Tag: autism

Tribeca Film Festival

VAXXED and the Tribeca Film Festival: How Robert De Niro learned the hard way about Andrew Wakefield and the antivaccine movement

Disgraced antivaccine doctor, Andrew Wakefield, managed to pull another fast one. His antivaccine propaganda film, VAXXED, was mysteriously accepted for a screening at the Tribeca Film Festival. It turns out that TFF co-founder Robert De Niro had pulled some strings. The well-deserved backlash provides yet another example of how Andrew Wakefield discredits everything he touches.

/ March 28, 2016

Neurotribes: A Better Understanding of Autism

What is autism? What causes it? Is it genetic? Is it a consequence of something in our environment or lifestyle? What’s an “idiot savant” or an “autistic savant”? What happens when autistic children become adults? Why are so many of their parents scientists, academics, and engineers? If your grandfather’s Uncle Fred was a socially inept inventor with a lot of strange quirks,...

/ December 22, 2015

Antidepressants and Autism

A new study looking at the correlation of antidepressant use during pregnancy and the development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been making headlines. While the results are likely significant, they are not as worrisome as the headlines may suggest. The study: strengths and weaknesses Overall the study design is solid. They followed 145,456 singleton full-term infants for a total of 904,035.50...

/ December 16, 2015
You want to inject me with vaccines and then dissect my brain? Why? We already know vaccines don't cause autism!

Antivaccine activists fund a study to show vaccines cause autism. It backfires spectacularly.

Having written about pseudoscience and quackery continuously for over a decade and having engaged in conversations about it online for over 15 years, I’ve come to recognize a number of traits that are virtually the sine qua non of quacks and pseudoscientists and their believers. Obviously, one of them is a severe case of the Dunning-Kruger effect, a tendency of those with...

/ October 5, 2015
Second Republican debate

Donald Trump and the dangerous vaccine politics of the 2016 Presidential race

At the second Republican debate of the 2016 election cycle, Donald Trump parroted antivaccine pseudoscience, and Ben Carson walked back his previously strong support for vaccine mandates. Earlier in the campaign, Rand Paul blamed vaccines for "neurologic injury," and Chris Christie briefly pandered by questioning vaccine mandates. What's going on here? Is the Republican Party becoming the antivaccine party?

/ September 21, 2015
Medical marijuana for autism? Where's the evidence?

Medical marijuana as the new herbalism, part 4: Cannabis for autism

Medical marijuana. It’s promoted as a seeming panacea that can cure whatever ails you. While there are potentially useful medicinal compounds in marijuana, in general the medical marijuana movement vastly oversells the promise. Nowhere is this more true than for cancer and autism, where there is no compelling evidence that cannabis cures cancer. Worse, parents are subjecting autistic children to cannabis with...

/ August 3, 2015

GcMAF and the life and death of an autism quack

[Editor’s note: This is an extra bonus post that has appeared elsewhere. This week’s post will appear in several hours.] A mysterious apparent suicide and conspiracy theories Three weeks ago, those of us who combat the antivaccine movement noted the then-very recent death of an autism quack and antivaccinationist (but I repeat myself) who’s been big in the “autism biomed” movement for...

/ July 19, 2015
SB 277 protests

The war in California over nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates

California is about to pass a law that would eliminate personal belief exemptions to school vaccine requirements. The antivaccine movement is losing its collective mind over it. Let's just say that Holocaust analogies are flying fast and furious.

/ June 15, 2015
Edward_Armitage_-_Julian_the_Apostate_presiding_at_a_conference_of_sectarian_-_1875 full

A journey to alternative and integrative medicine apostasy

WIRED posted a story about Jim Laidler recently discussing his movement away from autism biomed and back to science. It's a good story, that deserves sharing, and explores many of the motivations people have for embracing alternative medicine.

/ May 4, 2015

Still No Association Between MMR and Autism

A new study published this week in JAMA, “Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status Among US Children With Older Siblings With and Without Autism”, puts one more nail in the claim that the MMR is associated with autism. You may wonder why, after years and multiple studies showing no association between the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) there would...

/ April 22, 2015