Tuesday, 3 May 2016

124 papers that DO NOT prove vaccines cause autism

It seems like all I use Twitter for these days is arguing with antivaxxers.  And occasionally flat earthers . . . no, seriously.  Unlike "effective homeopathy", they exist.  That's not at all why I started tweeting - in fact, I created my account solely for the purpose of shamelessly advertising this stupid blog which you good people are valiantly reading.  But alas, I discovered very quickly that Twitter is a wretched hive of scum and villainy like nowhere else in the universe (as far as we know).  Antivaxxers are not only present but also obnoxiously vocal, spreading various lies, half-truths, misinformation, and malinformation.  They make the same tired (read: wrong) arguments repeatedly, never seeming to learn from the many mistakes they make:
And there it is.  It nearly always comes down to that link (unless they give up and throw it out at the outset).  I've mentioned this particular Gish Gallop in passing (it was formerly 99 papers but has now been rounded out to a nice even 130), but I've never really attacked it head on.  This list of papers was compiled by rabid antivaccine lunatic Ginger Taylor, and Liz Ditz previously produced a nice compilation of refutations of many of them.  And The Logic of Science blog just wrote a very comprehensive and well-written summary of the supposed evidence against vaccines which addresses several of them as well.

However none of them goes over each of the 124 papers individually.  Moreover I've been feeling increasingly uneasy lately about using other folks' blog posts to shoot down this "proof".  To that end I've decided to do my own.  I'm not saying that the others aren't good enough, it's just that I'm apparently a masochist and enjoy wasting my time by reading irrelevant and/or nonsensical papers for hours at a time.  Or something.  As you've probably guessed, I've now read every . . . single . . . one of these 124 (now 130) papers and will address any and all concerns I found relevant.  Despite the fact that many of Ginger's links were broken, the titles here are all clickable (EDIT: all but one) and go to the original abstract (or the full paper for some of them).

If you'd like the short short version, click here:

This post will be long, painful, difficult to get through, heavily laden with citations, and most likely fruitless.  I'm doing it anyway because I'm tired, I'm grouchy, and it's either this or help my son take apart and put back together the Lego jet for the 23rd time.


And here we go.

Thimerosal has been removed from all childhood vaccines in most countries since 2001, yet autism rates continue to rise.  It is only present in certain multi-dose influenza vaccines.  Plus, Taylor et al performed a meta-analysis that included over 1.2 million children that found no relationship between vaccination and autism or ASD, no relationship between MMR and autism or ASD, no relationship between thimerosal and autism or ASD, and no relationship between mercury and autism or ASD.  There was also a study done in California that tracked autism rates after thimerosal was removed, and it confirmed the same result - thimerosal does not cause autism.

I'll repeat for those too slow to get it the first time: THIMEROSAL DOES NOT CAUSE AUTISM.

This is a recurring theme, as you will see.

2) Hepatitis B vaccination of male neonates and autism diagnosis, NHIS 1997-2002.
This is a study of 31 children with autism.  *31*.  And the "study" relied on parental reports of their children's autism.  Really?  REALLY?  Drawing any kind of conclusion over a paper with such a small subset of subjects and that relies on parental reports (rather than doctors' diagnoses) is ludicrous.

3) Gender-selective toxicity of thimerosal.
Thimerosal again?  Nope.

4) Mercury toxicokinetics--dependency on strain and gender.
Curiously this one starts with "Mercury (Hg) exposure from dental amalgam fillings and thimerosal in vaccines is not a major health hazard".  I suppose they missed that little gem.  Anyway, it's mercury again, so . . . nope.

5) A Review of the Differences in Developmental, Psychiatric, and Medical Endophenotypes Between Males and Females with Autism Spectrum Disorder
A very curious entry.  First, the word "vaccine" appears exactly nowhere in this review.  Second, the article highlights how autism/ASD is much more common (four times more common, in fact) in boys.  Since boys are not vaccinated four times more often than girls, this would point to a genetic origin and away from environmental triggers.  I'd probably take this one off if I were Ginger (which, fortunately I am not).

6) Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism?
The Tomljenovic and Shaw paper always comes up.  They not only abuse statistics but also use misdirection and multiple leaps to conclusions by impling that aluminum causes inflammation, people with autism have signs of increased inflammation, and therefore aluminum may cause autism.  They found a correlation, but there is no causation to be found.

7) Administration of aluminium to neonatal mice in vaccine-relevant amounts is associated with adverse long term neurological outcomes
Tomljenovic and Shaw again, this time basing a paper on the ecological study #6 above, which as we know is incredibly weak.  Anyway, this is a study on mice given "high" or "low" doses of subcutaneous aluminum.  They exhibit some vague differences on certain mice tests.  Does this translate to humans?  Hardly.

8) Aluminum-Induced Entropy in Biological Systems: Implications for Neurological Disease
Hey look, it's Tomljenovic and Shaw again!  This time it's a review of just how bad aluminum is for us.  They list all the ways we are exposed to aluminum (food, water, medicine, vaccines, occupational exposure, etc) and this is bad, they say.  What they don't say is that the amount of aluminum in one vaccine is about the same as in 1 liter of infant formula (unless it's soy-based formula, which has 3x the amount).  People are exposed to orders of magnitude more aluminum in food, water, and air (no, not chemtrails) than in vaccines.  Aluminum just happens to make up 8% of earth's crust and is used in lots of things (including that antacid you just took).  The amount of aluminum that people get from vaccines a few dozen times in their lives is a minuscule percentage of what they encounter daily in the environment.  There is just no evidence that this tiny amount of vaccine adjuvant-based aluminum can cause any of the maladies they suggest.  None.

9) A comparison of temporal trends in United States autism prevalence to trends in suspected environmental factors
This is a purely speculative article that lists 10 environmental toxins (everything from glyphosate to aluminum adjuvants to car exhaust) and how children's exposure has correlated with their use.  There is no causation even implied here, and the article ends with "Environmental factors with increasing temporal trends can help suggest hypotheses for drivers of autism that merit further investigation."  It doesn't even suggest the hypothesis that aluminum vaccine adjuvants may be causing the increase in autism, it is merely the suggestion of a suggestion.

10) Autism: A form of lead and mercury toxicity
I don't know where to start with this one.  This paper suggests, no it flat out states that lead and mercury cause autism, and they know this because they are two of the most common heavy metals and because autism can be treated with chelation.  First of all, what?  And second of all, WHAT??  Ok now seriously, elemental mercury is not and has not ever been in vaccines and neither has lead, and as we know there is no thimerosal in childhood vaccines.  And there is no evidence that chelation can do jack shit for people with autism.  You think mercury and/or lead cause autism?  Great, first go prove it, and second go fix it, because neither has anything to do with vaccines.

11) Toxic Metals and Essential Elements in Hair and Severity of Symptoms among Children with Autism
Another curious paper.  This one found that autistic children (only 44 of them were analysed) had higher levels of aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, antimony, nickel, lead, and vanadium in their hair.  What does this have to do with vaccines?  Nothing.  If they were intimating that it was aluminum from vaccines, 1) we know we get much more aluminum elsewhere than from vaccines, and 2) prove it's not vanadium first.  Or cadmium.  Or is it antimony?  Which is it?  Go ahead, I'll wait.

12) Assessment of Infantile Mineral Imbalances in Autism Spectrum Disorders
This is another paper documenting elevated levels of various metals (including aluminum (of course), cadmium, lead, mercury, and arsenic) in autistic children's hair as well as lower levels of zinc and magnesium.  They postulate that one or more of these high or low levels of something may be doing something to some genes that causes autism.  It's a plausible hypothesis, but that's all it is: a hypothesis.

13) Abnormal measles-mumps-rubella antibodies and CNS autoimmunity in children with autism
This is one of the more controversial papers on this list for several reasons.  It has been charged that 1) the laboratory test that author Vijendra Singh used to detect these abnormal antibodies didn't actually detect them, 2) he used "unsubstantiated and un-validated biochemical techniques", and 3) his work has never been replicated.  In fact several other trials have directly refuted his findings.

14) Infection, vaccines and other environmental triggers of autoimmunity
Yet another curious addition since the word "autism" is found nowhere in the abstract.  What does appear are the words "MMR vaccination" and "autoimmunity".  Ginger seems to make a giant leap from this to autism.  However autoimmune diseases are much more common in females, and autism is more common in males.  I'd love to hear Ginger explain that one.

15) Impact of environmental factors on the prevalence of autistic disorder after 1979
I'll forgive Ginger's broken link (the first of many) because I managed to find the article with a 0.113-second Google search.  This is what I imagine will be the first article by Theresa Deisher, a fundamentalist Chrisitan with a PhD in molecular and cellular physiology who tries desperately to say that aborted fetal DNA is responsible for autism.  No, seriously - according to Theresa it isn't thimerosal, aluminum, heavy metals or autoimmunity - it's aborted fetal DNA.  Honestly, I wish they would make up their minds.  Anyway, Theresa doesn't even waver about it: "rising autistic disorder prevalence is directly related to vaccines manufactured utilizing human fetal cells" she says.  Perhaps, but there is a reason why we constantly say that correlation doesn't equal causation since the rise in autism is also strongly correlated to organic food sales:

Does this mean organic food causes autism?  Of course not.  Moreover it is a highly implausible and improbable theory as it would require 1) any tiny amount of DNA present in vaccines to 2) just happen to make it into the the nucleus of enough neurons in the brain to make a difference, 3) actually recombine with the native DNA, 4) just happen to be useful aborted fetal DNA that produces some protein that 5) just happens to be expressed on the cell surface and that 6) just happens to be identified as "foreign" and that 7) just happens to cause an immune reaction that would 8) somehow cause autism, and 9) it would have to do this in all children with autism.  Does this sound like a likely scenario?  It sounds more like a fundamentalist desperate for fetal DNA to be evil.

16) A positive association found between autism prevalence and childhood vaccination uptake across the U.S. population
Curiously the author has a PhD not in any scientific field, but in finance.  Hm.  At the time this was published she also happened to be on the board of SAFEMINDS, a rabidly anti-vaccine group that is convinced vaccines cause autism.  Hmm.  She also happens to be the mother of two autistic girls.  Hmmmmmmm.  Lest you think that I'm just shooting the messenger (though we've seen with mechanical engineer Brian Hooker that non-vaccine-scientists probably shouldn't being doing vaccine research), the dataset she uses is unreliable, and she lumps in children with Specific Language Impairment with autistic children to inflate the results.  Bad science.  Bad, bad science.

17) Neonatal administration of a vaccine preservative, thimerosal, produces lasting impairment of nociception and apparent activation of opioid system in rats
Fascinating.  But there is no thimerosal in childhood vaccines.

18) Transcriptomic analyses of neurotoxic effects in mouse brain after intermittent neonatal administration of thimerosal
Again, no thimerosal in childhood vaccines.

19) Lasting neuropathological changes in rat brain after intermittent neonatal administration of thimerosal
That's three irrelevant papers in a row.  Care to make it 4?

20) Persistent behavioral impairments and alterations of brain dopamine system after early postnatal administration of thimerosal in rats
I guess that's a yes.  Do I hear 5?

