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Research Suggests Many Diagnosed With ADHD May Not Actually Have A “Disorder”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The fact that ADHD is diagnosed strictly on behavioural characteristics and not brain imaging or other science means that many who have this label don't formally have a neurodevelopmental disorder.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is medication the only resort to combating the symptoms of ADHD? Why are other interventions, like meditation, dietary changes, a change in lifestyle/environment never really discussed or emphasized?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD, has become an epidemic. According to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviours (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.

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They go on to state that it’s normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. “However, children with ADHD do not just grow out of these behaviours. The symptoms continue, can be severe, and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends.”

The CDC claims that children with ADHD might daydream a lot, forget or lose things a lot, squirm or fidget, talk too much, have a hard time resisting temptation, have trouble taking turns, and make carless mistakes or take unnecessary risks. But are these really symptoms of a serious “neurodevelopmental disorder?”

Is This Science-Based?

It’s not as if children are taken into the lab and have their brains scanned to determine if serious brain abnormalities exist. ADHD is diagnosed purely off of behaviour, and there may be something very wrong with diagnosing someone with neurological abnormalities simply baed on observation, instead of actual science. Who is to say that the behaviours listed above are not those of a normal child, or even a normal adult, especially within a school or work environment that does not seem to be foster a human being’s natural state? Perhaps the person or child in question doesn’t actually have neurodevelopmental problems, but is simply responding appropriately to the environmental that they find themselves in?

There is hardly any evidence suggesting that there is a neurological problem, as is often expressed by the medical industry. There are studies, however, that do show differences. For example, one of the largest imaging studies of ADHD to date recently identified differences in five regions of the brain, with the greatest differences seen in children rather than adults.

It’s important to note here the the brain of a child is still developing, and that the structure is not permanent and continues to develop until early adulthood.  More than 3,000 people diagnosed with ADHD had an MRI compared to controls, to measure the volume and the size of seven regions of the brain that were thought to be linked to ADHD–the pallidum, thalamus, caudate nucleus, putamen, nucleus accumbens, amygdala, and hippocampus. The study found that overall brain volume and five of the regional volumes were smaller in people with ADHD — the caudate nucleus, putamen, nucleus accumbens, amygdala and hippocampus.

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“These differences are very small — in the range of a few percent — so the unprecedented size of our study was crucial to help identify these. Similar differences in brain volume are also seen in other psychiatric disorders, especially major depressive disorders.”–Dr Martine Hoogman, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.(source)

Smaller brain regions do not equate to a neurodevelopmental disorder or a lack of brain functioning though. This is simply an assumption. As with depression, where 6 decades of research that serotonin (or norepinephrine, or dopamine) deficiency is the cause of depression and anxiety, scientific credibility has not been achieved. This is well known. A New England Journal of Medicine review on major depression stated:

” … numerous studies of norepinephrine and serotonin metabolites in plasma, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid as well as postmortem studies of the brains of patients with depression, have yet to identify the purported deficiency reliably.”

Despite this fact, drugs are being prescribed that alter brain chemistry based on the prevailing unsubstantiated ‘theories’ regarding several ‘mental disorders.’ Here is an eye opening quote regarding the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders:

“[DSM-V] is a wholesale imperial medicalization of normality that will trivialize mental disorder and lead to a deluge of unneeded medication treatment – a bonanza for the pharmaceutical industry but at a huge cost to the new false positive patients caught in the excessively wide DSM-V net.”–Allen Frances, DSMIV Taskforce Chair (source)

Financial Ties With Big Pharma

Speaking of the DSM, American psychologist Lisa Cosgrove and researchers have investigated financial ties between the DSM panel members and the pharmaceutical industry. She published her research in the journal Plos OneThe study found that, of the 170 DSM members who sat on panels of ‘mood disorders,’ ‘schizophrenia’ and other psychotic disorders, most of them had financial ties to drug companies. The connections were especially strong in those diagnostic areas where drugs are the first line of treatment for mental disorders:

The revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), scheduled for publication in May 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), has created a firestorm of controversy because of questions about undue industry influence. Some have questioned whether the inclusion of new disorders (e.g., Attenuated Psychotic Risk Syndrome) and widening of the boundaries of current disorders (e.g., Adjustment Disorder Related to Bereavement) reflects corporate interests. These concerns have been raised because the nomenclature, criteria, and standardization of psychiatric disorders codified in the DSM have a large public impact in a diverse set of areas ranging from insurance claims to jurisprudence. Moreover, through its relationship to the International Classification of Diseases, the system used for classification by many countries around the world, the DSM has a global reach.

Psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Carlat has said:

“And where there is a scientific vacuum, drug companies are happy to insert a marketing message and call it science. As a result, psychiatry has become a proving ground for outrageous manipulations of science in the service of profit.”

Questioning The System

Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), also considered one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, said the following:

It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. (source)

Here is another great quote:

“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”–Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard professor of medicine and former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Medical Journal  (source)

A very interesting and uncharacteristic article in the New York times titled The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder raised awareness about this issue in 2013. The article discusses efforts to expose the manufacturing of a “profit driven machine into which our children are being fed.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the diagnosis had been made in 15 percent of high school-age children, and that the number of children on medication for the disorder had soared to 3.5 million from 600,000 in 1990.

Behind that growth has been drug company marketing that has stretched the image of classic A.D.H.D. to include relatively normal behavior like carelessness and impatience, and has often overstated the pills’ benefits.

According to Kelly Brogan, MD, psychiatrist:

Psychiatric studies funded by pharma are 4x more likely to be published if they are positive, and only 18% of psychiatrists disclose their conflicts of interests when they publish data.

Psychiatry is particularly susceptible to industry corruption because of the highly subjective, non-biological, impressionistic nature of diagnostic criteria. With our “governing body” the American Psychiatric Association heavily funded by pharmaceutical companies, the temptation is all too great to open the diagnostic umbrella to encompass behavioral criteria like “makes careless mistakes” or “often has difficulty waiting his or her turn.”

Looking At ADHD Differently

What about other aspects of ‘ADHD’ that are never really emphasized? Recent work in cognitive neuroscience shows that people with an ADHD diagnosis and creative thinkers have difficulty suppressing brain activity that comes from the “Imagination Network.” This suggests people with ADHD might have differences in parts of the brain that actually makes them ‘superior’ in many ways, but it’s information that pharmaceutical companies can’t make a profit off of.

Currently, there are no school assessments to evaluate creativity and imagination. The fact remains,  people who show characteristics of ADHD are more likely to reach higher levels of creative thought and achievement compared to those who don’t show these characteristics.

“By automatically treating ADHD characteristics as a disability– as we so often do in an educational context– we are unnecessarily letting too many competent and creative kids fall through the cracks.”–Scott Barry Kaufman, Scientific Director of The Imagination Institute in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. (source)

Scrutinizing ADHD Treatment

A longitudinal NIMH study, the only one of its kind, demonstrated that after an initial decrease in ADHD symptoms, at three years, there was deterioration in the medicated group, and by six, worse attentional and behavioral symptoms than unmedicated controls, and increased functional impairment. Despite claims that stimulant side effects are “generally mild,” data accumulated by psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin has demonstrated quite the opposite. He cites studies that demonstrate concerning risks for:

  • Motor and vocal tics
  • Addiction, withdrawal and rebound
  • Growth suppression
  • Adverse cardiovascular effects
  • Mania, suicidality, psychosis

A study by Nasrallah et al in which more than 50% of young adults treated with ADHD medication experienced PET-confirmed brain atrophy, concluding “cortical atrophy may be a long-term adverse effect of this treatment.” In rhesus monkeys, Wagner et al demonstrated long-term changes to dopamine levels and receptor density, related to compensatory changes the brain undergoes in the setting of chronic intoxication. Subjects abstinent from stimulants for three years were found to have persistent dopamine-related brain changes on PET scans, related to Parkinsonian pathology.

That being said, many people have reported success with medications, but could this be placebo?

Alternatives

Dr. Kelly Brogan sees pharmaceutical intervention for symptoms of ADHD as very harmful for a child’s development:

When we interfere with behavior and brain growth, when we force children to conform to our needs as busy, distracted, and often chronically ill adults, we may be fundamentally compromising their expression of self, as Breggin cites Greenough et al.

Spontaneous or self-generated activities–play, mastery, exploration, novelty seeking, curiosity, and zestful socialization-are central to the growth and development of animals and humans and necessary for the full elaboration of CNS synaptic connections. (source)

She looks at other ways to treat these symptoms, and feels the first line of defense is dietary solutions. 

