SafeMinds Authored Commentary, Critiques & Presentations

SafeMinds has actively critiqued much of the research on the vaccine-autism link since 2000. Generation Rescue has provided two websites, fourteenstudies.org and putchildrenfirst.org, that provide critiques of the flaws of studies that are often used to refute the vaccine-autism link. Those websites include critiques written by SafeMinds, such as Analysis and Critique of the CDC’s Handling of the Thimerosal Exposure Assessment Based on VSD Information written as critique of the Verstraetten study. You will find other commentaries and critiques by SafeMinds below.

Urinary Excretion Study – SafeMinds Commentary (2/22/12)

Brief: Environment vs. Genetics
Why The Autism Epidemic Demands a New Approach

Background, Supporting Research and Analysis of Current Research Funding

Vaccines and Autism: What do Epidemiological Studies Really Tell Us?

This paper examines the epidemiological studies surrounding “autism and the MMR vaccine” and “autism and thimerosal”. It explains in detail the conflicts of interest, poor designs and unsupported conclusions in 16 different studies related to autism and vaccines. It includes the opinions of other authorities on these studies as well.

On-Time Vaccine Receipt in the First Year Does Not Adversely Affect Neuropsychological Outcomes (June 2010)

SafeMinds tells you what’s wrong with this study and Sallie Bernard’s comments are published in Pediatrics

SafeMinds Safety First Comment to National Vaccine Program

A Roadmap to a Safety First Agenda for the National Vaccine Program: Suggestions for the Draft National Vaccine Plan from a Patient Safety Perspective (June 2009)

SafeMinds Response to National Vaccine Plan of 2008 Draft  (March 2009)

Latest Autism Gene Findings… Not Much (April 2009)

There’s a familiar rhythm to the most prominent autism gene hunt publications. Their authors hype their newly minted study aggressively in the media. The prestigious journals that publish them lend their imprimatur to press releases that say, “this study is a big deal.” The findings sound impressive in the press release (and the authors get plenty of time on camera and in leading newspapers to tell us how truly impressive they are). In the meantime–in papers that are so densely written that making sense of what they really say requires far more reflection than the media hype cycle permits–skillfully concealed evidence reveals the truly important new in the findings: the authors whisper quietly (if at all) that the new analysis negates the most important findings of some of the most prominent previous gene hunts, while crucial detail on their new findings is often relegated to “supplementary material” that’s not available on the publication date.  Read more.

SafeMinds Sponsors and Attends 25th International Neurotoxicology Conference

NIH & AUTISM: A Case Study in Barriers to Progress in Environmental Medicine
October 2008 Authored by Sallie Bernard, Mark Blaxill and Theresa Wrangham

Read paper or poster.

SafeMinds and National Autism Association – NIEHS-Sponsored Symposium on Environmental Factors in Neurodevelopmental Disorders (August 2005)

In August 2005, a two-day symposium was held in Bethesda, Maryland on the role of environmental factors in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders and related neurodevelopmental conditions. Dr. Kenneth Olden – then the director of NIEHS – conceived the idea for the conference, and the meeting was sponsored by NIEHS. Two autism research groups, the Coalition for SafeMinds and the National Autism Association, co-organized the meeting with a team of researchers they recruited to the effort.

MMR and Autism in Perspective:  The Denmark Story (2004)

Authored by Carol Stott, Ph.D.; Mark Blaxill; Andrew J.Wakefield, M.B., FRCS for the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons

Autism and related developmental disorders, once rare, are now becoming a common problem in Western countries. Although frequently catastrophic in their effects, the current crisis has come up against a “duck-and-cover” mentality from many a dusty corner of conventional medical wisdom.  Read more.

Something is Rotten in Denmark (May 2004)

An Analysis of the Failures and Conflicts of Interest in Several Studies Used by IOM Vaccine Safety Committee Report. View Power Point

Generation Zero Full Analysis with Charts (2004)

Thomas Verstraeten’s First Analyses of the Link Between Vaccine Mercury Exposure and the Risk of Diagnosis of Selected Neuro-Developmental Disorders Based on Data from the Vaccine Safety Datalink: November-December 1999.  Click here for full analysis with charts, click here for Generation Zero Synopsis.

