A blood test for prenatal autism? What could possibly go wrong?

(UPDATE 1-20-15: The reporter from the San Diego Union-Tribune has contacted us to point out that, “contrary to the original article, the reporter has corrected the story to reflect that the test is not being promoted for use during pregnancy” as was previously attributed to the CEO of the company, Ms. D’Alvise. See his comment below or click here.)

Back in 2013, the UC Davis MIND institute put out some research into maternal antibodies and their association with autism:

“UC Davis MIND Institute researchers have identified the specific antibodies that target fetal brain proteins in the blood of a subset of women whose children are diagnosed with autism. The finding is the first to pinpoint a specific risk factor for a significant subset of autism cases, as well as a biomarker for drug development and early diagnosis. The researchers have named autism related to these antibodies “Maternal Autoantibody-Related,” or MAR autism.

The study found that the mothers of children with autism were more than 21 times as likely to have the specific MAR antibodies in their systems that reacted with fetal brain proteins, or antigens, than were the mothers of children who did not have autism. In fact, specific combinations of MAR antibodies were not found in the blood of mothers whose children were typically developing.”

From that research — or some variation of it — comes word of a new blood test that expectant mothers can take to find out if they’re at an increased risk of having an autistic child:

“A blood test for one of the most common forms of autism is due to be launched in the third quarter of 2015, San Diego’s Pediatric Bioscience said Wednesday.

The test identifies maternal antibodies that interfere with prenatal brain development, the company says. These antibodies are implicated in a form of autism spectrum disorder representing 23 percent of all cases. The test can help with early diagnosis or steer potential mothers toward alternatives such as surrogate pregnancy.

The antibody test delivers a false positive response just 1.3 percent of the time, making it highly predictive, said Jan D’Alvise, president and chief executive of privately held Pediatric Bioscience. D’Alvise spoke at the Biotech Showcase conference in San Francisco, an annual meeting of biotech investors and companies held concurrently with the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.”

If I were an unethical son of a bitch, I would invest heavily in this company because that test is going to sell like hotcakes at Pamela’s on a cold Pittsburgh morning.

I say unethical because the research looking into the maternal autoantibodies and autism didn’t come up with any causal association between the antibodies and the children’s autism. It’s an interesting theory that boils down to, “We found these antibodies in a lot of the women who had autistic children. Not all of them, but a lot of them. These antibodies seem to target the unborn fetus’ brain, so it stands to reason that they may cause some sort of damage that leads to autism.” It’s not their words, but it’s something that I’m hearing in my mind as I read their paper. It’s something I’m sure a reasonable person might interpret as a test that can predict autism. I feel it would be unethical for me to profit off of something so seemingly unnecessary.

This is troubling to me because autism is so often referred to as a “disease” or as “brain damage” by many people claiming to know more about autism than they do. It is also troubling because the research doesn’t seem to show any prediction for how “severe” or socially impairing the autism will be. The mother with the positive test has a higher-than-expected chance of having an autistic child, but the test will in no way predict the degree to which the child will be able to be part of society. There is the very real possibility that mothers (and fathers, but it’s the mother’s decision) will want to terminate the pregnancy out of fear of having a “brain damaged” child.

(I can feel my blood pressure rising at the thought of ignorant fools calling autistics “brain damaged.”)

The test only really tells a person that they have these antibodies. It doesn’t say whether or not the antibodies cause the autism. That’s why the researchers call them autism related antibodies, not autism causing antibodies. I don’t think from the research that they can make that claim. A similar argument could be made that autism is genetic, and that those genes are present in the mother and causing those autoantibodies to be produced by the mother. The genes are then passed on to the child and the child develops autism. In short, there is way too much that we don’t know about autism.

One thing we do know is that vaccines don’t cause autism, of course.

Here’s the weirdest part of it all: From Pediatric Bioscience, the makers of the test, we learn the recommended reasons for having the test done:

“The MAR antibody test should be ordered on three types of “at risk” women : 1) Women of child-bearing age who have already had a child with autism, 2) Mothers of young children in need of a diagnosis for their child’s perceived developmental delay, and 3) Women over the age of 30 who are at least 2 times more likely to give birth to an autistic child. Specifically, women in this group who are considering In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to become pregnant may want to consider taking the test before they proceed with the procedure. The MAR test is not intended for pregnant women or women who think that they may be pregnant.”

Read that last sentence and marvel at the contradiction from what Jan D’Alvise, president of the company marketing the test, said to the San Diego Union-Tribune:

“If a pregnant women gets a positive diagnosis, preparations can begin before birth to get the child into therapy if needed, D’Alvise said. Or a baby showing delays in development can be diagnosed faster if the mother tests positive.”