Some studies have, indeed, emerged that show a link between a gluten/casein free diet and improvement in autistic symptoms, and some parents have already seen the benefits of implementing this research.

The Mayo Clinic claims that certain food preservatives and colourings could increase hyperactive behaviour in some children. It would be best to avoid these, regardless of whether they are linked to ADHD or not.

It has also been suggested that EEG biofeedback (electroencephalographic) could help. It’s a type of neurotherapy that measures brainwaves. You can read more about that here.

In 2003, a study published in the journal Adolescence looked at how regular massages for 20 minutes twice a week could improve behaviour in the classroom. This is interesting because studies have also suggested that tai chi and yoga may also help improve ADHD symptoms. According to the studies, children with ADHD that practiced tai chi became less anxious or hyperactive. (source)

Other safe interventions are out there, you just have to look for them.

The Takeaway

I hope this article provides insight for people as well as parents who are considering using medications if their child is labeled as having ‘ADHD’. This article is not meant ignore symptoms of ADHD, but the idea of administering drugs so someone can better fit into a regimented environment should be questioned.

A challenge to convention like this can often be vilified, and that’s ok. We are going through a period of time where it’s best to keep an open mind, as new information is emerging in various areas that challenge our long-held belief systems.

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Prince Harry: “I Will Not Be Bullied Into Playing A Game That Killed My Mom”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Last week Prince Harry and Meaghan Markle announced that they would be stepping down from their royal duties, and ultimately their life as royals.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do so many view powerful figures like the Royal's as gods? Is it time to end this type of perception?

Last week Prince Harry and Meaghan Markle announced that they would be stepping down from their royal duties, and ultimately their life as royals. This is pretty huge news. In regards to what prompted this decision there is certainly a lot we could speculate over, perhaps they want to distance themselves from the royal family because of the recent scandal involving Uncle Prince Andrew and the allegations against him being involved in child sex trafficking, maybe they simply want to get out of the public eye, or perhaps they see how the monarchy has already started to crumble and want to get out while they can.

Whatever the reason may be, it certainly seems to validate the massive shift in consciousness that is currently taking place on our planet and perhaps throughout the entire Universe. Some people have already been calling for the abolishment of the British monarchy after the Queen passes away, as many feel this system is very archaic in this day and age.

On The Surface

It was reported that the Queen had no idea of Harry and Meaghan’s decision before it was announced, and inside sources have told reporters that the “monarchy has never been seen in such a bad state.” (source)

Longtime friend of Prince Harry, JJ Chalmers, made an insightful comment during an interview on BBC’s The One on January 10th, stating that he feels Harry likely made this decision in order to “protect his family” and was simply attempting to put his family first and do what was right for them. The details regarding what Harry might be wanting to “protect his family” from weren’t disclosed.

A video that has gained a lot of popularity on social media over the past week or so, being retweeted over 70,000 times since being posted on January 8th, is an interview of Harry himself discussing the need to protect his family.

In another clip from that same interview we can clearly hear Harry saying that, “I will not be bullied into playing the same game that killed my mom.”

How’s The Queen Taking The News?

This past Monday, January 13th a meeting took place to address Harry’s decision. According to CNN.com,

The highly unusual meeting was called after the couple’s bombshell announcement last week that they wished to step back from their roles as senior members of the royal family. The Queen was joined at the summit by Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry, while Meghan was due to have dialed in from Canada.

After a crisis meeting of senior royals at the Queen’s Sandringham estate north of London, the Queen said she had agreed that Prince Harry and Meghan could split their time between the UK and Canada but that “complex matters” would have to be resolved. The monarch said she had ordered final plans to be drawn up in the next few days.

In a statement after the meeting, the Queen said the family would have preferred the couple to “remain full-time working members of the royal family,” but that they “respect and understand” Prince Harry and Meghan’s “wish to live a more independent life.”

The Queen said the family had “very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family” during the meeting, adding that they are “entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.”

There were “complex matters for my family to resolve,” and no final agreement had been reached, particularly over Harry and Meghan’s desire to become “financially independent.”

“There is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days,” the Queen said in the statement.