21) B-lymphocytes from a population of children with autism spectrum disorder and their unaffected siblings exhibit hypersensitivity to thimerosal
This is getting old

22) Thimerosal-Derived Ethylmercury Is a Mitochondrial Toxin in Human Astrocytes: Possible Role of Fenton Chemistry in the Oxidation and Breakage of mtDNA

23) Thioredoxin: a novel, independent diagnosis marker in children with autism
Finally, something not thimerosal-related.  This paper is about a redox-regulating protein which is a marker for oxidative stress and which correlates with autism.  What does this have to do with vaccines?  Absolutely nothing.  Perhaps they got confused and saw "thioredoxin" as "thimerosal".  But this is the first in a series of papers that tries to correlate oxidative stress with autism.

24) Inhibition of the human thioredoxin system. A molecular mechanism of mercury toxicity
Wow, mercury and thioredoxin at the same time.  Again, this has nothing to do with vaccines.

25) Effects of selenite and chelating agents on mammalian thioredoxin reductase inhibited by mercury: implications for treatment of mercury poisoning
Uh, well.  Hm.  Another one that has no involvement with vaccines.  It's like they're not even trying.

26) Serological association of measles virus and human herpesvirus-6 with brain autoantibodies in autism
This is another study by Vijendra Singh (see paper #13) which has not been replicated.  They found that anti-measles IgG and anti-HHV6 IgG levels were the same in autistic children as in normal children, but that the majority those who were positive for either were also positive for two brain anto-antibodies.  Two problems - first, levels of these antibodies were statistically the same in autistic and normal children.  Second, the presence of IgG means either prior exposure or immunity, so this study made no effort to differentiate vaccinated children versus not.  In other words, it has nothing to do with vaccines and proves exactly nothing.  I'm sensing a trend here.

27) Metabolic biomarkers of increased oxidative stress and impaired methylation capacity in children with autism
On the surface this paper has nothing to do with vaccines, until you dig a little deeper into the assumed reason it's included.  Essentially autistic children (20 subjects) were found to have impaired methylation and higher oxidative stress than controls (33 subjects).  The implication here (I think) is that these children were incapable of handling environmental insults and thus "primed" for developing autism due to some insult, and vaccines were that insult.  However, this has not been proved, and as Taylor showed with their study of 1.2 million children, vaccination is not associated with autism.  Any "oxidative stress" that they purport isn't from vaccines.

28) Porphyrinuria in childhood autistic disorder: Implications for environmental toxicity
Another article regarding "environmental toxicity" without mentioning vaccines explicitly.  In this one, urine porphyrin is used as a surrogate for serum mercury, as levels are supposedly increased in people with impaired mercury metabolism, so levels are supposed to correlate with mercury exposure.  Seeing the problem here?  Right, no mercury in childhood vaccines.  Father-and-son team Geier and Geier (another series of papers antivaxxers like to bring up) seem to be hooked on this hypothesis as well, so I will be entirely unsurprised if I find their papers on this list.  Next!

29) An investigation of porphyrinuria in Australian children with autism
This is the same as #28, except looking at Australian children.  They found consistent elevated porphyrin in autistic children and implicate mercury as possibly causative.  Great - so go after mercury, because childhood vaccines don't have any.

30) Porphyrinuria in Korean children with autism: correlation with oxidative stress
A Korean study which confirms #28 and #29.  While is's nice to replicate prior studies, it is worthless in this discussion.

31) Uncoupling of ATP-Mediated Calcium Signaling and Dysregulated Interleukin-6 Secretion in Dendritic Cells by Nanomolar Thimerosal
Ugh, I thought we were done with Thimerosal.  Next.

32) Myeloid dendritic cells frequencies are increased in children with autism spectrum disorder and associated with amygdala volume and repetitive behaviors
The authors say that the immune system is dysfunctional in autism.  Fascinating.  Vaccines are not mentioned.

33) Comparison of blood and brain mercury levels in infant monkeys exposed to methylmercury or vaccines containing thimerosal
Another broken link, another thimerosal/mercury paper.  Next.

34) The retention time of inorganic mercury in the brain — A systematic review of the evidence
This has even less to do with vaccines than Ginger probably realises.  I almost laughed as I read this.  Inorganic mercury is extremely toxic, that is undisputed.  However thimerosal (ethylmercury) is an organic mercury compound, it is rapidly metabolised, and it is rapidly excreted.  That is a long-winded way of saying "Nothing at all to do with vaccines, not even a little bit".

35) Brain and tissue levels of mercury after chronic methylmercury exposure in the monkey
What?  What?  Even if thimerosal were in vaccines (which it isn't), that's ethylmercury, not methylmercury.  Methylmercury is different than ethylmercury, and not just because it has an "M" at the beginning.  That's like saying methanol and ethanol are the same thing because they sound almost the same, because they pointedly are not.

36) Increases in the number of reactive glia in the visual cortex of Macaca fascicularis following subclinical long-term methyl mercury exposure
That's two methylmercury stupidities in a row.  I think I just lost a few brain cells.
NOTE: This paper has been dropped from the list.

37) Neuroglial activation and neuroinflammation in the brain of patients with autism
This paper suggests that some proportion of autistic patients (not all of them, mind you) have neuroinflammatory reactions.  They couldn't estimate the proportion because they only examined 11 patients.  Regardless, vaccines are again not mentioned nor even suggested.

38) Transcriptome analysis reveals dysregulation of innate immune response genes and neuronal activity-dependent genes in autism
This is a summary of various genes and pathways which may be implicated in autism.  It's an interesting paper, but anything to do with vaccines?   Not at all.

39) Nanomolar aluminum induces pro-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic gene expression in human brain cells in primary culture
Now we move down the list from mercury to aluminum, because if it isn't one thing in vaccines, it has to be something else.  Aluminum sulfate was found to be harmful to brain cells.  And aluminum adjuvants are in vaccines, so that's scary, right?  No, the aluminum in vaccines is aluminum potassium sulfate (aka alum), not aluminum sulfate.  And alum has been found to be safe over its 70-year use.  This bears repeating for Ginger's (and everyone else's) sake: just because two compounds sound similar, it does not mean they are the same thing or have the same effects on human physiology.

40) Aberrant NF-KappaB Expression in Autism Spectrum Condition: A Mechanism for Neuroinflammation
This article describes the molecular mechanism of neuroinflammation that was discussed in paper #37.  A protein called (NF-κB) was found to be aberrantly expressed in the brain of autistic people.  Again, vaccines are not mentioned and not involved.

41) A Study of Nuclear Transcription Factor-Kappa B in Childhood Autism
An interesting study confirming paper #40.  They found increased NF-κB DNA binding in the blood of autistic children.  Fascinating, but unrelated to vaccines.

42) Autism: A Brain Disorder, or a Disorder That Affects The Brain?
This is not a research paper but a review which does not say or suggest that vaccines cause autism.  I had a feeling the author Martha Herbert (a paediatric neurologist) would show up here at some point.  A Massachusetts superior court judge had this to say about her:
"Dr. Herbert’s method is not generally accepted in the scientific community.  Dr. Herbert’s theory of environmental triggers of autism may some day prove true.  It has not yet.  Her proffered testimony does not meet the standard of reliability required by the case law, and cannot be admitted in evidence at trial." 
Ouch.  I will mention that Herbert essentially says that many things can contribute to autism, including oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction, yet she offers no new evidence. 

43) Activation of methionine synthase by insulin-like growth factor-1 and dopamine: a target for neurodevelopmental toxins and thimerosal
Thimerosal again?  Come on, Ginger.  At least pretend to list these in some semblance of organisation.

44) Validation of the Phenomenon of Autistic Regression Using Home Videotapes
Autistic regression exists.  I'm not sure who is denying that, but I certainly am not.  Vaccines are not mentioned, and rightfully so.

45) Blood Levels of Mercury Are Related to Diagnosis of Autism: A Reanalysis of an Important Data Set
Mercury.  Next.

46) Empirical Data Confirm Autism Symptoms Related to Aluminum and Acetaminophen Exposure
I admit that when I first read the title of this one I got a bit nervous.  It certainly sounds convincing, right?  Then I actually looked at it, and before the abstract even came up there was a warning from the editors about potential bias in the authors' opinions and choice of citations in their literature review.  Uh oh - BIG RED FLAG.  And if that weren't bad enough, this paper investigates "word frequency patterns" in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).  HAHAHAHA no, seriously.  In case you don't know, VAERS is a repository of any and every adverse event that is reported after vaccines are given.  Anyone can file a report, and some of them are downright risible (see this collection of deaths by car accident, drowning, suffocation, and even AIDS reported to VAERS).  I can't take this paper seriously.

47) Glutathione-Related Factors and Oxidative Stress in Autism, A Review
Another one about oxidative stress.  Nothing to see about vaccines here, please move on.

48) Developmental Regression and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in a Child With Autism
This is the famous Hannah Poling case.  The first author of this paper is her father Jon, an MD PhD neurologist at Johns Hopkins.  Those are indeed impressive credentials.  His daughter Hannah regressed after receiving a series of several vaccines and being diagnosed with encephalopathy due to a rare mitochondrial enzyme deficiency.  Her parents sued the Vaccine Court and won.  Is this a smoking gun?  No, not really, though it is definitely a sad case (mitochondrial enzyme deficiencies are quite rare).  Dr. Paul Offitt, a world-renowned expert (and thoroughly reviled shill according to antivaxxers) explains why this isn't the smoking gun antivaxxers want it to be.

49) Oxidative Stress in Autism: Elevated Cerebellar 3-nitrotyrosine Levels
Another broken link.  How annoying.  Another paper about oxidative stress that has nothing to do with vaccines; even more annoying.

50) Large brains in autism: the challenge of pervasive abnormality
I have no idea why this paper is included here, except perhaps that in includes the words "neuroinflammation" and "heavy metals".

51) Evidence of toxicity, oxidative stress, and neuronal insult in autism
Oxidative stress.  Yawn.

52) Oxidative stress in autism
Two in a row.

53) Thimerosal neurotoxicity is associated with glutathione depletion: protection with glutathione precursors 
Back to thimerosal again?

54) Toxic Metals and Oxidative Stress Part I: Mechanisms Involved in Metal induced Oxidative Damage
Oxidative stress again?

55) Aluminum adjuvant linked to Gulf War illness induces motor neuron death in mice
Well this is interesting.  A small study that was never replicated, has nothing to do with autism, and was done on mice.  How very not at all fascinating.

56) Enrichment of Elevated Plasma F2t-Isoprostane Levels in Individuals with Autism Who Are Stratified by Presence of Gastrointestinal Dysfunction
The researchers found that children with more severe autism symptoms have higher levels of a certain marker of oxidative stress.  Interesting!  But wait . . . how does this prove vaccines did anything?  Oh right, it doesn't.

57) Reduced levels of mercury in first baby haircuts of autistic children
Mercury.  Next.

58) A case series of children with apparent mercury toxic encephalopathies manifesting with clinical symptoms of regressive autistic disorders
Mercury again.  Moving on.

59) The Changing Prevalence of Autism in California
This is a commentary, not a scientific paper, by Mark Blaxill, an antivax lunatic who has vehemently defended Andrew Wakefield's fraudulent study which started this whole thing.  In his commentary he claims that diagnostic substitution cannot explain at least part of the increase in autism prevalence despite evidence to the contrary.  Proof?  No.

60) Mitochondrial Energy-Deficient Endophenotype in Autism
I'm kinda getting tired of the broken links.  Regardless, this paper does not mention vaccines.

