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SSRI Autism Roundup: New Concerns for a New Year

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Atlanta, GAThe Ohio Department of Health has been named in an autism lawsuit filed by the parents of a toddler stricken with the disorder. At issue is an alleged denial by the state of Ohio of federally mandated treatment options that the plaintiffs hold should be made available for their infant son. The lawsuit is but one example of the issues surrounding autism, and its potential causes.

A potential link between the emergence of autism in a child and the use of various SSRI-based antidepressants by a mother during pregnancy has been suggested by research. Not lost on researchers involved in a study published in 2011 in the Archives of General Psychiatry (7/11), is an increase in the prevalence of autism and autism spectrum disorders at the same time as a dramatic increase in the use of antidepressants??"up 400 percent in the last 20 years. The emergence of SSRI antidepressants has given doctors more medicinal options in the treatment of depression and depressive disorders, and their popularity is demonstrative by the dramatic increase in SSRI use.

SSRI autism, however, is an issue given that the most critical time for a fetus is within the first trimester of pregnancy??"a time when many women are not yet aware they have become pregnant. Autism lawyers claim that SSRI manufacturers should have thought of that, and should have been more forthcoming with the potential risks before lobbying the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval of autism drugs (in other words, drugs that have been linked to autism).

And now there is a concern with regard to vaccines and autism.

Vanguard (11/3/12) reports that studies done on infant monkeys have revealed a link between the emergence of autism symptoms and the application of standard vaccines. The research, identified as groundbreaking, was formally presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) at a symposium in London, England.

According to Vanguard, young macaque monkeys were administered a standard schedule of vaccinations that mirrored a vaccination schedule recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from the 1990s. Doses of the vaccines were appropriate to the participants' size and age.

The researchers found that monkeys inoculated with the vaccines developed symptoms associated with autism, while a control group of monkeys receiving no vaccinations developed no such symptoms.

There is little doubt that more research needs to be done??"especially given the fact that some SSRI drugs are used to actually treat the symptoms of autism. And a causal link between autism and use of SSRI antidepressants by the mother in her first trimester of pregnancy, while suspected, has not been conclusively established. However, such potential links to autism from SSRI antidepressants and now vaccines brings to the fore a concern for behavioral issues stemming from autism which prove especially stark in light of the recent massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

According to The Activist (12/22/12) there is a correlation between autism, medication and acts of violence. With regards to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, Adam Lanza was reported by multiple sources to have been suffering from Asperger's syndrome, which is a form of autism. While it is not known if Lanza's mother, who also allegedly died at the hands of her son, had taken autism medication such as an SSRI antidepressant while pregnant with Adam, a former babysitter told The Activist that Lanza had been taking medication since the age of 10.

The links between ssri and autism, according to The Activist, date back to the Columbine High School massacre in which Eric Harris was one of two teenage shooters responsible for the death of 13 individuals and the wounding of 23. Harris was known to have been taking SSRI antidepressants at the time. There are other examples of this, as evidenced by a sortable database maintained by SSRI Stories, a website that lists no fewer than 4800 incidents of suicide, violent crime and other incidents across the 23 years from 1988 through 2011.

Little wonder then, that an autism lawsuit, or any legal action involving allegations of disorders such as ssri autism potentially stemming from standard issue vaccines or SSRI antidepressants, takes on a more urgent tone in the wake of the horrific shooting in Connecticut.


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Posted by

Unless you have a medically documented reaction to a vaccine shortly after receiving it.... such as a rash, high fever, breathing problems and/or seizures for which you seek medical attention at a doctors office or preferably, hospital, and by shortly, ranging between a few days to a week, depending on the particular vaccine injury timetable, and resulting in lasting health problems, according to the VICP (Vaccine Injury Compensation Program) then you will not win in vaccine court. Moreover, no lawyer will take your case. All you can do is file a report with VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System).

Vaccines might have very well caused an encephalopathy (brain disorder) resulting in symptoms of autism but unless you have outward adverse reactions to a vaccine that are documented in time you will not win a dime. You have 3 years to file a claim.

Many people feel that the vaccine court needs to be reformed, that it is not fair to those suffering with internal injuries (encephalopathy) that did not manifest immediately as an adverse reaction to the vaccine and some believe the vaccine damage was cumulative over time. Here's to hoping science can improve to prove this and that the law changes as a result. Otherwise, you are out of luck.

Let's see what happens as a result of the recent autism hearing in Congress by held by the Government Oversight Committe. Was it all talk and no action. Maybe if new statistics come out showing greater than 1 in 88 have autism (and especially, moderate-to severe, low verbal to nonverbal autism) then maybe something will be done to speed up finding the cause(s) and provide better help to those suffering.

When there is no family history of autism and the DNA test results come back "normal" and the mother did not smoke, drink, or use drugs during pregnancy, that leads me to think the cause is environmental such as vaccines. What about all this GMO food. Has the CDC looked into that? I called them and they were aware of no studies. Also, no study has compared the rates of autism among vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children in the U.S. The CDC even admitted
that during the recent autism hearing. I wonder what effect past SSRI and other psychotropic drugs have on women's eggs? What about epigenetic effects? The underlying DNA could be "normal" but something environmental changes gene expression such as demylenation of brain neurons and alter mitochondria (cellular energy efficiency production).

