child protection debate

Last month we detailedhow one of the key statistics being relied upon by campaigners calling for ‘default blocking’ of some internet content was based upon one very dubious survey in a single school.

This kind of deliberately misleading scaremongering undermines the discussion about how best to protect children, and now it’s clear that commercial pressures are also leading to dodgy stats being pushed into the debate.

This week, the Advertising Standards Authority has rebuked Carphone Warehouse for it’s marketing of a service we’ve previously been very critical of, Bemilo. The service hit the headlines for it’s feature that allowed parents to read the text messages of children, prompted by our warning that parenting is not spying.

 

Four claims made in advertisements were challenged, relating to how children use mobile phones and the effects it has.

1. “33% are sleep deprived”;

2. “1 in 10 receive bullying texts or calls”;

3. “25% of children call or text in a class during school”; and

4. “33% spend up to 5 hours a day browsing the web on their phone”.

 

When the ASA investigated the claims, it found that the first three points the advertisement breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).

On the fourth point the ASA found it breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising).

In other words four key statistical claims in the advertisement were misleading, and three of them could not be properly substantiated.

 

Carphone Warehouse has been told not to run the advert again, and we hope that this will once again demonstrate how the child protection debate is being driven by vested interests whose primary concern is not the protection of children.

http://www.bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/home/2012/10/more-dodgy-stats-misleading-the-child-protection-debate.html

Autism May Be Caused By An Immune System Response To Measles: Only Autistic Children Had Brain Autoantibodies

Re-Posted at Request 1998 Study..I hope this helps

Contact: Nancy Ross-Flanigan rossflan@umich.edu 734-647-1853 University of Michigan

Autism May Be Caused By An Immune System Response To A Virus

ANN ARBOR—Antibodies found in the blood of autistic children suggest that at least some cases of autism are caused by a misguided immune response, triggered by exposure to a virus, researchers in the University of Michigan’s College of Pharmacy report.

The researchers found that autistic children who had been exposed to certain viruses in the past showed unusually high levels of antibodies to brain proteins, suggesting an autoimmune response.  Their findings appear in the October issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology.

Autism is a developmental disorder that affects brain function, interfering with reasoning ability, imagination, communication, and social interaction.  Children with autism start talking later than other children, and when they do speak, their communication skills are extremely limited.  They often avoid looking at other people and don’t learn to read others’ faces for signs of emotion or other cues.  These children typically are unable to play creatively, and some engage in repetitive, sometimes self-destructive, behavior, such as rocking, hand flapping or head-banging.

No single cause of autism has been found, and researchers believe that genes and environmental factors (such as viruses or chemicals) both may contribute.  The kinds of brain abnormalities found in people with autism suggest that the disorder arises when something disrupts normal brain development.

One possibility is that early exposure to a virus prods the body into mounting an immune response that somehow goes awry.  In addition to producing antibodies against the virus, the body makes antibodies against itself, resulting in damage to tissues and organs.

This “autoimmune” response is what happens in autoimmune diseases such as lupus, and some researchers think a similar response may account for the brain abnormalities found in people with autism.

It was this possibility that U-M researchers Vijendra Singh and Victor Yang and undergraduate student assistant Sheren Lin investigated.  In their study of 48 autistic children and 34 normal children and adults, the researchers measured levels of antibodies to two viruses—measles virus and human herpesvirus-6—in the subjects’ blood.  These antibodies were chosen because they are often used in research on known autoimmune diseases, says Singh, the principal investigator of the project and an assistant research scientist in the College of Pharmacy.

The researchers also measured levels of two brain autoantibodies (antibodies to brain tissue).  One, anti-MBP, is an antibody to myelin basic protein, a protein found in the protective sheaths around nerve fibers in the brain.  The other, anti-NAFP, is an antibody to neuron-axon filament protein, a protein that makes up the nerve fibers themselves.

Virus antibody levels were essentially the same in autistic and non-autistic subjects, as the researchers expected.  But the majority of autistic children who had virus antibodies also had brain autoantibodies.  The higher the level of virus antibodies, the more likely an autistic child was to have brain autoantibodies.  None of the non-autistic subjects had brain autoantibodies.

The strongest link found in the autistic children was between measles virus antibodies and anti-MBP, suggesting that exposure to the measles virus may trigger an autoimmune response that interferes with the development of myelin, says Singh.  If myelin in the brain doesn’t develop properly, nerve fibers won’t work as they should.  This could be one way that the brain abnormalities associated with autism arise.