61) Bridging from Cells to Cognition in Autism Pathophysiology: Biological Pathways to Defective Brain Function and Plasticity
Uh oh, two of the authors are Brian Hooker (yes, that Brian Hooker who thoroughly abused statistics in a retracted paper that didn't actually indicate that vaccines increase risk of autism in black boys and has led to the whole #CDCWhistleblower nonsense) and Martha Herbert, whom we met in #42.  Leaving that aside, this is another speculative paper that concludes that "overzealous neuroinflammation" can lead to autism.  Interesting hypothesis, but it still doesn't lend any support to the idea that vaccines cause autism.

62) Heavy-Metal Toxicity—With Emphasis on Mercury
Mercury.  Nope.

63) Evidence of Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Autism and Implications for Treatment
This article speculates that some environmental toxin causes damage to mitochondria, and this may cause autism.  The author lists those potential toxins (valproic acid, thalidomide, rubella, cytomegalovirus, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), industrial chemicals, mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel, and tin), but curiously vaccines are not on the list.  So why is it on this list?  I can only guess, but then I'd be delving into the abyss that is Ginger Taylor's addled brain.  No thanks.

64) Proximity to point sources of environmental mercury release as a predictor of autism prevalence

65) Epidemiology of autism spectrum disorder in Portugal:prevalence, clinical characterization, and medical conditions
Vaccines are not discussed, but the buzzwords "mitochondrial disorders" did.  Unrelated.

66) Thimerosal induces neuronal cell apoptosis by causing cytochrome c and apoptosis-inducing factor release from mitochondria
Thimerosal.  Nope.

67) Mitochondrial mediated thimerosal-induced apoptosis in a human neuroblastoma cell line (SK-N-SH)
Thimerosal again.  Nope again.

68) Possible immunological disorders in autism: concomitant autoimmunity and immune tolerance
I admit I laughed out loud here.  The title isn't overtly funny and it certainly sounds damning (See right there?  AUTOIMMUNITY!) , but the findings are downright hilarious.  In her efforts to prove vaccines cause autism, Ginger linked a study which found lower rates of anti-MMR antibodies in autistic children than in control children.  That made me laugh.  But what made me laugh even harder is the finding that autistic children have a higher rate of anti-casein and anti-gluten antibodies than controls.  This was the first paper I had seen linking dairy and gluten to autism.  So it isn't mercury or aluminum or whatever, now it's milk and bread!  But despite the unintended comedy ("GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES CAUSE AUTISM!"), it firmly points away from vaccines causing autism.  Nice one, Ginger.

69) Pediatric Vaccines Influence Primate Behavior, and Amygdala Growth and Opioid Ligand Binding
If I was laughing at #68, I was rolling on the floor after reading this one.  This was a pilot study which showed (in its preliminary data) that macaques given childhood vaccines showed some neurodevelopmental deficits.  The followup 5-year comprehensive study, which was funded by Safeminds (another rabidly antivax group) was published in 2015, showed no differences in macaques given the full infant vaccine schedule with and without thimerosal versus controls who were given saline injections.  I'll repeat for those antivaxxers too slow to understand: the full infant vaccine schedule was given, the monkeys were followed for 5 years, and there was no evidence of any neurobehavioural differences.  Feel free to use that reference (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25690930) with any antivaxxer that tries to claim "BUT THE VACCINE SCHEDULE HASN'T BEEN TESTED!"  Safeminds was, as expected, not happy that their money went to fund a study that refuted their own pre-determined conclusion.

70) Thimerosal exposure in infants and neurodevelopmental disorders: an assessment of computerized medical records in the Vaccine Safety Datalink
I knew Geier and Geier would show up eventually.  Anyway, thimerosal.

71) Glutathione, oxidative stress and neurodegeneration
Another one about oxidative stress.  You want to prove that causes autism?  Fine, then do it.  But don't throw out words and expect it to stick.

72) Hepatitis B triple series vaccine and developmental disability in US children aged 1–9 years
The investigators used only data prior to 2000 specifically to look at children who were given the HepB vaccine, which at that time contained thimerosal.  Regardless, this isn't even about autism.  They surveyed parents and asked them if their children received early intervention or special education services.  THAT is their "proxy" for autism.  Really?  REALLY?  I realise I could have just said "thimerosal" and ended it, but this was way more satisfying.

73) Induction of metallothionein in mouse cerebellum and cerebrum with low-dose thimerosal injection
Thimerosal.  No.

74) Mercury induces inflammatory mediator releasefrom human mast cells
Mercury.  No.

75) Influence of pediatric vaccines on amygdala growth and opioidligand binding in rhesus macaque infants:A pilot study
This is by the same group which did #69.  Again, this was the pilot study, and the full study thoroughly negated any connection between the full infant vaccine schedule and autism.  I got another good chuckle out of this.

76) Cultured lymphocytes from autistic children and non-autisticsiblings up-regulate heat shock protein RNA inresponse to thimerosal challenge
Thimerosal.  No no no.

77) Sorting out the spinning of autism: heavy metals and the question of incidence
Essentially an opinion paper that concludes that environmental toxins shouldn't be ruled out as a causative factor in autism.  I have no problem with that statement.  It still has nothing to do with vaccines.

78) Urinary porphyrin excretion in neurotypical and autistic children
I thought we finished with the porphyrin discussion 30 papers ago?  Actually it was 48 papers ago.  God damn it this list is long, and I'm only 63% done with it.  What the fuck am I doing here.  Anyway, this is a discussion of mercury exposure.  Next.

79) Mitochondrial dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Ah, finally - a systematic review and meta-analysis!  From Nature, no less!  Finally some meat!  But wait, the conclusion is that mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with autism.  Well that's all fine and dandy, but it is a huge leap in logic assuming vaccines cause or activate mitochondrial dysfunction which is associated with (but doesn't necessarily cause) autism, when no such link exists.  A fine example of putting the cart before the horse.

80) Sensitization effect of thimerosal is mediated in vitro via reactive oxygen species and calcium signaling
Thimerosal.  Someone needs to teach Ginger how to organise.

81) What's going on? The question of time trends in autism
HAHAHA!  No seriously, Mark Blaxill (again) titled this "What's going on?"  I can't even make this stuff up.  Anyway, this "article" merely documents the increase in the incidence of autism, not what's causing it.

82) Vaccines and Autism
This was written by Bernard Rimland, a psychologist (and father of an autistic child) who interestingly was the technical adviser for the movie Rain Man.  Anyway, this is not a scientific study,  rather it is merely a discussion (mainly of the evils of thimerosal).  There is no evidence here, just opinion and interpretation.

83) Theoretical aspects of autism: Causes—A review
When the title of a paper starts with "Theoretical", it probably isn't a good idea to use it as evidence of anything.  Even ignoring that, this is a terribly written piece which uses an insane antivax blog called "ChildHealthSafety" as a reference.  Twice.  At one point the author mentions how autism levels in California continued rising after thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines (indicating that it isn't thimerosal), then ends the same paragraph with "despite its implication in autism".  What?  Are you even reading what you are writing?  Another gem is this unsubstantiated bit: "A challenge by so many vaccines while the immune system is compromised might contribute to an onset of autism."  No reference, no data, no evidence, just an unproven, uncorroborated hypothesis.  Does the author have any idea how many thousands (possibly millions) of antigens babies are exposed to on a daily basis, crawling on the floor, putting anything and everything in their mouths, smearing poop on the wall . . . orders of magnitude higher than any vaccine.

The author goes on to discuss other unproven or disproved hypotheses, including MMR, mercury, and other metals.  Eventually she hits on genetics, including a study which showed a strong concordance for autism in monozygotic (identical) twins with a much lower concordance for dizygotic (fraternal) twins.  She actually plagiarized word-for-word this sentence: "This suggests that interactions between multiple genes cause "idiopathic" autism but that epigenetic factors and exposure to environmental modifiers may contribute to variable expression of autism-related traits."

Yes, word-for-word.  Like I said, terribly written.  You know, except for the part she stole from another author.

84) Iatrogenic exposure to mercury after hepatitis B vaccination in preterm infants
This one, published in 1999, starts with "Thimerosal, a derivative of mercury, is used as a preservative in hepatitis B vaccines."  No it isn't.  It was in 1999, but that was 17 years ago.  Try to keep up, Ginger.  Next.

85) Infants born late/moderately preterm are at increased risk for a positive autism screen at 2 years of age
Two very small problems here: first, this was based on parent questionnaires, and second and just slightly more importantly IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH VACCINES.  Why put this one on the list?  Why?

86) Preterm birth and mortality and morbidity: a population-based quasi-experimental study
Wait, what?  An article that discusses increased risk of death and autism in severely premature infants, one that states that preterm birth is likely causal for both mortality and psychiatric morbidity (ie autism)?  How in the world does this implicate vaccines in any way?  It's the exact opposite of what they're trying to show.  Yet another good guffaw from my new friend Ginger.

87) Ancestry of pink disease (infantile acrodynia) identified as a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders
This one takes several leaps of faith: 1) Pink disease was caused by mercury exposure in the early 20th century, and 2) not every child exposed to mercury developed it, so 3) it is presumed that those children who did develop pink disease had a mercury sensitivity, and 4) it is postulated that mercury causes autism, and 5) mercury exposure is widespread (is it?), and 6) not every child exposed to mercury develops autism, so therefore 7) children who are hypersensitive to mercury may develop autism.  Whew - did you get all that?  Anyway, there's no mercury in vaccines, so this entire endeavor was a waste of my (and your) time.  Sorry about that.

88) Risk factors for autistic regression: results of an ambispective cohort study
Another one that takes a rather large leap of faith. First, vaccines are not mentioned.  However, using multiple logistic regression febrile seizures were found to be associated with autistic regression.  What I'm assuming Ginger means by including this article is that febrile seizures are associated with autism, and vaccines can cause febrile seizures, so vaccines therefore cause autism.  Or something like that.  I found a total of -0- articles which demonstrate a link between febrile seizures and autism, though there are several which refute it.

89) MMR vaccination and febrile seizures: evaluation of susceptible subgroups and long-term prognosis
Uh, Ginger?  Did you read the conclusion of this paper?  Obviously not.  Before I get to that, let's all remember that febrile seizures are common and quite scary, but they are not dangerous.  They are benign and do not increase the risk of seizure disorders.  Now with that out of the way, let me help Ginger with the conclusion of this paper: "CONCLUSIONS: MMR vaccination was associated with a transient increased rate of febrile seizures but the risk difference was small even in high-risk children. The long-term rate of epilepsy was not increased in children who had febrile seizures following vaccination compared with children who had febrile seizures of a different etiology."  Emphasis added for additional oopsies.

90) Common variants associated with general and MMR vaccine-related febrile seizures
This article nicely discusses the genetics of children who are more likely to develop febrile seizures following vaccines.  But even if we didn't learn anything from #89, this paper is irrelevant.

91) Adverse Events following 12 and 18 Month Vaccinations: a Population-Based, Self-Controlled Case Series Analysis
Another curious paper which tries to tie febrile seizures to autism, even though there is no association.  But the statistics are still interesting - several hundred thousand children who were vaccinated were followed up for several days after their 12- and 18-month vaccinations to see if emergency room visits were increased in that time period.  There was one additional ER visit per 168 12-month vaccination, and 1 additional ER visit per 730 18-month vaccination.  There was no increase in severity for these visit compared to ER visits outside the study period and no increase in children admitted to the hospital.  Most of the ER visits were for febrile seizures (SHOCKING) or viral rashes.  There were an additional 20 febrile seizures per 100,000 children vaccinated at 12 months.  For those of you bad at math (GINGER) that's 0.02%.  Oh, and this has nothing to do with autism.