In regard to vaccines, most people do not suffer serious adverse risks but some people do such as some people are allergic to some drugs or food or pollen and not others. Just because they say "no link" is proven does not mean it does not exist.... just as found "not guilty" in a court of law does not necessarily mean innocent.

I don't understand man can be sent to the moon in 1969 but we can't pinpoint what is causing cancer, autism, and all these health problems that seem more prevalent today than in the past. Look at what has changed in society and go from there and don't forget that greed is a corrupting factor to some, blinding others on the path for true answers. As they say, truth can be stranger than fiction. Wake up and smell the man-made chemicals. A lot of parents with severely autistic children wonder when they will catch up on sleep.

Independent studies need to be conducted so there is no bias.

Why is the American Academy of Pediatrics now declaring mercury in vaccines are safe? Are they now saying there is a small amount of mercury in vaccines injected into children that is safer than the amount a pregnant woman could eat in a can of tuna? What about the video of mercury destroying snail neurons in a petri dish upon contact? There is still mercury in some flu vaccines and some combination vaccines. Now they want more?? Why??

While there are well-meaning researchers out there, I don't recall any cures being found, just medications to manage symptoms, some drugs recalled, and more medications for the side effects of the first. I think the word "medication" has a somewhat condescending tone and prefer simply "medicine." I'm sorry if I can not articulate any better. I am so frustrated at the lack of better answers.

So if your child has an encepalopathy as a result of a vaccine(s) with no outward visible adverse side effects then you are sadly out of luck according to current law.... and remember law does not always "catch up" or follow the science such as loopholes and appeals to contend with. I apologize for lack of better explanation as I am not an attorney nor a scientist, just an often exhausted mom of two young sons with autism, trying to make sense of it all.

Posted by

The evidence to show a link between mother's taking SSRIs during pregnancy and their children having autism is the numbers. Too many direct cases to deny causation. Thats not to say autism which covers many forms including the one posted above couldnt be caused by other means.

Posted by

The evidence to show a link between mother's taking SSRIs during pregnancy and their children having autism is the numbers. Too many direct cases to deny causation. Thats not to say autism which covers many forms including the one posted above couldnt be caused by other means.

Posted by

In response to some of the comments here, the point of the article was to share a snapshot --hence the headline denoting that this is a "roundup"--of some of the autism-related news circulating relative to ssri's within the legal news arena. And yes, that includes, sadly, reference to recent events in Connecticut. (one of our most visited pages in the immediate aftermath of the CT massacre was related to SSRIs and violence--unfortunate as that might be, it is indicative of where public interest was at that time). has reported on autism-related litigation as well as the studies and debate that impact and surround any legal news discussion on the potential link between SSRIs, or vaccines, and autism for years; e.g., here is an article we ran in 2006:
We have never stated that there is a clear causal relationship between vaccines and autism, or between a mother taking an SSRI in her 1st trimester and her child then having autism--in fact, we have always stated that studies have been inconclusive and the debate continues. But that is the key element when discussing the topic in the legal arena: the debate continues.
The link that we have reported on is that which has been established between SSRIs and the potential for aggressive behavior or suicide;
We certainly recognize that autism, or more specifically its potential causes, is a hot-button issue in many circles, and it will continue to be. Likewise, where it crosses the line into becoming a potential issue within the realm of personal injury litigation, we'll keep reporting on it.

Posted by

Clearly the author has a very poor understanding of science.

Animals studies are regarded as one of the lowest forms of medical evidence. Mountains of human studies have demonstrated no link between vaccines and autism; that's why organizations such as the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics speak so confidently on this matter. And, as the previous commenter alluded to, the masque monkey study was done by known anti-vaccinationists. No conflict of interest there, of course.

Go and educate yourself by reading the Autism Omnibus findings.

And as for the link between the use of medications to treat the co-occurring symptoms of autism (eg anxiety and depression) and violence, what has that got to do with a mother (allegedly in this case) taking an antidepressant during pregnancy?! The two things are completely different issues.

SSRIs are extensively used in the autism community, as they are in the neurotypical community and last time I checked people were not shooting people left, right and center; certainly not in my country where we have gun control. How about going after the gun manufacturers instead?

One of the most ignorant pieces I've seen for a long time.

For the record I am a medical writer and the parent of a child with autism.

Posted by

If autism is caused by expectant mothers taking antidepressants, where did I get it? My mother was on no medication when she was pregnant with me. She also abstained from everything doctors told her to avoid. A better candidate for the cause is my father's genes. He would have been diagnosed if he had been born later. Dad is successful and law abiding. At twenty, there are still many paths my life could take, but I show every indication of going the same way.

This site is disgusting. The author is encouraging pseudoscience and the worst stereotypes of people like me to make a quick buck.

Posted by

"The researchers found that monkeys inoculated with the autism vaccines ..."

What, pray tell, is an "autism vaccine?"

That macaque monkey study was designed by Andrew Wakefield, BTW. Do you have any real evidence linking "autism vaccines" to autism?


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