Which is it? Either the test is not to be done on pregnant women or it is. It is very possible that Ms. D’Alvise didn’t know that their website states that the test is not intended for pregnant women or that the website is outdated and their test is now to be used on pregnant women who think their unborn child may be autistic. Either way, the message is fuzzy on whether or not this test will be able to tell with 100% certainty that the unborn child (or any future children) will be autistic.

(UPDATE 1-20-15: The reporter from the San Diego Union-Tribune has contacted us to point out that, “contrary to the original article, the reporter has corrected the story to reflect that the test is not being promoted for use during pregnancy” as was previously attributed to the CEO of the company, Ms. D’Alvise. See his comment below or click here.)

The test is said to cost $1,000. No word on whether or not health insurance will pay for it, or what additional steps should be taken for a positive test. There is also no word on what the FDA has to say about this test. We’ll be on the lookout for their opinion. In the meantime, there’s a little something we need to talk about next time.

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65 thoughts on “A blood test for prenatal autism? What could possibly go wrong?

  1. I’m the reporter who wrote the story. I inaccurately said the test could be used during pregnancy. I have since corrected the story — please take a look. Would you please correct your own post? I feel responsible for spreading misinformation, and I know you don’t want to do the same.

    Best,

    Bradley

    • Did you misquote Ms. D’Alvise, hear her incorrectly, misread something she wrote? Or were you contacted by them to correct this since it goes against the recommendations on the test? I ask because there is something amiss if what a source is telling one of the writers of this blog is correct. Thank you.

      • Would it make a difference? You and the few angry posters here are unteachable. The reporter reaches out with integrity and admission of a mistake. Again, it opens no discussion to learn….only another angry challenge. I have takenabuse from lilady years ago. This has only been a reminder of how many roadblocks we have to genuine searches for answers.

        As far as investing our money and planning for our son’s future….we have it covered….thank you. When you have an extra half million you have worked incredibly hard for….please share your altruistic endeavors to help your near and dear. Otherwise, we are doing quite well without your financial advice.

        • “You and the few angry posters here are unteachable.”

          I agree, for the well educated, it’s impossible for one to teach ignorance.

          “please share your altruistic endeavors to help your near and dear. ”

          What you call angry, we call altruism. We prefer to not bury the young of our nation.

          BTW, I thought you said that you were done here.

          • Couldnt resist the opportunity to chime in at this point. Many confused and concerned readers do not post on these blogs, but do read them. I was one at one time, before I partcipated in finding answers. I want people to think for themselves and not join the ranks of angry people who follow others like sheep and their only stratedgy is to sling disgusting insults at others. I encourage others to do their research. Participate in the solution. Educate yourselves and adopt what fits the individual.

            • It’s a pity that you sought answers in places riddled with fallicious information.
              BTW, a small pet peeve is poor spelling, the word you wanted to use was strategy.
              As for seeking answers, to return to the point, seeking answers is fine when one uses peer reviewed sources. NIH has loads of resources available, all of which prove that vaccines do not cause the illnesses or claimed toxicities that are incessantly claimed by those who reject science.

        • Would it make a difference?

          Yes, it would make a difference. If the reporter just misheard or misremembered, then the fault is with them, not with the researchers. If the reporter heard and reported correctly, but was then later contacted by the researchers, that suggests that either the people he interviewed either made a gaff then or are trying to cover up their misdeeds now.

          So, yes, how the correction came about is important.

          • My point was, that how the error occurred did not matter. My point was, would it matter how the error occurred on how this discussion progressed. Probably not.

            Comments towards me are cruel and hostile. There are liberties taken in statements towards me as to my children’s lives, how we invest our money and the decisions we have made. However, I try to be as gracious as I possibly can to those attacks. The savvy reader will see them for what they are…..fear and ignorance. I hope it will spur others on to educate themselves. Thank you for this opportunity.

        • Let’s see… Although I don’t have a cool half million to waste away on unproven and more-than-likely unnecessary “cures” for autism, I have done several “altruistic endeavors to help” my “near and dear”. For example, I donated to the Autism Science Foundation in honor of 2014’s douchebag of the year, Dr. Bob Sears. In fact, I donate almost 20% of my income each year to many different charities. (Mind you, 20% of what I make as a lowly epidemiologist at a state health department is pennies compared to what you have wasted away in, seriously, stem cell therapy.) I’ve also been an author on several papers that have changed the course of epidemiology for the better. (Though, from your perspective, it’s probably for the worse.) And I’m just one of an X number of writers on this blog. The others have so much more altruism in their little finger than the whole of you put together, Jackie.