92) Reduced GABAergic Action in the Autistic Brain
I've gone over this paper twice and I still can't figure out why it's here.  The only clue I have is that the word "seizures" is present in the abstract.  Other than that, I have no idea.

93) Administration of Thimerosal to Infant Rats Increases Overflow of Glutamate and Aspartate in the Prefrontal Cortex: Protective Role of Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
Oh good good good, thimerosal in rats.  Good grief.  And here I thought we were done with thimerosal.  And rats.  My mistake, apparently.

94) Neonatal Administration of Thimerosal Causes Persistent Changes in Mu Opioid Receptors in the Rat Brain
Apparently we are done with neither thimerosal nor rats.  Ugh.

95) A Review of Compensated Cases of Vaccine-Induced Brain Injury
This is not a scientific paper.  It was an examination of "vaccine damage" claims paid by the vaccine court which was apparently published in a peer-reviewed law journal.  In it, they really stretch to make the case (ha ha) that because the vaccine court paid the claim, this proves vaccines cause autism.  Er, no.  Just no.  Courts and lawyers and judges don't decide on science, science does that.  In case you don't like my "just no" argument (and because I'm not a lawyer), here is an explanation by someone who IS a lawyer (and licenced to practice before the vaccine court) why that argument is so ridiculous.

96) Integrating experimental (in vitro and in vivo) neurotoxicity studies of low-dose thimerosal relevant to vaccines
Back to thimerosal, I see.

97) Hepatitis B vaccine induces apoptotic death in Hepa1-6 cells
A very curious addition.  The researchers dripped the Hep B vaccine onto mouse liver cancer cells in a petri dish (not human cells, not normal cells, but mouse liver tumour) and found that some of the cells died.  Well isn't that interesting.  Let's see if we can break this down - A) humans aren't mice, B) we aren't mouse livers, C) we aren't mouse liver cancers, D) even if we were mouse liver tumours, vaccines are not injected into the liver, E) so what?  Is this about autism?  Not remotely.

98) Thimerosal Induces Apoptosis in a Neuroblastoma Modelvia the cJun N-Terminal Kinase Pathway

99) Maternal thimerosal exposure results in aberrant cerebellar oxidative stress, thyroid hormone metabolism, and motor behavior in rat pups; sex- and strain-dependent effects
Though this is about thimerosal, I'm going to discuss it just to show you the lengths these people will go to prove some kind of link.  In this study, rats were given thimerosal while pregnant and lactating, and the pups were evaluated for motor and auditory function.  How much thimerosal?  200 μg/kg body weight.  That may not seem like a lot, especially considering an adult female Sprague Dawley rat weighs only 300 g.  For those of you bad at math (GINGER) I did it for you, and that's still 60 μg of thimerosal.  Compare that to the 25 μg of thimerosal in a flu shot (though many flu shots are thimerosal-free), which even if given to a small child weighing 10 kg, that's merely 2.5μg/kg, nearly 100X less than the 200 μg/kg given to the rats.  Seeing the ridiculous yet?

Oh yeah, and there's no thimerosal in childhood vaccines.

100) The rise in autism and the role of age at diagnosis
This article chronicles the increasing rate of autism.  They estimate that the changing age of diagnosis explains 12% of the increase, in the inclusion of milder cases 56%.  In other words, over 2/3 of the increase can be explained by how autism is diagnosed.  How are vaccines discussed in this article?  They aren't.

101) Slow CCL2-dependent translocation of biopersistent particles from muscle to brain
Finally some real meat!  A discussion on aluminum potassium sulfate (alum) and how it can persist!  About time we got something I can sink my teeth into.  Ok, let's see.  The researchers injected mice with alum and found that it can persist in distant organs (including the spleen and brain) for at least a year.  Ok, so that means . . . nothing.  Especially when they conclude that "This occurs at a very low rate in normal conditions explaining good overall tolerance of alum despite its strong neurotoxic potential".  It may be increased in an extremely small subset of the population with an anomolous CCL-2 gene.  The research there is ongoing, but the authors essentially say that alum is very well tolerated.  Another case where Ginger and her colleagues didn't understand a word of what they were reading.

102) Thimerosal and autism? A plausible hypothesis that should not be dismissed
The first thing to notice here is that it was published in the journal Medical Hypotheses.  The second is that it is written by Mark Blaxill, whom we met in #59 and #81.  The third is that oh, fuck it.  This isn't research.  Fucking thimerosal, fucking hypothesis, fucking next.

103) Autism Spectrum Disorders in Relation to Distribution of Hazardous Air Pollutants in the San Francisco Bay Area
I have to admit this was a new one for me.  I've seen antivaxxers move the goalposts so many times I've lost count, but apparently now the argument is "AIR POLLUTION!"  I mean, seriously.  Seriously.  Seriously.

104) Environmental mercury release, special education rates, and autism disorder: an ecological study of Texas
This is about environmental released (ie dumped) mercury.  Not vaccines.

105) Autism spectrum disorder prevalence and proximity to industrial facilities releasing arsenic, lead or mercury
Autism is higher near industrial facilities that release arsenic, lead, or mercury into the air.  Fascinating.  This is a rehash of the "AIR POLLUTION!" from #103, I suppose.  Vaccines aren't airborne last I checked (despite what the chemtrails nutters would have you believe), nor do they contain mercury, lead, or arsenic.

106) Inflammatory Responses to Trivalent Influenza Virus Vaccine Among Pregnant Women
Wow is this one a stretch.  Pregnant women given the flu vaccine were found to have an inflammatory response.  As much as I can't stand saying this, I have no choice: DUH.  That's exactly what the vaccine is supposed to do: elicit an immune response!  Plus, the authors note that "The inflammatory response elicited by vaccination is substantially milder and more transient than seen in infectious illness, arguing for the clinical value of vaccination."  And trying to make the leap to "transient, mild, and fully expected inflammatory response causes autism" is laughable.

107) Elevated maternal C-reactive protein and autism in a national birth cohort
Another stretch of a study which found that high maternal C-reactive protein (CRP), a nonspecific marker of inflammation, was associated with a 43% increased risk of autism in their children.  While interesting, it has nothing to do with childhood vaccines.

108) What is regressive autism and why does it occur? Is it the consequence of multi-systemic dysfunction affecting the elimination of heavy metals and the ability to regulate neural temperature?
The author of this "article", Graham Ewing, is not a doctor.  He is not a scientist.  He is not a psychologist.  He is a businessman and CEO of a company called Montague Healthcare, he and his wife run a website called PositiveHealthOnline, and he promotes his "Virtual Scanning" which uses a oh god damn fuck it all, I can't do it this one anymore.  Just go to his website and experience the bullshit for yourself.  Anyway, he bullshittily claims that autism is due to "subtle DNA alteration" from the "overuse of vaccines", no evidence required or supplied.

109) Neurologic adverse events following vaccination
This is a 2012 Polish review of adverse events following vaccination.  At least up to 2011 thimerosal was still present in several childhood vaccines in Poland, and this article focuses on that quite determinedly.  It also shockingly descends quite deep into the "Vaccines Didn't Save Us" pit of stupidity before making several recommendations (including eliminating thimerosal, giving a maximum of 3 vaccinations per day, and eliminating live-virus vaccines).  The authors must have missed the study from just the previous year, also from Poland, that found no link between thimerosal and autism.  Oops.

110) Immunological and autoimmune considerations of Autism Spectrum Disorders
This is a review, not a scientific research paper.  It discusses the association between inflammation and autism, but it still does not link vaccines, nor does it try to.

111) Identification of Unique Gene Expression Profile in Children with Regressive Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Ileocolitis
Not about vaccines in any way.

112) Correlations Between Gene Expression and Mercury Levels in Blood of Boys With and Without Autism
Mercury.  Not vaccines.

113) Abnormal immune response to brain tissue antigen in the syndrome of autism
A very small (N=28) study which found that 76% of autistic children may have a cell-mediated immune response to brain tissue.  1) Small sample, 2) NOTHING TO DO WITH VACCINES.  Honestly, "inflammation" does not equal "vaccines did it".

114) Detection and sequencing of measles virus from peripheral mononuclear cells from patients with inflammatory bowel disease and autism
Oh this study.  I was so hoping Ginger would include it.  Happy day!  The lead author, Hideyuki Kawashima, studied nine children diagnosed with autistic enterocolitis and found measles genes in three of them.  This seems to confirm Andy Wakefield's research!  Stop the presses!  Wakefield is exonerated!  But wait wait wait . . . who diagnosed these nine children with autistic enterocolitis?  You guessed it - ANDY FUCKING WAKEFIELD.  These are nine of the same children from his original fraudulent study.  And study after study after study after study after study has found no evidence of measles in autistic children.

115) Mechanisms of aluminum adjuvant toxicity and autoimmunity in pediatric populations
This one from Tomljenovic and Shaw is a favourite of antivaxxers.  However, it is not a scientific study, just a series of hypotheticals which concludes that "a rigorous evaluation of the vaccine-related adverse health impacts in the pediatric population is urgently needed."  That's a fine idea - I'll wait until that comparison of vaccinated and unvaccinated children is done.  Oh wait - they have been done, and they show 1) no difference in allergic diseases or non-specific infections, 2) lower rates of asthma among vaccinated children, 3) increased cognitive scores among vaccinated children, 4) fewer preterm births and higher birth weights, and 5) fewer heart attacks.  (Thanks to thoughtscapism for compiling that list).

116) Etiology of autism spectrum disorders: Genes, environment, or both?
Tomljenovic and Shaw again.  This is another speculative piece about how aluminum might perhaps maybe vaguely do something, but again no direct evidence of its evils is presented.

117) Thiol-modulated mechanisms of the cytotoxicity of thimerosal and inhibition of DNA topoisomerase II alpha
I was kinda hoping to get an easy one on thimerosal.  Doing this is freaking exhausting.

118) Topoisomerases facilitate transcription of long genes linked to autism
Yet more goalpost moving.  Topoisomerase is an enzyme which regulates the winding of DNA.  It's been found to be mutated in some people with autism, and topotecan (which inhibits topoisomerase) reduces the expression of long genes.  And many potential autism genes are long.  So . . . wait, what does this have to do with vaccines?

119) Aluminum in the central nervous system (CNS): toxicity in humans and animals, vaccine adjuvants, and autoimmunity
It's our friends Tomljenovic and Shaw again, and it's yet another not-a-scientific-paper, but hypotheses and conjecture.  This is the time when I should point out that this study was funded by the Dwoskin Family Foundation, which was founded by Claire Dwoskin.  Mrs. Dwoskin is a board member of the horribly misnamed National Vaccine Information Center, a public charity anti-vaccination advocacy group.  Shaw and Tomljenovic  have been speakers at conferences with such other speakers as antivax neurosurgeone Russell Blaylock, MD, NVIC founder Barbara Loe Fisher, and Andrew Wakefield.  As I'm not terribly fond of ad hominems, I'll stop there.

