Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Recent Autism vaccine link and the limit theorem...

Did the recent news about the link between vaccines and autism leave you confused? On the one hand, we had the vaccine board compensating the parents. On the other hand, everybody, including the CDC, Mitochondrial Disease Foundation and many other organizations started tempering expectations.

Here is a link to the one sided limit theorem. If you look at the graph there, what we have proof for right now is that if a kid has mitochondrial disorder, he or she will be pushed from one red dot to the other(normal to autism) if provided with multiple vaccines at the same time. The spin for now is essentially that someone has to be really close to the red dot to be pushed over to the other red dot.

But my question to everyone is, how do you know in advance if someone is close to the red dot? Maybe a mito kid is more obvious as they have other physical symptoms. What if only the brain mitochondria is having a dysfunction? Due to the nature of mitochondrial cell division, each body part tends to have different mitochondria. So having normal muscle mitochondria is no guarantee for normal brain mitochondria. In fact, mito experts do a lot of hand wringing even after a positive muscle biopsy as there is no guarantee as to what the next affected organ would be.

Taken to the extreme, should we be doing brain biopsies for mitochondrial disorders checks before vaccines, given that 1 in 150 of new born kids have autism? Or should we just go by the good old luck of the draw? Which mitochondrial mutations should we be checking for? Or should we worry about even the slightest mutation and play it safe? These are questions that need to be answered rather than asking people to look the other way and not worry about an autism-mitochondrial disorder link.

So mathematically, you have to keep looking in there. We have just found the one sided limit; it is time to dig deep and identify all the things that push kids towards the dots. For example, if mitochondrial disorders are the "edge of the cliff", where is the research regarding action on both sides of the cliff and research to ensure that the disease progression is tracked well before we end up in a "over the cliff" situation? The research dollars for mito disorders have to be definitely increased.

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