          Quick question, Jackie. When your child grows up and looks back on all the things you wasted money on and all the things you said, how do you think he will feel when he finds out you considered him “brain damaged” more so than what he really is, which is a variation of normal? How do you think he’ll feel that you are so heavily promoting a blood test that will more than likely force parents to abort autistic children just like him? Or how will the first two children feel that you devoted so much time and effort (because it took you some time today to come here and unleash yet another attack) instead of caring for all three of them?

          No need to answer, Jackie. It’s just food for thought.

        • “Would it make a difference? You and the few angry posters here are unteachable. The reporter reaches out with integrity and admission of a mistake. Again, it opens no discussion to learn….only another angry challenge. I have takenabuse from lilady years ago. This has only been a reminder of how many roadblocks we have to genuine searches for answers.”

          Really Jackie? What line of b.s. were you shoveling out, for me to respond to you?

          Give us some specific details about your efforts to “recover” your autistic child, by subjecting him to stem cell treatment.

          • I’ll tell you what….when you come out from behind the fake name and can be a real person and have a real conversation…we can talk. I am straight up open and honest. You can look me up…I have even provided links. I use my REAL name and hide behind nothing. Who are you? Myself and parents like me have been attacked by you regularly. You, wzrd1d1, and the author have taken liberties about the amount of money I make and how we spend it, whether or not we have planned for our children’s future, how I care for my children and on and on. Instead of having a conversation about the actual subject….you go on a personal attack. I hope the parents who read this will be savvy enough to discern the difference between the two of us. When you can provide a real name and your efforts to uncover answers….I will bring all of our information to you….at my expense. Now, there is a challenge for you.

            JACKIE MURPHY

        • Heh, whenever I’m about to make an assumption, I recall that episode of “The Odd Couple”. Needless to say, my assumptions are few and far between.

          • Hi Reuben,

            Would you please make the update at the top state explicitly that contrary to the original article, the reporter has corrected the story to reflect that the test is not being promoted for use during pregnancy? That is what I’ve done with my story so there is absolutely no doubt about what happened. I absolutely hate causing this fuss for no reason and inconveniencing all of you.

            Thank you for giving me the chance to respond.

            Best,

            Bradley

  2. I just realized that Jackie Murphy has a conflict of interest in defending this test. From what lilady posted, Jackie was one of the people whose blood helped further the ONE STUDY on which this test has been built. If the test works, then Jackie stands to benefit from it because it would prove that it’s nothing intrinsic that “caused” her child’s autism. If the test doesn’t work, then she’s back to square one and has wasted the half a million she claims to have spent. No wonder she’s here defending it so hard.

    • funny how I have not been allowed to respond. I have much more to share. I have realized with these posts how little you all have actually experienced. It is one thing to be book smart and yet another to walk the walk. I have done both.

      • I’m sorry, Jackie. I didn’t know I was supposed to immediately publish your inane comments or check the spam folder for them. Maybe you can email me on Facebook when you post so I can go look for them and publish them for you?

        Oh, wait. You’ve done that already.

        Go ahead and start a blog, Jackie. Spend whatever you want on figuring out who writes this blog. Remember to be thorough and make sure to have tons and tons of evidence. We love evidence.

    • Lilady, it’s supremely late for me, as I work midnight to 8 shift and it’s 1400 here now.
      Is the consensus that of further research is warranted, of minority or other view?
      My “feel” for it is, anything from 2.5% to 10% may have this etiology, at the end of the day of significant research.
      I’m usually right more often than I’m wrong, but then, when I’m wrong, it’s Sol is a black hole kind of wrong.
      So, it’d be interesting as a research tool. Useless as a diagnostic tool as a full body MRI, no, a lot less so.

  3. Regardless of whether or not you agree with Jackie Murphy, you are a complete asshole wzrd1. Yikes. That last paragraph you wrote to a complete stranger tells me that you are an unhappy person.

    • Danielle, you ought to look at the nasty comments Jackie Murphy posted, before you take on the comments made by another poster.

      Have you anything to add to this discussion…or are you just trolling?