120) Behavioral abnormalities in young female mice following administration of aluminum adjuvants and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil.
I'll let the abstract on this one (on which Tomljenovic and Shaw are both authors) speak for itself.  Oh wait, there is no abstract.  In the place where the abstract should be is only this:
"This article has been withdrawn at the request of the Editor-in-Chief due to serious concerns regarding the scientific soundness of the article.  Review by the Editor-in-Chief and evaluation by outside experts, confirmed that the methodology is seriously flawed, and the claims that the article makes are unjustified.  As an international peer-reviewed journal we believe it is our duty to withdraw the article from further circulation, and to notify the community of this issue."  
I have nothing to add other than HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

121) Transcriptomic analyses of neurotoxic effects in mouse brain after intermittent neonatal administration of thimerosal

122) Self-Organized Criticality Theory of Autoimmunity
Repeated immunisation can cause autoimmunity.  IN MICE.  No definitive link between autoimmunity and vaccines has ever been shown.  Oh, and this has nothing to do with autism anyway.

123) Can Awareness of Medical Pathophysiology in Autism Lead to Primary CareAutism Prevention Strategies?
Let's start by saying that this was published in the North American Journal of Medicine & Science.  What, you've never heard of it?  Neither had I, and neither has anyone else apparently, since it has an impact factor of 0.  Yes, ZERO.  Even "Homeopathy" has an impact factor of 0.76 (by comparison BMJ's is 17.4, Lancet's is 45.2, and New England Journal of Medicine's is 55.9).  That aside, the author Elizabeth Mumper (who coincidentally has a terribly unfortunate name for an antivax paediatrician) is the CEO of Rimland Center for Integrative Medicine who runs a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to treat children with autism.  Shockingly (not really), HBO has been shown not to be effective for autism.  Anyway, back to the "study".  Dr. Mumper introduced an alternative vaccine schedule to her patients and had a 0% rate of autism among 294 subjects.  Note these children were not unvaccinated (though they did not get Hep A, Hep B, rotavirus, or flu vaccines).  So does this prove vaccines cause autism?  Er, no.

124) Autistic disturbances of Affective Contact
This is Leo Kanner's seminal description of autism from 1943.  I'm honestly shocked Ginger would include this article, since it was published several decades before most current childhood vaccines were introduced (polio 1955, measles 1963, mumps 1967, rubella 1969, HiB 1977, meningitis 1978, hepatitis B 1981, varicella 1984 rotavirus 2006).  I can only assume this article was included because Kanner describes one of the case studies as getting "an attack of diarrhea and fever, from which he recovered in somewhat less than a week" after getting a smallpox vaccine.  Now that is the ultimate stretch, considering routine smallpox vaccination hasn't been done since the 1970's.  So what, according to Ginger and her friends, caused autism before vaccines?  Hmm??

AND THAT IS IT.  As I was going through every single paper in this list, it became increasingly clear that Ginger simply went to Pubmed, typed in her search terms (thimerosal, mercury, oxidative stress, autism, heavy metals), and copied the links without bothering to read or understand what the hell she was reading.  Of the 124 papers presented, exactly -0- of them proves any link between vaccines and autism, and a few even disprove any link.  I sincerely doubt that any antivaxxer who sprays this list around the Twitterverse (or anywhere else) has read any of these papers, let alone all of them.  Having now read every single one, I feel . . . well, I feel exactly the same.

A hearty congratulations (and a heartfelt 'thank you') to anyone who actually got this far.  Hopefully this will be the longest blog post I ever write.  I never intend to do this again.  Ever.  EVER.

UPDATE May 12, 2017
Apparently Ms. Taylor has added several papers to the list.  Let's take a look at them, shall we?

125) Pilot comparative study on the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated 6- to 12- year old U.S. children 
The first thing you'll notice is that unlike the previous 124 papers, the title to this one is not hyperlinked.  Why?  BECAUSE IT DOESN'T FUCKING EXIST.  This is a ridiculously stupid survey of mothers of homeschooled children of vaccination status and health status.  The abstract was briefly published in 2016 but then retracted, so it was instead published in April 2017 in the predatory Journal of Translational Science.  And it was then retracted yet again (you can read about the re-retraction in detail here).

126) Mercury toxicity: Genetic susceptibility and synergistic effects
I could very easily just say "Sigh, mercury.  NEXT!", but I want to expound on this one for a moment.  This stupid article was written by Boyd Haley, a retired chemistry professor who has been very active in the anti-vaccine movement.  He has long claimed that thimerosal causes autism, but then said:
"If, indeed, the complete removal of thimerosal from vaccines was not followed in an appropriate time by a decrease in autism then this would be solid proof that thimerosal was not causal for autism."
Thimerosal was removed from all vaccines (except the multi-dose flu vaccine) in 2002, and autism rates have not changed at all.  So is that it?  HAHA no, not at all.  Haley also happens to have founded a company that produces (or rather produced) a "supplement" called OSR#1 that supposedly chelates . . . any guesses?  Yup, mercury.  And it was touted by antivax site Age of Autism as a treatment for autism.  (A quick search for his company's website shows it is no longer valid, though Age of Autism still has their endorsement up.)  Antivaxxers like Ginger Taylor who constantly spew "FOLLOW THE MONEY!" should follow their own advice.  You can read more about that here.

127) Effect of thimerosal on the neurodevelopment of premature rats.
Thimerosal.  Nope, not going to discuss it.

128) Altered urinary porphyrins and mercury exposure as biomarkers for autism severity in Egyptian children with autism spectrum disorder.
This study looked at children with autism and measured their urine levels of porphyrins compared to their siblings and other healthy (non-autistic) children.  They found elevated levels of mercury, lead, and several porphyrins in autistic children.  Interesting.  But vaccines don't contain mercury or lead.  Why is this on the list?  Because Ginger Taylor is clueless.

129) Interplay of glia activation and oxidative stress formation in fluoride and aluminium exposure
Here we see Ginger take another long leap from A to Q without bothering to find out if steps B through P actually exist.  It's about how aluminum and fluoride can increase reactive oxygen species.  Is the tiny amount of aluminum in vaccines enough to cause this?  No.  Even if it did, does this cause autism?  There is no evidence that it does.

130) Microglial activation and increased microglial density observed in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in autism
Sigh.  Yet another example of someone who doesn't understand the words latching onto a few of them.  You see, because the title says "microglial" and "autism", so that must mean that vaccines cause autism.  Or something like that.  One major problem: there is no evidence that vaccines can induce increased microglial density.

131) Blood-brain barrier and intestinal epithelial barrier alterations in autism spectrum disorders.
This one is rather curious.  It showed that brain biopsies in autistic individuals had lower expression of several genes associated with the blood brain barrier (leakier tight junctions, for lack of a better term).  How this relates to "vaccines cause autism" is beyond me.  I have to assume that they believe that people with a "leakier" blood brain barrier may allow "toxins" to "cross" into the "brain" and cause "inflammation" which can "then" "lead" "to" "autism".  I guess.


  1. I am so grateful you did the heavy lifting here.

  2. If you look closely enough you'll find vaccines cause autism because babies who die of preventable diseases won't get autism. Thus you'll have a higher % of lifetime autism diagnoses in a vaccinated population than an unvaccinated one.

    I can't see a bunch of dead babies as superior to one with autism, though.

    1. consider this an upvote.

    2. Loren, let me add my ^5 on that one too! :)

      Same holds true for just about *every* category of conditions we now identify as "special needs." Infant and early childhood mortality has decreased in developed countries in modern times, due to a whole variety of medical advances besides vaccines. Tiny babies born prematurely aren't doomed to die a few hours or days after birth as they were 100 years ago... they are supported in the NICU until they are strong and well enough to go home. Babies born with serious physical defects can have surgeries to address their conditions too. Sure, this means that lots more kids who might not be physically or developmentally "perfect" survive. But we rise to the challenge, and find ways to help them live their best lives.

    3. Good point Loren! (& also Scarab)

      The effect is probably even more stark than one might expect because those with "special needs" are perhaps more likely that average to succumb to vaccine-preventable diseases. Thus, over time, those with special needs are relatively more likely to be removed from the un-vaccinated group.



  3. Vaccines have made our lives so much better it is nothing less than a miracle. Just listen to a group of GP's discuss how their practices have changed over the years because of vaccines. There will always be naysayers. But the real proof is in the numbers. As a parent and grandparent, it is a relief to know kids today don't have to be afraid of what we considered commonplace childhood diseases of the 40's and 50's.

    1. Baloney. It was NOT vaccines that brought the rates of illness down. It was improved hygiene and sanitation.

      Real proof IS in the numbers. The numbers of kids getting these diseases were ALREADY ON THE DECLINE by the time the respective vaccines came out.

      Want to explain to me why my son started regressing after his 18-month shots?

      Yes, heavy metals DO cause problems. Yes, Wakefield WAS exonerated. People freak out over a broken mercury thermometer, but are okay with injecting it into people? What's wrong with this picture?


    2. Oh dear, Alexandra. Opening with the "Vaccines didn't save us!" stupidity is typical but revealing. It is well known that infectious disease MORTALITY was decreasing over the first half of the 20th century due to improved sanitation and health care, antibiotics, supportive care, ventilators, etc. What you (and everyone who believes your stupid argument) fail to understand is that disease INCIDENCE was NOT falling during that time. People still got the diseases, they just weren't dying as often. When you look at disease INCIDENCE, all of them suddenly drop to near -0- as soon as vaccines are introduced. I might believe a spurious correlation for one of them, but the statistics are the same for every single childhood vaccine ever. All of them. ALL OF THEM. Plus since we know how the vaccines work and why they work, it isn't simply a correlation, IT IS CAUSATION. Full stop.

      Now do your next bit of stupidity, there is one major reason why a parent might notice changes associated with autism after the child receives a vaccine: because children receive vaccines during the time when autism manifests. That's a correlation, Alexandra. There is no causation there.

      No, Wakefield was never exonerated. Ever. He was stripped of his licence and it was never reinstated. And using a Natural News article (yes, that article was published on globalresearch.ca from Natural News) as support of anything is downright laughable.

      As for the mercury issue, I should just sigh and move on. But no, you clearly need more education. Would you put elemental sodium on your food? No, because elemental sodium has a violent exothermic reaction (i.e. it explodes) on contact with water. Now add some chloride to it and you get sodium chloride, aka salt. Now it's safe to touch and even eat. It is the same exact story with mercury - the stuff in thermometers is elemental mercury. Add stuff to it and get ethyl mercury, which is safe to touch and even inject.

      Glad I could clear this up for you.

    3. Disease mortality was falling. Now chronic disease and SIDs, which is virtually all due to vaccines, is rising. Vaccines didn't save us. Correlation does not equal causation. The vaccines are causing brain damage and everyone except fools like you are aware. Glad I could clear this up for you.

    4. Incorrect. Chronic diseases like hypertension *were* on the rise in some countries due to an aging population and an increase in life expectancy. The prevalence is leveling off, however. See this for an example: http://www.cmaj.ca/content/184/1/E49.figures-only

      As for SIDS and your nebulous "brain damage" ridiculousness, evidence shows that vaccines are not involved in SIDS despite your protests to the contrary. I don't know what "brain damage" you could possibly mean.

      Vaccines work exactly as the overwhelming majority of medical professionals say they do, and the decrease in the prevalence of all vaccine-preventable diseases demonstrates it convincingly and irrefutably. This is not just a simple correlation, it is absolutely and without question causative. We know how vaccines work, why they work, and that they work. Anyone who knows even a primary school level of immunology would understand it instantly, and the fact that you don't means you are either 1) lying, 2) stupid, or 3) willfully ignoring everything. I strongly suspect it is a combination of the three.

