This blog is a way of sharing the information and resources that have helped me to recover my son Roo from an Autism Spectrum Disorder. What I have learned is to view our symptoms as the results of underlying biological cause, which can be identified and healed. I say "our symptoms" because I also have a neuro-immune disorder called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

And, of course, I am not a doctor (although I have been known to impersonate one while doing imaginative play with my son)- this is just our story and information that has been helpful or interesting to us. I hope it is helpful and interesting to you!


Friday, September 1, 2017

ASIA (Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants)

An adjuvant is a substance that has the effect of stimulating a heightened immune response to a product that contains it.  In some cases adjuvants are added intentionally, such as the case with vaccines (not all vaccines contain adjuvants) with the intent of causing a stronger and more robust immune response to the antigen (the organism that the vaccine is meant to protect against).  In other cases, such as with silicone in breast implants, the adjuvant properties of a substance (in this case silicone) is not the reason that the substance is used but rather an unintended consequence.

"ASIA" Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants
J Autoimmun. 2011 Feb;36(1):4-8. Epub 2010 Aug 13.
(adjuvants are vaccine ingredients meant to provoke an immune response)
"In recent years, four conditions: siliconosis, the Gulf war syndrome (GWS), the macrophagic myofasciitis syndrome (MMF) and post-vaccination phenomena were linked with previous exposure to an adjuvant. Furthermore, these four diseases share a similar complex of signs and symptoms which further support a common denominator.Thus, we review herein the current data regarding the role of adjuvants in the pathogenesis of immune mediated diseases as well as the amassed data regarding each of these four conditions. Relating to the current knowledge we would like to suggest to include these comparable conditions under a common syndrome entitled ASIA, “Autoimmune (Auto-inflammatory) Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants”.

The spectrum of ASIA: ‘Autoimmune (Auto-inflammatory) Syndrome induced by Adjuvants’
Lupus February 2012 vol. 21 no. 2 118-120
"A Saudi Sheikh, who suffered at the age of 27 from joints pains, rash and serological evidence of anti-Ro antibodies, was diagnosed with probable systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) at that time. He was treated with Plaquenil for a year, but as no signs of SLE were apparent, treatment was stopped and he remained disease free for the next 12 years. At the age of 39 years, 2 weeks after immunization with the flu vaccine, his disease reemerged. This time he presented with severe arthritis and pericarditis.

This patient’s story illustrates the acceleration of an autoimmune or immune-mediated condition following exposure to external stimuli. During the past year a new syndrome was introduced and termed ASIA, ‘Autoimmune (Auto-inflammatory) Syndrome induced by Adjuvants’. The use of medical adjuvants has become common practice and substances such as aluminum adjuvant are added to most human and animal vaccines. The adjuvant effect has been recognized for years, and is broadly utilized to enhance desired antigen-specific immune responses. This effect is accomplished via mechanisms that impinge on both the innate and adaptive immune systems. Formerly, adjuvants were thought to pose little or no independent threat. Alas, studies of animal models and humans demonstrated the ability of some of them to inflict autoimmunity and immune-mediated diseases by themselves."


ASIA: A New Way to Put the Puzzle Together
The Rheumatologist, June 2011
"The worldwide prevalence of autoimmune and auto-inflammatory diseases is determined by the interplay of genetic and environmental factors. The latter factors include infections, toxins, drugs, and others agents that can be linked by the occurrence of immune-mediated diseases as well as the nature of the clinical manifestations and their severity. The mechanisms by which these environmental factors trigger autoimmunity are diverse but, as a group, they may incorporate an adjuvant effect. An adjuvant is a substance that enhances the activation of the immune system, both the innate and the adoptive ones.  For years, adjuvants have been used by physicians and scientists to boost a desirable immune response, either in experimental models or during medical interventions, most classically, immunization.. 

 Despite their ability to boost immune responses, in the past, adjuvants were generally considered to be inert materials that posed little or no independent threat to the host. Alas, animal studies as well as reports of human diseases have clearly demonstrated the ability of adjuvants to inflict diseases by themselves.."