The question of how exposure to measles virus occurs raises a controversial issue.  Parents of children with autism often report that the children started showing signs of the disorder shortly after being immunized with measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) or diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT) vaccine, but no scientific studies have shown a link between vaccines and autism.  In the U-M study, almost all the subjects had had MMR immunizations, and none had ever had a case of measles.  It is possible, however, that some might have been infected with measles virus but never developed symptoms of measles, says Singh.

###Contact:  Nancy Ross-Flanigan University of Michigan 412 Maynard St. Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1399 Phone:  (734) 647-1853 rossflan@umich.edu

‘MMR vaccine causes autism’ claim banned – Followed by 15 studies that link Strong Correlation, it May

By

8:34AM BST 08 Aug 2012

Babyjabs.co.uk said the vaccine “could be causing autism in up to 10% of   autistic children in the UK”. It also said: “Most experts now agree that the   large rise (in autism) has been caused partly by increased diagnosis, but   also by a real increase in the number of children with autism.”

A further claim said the vaccine-strain measles virus has been found in the   gut and brain of some autistic children, which supports many parents’ belief   that the MMR vaccine caused autism in their children.

One person complained that the claims are misleading and unsubstantiated.

Defending the claims, Babyjabs referred to one study in particular from 2002,   which it considered to be one of the strongest pieces of evidence that the   MMR vaccine does not cause autism but which it claimed includes the lead   author’s conclusion: “We cannot rule out the existence of a susceptible   subgroup with an increased risk of autism if vaccinated.”

It also said The Truth About Vaccines, a book written by Babyjabs medical   director Dr Richard Halvorsen, stated: “If one in 800 MMR vaccinations   triggered an autistic disorder, this would result in around 1,200 children a   year in the UK being made autistic by the bundling of the vaccines. This is   probably the worst case scenario.”

Dr Halvorsen added that “research, including large population studies, has   since shown that the MMR is not causing the large majority of autism, but   has been unable to exclude the possibility that it is causing autism in a   small number of susceptible children”.

Upholding the complaint, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) noted that   the website makes clear that the original allegations of a link between the   MMR vaccine and autism by Andrew Wakefield was “strongly rejected” by   government and the medical establishment”.

But it said consumers are likely to infer from the website’s claims that the   vaccine might have played a role in the “increase” in the number of children   with autism.

The ASA said: “We understood that the position held by the World Health   Organisation and the Department of Health was that no evidence existed of a   causal association between the MMR vaccine and autism or autistic disorders,   and that the Cochrane review, looking at the general evidence available,   could find no significant association between MMR immunisation and autism.

“We noted that the evidence provided by the advertiser included studies and an   article which looked at the increased prevalence of autism, but did not   include evidence that any increase was due to the MMR vaccine.”

It ruled that the claims must not appear again in their current form

 

Now for the Correlating studies in Support of Neurlogical Damage: With thanks to Gaia Health and The refusers…This is the counter argumant

 

Viral/Immune studies:

Abnormal measles-mumps-rubella antibodies and CNS autoimmunity in children with autism.

Autoimmunity to the central nervous system (CNS), especially to myelin basic protein (MBP), may play a causal role in  autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder. Because many autistic children harbor elevated levels of measles antibodies, we conducted a serological study of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and MBP autoantibodies.

….over 90% of MMR antibody-positive autistic sera were also positive for MBP autoantibodies, suggesting a strong association between MMR and CNS autoimmunity in autism. Stemming from this evidence, we suggest that an inappropriate antibody response to MMR, specifically the measles component thereof, might be related to pathogenesis of autism.

Serological association of measles virus and human herpes virus-6 with brain auto-antibodies in autism.

This study is the first to report an association between virus serology and brain autoantibody in autism; it supports the  hypothesis that a virus-induced autoimmune response may play a causal role in autism.

Hypothesis: conjugate vaccines may predispose children to autism spectrum disorders.

Conjugate vaccines fundamentally change the manner in which the immune systems of infants and young children function by deviating their immune responses to the targeted carbohydrate antigens from a state of hypo-responsiveness to a robust B2 B cell mediated response.

This period of hypo-responsiveness to carbohydrate antigens coincides with the intense myelination process in infants and young children, and conjugate vaccines may have disrupted evolutionary forces that favored early brain development over the need to protect infants and young children from capsular bacteria.

Effects of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis or tetanus vaccination on allergies and allergy-related respiratory symptoms among children and adolescents in the United States.

The odds of having a history of asthma was twice as great among vaccinated subjects than among unvaccinated subjects The odds of having had any allergy-related respiratory symptom in the past 12 months was 63% greater among vaccinated subjects than unvaccinated subjects The associations between vaccination and subsequent allergies and symptoms were greatest among children aged 5 through 10 years.