      • Lilady, I’m a retired NCO from the US Army. Being called or even being an asshole is an occupational hazard.
        Now, I’m an information security professional, asshole is a job requirement. 😉

        I’m still awaiting the young lady’s replies to two comments.
        But, I need to go abed. It’s 1400 here and I should’ve been abed around 1000. I’m midnight shift, as none of my peers volunteered for it. I also volunteer for any shifts they miss, just to build a team. Doing good so far. They’re now sharpshootering me a bit.

    • Kiddo, I’m both extremely unhappy and extremely happy.
      Such is life here in the real world, where complex emotions are possible and reason is something some are capable of.
      As a father, grandfather, senior NCO and now information security professional, I thank my peer for the acknowledgement.
      The simple reality of it is, my arthritis makes me unhappy, life overall, makes me incredibly happy. My enjoyment of family, which is entirely mutual, is happy. My children love my advice, though it’s been suggested that I take my own advice in some matters and I’m re-evaulating my approach on those matters.
      My grandchildren love me, children overall love me.
      I have fed dik-dik by hand, something I wonder if any of the correspondents here could achieve.
      Don’t bother to try to figure me out, I’ve had enough psych courses to turn any attempt into used cat litter.
      Just accept that I’m being honest, save when I’m saying I’m lying for humorous effect.
      But, have you ever held a child as the child died? I have. It isn’t a wonderful experience, especially when it was preventable. I’ve personally experienced that far more often than I care to remember.
      To be honest, I wish I could forget.
      So, yes, I’m an asshole. Screw you with a wire brush.
      Children need to live to adulthood, not die of vaccine preventable disease.
      So, the only peace offering I’ll give is where you want to place the wire brush.
      For, if I’m an asshole, I’m the king of all assholes and you and she are my servants.
      Please see the wire brush bit.

      • An addendum:
        Some years ago, we were in a staff meeting. We invited our junior enlisted to prepare parts of the briefing, as we were training our replacements.
        One of my privates went in with a John Wayne attitude. He *knew* what he’d do on X, Y and Z. I cut him off at the knees telling him, “You don’t have a *clue* what you’d do. Sergeant, do you, a combat veteran know? Staff Sergeant, do *you*? Sergeant First Class, do *you*? My private knows.
        Son, you will never know when you’ll fold up. It is what it is.”
        He sputtered, gaffed, then ran from the room in tears.
        One combat peer stated, Sergeant, you were awfully hard on him.
        I replied, it’ll get him back home, won’t it?
        The room was silent, but all nodded the affirmative.
        The kid got back home alive, despite some command gaffes.

  4. I participate in this study. I encourage you to research the findings of a genetic variant the women who go on to develop these antibodies. I am included in that group. Our immune systems tend to over respond. I have two typical children prior to having my last son who is profoundly autistic. With my last pregnancy I had the flu shot. Every vaccine my son received after he was born created immune system problems and exacerbated health problems with my son. I do not take this subject or my assessment of the situation lightly. I practiced as a nurse before staying home with my children. You can google “Jackie Murphy Autism” to see what our family has participated in.

    • Let me get this straight. You had two neurotypical children and a third autistic. The only thing you remember changed with the third pregnancy is the flu vaccine, nothing else? You weren’t older or were exposed to other things? Your third is genetically identical to the first two, except for the autism? Did the first two get their vaccines? If so, how did they react? If not, why not?

      I’m thinking this is a “chicken and egg” situation, like in so many cases of recall bias. I mean, I’d like to believe you, but I’m skeptical when you only mention the flu vaccine as the one and only thing that was different between your pregnancies.

      • i think you need to do a little more homework, my friend. Genetically identical would be identical twins. Funny you say that. I have an identical twin. We drew her. She is negative. not a surprise….I have been exposed to something she was not. The vaccine program is one size fits all. We approach everyone the same way with this medical intervention. We don’t all respond the same way. Educate yourself. I can assure you….my third is not genetically the same as my first two….Science 101.

      • http://archneur.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1182176

        Read this. Consider an immune system difference genetically. Then, consider stimulating that immune system in pregnancy. Then we can talk. I have lived it. I am a registered nurse. We have paid out of pocket for 1/2 million in blood studies and research and intervention for our son that would never have been given had we not worked for it. Our latest intervention is stem cell. Best thing we have ever done. What an education it has been for this registered nurse who lapped up all the CDC and pharmaceutical companies had to offer. Consider your arrogance towards me….my research has been outside my comfort zone. It has been earned by our literal blood, sweat and tears.