Going A Bit Deeper

When we look at what happened to “the game that killed William and Harry’s mum,” she was harassed relentlessly by the media, and ultimately ended in a fatal car crash. However, there is a lot of controversy behind this official story. Many believe that Princess Diana was against the monarchy in some ways and was attempting to break free from it’s clutches and even potentially expose some of their secrets, and thus believe that her death was no accident, but rather that she was silenced by being taken out by the Royal family.

Are Harry and Meaghan stepping away because they refuse to continue to be harassed by paparazzi, or are they making a bold statement and declaring their values by taking a stance that shows that they no longer wish to be affiliated with or support the Royal family? Could this signify the beginning of the end for the British monarchy? Only time will tell.

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The US Navy Says Sharing UFO Footage & Documents Could ‘Cause Grave Damage to National Security’

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The US Navy recently released a statement claiming that more disclosure regarding a 2004 UFO incident in the form of video footage and documentation would be a big threat to national security.

  • Reflect On:

    The mainstream media has long used false information, or real information, and shaped the narrative to suit a particular agenda that serves the interests of their funders. Are we seeing the same thing here?

There is perhaps no other topic that used to be considered a ‘conspiracy theory’ that’s now taken extremely seriously within the mainstream, like the topic of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), also sometimes referred to Unidentified Ariel Phenomenon (UAP’s). This is in large part due to the fact that official, declassified documents and footage have been released from a number of intelligence agencies and military organizations, on a global scale. Furthermore, all of it’s complimented by statements from high ranking military personnel, ex-astronauts, and many more.

An incident that really blew this subject open in the United States occurred in 2004, where several Navy pilots that were stationed aboard the USS Nimitz encountered a “Tic-Tac-Shaped” UFO. To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science (TTSA) headed by Tom Delonge alongside several ex-high ranking intelligence personnell, like Christopher Mellon who served 30 years in the federal government and was Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Intelligence from 1997  to 2002, obtained the video from the United States Navy, which the Navy later verified was real.  He has published detailed articles for outlets like The Hill as well as The Washington Post emphasizing the reality and seriousness of this subject. He is one of several to do so

Here’s one of the videos of the object, here’s another, and here’s one more of other instances that they’ve obtained.

The 2004 incident was beamed by the New York times, and high ranking people, like Louis Elizondo who headed a an “Ariel Threat Identification Program” at the Pentagon (he’s also part of the TTSA) stated that he believed these objects are extraterrestrial. He also made the point to emphasize that we should not get caught up in this particular 2004 incident, as there are many. He told VICE that “people should not be surprised by the revelation that other videos exist and at greater length.”

More news has come out regarding the 2004 incident, at it’s in response to a recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that was filed for more video footage and documents regarding the incident. The footage and documents that were released of the incident don’t show the entire video, and don’t make up all of the documents. A spokesperson from the Navy’s Office of Intelligence (ONI) confirmed that the agency posses at least one classified video pertaining to this incident.

According to an ONI  spokesperson, sharing the information with the public “would cause exceptionally grave damage to the National Security of the United States.”

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The ONI also admitted to possessing at least one video of unknown length, classified as “secret” by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). ONI didn’t reveal whether this footage is the same 1-minute video that was leaked online in 2007 and widely released by The New York Times in 2017. However, in November 2019, several naval officers who witnessed the incident aboard the Nimitz told Popular Mechanics that they had seen a much longer video of the encounter that was between 8 and 10 minutes long. These original recordings were promptly collected and erased by “unknown individuals” who arrived on the ship by helicopter shortly after the incident, one officer said. (source)

In the 2004 incident, the object in question was performing maneuvers and flying at speeds that no known air craft on Earth can perform.

Grave Damage To National Security?? Seriously??

One thing that seems to rub me the wrong way about mainstream UFO disclosure is what seems to be a constant ‘threat narrative.’ This is a phenomenon that dates back hundreds, if not thousands of years. Cases have ben documented for a very, very long time. If there was some sort of ‘extraterrestrial threat’ or a threat to national security by these objects, wouldn’t some type of ‘event’ have already taken place by now?

Based on my research, and the research of many other UFO researchers around the world, the majority of documented UFO incidents around the world have shown no sign of a threat. Sure, they may be intrusive, but there these objects have not behaved in any way that has been indicative of threat. That being said, this does not mean that footage of these objets performing in a way that represents a threat doesn’t exist, but based on what we have now, 99.99 percent of these cases, in my opinion, do not display behaviour that is at all indicative of a threat.

