January 11, 2017
Uncovering the Connection Between Vaccines and "Vaccine Encephalopathy"
David Wolf, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Pediatric Neurology
Emory University School of Medicine / Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
- Clubhouse Location:
- Wine & Cheese: SOM Commons Area
Presentation: WHSCAB Auditorium
- Moveable Feast Agenda:
- 6:00pm — wine, cheese, networking at SOM
6:30pm — meeting convenes at WHSCAB
7:45pm — casual buffet dinner and more networking at at SOM
Here are three things that can mess with your head:
- This event: Snow days that are actually No-Snow days.
- This idea: The earth rotates while also revolving around the sun which is itself revolving around the center of the Milky Way which, along with 53 other member galaxies of our "Local Group" is moving through a constantly expanding universe — which means that in the 15 seconds or so that it took you to read this sentence you moved several tens of thousands of miles beyond the point in space you were in at the start of the sentence. And because of that whole the-universe-is-constantly-expanding thing you'll never never ever ever pass through that particular point in space again. Hope you waved goodbye.
- This accident of nature: A spontaneously occurring (I.e. non-heritable) genetic mutation that, when triggered by a fever from, well, just about anything, can erupt into Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI), aka Dravet Syndrome.
Only one of the three head-messing events/ideas/accidents above has been understandably but falsely associated with vaccines. Can you guess which one?
No, not the No-Snow Day. No-Snow Snow Days are strongly associated with a rapid onset compulsion to clear grocery store shelves of bread and milk but they are not associated with vaccines. Neither is space travel.
The horror of Dravet's syndrome, on the other hand, has been.
Dravet's syndrome, while thankfully rare (<1 in 30,000 infants), is utterly and completely devastating to the families who have children who suffer from it. And because — we now know -- the hidden genetic potential for Dravet's can be triggered by a baby's first fever, and because some babies don't get that first fever until they are 2 months old and receive the pertussis vaccine as part of a DPT jab, and because grief stricken parents of infants who have become permanently brain damaged following a fever that followed a DPT vaccine … well, you see where this is going.
In fact, more than a decade before Andrew Wakefield's falsified research casually lobbed the groundless fear of vaccine-induced autism into every parent's worst nightmare, the fear of brain-damage and epilepsy were already causing a lot of parents to actively avoid the pertussis vaccine, no matter how many scientific findings to the contrary we threw at them.
Of course, calling Dravet's syndrome "Pertussis Vaccine Encephalopathy" (PVE), as it was for a long time, didn't exactly help.
Do you want to hear more about the history and challenges of separating the Vaccine from the so-called Vaccine Encephalopathy?
Of COURSE you do. Nothing like starting off 2017 with a little controversy, is there? Anti-vax controversy, I mean.
Register now, if you didn't already, and I'll see you on Wednesday, January 11th.
Your friendly neighborhood VDC goddess*
*Over Christmas vacation this year Karl and I went to England and France. See attached photo of me waiting in line to consult with Edward Jenner at his London Hyde Park office. If you look carefully at the top of Jenner's head you will see that I am waiting for him to finish meeting with a seagull. About the H5N1 vaccine, no doubt.