        • I’m calling bullshit on several grounds.
          First, there is no R.N. in this nation that could spend one half million dollars on anything. Period.
          Second, an “intervention” of “stem cell”, stem cell what? Stem cell mast cells?
          Finally, “What an education it has been for this registered nurse who lapped up all the CDC and pharmaceutical companies had to offer.” I call bullshit supreme, which is bullshit on rye and it is not a Reuben. A Reuben is notable for its lack of excrement, but also notable for beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut.
          But, thank you for providing bullshit that is far, far, far outside of my comfort zone. May you actually begin to perspire blood, mixed with sweat and bloody tears, courtesy of hantavirus.

          BTW, if you think I have a low opinion of you, you’re pale by comparison. The depths of contempt that I feel for you is unplumbed by human technological capabilities.

          • You do not take into account my husband’s income. Your response is immature and uneducated. Something our family has become used to by the ignorant. You can have the bullshit on rye. As for us…who have experienced the troubles of severe autism….we will move forward seeking educated answers. We will offer what we know, and ask nothing back. We will be forthcoming with what our hard work and hard earned good fortune has provided for us to look for answers. We do not enjoy seeing our son suffer, and hope to give answers to others who are experiencing the same thing.

            • What is it that you are doing….wzrd 1says….to find answers to the struggles of these families? I dare you to match our endeavors.

            • “Your response is immature and uneducated.”

              Not really, my response is driven by the sheer mass of bullshit being promulgated by idiots who think that correlation equates to causation. Indeed, your claim for authority is your BS in nursing and a half million dollars wasted on “blood studies and research and intervention for our son”, with no conclusions described for the results in “blood studies and research and intervention”.
              You then proclaim your son is suffering, which is interesting, as suffering is a highly variable term. In what way is your son suffering? Is he suffering due to your ill advised “interventions”? Is he suffering due to your intolerance for his different range of neurodivirsity?
              Here’s a challenge for you. Try using facts, rather than overly broad statements.
              Give ranges of values observed in the blood tests. Show peer reviewed research. Show proved “interventions”.
              You know, leave the bullshit in the meadow, where it belongs.

              Now, for maturity, I’m a grandfather and an information security professional. I’m also a retired Special Forces medic. Needless to say, I’m rather well educated and interact with many professionals quite well.
              But, as an information security professional, I have another characteristic, that of being a professional asshole. When someone slings bovine defecation, I sling it back and tell them to get it right and include facts, rather than feces.
              So, the ball is back in your court. Do come back with lab values, diagnosis from a medical professional, you make rather wild claims. As such, you have a rather steep burden of proof to provide.

              • I readily invite you to come visit us a day in our home…and in our shoes. come and thumb through our labs…. Your arrogance is astounding. You can google our names and our journey to prove we are authentic. What have you to offer? I will go up against you and your claims any time and any day!!! Bring it!! Let’s go. Other than that….I will entertain you no longer

                • In other words, “I have facts, but I won’t reveal them”.
                  As for not entertaining me, you’ve failed to do so throughout our entire encounter.
                  As I said above, present the lab work to prove your claims.

                  • Please do. Understand this. Autism is diagnosed on behavioral characteristics. It has not been the standard of care in our community to investigate the underlying cause of the behavior. Instead we send these kids for therapy or medicate them. If the underlying cause of the behavior is determined then it can be treated or prevented in the future. The word autism is one big umbrella to fit certain behaviors. Think about it.

            • You cannot cure autism, Jackie. Sorry that you have been fed those lies. Someone mafe a ton of money off of you. Accept your child the way they are, or walk away from them now before you hurt them for not being who you want them to be.

        • But has it earned you a degree conferred by an institution of higher learning? Because you can do all the research you want, without a degree or some third party to give you credit for your work, all you’ve done is confirm your bias. Also, I am not your goddamned friend.

          • http://fox40.com/2013/07/11/uc-davis-researchers-make-autism-breakthrough/

            http://www.thetakeaway.org/people/jackie-murphy/

            There you go. No degree…but this might prove I put the work in. I don’t get the anger from people like you. Our family is seeking out the facts. We participate in the research. We are helping look for answers. I usually don’t write responses on these kind of articles and this is why. I see people like you as trouble makers playing Monday morning quarterback. Some of us are actually putting the genuine effort in.

            • Let me write it slowly so you may understand it, Jackie: THERE. IS. NO. CURE. FOR. AUTISM.

              Autism is a developmental delay. Children will reach their milestones early, on time, or late. Autistics will reach them late. They may not reach all of them, but they will continue to develop. That is not a sign that a “cure” works. Half a million dollars was wasted when it could have been used to accommodate your child so that he or she could be happy, maybe even productive in the utilitarian sense of the word. But you’re wasting it on trying to find a cure where THERE. IS. NO. CURE.