In fact, not only do these objects not display characteristics of hostility, they are documented performing predominantly evasive manures, making multiple efforts to avoid our air-craft. For example, Canadian defense minister Paul Hellyer said that these objects commonly take “corrective measures to avoid our aircraft,” and that our military tends to “shoot first and ask questions after.” (source)  Don’t forget four star General Nathan Twinning, who stated in a declassified intelligence document decades ago that,

“The phenomenon is something real and not visionary or fictitious. The reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability (particularly in roll), and motion which must be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly air-craft and radar, lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled either manually, automatically, or remotely.” (source)

With all of this being said, it’s understandable how, from our current level of consciousness that these objects would be seen as a threat, especially from a military and intelligence perspective. For example, when a UFO is tracked on radar, military air-craft are usually sent out to take a closer look. There are many documented cases that show electronic systems within the military jet go down, they don’t work.  For example, here’s an interesting case from Iran via a declassified NSA document:

As the F-4 approached a range of 25 nautical miles it lost all instrumentation and communications. When the F-4 turned away from the object and apparently was no longer a threat to it, the aircraft regained all instrumentation and communications. Another brightly lighted object came out of the original object. The second object headed straight toward the F4.

 UFOs in close proximity to nuclear missile facilities have also been associated with the complete shut-down and deactivation of nuclear missiles. So that’s interesting.

The issue is, is the threat narrative being pushed by the mainstream for some sort of ulterior motive, the same way we’ve seen the mainstream push the war on terror ? Are we being lied to again? To be honest, it’s hard to believe anything that comes from mainstream media these days, and many people have lost their trust in these networks. Truth is not synonymous with mainstream media, so what makes the UFO topic any different? Are they trying to control the narrative?

What’s curious to me is why all of a sudden do a select group of people get to publish serious pieces on the subject in mainstream media outlets while a number of ‘credible’ people as well as UFO researchers have been doing this for years, yet continue to go largely ignored by the mainstream media? These are all important questions to ask?

I go deeper in an article I recently published, which you can read below if you’re interested:

Do UFOs Represent Some Sort of Threat? Or Is This Just Government Propaganda? 

The Takeaway

This is a subject that’s full of truth, but also full of disinformation. At the end of the day, it’s curious as to why mainstream media has control over the narrative and never addresses incidents and facts that’ve been uncovered by academics and researchers for decades. And why now? This is a topic that truly leaves no aspect of humanity untouched, it has large implications, especially for human consciousness. That being said, we have a lot of work to do down here on planet Earth to get our ‘stuff’ together, but this topic is no doubt always interesting to explore, and can assist one in expanding their consciousness.

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Scientists Share Facts About Vaccines At World Health Organization Conference For Vaccine Safety

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Many scientists presented facts about vaccines and vaccine safety at the recent Global Health Vaccine Safety summit hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are so many people fighting against each other? Why are there "pro-vax" and "anti-vax" groups? Are these terms not useless? Do they prevent us from having discussions that need to be had and moving forward appropriately?

According to organizations like the American Medical Association as well as the World Health Organization, vaccine hesitancy among people, parents, and, as mentioned by scientists at the World Health Organization’s recent Global Vaccine Safety Summit, health professionals and scientists continues to increase. This is no secret, as vaccines have become a very popular topic over the past few years alone. In fact, the World Health Organization has listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the biggest threats to global health security.

The issue of vaccine hesitancy is no secret, for example, one study (of many) published in the journal EbioMedicine outlines this point, stating in the introduction:

Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts, and science (Larson et al., 2011). These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviors and attitudes varying according to context, vaccine, and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services (Group, 2014,Larson et al., 2014Dubé et al., 2013). VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines and ensure satisfactory vaccination coverage.

At the conference, this fact was emphasized by Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project. She is referenced, as you can see, by the authors in the study above. At the conference, she emphasized that safety concerns among people and health professionals seem to be the biggest issue regarding vaccine hesitancy.

She also stated,

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen… still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider, and if we lose that, we’re in trouble.

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She also brought up her belief that safety studies are incomplete, and that to continue to refer people to the same old science on safety is not adequately addressing their new concerns because better studies need to be done. Furthermore, she recommended that doctors and professionals forego name-calling with ‘hostile language’ such as “anti-vax”. She recommended encouraging people to ask questions about vaccine safety. After all, it makes sense–in order to make our vaccines safer and more effective, you would think everybody would be on board with constant questioning and examination. After all, that’s just good science, and it’s in everyone’s best interest.