Analysis and Critique of the CDC’s Handling of the Thimerosal Exposure Assessment Based on VSD Information (October 2003)

View Power Point

Analysis of the Danish Autism Registry Data Base in Response to the Hviid et al Paper on Thimerosal in JAMA (October 2003)

A large percentage of diagnosed autism cases are lost from the Danish registry each year. In the ten years preceding 2000, 815 cases were lost, more than the 710 remaining in the registry in 2000. The vast majority of those lost cases would represent older children in the 2000 registry. Since the relative risk of the Hviid study is based on finding fewer older thimerosal-exposed children than younger unexposed children, the validity of their conclusion exonerating thimerosal in autism is questionable. More likely, the finding is a result of missing records rather than true lower incidence rates among the exposed group. Read more.

Danish Thimerosal-Autism Study in Pediatrics: Misleading and Uninformative on Autism-Mercury Link (September 2003)

A report by Madsen et al. published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in their journal Pediatrics claims to provide evidence against a link between autism rates and the mercury in thimerosal, a preservative used in childhood vaccines. Unfortunately, the study analysis is full of flaws and inaccuracies, invalidating the conclusions regarding thimerosal. The study adds little of value to the scientific literature on autism and mercury.  Read more.

SafeMinds Press Release:  Vaccine Health Officials Manipulate Autism Records to Quell Rising Fears over Mercury in Vaccines: Safe Minds Cites Unscientific Trending Techniques and Conflicts of Interest, Call Study’s Conclusions Doubtful

Commentary on Croen et al. (2002) The Changing Prevalence of Autism in California (April 2003)

Authored by Blaxill, Baskin and Spitzer Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Vol. 33, No. 2, April 2003

Lisa Croen and colleagues (Croen, Grether, Hoogstrate, & Selvin, 2002) suggest that the real incidence of autism has not increased. They propose instead that a pattern of “diagnostic substitution” has moved Californian patients who would previously have been diagnosed as mentally retarded (Croen, Grether, & Selvin, 2001) into the autism category. Their calculations purport to demonstrate that over 100% of the increase in autism from 1987–1994 is an artifact of changes in diagnostic practices. In your editorial commentary, Eric Fombonne praises the study, and claims “Croen et al. carefully analyzed the California dataset.”  Read more.

December 28, 2020

New Longitudinal Study Shows Big Brains Linked to Autism

Rate of White Matter Development During Childhood Also Linked to ASD Two new studies from UC Davis’ MIND Institute point to possible subtypes of autism associated with brain size and white matter development. The first research involved a longitudinal study that followed the same children from diagnosis to adolescence. The study’s authors used magnetic resonance […]

December 28, 2020

Adolescents with Autism Experience IQ Increases with Age

Long-Term Study Shows Average Increase of 7.48 IQ points between ages 12 and 23 IQ tests are standardized for each age group. For the general population, scores typically do not change over time. However, a recent British study showed that IQs rise with age for individuals with autism. This over a decade-long study involved 126 […]

December 21, 2020

Similar Social Cognition Impairments Found in Schizophrenia and Autism

Matching Differences Detected in Emotion Processing and Theory of Mind Deficits in social cognition are characteristics found in both schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Historically,  these two different disorders have been examined separately and evaluated by contrasting means. However, a new systematic review and meta-analysis of 36 studies compared social cognition […]

December 14, 2020

Maternal Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Autism in Male Offspring

Findings from an Australian Study May Explain Why ASD is More Common in Boys than Girls A new study published in Molecular Autism suggests that maternal vitamin D deficiency could be the reason that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is more than four times more common in boys than girls. Researchers from the Queensland Brain Institute […]

December 07, 2020

New Report Examines Health and Healthcare for People with ASD

National Autism Indicators Report Includes Health Information Across the Lifespan The A.J. Drexel Autism Institute recently published it’s sixth report in the National Autism Indicators Report series, which gave a comprehensive picture of what health and healthcare look like for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)  across the lifespan. Overall, the Drexel researchers found that […]

December 07, 2020

Infants Born Via C-Section Have Higher Risk of Infections During Early Childhood

Missed Opportunity For Microbiome Foundation May Influence Immune Development  A recent international study published in PLoS Medicine discovered that babies born via cesarean section were hospitalized more often in early childhood for infection compared to infants delivered vaginally. This increased risk remained until the children turned 5 years old. The most common infections observed in […]

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