              In the blog post, which you don’t seem to have read, we explained that this whole business with the antibodies is a chicken-or-egg problem because the immune system is ruled by genes, and said genes can trigger the autoimmune antibodies. It is only a correlation that the antibodies are present in some (NOT. ALL.) women who have autistic children. There is no evidence so far that the antibodies really do cause “brain damage” and that the “brain damage” could cause autism.

              I’m sorry if the maternal-antibody-related (NOT. CAUSED.) stuff gave you some hope that maybe your child could have been avoided, or that you see your child as something that needs to be fixed through what I’m sure are invasive diagnostics and therapies. Stem cell treatment for autism is illegal in the United States. So, Jackie, where are you exposing your child to this illegal treatment? Costa Rica? Mexico? China? Cuba?

              And here, I’ll cite my sources: http://www.autismsciencefoundation.org/what-is-autism/autism-diagnosis/beware-non-evidence-based-treatments | http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/cracking-down-on-stem-cell-tourism/

              Can anyone tell me what half a million in a well-managed money market account could yield over the lifetime of a child? Because it seems to me like that would have been a much better investment to make sure an autistic child is taken care of for a lifetime than to submit them to CURES. THAT. DO. NOT. WORK.

              • Erm, Reuben, the alleged postulate of immune mediated fetal brain damage would *not* be autoimmune, as a fetus is a foreign body by nature and is protected by several placental mechanisms.
                That said, the roots of all immune responses are genetic, both innate and adaptive immunity.
                So, that all said, I’d not lose a moment’s sleep to hear a few million actually studied if some cases were caused by maternal antibodies, for if true, we could find drugs to bind those antibodies.
                I find it dubious, but in biology, many things considered impossible eventually prove true, so some modest studies could illuminate if more study is required or if this is a blind avenue.

                That all said, once damage is done, the damage cannot be undone. The brain cannot be repaired, stem cells magic cells, magic beans, it can’t be undone. That would be magic. You might as well suggest a brain transplant!

                Still, if mommy really cares for her son and hates seeing “him damaged”, my wife and I would happily take him in and care for him. At least we won’t torture him with quackery.
                And for some strange reason, I and my wife rather interact well with severe autistic people. Strange, not due to my wife, who worked with mentally challenged children before we were married, but due to my military history.
                But then, I’ve also hand fed dik-dik, a gazelle tiny enough that a house cat could fell one.
                But then, I’m gentle by nature, my wrath is raised when harm is visited upon a child. Then, a chaplain once said to me, “There is the wrath of God, then there is you. It seems that the almighty took the day off there, but left things in good hands.” I’m not especially proud of that occasion, but that ire was well and truly earned by real terrorists. I work very, very hard to repress that part of me.
                The majority of me is this: One who declined membership in MENSA, over a fundamental disagreement with part of their charter.
                My totality is that of being one that is glad to be underestimated and design my behavior in that manner. I’m a bit sharper than a sharpening stone, indeed, sharper than the end product of a 6000 grit stone. I also have a great deal of education, but no degree over a fundamental disagreement over wasting credits on humanities in hard science degrees. I converse well with PhD holders, B.S. degree holders, have conversed with fellows in their discipline intelligently, ranging from high energy physics to medicine. My comprehension of pharmacology is excellent. My diagnostic capabilities has been positively remarked upon by dozens of physicians, including specialists.
                So, believe me, if you piss me off enough (you’re near there, young lady), I’ll bury you with peer reviewed citations. What you proclaimed to be a lack of research into the causes and mechanisms of autism was yet another bullshit on rye, as a three second search in pubmed showed.
                Your R.N. proclamation, then admitting to holding no degree and the age suggested in your child proves further bullshitting on your part. Lilady can correct the date, but as I recall, it’s been around 30+ years since an RN could acquire that certification without a bachelors degree. Although, I do admit to a restriction upon that knowledge based upon the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the US military.

                • Erm, Professor Wzrd, the blood test in question looks for “autoantibodies.” (Read the description of the test.) Anyway, I figured out why it’s not adviseable to get the test while pregnant. The body tones down the immune system during pregnancy because there is a foreign body in the uterus. Testing for antibodies, especially any IgM antibodies which are first reaponders, would yield a high percentage of false negatives. Notice how the test manufacturers don’t mention the false negative rate.