Another interesting point that caught my attention was brought up by Dr. Martin Howell Friede, Coordinator of Initiative For Vaccine Research at the World Health Organization. He brought up the topic of vaccine adjuvants like thimerosal or aluminum, for example. In certain vaccines, without these adjuvants the vaccine simply doesn’t work. Dr. Friede mentioned that there are clinical studies that blame adjuvants for adverse events seen as a result of administering vaccines, and how people in general often blame adverse reactions to vaccines being the result of the vaccine adjuvant. He mentioned aluminum specifically.

He showed concern given the fact that “without adjuvants, we are not going to have the next generation of vaccines.”

He also stated that,

When we add an adjuvant, it’s because it is essential. We do not add adjuvants to vaccines because we want to do so, but when we add them it adds to the complexity. And I give courses every year on ‘how do you develop vaccines’ and ‘how do you make vaccines’ and the first lesson is, while you are making your vaccine, if you can avoid using an adjuvant, please do so. Lesson two is, if you’re going to use an adjuvant, use one that has a history of safety, and lesson three is, if you’re not going to do that, think very carefully.

Furthermore, he criticized the assumption that if an adjuvant like aluminum appears to be safe for one vaccine, that it should be not be presumed to be safe for other vaccines. Dr. Friede said that current safety surveillance is quite effective at determining immediate effects (such as immediate injury to the arm at the injection site), but not as effective in identifying “systemic” long term adverse events.

When I heard him mention lesson two, that “if you’re going to use an adjuvant, use one that has a history of safety,” it instantly reminded me of aluminum because it’s an adjuvant used in multiple vaccines like the HPV vaccine, for example, but has no history of safety.

A study published as far back as 2011 in Current Medical Chemistry makes this quite clear, emphasizing that,

Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant. Despite almost 90 years of widespread use of aluminum adjuvants, medical science’s understanding about their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor. There is also a concerning scarcity of data on toxicology and pharmacokinetics of these compounds. In spite of this, the notion that aluminum in vaccines is safe appears to be widely accepted. Experimental research, however, clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans. (source)

The key sentence here is that “their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor.” Based on what Dr. Friede said at the conference, it really makes you think.

A study published in BMC Med in 2015 found that “Evidence that aluminum-coated particles phagocytozed in the injected muscle and its draining lymph nodes can disseminate within phagocytes throughout the body and slowly accumulate in the brain further suggests that alum safety should be evaluated in the long term.”

This brings me to another point made at the conference by many scientists in attendance, which was that according to some of them, vaccines seem to lack the appropriate safety testing. This is another big reason why people are so confused and have voiced their concerns about safety, as mentioned above by Professor Larson.

Marion Gruber, PhD and Director of the FDA Office of Vaccines Research and Review, questioned the scope of vaccine safety surveillance and monitoring during pre-licensing vaccine trials as well during the conference.

One source of confusion might be that ‘high-ranking’ health authorities sometimes making conflicting statements. For example, Soumya Swaminathan, MD and Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization, stated at the conference,

I don’t think we can overemphasize the fact that we really don’t have very good safety monitoring systems in many countries and this adds to the miscommunication and the misapprehensions because we’re not able to give clear cut answers when people ask questions about deaths that have occurred due to particular vaccines… One should be able to give a very factual account of what exactly is happening, what the cause of deaths are, but in most cases there’s some obfuscation at that level and therefore there’s less and less trust then in the system.

Prior to this statement, in a promotional video released just days before the conference began, she stated that “we have vaccine safety systems, robust vaccine safety systems.”

She completely contradicted herself.

If you’d like access to the entire conference, you can do so at the World Health Organization’s website.

The Takeaway

The scientific community should never stop questioning, especially when it comes to medication. Based on the information that’s come out at this conference, it’s quite clear that there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to the development of vaccines and vaccine safety overall. Discussion is always encouraging, as long as it’s peaceful and facts are presented like they were at this conference. It’s better to understand the reasons why a lot of people are hesitant about vaccination and appropriately respond, instead of simply using ridicule and hatred because that’s never effective and both parties cannot move forward that way. At the end of the day, scientists should never cease to question.

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