Old truths - new syndrome

New Year's Eve 2010 was a day to celebrate! This year, it wasn't a party or fireworks, TV or staying up till midnight. Instead I had a letter to write to a friend. It was a very absorbing subject which took over ten hours to complete, and meanwhile I made a discovery that could change things in the murky world of medicine, health and education, perhaps forever.

Hey! What was it about? Well, Freda had forwarded a letter for my assessment, written by an eminent paediatric consultant from Manchester about a young girl called Ashleigh in Liverpool. She had been stricken down by a dose of Cervarix vaccine back in autumn 2008. At the time this case was splashed all over the press but then everything went mysteriously quiet even though the poor girl was still in Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool. I see that one of the child immunology specialists there is a member of the Government's JCVI committee on vaccines, no less.

The Manchester doctor was explaining in detail his decision that she did suffer the well-reported short term side effects, but he was not at all sure about the long-term serious myalgia, myositis, or muscle weakness. He even indicated that he would be very happy to consider specific references in the scientific literature, or indeed other websites. He said it was more likely than not that it was "ILLNESS BEHAVIOUR" which is psychosomatic......... What a relief (??) to know that children with this condition are not 'nut cases'!

So that was a little challenge which I rose to immediately, and I thank the angels for helping me and Google that day.

Up popped a review paper written by two scientists in Israel, entitled "'ASIA'- Autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants". The pdf document is even named "ADJUVANT SYNDROME", for short. The authors are Yehuda Shoenfeld and Nancy Agmon-Levin.

I saved the file and sent it on to Freda with my letter as the evening drew in. For those interested, the official reference is doi:1016/j.jaut.2010.07.003 - and the exact free web link is here.
The scientists point out that the first ‘typical’ clinical manifestation is myalgia, myositis or muscle weakness.

The first major criterion is exposure to external stimuli prior to clinical manifestations and vaccine adjuvant is one of these. They specify aluminium, which is the adjuvant in the HPV vaccines, Cervarix and Gardasil. The paper also explains the process and the science which is way over my head. However, the authors do cite Dr. Chris Exley et al at Keele University – my almer mater – and the very same paper that I referred to the various health authorities. Again they dismissed it and even censored it, with the usual excuses, but we do know that the scientists’ recommendation of 1.5 litres per day of silica–rich mineral water for several months has enabled at least one girl, Lucy, to get back to school, a year since her one and only Cervarix jab.

Considering the third of the major criteria of Adjuvant Syndrome being “removal of inciting agent induces improvement”, I only hope that the doctors would graciously consider this possibility since they haven’t been able to make any other practical suggestions.

If not, then it is perfectly feasible for our girls and their families to try this novel approach with 1.5 litres per day of silica-rich mineral water and to contact the scientists themselves. They are doing ongoing research so I am not sure of the best mineral water to choose, and I would emphasise that ordinarily they do not receive funding from drug companies or standard funding sources.

For the record, as well as vaccine adjuvants like aluminium, there are three other conditions linked to this Adjuvant Syndrome: siliconosis from breast implants, the Gulf War Syndrome and Macrophagic Myofasciitis Syndrome.

And with all this being so new, there is apparently only one other paper so far that cites it - a very well-informed Italian expert in rheumatoid arthritis - P.L.Peroni. It is from part of the title of his paper that I borrow the very apt heading "Old truths - new syndrome", and he describes the whole subject as intriguing and even provocative.

That's it really. If you know someone with one of those strange diseases that nobody seems to know where they have come from or what to do about them, like Guillain Barre Syndrome, lupus, chronic fatigue, fever, demyelinating disorders, fibromyalgia, arthralgia, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal conditions, skin problems, cognitive impairment, memory loss, depression, swollen glands, hair loss, headache, morning stiffness, and so on and so forth - then do remember, please, that it could be that thing that Grace Filby flagged up - ADJUVANT SYNDROME.

And I think the JCVI and all those bods need to think carefully before dreaming up any more vaccine programmes for schoolkids - because if they say they have side effects the doctors might say they are just making them up in their heads. They reckon that Illness Behaviour is very common, you see.

Now let's have a happy new year.

Update: 13th January 2011
Knowing that Professor Shoenfeld's paper on Adjuvant Syndrome is bound to have far-reaching effects, I decided there is no time like the present! So I sent it by email along with 3 questions to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) who are the "king pins" in Needleland. JCVI even have a new sub-committee for a whole load more vaccines for older children and adolescents.

I think they have got my message! I am delighted to hear that the Department of Health have sent on the adjuvant syndrome paper plus my concerns to the JCVI CHAIRMAN, Professor Andrew Hall.

They refused to answer my 3 carefully-worded questions but you can guess, I already knew what the answers were from checking all the JCVI minutes myself. Basically the JCVI committee were never told that the printed booklets had FALSE safety statistics in them about Cervarix vaccine, nor were they told that the £2.6 million DH advertising campaign slogan "Arm yourself for life" had to be withrawn because it was a thoroughly FALSE and MISLEADING claim.

1. I attach a paper "Adjuvant_syndrome.pdf". Its full name is " 'ASIA' - Autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants", 2010. When can we expect that this syndrome will be on the agenda for discussion by members of JCVI, as part of the Committee's due diligence?

2. Your 15 October 2008 minutes state:
"The Committee were updated on the advertising in press, radio, television and on line, and provided with information packs that have been sent to all girls and their parents."

Please inform me on what date (if at all) the Committee were updated on the fact that those 50,000 printed information packs contained false and misleading information, understating side effects of Cervarix by 10 to 100 times and omitting others. After I pointed this out to FOI-DH officials they confirmed it on 1 October 2008 and again the following 9 June plus Ministerial letter to me personally.

3. Please inform me of the date (if at all) the Committee were updated on the fact that the DH advertising slogan, "Armed for Life" and "Arm Yourself For Life" since 2008 was the subject of an Informally Resolved Complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority on 3 March 2010.