                  • Figured you’d pick up maternal immune down-modulation.
                    It’s key to to survival, period.
                    I will admit, I didn’t read the bullshit paper, I was doing the work thing, which fully occupied my time, save when a report was running that I’d have to analyze.
                    So, is this test an Ig based test? If so, it’s as good as a hay fever test.
                    If not, variably so, depending upon the family of antibody.
                    So, either I misread entirely what you wrote, or you went off half cocked, as I did recently.
                    My fatigue and dyslexia makes it a bit of a challenge to review my own notes at this sleep absent juncture.

                    Though, I’ll admit to some really great annoyance in some tests on my wife, who is now known to suffer from lupus.
                    More annoying, I show some weak activity for ANA. Which matches with my Raynaud’s issues and some other issues.
                    We’ve signed up for full body transplants, so that we’re first on the list. 😉
                    Or as Ren said, we’re a “train wreck, in medical terms”.

                    Life sucks, but it sure beats the alternatives.

                    • I may have gone off half-cocked. I’ll read the paper for comprehension, but I think we have the gist of it from what lilady posted. On its face, the whole thing makes no sense.

                    • I disagree. There is a very slight chance for a modest portion of autistics that such is potentially possible.
                      It may well also inform other gestational issues of immune response that could also be prevented in a loss of a live birth.
                      So, research is needed, save is research has been conducted.
                      The “test” is bullshit on rye, calling itself a Reuben, which is objectionable to myself for enjoying such a sandwich and for yourself, for your chosen name.

                      Regardless, it’s stupid o’clock for me. I *really* need to go abed.
                      I do hope to continue this, with a fuckton of facts posted here, when I get up at insane o’clock for most of you. Deadman shift sucks, but one builds a team upon sacrifice and good example.
                      Good morning.

                • Jackie Murphy could have attended a nursing school affiliated with a hospital to sit for her Registered Nurse boards…or a community college which awards an associate degree (AS-Nursing).

                  – lilady, R.N., BSc-Nursing

              • Do you really expect a reply from Jackie, Reuben? She states she is a Registered Nurse, yet she is unable to understand that stem cell transplants in filthy, unregulated offshore clinics will not “recover/cure” her autistic child. It’s also a form of child abuse.

                Jackie and her husband should consult an attorney to set up a “Special Needs Trust” for her child, which gets funded upon their deaths, with assets from their estates.

            • It’s interesting. *Everyone* here, save one, has been entirely truthful in regards to education and certifications.
              Save one, who proclaimed she is an R.N., but holds no degree and hence, is not a Registered Nurse.

              Now, here is a really, really good idea. Stop bullshitting. Start speaking truthfully, give evidence to support your disputed claims.
              One claim you offered was so much bullshittery as to outdo the US Congress throughout our nation’s history! That no research has been conducted on the cause, mechanism and biological processes of autism. Three seconds on promed showed more studies than I have time to consider copy/pasting here, more are available on other sites and all are peer reviewed.
              One thing I’ve learned in life, peer review is a savage process. Peers love nothing better than to tear to ribbons the study conducted by a peer. The submitting peer both loves it and hates it. The work largely or entirely surviving makes them love it, seeing their hard work savaged makes them hate it.
              In my work, we use continual peer review, as one mistake creates a gap in a government network that *will* be capitalized upon.
              For me, it’s a challenge I enjoy, as I’m also dyslexic. Thankfully, that was recognized early and a *lot* of training ensued, mostly from my mother.
              But then, I love challenges.
              That’s why I’m interacting with you.
              Someone who has solidified my opinion of as being an asshole.
              That’s fine, I’m well acknowledged as being an asshole myself, both by our now grown children and by my junior enlisted. At times, it’s a valuable asset.
              When unrecognized, it’s a liability.
              An asshole will crush opposition, in a forum such as this, that requires facts posted in abundance to crush well informed opposition. You’ve entirely refrained from that, making you a junior asshole.
              I was a senior NCO, I’m also an information security professional, that makes me a king asshole. I bury opposition with trainloads through boatloads of facts, citations and general commonsense abstracts “goobered” down for the non-information security professional to comprehend. That was distilled from years in SF training villagers in good sanitation, why vaccines are cool and well, helping them to live a longer life and their children living to reach adulthood. That last is a collection of my finest memories. My horrific memories either involved warfare or villages rampaged by vaccine preventable disease that filled far, far, far too many tiny graves. Each child laid to rest looked to me as my own children. Later, my grandchildren.
              Ever been to a village in the third world when a simultaneous epidemic of polio and measles was rampant? I was, it still haunts my dreams.
              So, my intellect, my knowledge, my horrific experiences all inform my rather poor interaction with you. I’m doing my very best to avoid ad hominem on you and to be brutally honest, it’s as great an effort as when dealing with those village chiefs.
              But then, you’re better educated than they. You are patently not a true idiot, just ill informed and advised and that information and advice was reinforced. In short, a product of conditioned response.
              Something that was documented to be that which I’ve been immune to. The documentation was from basic training. My finest weapon was and remains singular. It has a high caliber, but it’s not a mass launcher, it’s my mind. Use that weapon first, one needs only rarely a physical weapon.