Neurological Complications of Pertussis Immunization

Review is made of 107 cases of neurological complications of pertussis inoculation reported in the literature. The early onset of neurological symptoms was characteristic, with changes of consciousness and convulsions as the most striking features. The question of aetiology is considered and contraindications are discussed….as is the grave danger of further inoculations when a previous one has produced any suggestion of a neurological reaction.

Hepatitis B vaccination of male neonates and autism diagnosis, NHIS 1997-2002.

Findings suggest that U.S. male neonates vaccinated with the hepatitis B vaccine prior to 1999 (from vaccination record) had a threefold higher risk for parental report of autism diagnosis compared to boys not vaccinated as neonates during that same time period. Nonwhite boys bore a greater risk.

Aluminum Studies:

Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism?

Our results show that: (i) children from countries with the highest ASD prevalence appear to have the highest exposure to Al from vaccines; (ii) the increase in exposure to Al adjuvants significantly correlates with the increase in ASD prevalence in the United States observed over the last two decades;

and (iii) a significant correlation exists between the amounts of Al administered to preschool children and the current prevalence of ASD in seven Western countries, particularly at 3-4 months of age.

Aluminum hydroxide injections lead to motor deficits and motor neuron degeneration.

…A second series of experiments was conducted on mice injected with six doses of aluminum hydroxide. Behavioural analyses in these mice revealed significant impairments in a number of motor functions as well as diminished spatial memory capacity.

Aluminum Vaccine Adjuvants: Are they Safe?

Experimental research, clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans. In particular, aluminum in adjuvant form carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and associated neurological complications and may thus have profound and widespread adverse health consequences. click for entire study

Thimerosal studies:

Integrating experimental (in vitro and in vivo) neurotoxicity studies of low-dose thimerosal relevant to vaccines.

There is a need to interpret neurotoxic studies to help deal with uncertainties surrounding pregnant mothers, newborns and young children who must receive repeated doses of Thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs).

Information extracted from studies indicates that: (a) activity of low doses of Thimerosal against isolated human and animal brain cells was found in all studies and is consistent with Hg neurotoxicity; (b) the neurotoxic effect of ethylmercury has not been studied with co-occurring adjuvant-Al in TCVs; (c) animal studies have shown that exposure to Thimerosal-Hg can lead to accumulation of inorganic Hg in brain, and that (d) doses relevant to TCV exposure possess the potential to affect human neuro-development.

Neurodevelopmental disorders following thimerosal-containing childhood immunizations: a follow-up analysis.

“The present study provides additional epidemiological evidence supporting previous epidemiological, clinical and experimental evidence that administration of thimerosal-containing vaccines in the United States resulted in a significant number of children developing NDs.”

Neonatal administration of thimerosal causes persistent changes in mu opioid receptors in the rat brain

“These data document that exposure to thimerosal during early postnatal life produces lasting alterations in the densities of brain opioid receptors along with other neuropathological changes, which may disturb brain development.”

Persistent behavioral impairments and alterations of brain dopamine system after early postnatal administration of thimerosal in rats.

“These data document that early postnatal THIM administration causes lasting neurobehavioral impairments and neurochemical alterations in the brain, dependent on dose and sex. If similar changes occur in THIM/mercurial-exposed children, they could contribute do neurodevelopmental disorders.”

Maternal Thimerosal Exposure Results in Aberrant Cerebellar Oxidative Stress, Thyroid Hormone Metabolism, and Motor Behavior in Rat Pups; Sex- and Strain-Dependent Effects.

Thimerisol exposure also resulted in a significant increase in cerebellar levels of the oxidative stress marker 3-nitrotyrosine…. This coincided with an increased (47.0%) expression of a gene negatively regulated by T3,… Our data  thus demonstrate a negative neurodevelopmental impact of perinatal thimerisol exposure.

Administration of thimerosal to infant rats increases overflow of glutamate and aspartate in the prefrontal cortex: protective role of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate.

Thimerosal, a mercury-containing vaccine preservative, is a suspected factor in the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders. We previously showed that its administration to infant rats causes behavioral, neurochemical and neuropathological abnormalities similar to those present in autism.

#16, Extra Credit:

Influenza Vaccination during Pregnancy

The ACIP’s recommendation of influenza vaccination during pregnancy is not supported by citations in its own policy paper or in current medical literature. Considering the potential risks of maternal and fetal mercury exposure, the administration of thimerosal during pregnancy is both unjustified and unwise.

Also, take note of the 71 references at the end of this study