On vaccine's adjuvants and autoimmunity: Current evidence and future perspectives.
Autoimmun Rev. 2015 Oct;14(10):880-8
"In 2011 a new syndrome termed 'ASIA Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants' was defined pointing to summarize for the first time the spectrum of immune-mediated diseases triggered by an adjuvant stimulus such as chronic exposure to silicone, tetramethylpentadecane, pristane, aluminum and other adjuvants, as well as infectious components, that also may have an adjuvant effect. All these environmental factors have been found to induce autoimmunity by themselves both in animal models and in humans: for instance, silicone was associated with siliconosis, aluminum hydroxide with post-vaccination phenomena and macrophagic myofasciitis syndrome. Several mechanisms have been hypothesized to be involved in the onset of adjuvant-induced autoimmunity; a genetic favorable background plays a key role in the appearance on such vaccine-related diseases and also justifies the rarity of these phenomena. This paper will focus on protean facets which are part of ASIA, focusing on the roles and mechanisms of action of different adjuvants which lead to the autoimmune/inflammatory response. The data herein illustrate the critical role of environmental factors in the induction of autoimmunity."

Autoimmunity following hepatitis B vaccine as part of the spectrum of 'Autoimmune (Auto-inflammatory) Syndrome induced by Adjuvants' (ASIA): analysis of 93 cases.
Lupus. 2012 Feb;21(2):146-52
"Common clinical characteristics were observed among 93 patients diagnosed with immune-mediated conditions post-HBVv, suggesting a common denominator in these diseases. In addition, risk factors such as history of autoimmune diseases and the appearance of adverse event(s) during immunization may serve to predict the risk of post-immunization diseases. The ASIA criteria were found to be very useful among adults with post-vaccination events. The application of the ASIA criteria to pediatric populations requires further study."

Mechanisms of Aluminum Adjuvant Toxicity And Autoimmunity in Pediatric Populations
Lupus February 2012 vol. 21 no. 2 223-230
"Immune challenges during early development, including those vaccine-induced, can lead to permanent detrimental alterations of the brain and immune function. Experimental evidence also shows that simultaneous administration of as little as two to three immune adjuvants can overcome genetic resistance to autoimmunity. In some developed countries, by the time children are 4 to 6 years old, they will have received a total of 126 antigenic compounds along with high amounts of aluminum (Al) adjuvants through routine vaccinations. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, safety assessments for vaccines have often not included appropriate toxicity studies because vaccines have not been viewed as inherently toxic. Taken together, these observations raise plausible concerns about the overall safety of current childhood vaccination programs. When assessing adjuvant toxicity in children, several key points ought to be considered: (i) infants and children should not be viewed as “small adults” with regard to toxicological risk as their unique physiology makes them much more vulnerable to toxic insults; (ii) in adult humans Al vaccine adjuvants have been linked to a variety of serious autoimmune and inflammatory conditions (i.e., “ASIA”), yet children are regularly exposed to much higher amounts of Al from vaccines than adults; (iii) it is often assumed that peripheral immune responses do not affect brain function. However, it is now clearly established that there is a bidirectional neuro-immune cross-talk that plays crucial roles in immunoregulation as well as brain function. In turn, perturbations of the neuro-immune axis have been demonstrated in many autoimmune diseases encompassed in “ASIA” and are thought to be driven by a hyperactive immune response; and (iv) the same components of the neuro-immune axis that play key roles in brain development and immune function are heavily targeted by Al adjuvants. In summary, research evidence shows that increasing concerns about current vaccination practices may indeed be warranted. Because children may be most at risk of vaccine-induced complications, a rigorous evaluation of the vaccine-related adverse health impacts in the pediatric population is urgently needed."

The common immunogenic etiology of chronic fatigue syndrome: from infections to vaccines via adjuvants to the ASIA syndrome.
Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2011 Dec;25(4):851-63
"Studies have examined and hypothesized about the possible biomedical and epidemiologic characteristics of the disease, including genetic predisposition, infections, endocrine abnormalities, and immune dysfunction and psychological and psychosocial factors. Recently, the ASIA (autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants) syndrome was recognized, indicating the possible contribution of adjuvants and vaccines to the development of autoimmunity."

