putting the pieces of the research puzzle together

CNN recently reported on a University of North Carolina study where researchers found that toddlers with autism had a portion of their brains, (the Amygdala) that was on average thirteen percent larger than the neurotypical controls. The study, which was published in the latest Archives of General Psychiatry, looked at 50 toddlers with autism and another 33 that were neurotypical. They were all scanned at two and four years of age.
Dr. Joseph Piven, lead author of the study, stated “We believe that children with autism have normal sized brains at birth but at some point, in the latter part of their first year of life, it (the amygdala) begins to grow in kids with autism.”
The Amygdala is the part of the brain that helps us process flight responses to danger, and faces and emotions. “When you see a face, you scan it, identify if it’s friend or foe and make a decision about whether to move forward or avoid it,” Said Dr. Barry Kosofsky, chief of Neurology at Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Orlofsky was not affiliated with the published study. One of the other things that are particularly interesting with regards to the autism community is that this portion of the brain called the amygdala also controls a good bit of the gastrointestinal tract and anyone dealing with a child on the autism spectrum can fully appreciate the gut issues that are so prevalent in our children.
The thing that particularly intrigues me about this study, and also why I’ve titled this article the way that I have, is that these scientists seemed baffled by this anomaly and don’t seem to have any idea what is happening to cause these children stricken with autism to have larger brains than their nuerotypical peers. How is it so easy for autism parents to put the research together that seems to baffle such highly educated and brilliant researchers, doctors and scientists?
In 2008 at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) held in London, the now infamous yet surprisingly under-reported macaque monkey study was presented. Laura Hewitson, the study’s lead investigator from the University of Pittsburgh explained that half of the monkeys in the study were administered the same vaccine protocol as the children in the 1990s received (adjusted for weight), while the other half remained completely unvaccinated. Hewitson reported developmental delays, behavior problems and brain changes in the vaccinated macaque monkeys that are incredibly similar to what was found in children with autism in the above mentioned study. The unvaccinated macaques were all unaffected and normal.
While the entire study is very damning to the vaccine protocol of the nineties (perhaps the reason for the lack of media attention that this study so deserved) the one thing that truly stands out in this study is the amygdala and the changes that the researchers saw in the vaccinated monkeys.
“Compared with unexposed animals, significant neurodevelopmental deficits were evident for exposed animals in survival reflexes, tests of color discrimination and reversal, and learning sets,” reported the authors of the study. “Differences in behaviors were observed between exposed and unexposed animals and within the exposed group before and after the MMR vaccination. Compared with the unexposed animals, the exposed animals showed attenuation of amygdala growth and differences in the amygdala binding of diprenorphine. Interaction models identified a significant association between specific aberrant social and non-social behaviors, isotope binding and vaccine exposure.”
The UNC study discussed above looked at children with and without autism at 2 and 4 years of age and one of the study’s authors clearly stated that all of the infants seemed to be born with normal sized brains and that something happened within the first year of life. One of the main things that happen in the first year of life is that we start injecting toxins into our children in the form of the childhood vaccine protocol sanctioned by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This problem with the brains of our infants seems to happen across the country (and the vaccinated areas of the planet for that matter) which would suggest that this is something that is environmental but not in such a way as it is restricted to certain areas (i.e. industrial areas of the country in the North East, or wet climates like the North West). This is an environmental problem that is affecting all of our children and the one thing that seems to be constant across the country is the vaccine protocol that our government mandates.
Why can’t researcher put the pieces of the puzzle together like the autism moms and dads across this land and abroad? Perhaps it’s because they don’t want to? I have done a number of stories on the massive influence that the pharmaceutical companies have in the research funding available. Many researchers have stated on the record that angering pharma will definitely have an impact on future research grants made available to researchers and these grants are how these scientists make a living. Having the outcomes of a study appear to implicate the highly profitable vaccine industry is professional suicide for these scientists.
So until researchers can actually become independent from their pharmaceutical masters, we, the autism moms and dads, will have to continue to work on the research puzzle as we work on our children’s individual autism puzzles as well. While nothing new, it is still rather tiring. I am cognizant of the fact that there are researchers out there in academia that are desperately trying to do the science that matters to the autism community, but with so many road blocks in their way and the media doing everything they can to protect their pharmaceutical advertising dollars, the going is infuriatingly slow while the firestorm we know as autism continues to burn out of control.
1 in 10,000 didn’t seem troubling to the country. 1 in 1000 affected children didn’t seem to phase this land. 1 in 500; nothing was really getting done. 1 out of every 150 children and families destroyed and lip service and underhanded control of the data seemed to be the problem. The number is now more than one percent of our children affected and the government and researchers still seem incapable of coming to terms with the truth. Will it be too late before they realize that no amount of advertising dollars or grants are worth the terrible destruction that has been slowly stealing our most precious commodity, our children?