      Are we clear now? Good.

    5. To demonstrate that vaccines WERE the causative agent in disease / mortality reduction :

      1) WHY did disease / mortality rates fall far more rapidly when a vaccine was introduced – but ONLY for that vaccine ? (OK there is a complex qualifier here – but that is for another post).

      2) WHY did disease / mortality rates INCREASE when vaccines were stopped ? e.g. japan or the Minnesota Somali community after Wakefield succeeded in ereducing vaccination rates from 90% to 54% causing twenty plus cases (in UN vaccinated children) of whom half were hospitalized ? Di those communities suddenly start being un-hygenic after the introduction of vaccines ?

      3) WHY is it that with countries that can be considered to have comparable hygiene standards (e.g. OECD countries), there is an R2 correlation of 0.82 between vaccination rates and measles rates.

  4. Thanks Doc, wonder whether charbrevolution will read this. Not likely since I don't think she read the list let alone the papers.

  5. Mike drop!

    TL;DR - Vaccines DON'T cause autism - you go DocBastard!

  6. Say if you readers are a glutton for punishment Seneff's astonishing paper "Empirical Data Confirm Autism Symptoms Related to Aluminum and Acetaminophen Exposure"(#46 in Ginger's list) was discussed at length at Respectful Insolence:


    Some of the other papers were as well, under different headings of course.

    1. Yes indeed. I tried not to rely on other bloggers or refutations here. There are many individual discussions of some of the articles around, but I didn't find a comprehensive point-by-point list like this. Hence, my pain.

    2. One of the reasons this post is so valuable DB is that you did it in Ginger's order.

    3. Well, until she changes the order again.

    4. Liz Ditz is a vaccine pushing troll with ties to everyone in the industry. No secret there.

  7. WOW! Amazing! As a parent of a son with autism (not caused by vaccines) I'm going to enjoy showing this to our crazy anti-vaxx friends and then gloating at how much sanity and science there is out there to support my pro-vaccine point of view. Yay!!!! Thanks for all the hard work, Doc!

  8. Here:


  9. First of all, I 100% feel your frustration with antivaxxers, they make me so mad I feel like I might explode. Secondly, I have to admit I stopped reading each and every word at about paper 55,and just skimmed through the rest, but I'll make sure to divert the attention of any antivaxxers I have the misfortune to clash with to this post (bookmarking it for future reference). And thirdly, thanks for a realistic view into the life of a doctor, we see the glamour in the movies, that hard work in real life, and the idiots in your blog.


    A medical student who should be studying for her finals

    1. I'm surprised you got that far. Congratulations.

      And welcome!

      Now get back to work.

  10. but all those people with babies or GMDs or both are sure to claim your conclusions are invalid because Jenny McCarthy has bewbs.

    a long outdated psychology class told me autism is caused by parents using Infant Storage Devices instead of carrying their infants in their arms. the logic is actually more evident in that theory, but you don't see these mothers eschewing putting their infants in ISDs all day.

  11. Wow. 124 articles. I think I would have preferred rebuilding and taking apart the jet 100 more times than drafting this up. ;)

    Good list for when people bring that argument up though! Thanks.

  12. Sweet Holy, you must have been bored. Why bother ? Anti-vaxxers are lost to the human race, they care squat about science / evidence, and they will not, repeat not, change their minds : there's an associated personality set. I simply ignore them, luckily the sane component of society for the most part maintains herd immunity. Parents who don't vaccinate their kids should be shot on sight, and their kids nurtured.

    1. No need to punish the kids for the sins of the father.

    2. mother nature tends to do that, automatically.

  13. tl; dr but thanks for the short, short version.

    For the rest of your work, I will use it as reference material for those who are intellectually challenged.

    Btw, I was happy to see that my local library allowed me to get to your site (even if many corporate sites disallow you for swearing).

  14. Dead child or autistic child, dead or autistic child hmm....

    Even if they DID cause autism (THEY DON'T I MEAN SERIOUSLY THEY ARE MORONS) I'd rather have an autistic child than oh I don't know A DEAD ONE

  15. Wow just finish all 124 articles, good job on actually read/analyse each article for us and to leave a small resume of what it was
    It took me 2h to read all this, how much time did it took you to read them all doc?

    1. It took several sessions of several hours each to read, analyse, and write this.

    2. I beleive its the best way to explain to a antivaxer they are wrong in a respecfull way.

  16. Thank you for this service.

  17. Doc, I commend your dedication to continuing the fight to show antivaxers the errors of your ways. Still, I have to reflect on the great advice I got during childhood, from my parents and grandparents, as they tried to help us understand how to get along with others in this world.

    We were cautioned to avoid debates and arguments about politics and religion, because they typically accomplish nothing in terms of actually changing anyone's point of view, and lead to nothing but ill will.

    IMHO, there are a few other subjects we should add to that list...I'm thinking anti-vax and non-belief in brain death. There are certain beliefs that are so closely tied to an individual's emotional and personality traits that no effort to present actual facts, or lead them to logical conclusions, will change their minds.

    1. Do we all have the same type of immune response to vaccines? If you say yes then fine. I'll agree that it's safe for everyone. However, if the answer is NO then I think you should be questioning their policy on one-size-fits-all vaccination approach.

    2. Ah yes, the old "100% or nothing!" stupidity.

      Are we all the same? No. But almost all of us are.
      Are vaccines 100% safe? No. But they are pretty damned close.

    3. It's not stupidity at all. Every licensed vaccines sold in the market are all based on the human body's prominent Th2 immune response to build immunity to diseases. Too much inflammation can allow the immune cells to cross the blood brain barrier, once in the brain the microglia is activated as well as the astrocytes and pro-inflammatory cytokines. The end result is neuroinflammation and neuronal cell death. There's more than one way to deliver vaccines i.e.,cell mediated immune response and DNA vaccines.

    4. We saw that hypothesis in several of the papers here, but somehow there's still no proven link. Unless you're saying you found one. If so, surely you've published your work, yes? Please post the link here.

    5. Anonymous sounds suspiciously like Russell Blaylock

  18. An alumnus of my undergraduate university helped eradicate smallpox. It infuriates me that people try to undermine that incredible contribution to society by touting fear-drive insanity.

  19. I think the articles that seem unrelated are supposed to point out that the immune system is related to autism. Vaccines affect the immune system, the immune system causes autism... Poof! A link! A tenuous one, but still a link, right?

    1. so you're saying that a strong immune system causes autism?

    2. Exactly! It's even funnier when you say it bluntly

  20. You should see if The Lancet will publish this pile of dung? Anytime you wanna get out from behind your keyboard and debate this let me know Doc.

    1. "From behind your keyboard"? Really? Is that a threat, Mr Smith?

    2. Doctors are on the front lines of the vaccination debate EVERY DAY as they expose themselves to the vaccine-preventable illnesses that are remaking a resurgence because of the anti-vaxx movement, when they treat the antivaxxers when they get sick and those who are not able to be vaccinated but are no longer protected by herd immunity.

    3. "Anytime you wanna get out from behind your keyboard and debate this let me know Doc."

      Says the guy, challenging a blog author to a debate from behind a keyboard...

    4. Herd immunity has nothing to do with vaccination.

    5. Sure it doesn't, Anon. And now you'll back that up with science, right? Or will you just make the tired argument that it wasn't *initially* described with vaccines. Or you'll say it's just a hypothesis which has never been proven (though it has: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19538112/ for example).

      Shall I wait?

  21. This post was a thing of beauty. I read every word you wrote, and several times while reading, I actually cackled with unreserved glee. I am sharing your post with many people. Thank you very much for your incredible patience in going through all of those links and papers to show why they did NOT prove what Ginger thought they did. <3

  22. So, I will confess to being a "too many, too soon" person. Or, I should say, "too many at one time" person. Before I am jumped on, allow me to explain.

    I am from a family with allergies. Food & medication allergies. In fact, I am not sure what I reacted to but I had an allergic reaction to a tetanus vaccine when my son was young. For me, and people like me, I would like to see a bit more spacing with vaccines, without judgement, for those of us concerned about allergies. If my child is given 3 or 4 vaccines in one day & reacts we don't know which one it is a reaction to.

    That said, we didn't delay any vaccines either. But that is partially because I felt pressured to not. We wouldn't have delayed more than a week or two though.

    1. People who don't take vaccines/space out vaccines due to allergies do not fall under anti-vaxx groups, so no worries.

    2. No, we don't. But when I had to delay my sons last tetanus vaccine because we were leaving to a very remote area (no cell phones, over an hour to a hospital, etc) I was "politely informed" by the school secretary that "You are going to kill your child by not vaccinating him. Are you stupid?" Because his kindergarten records were due. Keep in mind this was with me telling her that he would have it on the second day of school. Sometimes we are treated the same by idiots who don't believe in medication allergies.

    3. reminds me I'm due for a tetanus booster and a check on my Hep B immunization status at my next service checkup.

    4. That's part of the whole point...people who are allergic or immuno suppressed and cannot be vaccinated on time (or at all) get their protection by not being exposed to ppl who are anti vaxxers and potentially therefore unsafe to be around. If you don't want to vaccinate your kids, Lock them in the house until they are old enough to decide to right your wrongs!

    5. Oh, I get it Anon! I was recently exposed to measles. Not a big deal right? I'm vaccinated, right? Yeah, numerous times. Except that within months of the measles vax blood tests would no antibodies. I take care of an infant. Too young to be immunized. Because those parents of that teen didn't vaccinate I lost 3 weeks of work while waiting for symptoms. Thankfully I didn't get it.

    6. Fuck Allergies8 May 2016 at 10:21

      My child has allergies, she has to get a flu shot under the supervision of an allergist. Nothing has ever happened, but it's a nice precaution they take.

      Our child had a reaction at a buffet with almost every food under the sun. We did a blood test and that narrowed down what caused her to balloon up. They were able to draw blood and test for food, animal, and medicine.

      So if it makes you feel better you can either ask for a blood test, and most doctors are happy to do a quick lab (if you're in the US). Or... if your child has a reaction to any of the vaccines, they can do a blood test and narrow it down pretty quick so that you don't have to guess which vaccine it was. :)

    7. I had a "customer, once, who suffered from Idiosyncratic Anaphalaxis.

      in plain english the "customer" was violently allergic to random things. fortunately, the Epi Pen did its job, and the "customer" (to Borrow Doc's trademark, I'll use Pat - not the real name)
      Pat lived to add another thing to the list of things Pat dared not risk contact with.

    8. @Fuck Allergies, As a fellow allergy sufferer (I am allergic to animals, married to a vet), I would suggest the in-office allergy test where you have dozens of needle pricks on your back and arms - sorry I don't know the name of it, as opposed to the blood test. I have had both numerous times, and the blood test is nowhere near as accurate. My board certified allergies told me the blood tests were pretty much a waste of time for finding serious allergies. Maybe you have had better results.

    9. Fuck Allergies9 May 2016 at 23:04

      Yeah, allergies run in the family. I had to get shots for 5 years, and they did the skin prick test to figure out what shots I needed. But those were external allergies, not food allergies.

      The allergists I've always gone to go out of their way to make sure they don't test foods on your body in case it turns into a severe reaction. I wanted to test if I was still allergic to something and was told "Yes. Don't eat it. Have a nice Day."