Immunol Res. 2014 Dec;60(2-3):376-83
"This study suggests that in some cases CFS and FM can be temporally related to immunization, as part of ASIA syndrome. The appearance of adverse event during immunization, the presence of autoimmune susceptibility and higher titers of autoantibodies all can be suggested as risk factors. ASIA criteria were fulfilled in all patients eluding the plausible link between ASIA and CFS/FM."

Chronic fatigue syndrome with autoantibodies--the result of an augmented adjuvant effect of hepatitis-B vaccine and silicone implant.
Autoimmun Rev. 2008 Oct;8(1):52-5
"Our patient illness started following hepatitis-B vaccine, suggesting that it was caused or accelerated by vaccination. In parallel to vaccination our patient suffered from breast injury, which might represent the time of silicone leak. The exposure to the adjuvant, silicone, might have augmented her immune response to the vaccine. To the best of our knowledge this is the first case of combined adverse effect to vaccine and silicone. Vaccine safety in individuals with silicone implants requires further studies."

Autoimmunity induced by adjuvant hydrocarbon oil components of vaccine
Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, Volume 58, Issue 5, June 2004, Pages 325–337
"We have reported that a single intraperitoneal injection of the adjuvant oils pristane, IFA or squalene induces lupus-related autoantibodies to nRNP/Sm and -Su in non-autoimmune BALB/c mice. Induction of these autoantibodies appeared to be associated with the hydrocarbon’s ability to induce IL-12, IL-6, and TNF-α, suggesting a relationship with hydrocarbon’s adjuvanticity. Whether this is relevant in human vaccination is a difficult issue due to the complex effects of vaccines and the fact that immunotoxicological effects vary depending on species, route, dose, and duration of administration. Nevertheless, the potential of adjuvant hydrocarbon oils to induce autoimmunity has implications in the use of oil adjuvants in human and veterinary vaccines as well as basic research."

Rupture of silicone gel breast implants and symptoms of pain and fatigue.
J Rheumatol. 2003 Oct;30(10):2263-7.
"Women with silicone breast implants often report severe pain and chronic fatigue. Rupture of the implant is associated with an increase in symptoms of pain and chronic fatigue."

When APS (Hughes syndrome) met the autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA)
Lupus June 2012 vol.21 no. 7 711-714
(I highly recommend reading this article in it's entirety.  It's not long and it discusses many of the mechanisms involved how vaccination affects the immune system)
"Autoimmune diseases have been reported to associate or to follow a diverse list of vaccinations.  This is not surprising since autoimmune diseases are known to be caused by infections. –  On the one hand, one can assume that vaccine may lead to autoimmunity via the infection agent ingredient being recombinant, weakened, or synthetic. Such mechanisms as molecular mimicry and polyclonal activation may be involved. Yet, recently a new syndrome was defined: ASIA (autoimmune syndrome induced by adjuvants), eluding to the important role of the adjuvant ingredients in the vaccine. This syndrome encompasses all the auto-reactive conditions associated with vaccines, but also those emerging following silicone implants which ruptured and invaded neighboring tissues. In addition, the syndrome may include clinical conditions such as the Gulf syndrome chronic fatigue syndrome and the sick building syndrome. The common denominator to all of the above clinical circumstances is the existence of an adjuvant which chronically stimulates the immune system."

"Several case reports showed the possibility of triggering antiphospholipid syndrome following tetanus vaccination"

"Tarjan et al found that repeated influenza vaccination in clinically stable SLE patients with low disease activity may result in increased production of anti-β2GPI antibodies, and therefore may increase the risk of thrombotic manifestations."

"Although there are rare cases of elevated levels of circulating anti-β2GPI Abs upon post-vaccination, one has to keep in mind that the memory cells are waiting for a second hit. This may come in time, by molecular mimicry or non-specifically by bystander activation or by adjuvant triggering, the common denominator of most vaccines during lifetime, and induce the development of the clinical picture of APS in genetically susceptible individuals. Therefore, these all strengthen the importance of ASIA and should be kept in mind during clinical work and research."