        • And Jackie, wouldn’t the immune system be more stimulated if you actually contracted influenza during your pregnancy…rather than protecting yourself and your developing fetus with a seasonal influenza vaccine?

          You’ve spent $ 500,000 on “blood studies and research and interventions? Would you care to provide some specifics/costs breakdowns for those items?

    • I took your advice and I did “google” your name. Look what I came up with; an interview with the Media Editor of Age of Autism where you express your extreme dissatisfaction that a reporter, Liz Szabo from USA Today, didn’t feature you and your “research” against vaccines, in her article.

      http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/07/the-truth-about-liz-szabo-and-usa-today-re-autism-coverage.html

      Here’s another post from another contributor at Age of Autism, Theresa Conrick, which features your belief that the influenza vaccine you received during your pregnancy and vaccines provided to your child, are implicated in the onset of autism:

      http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/07/maternal-antibodies-and-autism.html

      None of the editors and none of the contributors at Age of Autism are qualified to research vaccines or qualified to analyze existing research. Ms. Conrick’s published research on a variety of topics is discussed here:

      http://shotofprevention.com/2015/01/07/dr-harrison-explains-why-teresa-conrick-of-age-of-autism-is-wrong-about-genetic-research-and-autism/

        • FUCK! I forgot to get the influenza vaccine again when I went to the pharmacy to pick up meds.
          Please excuse me while I engrave it upon my forehead with an anvil…
          Back again, need a new anvil.
          Dammit, it takes two weeks for he thing to work and we’re well into swing here with the flu. It’s been highly lucrative, as I take OT for those calling out.

          Just wrote a note to asshole, “Get Flu Shot!!!”.
          Yeah, I’ve been working *that* many hours, three doubles the latter part of the week.
          But, that is the price I’m paying for team building…

          • But, but, the vaccine is only 23% effective. Why would you want it? If it’s not 100% safe and 100% effective, you shouldn’t get it.

            I hope you know I’m joking.

            • I’ll only reply as such:
              ROFLAMO!
              Save for one sparse sob of despair. :/
              For, I’m well known to also forget that written note in the pocket.

              But then, the H1N1 my wife and I contracted did suck enough to suggest my one out of three operational brain cells work to get the vaccine.
              Taking six months to become effectively mobile and a year to become somewhat vocationally capable sucked.
              A *lot*. Supremely enough to not want to live through it ever again.

        • Jackie also implicates the vaccines her child received during early childhood as causing the child’s autism.

      • For clarification. I hold a degree as an RN. I have not earned a degree in autism research which was the question asked. We participate in the studies to help further research. We are not compensated any more than any other family who participates. We do not stand to profit off of any tests.

        As far as the interview to USA Today, I state my purpose of traveling to give that interview. I wanted her to realize some of the health issues our children have. I shared with her our medical findings and labs. As stated in the article, I am not anti-vaccine. That remains true today. However, I do think we need to take into account that genetically we are not all the same. Perhaps this needs to be researched more carefully regarding vaccine administration.

        As far as your statement about me expressing extreme dissatisfaction with not having our story shared, that is also incorrect. I stated having our story shared was not the purpose of our visit…..feel free to reread it. My concern was with quotes from Ms. Szabo and a very simple coverage of studies being done.

        Thank you for your time. I am finished with this conversation. It has reminded me how much needs to be understood in science, medicine and the community on this issue.

        • Except that…the research has been done. There is no proof that vaccines, the ingredients in vaccines, the spacing and timing of vaccines or the combinations of vaccines is any way implicated in the onset of ASDs…or any other developmental disorder or whatever crackpot disorder or disease you and your ilk come up with.

  5. What the test is good for is a starting point for real scientific study. For, correlation does not equate with causation, but correlation can lead to an area to study and learn more about various poorly understood processes.
    And let’s face it, that is what this would be useful for; a research tool.
    I’d also be quite interested in what the FDA has to say about this proposed “diagnostic test”, when the knowledge isn’t present to support such a test.

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