Do All ‘DAN’ Doctors Practice the Same?

For most of my three and a half decade career, I practiced conventional medicine as fed to me by my medical school (Thomas Jefferson University), my specialty training (Emory University), my practices in Florida and throughout the US, and the drug companies’ detail salespeople. So, several years ago, when I found myself knee-deep in the Autism Spectrum Disorder epidemic, I sought traditional science and read the pediatric and neurologic literature that seemed appropriate. No answers there. In fact, a conspicuous vacuum.

January 20, 2011

Flu vaccine causing infant seizures; FDA to investigate

The Sanofi-Aventis flu vaccine known as “Fluzone” is causing febrile seizures in children, the FDA revealed yesterday. According to the FDA, 42 cases of seizures have been reported in children receiving the Fluzone vaccine. Most of the children suffering seizures are under the age of two.
The FDA went out of its way to claim that even though these children suffered seizures, they’re all fine now. “All children recovered and no lasting effects have been seen,” the FDA said…

Nearly all the reported seizures occurred within 24 hours after the children received the Fluzone vaccine…
…”At this point no correlation between influenza vaccine and febrile seizures has been established,” said Sanofi-Aventis
. “Adverse events after vaccination may be causally related to vaccine or may be coincidental.”

And finally, the coup-de-gras: Recommendations for the use of flu vaccine in children have not changed. CDC recommends that all persons ages 6 months and older receive a flu vaccine each year. Anderson Cooper, you had plenty to say about the “fake” research on autism. Where are you on this story? Brian Deer (Excavator of the latest Dr. Andrew Wakefield re-vilification), doesn’t this flu vaccine side effect story make you want to do research? CNN, CBS, ABC, The New York Times – you couldn’t wait to announce Popular Autism Diet Does Not Demonstrate Behavioral Improvement, which was a skimpy study which excluded the most susceptible patients from evaluation. GF/CF has yet to be associated with increased seizure activity. Fourteen autistic kids don’t improve from a month on a diet – that is considered newsworthy, yet 42 children (so far) who suffer convulsions requires further verification. Yo, American Academy of Pediatrics – knock knock – anyone home?

The complementary and alternative medical community known as “DAN” doctors came together as a result of a grass-roots movement within the general medical community. For the most it has been populated by physicians (among other professionals) who have been personally touched by the enigma of the disorder, who have similarly found a dead-end when it comes to general medical knowledge.

Skipping through the details – the Autism Spectrum Disorder community was shown a path which was created by traditionally-trained medical professionals. With the research by CARD that ABA plus biomedical intervention could have a positive effect on outcome, DAN doctors gained some respect. Skepticism from the traditional medical community is understandable. Their rebuke is unacceptable.

So, do we all practice the same way? Like other subspecialties in medicine, we have our differences. Some gastroenterologists scope, some ask you to swallow (barium). Some oncologists use radiation… you get the point. But we do have  common goals: 1) continue to alert the pediatric community to question why and diagnose autism as early as possible, 2) to notify the pediatric neurologists that diagnosis and referrals for OT, PT, S&L, ABA are not the only answer that the medical community has to offer a family in their journey to help their children and 3) to actually help ASD patients and their families.

Oh, and I have a lot more to write about concerning vaccine safety!

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