Environmental Factors Contributing to Cause of Autism
Dr. Martha Herbert
Envirnomental Factors Play a Role in Autism
Dr. Martha Herbert, MD, PhD was interviewed in an article posted on Autism File, available online, and discusses the contribution of environmental factors to the cause of Autism and addresses the controversy over the link of Autism and vaccinations given in childhood. Dr. Herbert is an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and a pediatric neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and director of TRANSEND Research Program. She is the author of the book The Autism Revolution: Whole Bodely Strategies for Making Life All it Can Be.
When talking about the vaccine controversy and its link to the cause of Autism, its important to remember that the vaccines are a medical invention and used as a sort of intervention in preventing infectious diseases. This intervention was designed under a germ theory paradigm. The bodies of children are toxic and polluted. Dr. Herbert brings into the discussion the fact that environmental factors do play a role in the cause of Autism.
Looking back only two years ago, when chaos reigned the media over Dr. Wakefields research being discredited. The CDC was doing a television interview that aired on CNN where in an answer to a question they stated that "vaccines are a link to autism when there is a genetic predisposition for the disorder." Later, this statement was retracted. Environmental factors such as contaminated water supplies, living proximity to a freeway, bio-hazards, environmental toxins, the food supply and others, the government agencies also stated they were not linked to Autism. According to these agencies Autism was a genetic disorder and mother's of children that developed Autism after vaccinations were looking for someone or something to blame and another CDC representative stated were "hysterical and not thinking clearly."
Dr. Herbert states that when a child's diet is all depleted of any nutrients, and it is full of artificial additives, when fruits and vegetables they eat are saturated in pesticides, that their body soaks up these poisonous pollutants. According to Herbert, our public health policy is trying to protect the compromised health of children by targeting the germs themselves, but not the milieu (whole body health and not just infectious triggers). Milieu is what creates the vulnerability to illness.
The nations current vaccination policies are based on a specific sets of measures and these measures have not incorporated the recent explosion in research technologies. The new research technologies now available allow measurement of diverse subtle changes in physiological and immunological function that couldn't previously be done before. The new technology is limited to research currently and not yet a part of clinical medicine or a part of our public policy.
There are new fields in this area called genomics, metabolomics and nutrigenomics that give new ways to diagnostics that someday will allow us to tell what children can handle vaccines and who would get the modified schedule.
Autism Speaks Prevalance Graph
Exposures affecting neuroexcitability and oxidative stress
Personalized Medicine and its Relation to Vaccines
Personalized medicine is directed at individual vulnerabilities and looks at genetics, parents health, and the health challenges of the particular child. Some children have more resilient than others. However, health policy currently treats all kids as if they were physiologically identical. There are new ways of designing studies and is greatly needed. This would help provide new ways of practicing medicine more personal for the patient.
A peer reviewed published paper on "vaccinomics" and "adversomics" is written by researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota, showing over time it is more effective and at the same time individualized approaches that still protect from infectious disease.
Dr. Herbert also recommends to talk to your doctor about modified schedules if you suspect vulnerabilities in your child or if you have Autism running in your family as they have have a predisposition to the disorder but under the right circumstances will not develop it unless it is "triggered".
Down the road the vaccine controversy needs to address both the serious risks of infectious disease AND the individual and population's health AND the "milieu". They will probably have to go beyond the current germ theory paradigm and develop a new model that is environmental and systems orientated. She believes that while pushing for safer vaccines, that mandating a safe and health food supply is equally as important. This helps create a non-toxic environment.
Herbert believes that "safer vaccines" should be rephrased as "incorporation of more sophisticated understandings of germ-physiology-immune-system-environmental interactions into healthcare practices and public policies so we can improve how to protect individuals as well as population of infections disease." However, there is more involved in Autism than JUST vaccines.
- Autism triggered by environmental conditions, not just genes, says studies - HealthPop - CBS News
Studies highlight increased risk for autism in fraternal twins that don't share genes, and in moms who take antidepressants Read more by Ryan Jaslow on CBS News' HealthPop.
- Autism Speaks: Environmental Factors Autism Initiative
Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.
- USC News: Autism Linked to Proximity to Freeways
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