      With our daughter, it was the same thing, they wanted the blood test for food allergies because they didn't want to risk having an even worse reaction in their office. Epipens are all well and good, but if you can avoid the situation in the first place that's preferable. We were able to pin point what she was allergic to from that and went from there.

      Now that it's been a year, I'm not sure what test they'll be doing to see if she's still allergic. From my understanding they're doing another blood test and if it doesn't show up there, then they'll do a skin prick and if it doesn't react there they'll have her eat some in the office with a medical team on standby.

    10. Good luck. Sorry she has to go through all this.

  23. How much did Big Pharma pay you to write this rubbish?

    1. you misspelled "debunk"

    2. HA!

      In case you haven't noticed, there are no adverts on this page (unlike many MANY other blogs out there). I've never made a penny from this blog. I do get paid for writing at The Daily Beast, though it's peanuts.

      But seriously, thanks for the laugh.

    3. How'd you get a stable internet connection at the compound?

    4. satellite, if you're asking me.

    5. Well no, Ken. I was speaking to Mr/Ms Anon...

      Defusing my joke... Hrumph!

    6. I have a close friend who is high up in the "Big Pharma" business. She gets paid a decent salary, travels extensively, and occasionally organizes workshops for doctors when launching a new product. If you want to consider a nice dinner while listening to speeches undue influence, I think that is a stretch. She has never bribed anyone, colluded with anyone, or falsified research. Her own children were vaccinated on time. She is just an honest, small-town girl who got a job with a pharmaceutical company. She has not been turned to "the darkside." Where do the conspiracy theorists think all these unethical pharmaceutical people came from?

  24. I just gave up most of my day to read that (no, I did not follow the links - my brain was fried enough!).
    Thank you.
    Bookmarked for future reference.
    As a veterinary surgeon, we get the same stuff thrown at us daily.
    Again, my thanks!

  25. Thanks for your great work with this one! Phew. Talk about thorough! I've updated two of my pieces (on autism and thimerosal) to link here for readers who wish for more detail. Happy about your kind mention of me on your paper nr 115! :) Much appreciated.

    I found you because some people are clearly reading that far *and* clicking on the links. That is impressive as well.

  26. Wow, just read every word you wrote in that article. Great effort Doc B.

    How do you find time to save lives, read 124 'studies, and do family stuff?

  27. Not long ago on a youtube comment section I got into a debate with a flat earther/anti-vaxxer.
    I have never been more frustrated in my entire life. Every time I pointed out the ways he himself could calculate the curve of the Earth (by calculating angles something disappears at the horizon at what distance etc) and he just kept insisting that I havent given him a way to check it.
    Even though I did.
    Dozens of times.
    More recently, yestarday in fact, I got into an argument with someone over psychology and psychiatry, both of which the guy believed is nonsense and that schizophrenia is misunderstood answers on a questionaire. Because yes, THATS how easy it is to determine these things right? Right? Had it been in person I swear someone would have to restrain me from strangling these people at regular intervals
    I feel your pain Doc.

  28. I like how your well-reserached post is called a "pile of dung" and "rubbish", paid for by Big Pharma, without any sort of supporting data. So informative

    1. Or course! Random accusatuons without evidence always trump well thought out calculated responses with pages of evidence and case studies!

    2. Samantha Pfaff, please feel free to point out any errors in the refutations so I can science your sorry arse.

    3. Science Mom - you misunderstand Samanatha's comment. See Brett Smith's comment above - he is the one who called this a pile of dung, and Anon 4 May 2016 09:10 called it rubbish.

      If you do find any errors, please point them out so I can science myself.

    4. OOoo, I'm so sorry Samantha, it wasn't at all clear that you were responding to the flaccid nobs above. I'll delete if Samantha would like me to, otherwise my bad and I own it.

    5. Thanks for the apology. Doc Bastard is correct. I was snarking on the two who crapped on Doc's excellent and well-researched post without any reasons why they thing it a pile of dung.

    6. Thank you, you're very gracious and I should have read closer. I jumped the gun at yet another vapid accusation of pharma shill and dolts not able to respond to the actual refutations.

  29. Oh captain my captain!

  30. I love you Doc.

  31. On the rare occasion when I debate an antivaxer instead of just block them from my internet world or belittle their belief that crystals and tinctures will keep them from getting cancer or experiencing alien abduction, I can now quickly link to this blog entry. I'm so sick of them coming up with some article I'm not familiar with and don't want to read as if that's the Holy Grail of the debate.

    About the only thing worse than dealing with an anti-vaxer is dealing with a Sox fan. You've given me a tool to deal with the anti-vaxers. The Sox fans, however....

    Thanks, Doc B

    1. Off-topic, but I have to ask...which Sox? :)
      (For those readers outside the USA, our Major League Baseball teams include Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox).

  32. Hi Doc. Do you know if all of the journals where these studies were published are peer-reviewed? If so, do you think they should have been rejected by the reviewers?

    1. Most if not all are. Many of the papers are factual though irrelevant to the vaccine-autism nondebate. As for the others, I didn't see too much academic fraud, but there obviously was some (abuse of statistics, etc). Those should have been rejected.

  33. Ugh I kinda always assumed that most anti-vaxxers who are concerned about autism never knew anyone who was autistic so thay just assumed it was 'scary' and 'bad.' To hear that some of the people actually writing these articles about how bad vaccines are are parents of autistic children is really concerning. They're seriously saying that their own children would be better off dead? Or maybe that their children are just too much of a 'burden' to them? I feel so bad for those kids; they deserve to be loved! Honestly, I don't have or particularly want kids (at this current point in time) but I believe parents should be willing to invest as much as possible into their children. If someone thinks autistic kids are a 'burden' that just sounds like lazy parenting to me, and like they are trying to put the blame for their lack of willingness to support their kids on someone else. Selfish and immature. Or if they actually have some semblance of a heart and just wanted 'better' lives for their kids, they should stop trying to make them into something they're not and just accept them for who they are and, you know, NOT try to make them feel like they are broken. Jfc autistic people are people too. Why does that even have to be said. (Thanks for going through all those papers Doc!)

    1. I don't think the anti-vaxxers believe it is a choice between autism or death. They don't believe these preventable diseases will kill/harm their child. They probably think all the negative prognoses are hype or hyperbole. They may be right, their child might not die from any of these diseases, and they apparently don't care that someone else's child might.

    2. yes, they think these are all minor ailments that the medical industry can easily cure.

      which, of course, they can - by effectively preventing infection with vaccination.

  34. raising kids is hard. raising kids who don't fit society's mold is harder.

    what these antivaxx parents are doing is denying the fact that without vaccines, a lot more children would be dead. it's the old "it won't happen to me because I'm a special snowflake and the universe loves me" denial pattern.

    1. Everyone thinks "it only happens to someone else" no one realizes that to the rest of the world, you ARE someone else!

  35. I was a baby when concerns about autism and vaccines first hit the news, and as a result my parents spread out my vaccination timetable and opted for separate MMR shots. If I hadn't stumbled upon your blog I probably would have done the same for my own children in the future, without stopping to consider (a) there is no scientific basis for it, and (b) that it could put other vulnerable children at risk. So thank you for making me see sense.

  36. Thank you for your sacrifice Doc Bastard.
    I read through all your comments about each paper,i am saving the papers for a night when there isn't a meteor shower on and i don't have to deal with bonking hedgehogs, hedgehogs huffing and puffing for no apparent reason and hedgehogs pushing and shoving each other over a big food dish which gives both of them plenty of room to munch. I figure it is them fighting over the meal worms the same way we fight over pringles or the last after eight mint.

  37. Fantastic post as usual—something that a lot of people need to read. I have an unrelated question about something I read on Quora: http://qr.ae/8HOqTC. This person attempted suicide by taking an overdose ("over 100") of acetaminophen with dihydrocodeine. If Medscape is correct, 48 standard Tylenol pills contain the median lethal dose of acetaminophen (I don't know about Tylenol with dihydrocodeine, but I assume it's even more dangerous). She survived with no apparent injury. Barring the story being faked, is there an explanation for this? Maybe just high tolerance for opioids? I understand you're a trauma surgeon and this is probably not the area of medicine that you know most about, but I'd appreciate your insight on this. Thanks!

    1. First, the "over 100" may be an exaggeration. Second, the number cited by Medscape would be if all the pills were digested and absorbed. If the person is brought in time, the stomach can be aspirated and activated charcoal can be given.

    2. IIRC acetaminophen poisoning is at least partially due to glutathione depletion. I think, if caught early enough, as well as avoiding absorption patients can be given a glutathione-boosting drug that will cut down on the amount of liver damage.

      I'm sure I recall a debate on including glutathione or a precursor in acetaminophen tablets to help reduce the risk. I can't remember why that doesn't happen. Other side-effects maybe (these obviously being less of a concern if you are about to die of liver failure).


    3. most likely because not abusing acetaminophen is such an easy solution.

  38. Dear doc, congratulations!!!! You were probably the first blogger ever to find 124 ways to spell "bull$hit", and I happen to agree with all of them. Next, in light of the moronic brain death arguments, can you please attack the idiots who are protesting organ donation?!

    1. It's been done. See my posts on Jahi McMath, particularly the FAQ: http://www.docbastard.net/2014/01/jahi-mcmath-faq.html

    2. just consider - every heart, liver, or other major organ that is NOT donated is another life that might have been saved.

      want to make it about religion? "no grater love has a man but that he lay down his life for another"

  39. I think I'm in love. Any chance you're open to polygamy, Doc?

    1. I'm flattered, but that's a really hard maybe. I mean no. I mean Mrs. Bastard is looking over my shoulder, so no. Maybe.

  40. Here is an email I received from Kate (her real name):

    From: Kate ******* <***********@hotmail.com>
    May 6 (1 day ago)
    Subject: Vax Fax

    Where do you work / live?
    How many kids do you have?
    Vax schedule that they have had ?

    I vaxxed my 4 kids 30 + yrs ago. They had 8 in 4 yrs.

    This ' modern, smarter, healthier world !?!? ' mandates 42 in 4 yrs. Right !?

    Come on....

    Concerned Gran..
    11 grandkids;
    ASD x3 !!!
    ADHD x2, chronic ear troubles x2, pre-school serious teeth troubles X1, speech delayx1, eczema x2, weird-staggering gaitx1, several with food allergies. And! Frequent colds, mysterious bugs etc occur in the families regularly.

    Chicken pox, mumps & measles were ' a piece of cake' in comparison! Created healthier immune systems for sure.


    Oh, Kate. Here is my response:

    Hi Kate. Allow me to answer your questions and/or concerns individually:

    Where do I work? That's strictly classified and irrelevant.
    How many kids do I have? Strictly classified and irrelevant.
    Age? Strictly classified and irrelevant.
    Vaccine schedule? Whatever was recommended by my children's paediatrician.

    I'm sorry to hear about your grandchildren's issues, but none of them are related to vaccines. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that vaccines cause any of the issues you mentioned, including teeth troubles. TEETH TROUBLES? Seriously? Is there ANYTHING you antivaxxers won't claim is "vaccine damage?"

