autism

Good news. Important information on vaccines is getting through to Americans – and that's a big win for science and public health in the United States.

New data released today shows that more than eight in ten "support requiring all healthy schoolchildren to be vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella." In addition, an overwhelming number of adults – 88 percent – "believe that the benefits of these inoculations outweigh the risks."

Results of a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center before the November elections show that 82 percent of Americans believe in the benefits of childhood vaccinations. Additionally, the survey revealed that...

If Donald Trump's anti-vaccine tweets were not enough to make the scientific and medical community nervous about the future of vaccination in this country, there is now a new reason to be concerned. Very concerned. 

It is reported that Donald Trump met this week with Robert Kennedy Jr., a vaccine denier and one of the most outspoken proponents of the false claim that vaccines cause autism. At the core of RFK Jr.'s irrational and harmful platform is the use of the preservative thimerosal in vaccines. Just two years ago, he edited the book, "Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: The Evidence Supporting the Immediate Removal of Mercury--a Known Neurotoxin--from...

When some of the public hears about vaccines today, they may think of Andrew Wakefield's fraudulent links to autism or Jenny McCarthy’s use of her Hollywood megaphone to polarize the issue as well as encourage the spread of an anti-vaccine movement.  

Truth be told, for a time public opinion did shift and philosophical exemptions boomed, primarily in states like California, Washington, and Oregon. Preventable diseases blossomed. 

As science stood largely silent, Dr. Paul Offit - Chief of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and long-time trustee and supporter of the American Council on Science and Health - took to the helm to fight the noble battle on behalf of children’s health and safety.  He...

shutterstock_392337439Every time I think that this nightmare might be over, Andrew Wakefield is back in the news.

This time, the rights to his 2010 book have recently been acquired, and it looks like my nightmare is going to become a Hollywood film.

Wakefield's book entitled "Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines — The Truth Behind a Tragedy," is his version of a story that we now know all too well — his view of the events surrounding the retraction of his Lancet paper published in 1998 describing a false link between vaccines and autism. In it, Wakefield, who has been barred from practicing...

shutterstock_135531320As a scientist, I cheered last month when you pulled “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe” from the Tribeca Film Festival. You made a wise decision that landed on the side of science — not something that happens every day. Then, this week, I heard your subsequent interview on the "Today" show.

In preparing to write this piece, I watched the interview multiple times. And, it is clear that the difference between you and “anti-vaccinators” is that you are ready and willing to learn the truth. The sincerity is in your eyes, and I don’t think that you are acting this time.

So, my...

The details of science how to interpret empirical data are more of a debate than lay people may know and scientists may care to admit, and it is not as cut and dry as the media sometimes present it. For example, we have been studying Alzheimer s disease for decades and yet there is still a hotly contested debate in the science community over which protein, tau or amyloid, is more responsible for the disease s progression. Scientific consensus is hard to come by and is generally reserved for but a few topics: gravity, vaccines, evolution and most recently the safety of GMOs, to name a few.

Debates are healthy and generally occur when...

According to the CDC, autism prevalence more than doubled from 2000 to 2010 as rates went from 1 in 150 children in 2000 to 1 in 68 children in 2010. These data have led scientists to frantically search for the cause of this dramatic increase in autism. Nothing is safe from accusation. Vaccines, pesticides, organic food consumption, c-sections, maternal age, pollution, etc. have all been implicated by fearmongerers, correlative data dredgers or both. However, what if the answer was something more simple: doctors are using this diagnosis more?

This is not a new question: many people have suggested that the rise in autism is largely a factor of over diagnosis. In fact I spoke about...

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 1.49.58 PMIt s understandable that parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are eager to find a way to help their kids overcome the problems associated with their conditions perhaps there s a lack of some micronutrients that make the situation worse. Or perhaps a special diet will improve a child s status. But sometimes the treatment is not what it s advertised to be. So it seems to be with vitamin/mineral supplementation, according to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of...

Screen-Shot-2014-03-28-at-2.03.13-PMThe puzzle that is the cause of Autism is one of the internet s favorite conundrums. In fact a google search into what causes autism will turn up 120 million hits. Glyphosate is a popular choice amongst the pseudoscience elite, so are GMOs, vaccines, high fructose corn syrup and antibiotics (yet they strangely never mention the strong correlation between the increase in autism and the increase in...

The latest in health news: The very first GMO wasn't grown by a big corporation or in a lab, it came form Mother Nature, autism rates are not on the rase, but detection is, and a Texas high school without a sex-ed program is seeing an outbreak of chlamydia.