Popular media reports on autism have not historically documented accompanying comorbid disorders.
CBS surprised me though...
In fact, CBS News has found nearly 1,300 cases in which vaccine-related brain damage has been compensated in court over the past 20 years. (From: Vaccines, Autism and Brain Damage, What's in a Name?)
Many have very recently pointed out that mitochondrial disease was proven the predisposing factor to exhibition of full blown features that resembled the clinical definition of autism in one child. That child's family accepted 1.5 million dollars, in July 2010, in order to settle their claim that vaccines caused regression - vaccines damaged their child. Reports show acceptance in the merits of the case with the claim being scientifically supported, according to our own government (link). This case, which was settled out of court proves the child's predisposition to damage from vaccines from mitochondrial disease.
The label of autism defines a condition evidenced by clinically exhibited features, of deficits and excesses that are present - but without verifiable cause. Autism is, however, many times accompanied by conditions that have a medically identifiable cause. An incomplete sample of the conditions are; mitochondrial disease or disorder, seizures, phenylkentonuria, congenital rubella, tuberous sclerosis, hypothyroidism, and hearing impairment.
There is overlap in diagnostic criteria for most illness labels; psychiatric and general medical condition labels. For instance, recently I heard about a person who was told their loved one died from Alzheimers, but after the autopsy they found out it was Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease. Or, I read about a mother who thought her child had autism, but it turned out to be severe allergy to milk. Both conditions are labeled based on clinical observation of behavior, because not all diagnosis are differential. Since so little is known about some conditions - diagnostic procedures like blood work, or imaging of some sort, have yet to contribute to a best practice part of diagnosing conditions like autism and Alzheimer's.
...Not all medical diagnoses are differential ones: some diagnoses merely name a set of signs and symptoms that may have more than one possible cause, and some diagnoses are based on intuition or estimations of likelihood.
A large group was recently denied victory with regard to claims that vaccination caused autism in their children. Peer reviewed science and research does not yet propose known causes of autism. How did the lawyers present each child's individual case within the group of so many? All that autism is right now, is a label based on clinical observation and clinical testing which is NOT associated with known physical cause. When I heard of the groups recent defeat, I immediately wondered...Were there autism affected children in the group - who had comorbid disorders that are associated with probability of damage from vaccination? Peer review does accept instances where vaccination is the cause for devastating neurological illness.
For this aforementioned group, it is as if the autism label was the tool used (the smoke screen) by the one rendering a decision to deny validity in a universal way to every single injury claim in the group - even though some claims may have been valid. The mediator excoriated the lawyers' failure for not furthering understandings in science and all I could think was - what about the mediator's own failure as one who needed to mediate upon all things true within this very complicated debate. The failure is a systemic one - and not solely contingent upon how a set of lawyers present their case. Even if the lawyers for this particular group hinged their bet a little too much upon the thermisol debate, there is known science with regard to vaccination effects that result in brain injury.
Cases where affected individuals are represented individually (instead of by group) seem to allow for better representation of the possible scientifc cause of damage. The most recent 1.5 million dollar award supports a family's claim of a child with mitochondrial disease experiencing detrimental worsening from vaccination. It is reported that one key to this family's victory was that they avoided emphasis on the autism label that their child recieved after her worsening - and instead pointed to what was identifiable in scientific terms and how injury was linked to vaccination.
A woman in England recently won an appeal with regard to damage her son suffered from MMR vaccination. He has a seizure condition. Reporting with regard to that story provided strong emphasis about the fact that the case was NOT about autism. Once again, as we all know - when you say autism, you haven't really said a thing anyway with regard to identifying a singular cause...according to peer reviewed standards.
Some find such comfort in presenting the idea that when a claim is proven against vaccination, it is due to misdiagnoses of autism. How many different ways can it be said - autism is a label that doesn't say anything and especially doesn't indicate cause for the features exhibited. That is why comorbid disorders that accompany autism are the biggest clue to finding out why the child exhibits features that point to neurological illness. Autism, in and of itself, IS a kind of misdiagnosis because we DO NOT know what causes exhibition of autistic features. Furthermore, the autism label is becoming the smoke screen that those in the medical community use in too general a fashion in order to deny the known risk of injury from vaccination.
MMR does present known and theoretical risk. Contains albumin; theoretical risk of transmission of CJD and viral diseases. (link) The statement is on drugs.com. Other indications are given, as far as reasons for opting out of the MMR vaccination.
Birth of Designer Cells, Human Residuals, Prion Disease & Autism provides highlights about some research and recent government concern with regard to theoretical risk of disease acquired from designer cells that are created for development of vaccination. The reason CJD is such a concern is because it has been transmitted in a variety of ways, changing the rules as it goes along.
From Birth of Designer Cells:...One source who lost a love one to CJD expresses a real life scenario from their neck of the woods, where...171 people have died of vCJD from infected meat, contaminated vaccines and blood donation. 18 blood donors have since died of vCJD and their blood was used to make 83,500 doses of polio vaccine for Ireland. It was also used to provide human albumin which is another blood product present in many vaccines. And, if this is true - we have a problem. The source points to the use of bovine serum in vaccinations and questions why it would not have been phased out in light of the BSE crisis. As of 2008, IPV vaccines, MMR 2, varicella, Rotateq oral rotavirus vaccine and Pediacel 5 in 1 vaccine all have bovine serum in them...(link)
The vaccination issue, in total, cannot be represented as fully vetted where safety and unintended consequences are concerned. Derisive statements about one or the other's ability to be right and wrong with regard to the issues, are not helpful and might hinder overall access to complete information. It is very fair to assume that there are children who have the label of autism, and also have comorbid disorder that can link vaccination, with scientific certainty - to an experience of detrimental worsening.
As an aside, the theoretical risk of CJD (a prion disease) from MMR vaccination is concerning, especially since some are looking into disorders like Alzheimer's and autism as having something in common with prion diseases. Most agree that vaccinations fall under the not always safe scenario, but then concede - that a few may fall so that many will have better health. This is a rare risks, versus lives saved scenario - that doesn't work as well for those who pay the higher cost due to their individual rarity that causes them to be one of the fallen. Another question becomes, at what point might the rare effects, become less rare?