    A piece of cake? Chicken pox for me was horrible. I missed a week of school, as did all of my siblings (who all contracted it at the same time). I was miserable, sick in bed, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Everyone I knew growing up went through the exact same thing, and ALL of them missed school. Based on the fact that you're a grandmother, I suspect you and your friends went through it too. My children on the other hand have both been vaccinated for varicella (and everything else offered), and neither of them has gotten any of the diseases. There have been a total of -0- outbreaks of varicella in their schools. Nor has their been measles, mumps, rubella, or meningitis, which my sister nearly died of at 18 months old (the child with meningitis in the bed next to her wasn't so lucky).

    I'm sure this will have no impact on you whatsoever, but I sleep very peacefully at night knowing that 1) I have protected my children against many infectious diseases, and 2) that overwhelming evidence shows that vaccines do not cause autism, speech delay, ADHD, colds, teeth problems (really?), eczema, mystery bugs, or food allergies.

    If you have any further comments, I'd be happy to discuss it further.


    1. I remember that I have had mumps and chicken pox. I do not remember any details other than the doctor diagnosing mumps, and sometime in the bout of chicken pox, I have a vague memory of being miserable - and the odd thing is the memory includes being in a house that I didn't live in until after the chicken pox episode. couldn't scratch, couldn't NOT scratch...

      in comparison, there's nothing to remmber about measles, rubella, etc. just a pinprick. H1N1 flu was just a sniff up the nose, and one of my colleagues had confirmed exposure with no infection.

    2. One more thought about the post from "Concerned Gran"...

      The various "problems" that she observes in her grandchildren are less likely to be related to vaccinations than to the fact that, thankfully (IMHO), most infants and children in developed countries now get more and better medical attention than they did 50 years ago. With more parents having access to pediatric care for their kids, *any* ailments or chronic conditions are more likely to be identified and treated. That doesn't mean that these situations didn't *exist* in pre-vax days.

      And, though any ailment or developmental challenge that kids face is a challenge, none of the things she mentioned are deadly, permanently disabling, or otherwise life-limiting.

    3. I like Jeff Foxworthy's explanation of ADHD. His child was being evaluated and the teacher asked him if he had ADHD as a child. He said he had it for about 5 minutes till his dad smacked him upside his head

  41. Great post Doc'

    Wish I had time to read it properly today but I've only skimmed over the list and comments so far. Even from that, however, it's evident how much work you have put into this!

    It will never change the mind of those who are determined to blame vaccines for something, but you never know; One day someone in danger of being swept along by their rhetoric may stumble here and discover what the "evidence" really says. Let's hope so.


    1. PS re 35/36:

      I was suspicious of "thiomersal" because although it's only a trivial name, "thio" usually implies sulphur, which would not be present in "ethyl mercury".

      The WHO describe it as an "organomercurial derivative of ethyl mercury" : http://www.who.int/biologicals/areas/vaccines/thiomersal/en/

      The University of Birmingham web site confirms that it's actually a thiobenzoic acid derivative of ethyl mercury: http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/motm/thiomersal/thiomersalh.htm

      Look at the structure on the structure on the top right. The "Hg" is the mercury, the "CH2-CH3" part is the "ethyl" and the S, the ring and the "O"s are a benzoic acid group bonded through a sulphur.

      Why is any of this interesting? It's not.
      Why is any of this relevant to the question? Well, the actual structure is both a lot more "organic" and a lot less like "methyl mercury" than plain old ethyl mercury would be.

      So, as you said Doc' - and then some.


    2. PPS
      For an always amusing illustration of the difference between correlation and causation, nip along to "spurious correlations", where you will find obviously compelling evidence that, for example, the "number of people who died by becoming tangled in their bedsheets"correlates with
      the "total revenue generated by skiing facilities (US)"


      Obviously, all of these people are going skiing, dreaming of tumbling down a mountain, wrapping themselves up in their bed sheets and dying. Or perhaps not!


  42. Now how bout some non big pharma studies please.

    1. You must have missed these: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1173183/

      Happy? It is easy to find these studies, but then again you'd have to either A) look or B) read what you've just been shown.

    2. Jacqui Wise - author of http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1173183/.
      Jacqui Wise works as a freelance medical journalist. In this capacity she has been paid, and continues to be paid, by a range of organisations. These include publishers including the BMJ group, the Lancet group, Ocean Media Group, the WHO Bulletin, and others and communications agencies including Interaction PR.

    3. Nice work picking apart what was essentially the press release written by a journalist. Come now, Anon. Surely you recognised that this wasn't the actual study but merely a lay description of its findings, right? It should have taken you no more than 13 seconds to find the citation for the actual study from the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. As expected, you didn't read it or even try to look. But as usual, I've done the work for you. You're welcome. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11144371/

      And I'm still waiting for your "Big Pharma" critique of the Danish study.

    4. Paul Thorsen co-author of www.nejm.org/doing/full/10.1056/NEJMoa021134. "A central figure behind the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) claims disputing the link between vaccines and autism and other neurological disorders has disappeared after officials discovered massive fraud involving the theft of millions in taxpayer dollars. Danish police are investigating Dr. Poul Thorsen, who has vanished along with almost $2 million that he had supposedly spent on research."

    5. Your cutting and pasting hasn't changed, so I can now confirm you're JB. Anyway, that's financial fraud, not academic fraud. Big difference. Plus, Thorson wasn't first author or last author, so he likely contributed little. His embezzlement is wrong and I hope he's caught and tried. That doesn't invalidate the results. I'd say nice try, but it wasn't.

      But thanks very much for forcing me to go back to comment validation. It was a pleasant 2 days or so. Asshole.

    6. I don't get tired of refuting bullshit, especially yours. I do, however, get tired of refuting the same damned things over and over.

    7. I'm not JB but I've read some of his comments. It's okay to disagree with the thoughts or opinions expressed by him but that doesn't give you the right to deny any sense he might make. Nor does it give you a right to accuse someone of poorly expressing their beliefs by quoting what he read just because you don't like what they are saying.

    8. Sure you aren't.

      There are two things you have to remember here, not-JB: 1) This is my blog, and I have the right to say whatever I damn well please, and 2) you have no rights. You/he have made no sense at any time. All you/he have done is made the same stupid arguments all the other antivaxxers have made thousands of times. I "don't like" what you said not because I disagree, but because it's wrong, and I'm tired of explaining that it's wrong.

      Get it? I doubt it.

    9. and there's nothing to deny because cornboy makes no sense. put that in your strudel and smoke it.

    10. I'm sorry, is Anon accusing Ginger of posting a list of big Pharma studies?

  43. As a pediatrician, you just saved me a lot of work! This is wonderful

  44. Late to the party, but hypothetically, even if vaccines did cause autism (which they clearly don't), when did it become ok in the anti-vaxxer mind to risk your child's life, and other children's lives, because of a 'risk' of a disability? Why is it that having autism is worse than a painful death because of the disease you chose not to vaccinate against?

    My family vaccinates. Yet, I watched my sister deal with whooping cough at age 10. Because of others who chose not to vaccinate. That was horrific, she couldn't breathe, and I remember sitting up through the night making sure she was ok. I couldn't begin to imagine watching a baby go through that. I couldn't imagine that being my child because families around me chose not to vaccinate. An anti-vaxxers 'choice' doesn't impact only them, and I wish they realised that.

    Thanks DocBastard for continuing to post about this, with so much dedication.

  45. This is a wonderful effort and a valuable resource. Does anyone know if there is a similar work on the global-warming vs anti-global warming issues in this era of Trump and fake-news?

  46. Hi Doc! Ginger has updated her list, claiming it's now up to 131. Well, of you subtract the two papers she cited twice, it's really 129. Oh, and she's reordered the list (of course). Vince Iannelli MD has take a quick crack at the updated list:


  47. For anybody who cares:


    Mawson AR, Bhuiyan AR, Ray BD, and Jacob B, Pilot comparative study on the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated 6- to 12- year old U.S. children Transl Sci 3: DOI: 10.15761/JTS.1000186, April 24, 2017

    Haley BE, Mercury toxicity: Genetic susceptibility and synergistic effects Medical Veritas 2 (2005) 535–542

    Shaw CA, Seneff S., Kette SD, Tomljenovic L, Oller JW jr, and Davidson RM Aluminum-Induced Entropy in Biological Systems: Implications for Neurological Disease Journal of Toxicology, Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 491316, 27 pages

    Chen YN, Wang J, Zhang J, Li SJ, He L, Shao DD, Du HY. Effect of thimerosal on the neurodevelopment of premature rats. World J Pediatr. 2013 Nov;9(4):356-60. doi: 10.1007/s12519-013-0443-z. Epub 2013 Nov 14.

    Khaled EM, Meguid NA, Bjørklund G, Gouda A, Bahary MH, Hashish A, Sallam NM, Chirumbolo S, El-Bana MA. Altered urinary porphyrins and mercury exposure as biomarkers for autism severity in Egyptian children with autism spectrum disorder. Metab Brain Dis. 2016 Dec;31(6):1419-1426. Epub 2016 Jul 13.

    Akinrinade ID, Memudu AE, Ogundele OM, Ajetunmobi OI. Interplay of glia activation and oxidative stress formation in fluoride and aluminium exposure. Pathophysiology. 2015 Mar;22(1):39-48. doi: 10.1016/j.pathophys.2014.12.001. Epub 2014 Dec 13.

    Morgan JT, Chana G, Pardo CA, Achim C, Semendeferi K, Buckwalter J, Courchesne E, Everall IP. Microglial activation and increased microglial density observed in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in autism. Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Aug 15;68(4):368-76. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.05.024.

    Fiorentino M, Sapone A, Senger S, Camhi SS, Kadzielski SM, Buie TM, Kelly DL, Cascella N, Fasano A. Blood-brain barrier and intestinal epithelial barrier alterations in autism spectrum disorders. Mol Autism. 2016 Nov 29;7:49. eCollection 2016.


    Charleston JS, Body RL, Bolender RP, Mottet NK, Vahter ME, Burbacher TM. Changes in the number of astrocytes and microglia in the thalamus of the monkey Macaca fascicularis following long-term subclinical methylmercury exposure. Neurotoxicology. 1996 Spring;17(1):127-38.

    130 Research papers supporting Vaccine/Autism Causation
    Ginger Taylor, MS

    Mainstream research has found that vaccines and their ingredients can cause the underlying medical conditions that committed physicians and researchers are commonly finding in children who have been given an autism diagnosis. These conditions include gastrointestinal damage, immune system impairment, chronic infections, mitochondrial disorders, autoimmune conditions, neurological regression, glial cell activation, brain inflammation, damage to the blood–brain barrier, seizures, synaptic dysfunction, dendritic cell dysfunction, mercury poisoning, aluminum toxicity, gene activation and alteration, glutathione depletion, impaired methylation, oxidative stress, impaired thioredoxin regulation, mineral deficiencies, impairment of the opioid system, endocrine dysfunction, cellular apoptosis, and other disorders.

    1. Thanks, Liz. I've edited this post accordingly. Not surprisingly, the "new" papers don't prove anything either.

  48. I'm not sure how to email you (oops), but I'm writing a post on vaccines and autism - very early stage - and I want to link your post. The genius at work here and borrowing his work sounds like a sound plan. You're amazing.

    -Long time reader, first time commenter.

    1. You are welcome to link this under one condition - if you share a link to your post when you publish it.

  49. I don't understand why you've skipped all the thimerosal studies. It's true that it's no longer part of childhood vaccines in the western countries, but it's still widely used in most of the third world countries and it's still used in the flu vaccine, that is given to children as well.


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